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Power and control pickleball paddles: Which is right for you?

Power and control pickleball paddles: Which is right for you?


By Jaclyn Brandt

On: 03/27/2024

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Once you understand more about how you play pickleball and what paddles can do, you will want to know the difference between a power or control pickleball paddle.
Once you understand more about how you play pickleball and what paddles can do, you will want to know the difference between a power or control pickleball paddle.

When you first start playing pickleball, you may want to wait a while before purchasing an expensive pickleball paddle. As you play more and more, you will learn more about your playing style and what you look for in a paddle. But once you understand more about how you play pickleball and what paddles can do, you will want to know the difference between a power or control pickleball paddle. Here are some key differences:

Best pickleball paddles for power

Pickleball paddles for power are will give a player more power, but not as much control. Power will give you more control over the power of your shots, especially if they are used to a much faster game.

However, power pickleball paddles will take away some control over your pickleball game, and it will be more difficult to make the shots you want to make.

Here are some details of a power pickleball paddle:

  • Core: The core of a power paddle is generally much thinner than a control paddle.

  • Weight: Power paddles are generally heavier than a control paddle. The higher weight can help produce more force.

  • Paddle shape: Power paddles are generally longer and thinner, which can increase the power of your shot.

  • Paddle face: The optimal paddle face of a power pickleball paddle is going to be a material like fiberglass or carbon fiber, which helps produce more power.

  • Handle: The handle of a power paddle will be longer, giving you more reach over your shot.

Pickleball paddles for control are more often for experienced players who already know how to control their paddle but are looking for taking their game to the next level.

More details on what makes a power pickleball paddle.

Best pickleball paddles for control

Pickleball paddles for control are for players who care more about being able to control their shot than provide power. A control paddle is perfect if you are looking to have a wider sweet spot, helping you make the shot you want. Control pickleball paddles will force you to use more energy if you want to create more power.

Here are some details of a control pickleball paddle:

  • Core: The core of a control paddle is generally much thicker than a power paddle.

  • Weight: Control paddles are generally lighter than power paddles. The lower weight can help you control the paddle better.

  • Paddle shape: Control paddles are generally shorter and wider with a larger sweet spot, which can increase the control of your shot.

  • Paddle face: The optimal paddle face of a control pickleball paddle is going to be a material like graphite or carbon fiber, which helps absorb energy and allow you more control of your shot.

  • Handle: The handle of a power paddle will be shorter, keeping your sweet spot more compact and giving you more control.

Pickleball paddles for control are usually for newer players who don’t yet need a lot of control over their shots, but need to focus on controlling where they hit them.

More details on what makes a control pickleball paddle.

Hybrid pickleball paddles

As pickleball paddle technology evolves, you will find more and more paddles with some of the best pieces of control and power. If you are unsure which is right for you, try out a hybrid pickleball paddle to see if you like the combination of both.

Choosing the best pickleball paddle for you

Choosing your pickleball paddle will be both about your personality but also your playing style. It’s OK to start playing pickleball with a less expensive paddle until you know how you play and what you need from your paddle. Whether you are looking for a control pickleball paddle, a power pickleball paddle, or something in between — with trial and error, you can find the perfect paddle for you.

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