Are Thicker Pickleball Paddles Better?

Are Thicker Pickleball Paddles Better?

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Pickleball is a sport that has rapidly gained popularity among people of all ages. It is a fun, fast-paced game that requires players to use a paddle to hit a perforated ball over a net. One of the essential pieces of equipment in pickleball is the paddle. The paddle’s size, shape, weight, and core thickness can all impact the performance of the player. In this article, we will specifically focus on the thickness of the core and how it can affect your game.

What are Pickleball Paddles?

Pickleball paddles are rectangular-shaped equipment made of various materials like wood, composite, or graphite. The paddles usually have a perforated surface, and their shape and weight depend on the manufacturer’s design. The core of the paddle determines its thickness and weight.

How are Pickleball Paddles Constructed?

The construction of pickleball paddles varies depending on the manufacturer. However, all paddles have the same essential components: the face, the edge guard, the grip, and the core. The face is the part of the paddle that hits the ball, while the edge guard protects the paddle’s edges from damage. The grip is the handle that the player holds, and the core is the part of the paddle that determines its thickness.

What is the Core Thickness of a Pickleball Paddle?

Pickleball paddles come in different core thicknesses, ranging from 6mm to 16mm and above. The standard thickness of a pickleball paddle core is 16mm, and most paddles fall within this range. A few paddles go over 16mm, but they are not very common.

Benefits of Thicker Pickleball Paddles

Improved Control

One of the primary benefits of a thicker pickleball paddle is the improved control it provides. The thicker core gives the player more control over their shots, especially when playing close to the net. With a thicker paddle, players can make precise shots and hit the ball with more accuracy.

Larger Sweet Spot

Another benefit of using a thicker pickleball paddle is the larger sweet spot it provides. The sweet spot is the area on the paddle’s face where the player should hit the ball for the best results. With a larger sweet spot, players have a better chance of hitting the ball correctly, which can help them win more points.

Energy Absorption

Another useful benefit of a thicker core pickleball paddle is its energy absorption. When the ball hits the paddle, the thicker core can absorb more of the impact’s force, which can reduce the player’s wrist and elbow strain. This can be especially helpful for players who tend to play for extended periods or have a history of wrist or elbow injuries.

Drawbacks of Thicker Pickleball Paddles

Less Power

One of the main drawbacks of thicker pickleball paddles is that they tend to have less power. The thicker core can make it more challenging for players to generate as much speed and power behind their shots. This can make it more challenging to hit the ball with enough force to get it past the opponent.

Heavier Weight

Another potential drawback of thicker pickleball paddles is their weight. Because of the thicker core, these paddles tend to be heavier than their thinner counterparts. This can make it more challenging for players to swing the paddle quickly and accurately, which can affect their overall performance.

Is a Thicker Pickleball Paddle Right for You?

Whether a thicker pickleball paddle is right for you will depend on your playing style and personal preferences. If you value control and accuracy over power, a thicker paddle may be a good choice for you. Additionally, if you struggle with wrist or elbow pain, a thicker core paddle can provide the added benefit of energy absorption.

However, if you rely heavily on power shots and have a fast swing, a thinner paddle may be a better choice. Additionally, if you have difficulty maneuvering a heavier paddle, you may want to stick with a thinner core paddle.

What is the Best Weight for a Pickleball Paddle?

The weight of a pickleball paddle can also impact your performance on the court. Generally, the best weight for a pickleball paddle is between 6.5 to 8.5 ounces. Most of the top-leading pickleball paddles fall within this weight range.

However, the ideal weight for a paddle can also depend on the player’s skill level, playing style, and physical ability. For example, beginners and older players may benefit from a heavier paddle because it can help them make more controlled shots. More advanced players may prefer a lighter paddle to allow for faster swing speed and maneuverability.

Best Pickleball Paddles for Every Level

If you’re in the market for a new pickleball paddle, it can be overwhelming to navigate the various options available. Here are some of the best pickleball paddles for every level of player:

  • Best Budget Pickleball Paddle: Head Radical Elite [Forbes]
  • Best Pickleball Paddle for Beginners: Prolite Bolt [Forbes]
  • Best Pickleball Paddle for Advanced Players: Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro [Forbes]


In conclusion, the thickness of the core in a pickleball paddle can greatly impact your performance on the court. Thicker pickleball paddles provide improved control, a larger sweet spot, and energy absorption. However, they can also have less power and be heavier than thinner paddles. Ultimately, the best pickleball paddle for you will depend on your personal preferences, playing style, and skill level. It’s essential to do your research and try out different paddles to find the one that works best for you.

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