Pickleball Equipment Things To Consider Before Buying

Pickleball Equipment: Things To Consider Before Buying

Pickleball isn’t the most commonly-known sport in many countries. In terms of popularity, it pales compared to basketball, tennis, soccer, or even hockey.

Be that as it may, its mechanics isn’t actually any different from other, more commonly-known sports. Its equipment is most certainly not that much different, and you’ll get to realize that as soon as you read this guide. Unfortunately, not many people understand that and often overthink when buying equipment.

It all comes down to whether you intend to play indoors or outdoors and if you have a dedicated court for playing pickleball. You must also consider the size, type, and material of both the paddle and the ball.

However, before we get into more details about pickleball equipment, let’s first look at what you should expect to spend when getting pickleball equipment.

Is Pickleball An Expensive Sport?

Expensive is a relative term in sports. Certain sports require nothing but a ball, like a basketball, which should cost anywhere from $20 to $70. Of course, you need to find a basketball court to play, but that applies to many sports.

Similarly, some sports require a lot of things, like bowling and pool.

Those types of sports are usually the more expensive ones. For those sports, you may have to spend over $500 or even $1,000 if you’re really into the game.

Pickleball, in comparison, doesn’t cost too much to start playing. You may have to spend at least $100 and $400. But on average, the expenditure should only be around $250. The answer to your question ultimately depends on what you consider expensive. Those who play billiards would think it’s cheaper than the pool, but basketball players would think it’s expensive.

What Is The Official Equipment For Pickleball?

There are generally four things you need to play pickleball, including a court or space where you play the game. However, you only ever need to buy three things.

Here’s a look at those three essential pieces of equipment:

  1. The paddle is similar to how the racket works in badminton and tennis. It’s what you use to hit the ball. It’s also similar to the paddle in table tennis.
  2. Like in any sport, the ball is the game’s focal point. Its status determines whether someone scores and which side gets the score.
  3. The net is also very much like the net in badminton and tennis. It separates the two sides and helps the referee determine who got the score.

Now that that’s settled let’s go over the first thing you must consider before buying.

Should You Buy A Pickleball Set Or Buy The Equipment Separately?

When buying pickleball equipment, you typically have two options to choose from. You either buy an entire pickleball set or get each piece of equipment separately.

The first option has the merit of saving you money. Pickleball sets usually lower costs than when you buy the paddle, ball, and net separately. For instance, if you buy them separately, you may spend $500. But buying a pickleball set of the same quality may only cost around $450 or $400 or roughly 10% cheaper.

Meanwhile, the second option allows you to customize your purchase. You can choose a paddle from Brand A, balls from Brand B, and a net from Brand C.

This allows you to select the pieces of equipment that’ll give you the most value for your money. You can’t do that with a pickleball set since all the equipment in the set typically comes from the same brand. In short, it’s a matter of price or quality, price from pickleball sets, and quality from separate purchases.

If you choose to buy a pickleball set, there’s not much you need to consider. But if you buy each piece of equipment separately, the following sections should help.

How Do You Pick The Right Pickleball Paddle?

Though the fundamental functionality of pickleball paddles will be the same regardless of the product, some things may vary. And if you want to purchase a paddle, you have to consider these things or factors. With that said, here are 4  factors you must consider to ensure you pick the right paddle:

1. Thickness

The core is the part of a paddle between the top and bottom surfaces.  A paddle’s core is usually made of polymer, so you don’t have much choice when it comes to material. However, the thickness may vary slightly as it ranges from 10 to 16 mm. A general rule of thumb is that a thick core equates to better control and more spins, while a thin core equates to more power but less spin.

In other words, you have to pick between control and power. Since it largely affects how you can play the game, decide on a thickness that suits your specific play style.

Aggressive players who like to attack relentlessly often prefer paddles with a thin core. But a thicker core might be more suitable if you want to make trick shots.

2. Surface Material

Unlike the core, the surface of a pickleball paddle may vary in terms of material.

Your options include the following:

  • Fiberglass
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Graphite
  • Hybrids

Similar to the core, your choice here may affect your play style. Carbon fiber can improve your control over the ball, while fiberglass maximizes your power.

3. Handle Length

The handle length refers to how long the handle of the paddle is. A shorter handle typically improves one’s control, while a longer handle can boost the power.

The handle length may range from 4.5 to 6 inches.

4. Shape

The shape of a pickleball paddle can either be short or elongated. Since it’s a general rule of thumb that a shorter paddle result in more control and a longer paddle has more power, an elongated shape is suitable for aggressive players as it can boost power. Meanwhile, a shorter shape can maximize your control over the ball.

How Do You Pick The Right Pickleball Ball?

When you look closely at a pickleball ball, it has several holes. Though it may not be noticeable, a pickleball may actually have a varying number of holes. But that’s not the only thing that may vary from one ball to another. However, when buying a pickleball ball, you don’t necessarily have to worry about those elements.

The main thing you must consider here when looking for the right pickleball ball is whether you want to play indoors or outdoors. That’s the classification of balls.

Indoor balls tend to be made of thinner plastic and are, therefore, lighter. They also have larger holes, making them a lot softer. That’s why you may notice that rallies in indoor pickleball tend to last longer. The ball is softer and lighter, so they travel more slowly. As a result, it takes longer for it to travel from one side to another.

Meanwhile, outdoor balls have thicker plastic, so they’re usually heavier. In addition, the holes are a bit smaller, so there tend to be more holes in outdoor balls.

Since the ball is more tightly packed due to each hole having smaller gaps, the ball tends to move more quickly. As a result, rallies usually end faster, which is just about right for outdoor pickleball. You have to decide between outdoor and indoor, then search for the appropriate keyword on the internet to look for a ball.

How Do You Pick The Right Pickleball Net?

A pickleball net may have varying heights and lengths depending on how you want to play the game. The nets in official tournaments are 22 feet long and 34 inches tall.

However, you can look for smaller nets if you don’t want to be competitive. It depends entirely on your preference. In addition to the size, you must also keep in mind that there are two types of nets: portable and permanent.

A portable net is something you can carry with you because it’s light. On the other hand, a permanent net is something you attach to a pole. Portable nets are light and inexpensive but not as durable since they have to be made of light and inexpensive materials, and not many are durable. Meanwhile, a permanent net is not portable but is durable and long-lasting, though maintenance is needed.

You typically choose a portable net if you don’t have a dedicated court where you can play the sport, but if you do, a permanent net would be an excellent choice.

What’s The Best Pickleball Brand?

If you’re struggling to look for pickleball equipment, a safe bet would be to buy them from a popular brand. Here’s a look at the best pickleball brands on the market:

  • Adidas
  • OneShot
  • Diadem
  • CRBN

Wrapping Up

Keep in mind that your selection should not be purely due to your preference. The aforementioned factors will affect not only the aesthetics of your equipment but also its performance. The paddle may vary in terms of spin, control, and power, and the ball may vary in lightness and softness. In other words, these factors are particularly important when buying your pickleball equipment.

About The Author