Pickleball Paddle Thickness

Pickleball’s shifting terrain has pushed players to reexamine their equipment demands in recent years, with a particular emphasis on the pursuit of ideal power and control. The game demands a delicate balance between the ability to throw quick, powerful strokes and perform precise, controlled dinks at the net, which requires paddle makers to address this dual problem.

Pickleball Paddle Thickness

A key element in achieving the proper balance is the pickleball paddle thickness. As players seek the ideal balance of power and elegance, the thickness of paddle emerges as a key aspect that has a considerable impact on gameplay. In this article, I’ll dive into the intricate link between pickleball paddle thickness and the evolving requirements of the sport.

Pickleball Paddle Thickness

When it comes to pickleball paddles, thickness plays a key role in determining overall performance. Paddles are normally 11mm to 16mm thick when measured in millimeters. The core thickness is an important consideration; a thicker core delivers more power, control, and improved energy absorption. Choosing the proper thickness of the paddle is a tactical choice that allows players to improve their games and utilize their talents more effectively. Below, I’ll discuss two different types of paddles, each with its thickness profile.

Pickleball Paddle Thickness
Pickleball Paddle Thickness

Thicker core paddles with a diameter of 16mm or more provide better control and a larger sweet spot. This feature makes them ideal for beginners or players who prefer a finesse-oriented style of play.

Thinner core paddles, with thicknesses of 13mm or less, deliver more power and stiffness. These qualities appeal to more aggressive players by allowing for faster and more violent gameplay. Furthermore, the harsher feel of thinner paddles improves ball responsiveness, offering players a competitive advantage in high-pressure match situations.

Does Pickleball Paddle Thickness Matter?

Different parts of the pickleball surface react differently when the ball meets them. The accuracy, power, speed, and direction of the ball can all change depending on where it makes contact. Figuring out where to hit the ball might be difficult for beginner players at first. It takes time and effort to become acquainted with what is known as the sweet spot.

Does Pickleball Paddle Thickness Matter
Does Pickleball Paddle Thickness Matter

If you miss the sweet spot, the ball may leave the court, straight strike the net, or head in the wrong direction, resulting in a point loss. The idea is to aim for the sweet spot, which is usually situated in the center of a pickleball paddle.

Thinner paddles frequently have consistency concerns. If you strike the ball on the less sensitive areas, you may get shots that are either too strong or too weak, resulting in less effective gaming. As a result, finding the sweet spot becomes critical for retaining precision and control in your strokes, especially with thinner paddles.

What Type Of Core is Used For Thicker Pickleball Paddles?

To achieve more consistent and energetically efficient shoots, some manufacturers have created thicker core paddles. In the past, paddles were made with Aluminum and Nomex cores, having an average thickness of 0.400 inches. whereas the polypropylene core stands out with a thickness of around 0.500 inches.

Type Of Core is Used For Thicker Pickleball Paddles
Type Of Core is Used For Thicker Pickleball Paddles

Polypropylene cores are famous for their chemical resistance. Their semi-crystalline structure provides them with exceptional flexural strength. These cores also offer a slicker surface than their conventional counterparts.

Furthermore, paddles with polypropylene cores have excellent impact strength and durability due to the use of higher density elastomeric materials than other options.

These larger core paddles are made from a plastic composite that has large honeycomb cells, giving the paddles the perfect amount of force and control. This exclusive design excels in noise and vibration absorption.

Is a Thicker Pickleball Paddle Better?

The thickness of a pickleball paddle is determined by the player’s personal preferences and playing style. Because of their wider sweet spot and higher surface area, thicker paddles often provide more power in shots. Here are several advantages of pickleball paddle thickness:

Is a Thicker Pickleball Paddle Better
Is a Thicker Pickleball Paddle Better

Exceptional Energy Absorption

Whether you’re volleying or returning your opponent’s strokes, thicker core paddles excel at absorbing the ball’s energy and channeling it into the pickleball racket. This increased energy absorption gives you more influence over the game.

Unparalleled Stability

Beyond the main area of the paddle, you feel a powerful and consistent feeling throughout the full face of the pickleball paddle. The paddle effectively dampens the force of the ball, allowing you to perform expert moves like a pro, such as exquisite dinks, accurate volleys, or well-placed drop shots.

Thicker Paddle is Better

Expansive, Forgiving Sweet Spot

Thicker pickleball racquets have a bigger and more forgiving sweet spot than thinner or other conventional pickleball paddles. This feature considerably decreases the possibility of compromising your shot accuracy, allowing you to securely strike the ball in the desired direction with the appropriate angle and speed.

Increased Power and Control

Thicker pickle core excel at creating significant force, driving the ball faster toward your opponent. If you value a combination of fearsome power, superb touch, and consistent performance, thicker paddles are an excellent option.

Thick and Thin Pickleball Padle
Thick and Thin Pickleball Paddle

Pros and Cons of Pickleball Paddle Thickness

The thickness of a pickleball paddle can affect many elements of games, and players may have different preferences depending on their playing style. Here are the pros and cons of pickleball paddle thickness:


  • Power Generation: Thicker paddles create greater power. Players who love a power game with powerful and forceful shots may benefit from thicker paddles.
  • Vibration Dampening: Thicker paddles often have better vibration dampening, which can be beneficial for players who want to reduce the strain on their arm joints and the risk of problems like tennis elbow.
  • Durability: Thicker paddles may be durable and less susceptible to damage, particularly if they are accidentally knocked against hard objects like as the ground or the net post.
  • Large Sweet Spot: Thicker paddles may have a wider sweet spot, making it simpler for players to consistently contact with the ball and gain control over their shots.


  • Maneuverability: Thicker paddles might be heavier, affecting the paddle’s overall maneuverability. Thicker paddles may be unsuitable for players who value rapid reflexes and fast net play.
  • Touch & Feel: Compared to thinner paddles, thicker paddles could offer less touch and feel. Players who favor precision shots and precise placement may feel that a thinner paddle provides more control in these situations.
  • Fatigue: The added weight of a thicker paddle can trigger significant fatigue during long matches or longer play sessions, particularly for players who are not used to the extra weight.
  • Adaptation Period: When switching from a thinner to a thicker paddle, or vice versa, players may need some time to adjust to the new feel and performance features.


Still, wondering if thicker pickleball paddles are preferable? If you’re used to playing with heavier paddles and want a more precise hand action, a thicker paddle is a good choice. This option guarantees a balance of consistency, precision, and increased touch in your games.

However, due to technical advances, some thicker pickleball paddles are now lightweight. The experience of using these paddles is akin to playing with a lighter choice. However, it’s important to note that many thicker pickleball paddles nonetheless have a heavier feel to them. To become accustomed to these heavier alternatives’ distinct qualities, a little practice is all that’s required.


Can a thicker paddle help prevent injuries or strain during play?

Some players believe that thicker paddles with extra shock absorption can minimize arm and elbow strain, potentially lowering the likelihood of problems like tennis elbow.

How does paddle thickness affect the sweet spot?

Generally, thicker paddles have a larger sweet spot, resulting in a more forgiving hitting surface. However, determining the perfect sweet spot for a particular player also heavily depends on personal taste and style of play.

Do professional pickleball players prefer thicker or thinner paddles?

Although player preferences vary, many pros use paddles with the thickness that best matches their playing style. Some people prefer larger paddles for more force, while others choose thinner paddles for more precision.

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