Welcome to ThinkVail – shop our list of the best pickleball racquets featuring ProLite, Onix, Gamma, Encore, Wilson, Prince, Selkirk & more.
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in North America, including here in Vail, Colorado. As the game matures, pickleball paddles continue to improve and incorporate new, innovative technological advances to improve your game. Use this list to find the best pickleball racquets for you, based on your ability and style of play.
The weight of the pickleball racquet (or paddle) is MOST important. Paddles range in weight from 6 ounces (lightweight paddles) to 14-ounces (heavy paddles).
Lighter paddles give you more maneuverability and allow you to react to the ball quicker. They are also preferred for precise aim and carefully placed dink shots. Lighter paddles are also recommended if you suffer from tennis elbow or any other elbow injury.
Heavier paddles offer increased power to your shots, and can increase the force of your drive.
For beginners, its best to start with a mid-weight paddle (7.3 – 8.4 oz).
How you grip the racquet handle is also very important. You can always increase the size by adding an overgrip to your paddle handle but there is no way to decrease the grip size, so if in doubt buy a smaller size (⅛ to ¼ smaller) and add an overgrip layer to reach the desired size.
Most paddles come with standard grips from 4 to 4 ½ inches. If you have small hands you will want approximately a 4″ inch grip, medium hands 4 1/4″ inch grip and large hands will want a 4 1/2″ inch grip.
Polymer a blend of performance plastics that is very popular because it is soft, quiet, has a lot of touch and offers a lot of control. Quietest of the bunch, perfect for gated communities or homeowner associations, where noise is an issue.
Nomex a cardboard-like material that adds power to your shots but is louder and harder than other materials
Aluminum softer than Nomex but still adds a lot of power as well as precision to your shots. It can also be a loud and it has a tendency to dent.
Graphite a graphite face provides a glossy, smooth surface that creates the much-sought-after pickleball “pop” as the ball flies off the paddle.
Fiberglass a fiberglass surface usually has a textured face that enhances top and back spins while reducing air resistance. Texture gives the paddle its “bite” or “grab” to give the ball spin.
Composite a composite face also makes it easier to spin the ball and insures a quieter hit.
Bonded a chemically bonded surface that lays over the surface of the paddle to give it extra touch and playablity.
Normal The common classic pickleball paddle is a “wide body” paddle that measures approximately 8 inches wide by 15¾ inches long (20.32 cm x 40 cm).
Oversize Oversize paddles add length to the face and shorten the length of the handle, keeping the total length of the paddle the same and within USAPA regulation.
Elongated Reduces the face width while increasing the paddle length to up to 17” which is the maximum paddle length allowed by the USAPA. This type of paddle is for a more experienced players looking for added reach.
Most handles are between 4-5″ inches in length. Paddles with a longer handle may shorten the paddle face to keep overall paddle length within USAPA size and weight requirements. Elongated paddle faces will have shorter handles.
A longer handle may provide better overall paddle balance and reduce head heaviness it is also preferred if you incorporate a two handed backswing in your play.
Have you been searching for pickleball racquets for you and your family ? If so, we hope you found this article about the best pickleball racquets helpful. We have touched on some of our favorites but we would love to know your favorites. Please tell us about your experience in the comments below.
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