Pickleball Paddles—Don’t Let the Details Get in the Way of Getting Started!

Players hold their paddles with pride (left to right): Jackie Killingsworth, Mary Ann Bane, Chris Walton, Sherry Pate, and Jo Jo Koscheski

Mary Ann Bane

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickleball paddles. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickleball paddles, which pickleball paddle did Peter Piper pick to play?

Well, that’s my pickleball adaptation of the children’s classic tongue twister. Was it confusing? For people new to the sport and even some seasoned players, it can be quite a challenge! Paddles come in a variety of materials, grip sizes, weights, and, of course, price tags. Additionally, they can be slightly different shapes, such as an elongated but narrower paddle; and there are rimmed and/or edgeless paddles. One of the biggest differences is what the core material is made of, i.e. graphite, polymer, or aluminum. I’m no expert, so I wouldn’t dare try to explain all the pros and cons for these differences, but I will provide a few websites at the end of this article that will do so for those interested in learning more.

Like many of my fellow players, I’ve bought a few different types of paddles over time to see what works or feels best for me. In addition to the ones purchased, many of us have tried even more by borrowing a paddle from a fellow player, or test driving one on loan from a sales rep.

Do all the differences matter? Yes, but… What’s the “but”? But, don’t let it discourage you from trying the sport! My hubby and I knew none of the above about weight, grip, material, etc. when we walked into Academy Sports 2.5 years ago and bought one of the first paddles we found—not bottom of the price range, but not nearly the top. We joined the club, and used those paddles for at least a year before deciding to buy one recommended by one of our resident experts. So, what are you waiting for? Join our club at www.rrdpc.com/join-the-club.

You can buy a paddle at nearly any sporting goods store, on Amazon, or PickleballCentral.com and even get a little discount with our club promo code “CRRRD.” Once you’ve joined the club, sign up for our free two-evening teaching academy to learn the fundamentals! See you on the courts!

Check out core materials at www.tinyurl.com/h723z6yv.

See information about weight and grip at www.tinyurl.com/5wpubt7f.

See information about edgeless paddles at www.tinyurl.com/4hw2mn67.