Pickleball paddle weight is an important consideration when choosing your equipment.
Different weights for pickleball paddles offer distinct advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the weight best suits your needs is essential.
There is no “best” weight for pickleball paddles, as different players have different preferences. However, most experts agree that pickleball paddle weight is a personal preference and that the best way to choose the right weight is to experiment with different weights until you find the one that feels best for you.
Pickleball Paddle Weight Guide
Paddles typically weigh between 6 and 14 ounces. Your paddle weight should be based on your strength and playing style. If you are a powerful player who hits the ball hard, you may prefer a heavier paddle to get some extra ZIP. If you are a finesse player who relies on precision and control, you may prefer a lighter paddle for some ZAG.
It is also important to consider the type of pickleball you will be playing. If you are playing in a pickleball tournament where speed and power are important, the extra work it takes to wield a heavier paddle has a purpose. On the other hand, if you are playing a casual game with friends, you may want to choose a lighter paddle so you can have a bit more hand speed and potentially control the ball.
When in doubt, consider The Goldilocks Principle when choosing a pickleball paddle: Pick a mid-weight paddle.
Another factor when considering the best pickleball paddle weight for your game is to be honest with yourself about any injuries or pre-existing conditions you suffer from. For instance, if you have arthritis in your hand, the most important factor will be paddle thickness to reduce shock absorption. In many cases, a heavier paddle while using proper form, will mitigate tennis elbow.
Pickleball Paddle Weight – Lightweight – Quicker Hand Speed
If you’re seeking to improve your hand speed, think light. Lightweight paddles, according to experts, weigh less than 7.2 ounces and are used by players who like to have more control over the ball. These paddles allow players to make the ball drop quickly with minimal arm movement- ideal for defensive strokes. They also boast quick response times, letting you deal efficiently with balls coming at high speeds from your opponents during rallies.
In addition, beginners usually prefer light paddles because they are easier to control. Finally, those transitioning from ping pong or racquetball will find a particularly easy time adjusting to a light paddle, as they can help with the wristy action required in those games.
When my son first started playing the game, he immediately gravitated toward a lightweight paddle. As he learned the basic strokes, his confidence soared. We can always introduce additional weight in the future.
Keep in mind that if your paddles are lighter, there will be more vibration and stress on your elbow when you strike the ball. If not careful, this could lead to an injury.
Pickleball Paddle Weight – Midweight – Best of Both Worlds
These mid-weights are the perfect combination of speed and agility. They can handle your powerful serves with ease while still maintaining control when you want to go up at the net without too much force behind it.
Mid-weight pickleball paddles are perfect for players who come from a tennis background because they rely less on wrist action and more on the swing. This gives them a similar feeling to holding a tennis racquet.
The mid-weight racket, with an index from 7.3 to 8 ounces, is a great choice for all levels of players. It gives beginners power and control and helps advanced players hit shots close to the net.
Pickleball Paddle Weight – Heavyweight – Power
Heavier pickleball paddles, usually around 8.5 to 9.5 ounces, are not commonly used during recreational pickleball play.
Heavier paddles are best for singles play in pickleball, which shares more similarities to tennis than other sports in that power is more important than finesse. You’ll also see fewer drop shots and dinks compared to other games.
Heavier paddles provide more power than lighter paddles, although the latter allows you to react faster to serve speed.
Be sure to demo multiple pickleball paddles before making a purchase. Many companies offer loaner programs, giving you the ability to “try before you buy.” Or you can roll the dice on a pickleball mystery box.
I’ve played with a $15 paddle and a $330 paddle, and as with most things, your form and skill are the biggest factors. Spend wisely.