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CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

Pickleball Rules- Pickleball Paddle Envy? Size Matters

Sometimes equipment makes the player. I wouldn’t personally blame my paddle for my misses, but the right gear can increase your confidence and improve your game.

There are only a few rules about pickleball paddles: size matters and the surface must be smooth. A paddle can be any shape, thickness or weight, but the length plus the width may not exceed 24 inches. Count the edge guard and any cap at the end of the handle when you are measuring.

Want a longer paddle? You must give up some width to keep it legal.

Paddles can be made from any firm (non-compressible) material. Most common are graphite, composite resins, steel, and wood. There can be no holes on the surface, no indentations, no texture, and no reflective materials.

When shopping for a paddle, the more important features to look for are grip size and weight. A grip that is too large or too small can cause hand cramps during extended play. And a paddle that is too heavy can pull your paddle downward and cause forearm injury over time.

There are a lot of paddle reps out there who would be more than happy to let you try before you buy. No one in your area promoting paddles? Pickleball Central has a demo paddle program.

Love your paddle, but it’s getting worn out? A paddle can break if you slap it against your thigh one too many times, or slam a hard surface with it. If you treat it well, it should last a long time. You can put new grips on a pickleball paddle just like a tennis racquet. Loose edge guards can be re-glued to the paddle with a touch of superglue. And, you can keep your paddle free of oils and dirt by wiping clean periodically with water and Dawn dish detergent. Dry thoroughly.

Do you know how to pick the best pickleball paddle for you?

Bev writes a weekly email blast for our pickleball club. She delivers the rules with clarity and a sense of humor. If you have a rules question post it in the comments below.




  1. Avatar photo Richard Bradbury on December 2, 2022 at 11:17 am

    I am an 81 year old South African male who has played tennis most of my life , but now totally facinated with this game of pickle ball . Would love to start a group of old pensioners in this amazing sport . Please give me some ideas ,best regards Richard Bradbury

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