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Beginners Guide to Pickleball Paddles
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Beginners Guide to Pickleball Paddles

For beginner pickleball players venturing into the sport, selecting the right paddle is pivotal to not only improving their game but also ensuring an enjoyable experience. Here’s a deeper dive into what beginners should consider:

  1. Weight: A paddle's weight is crucial; lighter paddles (7-8 ounces) offer better control and are easier on the arm, making them ideal for beginners who are developing their stroke and strategy. The lighter the paddle the quicker hands you will have, the heavier the paddle the more power your shots will generate.

  2. Material: Paddles come in various materials, including wood, composite, and graphite. Wood paddles are the most affordable but can be heavier and less forgiving. Composite and graphite paddles strike a balance between power and control, with graphite being the lightest and providing excellent feedback and control, making them a preferred choice for beginners.

  3. Grip Size: Proper grip size is essential for comfort and injury prevention. A grip that's too large can be difficult to handle, while one that's too small can lead to over-gripping and strain. Measure your grip size by wrapping your fingers around the handle; there should be a small space between your fingertips and the palm of your hand. Most brands offer a guide for measuring grip size.

  4. Paddle Thickness: The thickness of the paddle effects the power and feel. A thicker paddle (typically around 16mm thick) will provide a softer feel when hitting the ball and more control/consistency. Where a thinner (13mm or less) pickleball paddle will typically provide more "pop" and power. 

  5. Price: While it might be tempting to go for the most advanced paddle, starting with a mid-range option that meets the above criteria is advisable. As your skills progress, you can invest in more competitive paddles.

Choosing the right paddle is a personal decision that significantly affects your play. Taking the time to research and possibly test different paddles can lead to a more rewarding pickleball experience. Remember, the best paddle for you is one that feels comfortable in your hand, suits your play style, and encourages your growth in the sport.

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