I personally love new technology and I know a lot of you out there do too. With that said, there are so many pickleball paddles to choose from. It seems that many players run out and purchase a new paddle every few weeks. So is it the paddle or the person?
Pickleball Paddle Expectations
There are some paddles I can barely hit over the net. So a paddle can definitely help you. But will it do every for you? Will it make you perfect? Absolutely not!
Paddles are designed to help in certain ways. And what works for one player, may not work for the next. When looking at paddles you need to figure out what you want out of the paddle:
- Do you want a bigger sweet spot?
- Do you want control?
- Do you want some extra power?
Personally, I look for a paddle that can provide me all three of these things. I’m pleased to report my new Head paddle fits the bill in all three ways.
My New Pickleball Paddle
I have had a lot of questions about my new paddle so I am going to tell you a little about it. Like I said I wanted all of the things above so when they constructed this paddle I was so happy. It had a little different shape which is supposed to help with adding control. It has a polymer honeycomb core like most top paddles out there.
You don’t often see aluminum in the core anymore because it can send a lot of vibrations up your arm, are harder to control and tend to dent. The surface of my paddle grabs more than I have ever experienced giving me added control and spin. It is a carbon graphite surface that provides the touch I want along with the power.
There are two very cool things about my new paddle. First, every Extreme Tour paddle you buy will weigh 7.6 ounces. If you view the specs of other paddles, you will typically find a weight range (e.g. 7.3 – 7.8). However with Head, if you are after a different weight it’s a different paddle. Now as much as people ask about weight. Please ignore it!!!! The balance of a paddle is much more important than the actual weight. You can pick up a 7.5 ounce that is head heavy that will feel heavier than an 8.1 ounce that is more balanced.
Secondly, the handle of the paddle is one solid foam piece. Instead of a couple of pieces of wood glued together, they put the paddle into a mold that sprays foam around the handle of the paddle creating a solid piece forming to the paddle. This makes the paddle more stable and it feels more comfortable to me than many of the others out there.
What Works for You
The most important thing is to try a lot of different paddles to find what works best for you. The materials the paddles are made of and how they are constructed will definitely affect your ability to dink, block a hard shot, or hit an effective third shot drop.
I’m of the school that thinks, “if it helps your game, then why not?” Like racquetball and tennis before it, pickleball’s growth is spurring equipment manufacturers to respond quickly. We will continue to see innovation in the months and years ahead.
There are many ways to try different paddles. Pickleballcentral.com has a demo program that lets you try before you buy. They will be carrying the Head pickleball paddles by the end of the summer.
Let the Paddle do the Work
Once you have found the paddle that best fits your game, let me offer one final piece of advice. Let the paddle do the work. Hold the paddle in your fingers, firmly, but gently. If you are squeezing that paddle to death not only are you limiting what your paddle can do, but you are creating tension up your arm that can create tennis elbow or other injuries.
Look for more blog posts about pickleball paddles in future weeks.