Pickleball is one of the best indoor non-seasonal sports in the 21st century. This super fun game is getting more popular day by day.
But whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, you need a good quality paddle to be able to perform well in the game. Speaking of paddles, the debate between graphite vs composite pickleball paddles has been up for years, and many get confused about choosing the right pedal for their play style.
To help you with that, let’s compare graphite and composite pickleball paddles in great detail to see which one is appropriate for you.
You probably have heard of people referring to graphite pickleball paddle to be one of the best paddles available for professional pickleball matches. These are not only super expensive but also has a lot of premium features.
From the grip to the hit strength, everything feels better with this paddle. So, most players who are serious about this sport of pickleball gravitate toward graphite paddles.
But what makes it so expensive, and what are the features that make it so special to the players? Let’s check out everything you need to know about it down below.
The material used in the paddle really tells you more about it than anything else. For a graphite paddle, it uses carbon fiber material in the construction.
Most of the premium pickleball paddle you see in the market uses aluminum, polymer, or Nomex honeycomb cores, which is perfect for lightweight feel and strength. The core dictates everything when it comes to the game of pickleball. And the graphite paddles are at the top of their league with their amazing materials
However, if you go to pick a graphite pickleball paddle for yourself, it’s recommended that you go for one with a Nomex honeycomb core. These provide better pop shots, lightweight, and accuracy.
When it comes to durability, nothing can beat graphite paddles as they use the most premium quality material. The build quality is pretty sturdy while being ultra-lightweight, which you don’t get to see anywhere else.
However, you need to remember that the durability mostly depends on the core and the quality of the material that you get. So, that can vary as you pick different paddles.
But you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a paddle as a higher price tag can’t guarantee better longevity. Rather, you should look at the materials and specs to get a better understanding of it. That way, you’ll get the best value for your money.
Graphite paddles are super lightweight compared to other types of pickleball paddles available in the market. These are typically between 6 to 9 ounces, and that allows for an amazing experience for your game,
A lightweight paddle helps to add better control of the ball, and that leads to better accuracy and precision. When it comes to an ultra-lightweight feel blended with power, you can’t find a better deal than graphite paddles.
As mentioned briefly in the earlier sections, graphite paddles are super expensive. Yet, if you want to take the game of pickleball seriously, there is no better paddle for you than a graphite paddle.
It’s designed to give you the best performance and control, which is something you absolutely need for professional matches. And that’s why it’s always the best idea to gravitate towards a premium quality graphite paddle if you want to take your game of pickleball to the next level.
Composite paddles are undoubtedly the most common types of paddles that you can find on the market. That’s mainly because these are a much more affordable option, and they just work amazingly giving you the best pickleball game experience.
These provide the best grip and bulky feel to your hand and get more precision and power in each shot. It’s also pretty durable, and for its price range, you can’t go wrong. All that makes it a perfect option for the starters.
But what are some of the features that make it a superb pickleball paddle to try out for yourself? Let’s go over some of the main specs and features that you should know about composite paddle down below.
Composite paddles are made with either fiber hitting surface or fiberglass, and that makes it a pretty affordable option while giving you a performance boost. Numerous things go in the construction process such as core materials, face materials, and exterior treatments, and that is how the composite paddles are crafted.
Yet the core of a composite paddle is constructed with Nomex rigid nylon, polymer, or aluminum, making it lightweight and compact. This is definitely a unique blend of materials, which makes it the most commonly used paddle in the market.
Composite paddles might not be as durable as graphite paddles, but still, these are decently sturdy and give an amazing performance as well.
You see, durability is not only about being able to play pickleball with your paddle for a long time if it compromises the quality of your experience. But the composite paddles actually use material combinations that bring a perfect balance between longevity and performance, which gives you the best gaming experience.
As you can probably tell by now, weight plays a huge role in allowing you to hit the ball with a certain speed and control. If your paddle is a bit heavyweight, you get more power out of each shot. And that’s exactly the case for composite paddles.
These have a little excess weight compared to graphite paddles, and that allows for a better pop in the ball, which can be a super beneficial thing. However, you need to remember that the excess weight and power can compromise the control, and that’s something you need to work on to develop.
Composite paddles typically have an 8.0-ounce weight range, which lets you get the power and snap over your shots. It’s not too heavyweight that can weigh you down, and it’s just a perfect balance.
Well, composite paddles are super affordable, and you can find some amazing paddles for your money available in the market. That’s especially beneficial for anyone who’s just starting out as it can help build the skills.
Now, you can use it in a professional game of pickleball as well. But it’s recommended that you move for a higher quality one such as the graphite paddle for better results.
Advantage and disadvantage of both type of paddles
There are both benefits and drawbacks to each type of paddle, and considering your preferred style, you have to pick the right one for you. Let’s check out the pros and cons of graphite vs composite pickleball paddles to give you a better view of that.
Pros & Cons of Graphite Paddles
- Designed for professional matches
- Super lightweight to hold on to
- No fatigue after extensive use
- More control over the ball
- Premium build
- Super expensive
- Doesn’t provide snappy shots
Pros & Cons of Composite Paddles
- Best for beginners
- Provides more power in each hit
- Decent durability
- Better grip
- Super affordable pricing
- Compromises the reaction speed
- Not recommended for professionals
Graphite Vs Composite Pickleball Paddles
As you’ve just gone through all the details about both types of paddles and what to look for before you go to buy a paddle for your game of pickleball, you can now decide for yourself which one is the right one for you. To make things even clearer, let’s compare the benefits of each one.
In terms of weight, graphite paddles are a far better choice as it’s super lightweight. But if you want more power with each hit, go for composite ones by all means.
For durability, both are pretty decent, but graphite paddles are slightly better in that case as well. But that’s nothing extreme, and you don’t have to sweat over durability for any of these paddles.
When it comes to pricing, it should be clear to you that composite paddles are the winners here. These are super affordable, and you can get amazing paddles without having to spend a lot of money on them, which is great for starters.
But if you ask who is the winner in the battle between graphite and compostable pickleball paddles, it’s undoubtedly graphite ones. That’s because with these you can get the most accuracy, control, and overall better performance, which is even suitable for professional games.
However, if you can’t afford it yet, you can go for composite paddles by all means as you should know by now that they are tough competition.
Choosing the Right Paddle
Now that you have a clear idea of both types of paddles for pickleball, it’s time to learn how to actually pick the one that’s right for you. Down below we’ll go over a few things that you need to consider before putting in the money for your pickleball paddle.
The most important thing to identify before you choose any particular paddle is to know your own style of game. Pickleball is a game of speed, reaction time, and control of the ball. It’s essential to develop your own style to be able to get good at it.
Once you develop a unique style, you’ll be able to tell which paddle is perfect for you just by holding it with your hand. Just try out different paddles and see which one feels the best on your hand. That’s a good indication that you have found your perfect fit.
The weight of a paddle can have a huge impact on the power, speed, and control of your game.
If you use a lightweight paddle, you’ll get more freedom and control over motion. That way, you’ll have a much better reaction speed to hit the ball. But as there’s not a lot of weight on the paddle, you won’t get a lot of power on the shot.
However, lightweight paddles are great for long matches as you won’t have to deal with arm strain. Most professionals gravitate towards ultra-lightweight paddles for better accuracy and control over their shots.
For the more heavyweight paddles, you definitely get more power in each hit. That allows you to get more pops in your shots, which is amazing. But it definitely cuts a good number from the reaction speed, and that can be deadly if you are competing for rank.
As you are required to hit the ball with force, it’s critical that your paddle is pretty sturdy to withstand such force for longer. We are definitely talking about the longevity of your paddle. You don’t want to go for a replacement often as it’s a pretty pricey option.
Be sure to check the materials used in the core as it’ll have the biggest impact on the sturdiness.
And the last thing which probably should be first is the price range of the paddle. You really don’t need to get the most expensive paddle available in the market as it doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best quality anyway.
Rather, go for a mid-price range paddle, and it’ll give you the best value for your money. Also, if you can afford it, go for a graphite paddle as it’ll be the best option for the long term. If you’re on a tight budget, you can definitely go for composite paddles as well.
Read About: Paddle Maintenance Guide 2021
Aluminum Vs Graphite Pickleball Paddles
You have already learned many important details of graphite pickleball paddles. But what about aluminum pickleball paddles? Are aluminum paddles better than graphite?
The primary reason people use aluminum pickleball paddles is due to their lightweight construction. However, you have to compromise some power because of it.
There isn’t as much availability of aluminum paddles as there is for polymer paddles. However, you still have a lot of options.
If you are looking for quiet paddles, aluminum paddles won’t be the best option. Compared to graphite paddles, they are loud. However, they are quieter than Nomex core paddles.
If there is only one word to define aluminum paddles, it could be “responsiveness.” Due to their lightweight construction, you have more control while playing with paddles. Many experienced players suggest this type of paddle for newbies as they are beginner-friendly.
Sturdy Construction With Nice Touch
Just because these paddles are lightweight doesn’t mean they won’t be strong enough to serve back hard stroke shots. In addition, they give a nice feel to the ball when it contacts the paddle surface.
Though a lot of aluminum paddles are well-known for being lightweight, you will also find mid-range or even heavyweight aluminum paddles. These paddles are particularly made for players who are used to play with heavy paddles
Lack Of Power
If you are seeking paddles with great power, you might think twice before picking aluminum paddles. They don’t have the greatest power compared to other pickleball paddles.
Playing a wide range of shots gives you enough idea why they are not the best powerful paddles. Even though they have super sturdy construction, they lack power.
Aluminum paddles don’t help to play similar powerful strokes like others. When you want to hit the ball vigorously, more effort and arm power are required. More efforts, more powerful strokes!
However, this will benefit you in several ways, especially controlling the ball. You don’t need to be extremely careful while hitting the ball. It is because the ball won’t go too fast.
Pickleball is a competitive sport, which is why it is so fierce. We often succumb to panic, especially when you hit the ball unnecessarily fast.
The forgiveness of aluminum pickleball paddles is something impressive that no one can deny. Hence, it is significantly easier to slow down the ball if you are off-balance.
Another essential point we should not miss out on discussing is the weight feeling. Will you think a 7.8 ounces graphite paddle is the same as a 7.8 ounces aluminum paddle? Actually not!
Even though both paddles have the same level of weight, you will have more swinging speed with the aluminum paddle. As a result, players feel more lightweight with the paddle.
Which Type Of Player Should Use Aluminum Paddles?
You should remember not all players can play with aluminum paddles. Their lack of power is the primary reason many players don’t want to use them.
Aluminum paddles are mainly suitable for teenagers and people who have physical issues with arm or wrist. The lightweight nature supports them to play freely.
However, if you are completely okay with no health issues, it is not a good choice to play with aluminum paddles.
Especially if you want to improve pickleball skills and have a future plan to play at the national level, you want to choose graphite or other material-based paddles.
But, if you want to just play with it for recreational purposes, it is completely okay to play with them. Hence, it all depends on your intention whether you should use aluminum paddles or not.
Let’s have a comparison between aluminum vs graphite pickleball paddles:
|Graphite Pickleball Paddles||Aluminum Pickleball Paddles|
|They are lightweight||They are extremely lightweight|
|They have decent durability||They have impressive durability|
|They are hundreds of models||They have limited models|
|Their price is a little high||They are affordable|
|They make less sound||They make more sound|
|They have less swinging speed||They have more swinging speed|
|They provide more solid feelings||They provide lightweight feelings|
|They have better accuracy and sufficient power||They are lack power|
|They are perfect for professional players||They are suitable for children and people with wrist injuries|
|Most players can use this paddle||Not all players can play with this paddle|
Aluminum Vs Graphite Pickleball Paddles: Which one should you pick?
Picking a particular paddle depends on preference. What seems good for you may not seem the best option for me.
If you are looking for a paddle with greater accuracy and prefer to play hard stroke shots, a graphite pickleball paddle could be a better option.
On the other hand, if you want a more natural lightweight feeling and ready to sacrifice power, you can choose an aluminum paddle. After all, you will have a rapid swinging speed.
You just went through an in-depth comparison of graphite vs composite pickleball paddles, and you should have a clear idea about which one is a better option for you.
As you saw, the best answer to that question might vary from person to person. So, it’s recommended that you put some focus on identifying your style of playing, the preferred texture, weight, etc, and then choose accordingly.
Hopefully, this comparison has cleared out a lot of confusion and made it easier for you to choose the right paddle for your next game of pickleball.