Graphite Vs. Fiberglass Pickleball Paddles: Efficiency And Durability

October 24, 2021
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The paddles are very important for both beginners and pros. You need to consider the material of the paddle because it makes a huge difference.

There are several different materials, and they do affect the way the paddle performs. Today, when you search through the different types of Pickleball paddles, you will come across the graphite and fiberglass paddles.

There are other materials like wood, composite, and many more. I will briefly talk about them.

This article will be about the two popular paddle materials, which are graphite and fiberglass. I hope the information will help you make an informed decision about which is suitable for you.

Graphite vs. Fiberglass Pickleball paddles

In recent years, fiberglass paddles have been gaining a lot of popularity. These paddles do have some unique features and benefits. On the other hand, graphite is also unique in its features and benefits.

For graphite and fiberglass paddles, fiberglass paddles offer more flexibility than graphite paddles, but graphite is lighter.

Another thing is that fiberglass does centralize the energy of the Pickleball ball on the core of the paddle. It makes the fiberglass paddle have a better pop than graphite paddles.

Lastly, the finish layer of the fiberglass meets the USPA recommendations. The paddles from fiberglass have a texture feel that is also light.

On the other hand, graphite paddles are the most expensive. The great thing is that they are highly durable and also lightweight.

However, you should note that the core of graphite paddles does not use graphite but composite material. Generally, graphite is super light and stiff.

Therefore, the graphite paddles are usually light, offering its users the touch and control they need.

The stiffness of the graphite Pickleball paddle evenly spreads the energy of your strike over a great area. Today, most professional Pickleball players prefer using graphite paddles.

After a careful brief comparison, it’s evident that graphite material is the most ideal for making the best pickle paddles.

Graphite Pickleball Paddles

On this type of paddle, the graphite layer is added on top of the paddle core. The simple addition of graphite on the paddle brings some specific set of attributes to the Pickleball paddle.

The paddles made from graphite are pretty durable. It means they can withstand intense game plays without breaking.

The graphite paddles come in varying stiffness, density, and thickness. However, this is entirely dependent on the manufacturer.

The paddles from graphite are expensive but durable. Graphite paddles do not wear off quickly like plastic, wood paddle, etc. The balance and weight of these paddles are perfect.

Thus they offer great control, and that’s why many pro players love it. They mostly go for graphite paddles that have a composite score.

The composite score consists of durable materials like carbon fiber and titanium. They add power to the paddle, making it crucial for competitions.

Fiberglass Pickleball Paddles

In recent years, fiberglass paddles have become so popular. The fiberglass material has unique characteristics that make it versatile and stand out from other materials.

The fiberglass material is very durable. Its manufacturing process made it possible to achieve such durability.

Tiny fibers are pressed together using pressure and heat. Then, these fibers get soaked with resin. The resin hardens the material to make it look like glass sheets. Hence why with the fiberglass paddles, users may never have to worry about repairs.

The fiberglass paddles are also light, and carrying them from place to place won’t be tricky.

Another good thing about the fiberglass paddle is its affordability. It’s not as expensive as the other high-end paddles made from carbon and graphite. Therefore, anyone from beginners to professional players who need a budget-friendly paddle can buy it.

Other Material Used To Make Paddles 

Several materials are used to make the Pickleball pads. Each material has its unique benefits and disadvantages.

Above, it’s about graphite and fiberglass. Here are additional materials used for Pickleball paddles. The following information will help you make an informed decision any time you need a paddle.

Wood 

The wood paddles have been around for quite a long time—ever since the invention of the Pickleball sport. Today, wood paddles are still among the most common paddles.

They have been greatly improved but are not so sophisticated. It is an excellent option for anyone who does not want to break the bank.

Wood paddles are cheaper because they are easy to manufacture. Wood paddles are great for beginners because of their availability and affordability. They are usually available in Walmart or Amazon.

However, wood paddles are the heaviest of all. Hence, if it does not match your need, there’s no need to go for it.

It’s great for players who are looking for excellent drive power. However, the weight will undoubtedly affect control, preventing you from making precise shots.

Composite 

Composite paddles are also popular today. These paddles have a composite core that usually contains carbon fiber or fiberglass surface.

The core of a composite paddle may be out of aluminum, polymer, or even Nomex (which is rigid nylon).

The composite paddle surfaces are textured, allowing a player to make their shots spin. If you love some fancy and impressive spinning shots, then you should undoubtedly go for the composite paddle.

They are also lighter than their wood counterparts, and they feel good. Hence, you will be able to spin shots without fatiguing.

They are also available in different price ranges because of other qualities and manufacturers. It would be best to be keen when selecting a composite paddle. This way, you will be able to find an efficient paddle at a great price. Many trainers do recommend it as well. If you are a beginner and looking for something better than wood, it’s the right one for you.

Paddle Core Construction 

Paddle core construction is another essential thing you need to consider when selecting a Pickleball paddle. The three basic core styles for paddles are polymer, Nomex honeycomb, and aluminum core. Below are more details about the different styles and their impact.

Poly Core

The polymer cores are pretty unique from other core types. The poly cores from a special plastic are slowly winning the hearts of Pickleball gamers.

Continuous technological advancement allows the creation of better polymers. After a while, the paddle made with polymer cores will undoubtedly be the most silent paddles available.

However, the polymer cores still do produce minor noise. If you do not love the noise made every time it contacts with the Pickleball ball, get this type of paddle.

It is an excellent choice for those living in gated communities. It’s the softness that makes it quieter. The bad thing about the polymer cores is that they lack power.

The soft nature of the paddle dampens the shot. However, you can spend an extra amount on the high-end polymer core paddles since they offer more than average power.

Nomex Honeycomb Core

The Nomex Honeycomb core type is also so popular, and this material resembles the cardboard. The paddle with the honeycomb cores is quite durable.

The manufacturers add resin to the material to make it more durable. Then, they arrange it in a honeycomb pattern. It is this material that made the first-ever composite paddles.

However, paddles with this material are the hardest and loudest. Each time you make contact with the ball, you will hear the loud popping sound.

Nevertheless, if you want to enjoy precision, control, and power, go for a paddle with this core style. Moreover, the great thing about this core type is its availability.

Aluminum Core

This type of core is among the most common. The professional Pickleball gamers love it for its lightweight. A paddle with an aluminum core will give you the control you need. 

The disadvantage of paddles with the aluminum core is their insufficient power. However, they are straightforward to handle, and you can use them in various playstyles.

Before buying a paddle with an aluminum core, you need to do thorough research. Doing so will help you find one at a great price.

History Of Pickleball Paddle Construction 

In the early stages of the Pickleball sport, the paddles use a non-compressible and rigid material. Modern paddles maintain the same material.

The game rules do not allow the use of stringed racquets. Therefore, officials disallow any paddle with the trampoline effect because it does not meet the standards.

In summary, the typical materials used for making paddles include wood, graphite, fiberglass, and composite.

Conclusion

The comparison between the superiority of graphite versus fiberglass is never-ending soon. However, most professional Pickleball players think that graphite paddles are better.

It’s probably because graphite paddles are lighter than fiberglass paddles. More lightweight paddles are known to offer better control and quicker response.

Heavy paddle-like wood is known to offer power. Funnily, some professionals believe that light paddles equally provide more power. The reason is, you can swing it faster.

After all the comparisons, I also think the graphite paddles are superior to the fiberglass paddles. That’s why they are pretty expensive.

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