What To Look for When Purchasing a Pickleball Paddle [Detailed Guide]

What To Look For When Purchasing A Pickleball Paddle

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in America. It’s a fun, social game that you can play with anyone, and it doesn’t matter if they’re young or old, tall or short – everyone has a chance to be good at pickleball!  

One thing that may not be so obvious about pickleball is how much your paddle matters to your success on the court. A new paddle will make all the difference for beginners and experts alike – and there are many factors to consider when purchasing one.

Do you want an oversized paddle? What material do you prefer? Are you looking for something lightweight? Should it have a blade guard? Read this post before making any decisions!

What to look for when purchasing a pickleball paddle?

The best pickleball paddles are those that have a lightweight and feel to them. Therefore, the surface of the paddle should be made from either rubber or composite materials, such as graphite fiberglass, which is lightweight but durable at the same time.

There are many factors to consider before you make your purchase decision! Read more to find out what to look for in a pickleball paddle!


Pickleball paddles are typically made of wood, graphite, or composite material. 

  • Wood paddles are frequently less expensive and lighter than other materials. They are not nearly as durable or long-lasting as other materials. As a result, they are excellent for casual or beginner players but are rarely used by experts or experienced players. Even if you’re a beginner, you may want something a little more robust to avoid having to purchase a new paddle anytime soon.
  • Graphite paddles are an excellent choice, though slightly more expensive than wooden paddles. These are typically very light paddles, though some are heavier, and their heft and comfort make them easy to swing in wide arcs. They have a reasonable level of durability.
  • Composite paddles are by far the most durable material for pickleball paddles. Composite paddles are typically constructed with a combination of synthetic materials, such as graphite and other minerals to increase their durability. These paddles are available in a variety of weights, depending on the manufacturer’s priorities.

In any case, any of the materials mentioned above can be an excellent choice for a beginning pickleball player.

Read This Guide: What is the best material for pickleball paddles

Grip Size

Pickleball Paddle grip

After the material, consider the grip size of the pickleball paddle. This is arguably the most critical factor in matching your pickleball paddle to your hand!

Of course, the grip size does not have to be perfectly matched to the size of your hand, although you can use your hand size (after measuring) as a guideline. However, keep in mind that thinner, smaller handles enable you to swish and snap your wrist more rapidly during a game. 

This improves your ball control and enables you to add additional spin to each hit. In addition, a much more stable experience is provided by larger grips. Larger grips also alleviate strain on the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints, making them an excellent choice if you suffer from arthritis or tennis elbow.

However, using a huge paddle will make pickleball much more uncomfortable and may result in accidental injuries. Therefore, if prompted to choose between the two, it’s beneficial to understand the advantages and disadvantages and choose a smaller paddle grip.

Don’t forget to consider any additional design features on a grip before making a purchase. 

For instance, certain pickleball paddles feature textured grips that make them easier to hold even when your hand is excessively sweaty. Others may be extremely comfortable and allow you to use the paddle for extended periods without chafing your palm.


Pickleball experts agree that weight is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a pickleball paddle. At the same time, companies offer paddles in all different shapes, sizes, and weights. Therefore, it’s best if you buy your first paddle based on its weight, as this will dramatically affect how well you can get used to playing.

The weight of the paddle can have a big impact on your experience. The best paddles are usually lightweight, below 7 ounces in most cases, and even as light as 5-6 oz for some models. Midweight paddles weigh between 8oz and 10oz, so they’re perfect if you want something easier to wield but still have power behind it when needed!

The heavier the paddles, the more force you can put into your swings and shots, which will, in turn, give you an edge over opponents who are not as strong of players. On the other hand, lighter paddles mean that you have to generate power with every swing.

 This takes a lot more energy out of each game and forces beginners to work harder on their technique to don’t tire themselves out too quickly.

Pickleball experts agree that buying a pickleball paddle based on weight is a smart idea for newcomers because picking one too heavy or light impacts its usability while also affecting how easy they’ll be able to get used to playing the game fast enough – even if they’ve already played before.

Edge Guard

pickleball paddle Edge Guard

The best pickleball paddles for beginners will have a decent edge guard. These don’t protect you but instead, stop the paddle from wearing down or cracking over time with regular use. 

Think about dropping your paddle to the ground or hitting it against a ball; without an edge guard, these can wear out and crack, which would eventually compromise the entire thing!

So you’ll want to find some pickleball paddle guards in place with any pickleball paddle you choose. Of course, some experts forgo the guard to make certain trick moves, but that’s not something a beginner needs to worry about if they don’t plan on trying out advanced techniques just yet.

Ergonomic Handle Shape

Pickleball is a fast-paced game that requires players to use their whole bodies to be successful. One of the most important aspects for beginners looking to buy pickleball paddles is an ergonomic handle shape that will help you feel more like your paddle has become part of you than some foreign object being awkward in your hands. This makes sense because it resembles what tennis players have been using all these years—this means comfort level has also increased even higher!

Read This Guide: What Is The Best Pickleball Paddle Core

USAPA Approved

USAPA Approved

The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) has a strict rating system that only permits certain pickleball gear in their official tournaments. However, if you are actually just starting and want to participate in one of these events, then do not let the USPA’s restrictions discourage you; instead, try participating with approved gear to establish your skill level at this sport before risking it all against top-tier players who will have no sympathy for beginners like yourself!

The USAPA has a rating system that is based on what type of pickleball paddle you are using. If your goal is to play in an official event, it would be best for you to determine what level of paddles they permit before purchasing one. Those who want to have fun and improve their game without ever being competitive about it do not matter so much as the ratings only make sense if you are going against players with similar skill levels.

Rating System:

  • Beginner Level Paddles are what you want if your goal is to improve your game and never be competitive. These paddles do not have a capability for a spin, which will make it easier for the player since they cannot rely on that aspect of their play. It also explains why these types of players usually don’t care what type of paddle they use because it really won’t change how well or poorly they can play pickleball no matter what level rating the paddle has.
  • Intermediate Level Paddles are what you would want if playing against more skilled opponents who know what kind of attack moves require faster reflexes than others might need to defend themselves successfully. However, this type of paddle is what you want to use if your goal is to become competitive and win as many games as possible.
  • Advanced Level Paddles are what you need to be the best player on any tour or take home a tournament championship. These paddles offer more control, speed, spin, versatility, and power than what a lower-level paddle can afford for players who possess these skills already or want them developed even further over time (takes years).

How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle – Video


As you can see, there are many factors to consider when purchasing a pickleball paddle. However, with so much variety and the opportunity for customization available from top brands like Ektelon, Penn, or Harrow – it’s hard to know where to start! 

That’s why we created this guide as an easy way for newcomers and more experienced players alike to find their perfect match. We hope that our buyers’ guide has helped you learn about how your paddle may affect your game on the court in just minutes of reading time. 

If not, let us know what type of pickleball paddle you love? And if you’re still unsure after reading our article, let me know in the comment box below, and I’ll see what we can do to help!

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