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One of the great things about pickleball is that it’s an open and welcoming sport with both male and female casual players.
When you are pickleball paddle shopping it is important to remember that a lot of it depends on your personal playing style.
Many players looking for a lightweight racquet are also looking for a small grip, so grip will be a factor as you search for the right option for you.
So what’s the best lightweight pickleball paddle?
What to look for in a pickleball paddle?
As you can see when shopping for paddleball paddles, there are many on the market offering special features and technologies.
Special paddles for spin, textured paddle faces, new core technologies and other features are often times confusing.
The ultimate buying decision should come down to finding a paddle that fits in your hand, feels good when you swing it and has the right weight and balance for your stature, level of playing strength and playing style.
Factors to consider when choosing a lightweight pickleball paddle
- Grip Size: Grip size is key and one of the most important factors in choosing a paddle. You can always build up your grip with thicker replacement grips, a few wraps of over grip or a combination of both, but you can’t make your grip smaller. If you are confused between two grip sizes go for the smaller of the two.
How to measure grip size
- Measure by your height. Under 5’2”-4 inch grip, 5’3”-5’8”- 4 1/8-4 ¼ grip, 5’9” and taller: 4 ½”grip
- Measure your hand. To determine the correct paddle grip size, you can measure your grip size with a ruler. Measure the distance between the top of your ring finger to the middle crease in your palm. Your palm has three creases.
- Light Paddle Weight: The weight of your paddle is going to determine the overall feel of the paddle in your hand. The heavier paddle will give you extra power behind your shots. If you’re using a heavy paddle, you can get a deep shot with less a powerful swing since the weight of the paddle is used to generate more power.
Problems with a heavy pickleball paddle
Playing with a heavy paddle can weigh you down, causing fatigue and stress on the arm.
The heavier paddles are slower because they take longer to swing and also take longer to move the racquet into position.
Power is sacrificed and net play can be diminished.
However, if you are a baseline deep player, a heavy paddle may be for you.
Advantages of lightweight paddles
Lighter paddles are more agile, easier to get into position quickly and offer more control during a soft game and short dinking game.
As we mentioned above, these paddles may be a struggle in generating power if you are a baseline player.
However, if you enjoy a short game and slower strategic play at the net, you will like the lighter paddle.
You can also play longer without fatigue with a lightweight paddle.
Pickeball paddle weight ranges
A lightweight paddle can also fall into the category of light to lower mid-range, weighing around 8 ounces and under.
- Lightweight Paddles: Under 7.3 ounces
- Mid-Weight Paddles: 7.3 – 8.4 ounces
- Heavy Paddles: 8.5 ounces and over
Playing style and paddle eight
- If you are a banger player you may want a mid to lightweight paddle.
- If you are a causal doubles player, you probably play a combination of hard shots and strategic dinking and slow shots at the net. (mid-lightweight paddle)
- Most casual recreational players focus more on control and finesse instead of power. Since heavy paddles are for heavy hitters, this group would also look at light to mid-light paddles because of paddle response.
Paddle Weight and Gender
As we mentioned before, the two most important factors in choosing the weight of your pickleball paddle are grip size and playing style.
However, you will see some are marketed as women’s paddles.
Many women are power hitters, six feet tall with a grip larger than some men’s.
In other words, it doesn’t make sense to buy a paddle marketed to women just for that reason.
The basics mentioned in this article show you what to look for and why when choosing a paddle. The male or female argument doesn’t come into play.
Best Lightweight Pickleball Paddle
There are a number of lighter weight pickleball paddle options that may work well for you. It’s important to always consult an industry professional before using any new product with your game.
The following paddles may provide a good place for you to begin your search.
ONIX Graphite Z5 Graphite Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle with Cushion Comfort Grip
Features of this paddle include:
- Tennis Handle: The tennis handle mimics the handle of a tennis racquet for players transitioning into pickleball.
- Wide Body Shape: the wide body shape extends the width of an oversized paddle shape for the largest sweet spot.
- Nomex Honeycomb Core: Provides excellent power while maintaining control.
- Graphite Face: The graphite face offers light-weight characteristics for added speed, pop, and maneuverability.
Other details of this product include:
- Face: Graphite
- Core: Foam core with carbon ribs
- Paddle shape: Wide body
- Weight: 7.2-7.9 ounces (light-mid weight)
- Edge Guard: Edgeless
- Technology: Ribtec core, one piece construction
- Weight Class: Medium weight
- Touch paddle
According to the manufacturer:
“The Onix graphite Z5 is the most popular in the Onix line because of its outstanding touch and ball control.
The graphite face and nomex core gives players superior feel of the ball and with a light-medium paddle weight, the Z5 strikes a perfect balance between power and speed.
The wide body shape on the Z5 is great for beginner through advanced level players because of its large sweet spot.
The Z5 paddle is perfect for the player that’s looking for outstanding ball control of a nomex paddle in a medium-weight graphite paddle.”
This paddle is known for offering good control, as well as the ability to produce spin. It’s even useful for beginner players.
It is lightweight and easy to use with a solid grip and a large sweet spot. The grip is good for use with sweaty hands.
View this paddle at Amazon to learn more about how it might work for your game.
Gearbox G2 Paddle
According to the manufacturer: “The G2 is a breakthrough paddle advancing the basic honeycomb paddle design to a new single piece, molded construction.
Utilizing carbon and glass fiber with high heat and pressure, the G2 is a molded single piece paddle with a carefully enclosed poly-honeycomb core.
This advanced process yields a magnificent edgeless paddle with impressive durability and quality.
The G2 was designed to have a more traditional feel for touch shots while providing nice pop. The impressive high-end paddle is a great value.
As an affordable mid-weight paddle, the G2 is an excellent choice.”
- Weight: 7.8 ounces (light-mid-weight)
- Handle Length: 5 inches
- Paddle Length: 15 15/16 inches
- Core Material: Poly Honeycomb
- Surface Material: Carbon/Glass fiber
- Paddle Width: 8 inches
- Grip Size: 3 7/8 inches
This paddle has a lighter weight, making it easier to hit ground strokes, dinks, and volleys.
View at Amazon for more information on how this paddle might work for your game.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com