When it comes to pickleball paddles, there are two main materials you will see paddles made of, graphite and fiberglass. If you don’t know much about pickleball paddle materials you may be wondering, what are the differences between the two materials? and which type is right for me? Here’s Graphite vs Fiberglass Pickleball Paddles.
Before we begin, let’s talk about wooden pickleball paddles, or really let’s talk about why we aren’t going to talk about them. Wooden pickleball paddles have been around for a very long time, they were actually the first type of pickleball paddle. Wooden pickleball paddles are a fine option. They’re affordable and great introductory paddles. However, if you’re serious about playing Pickleball or looking to upgrade, graphite and fiberglass are the way to go. Wooden paddles offer less power and control and are heavier than the more modern materials.
What is the Best Pickleball Paddle Material?
Graphite and fiberglass are both popular and arguably the best materials for Pickleball paddles. I would like to note though, that there isn’t a definite winner between the two. This is because the “best” material is going to depend on the person. One material is better than the other depending on play preferences and style. However, you should ALWAYS pick between graphite and fiberglass and completely avoid wooden paddles.
If you’re someone who is used to playing tennis and are transitioning the Pickleball then a graphite paddle is your safest bet. This is because it’s going to feel the most familiar to you. They’re heavier, more rigid, and stiffer than the other pickleball paddle options.
Graphite pickleball paddles are also usually more expensive than others, this is due to the manufacturing process. This can make it difficult for some players who want to purchase these higher-quality paddles but don’t have the budget for one.
Lastly, graphite pickleball paddles are considered more forgiving because it’s easier on your hand and wrist in comparison to paddles made with fiberglass. These kinds of paddles are also more durable. The most common complaint is that the handles on these pickleball paddles wear out quickly if you don’t take care of it properly.
Fiberglass pickleball paddles are not as stiff as graphite paddles and allow you to feel the ball more when it comes in contact with the paddle. Fiberglass paddles are heavier. Meaning they’re not as easy to use as graphite paddles. With fiberglass paddles, you have to swing with force and need more power to hit through the ball. This means if you use a graphite paddle you won’t tire as quickly when playing against more skilled players who can put a heavy spin on the ball or during long points.
Since these paddles are heavier, they’re difficult to swing harder and faster without tiring your arm out. However, fiberglass paddles are more flexible, which makes them forgiving. If you were to accidentally hit too flat on one side or miss-hit slightly off-center it doesn’t matter too much.
You Hit Harder with a Graphite Pickleball Paddle.
As stated before, graphite pickleball paddles are stiffer and lighter than fiberglass paddles. A graphite paddle allows you to hit the ball harder, especially if you have a good swing speed! Graphite pickleball paddles also have a higher coefficient of restitution also known as COR than fiberglass. This means that the paddle will bounce back toward you harder, which can help you control the ball when quick shots or hitting serves during play.
Graphite pickleball paddles are more expensive than fiberglass paddles, but for some players, this isn’t really an issue. That is because they don’t mind spending more on their pickleball gear if it means that they can play better and enjoy themselves on the court.
Fiberglass paddles tend to be more durable than graphite paddles since they don’t break down as quickly but this doesn’t mean that every single graphite pickleball paddle will break right away either! The durability of a paddle all depends on how hard the individual using the paddle hits their shots while playing.
You Can Feel the Ball More With Fiberglass Pickleball Paddles.
Graphite and fiberglass pickleball paddles are very different when it comes to how they’re made and their feel. If you’re looking for a pickleball paddle that allows you to really feel the ball, then a fiberglass pickleball paddle is what you want! Fiberglass paddles are also more flexible than graphite paddles, so they have more give when the ball comes in contact with them. They tend to be lighter than fiberglass also. This is something to keep in mind if you’re someone who has wrist pain from repetitive motions.
Frequently Asked Questions
When looking for the best pickleball paddle, you may have a few questions. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or have some pickleball experience. You should learn as much as you can about paddles.
Here are some common paddle questions.
How Long Do Paddles Last?
The lifespan of a paddle depends on the materials and construction. If the paddle’s interior is thin and the exterior is too smooth, your paddle may not be good for long-term use. However, it can be good to get you started.
You should also consider that the area between the paddle and the handle is crucial. That can be a weak spot on a lot of paddles, and that can cause your paddle to break even when the surface is still usable.
If possible, feel the paddle and inspect the edges and the handle. Then, you can determine if it’s durable enough to last through many games.
What Paddles Give You More Power?
Heavier paddles have the most power. While lightweight paddles can be easier to hold and maneuver, they won’t be as strong.
You can also look for super-heavy-weight paddles for even more power. But if you just need an average amount of that, you can get a medium-weight paddle.
What Paddles Offer More Control?
While a larger paddle is more powerful, you may sacrifice control. Smaller and lighter paddles are better for players who need to respond quickly in a game.
You should look for a lightweight or medium-weight paddle for more control. A smaller head can help reduce the overall weight, so you can have more control over your shots.
Can a Good Paddle Help a Beginner?
Many things can help beginner pickleball players, and the right gear is essential. You don’t need the most expensive paddle, but you do need a good quality one that won’t break the first time you use it.
As a beginner, you may want to start with a lighter paddle. While it won’t be as powerful, it won’t strain your wrist. Once you start playing more, you can decide if you want a heavier, more powerful paddle.
How Should You Hold Your Paddle?
While playing, try to keep your paddle near your chest. That will help improve your reaction time, so you can make more shots early on.
You should also consider stretching before you play. Many pickleball injuries are preventable by warming up. Start by walking or jogging around the court, then stretch out your wrists and arms to help avoid fatigue.
Make sure your paddle feels comfortable and secure in your hand. If the handle feels too short, you may not have the best pickleball paddle for you. It shouldn’t feel like you have to strain to hold the paddle securely.
Pickleball is a unique sport that is more accessible to a broader audience than other forms of exercise. This sport combines elements from badminton, tennis, and ping-pong in an easy-to-understand manner. This makes it suitable for those in a wheelchair, mature adults, and families with members of all ages.
If you’re trying to choose between Composite vs Graphite pickleball paddles, the decision can be a difficult one. Despite the similarities between both, the two are starkly different when it comes to gameplay. No matter whether you choose composite or graphite, you’re bound to improve the way you play over time. Both paddle options offer an ideal way to improve both striking power and grip strength.
Hopefully, this guide helped you understand Graphite Vs Fiberglass Pickleball Paddles. Do you have a graphite or fiberglass pickleball paddle? If so, what do you think of it? Please let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!
Looking for more? Here are some other articles I put together:
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