When you’re just starting out playing pickleball, one of the first things you should know is that no two paddles are created equal. One of the first main differences you’ll notice is that there are wooden paddles, graphite pickleball paddles, and composite pickleball paddles.
In this article, we’re going to focus our attention on the graphite pickleball paddles and the composite pickleball paddle varieties. These are the paddles that can be used for social play as well as for tournaments.
As we take a look at the different textures, prices, and features, you can decide which pickleball paddle is best for you as you take on America’s fastest-growing sport.
Composite (AKA Fiberglass) Pickleball Paddle
A composite pickleball paddle is one that has been made using a mixture of ingredients. A combination of polyester and Nomex core is typically used while making a composite paddle. When these ingredients combine, they produce a foam-like body that offers a softer and more silent texture.
Usually, an open-celled honeycomb core covered with one or more paddle face materials that are built up into a surface is what actually comes in contact with the ball.
When it comes to texture, a textured surface is essential for putting a spin on the ball. Since composite pickleball paddles have more of a textured surface, they will put more of a spin on the ball. This comes in handy for more advanced players.
Having more of a spin is helpful with a heavier paddle because it brings more ball control to the paddles.
Price of Composite Pickleball Paddles
Pickleball paddles range greatly in price. Composite pickleball paddles are generally cheaper than graphite pickleball paddles and fiberglass pickleball paddles. Wood paddles are usually the cheapest, but a wooden paddle is best used in social settings and is not appropriate for tournaments.
Generally, a composite pickleball paddle ranges anywhere from $40-$100.
Edge Guard vs. Edgeless
When you’re looking at pickleball paddles, you’ll notice that there is edge guard versus edgeless varieties. Choosing a paddle that has an edge guard versus one that is edgeless does not depend on whether you choose a composite or graphite pickleball paddle.
An edge guard is a band of material, typically rubber, that is affixed to the playing surface of a pickleball paddle on the periphery of the hitting area.
The purpose of an edge guard is twofold: first, to protect the playing surface of the paddle from wear and tear; and second, to increase the size of the paddle’s “sweet spot” by providing a larger margin for error when striking the ball.
Edge guards are an important part of most pickleball paddles and can significantly improve the lifespan of the paddle.
When shopping for a new paddle, be sure to consider one with a durable edge guard that will stand up to heavy use.
Graphite Pickleball Paddles
Unlike a composite pickleball paddle, a graphite pickleball paddle has a layer of graphite is used in the top section of the paddle’s core. Since graphite is a hard material, the graphic pickleball is relatively a heavier paddle, but not so heavy that you can’t play pickleball with it!
Graphite pickleball paddles are the type of paddles that encourage lots of wrist action. Some players prefer wrist action as it improves responsiveness in the face of attacking shots.
Graphite Pickleball Paddle Weight
Despite the use of graphite, a graphite paddle tend to be a lighter paddle than a composite paddle. The average weight of graphite paddles is around 7.5 ounces while composites are in the 8.0-ounce range.
While graphic paddles are known for the face of the paddle being lighter but strong. A lighter paddle is great for new players with a history of tennis elbow, shoulder injury, and other arm issues.
Another thing to note with lighter-weight paddles is that they tend to be control-oriented rather than power-oriented. A lighter paddle with graphite surface materials that makes it easier for drop shots and dinks.
Graphite Pickleball Paddle Durability
Graphite paddles are very strong. They will have longevity as compared to composite paddles. Many people prefer graphite for durability. No matter what type of paddle you get, all pickleball paddles will need replacement over time.
Is Graphite Better Than Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle?
When choosing a pickleball paddle, players have to decide between graphite and fiberglass. Both materials have their pros and cons, so it really comes down to personal preference. Graphite paddles are lighter weight, which can be an advantage for players who want to swing faster.
They also tend to have a larger sweet spot, making them more forgiving if you don’t hit the ball perfectly in the center. However, graphite paddles can be more expensive, and they sometimes lack the power of fiberglass paddles.
Fiberglass paddles are generally less expensive than graphite, and they often give players more control over the ball. They are also typically heavier than graphite paddles, which can help to generate more power when hitting the ball. However, the increased weight can also make them more difficult to maneuver.
In the end, it’s up to each player to decide which type of paddle is right for them.
Graphite vs Composite Pickleball Paddles: Which Is Right For You?
If you’re an avid pickleball player, you know that having the right paddle can make all the difference in your game. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. Two of the most popular materials used in pickleball paddles are graphite and composite. Both have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to weigh your options before making a decision.
As you think about composite pickleball paddles and graphite pickleball paddles, you should consider the factors we mentioned above and choose a paddle that:
- Has a weight that is good for your game
- Has a grip size that fits your hand
- Has a shape that matches your playing style and goals
Keeping those things in mind, we have selected several pickleball paddles that you may want to consider.
What Is A Solid Pickleball Paddle For Beginners?
The GAMMA Mirage is a fantastic middle-weight pickleball paddle. The textured composite face amplifies the power in your game and our new Sensa Poly Core technology enhances touch on the ball. Signature GAMMA Honeycomb Cushion Grip creates the perfect link between you and your paddle, intertwining your energy with the paddle performance.
This isn’t an illusion, the GAMMA Mirage will elevate your game, transporting you to the oasis of victory! The perforated honeycomb surface absorbs moisture to provide a sure firm grip.
What Is The Best Pickleball Paddle For Intermediate Players?
When it comes to lightweight paddles, The Babolat RBEL Touch Pickleball paddle is a good choice among graphite paddles. It’s strong and offers ultimate precision. It also has an enclosed polypropylene honeycomb core material. It has a shock-resistant bumper and a strong edge guard to protect your pickleball paddle when the game gets rough.
What Is The Best Pickleball Paddle For Advanced Players?
This is a great paddle for advanced players because it is one of the lighter paddles and combines the best of the graphite and composite pickleball paddles. It is made to boost ball rebound energy to create a massive sweet spot.
When it comes to a paddle with a good pickleball paddle weight that doesn’t fall into the heavier paddles category, this one is a great paddle to consider.
Contact Us for Your Pickleball Court Questions
Once you have your pickleball paddle selected, it’s time to make sure you have all of the court supplies and accessories you need. At North State Resurfacing, we provide these accessories to you as well as resurfacing and constructing and repairing pickleball courts. We are your source for everything pickleball-related.
Call us today at (919) 365-7500 or reach out to us online for more information. For the past 30 years, we have served customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Contact us today and discover why we are your source for pickleball courts and information on America’s fastest-growing sport.