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14 vs. 16mm Pickleball Paddles: Which One Is Best For You?

14 vs. 16mm Pickleball Paddles

Once you dive into the world of pickleball paddles, players will find what feels like millions of options in every shape, size, and color. For many, a paddle’s core thickness (14mm or 16mm) will be a deciding factor when weeding through those options. In this article, the Paddle Experts at JustPaddles explore the differences between these two types of paddles and guide you through which one will be best suited for you.

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14 vs. 16mm Pickleball Paddles

The main difference between 14mm and 16mm pickleball paddles is the thickness of their core.

  • 14mm paddles have a thinner core, which makes them more maneuverable with a boost of added power. The more aerodynamic shape allows for the thinner paddles to whip through the air faster, generating more “pop.”
  • 16mm paddles, on the other hand, have a slightly thicker core which provides more control, a more dampened feel, and a softer touch.

The 16mm paddle is best suited for players who want to play a power game, smash the ball, and move less on the court. Players who love to be more agile, move quickly, and have better control over their shots should go for the 14mm paddle.

Pickleball Paddle Weight

The overall weight of the paddle also plays a crucial role in determining which one is better suited for you. The 14mm paddles are oftentimes lighter and not as cumbersome as the 16mm paddles. Therefore, these paddles are generally easier to maneuver and can be beneficial for those who are just starting to play pickleball. In contrast, 16mm paddles are heavier, making them more powerful, which makes them an excellent choice for experienced players with higher hand-eye coordination and faster reaction times. 

Pickleball Shape

Another vital factor to consider when choosing between 14mm and 16mm paddles is the shape of the grip. Paddles come with either a small, medium, or large grip, and generally, 14mm paddles come with smaller grips and16mm paddles come with larger grips. If you have smaller hands, you should go for a 14mm paddle and if you have bigger hands, a 16mm paddle will likely be more comfortable to handle and help you control the ball better.

Pickleball Paddle Material

The material used to make the paddles is also worth considering. Most paddles are either made of composite, fiberglass, or graphite. 14mm paddles are often made of composite material and are, therefore, lighter and more cost-effective than 16mm paddles, which are generally made of graphite or a composite blend. Graphite paddles are ideal for players with a high skill level who can appreciate the paddle’s power, while composite models are ideal for players who are just starting to play and want a cheaper, lighter option.

To recap, when it comes to choosing between a 14 and 16mm paddle, it's not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Your playing style, strength, and personal preference play pivotal roles in determining the best fit for you.

  • If you're someone who relies on quick reflexes and fast-paced gameplay and wouldn’t mind adding juice to your shots, the 14mm paddle might be your cup of tea. It's lighter, easier to handle, and allows for rapid-fire exchanges at the net.
  • Conversely, if your game strategy leans more towards touch, control, and you need a softer-feeling paddle, the 16mm paddle could be your ace in the hole. It offers a stable punch behind each swing, making it ideal for players who like to control rallies from all over the court.


If you need any help, feel free to contact our Paddle Experts! Whether it be our Paddle Coach or just a nudge in the right direction, call or text 1-866-382-3465, email us at, or utilize our live chat to speak with a Paddle Expert today. We’re JustPaddles, and we’re with you from Click to Court!

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