The thickness of your pickleball paddle could be the key to unlocking your full potential as a player.
The ideal thickness of a pickleball paddle depends on personal preference and playing style. 11mm core paddles are the thinnest and offer speed and agility, while 13mm core paddles provide balance and consistency. 16mm core paddles are the thickest, offering a balance between power and control.
As an avid pickleball player, I struggled to find the perfect thickness for my paddle. Initially, I opted for a 13mm core paddle, but I found it lacked the power I desired. I tried a 16mm core paddle but found it too heavy.
Finally, I settled on an 11mm core paddle, offering me the perfect balance of speed and power.
Through trial and error, I learned that the ideal thickness of a pickleball paddle ultimately depends on individual playing style and preference.
In this article, I am going to share everything about how thick pickleball paddle should be.
So, Let’s get started!
How Thick Pickleball Paddle Should Be – Complete Guide
There are three standard thicknesses of pickleball paddle cores: 11mm, 13mm, and 16mm. Each thickness offers its own unique benefits and is designed for specific playing styles and skill levels.
11mm Core Paddles (Designed for Speed and Net Play)
The thinnest core paddles, the 11mm blades, are designed for speed and agility on the court. These paddles are incredibly aerodynamic, slicing through the air effortlessly.
They are perfect for players who prioritize speed and quick movement. With a thin grip for comfort, 11mm core paddles are ideal for net play, providing an extreme pop factor from the face of the paddle.
13mm Core Paddles (Solid, Dependable, and Consistent)
Standard paddle cores are 13mm, offering a nice balanced feel in the hand and from the paddle face.
These paddles are solid, dependable, and durable, making them a great choice for players of all skill levels.
With consistent performance and balanced weight, 13mm core paddles offer a dependable option for players who prioritize control and consistency.
16mm Core Paddles (Power and Control in One)
The thickest core paddles, the 16mm, offer a balance between power and control. With a slightly higher weight and thicker core, 16mm core paddles offer more hit absorption from the paddle face, enhancing control.
These paddles also have a broader “sweet spot” that enhances ground strokes.
The thicker grip on these paddles offers great comfort for players who prioritize power and control in their gameplay.
Benefits of Using the Right Thickness Pickleball Paddle
Using the right thickness of a pickleball paddle can greatly improve your performance on the court.
A thicker paddle provides more power and stability, while a thinner paddle offers better control and maneuverability.
Here are some benefits of using the right-thickness pickleball paddle:
1. Improved Control
The right thickness pickleball paddle helps you achieve better control of your shots.
2. Increased Power
The thickness of the paddle affects the amount of power you can generate. A thicker paddle can give you more power.
3. Enhanced Speed
A thinner paddle can increase your speed and agility on the court.
4. Reduced Fatigue
Choosing the right thickness can reduce fatigue and prevent injuries.
Advantages of a Thicker Paddle and Thinner Paddle
The advantages of both thicker and thinner paddles are as follows:
Advantages of a Thicker Paddle
- More power behind shots
- Easier to hit the ball harder.
- Better stability and control
- Ideal for players with a more aggressive play style
Advantages of a Thinner Paddle
- More control and precision
- Easier to maneuver and change directions.
- Ideal for players with a more defensive playstyle
How the Right Thickness Pickleball Paddle Can Improve Your Game
Using the right thickness pickleball paddle can improve your game in several ways. For instance:
A thicker paddle can improve your accuracy by providing a larger sweet spot.
A thicker paddle can give you more power, allowing you to hit harder shots.
A thinner paddle can give you better control, allowing you to place shots with precision.
The right thickness can increase the amount of spin you can put on the ball.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Pickleball Paddle Thickness
When choosing the thickness of your pickleball paddle, there are several factors to consider that can affect your gameplay.
When choosing the thickness of your pickleball paddle, consider the following factors:
Player Skill Level
The thickness of a pickleball paddle can vary depending on the player’s skill level.
Beginners may prefer a thicker paddle for better power and stability, while advanced players may prefer a thinner paddle for greater control and technique.
From a technical perspective, beginner players may benefit from a thicker core paddle, as it provides a larger “sweet spot” and enhances control.
Intermediate players may benefit from a standard 13mm core paddle, as it offers consistent performance and balanced weight.
Advanced players may benefit from a thinner 11mm core paddle, as it provides speed and agility on the court.
But in the end, it totally depends on you which paddle you are comfortable with.
You’re playing style determines the thickness that will suit you best. Players who prioritize speed and control should go for a thinner paddle, while those who value power should go for a thicker paddle.
From a technical perspective, if you prioritize speed and net play, an 11mm core paddle may be the best option for you.
If you prioritize control and consistency, a 13mm core paddle may be a better choice. And if you prioritize power and control, a 16mm core paddle may be the ideal option for your playing style.
Weight of the Paddle
The weight of the paddle can also affect the thickness. A heavier paddle may require a thinner thickness to maintain balance, while a lighter paddle may benefit from a thicker thickness for better power and stability.
Your physical fitness level determines the weight of the paddle you should use. Thinner paddles are lighter and suitable for players with less upper body strength.
Ultimately, the thickness of your pickleball paddle comes down to personal preference.
It is important to try out different thicknesses and see which one feels most comfortable and natural to you.
Your personal preference is essential when choosing the thickness of your pickleball paddle.
Recommended Pickleball Paddle Thickness for Different Skill Levels
The recommended thickness of a pickleball paddle can vary depending on your skill level.
Here are some guidelines for choosing the right thickness:
Beginners may benefit from a thicker paddle (around 8mm) for better power and stability.
Intermediate players may benefit from a medium-thickness paddle (around 7mm) for a balance of power and control.
Advanced players may benefit from a thinner paddle (around 6mm) for greater control and maneuverability.
In conclusion, the thickness of a pickleball paddle depends on various factors such as personal preference, playing style, and skill level.
A thicker paddle typically offers more power and stability, while a thinner one offers more control and finesse.
Players should consider their own playing style and level, as well as the type of game they prefer, when choosing the thickness of their pickleball paddle. It is also important to note that the USAPA regulations specify a maximum thickness of 0.875 inches for pickleball paddles.
Ultimately, finding the right thickness for your paddle may require some experimentation and trial and error, but with careful consideration and practice, you can find a paddle that suits your needs and helps you play your best game.
Should beginners choose a thicker or thinner pickleball paddle?
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to the thickness of a pickleball paddle for beginners. It really depends on the player’s personal preference and playing style. Generally, beginners might benefit from a slightly thicker paddle as it provides more power and stability. However, it’s important to note that a thicker paddle can also be heavier and more challenging to maneuver, which may not be ideal for all beginners.
Can the thickness of a pickleball paddle affect the player’s risk of injury?
Yes, the thickness of a pickleball paddle can affect the player’s risk of injury. A thicker paddle can generate more power, but it can also increase the shock and vibration felt by the player’s arm, which can lead to tennis elbow or other repetitive strain injuries. It’s important to choose a paddle that feels comfortable in the hand and doesn’t cause undue strain or discomfort during play.
Is a thinner pickleball paddle better?
Again, there is no definitive answer as to whether a thinner pickleball paddle is better. A thinner paddle can offer more control and finesse, but it may sacrifice some power and stability. It really depends on the player’s personal preference and playing style. It’s important to try out different paddle thicknesses to find the one that feels best for your game.