Want to know what your next pickleball paddle should be constructed of? You’re not alone! This is one of the most asked questions that our Experts take on a daily basis. Without further ado, let’s dink right into it.
First, we will need to clarify which part of the paddle we are referring to. When brands or players refer to a paddle as a ‘composite pickleball paddle’ or ‘graphite pickleball paddle,’ this refers to the face of the pickleball paddle, or where you “hopefully” are making contact with the pickleball. The face material of a pickleball paddle is one of the top deciding factors in choosing the right paddle for the most important player, you.
There are 4 different types of pickleball paddle face material:
- Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddles
- Composite Pickleball Paddles
- Graphite Pickleball Paddles
- Hybrid Pickleball Paddles
You may not know what type of paddle face material you are looking for, but you know the most important factor; the player. You, as the player, are what matters most when it comes to paddle face material selection. Below we will breakdown the paddle face Materials and explain which material would benefit you, based on your style of play and experience level.
While this should help narrow down your choices, there is nothing like being able to play with a paddle without the fear of realizing it’s not the right pickleball paddle for you. Check out our Paddle Assurance Program, which will give you the confidence to find your perfect paddle.
Paddle Face Materials:
The latest and greatest technology to slam the pickleball market - carbon fiber pickleball paddles! Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddles have taken the pickleball market by storm, but what is carbon fiber? And more importantly, what will it do for your pickleball game?
Carbon fiber is the weaving of two materials creating a thin and durable surface that is almost as strong as steel. Thin, durable, and as strong as steel? Sounds like the perfect material for a pickleball paddle. Along with everything else, this added technology comes at a price. Carbon fiber pickleball addles are generally on the higher end of the price range, but with the price, you are likely to see added performance. Carbon fiber pickleball paddles will have the largest sweet spot, highest durability, and highest deflection rate (meaning a player can take a hard slam and either return a slam back or take speed off the ball and deliver a dink instead).
The deflection rate and versatility to return a hard slam with a dink or to fire it right back at your opponent’s chest is what separates Carbon Fiber pickleball paddles from other materials. Because of the compression of the Carbon Fiber pickleball paddles, the pickleball will have more time on the face surface! With more time on the face or surface of the paddle, this will allow the player to craft the perfect spin. While Carbon Fiber pickleball paddles would be a great option for beginners, the price often leans towards the experienced pickleball player. For the best all-around performance of a paddle material, check out our Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddles!
Composite pickleball paddles will feature a composite core and a non-carbon fiber hitting surface. Composite pickleball paddles commonly feature a polymer honeycomb core and a fiberglass hitting surface. Some will list fiberglass as a different material overall, but we (and most of the pickleball community) list fiberglass as a composite material. Composite Pickleball Paddles will be the softest paddle surface material on the market, creating an ultimate paddle for a player who spins and finesses the pickleball. Assisting with spin shots and dinks, composite pickleball paddles will have more texture on the face of the paddle, perfect for a pickleball player looking for a grittier feel. Because of the soft, flexible feel, which is widely loved, composite pickleball paddles can deteriorate faster than other materials. Nevertheless, from first-time players to experienced pros, composite pickleball paddles can take over any court!
Graphite pickleball paddles are the most popular paddles on pickleball courts! Why are graphite pickleball paddles so popular? A short answer: graphite pickleball paddles are lightweight, can produce power and are at a great price point for players looking to get into this incredible sport. For players who want to go out and enjoy pickleball with friends and family, graphite pickleball paddles are a great option! Although they are frequently at a lower price than composite pickleball paddles, the thin, lightweight layer of graphite on each side of the pickleball paddle can give players a unique sense of touch and feel. Although many players around the courts use graphite pickleball paddles, professionals stick to different materials. Check out what the pros use from our previous blog post, Professional Players & Their Paddle! The thinness is also what allows graphite pickleball paddles to feel like an extension of a player’s hand. Unfortunately, because of the thin material, graphite pickleball paddles have a chance to splinter or break. If possible, avoid dropping graphite pickleball paddles and ensure your graphite pickleball paddles have an edge guard! Looking for a lightweight paddle to elevate your game? Pick up a Graphite Pickleball Paddle.
Looking for something that is the best of both worlds? Try out a hybrid pickleball paddle! A hybrid pickleball paddle will have a combination of two of the above materials. The most common blending of materials is carbon fiber and graphite construction. As you can imagine, this combines the attributes from the different face materials to create a more all-around or utility pickleball paddle. The carbon fiber and graphite hybrid construction will give the player the power and touch that an experienced or beginner player is looking for in their paddle purchase. As more and more technologies are being developed, the popularity of hybrid pickleball paddles will continue to grow!
That’s our breakdown of the different paddle materials! Remember, the most crucial factor in finding the best paddle is YOU. There are hundreds of paddles on the market, which is why we have an entire page for Pickleball Paddle Reviews but if you need more information, give us a call at 1-866-382-3465, email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or utilize our LIVE CHAT to speak with an Expert today. We’re JustPaddles, and we’re with you from Click to Court!