3 main surface Types
- Thickest Surface Material and the best for Power. Balls rebound off the surface very quickly.
- Thinner than Composite, but thicker than graphite. Good for Control, but still offers quick power when needed.
- Graphite/Carbon Fiber
- Thinnest surface material, and the most durable. Arguably the best for control as the ball does not rebound as quickly, giving the player more contact time with the ball to focus on placement.
- 7oz and below
- Very little power, but plenty of control.
- Range offers good options for both control and power. Midweight is objectively the best as it is easier to fit more players with a paddle that offers what they need.
- 8.4oz and above
- Lots of Power, little control. Good for players who have a lot of control inherent in their technique and like fast put away shots.
- Nomex Core
- The original core material in pickleball. Has the smallest sweet spot, and is typically very loud in sound. Not noise restricted friendly. Offers lots of power.
- Aluminum Core:
- Not too many companies make these anymore as they had a tendency to dent over time. When they were still being produced they had a lot of touch and feel at the net. The metal construct was fairly lightweight, giving these paddles a lot of control in general.
- Polymer/polypropylene Core
- Most paddle manufacturers use this core material. Has a large sweet spot and a soft feel. Usually the best for nice balance between control and power.
Paddles that do it differently
- Gearbox GX5 and GX6
- Made entirely out of graphite, no distinction between the core and surface. This makes them incredibly durable, and makes it so the weight is more of a personal preference than a playstyle choice
- Very thin polymer core filled with kinetic micro-bearings. This reduces feedback and vibration, making them the most arm friendly paddle out there.
- Adidas is doing a lot with the density of the cores, changing the sizes of the core cells in their polymer cores. A higher density, or smaller and closely packed core, is supposed to give you more pop and power while a lower density core, larger further spaced core, is supposed to give you more control and touch.
- The Adipower Line features an Aluminum/Carbon Fiber Hybrid surface that gives the paddle a very soft feel while providing a ton of power.