Light Weight Pickleball Paddles
Some people think being called a "lightweight" is an insult. But this is not the case with lightweight pickleball paddles.
A few ounces when it comes to lightweight pickleball paddles, can make a very big difference. A few ounces can impact swing speed, ball control, and amount of power. Getting the weight right is the most important part of buying a new pickleball paddle as we explain in our Buying Guide.
What are Lightweight Paddles?
A good rule of thumb is that paddles are considered "light" if they weigh less than 7.3 ounces. The paddle weight is usually specified on the packaging found on a better quality paddle.
Wooden Paddles & Core Material
Beware of paddles where they do not tell you the paddle weight! Specifically, wood paddles are sometimes purchased because they are so inexpensive since they do not have honeycomb core material.
But since their paddle weight is usually not disclosed, you should only play with these if there is nothing else available. Parties yes, but regular use, no.
Who Should Play with a Lighter Paddle?
Newer players should use a light weight paddle when they first get started. They will help build confidence and reduce the possibility of injury.
This is especially true for an experienced ping pong player who is used to a very light paddle.
2) Those Looking for More Control
For most players who have trouble keeping the ball in play or inside the lines, a light weight paddle is the way to go. In addition, most paddles on the lighter end will allow more wrist action increasing the chances of an average player getting more spin from their paddle.
Doubles pickleball players sometimes use lighter paddles for maneuverability when volleying. Some players find drop shots are easier to hit if they get more backspin on them.
3) People with Arm Injuries
Be careful with this one. Anytime there is a discussion of arm pain it is important to distinguish between the occasional aches and pains that come up after playing for an extended period and chronic tennis elbow.
See Your Doctor
If you are not sure, be sure to see your doctor for a full diagnosis. But full blown tennis elbow will have pain that arises quickly with any use and may have radiating pains from any play.
A lighter paddle might not be the answer if the player's swing speed increases significantly. Harder swings arising from a light weight paddle can increase arm pain. In this case, mid weight paddles would actually be better for these individuals.
A heavier paddle (above 8.4 ounces) is really designed for the experienced player. Heavy paddles may generate more power but have less control and can get in the way of wrist action needed to create spin.
What About Adding Extra Weight to a Pickleball Paddle?
It is legal to add weight as long as adding the weight does not cause the overall length to exceed the USAPA limitations. Added weight paddles will change the entire dynamic of hitting the ball. While not unheard of in pickleball, it is much more common in tennis and unlike tennis, might disqualify a paddle for tournament play.
Importance of Grip Size
Pickleball paddles should be right sized for the size of your hand. See our article on this topic.
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