Pickleball Magazine 3-1 - Page 18

Now you want to think about power versus control. Lighter paddles offer better control over your dinking and soft game, but will make it tougher to drive the ball hard when needed. Heavier paddles offer more power because of the extra mass behind the ball, but this may cause you to lose control over your soft game. Experiment and find what gives you a well- balanced game. Make sure your paddle has enough power for you to easily get your serves and returns deep in the court without having to swing too hard. If your balls are landing short too often, try a more powerful paddle. If you are popping up your dinks a lot, try a model made more for control. This power versus control equation is key, but also the one element that’s different for everyone, so find what works best for you and your game. Finally, you must consider handle size and length. This is an often overlooked part of the paddle, but it’s probably one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. The handle is your only connection to the paddle and control over the paddle face, so having the right grip is critical to controlling your shots. Hold the paddle like you are shaking hands with it. With your normal relaxed grip, you should have a little space between your fingertips and your thumb pad— about ¼” to ½”. If your fingertips almost touch or touch your thumb pad, your grip is too small. If there is a space larger than ½”, then it’s probably too big. Too large or small grip circumference can cause discomfort in the form of “tennis elbow” and hinder your play. The length of the grip can also make a difference. If you place your index finger on the back of the paddle or like to slide your hand up the grip for more control, then try a paddle with a shorter grip length. If you like to hit a 2-handed backhand or if you have overly large hands, a longer grip will work better for you. Remember, grip size is easily customizable, and it’s much easier to make a grip larger than smaller. Grip length is something that isn’t fixable, so make sure the length is good from the start. So there you have it! The blueprint to finding the perfect paddle! How will you know when you’ve found “the one”? The paddle will feel like an extension of your hand and arm, and it will allow you to play your best pickleball more frequently. If you are trying out a paddle and, after a few weeks, you never play as well as you know you can, ditch it and move on. It’s not “the one.” It takes some trial and error, but eventually you’ll know when you’ve found your perfect match. • Jake Bandel reviews Pickleball paddles for his website pickleballpaddlereviews.net. 16 PICKLEBALL CENTRAL RALLY GRAPHITE POWER 2.0 PICKLEBALL CENTRAL RALLY NX GRAPHITE Weight: 7.7 - 8.1 oz. Dimensions: 15.75” x 8.125” Core: Polypropylene Honeycomb Surface: Graphite Polymer Composite with Vinyl Overlay Price: $64.99 Weight: 7.2 - 7.8 oz. Dimensions: 15.75” x 8.125” Core: Nomex (Aramid) Honeycomb Surface: Graphite with BOPP overlay Price: $69.99 PICKLEBALL CENTRAL RALLY TYRO 2 PRO PICKLEBALL CENTRAL RALLY TYRO Weight: 7.6 - 8.1 oz. Dimensions: 15.625” x 7.75” Core: Polypropylene Honeycomb Surface: Fiberglass Composite with Polycarbonate Overlay Price: $59.99 Weight: 6.8 - 7.1 oz. Dimensions: 15.625” x 7.75” Core: Polypropylene Honeycomb Surface: Polymer Composite Price: $44.99 PROLITE SUPERNOVA PROLITE TITAN PRO Weight: 7.7 - 8.2 oz. Dimensions: 15.5625” x 8.125” Core: QuadCore™ Polymer Honeycomb Surface: Carbon Fiber Price: $135 Weight: 7.4 - 8.0 oz. Dimensions: 15.5” x 7.8125” Core: QuadCore™ Polymer Honeycomb Surface: Carbon Fiber Price: $125 TO SUBSCRIBE CALL 888.308.3720 OR GO TO THEPICKLEBALLMAG.COM