Saturday, October 16, 2021

Weighing the Facts 

Coach Wayne’s Quick Tips

One of the most frequent questions I get from players in my beginner clinics is, “Which paddle is right for me? A challenging and perplexing question to say the least! 

My generic response is, “Whatever paddle feels best to you. By that I mean do the weight and balance of the paddle feel comfortable in your hand?  

So, how do you figure out which paddle is best for you? My suggestion is to demo as many paddles as possible. Practice, drill and play with several different weight ranges of paddles to figure out which one you like the best. 

Think of it like test driving a car. Do you like the way it rides? Does it feel too stiff, or too soft? Does the steering feel too tight, or too loose? 

As always, seek the advice of a qualified instructor to help guide you towards what weight paddle may be right for your physical strength and level of play.  

Here is a list of the Pros and Cons of paddle weight. 

Lighter Paddles 

  • PROS 

  • Increased Ball Control 

    Photos by Wayne Clark: | Head Sports offers a variety of weights in its paddle lineup.

  • Better Maneuverability 
  • Less Stress on Elbow/Shoulder 
  • CON

  • Reduced Power/Drive 
  • Stronger Swing Needed 
  • Harder to Hit Long/Hard Shots 

Heavier Paddles 

  • PROS 

  • More Power 
  • Less Effort to Hit Ball Harder 
  • Easier to Hit Ball Deep 
  • CONS 

  • Stress on Injuries, Especially Elbows 
  • Less Control/Slower Swing 
  • Increases Fatigue if Playing for Long Time 

Pickleball Paddle Weight Ranges 

  • Lightweight PaddlesUnder 7.3 oz 
  • Mid-weight Paddles7.3 to 8.4 oz 
  • Heavy Paddles: 8.5 oz 

Wayne Clark is a professional tennis instructor with over 25 years’ experience coaching players on all levels of the game. Wayne is also qualified in pickleball instruction and is on staff as an instructor with The Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida at East Naples Community Park. Contact Coach Wayne by email at, or by phone or text at 239-450-6161 

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