Pickleball is gradually becoming popular as an interesting combination of tennis and badminton. Its polishing tools, however, are not meshes and iron frames but layers of combined monolithic materials.
This article will answer the question, “How are pickleball paddles made?” which many have simplified as a board with handles. The technique and materials that make it up could be much more elaborate. Let’s bring to light its production process!
What Is The Best Core Material For A Pickleball Paddle?
Polypropylene (known as Polymer or PP) is considered the best core for paddle material. It is also widely used, accounting for 99% of products manufactured today. Its main advantages include the ability to receive and reflect, reduce noise when polishing, and high durability.
Manufacturers often rely on the structure of the Polymer layer to produce paddles with different outstanding features. For instance, you may choose a thick format for a durable racquet with strong power or opt for a honeycomb that provides support and elasticity.
Before Polymer, this manufacturing industry mainly used Nomex, then aluminum with its light and flexible features. But in the long run, they do not guarantee the necessary elements. Because of that, PP automatically became the main material in high-end sets for this sport until now.
The Different Kinds Of Pickleball Paddles
Graphite is mainly composed of carbon fibers, which are lighter, stronger, and stronger than steel. Therefore, paddles made from this material also inherit the above properties, even if the thickness is only millimeters.
Sports equipment made from graphite requires players to have technique, know how to control the ball, and be able to touch the ball instead of relying on it. That’s why it is often used in most casual matches to important tournaments.
Composite is a mixture of materials, encompassing fiberglass, polymers, and carbon fibers. Its advantages are lightness, high mechanical strength, good rigidity and tensile strength, electrical and thermal insulation, and longitude.
It helps players increase ball control with a comfortable grip and increased power. As a result, people who want to improve their performance and abilities will often choose this material.
Accompanying these features is a rather high price compared to other paddles. Even so, it is still worth your investment in the long haul professionally.
Fiberglass is lightweight and highly heat resistant for the challengers in this sport
Glass fiber is a material that makes composite paddles and can also be used specifically for this sports equipment. When manufactured, the fibers are compressed at high temperatures and pressures to achieve a glass-like texture. This method helps increase durability but does not increase the weight; on the contrary, it also makes the item lighter.
Compared to the above two materials, its stiffness is unequal, and the ball control is weak. Therefore, this racquet is not for beginners; experienced players will love it as a practice challenge.
Different Types Of Pickleball Paddle Cores
The paddle core plays an important role in increasing its performance. Here are the three most common materials and their pros and cons:
This material accounts for nearly 99% of the paddles on the market, especially the high-end ones. It is affordable, light, and easy to handle.
Polypropylene is a plastic that can be molded into different forms when heated. The most typical is the honeycomb structure comprising many hexagons or hexagons assembled, providing high shock resistance and reducing vibration when subjected to force.
In addition, the ability to recover the racquet on impact is also great and drops the vibration force transmitted to the arm. This advantage also directly decreases noise and enhances durability and performance in every match.
Polypropylene core provides high shock resistance, assists in dispersing energy before impact, and directs the ball well
Before PP, Nomex was the most popular material because of its durability. It also has a honeycomb structure of meta-aramid fibers, which is stiffer, more durable, and more heat resistant than polyester or cotton. This fiber is also used to construct aircraft, armor, and other protective clothing.
Its problem is its ability to absorb force and transmit power poorly, making players unable to feel the ball’s direction and creating a lot of noise when playing. To fix this point, manufacturers often combine it with two outer layers of Polymer like a sandwich. However, the paddle is up to 19mm thick and heavier, requiring much experience to control it.
On the other hand, racquets made entirely of Normex are suitable for beginners because they are quite light, so they easily practice better swings.
Aluminum cores have been used for weight reduction since the 1940s. Its honeycomb structure is used in aircraft assemblies. It has poor quality, weak power, and a distorted core in paddle making. When subjected to a large impact, the center will automatically separate from the outer faceplates.
Its advantage is for those who prefer power over speed. It helps to have better ball control; the balls rarely go out thanks to their ability to reduce force.
How Are Pickleball Paddles Made?
Selecting The Materials For The Core And Face
The core and face are the two main parts of the paddle’s pickleball body, which are fitted together like a sandwich. The middle layer is usually 3-4 cm thick, with common materials such as: and connected to the base (or the handle). The two sides are typically made of magnetic to prevent internal damage.
After selection, the materials will be cut to the shape and size suitable for the intended use and play style. CNC does cutting to create precise cuts and shapes.
The racquet body has two main parts the core and the two sides
Attaching The Grip And Cap
The paddle is sanded to create a smooth surface before applying a clear coat, paint, or combined liquid. This coating protects the paddle from scratches and scratches and enhances its appearance.
Next is to fit the body and handle together through the previously created grooves to stick together tightly. Manufacturers fix this “pin” part with glue and wrap the foam around in a spiral extending to the handle’s bottom.
The last step is to attach the rim, which holds the sides of the paddle together and protects the core layer from damage during play and breakage. This step is done by hand, helping the rim to hug like a border around the racquet’s body. It is both an adhesive and protective layer and a prominent decorative line.
Shipping Out The Paddle
Once the necessary quality and standards tests are completed, the product is packaged and shipped to the customer. Manufacturers, such as Paddletek or Selkirk, provide warranties for their products. It allows the customer to get a return if the product is damaged on the manufacturer’s part within the given time.
If your retailers do not offer this service from the companies, you should inquire about their stores’ return policy.
How Do You Add Power To A Pickleball Paddle?
By putting the lead tap, you can add some weight to your paddle, then let it get more powerful. This method is the most commonly used and does not violate USAP laws. What’s more, for each point you place, they will bring different benefits for you to choose from:
- The top: gain more power, especially swings
- Two sides: expand the sweet spot and reduce errors when navigating the ball
- Near the handle: Increases strength and overall sweet spot but balances hand speed
It is best to balance all sides, including the top and bottom. Otherwise, the ability to navigate the ball and control the racket will decrease.
Putting lead tape on both sides will help balance the force, increase power, sweet spot and reduce errors in ball navigation
Can You Make Your Own Pickleball Paddle?
Yes. You can equip yourself with a paddle of your style. The steps are similar to the above, but usually, they will be converted to wood – an easier-to-find material.
However, they are also only used in-game matches between friends and relatives. According to USA Pickleball, the principle of 2.E.5, homemade equipment sports are not allowed in tournaments and will be penalized for willful violations.
How Do You Make Homemade Paddles?
First, you must prepare the necessary materials, including wood, foam, rubber bands, and apparatuses. The steps include:
- Cut the body: with a maximum width and length of 24 and 17 inches, respectively.
- Cut the handle: with a length of about 6 inches.
- Grip the handle: fit the thickness of the shaft and smooth it with sandpaper.
- Attach the handle and body: use specialized glue to glue the two parts together, and the rubber band is wrapped around to fix them to the bottom of the handle.
- Paint the gloss: Sand around the surface and edges smoothly before applying the mask. You can use paint to decorate the racket before lacquer polish to finish.
The question: “How are pickleball paddles made?” focuses on the steps taken and choosing the right material for the need. It is a supplementary tool for controlling the ball, adjusting the force, and even helping to reduce the impact of influence on the hand.
You can completely create a paddle as a beginner, but it cannot be used in matches. When deciding to choose them, bear in mind what your strengths and weaknesses you have and playing style first!