I wouldn’t be wrong if I claimed the thickness of the paddle is the most underrated factor while owning a new paddle. And you know, it’s as essential as paddle weight, shape, and grip however most of the players don’t even know about it. But how thick a pickleball paddle should be when it comes to purchasing a new paddle?
I personally recommend 14 mm pickleball paddles especially when you’re planning to play all rounder game as I’ve played with 13 and 16 mm as well. But a 14mm paddle is what I’d say is the best option for everyone particularly newbies as it offers you both control alongside good enough power.
To expand it more in detail then don’t miss out on my comprehensive explanation regarding the thickness of the pickleball paddle and what can be the perfect choice for you.
How Thick Pickleball Paddle Should Be?
Whenever you’re looking for a perfect paddle, most of the things come from personal preference and your play style. And thickness of the pickleball paddle is also one of them where you need to consider your own play style as well as what kind of strategy you’ll be using during court.
However, there are many options we have out there in the market which start from 13mm to 16mm is the highest I’ve ever seen a player using. There might be as I said it’s very personal but usually we see 16mm as the highest paddle thickness but remember it’s not recommended for everyone.
In addition, the thickness and thinness is completely game changers if you pick it in the right way. Moreover, it’d be disgusting for you in the court to play comfortably whether you find it incorrect for yourself.
13mm Pickleball Paddle Thickness
To the point, owning a 13mm paddle or less than this would offer you amazing power as thinner paddles tend to provide a stiffer feel when the ball hits them.
Due to their thinner construction, these paddles absorb less energy, resulting in a faster ball rebound. In this case, it may be less forgiving compared to their thicker counterparts.
What I consider after using it myself and discussing it with my court mates, that the best place you can use it is singles play as there you’ll need to drive more passes to the opposite of the court.
16mm Paddle Thickness
16mm is the standard thickness of a pickleball paddle which is mostly appreciated or I can say upvoted for players with defensive mode. Furthermore, it feels more comfortable and has a good touch as you drop from anywhere in the court.
However, it may feel overweight as it should be but whoever owns it should be aware of losing its power but not completely as some players well enough powers naturally even if there is no help from the paddle.
Paddles with a thicker core are often characterized by a luxurious or gentle sensation upon impact. Such paddles are good in absorbing the ball into the core which can improve your maneuverability.
14mm Paddle Thickness (My Favorite One)
If your play style matches me great enough like I put myself between power and control which motivates me to play any situation. 14mm thickness has been included in various paddles and it got superb results on the court. Some of the well-known 14mm paddles are the JOOLA Vision paddle, Franklin Sports Pro paddles, and Head Gravity Tour paddle
Choosing a compressible core elevates your game, delivering an enriched sense of touch and precision in ball placement with a delightful, almost sponge-like feel.
It is usually embraced by players valuing control and accuracy, this core type caters to those favoring patience or wielding inherent power.
Its thicker composition extends forgiveness, ensuring a soft touch that adeptly absorbs the ball’s energy, enhancing the overall play experience.
Pros and Cons of Thin and Thick Cores
Thin Core Paddle
- Faster Ball Rebound: Allows for a quicker pace of play.
- Enhanced Power: Ideal for players seeking additional power in their shots.
- Lightweight: Contributes to a lighter paddle, aiding maneuverability.
- Singles Play Advantage: Particularly suitable for singles play, emphasizing drives.
- Less Forgiving: Thinner cores may be less forgiving on off-center hits.
- Reduced Control: Some players may find it challenging to control shots precisely.
- Limited Energy Absorption: Absorbs less energy, potentially leading to a less dampened feel.
Thick Core Paddle
- Plush Feel: Offers a luxurious and soft sensation upon impact.
- Improved Control: Ideal for players prioritizing control and precise ball placement.
- Forgiving: Provides forgiveness, especially on off-center hits.
- Slower Ball Rebound: The thicker core may result in a slower ball rebound.
- Heavier Paddle: Tends to contribute to a heavier paddle, impacting maneuverability.
- Potential Power Trade-off: May not provide as much inherent power as thinner cores.
13mm vs 14mm vs 16mm with Personal Preference And Game Style
Selecting the ideal paddle thickness for yourself, be it 13mm, 14mm, or 16mm, is a nuanced decision influenced by personal preference and your gameplay style.
The 13mm variant, being thinner, appeals to those craving a swifter game, favoring faster ball rebounds and increased power can help you improve your hard smashes, especially for competitive games.
On the other hand, the 16mm option, with its thicker core, offers a plush feel and enhanced control, catering to players valuing precision in ball placement and prioritizing a forgiving touch as it also considered the standard size of the paddle core.
Amidst these choices, the 14mm thickness strikes a balance, providing a middle ground that caters to a diverse range of players. Opting for a 14mm core combines elements of speed and control, making it my personal choice.
This thickness facilitates a versatile gameplay style, accommodating both the desire for power and the need for nuanced shot placement, resulting in a well-rounded and satisfying playing experience.
How To Choose The Right Core Thickness?
Now that you’ve realized the importance of perfect paddle core thickness, why not to also step you how to select the right core for yourself.
Choosing the right core thickness for your paddle involves considering your playing style, preferences, and desired outcomes on the table. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision:
1. Playing Style:
If you rely on your own power, a thinner core may suit you, providing a faster ball rebound and additional speed. For those valuing control and precise ball placement, a thicker core with a softer feel is often preferred.
2. Personal Preference:
Consider whether you prefer a paddle with a stiffer, faster feel (thinner core) or a softer, more forgiving touch (thicker core). Thinner cores generally result in lighter paddles, contributing to increased maneuverability, while thicker cores may add some weight.
3. Game Dynamics:
Thinner cores are often favored in singles play for quicker exchanges, while thicker cores may shine in doubles matches, emphasizing control and placement.
4. Trial and Error:
If possible, try paddles with various core thicknesses to experience how each feels during play. Seek advice from experienced players or consult reviews to understand how different core thicknesses impact gameplay.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Finding the right core thickness involves a bit of experimentation and understanding your unique playing preferences.
How do you choose the thickness of a pickleball paddle?
Consider your playing style and preferences. Thicker paddles generally offer more control and a softer feel, while thinner ones provide faster ball rebound and added power.
What does 16mm mean for a pickleball paddle?
The measurement “16mm” refers to the thickness of the paddle’s core. A 16mm paddle typically has a thicker core, offering a plush and soft feel upon impact.
What is the difference between 14mm and 16mm paddles?
The primary difference lies in core thickness. A 14mm paddle strikes a balance between power and control, while a 16mm paddle, being thicker, tends to provide more forgiveness, a softer feel, and enhanced control.
How do I know what size pickleball paddle I need?
Paddle size is often a matter of personal preference. Consider factors like grip size, weight, and hitting surface. If possible, try different sizes to find the one that feels most comfortable for your playing style.
What does a thicker pickleball paddle mean?
A thicker pickleball paddle generally implies a greater core thickness. Thicker paddles often offer more forgiveness, a softer impact feel, and improved control, making them suitable for players prioritizing precision in their shots.
What does mm mean on a pickleball paddle?
“mm” stands for millimeters and is a unit of measurement used to indicate the thickness of the paddle’s core. It helps players understand the construction and characteristics of the paddle, influencing factors such as feel, power, and control.
In pickleball, paddle thickness plays a pivotal role in gameplay. Striking the perfect balance between power and control is an art, and finding the ideal thickness for your pickleball paddle is a personal journey.
Whether you opt for a slim design for quick maneuvers or a thicker paddle for added power, understanding the nuances enhances your game. Choose wisely, experiment, and let the court become your canvas for mastering the art of pickleball precision!