What is the Weight of Pickleball Paddles?

When choosing a pickleball paddle, weight is arguably one of the most important factors influencing your performance on the court. The weight of a pickleball paddle can affect your game in several ways, from the power you can put behind the ball to your control and even your arm strength and endurance. In this post, we’ll dive into the different weight classes of pickleball paddles, the pros and cons of each, and how to pick the right weight for your game.

Why Does the Weight of a Pickleball Paddle Matter?

The weight of a pickleball paddle matters because it influences every aspect of playing pickleball. It directly affects the power a player can put behind the ball, as well as the speed, control, and endurance of the player throughout the game. Everything on the paddle, from the edge guard and surface materials to the handle length, adds weight, which impacts your play.

The Impact on Technical Performance

The weight of a paddle has a tradeoff at each end of the spectrum. A heavier paddle offers more power but less control and agility, while a lighter paddle provides increased control but less power. A midweight paddle strikes a balance between the two.

The Impact on Physical Performance

Weight also matters when it comes to your physical performance. The number of times you swing a paddle in a game can be in the hundreds, and every ounce matters. A heavier paddle might contribute to arm fatigue faster, while a lighter paddle can lead to less power and potentially more strain on your arm due to the vibrations it doesn’t absorb as well as a heavier paddle.

The Three Weight Classes of Pickleball Paddles

Pickleball paddles are typically classified into three weight categories:

  1. Lightweight: Below 7.3 ounces
  2. Midweight: Between 7.3 and 8.3 ounces
  3. Heavy: Above 8.3 ounces

These classifications help players quickly identify the type of paddle that might suit their play style best. Let’s explore each weight class in detail.

Lightweight Paddles: Less Than 7.3 Ounces

Lightweight paddles allow for quick and natural arm movement, increasing agility and control, especially at the kitchen line. However, they provide less power on your shots.


  • Highest degree of control
  • Easier arm movement for quick reactions
  • Ideal for soft dinks and drop shots


  • Less power
  • Not ideal for joint or arthritic issues

Who Should Use a Lightweight Paddle?

Lightweight paddles are suitable for beginners seeking better control and accuracy. They are also beneficial for players focusing on softer shots where power is less crucial. However, the lack of power might lead to faster arm fatigue and isn’t ideal for players with tendon issues.

Midweight Paddles: Between 7.3 and 8.3 Ounces

Midweight paddles balance power and control, making them versatile for both singles and doubles play. They allow for a good amount of power without requiring as much wrist action as lighter paddles.


  • Balanced power and control
  • Suitable for a variety of shots and play styles
  • Less strain on the wrist


  • Might not excel in either power or control compared to specialized paddles

Who Should Use a Midweight Paddle?

Midweight paddles are great for new players and those transitioning from other racquet sports. They offer a balance that can help players adapt and refine their play style without overcommitting to one attribute over another.

Heavy Paddles: Greater Than 8.3 Ounces

Heavy paddles provide more power and stability but at the cost of control and increased arm fatigue. They absorb shock better, which can be beneficial for players with joint issues.


  • Increased power behind shots
  • Greater stability
  • Better shock absorption


  • Reduced control and accuracy
  • Increased arm fatigue
  • Can aggravate existing arm injuries

Who Should Use a Heavy Paddle?

Experienced players seeking more power in their shots or those who struggle with generating enough swing speed may benefit from a heavy paddle. However, beginners and those with arm injuries should approach with caution, as the added weight can exacerbate fatigue and injury.

Paddle Weight Depends on Personal Preference

Choosing the right paddle weight involves considering various factors, including your health, fitness level, playing style, experience, and what feels comfortable for you. While midweight paddles are a common starting point for their balanced attributes, your choice should ultimately align with your personal preferences and needs.

For more insights on how to choose the right pickleball paddle, check out these resources:

  • Pickleball Central’s Guide to Choosing a Paddle
  • USA Pickleball’s Equipment Specifications

By understanding the nuances of paddle weight, you can make a more informed decision that enhances your performance and enjoyment of the game. Happy playing

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