Choosing the right weight for your paddle is essential.
Not only does it affect your performance and play on the court, but it also affects the health of your body and comfort on the court.
Here is how you can choose the best pickleball paddle weights for yourself:
The Importance Of Pickleball Paddle Weights
The weight of a paddle has a significant impact on both power and control.
The lighter your paddle, the faster you can get into position for your next shot with much more shot control.
And the heavier your paddle, the more power it has.
Finding the weight that is most comfortable for you is the key.
Pickleball paddles range in various weights and sizes, and the weight will differ for each player.
The optimal swing weight is a weight at which your swing does not cause over-exertion or sacrifice hand speed.
The most straightforward approach to finding your ideal swing weight is to test a variety of paddle weights or try adding weight to your paddle (such as lead tape).
For most players, this weight falls between around 7.4 and 8.3 ounces.
The Different Pickleball Paddles
Many pickleball players believe weight is a top priority when picking a paddle.
The weight of paddles varies from roughly 6 (lightweight paddles) to 14 ounces (heavier paddles).
Even though a few extra ounces may not seem like much, try swinging a can of beans or soup around in your hand for a few hours.
Lightweight paddles: Under 7.3 oz
Mid-weight paddles: 7.3 to 8.4 oz
Heavy paddles: 8.5 oz and over
Your paddle weight determines the “feel” of your paddle when holding it and the type of action you can get from it when playing Pickleball on the court.
Generally, the weight of your paddle comes down to personal preference that depends on your playing style and fitness level.
If you’ve been playing Pickleball and want to boost the force of your drive, opt for a little heavier paddle, as this is a simple strategy to enhance the power of your shots.
On the other hand, go with a lighter paddle if you want to improve your touch and ball control (accurate aim and well-placed dink strokes).
It is best to ask yourself what your strengths and weaknesses are as a pickleball player and identify what type of player you are (power vs. control).
If you are a beginner, you obviously won’t know what type of player you are just yet – you will figure this out through experience.
You must play a couple of sets before establishing your playing style.
It is usually best to start out using a mid-weight paddle, between 7.3 and 8.4 oz.
It is also better to go for a mid-weight paddle if you suffer from any elbow injuries.
You need to choose your weight wisely to avoid injury and bring out your best game!
If you are looking for extra power, the perfect pickleball paddle weight will be in the heavier range.
If you want more control, go for a lighter pickleball paddle, and if you are ever in doubt, it is best to opt for a mid-weight paddle.
Some require a very specific weight, while others are a bit more casual about their paddle’s weight.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of lightweight and heavy paddles:
A Lightweight Paddle
- Better manoeuvrability
- More ball control
- Less stress on your shoulder/elbow
- It needs a stronger swing
- Reduced drive/power
- Harder hitting shots that are hard/long
A Heavier Paddle
- Less effort is required to hit the ball harder
- More power
- Easier to hit deep balls
- Slower swing and less control
- Stress on your injuries
- Increased fatigue when playing for long periods
Choosing The Best Pickleball Paddles
It is interesting to observe that professional athletes are the ones that are least likely to require a precise weight for their paddles.
Many people have a tendency to fixate on a specific weight and insist that anything other than the precise weight will have an impact on their game.
When in fact, tiny weight variations have no impact on how well players perform.
The ability to set aside “only in their head” concerns allows professionals to concentrate on what actually improves their play.
Weight can affect your play, but the player makes the game, and it also comes down to your skill on the court.
Beginner: No Paddle Experience
Beginners with no prior paddle experience should play with a paddle that weighs around 2.5 oz.
You can’t feel much difference until there is a 10 oz or more.
This is seen between wood paddles and performance paddles.
Beginner: Paddle Experience
Beginners with some paddle experience can play with a 3. o oz paddle.
It is fairly easy to tell the difference between a lightweight and a midweight paddle.
You often have a preference for a Midweight or Lightweight paddle at this point.
Your game may change if you switch from a 7.5oz paddle to an 8.0oz paddle.
4.0 and above
Some skilled players can tell the difference between a paddle that weighs +/- 0.1 oz and one that weighs +/- 0.2 oz.
Most professionals don’t believe that slight weight variations have an impact on their performance.
Choosing A Paddle Based On Performance
Lightweight paddles are great for quicker hand speed and better control.
Since Pickleball is a game of controlled and quick shots by the net, lightweight paddles are best for those needing speed to up their hand game while keeping that soft touch.
Midweight paddles give players more power.
This paddle is great for those long and deep shots as you will need to keep your opponents on their back line.
This paddle is also best for blocking.
Singles Or Doubles
Most players opt for a Lightweight paddle during doubles and a Midweight paddle during singles because they give you faster hand speed and more power, respectively.
A quick hand speed is essential because doubles are frequently played up toward the net.
But to succeed in singles, you need strong drives and passing strokes.
For some, paddle weight matters a lot; for others, it is not such a problem.
As long as you use a paddle that is comfortable, avoids injuries, and helps you play a better game – then you are already winning.