How to Choose Your Pickleball Paddles
The pickleball paddle is one of the most essential pieces of accessories in your entire game. The popularity of pickleball has grown rapidly resulting in the inventions of pickleball paddles. So how do you know the paddle that is appropriate for you? Some of the features to consider are the grip size and weight.
Weight is a very important feature to contemplate when choosing a pickleball paddle.
In fact, you can classify the weight as “feel”. How does this item feel when you pick it up? How does it feel when you hold it through an entire game? How does it feel when swinging it around?
Pickleball paddles come in weight ranging from 6 ounces to 14 ounces, and the weight will affect the control and power. For a lighter paddle, it offers you more control but less drive. While for a heavier paddle, it offers you less control but more drive and power. Perhaps more importantly, a heavier paddle can damage your elbow and cause fatigue in your arm. I suggest that you start with a paddle that has a moderate weight until you build more resistance and strength; however, it is similar to a Catch-22: less arm strength implies that you will need more assistance driving the ball with any intense power. Therefore, consider opting for a mid-weight paddle between 7 ounces and 8.5 ounces. You may wish to opt for the light paddle, but always remember that the lighter the paddle the more swing and energy you will need to direct the movement of the ball, which can cause more pain or inflame an injury.
The next feature to consider is grip size.
Select a grip size that suits your hand. A paddle that features a large grip can cause injuries and slip in your hand. Smaller grips offer you more wrist action, which results in more spin and control. A larger grip can offer more stability.
But how do you know the grip size that is suitable for you?
You can print out this useful grip size guideline and take the measurement of your hand from the middle crease of your palm to the uppermost layer of your ring finger. Or, if you cannot access a ruler or a printer, you could opt for the height test. Although it doesn’t provide the same measurement as the other tests, it is easy:
Consider the following
- Under 5’2″, use 4″ grip.
- Between 5’3″ and 5’8″, use 4 ¼” grip.
- 5′ 9″ or taller, use 4 ½” grip.
If possible, try different paddles. If you don’t know the one to opt for between two sizes, I suggest that you opt for the smaller size. If you can conveniently access some paddles, try to handle each paddle with your usual grip, slide your second hand’s index finger between the heel of your gripping hand and your fingertips. If the paddle is the appropriate size your finger will fit perfectly without having to move your fingers.