Pickleball Paddle materials - What do they really mean?
Today's Pickleball paddles are made of so many different materials, how is one supposed to decide what's best for them? (beyond trying every single paddle)
This article was written to give you some helpful information about the different paddle materials, which will help in your next purchase decision.
Let's Begin With the Core:
Polymer - Polymer is softer and can have larger honeycomb cells - Because it’s softer material, it can be quieter and has good power, but you’ll sacrifice control compared aluminum.
Nomex - Nomex is a hard material which can perform longer due to the density of the material. Nomex paddles are louder than polymer paddles and have slightly less power but a higher level of control.
Aluminum - The greatest features of aluminum paddles are the superior control and soft feel. This can help with Pickleball Elbow. With similar performance to the Nomex core, aluminum cores have honeycomb construction. However, due to the weight and density of this material, you might see a reduction in power.
Polyurethane - Found in more entry-level paddles, PU has a softer feel and is lightweight, and because it's used for beginners, it will hold up well. It may not be suitable for power-users. Because it’s a softer material, you’ll sacrifice some power compared to aluminum.
Graphite – Very common material, graphite is strong, and gives great ball control but you will sacrifice some power.
Carbon Fiber – These days, this is becoming the most common surface you’ll see on the courts. Similar to graphite but more durable, Carbon Fiber provides the ultimate in control.
Fiberglass – This is previously the most common facing you’d see on the courts. It’s not as strong as graphite or carbon fiber but has more power (pop).
Wood Paddles - Let's not forget about wood paddles! These are often heavier, and harder on your arms to play with. But some might actually prefer playing with wood. The perfect application for wood paddles is usually a school or introductory pickleball lesson.
So where do you go from here?
There are so many options and so many different player profiles.
One thing I always recommend is to make sure your purchase has a 100% satisfaction return policy. We at Sabu Sports are proud to say that if you don't like your paddle, send it back. No questions asked.
Thank you for reading, happy Pickleballing!
PS: We've got a brand new Aluminum Carbon paddle priced at an introductory $39.97 - if you're shopping around at the moment, grab it here before the price goes back up!
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I grew up playing paddle tennis which paddle do you recommend