You hear it when you’re at the courts, you hear it when you’re looking for a new paddle, and you certainly hear it when you’re listening to or reading JustPaddles paddle reviews! Paddles with a “poly” core have cemented themselves atop the wish list of many pickleball players, and for good reason.
When you hear the term “polymer” or “poly core,” simply put, you are referring to the type of material that makes up the inside of the paddle (underneath the pickleball paddle’s face). In more detail, “poly” is short for polymer or polypropylene, a plastic blend that’s often formed into honeycomb cells that offers a soft feel, quieter sound, and increased durability. For these reasons, polymer cores are highly sought after by many pickleball players and have even become more popular than other core options like aluminum or Nomex, which are louder, stiffer, and tend not to hold up as long.
Arguably the most important characteristic of a polymer core is the soft feel. Touch is one of the most popular features that players look for in a paddle. The consistent, soft touch of polymer offers the best feel that pickleball players need in this soft-touch game.
As pickleball grows in popularity, courts are beginning to move into communities and next to homes. Once courts get within earshot of homes, having a quiet paddle shifts from preference to necessity. The soft nature of polymer offers the quietest sound of any core on the market currently.
Polymer is plastic, so polymer core pickleball paddles won’t last forever, but no sporting equipment does! With that being said, since the core is tucked under a layer of carbon fiber, fiberglass, graphite, or other materials, these cores do offer durability and have consistent playability.
If you’re in the market for a pickleball paddle, there are a lot of options out there! Before you dive into weight, shape, hitting surface, or another paddle characteristic, a good place to start is with a polymer core! Please contact our Paddle Experts if you have any additional questions. They’re available via phone at 866-382-3465, email at email@example.com, or live chat on the website