Game On! How a Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle Can Give You The Winning Edge!

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graphite vs composite pickleball paddles

You can’t play pickleball without a pickleball paddle. However, not all paddles are created equal. Paddles can have a large impact on your body and your style of playing, so you have to pick an ideal paddle in order to have a more enjoyable playing experience. If you’ve been in the market for a pickleball paddle and you’re torn between buying a graphite paddle or a carbon fiber pickleball paddle, we suggest you stick around as we’re going to help you pick the right paddle for you.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Paddle

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, we first have to look at a few factors that should be taken into consideration before deciding which pickleball paddle you’re going to go for. These are general factors that apply to all types of pickleball paddles, not just graphite and composite models.

Weight of the Pickleball Paddle

Weight is arguably the most critical factor to keep in mind when buying a new paddle because it plays a major role in your performance and how the paddle will feel in your hands. A wide range of paddle weights is available on the market, from 6-ounce models to 14-ounce models.

Lightweight pickleball paddles weigh under 7.3 ounces, mid-weight paddles can weight from 7.3 to 8.4 ounces, and heavy pickleball paddles will be the one weighing 8.5 ounces or more. Again, the weight of a pickleball paddle can affect how you control the ball and how it feels to swing it.

Generally, a heavier pickleball paddle will allow you to drive the ball much easier, but that comes at the expense of control as they’ll allow for less control than a lighter paddle. In order to get the best of both worlds, we’d recommend you buy a paddle that falls somewhere in between so that you get adequate control and still be able to drive the ball with ease.

If you’re a pickleball player who has suffered from physical injuries before, we’d strongly suggest that you stick to lighter paddles because they’re easier to handle. Heavier pickleball paddles can cause fatigue if you play with them for a long time, so try to switch between weights, especially if you’re not in great shape.

Grip Size of the Pickleball Paddle

There’s nothing worse than playing with a pickleball paddle that has too large of a grip perimeter for your hands. Your hands may slip when hitting the ball if you’re playing with a paddle that has a grip that’s too large for your hands, which can easily cause some elbow injuries over time.

On the other hand, it’s actually recommended to start with paddles that feature smaller grip size because they allow for greater action. You can move up from there until you’ve found the proper grip size for you. Smaller grips also allow for powerful serves, better spin, and more control over the ball, so it makes sense to start your pickleball journey with a small-grip pickleball paddle.

If you measure at under 5’2″, you should go for a 4″ grip. If you measure anywhere between 5’3″ and 5’8″, a 4 1/8″ to 4 1/4″Grip should be ideal for you. Lastly, if you’re 5’9″ or taller, a 4 1/2″ grip should be your best bet.

Power Paddles and Control Paddles

When choosing between pickleball paddles, you have to choose between power and control. It’s important to know whether you want to drive the ball with more power or would you prefer to get better control of your shots. We’re not saying that you can’t have both, but one usually overrides the other.

Depending on your playing style, a lighter paddle with a smaller grip can give better control over the ball but your shots will lack power. Heavier paddles with larger grips, on the other hand, tend to give more power than their counterparts but don’t allow for much shot control and accuracy.

Ideally, you want to keep things right in between so that you can achieve a great balance of both power and precision. However, you don’t have to stick to a certain criteria, your playing style and your physique can dictate your choice of paddles, so there isn’t really any wrong answers here.

Graphite Pickleball Paddles

Graphite paddles are the most expensive out there. They’re very lightweight and much easier to control than composite models. Most graphite paddles weigh between 6 to 9 ounces and they’re constructed with aluminum, polymer, or Nomex honeycomb cores. A graphite paddle will have a graphite face on both of its sides, which is very thin but super strong.

Graphite paddles are used by professionals and competitive players due to their ability to make great shots with superb accuracy. The only problem with graphite models is that they’re not very affordable and it’s very hard to find a budget-friendly graphite paddle. We’d strongly recommend graphite models for people who take this sport seriously and want to achieve more.


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best pickleball paddle material

Engage Pursuit EX Graphite Pickleball Paddle


The Engage Pursuit EX Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a high-performance paddle designed for players seeking a blend of power, control, and durability. This paddle features a naturally textured graphite face, which enhances spin and shot precision. The ControlPRO Polymer Core, with a thickness of 0.6 inches, provides excellent shock absorption and a soft touch, making it ideal for both aggressive and finesse play.

Overall, the Engage Pursuit EX Graphite Pickleball Paddle is an excellent choice for players looking to enhance their game with a paddle that offers superior spin, control, and durability.


Enhanced Spin: The textured graphite face allows for better ball grip, making it easier to add spin to your shots.

Control and Power: The 0.6-inch core thickness offers a balance of control and power, suitable for all-court play.

Durability: The graphite surface and ControlPRO core ensure long-lasting performance.

Comfortable Grip: The ultra-perforated cushion grip provides a tacky feel, ensuring a secure hold even during intense matches.

Versatile Weight Options: Available in lightweight (7.5-7.9 oz) and standard weight (8.0-8.4 oz) ranges to suit different playing styles.


Adjustment Period: Players may need time to adjust to the paddle’s unique feel and balance.

Price: As a high-end paddle, it may be more expensive than other options on the market.

Composite Pickleball Paddles

Composite paddles are gaining more and more momentum every day due to their affordability, in comparison to their graphite counterparts. These models tend to have carbon fiber or fiberglass surfaces and are constructed with composite cores that can consist of many different things like aluminum, polymer, or even Nomex sometimes.

Composite paddles allow for great spins, thanks to their textured surface. Further, these models are also lightweight and allow for great control and shot precision. Luckily, you can easily get an awesome, high-performing composite paddle that suits your budget. We’d strongly recommend those types of paddles for casual players who just want to enjoy a good game.


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Franklin Carbon STK 14.5mm Pickleball Paddle

The Franklin Carbon STK 14.5mm Pickleball Paddle is designed for players seeking a balance of power and control. This paddle features a carbon fiber face and a polypropylene honeycomb core, which together provide a responsive feel and excellent durability. The 14.5mm thickness offers a good mix of power and touch, making it suitable for various playing styles.

Overall, the Franklin Carbon STK 14.5mm Pickleball Paddle is a solid choice for players looking for a balance of power and control at an affordable price. However, potential buyers should be aware of the reported edge guard issues.


Power and Control: The carbon fiber face delivers powerful shots while maintaining control, ideal for both aggressive and finesse play.

Durability: The polypropylene honeycomb core ensures long-lasting performance, even with frequent use.

Comfortable Grip: The paddle comes with a comfortable grip that helps reduce hand fatigue during extended play.

Affordable: Priced competitively, it offers good value for money compared to other high-end paddles.


Edge Guard Issues: Some users have reported problems with the edge guard breaking during play, which can affect the paddle’s longevity.

Mixed Reviews on Quality: While some players appreciate its performance, others have experienced durability issues, particularly with the edge guard.

Wrap Up – Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle

The materials used in the construction of pickleball paddles all have their positives and negatives. It all really boils down to different playing styles and budgets. You should also check out pickleball paddles made of wood as they’re very common and you may find one that’s great for you. Remember to keep the above-mentioned factors in mind so that you can get the best bang for your buck.

FAQ – Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle

What are the benefits of using a carbon fiber pickleball paddle?

Carbon fiber paddles offer superior control, a large sweet spot, and excellent durability. They are lightweight yet strong, providing consistent and precise shots with reduced mishits.

How does a carbon fiber pickleball paddle compare to a graphite paddle?

While both materials are stiff and lightweight, carbon fiber is more durable and offers better energy absorption, resulting in greater control and spin. Graphite paddles are slightly lighter and may provide a bit more power but require more technique for powerful shots.

Are carbon fiber pickleball paddles suitable for beginners?

Yes, carbon fiber paddles are suitable for beginners due to their large sweet spot and forgiving nature, which help reduce mishits and improve shot accuracy. However, they are also favored by advanced players for their control and spin capabilities.

How do I maintain and care for my carbon fiber pickleball paddle?

To maintain your carbon fiber pickleball paddle, avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, clean it with a damp cloth after use, and store it in a protective cover. Regularly check for any signs of wear and tear to ensure optimal performance.

What is the typical lifespan of a carbon fiber pickleball paddle?

The lifespan of a carbon fiber pickleball paddle can vary based on usage and care but generally lasts longer than other materials due to its durability. With proper maintenance, a carbon fiber paddle can last several years.

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