Are Graphite Pickleball Paddles Better Than Aluminum Paddles?

Are Graphite Pickleball Paddles Better Than Aluminum Paddles?

Graphite pickleball paddles are lighter in weight, have better grip and feel to them, and are just more durable than aluminum paddles. Graphite paddles also dampen the sound of the ball hitting the paddle better than their aluminum counterparts.

There are many reasons why graphite is a perfect choice for a pickleball paddle; here we will discuss why it is better than aluminum.

Why Graphite Paddles Are Better Than Aluminum?

Most graphite paddles are approximately one-third lighter than aluminum, which means that they weigh less in your hand and it is easier to complete long matches with them.

The lighter weight of the graphite paddles also translates into better control. Graphite pickleball paddles have good grip, so players do not lose their footing when swinging the paddle, thus giving them more balance.

Furthermore, graphite pickleball paddles dampen the sound of the ball hitting the paddle better than their aluminum counterparts, which means it is easier to listen for your opponents’ shots and stick around longer in matches.

How Graphite Paddles Are Made?

The process of making graphite pickleball paddles is complicated and requires a lot of experience.

It starts with feeding sheets of pre-impregnated (coated with the release agent before the resin) carbon fiber into an oven at approximately 300 degree Fahrenheit, where it melts and becomes liquid.

The oven is then pressurized with an “injection gun” that pushes the liquid graphite onto a cooling wheel. The wheel spins rapidly, causing the liquid graphite to be pressed through fine holes in order to form fibers which are then wound on bobbins.

After this process, the carbon fiber sheets are put into another high-pressure oven at approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit, where they are pressed into a solid sheet. These sheets are then cut into thin pieces that will become the graphite paddle face.

The pieces of carbon fiber are painted with a release agent and placed in an autoclave at over 200 pounds per square inch to form the graphite sheets used for the paddle face. After this process, a thin layer of resin is applied to the graphite sheets and they are put into another pressurized oven at over 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 hours.

After this, the faces are cut out to make sure that they fit well on the paddle frame. Then a piece of fiberglass is added to the back and sides and held in place with a special adhesive. Finally, the graphite pickleball paddles are shipped off to be painted.

In order to have a good quality graphite paddle, it takes about 45 minutes to form one carbon fiber sheet from liquid materials, another 45 minutes for pressing the material into a solid sheet, and 15 minutes to cut it into thin pieces.

What Types of Graphite Pickleball Paddles Are There?

There are many different types of graphite pickleball paddles. The most common one is the full-graphite paddle, which is made completely out of carbon fiber and weighs between 7 or 8 ounces.

The next type of graphite paddle is the half-graphite paddle, which is a combination of a graphite face and an aluminum core. Half-graphite paddles are approximately 1 ounce heavier than the full-graphite pickleball paddles.

Another type is called three-quarter graphite, where carbon fiber covers about 70 percent of the paddle face. Three-quarter graphite paddles are the heaviest of these, weighing 10 ounces.

Finally, there is a one-quarter graphite paddle. This type has graphite on only one side of the paddle face, which allows for more control and touch shots. One-fourth graphite paddles weigh around 12 ounces.

What About the Shape of Graphite Paddles?

Graphite pickleball paddles come in three different shapes – square, oval and round. Which shape is best for you depends on your play style.

Square-faced graphite pickleball paddles are most popular among recreational players because they provide good control over the ball. Also, square-faced graphite paddles are lighter than other types.

Oval-faced paddles are mostly used by elite players because they provide more power and spin. They take a little bit of getting used to but once you do, your game will improve dramatically.

Finally, round-faced pickleball paddles are great for beginners. They give you great power and also allow for more control over the ball.

How to Find the Perfect Graphite Pickleball Paddle?

When choosing a graphite pickleball paddle, you should consider what type of play you’ll be doing most. Unless you are an advanced player, your playstyle might change over time, so it’s best to get something versatile. Also keep in mind that if you are left-handed, you’ll need special graphite pickleball paddles.

The first thing to consider is the weight of the paddle. You should probably start with something around 9 ounces, which will give you more power and spin during your game. Some companies allow you to customize weights for different types of play so some experimentation might be necessary until you find what’s right for you.

There are other factors to consider as well. Graphite paddles should have smooth edges and these can be sanded by professionals; otherwise, your grip might slip while playing. Also, you will need to make sure that the paddle feels comfortable in your hands – choose one with a deep offset or an even design.

Finally, you should also consider the graphite face. This is where the power in your game will come from, so choose one that has a high sweet spot. A good quality pickleball paddle has a specific carbon fiber percentage; anything less than 70 percent doesn’t make for very powerful shots.

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