Is a thicker pickleball paddle better?

Answered by Robert Dupre

When it comes to pickleball paddles, the thickness can play a significant role in its performance. While there is no definitive answer to whether a thicker paddle is better or not, it ultimately depends on the player’s preference and style of play. Let’s explore the factors related to paddle thickness to help you make an informed decision.

1. Absorption of Ball’s Energy:
Thicker paddles tend to absorb more of the ball’s energy upon impact. This can be advantageous for players who prefer a softer touch and want better control over the shot. When the paddle absorbs the energy, it reduces the rebound or “pop” off the surface, resulting in a more controlled shot. This characteristic can be particularly useful for players who focus on precision and finesse rather than power.

2. Power and “Pop”:
On the other hand, thinner paddles are known for their ability to generate more power and “pop.” The thinner the paddle, the more energy it transfers back to the ball upon contact, resulting in a faster shot with more speed and power. This can be beneficial for players who rely on aggressive shots and want to generate more pace in their game.

3. Control and Touch:
Thicker paddles generally offer better control and touch due to their ability to absorb the ball’s energy. This can be advantageous for players who prioritize placement, accuracy, and spin over power. The increased thickness provides a larger sweet spot, allowing for a greater margin of error and more consistency in shots. The added control can be especially beneficial for players who enjoy playing at the net and engaging in dink battles.

4. Weight Considerations:
It’s worth noting that paddle thickness can also affect the overall weight of the paddle. Thicker paddles tend to be heavier, which can be advantageous for players who prefer a more substantial paddle for added stability and power. Conversely, thinner paddles are typically lighter and can provide better maneuverability, making them suitable for players who prioritize quick reactions and agility.

5. Personal Preference and Playing Style:
Ultimately, the choice between a thicker or thinner paddle comes down to personal preference and playing style. Some players may find that a thicker paddle gives them the control and touch they desire, while others may prefer the power and speed generated by a thinner paddle. It’s essential to try out different paddle thicknesses and consider factors such as grip size, weight distribution, and paddle material to find the optimal combination that suits your individual needs.

In my personal experience, I have found that a thicker paddle works well for my style of play. As someone who focuses on control and precision, the added absorption of the ball’s energy allows me to place my shots more accurately and consistently. However, I have also played with thinner paddles when I wanted to generate more power and found them to be effective in delivering fast-paced shots.

The thickness of a pickleball paddle can have a significant impact on its performance. Thicker paddles offer better control and touch, while thinner ones provide more power and “pop.” Choosing the right thickness depends on your personal preference, playing style, and desired balance between power and control. It’s essential to experiment with different paddle thicknesses to find the one that enhances your game and suits your individual needs.