Choosing the right pickleball paddle weight is one of the most important decisions pickleball players make. Midweight paddles (7.3-8.4 ounces) are best for most players, but some players do best with lightweight or heavy paddles. In this article, we'll look at the pros and cons of each.
What Is The Best Weight For A Pickleball Paddle?
Your paddle’s weight is the key factor to use when determining the best pickleball paddle for you—more important than the edge guard, paddle shape, type of core used, and sweet spot size.
The right weight for a pickleball paddle depends on your physical attributes and play style preferences. Because of this, there isn’t a singular “best” weight for a paddle, but rather suggested ranges based on skill level and playing style.
- Stronger and more power-focused players who prefer to make harder swings will be more likely to choose a heavy paddle.
- Players looking for more control and finesse over the pickleball are more likely to use a lighter paddle.
- A player who is looking for a paddle that represents a more balanced style of play will likely prefer a midweight paddle, as they tend to allow a player control without reducing too much of their swing’s power.
The accepted pickleball paddle weight ranges are:
- Lightweight Paddles: 7.2 ounces and lighter
- Midweight Paddles: 7.3 to 8.4 ounces
- Heavyweight Paddles: 8.5 ounces and heavier
For Most Players, A Mid-Range Paddle Is Best
Midweight paddles are the best option for most pickleball players from all skill levels. Because they are so balanced, they allow a player to establish themselves on the court with confidence. Midweight paddles provide both power and control.
If you’re prone to arm-related injuries such as tennis elbow, then mid-range paddles are the appropriate weight option for you. While you might think that using a lighter paddle would cause less strain on your muscles, you’ll actually be more prone to overexert your muscles when swinging a lightweight paddle. This is because players tend to overcompensate for a lightweight paddle’s inherent lack of power by swinging harder than they need to when trying to make a big play.
A midweight pickleball paddle will even out most of your swings, causing you to use a nearly equal amount of energy with each swing.
For More Control, Get A Lightweight Paddle
If you don’t plan on making any big overhead smash hits and instead prefer to rely on your dink game, then lightweight paddles might be for you. Having a light paddle in your hand means that you’ll have faster hand speed at the net, granting you a superior level of maneuverability.
Having faster reflexes near the kitchen can make or break a rally, so lightweight pickleball paddles benefit players who like to hover around the non-volley zone. You’ll also find that you’ll be more confident putting more wrist action into your swing, meaning that extra control over the ball will carry into being able to put significantly more spin on the ball as you hit it.
The lightweight paddle’s greatest weakness is that you’ll put far less power on the ball with each swing. If you’re going up against a player of comparable size and skill level who’s using a medium-weight paddle, you’ll notice that they will be able to keep up with you at the net while also being able to apply more pressure with harder hits.
For More Power, Get A Heavy Paddle
Pickleball players looking to make big plays and hit the ball as hard as possible will prefer heavy paddles. Heavier paddles put much more weight behind your swings, making each hit more impactful upon the ball.
The primary drawback of heavy paddles is also what makes them so good: the weight. While a 9.5 or 10-ounce paddle will feel exceptionally more powerful in your hand while you’re making swings at the ball, you’ll also notice that the weight gives you noticeably less control over your hits.
Choosing to use a heavyweight pickleball paddle is a difficult decision to make for older players. The extra weight will add needed power to their swing, but it will also cause their arms to fatigue much faster.
USAPA Regulations for Pickleball Paddle Weight
According to the USA Pickleball Equipment Standards Manual, there are currently no restrictions on the weight of a pickleball paddle.
“2.E.4 – Weight. There is no restriction on paddle weight.”
This means you can use a paddle that is as light or heavy as you prefer, so long as it meets the other requirements outlined in the official equipment manual.
What Pickleball Paddle Weight Do The Pros Recommend?
I have previously reviewed which paddles pickleball’s biggest pros use, and I noticed that for the most part all of their pro-model paddles are right in that mid-range weight class.
- Ben Johns’s Joola Hyperion CFS 16 is on the high end of the medium weight range at around 8.4 ounces.
- Tyson McGuffin’s Selkirk AMPED Invikta averages between 7.9 to 8.3 ounces.
- Anna Leigh Waters’s Paddletek Bantam TS-5 is at the low end, with her paddle averaging between 7.0 to 7.5 ounces.
The only way to best understand which weight class works best for you is to try them all out! Borrow a friend’s paddle for a game or two, or try swinging a couple of paddles at your local sporting goods store. Soon you’ll know which paddle feels the best when you’re on the court.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?