Weight is arguably the most important spec to look for when picking up a new paddle.
Choosing the wrong paddle weight could impair your performance, or even cause injuries.
In this pickleball paddle weight guide, I’ll explain how pickleball paddle weight affects your game.
We’ll go over the things you should consider when deciding your ideal paddle’s weight.
And, we’ll discuss what is swing weight and why it is equally important as the actual weight.
In the end, you’ll know how to choose the best pickleball weight.
Let’s get started.
Lightweight vs Midweight vs Heavyweight Pickleball Paddle
Lightweight paddles are those that weigh less than 7.2 ounces. They are usually made of materials such as graphite or carbon fiber, which are light and stiff.
They trade off power for agility and offer more control over the ball. You can easily maneuver them to hit different angles and spins.
If you like finesse games and hitting soft shots, they’re your good friend.
But if you like to attack and hit powerful winner shots, you will be frustrated using a lightweight paddle because it absorbs lots of the power of your shots.
Lightweight paddles allow you to react faster to the ball, as you can swing them more quickly and change directions more easily.
- Good for soft shots
- Allows you to react faster
- You can swing them more quickly and change directions more easily.
- Possible to add weight to the paddle later
- Lack of power
- Lightweight paddles generate more vibration than heavier paddles, as they have less cushioning and shock absorption. This can cause more stress on your elbow and wrist joints, especially if you hit the ball hard or off-center.
Who Should Use a Lightweight Paddle?
- Enjoys the agility it brings
- If you’re not confident about your arm strength
- Previous ping pong or racquetball players
Who Should Avoid a Lightweight Paddle?
- Aggressive and offensive players
- Bigger guys that have strong arms
Midweight paddles are those that weigh between 7.3 and 8.4 ounces. They are usually made of materials such as composite or fiberglass, which are durable and balanced.
They offer a good balance of power and control, as they have enough mass and stiffness to hit the ball hard, but also enough maneuverability and flexibility to hit the ball accurately.
- Good balance of power and control
- More paddle models to choose
- May not offer enough power for players who like to hit the ball hard or play aggressively.
Who Should Use a Midweight Paddle?
Midweight paddles are best for players who:
- Want a balance of power and control
- Don’t want to overthink the specs and start playing
- All-rounded players
- Previous tennis players
Who Should Avoid a Midweight Paddle?
- Players who want to maximize their performance and can control a heavier paddle
Heavyweight paddles are those that weigh more than 8.5 ounces. They are usually made of materials such as aluminum or wood, which are strong and heavy.
They offer more power than lighter paddles, as they have more mass and momentum to transfer to the ball.
Also, they have more stability and durability, as they can withstand more impact and wear.
Heavyweight paddles are the best choice for players who like to hit the ball hard or play aggressively, as they can generate more force and speed with less effort.
But, they can offer less control than lighter paddles if you don’t have enough strength.
They require more strength and stamina to swing which can bring down your swing speed.
And, they can cause more fatigue and soreness in your arm and shoulder muscles, especially if you play for a long time.
- Maximum Power
- Generate more force and speed with less effort
- Shot Stability
- More difficult to control
- Fewer paddle models to choose from
- Can cause more fatigue and soreness in your arm and shoulder muscles
Who Should Use a Heavyweight Paddle?
Heavyweight paddles are best for players who:
- Aggressive and offensive players
- Have strong arm and shoulder muscles
- Advanced or professional players who want to dominate their opponents
Who Should Avoid a Heavyweight Paddle?
- Have elbow or wrist injuries
What is the Swing Weight of a Paddle?
The swing weight of a paddle measures how heavy or light a paddle feels when you swing it.
It’s not the same thing as the actual weight of the paddle.
It depends on several things such as how the weight is distributed along the paddle, shape, material, and thickness of the paddle.
A paddle that has more weight at the head will have a higher swing weight than a paddle that has more weight at the handle.
The swing weight of a paddle affects how much power and control you have when hitting the ball.
A paddle with a higher swing weight will offer more power but is harder to swing.
The swing weight is adjustable. You can do it easily by adding or removing tape or lead strips to the head or handle of your paddle.
What is a Head-Heavy Pickleball Paddle?
A head-heavy pickleball paddle is a paddle that has more weight at the head than at the handle. It means that the paddle has a higher swing weight, which offers more power but is more difficult to swing.
It is ideal for players who like to hit bangers, as they can generate more force and speed with less effort.
However, a head-heavy pickleball paddle will make you react to the ball slower, because it takes more time to swing.
I hope you have found the best paddle weight.
Getting the weight right is only the first step to getting the correct paddle.
There are more things to consider including the surface material, size, and grip.
If you’re thinking about picking up a new paddle, check out my Ultimate Pickleball Paddle Guide.