Is It Better To Use Lighter Or Heavier Pickleball Paddles?

Weight is one of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing the right pickleball paddle for you.

Whether you want to use a light or heavier pickleball paddle depends on various things, including your experience, your personal fitness and your comfort level.

Is It Better To Use Lighter Or Heavier Pickleball Paddles

The weight of your pickleball paddle affects the control over the ball and how strong your shot is.

In this paddle guide, we take a closer look at pickleball paddle weights and we find out whether it’s better to use a lighter or heavier pickleball paddle.

Standard Pickleball Paddle Weights

Most pickleball paddles weigh between 7 ounces and 13 ounces. This means that the heaviest pickleball paddle is slightly less than an American football.

Generally, paddles are placed into three weight categories: lightweight, midweight and heavy.

Each weight has its own pros and cons. As a rule of thumb, players should remember that the weight of their pickleball paddle affects how they hit the ball.

A heavier paddle puts more power into your shots but it also means less control over the ball. On the other hand, a lighter paddle offers less drive but more control.

What type of pickleball paddle you choose depends on your strength, experience and your play style.

Why Does The Weight Of Your Pickleball Paddle Matter?

While the right grip size and material of your pickleball paddle (see also: How To Grip Your Pickleball Paddle (3 Examples))are important, your paddle weight affects your game the most.

Here are some of the main reasons why weight should be a big factor when choosing a pickleball paddle.

Ball Control

One of the key reasons why pickleball paddle weight is so vital is that it impacts how you control the ball during a match.

A heavy pickleball paddle can be difficult to control, especially for beginners. 

In comparison, a lightweight pickleball paddle gives you a lot more control over the ball but your shots don’t have as much drive as with a heavy paddle.

Shot Power

Another factor to consider when buying a paddle for your pickleball game is your game style. If you prefer to put a lot of drive and power into your shots, then a heavier paddle is ideal.

On the other hand, a lighter pickleball paddle doesn’t allow you to hit the ball as hard which means that you won’t be able to make powerful shots.

Comfort Level

What weight your pickleball paddle should have depends on your comfort level. If you feel more comfortable with a lighter paddle, then this is a good choice.

Just keep in mind that both lightweight and heavy paddles have their advantages and disadvantages.

Prevent Injuries

Just like in any other sport, injuries can happen in pickleball. However, you want to avoid any injuries as much as possible.

If your pickleball paddle is too heavy, then you may experience wrist pain after some time.

In addition, if you already have an existing injury or health condition, such as tennis elbow or arthritis, then it’s best to use either a lightweight or mid-weight pickleball paddle.

This will give you enough swing without putting too much pressure on your shoulder, elbow or hand.

Lightweight Paddles

 As their name suggests, lightweight pickleball paddles are the lightest paddles that you can get. These paddles weigh between 7 ounces and 7.8 ounces.

Light pickleball paddles are ideal if you want to put more control into your game without the need for powerful ball shots.

Lightweight pickleball paddles are often popular with experience table tennis players as these paddles complement their playing style.

Advantages Of Lightweight Pickleball Paddles

Light pickleball paddles are ideal for controlling the ball and ball placement. Thanks to their lighter weight, they are easier to hold which minimizes fatigue around your hand and wrist.

Lightweight paddles are excellent for playing doubles because they give you more speed near the net.

Plus, you can easily make light pickleball paddles heavier by adding some lead tape.

Disadvantages Of Lightweight Pickleball Paddles

The main drawback of a lightweight paddle is that it doesn’t generate as much power as a heavier pickleball paddle.

You will need to put a lot more effort into your shots to achieve a powerful drive.

As lightweight paddles are easy to swing, they are also not ideal in windy conditions. This means that you may not want to use a lightweight paddle outdoors.

Plus, light pickleball paddles cause more vibration which can result in pain for anyone with tennis elbow or arthritis.

Midweight Pickleball Paddles

Standard midweight pickle paddles weigh between 7.8 ounces and 8.3 ounces. 

If you are a pickleball beginner or you are not sure what paddle to choose, then this is a good starter weight. 

Generally, tennis players often prefer the mid-weight pickleball paddle because it allows them to create some strong shots.

Advantages Of Midweight Pickleball Paddles

A mid-weight pickleball paddle is ideal for anyone with tennis (see also: Pickleball Vs Paddle Tennis: What’s The Difference?)elbow as it has the right balance between good shot placement and power.

These paddles are perfect for blocking. Plus, you can use them for outdoor pickleball as they are slightly heavier than the light paddles.

Disadvantages Of Midweight Pickleball Paddles

One of the main disadvantages of medium-weight pickleball paddles is that they don’t allow much room for special techniques or individual play styles.

Heavy Pickleball Paddles

Any pickleball paddle weighing more than 8.3 ounces is classed as a heavy paddle. These types of pickleball paddles generate a lot of ball power which is ideal for hard passing shots. 

Advantages Of Heavy Pickleball Paddles

A heavy pickleball paddle is excellent in windy conditions and outdoor play. You can use it for singles hitting hard shots.

As these paddles don’t require much effort, ball shots are a lot more powerful. In addition, these paddles are also more stable.

Due to their weight, heavier pickleball paddles are more suitable for stronger players who can easily hold the paddle for some time.

Disadvantages Of Heavy Pickleball Paddles

The biggest drawback with a heavy paddle is that you lose a lot of control over the ball. Your hand speed near the net may decrease and it’s less useful for doubles matches.

In addition, some players might experience fatigue in their shoulder, arm, wrist or hand when holding a heavier pickleball paddle for longer.

What Is The Right Pickleball Paddle Weight For Beginners?

If you are new to pickleball, then it’s a good idea to start with a midweight, standard pickleball paddle.

This will give you a feel for how to hold the paddle and how much strength you need in your arms, elbow and wrists.

If you find that the 7.6 ounces standard paddle is too heavy for you, then you can easily downsize to a lightweight paddle.

What Paddle Weight Do Pickleball Pros Use?

Professional pickleball players typically use midweight pickleball paddles. Female pickleball athletes use paddles that weigh anywhere between 7.2 ounces and 8.4 ounces.

In comparison, professional male pickleball players use paddles between 7.6 ounces and 8.6 ounces.

Final Thoughts

Whether you use a lighter or heavier pickleball paddle depends on what you feel comfortable with.

Just keep in mind that heavy pickleball paddles are more challenging to control the ball, whereas lighter paddles allow for more precise shots.

Michael Walter
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