Just starting out to play the game of pickleball? Or you are looking for a racket change and wondering if it made sense to continue with a wooden racket or to change things around a bit? Here’s more on this interesting pickleball subject.
If you are a pickleball beginner, or are looking for options as far as your pickleball racket is concerned, this is a question you would have often asked.
Are Wooden Pickleball Paddles a good option to use to play the sport?
The brief answer to this is yes, they are but there are a few caveats which we will explain as we go along.
The more in-depth answer is wooden pickleball paddles were the first ever to be used when this sport was invented way back in 1965. It is only in recent times the technology has improved so much, new and improved sports equipment – which includes pickleball equipment – has been conceptualised, designed and manufactured by sporting goods companies.
In fact not just pickleball, even tennis players used wooden rackets all those years ago but with improvement in technology things have changed drastically. Better material is used to manufacture these paddles and as a result of the better feel and control, players have moved away from wooden paddles.
Less than 1% of the pickleball players use non-wooden paddles, and for a good reason. Composite racquets are easier use, non-bulky and in case of any existing injury issue, it’s always preferable to use non-wooden ones.
However, the biggest advantage in case of wooden pickleball paddles is they are cost-effective. Not only are they most inexpensive pickleball paddles around, they are also longer lasting making them very economically viable for those starting out their pickleball careers.
A look at the wooden pickleball paddle prices with PickleballCentral gives you a fair idea of the costs as well. Some of these have a starting price of less than $14 for a paddle which is as inexpensive as one can get them for given some of the other beginner, non-wooden pickleball paddles are at least twice that price. Pro-level paddles can go up to more than $150 per piece too.
In fact, the costliest wooden paddles will usually cost less than $30, which make them the best go-to option for a variety of pickleball players including newbies.
What about the Durability of a Wooden Paddle?
Not only are wooden paddles cheaper than most other pickleball paddles, they are said to be extremely durable and hence can score over the rest. While the pro pickleball players are often forced to change their paddles every 6-12 months or so, beginners using wooden paddles can play with them for many years.
In fact we have heard of stories of players having their wooden pickleball paddles even after they are done with the sport because they have been great companions! On a serious note though, most players who start off with a wooden paddle could grow out of it soon enough once they get used to the rules of the sport and take to it and move to the other, lighter paddles. And this brings us to our next factor while considering a wooden paddle.
And that is the paddle weight.
Watch the pickleball weight factor in this video above
How much do Wooden Pickleball Paddles weigh?
Most wooden paddles are heavier than other pickleball paddles which could be a problem with time. A lighter pickleball paddle allows more control over the play while a heavier paddle, as will be the case with wood, delivers more power but at a lesser control.
Most of the wooden paddles weigh around 10 ounces, while some are even heavier than that. The Wolfe Wood Premiun Pickleball Paddle, which is available on Amazon (check price here) weighs a whopping 12.3 ounces and is quite easily one of the cheapest pickleball paddle (in 2019, they were available for less than $10 on Amazon). The Swinger Pickleball Paddle weighs anywhere between 11.5-12 ounces and is only slightly more expensive.
So, if you are suffering from some kind of injury, like, say a tennis elbow, it might be advisable to opt for something lighter. Some of lighter pickleball paddles weight less than 7 ounces but can cost a minimum of $40 for the most basic quality.
What’s the Contrarian View on Wooden Pickleball Paddles?
We have heard all about the advantages of playing with it but why shouldn’t you use wooden paddles for a game of pickleball?
For starters, if you have had fitness issues concerning your wrists, hands or arms, then heavy pickleball paddles are a strict no-no. The other thing is it’s understandable for young kids to use cheaper paddles while trying out the sport but you don’t want them to get bogged down because of its weight now, do you?
It could exhaust the young one quicker than usual and end up repelling them from the sport altogether. So, it might be a fine line to take between saving the obvious money but at the same time, ensuring they don’t fall out of love with the sport too quickly.
Who Buys Wooden Pickleball Paddles?
- Beginners: Obviously. As mentioned earlier too, when someone is trying to get a taste of a sport, it makes a lot of sense to buy the most basic-level equipment, whichever the sport. It’s only when once develops an appetite for the sport does a typical change to a costlier paddle happen.
- YMCA-like organisations
- Resorts, Sports camps for kids, public courts
- Circumstances like paddle loss or break & affordability as a result
Which Wooden Pickleball Paddles to buy?
We have two recommendations for wooden pickleball paddles below. They are inexpensively priced and can act as a good starting point in your pickleball career.
- Rally Meister Wood Pickleball Paddle
- Wolfe Wood Premiun Pickleball Paddle
- Swinger Pickleball Paddle
According to PickleballCentral.com, one of USA’s leading pickleball equipment distributor, Rally Meister is the best in the business as far as wooden paddles go. Two main reasons for it; it is lighter than most other wooden paddles and it’s a darn cheap pickleball paddle too, costing a mere $13.99 at the moment.
The Rally Meister Wood also comes in a bundle, with two paddles and four balls included in it and it costs $19.99.
If you are looking to buy these wooden paddles for pickleball, or for that matter, any other paddles or other pickleball equipment, you can read through our ultimate guide on where to buy it from here.