Graphite vs. Fiberglass pickleball paddles

Ted from NC asks: “having only played a few games, I don’t know how graphite and fiberglass paddles differ. I’ve tried both and don’t see that one is any more effective than the other.”

ANSWER: A traditional paddle is made up with both a face (skin) layer and a core (the guts). Each paddle can be made up of a variety of material combinations—each offering a different feel and weight. Because of the numerous combinations of materials and blends a graphite face paddle with an aluminum core feels different then a graphite face with paper core, but both paddles are called graphite. With so many different combinations from a variety of manufactures finding your perfect paddle can be tricky.  Take your time and try an assortment of paddles, borrow your friends and hit for 5 minutes… you can quickly tell which paddle feels best or you.

3 comments on “Graphite vs. Fiberglass pickleball paddles”

  1. I use a very used “Champion” aluminum core too and the paddle face is so worn that the comb cell ends have patterned the surface from the backside! I may be playing “bootleg” pickle ball with an illegal paddle. I haven’t decided if I have more or less grip on the ball than a new paddle, but I guess I should be in the market for a new one.

    I’m not a tournament player so I don’t go to events that vendors visit, but I’d love to step into a court with a ball machine, a remote control, and a table covered in paddles from which to choose.

    1. Hello David, yes I’d say it’s time to treat yourself to a new paddle and enjoy its power and feel.

  2. I began playing two and a half years ago with a clunky wooden paddle, but on the advice of strong local players, quickly switched to Steve Wong’s graphite “Storm.” A few months ago, I began playing with a Champion aluminum core paddle. This paddle is incredibly soft and provides excellent feel and control for the soft game to which I switched this summer. I am 6’1″ and 195, so I have plenty of power. This paddle just gets softer the longer I use it. The Champion aluminum is used by Brian and Matt Staub and, at one point, by a certain national championship team of Jennifer Lucore and Alex Hamner!

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