Find Your Sweet Spot
For you to be able to hit the pickleball consistently, you need to find a paddle with an ideal weight for your style of play. Pickleball is less about winning points and more about not losing points. You need a paddle with a weight that allows you to swing consistently. For some players, touch at the net is a crucial part of their game. For others, power smashes and baseline spins are more important. A heavier paddle will make it easier to smash but it might limit your touch shots. On the other hand a lighter paddle will give you more touch and quicker reactions, but might limit your power.
There is a limit to how heavy a paddle you'll be able to play with comfortably. You need to work out the options to find out what weight is best for you but most competitive paddles fall between 7 and 10 ounces. Lightweight paddles are between 7 and 8 ounces, midweight paddles are usually 8 to 9 ounces and everything else is considered heavy.
- More control of your swings
- Less fatigue as you play for extended periods of time
- May get tired if you don't have strong arms
With just about every pickleball paddle, they have a honeycomb pattern that makes it consistent for you to hit the ball. This is because the Pickleball will have holes and it will make it easier for you to get the result that you want. The pattern is ubiquitous with competitive paddles. Of course you can use other paddles for your own personal use, but this is the best option you have. Having a pattern without holes would mean that you get some strong hits and some really weak hits depending on where you hit the ball.
Not having this pattern becomes more of detriment than an actual benefit. It is something that you need if you want to contend with the pros. The physics of how the ball is hit has been shown to have the most consistent results when you have this pattern. Make sure that you refine your skills as you use this one of these paddles because you will be playing all of your professional matches with it.
- Get swings that are going to be reliable regardless of what part of the ball hits the paddle.
Get a grip
The grip is one of the best parts of the paddle. You need to make sure that the paddle is tight to make you hold onto it well. If it's lose, you can't hit it as hard as you would like to. Gripping it hard is really important, but there also has to be a comfort factor. If it isn't comfortable you aren't going to play up to your potential. You aren't going to find the paddle you like to use first, try different options and see what works for you.
What you should is break in the racket that you want to use for competitive play. It's similar to using a shoe for awhile to be able to make it form to your foot. Before that period, it can make it really hard for you to use it the right way because it's uncomfortable. It's not something that's easy to do, but stick with it and make sure that it feels the way that's good for you.
- Be more accurate with your shots
- Have more confidence as a player
- Have the paddle be an extension of you as a player
- Takes awhile for the paddle to fully break in for any player
Be Picky with Your Paddle
What you need to look for in this case is the materials which work out for you. Most of them aren't going to be that expensive, so you won't have to worry about jumps in price or something like that. You also want materials that don't weigh too much so that you won't have to worry about that burden. Generally, the heavier a material, the more durable it's going to be. This isn't always true, of course there are exceptions to the rule. Carbon fiber is really durable but is also very lightweight.
If you're at a store, you can touch the paddle to make sure it has the materials that good for playing with. On top of that you can also read what went into it on an item description. You will have to test out different options so that you know what you like to use. None of them are going to break on you, but you have to know what you are comfortable with.
- Have a consistent feeling when you hit with the ball
- Materials can be too light and hollow to have
You may think that you want the biggest paddle, but that can actually be detrimental in some cases. You want a paddle that is going to be easy to carry while covering as many options as possible. If you choose a paddle that's too big, your reactions will suffer and the paddle will be too sluggish to be at your best. Make sure that you have a weight that is going to do the best for your situation. You may want a paddle that excels in length so it's easier for you to hit the front or the back of the court.
If the paddle is wider, it makes it easier for you to hit the ball from side-to-side where your opponent is uncomfortable. This isn't a big deal for people who just got into the sport. It's a bigger deal for people who have played pickleball for many years and want to push it to get better at the game. The small details are going to be much more significant to that crowd.
- Have more choices as a player
- Take a while to truly take advantage of