Do you love the game of pickleball? With many pickleball paddle options available in the market, you might need clarification about making the right choice.
Pickleball equipment has undergone unprecedented changes over the years. Even though wood pickleball paddles were used for playing this sport, other materials are used nowadays.
Our guide will tell you whether wooden pickleball paddles are a good choice. Apart from this, you will also learn the pros and cons of playing with this material and how to take care of it.
Are Wooden Pickleball Paddles Good?
If you are an intermediate player or beginner who wants to get a softer feel when you hit the ball, then wooden pickleball paddles are a good choice. Wood doesn’t respond quickly like composite or metal materials, which gives you a reduced intense experience.
Wood minimizes the impact of hard shots and softens them. It is especially beneficial for players with hand or wrist injuries or those with sensitive wrists and elbows. Due to this, the vibration on contact gets reduced.
The other benefit of playing with a wooden pickleball paddle is that it doesn’t produce a loud sound when playing. Pickleball gear made with wood requires less maintenance. You don’t have to spend time caring for your pickleball rackets.
Wood paddles are often a good option for beginners as they cost less. Experienced players also prefer this material as it is reliable and durable. The natural feel of the wood racquet enables them to serve well on the court.
Pros and Cons of Wooden Pickleball Paddles
Before you choose a wooden pickleball racquet, it is advisable to know its pros and cons so that you make an informed choice.
- A wooden pickleball racquet is affordable compared to paddles made from other graphite or composite materials. Affordability is a significant factor, especially if you are a beginner and on a budget.
- Wood paddles offer greater control and feel.
- Pickleball rackets made with wood are sturdy yet lightweight. You can swing them with minimal effort.
- Most players love the wooden paddle’s sound when it comes in contact with the ball.
- Pickleball gear made from wood material looks promising. Wooden pickleball rackets get made in different styles and colors.
- The most significant benefit of choosing a wood paddle is that it is durable. With little maintenance, it can last for many years.
- Wooden paddles can get made highly lightweight. Even though they are light, they are solid and easy to carry.
- Pickleball equipment made with wood can easily get customized. You can choose different designs, styles, grips, and colours.
- Pickleball rackets made from wood are less effective at absorbing shock. You will also find that these paddles lack spin and power.
- Wood is a heavy material compared to other materials, making the racquet challenging to handle.
- Wooden pickleball gear is susceptible to warping and dents. Due to this, you need to replace the pickleball equipment often. The wood varies in quality and density, making it an unpredictable material. Players will find it difficult to play consistently, affecting their performance on the court.
Who Should Buy a Wooden Pickleball Paddle?
A wooden pickleball paddle is a good option if you want durable, robust, cost-effective rackets. Even though beginners prefer rackets made from wood, you will also find many professionals using them to play the sport.
Pickleball is becoming a fast-growing sport in schools and colleges. You can change to a graphite or composite material racquet when you start playing professionally.
Affordability and durability are what make the wooden paddle a must-buy.
History of Wooden Pickleball Paddles
The first paddles that pickleball players used to play this wonderful sport got made from wood. Wooden paddles were the only ones used in the initial years of the game.
With the introduction of new materials and technology, graphite and composite material rackets also started gaining popularity. Wooden paddles have benefitted too from technology. You will find pickleball rackets in different styles, shapes, grips, and handle sizes.
Paddles made from wood are available in different colourful designs, and some have a plastic edge guard. Hardwood, plywood, and grain hardwood are the different types of wood used to make wood pickleball rackets.
How Much Do Wooden Pickleball Paddles Cost?
If you are a beginner, you don’t have to spend much on a pickleball paddle. A wooden paddle is often the best choice as it costs less than paddles made from other materials.
Most wooden pickleball rackets cost $15 – $35. The average cost of a good-quality wooden racquet is $25. High-quality wooden surfaces will cost more, whereas standard wood materials will cost less.
If you are playing for fun, you can opt for a paddle that doesn’t cost much. If you are an intermediate-level player or a professional, you can choose a higher-end wooden pickleball racquet.
What Do You Put On A Wooden Pickleball Racquet?
If you want the wooden paddle to get maintained in its original form, you should put certain things on it. Boiled linseed and tung oil are two of the most popular choices used to keep the shine and durability of the wood.
Boiled linseed oil gets derived from seeds. Flax seeds also get used to get oil for the wood. The oil has been used for decades to maintain the shine of different wood materials.
Tung oil gets derived from tung tree seeds. The oil has got used for centuries to preserve the lustrous look of the wood. You can get a durable finish to your pickleball racquet when you apply this oil regularly on a wooden surface.
How Do You Protect A Wooden Paddle?
A little bit of care and maintenance will go a long way in ensuring the durability of the wooden pickleball gear. After playing, it is advisable to clean it properly. You can choose to dab polyurethane or exterior grade varnish on the wood. It can help cover the dents on the pickleball paddle.
Let the polyurethane or exterior grade varnish stay on the wood overnight. The protective coating will ensure that the pickleball racquet lasts long.
When storing the pickleball paddle, you should always keep it in a dry and cool place. Avoid storing the wooden paddle in direct sunlight as it can affect its durability.
Why Do Wooden Paddles Have Holes?
Did you know that wooden paddles have holes? There are a few reasons why there are holes in the pickleball paddles.
Weight Reduction – Wooden paddles are heavier than paddles made from other materials like graphite or composite. Adding holes to the paddle face helps reduce weight and improve maneuverability. Holes on specific areas ensure the paddle becomes lighter without sacrificing too much structural integrity.
Balance and Swing Feel – The holes in wooden paddles affect the balance and swing feel of the paddle. By redistributing the weight and altering the weight distribution, paddle manufacturers can create a specific balance point that suits different playing styles.
Some players prefer a paddle with a more head-heavy balance for power, while others prefer a more evenly balanced or head-light paddle for better control and maneuverability.
Dampening Vibrations – Wooden paddles transmit vibrations more prominently compared to other paddle materials. The holes in the paddle face help dampen these vibrations.
The holes reduce the shock and impact felt by the player’s hand and arm. It makes the paddle more comfortable to use, especially during longer matches or intense play.
Traditional Aesthetic – Wooden paddles with holes have become a conventional design in pickleball. The original pickleball paddles got made from wood. The holes got included to reduce weight and improve performance.
While modern paddle materials have evolved, the design with holes remains popular due to its familiar and nostalgic appeal.
How Much Do Wooden Pickleball Paddles Weigh?
Pickleball paddles made with wood weigh more than those made from graphite and composite materials. The weight of the wooden paddle will vary depending on the type of wood used to build the pickleball racquet.
Most wooden paddles weigh between 9 – 12 ounces. Even though the weight of a paddle might not seem much, a few ounces will make a big difference to your game. If a player uses a heavy paddle, it can strain the arms and wrists. It impacts the speed and power with which the pickleball gets hit.
If you have injuries on the arms and wrist or recovering from them, you should always choose a lighter paddle. A lightweight pickleball paddle will enable you to play for a long time with precise speed and power.
Which Is Better – Aluminum Or Wood Pickleball Paddle
If you want to know whether a wood or aluminium pickleball paddle is better, it is best to make a detailed comparison.
- Control – When compared to aluminium paddles, wood paddle provides more control. It is due to the additional weight of the wood. The other factor that enables you to control the ball better is that wood is soft than aluminium.
- Durability – Aluminum paddles are more durable than wooden ones. You will find them resistant to wear and tear. Pickleball paddles made with aluminium can withstand heavy use and impacts without significant damage. A wooden pickleball paddle tends to warp and is prone to dents and scratches, which might force you to replace them fast.
- Power – Wood paddles are more potent than aluminium paddles. It is because of the density of the wood that you can make a powerful shot.
Aluminium paddles also enable you to make power shots due to their rigid construction. You can make more vital shots and have better stability during hard-hitting play.
Wood paddles will give you more control and a softer touch, which can be advantageous for finesse shots and precise ball placement.
- Weight – Aluminum is lighter than wood. If you want to play fast, paddles made with aluminium are a good choice. Some players also prefer the additional weight of the wooden paddle as it enables them to make a stable shot.
- Price – Aluminum paddles cost less than wooden paddles. It is because aluminium is cheaper than wood. The price of wooden rackets is also higher as it is handcrafted.
- Feel and Touch – Wood paddles help provide a unique feel and touch on the ball. Some players prefer this for better control and delicate shots. You will get a softer, more natural sensation when you play with wood rackets. Aluminium paddles provide a more solid and consistent feel but lack the same level of tactile feedback.
- Noise – Wood paddles produce less noise in contact with the ball than aluminium paddles. If noise levels are a concern, especially in noise-sensitive environments like indoor courts, a wood paddle might be a more suitable choice.
Finally, the “better” choice between wood and aluminium paddles depends on your playing style, preferences, and priorities. It’s best to try both types of pickleball rackets and consider factors like weight, power, control, durability, feel, and noise to determine which paddle suits you best.
What Do You Know About the Durability of a Wooden Paddle?
Wooden paddles are a preferred choice of most players as they are durable. The durability depends on the type of wood and construction. When higher-grade wood gets used to make pickleball gear, it lasts longer as it is more resistant to wear and tear. When properly maintained and stored, a wooden paddle lasts many years.
Here are some factors that affect the durability of a wooden paddle:
Construction Quality – The construction quality of a racket can significantly impact its durability. Rackets with a solid construction, reinforced edges, and high-quality bonding agents tend to be more durable and less prone to damage.
Playing Conditions – The playing conditions affect the lifespan of a pickleball racket. Playing on rough or abrasive surfaces, such as gritty outdoor courts, may cause more wear and tear compared to playing on indoor courts or smoother surfaces.
Maintenance – Proper maintenance and care help prolong the lifespan of a pickleball racket. Avoid excessive moisture exposure, regularly inspect for damage or cracks, and replace worn-out grips or strings.
Intensity and Frequency of Use – The intensity and frequency of use impact the durability of a pickleball racket. Rackets subjected to frequent high-impact shots or aggressive play experience more stress and potential damage compared to those used more casually.
A wooden pickleball paddle is a good option if you are looking for affordable pickleball rackets to play this fantastic sport. Even though they might not offer the same efficiency level as composite materials, you will find them durable and reliable. Wooden paddles are also a preferred choice as they provide superior performance.