Are Wooden Pickleball Paddles Good?

If you’ve ever found yourself in a pickle (pun intended) when it comes to choosing the perfect paddle for your pickleball adventures, then you’re in luck! This article is diving deep into the world of wooden pickleball paddles and exploring the question on everyone’s mind: are they actually any good? Prepare to be enlightened as it uncovers the secrets, benefits, and considerations to keep in mind when picking out a wooden pickleball paddle that will take your game to a whole new level of awesomeness. So, grab your dill and get ready to pickle your way through this paddle palooza!

History of Wooden Pickleball Paddles

Wooden pickleball paddles have been around for many years and they have a rich history. In the early days of pickleball, wooden paddles were the only option available to players. These paddles were typically handmade by players in their garages or workshops, using simple tools such as saws and sandpaper.

The first official wooden pickleball paddle was created in the 1970s by Barney McCallum, one of the co-founders of pickleball.

He used a wooden paddle with a length of 14 inches and width of 8 inches, which became the standard size for all pickleball paddles.

As the sport gained popularity, more players began experimenting with different types of wood to create their own unique paddles. Some popular types of wood used include hardwoods like oak, maple and ash, as well as softer woods like pine and cedar.

History of Wooden Pickleball Paddles

In the 1980s, composite paddles made from aluminum and fiberglass began to emerge, offering a lighter and more durable option for players. However, many players still preferred the traditional feel and control of wooden paddles.

Today, wooden pickleball paddles are still used by many players, especially those who prefer a more traditional and authentic playing experience. They are also popular among beginners due to their lower cost compared to composite paddles.

Wooden paddles have come a long way since the early days of pickleball, with advancements in design and technology allowing for better performance on the court. However, they will always hold a special place in the history and culture of pickleball as the original and traditional choice for players.

Wooden paddles have also inspired the design of newer materials such as polymer, which mimics the feel and sound of wood but offers greater durability and performance [1].

What to know about Wooden Pickleball Paddles

Are Wooden Pickleball Paddles a good option to use to play the sport?

Wooden Pickleball Paddles are a popular option for players of all levels in the sport of pickleball. While they may not be as commonly used as their composite or graphite counterparts, wooden paddles offer unique benefits and characteristics that make them a worthy choice for anyone looking to enhance their game.

One of the primary advantages of using a wooden pickleball paddle is its durability. Unlike composite or graphite paddles which can easily crack or break, wooden paddles are known for their strength and sturdiness. This makes them a great option for players who tend to be more aggressive on the court and may need a paddle that can withstand heavy use.

Another benefit of wooden paddles is their affordability. Compared to other materials, wood is relatively inexpensive, making it an attractive option for beginners or casual players who may not want to invest too much money into their equipment. Additionally, wooden paddles are often easier to customize and personalize, allowing players to add their own unique touch.

However, wooden pickleball paddles do have some disadvantages compared to other materials. They tend to be heavier than composite or graphite paddles, which can affect the player’s speed and agility on the court. Additionally, wood can absorb moisture, making it less suitable for outdoor play in wet or humid conditions.

What about the Durability of a Wooden Paddle?

As mentioned earlier, wooden pickleball paddles are known for their durability and strength. This is due to the natural properties of wood, which has been used for centuries to construct various items for its reliability and longevity.

What about the Durability of a Wooden Paddle?

In terms of pickleball, a wooden paddle can last for several years if properly maintained and cared for. However, it is important to note that constant use, especially on outdoor courts, can eventually wear down the surface of a wooden paddle and affect its performance. It is recommended to regularly check for any signs of cracks or damage and replace the paddle if necessary.

How much do Wooden Pickleball Paddles weigh?

The weight of a wooden pickleball paddle can vary depending on the type of wood used and its overall size. Generally, they tend to be slightly heavier than composite or graphite paddles, ranging from 8-12 ounces. This added weight may not make much of a difference for recreational players but can affect the speed and maneuverability of more advanced players.

It is important for players to find a paddle weight that works well with their playing style and abilities. Some may prefer the added power and control of a heavier wooden paddle, while others may opt for a lighter option to increase their speed on the court.

How do Wooden Paddles compare to Other Materials?

Wooden paddles have their own unique characteristics and advantages that differentiate them from other materials used in pickleball paddles. While they may not offer the same level of power or precision as composite or graphite paddles, many players appreciate the traditional feel and control that comes with using a wooden paddle.

Ultimately, the best paddle for you will depend on your personal preferences and playing style. It is recommended to try out different materials and weights to see what works best for you. Wooden pickleball paddles may not be the most popular choice, but they are definitely worth considering for players looking for a reliable and affordable option.

What’s the Contrarian View on Wooden Pickleball Paddles?

While wooden pickleball paddles have their own set of advantages, there are some who argue against using them in the sport. One of the main criticisms is that wood can be less forgiving on impact, causing discomfort or even injury to players with sensitive joints or muscles.

What’s the Contrarian View on Wooden Pickleball Paddles?

Another argument against wooden paddles is the potential for splintering or chipping over time.

While proper care and maintenance can help prevent this, some players may still prefer the durability and consistency of composite or graphite paddles.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual player to weigh the pros and cons and decide if a wooden pickleball paddle is right for them.  With its unique benefits and drawbacks, wooden paddles will continue to hold a beloved place in the world of pickleball for players of all levels.

Who Buys Wooden Pickleball Paddles?

People from all walks of life buy wooden pickleball paddles. From beginners looking for an affordable option to experienced players seeking a different playing experience, wooden paddles attract a diverse group of pickleball enthusiasts.

Some players may also choose wooden paddles for nostalgic reasons, as they were historically the only type of paddle available when the sport first originated. Others may appreciate the natural look and feel of wood, adding a touch of traditionalism to their game.

Whether you’re new to pickleball or a seasoned pro, consider giving wooden paddles a try. You may be pleasantly surprised by the unique benefits they offer and find that they enhance your overall playing experience on the court.  So, don’t dismiss wooden paddles as an outdated choice – they may just be the perfect fit for you!

Pros of Wooden Pickleball Paddles

Cost Effective

Wooden pickleball paddles are significantly cheaper than their carbon fiber and graphite counterparts. This makes them a great option for players on a budget or beginners who don’t want to invest too much in equipment.

Cost Effective

The lower cost also means that they are easier to replace if they get damaged or worn out. On average, wooden pickleball paddles can cost anywhere from $20 to $50, while higher-end paddles can cost upwards of $100.


Wooden paddles are known for their durability and longevity. They can withstand the wear and tear of regular use without losing their shape or performance. This makes them a great option for players who play frequently or in rough outdoor conditions. Their sturdy construction also means that they are less likely to break or crack compared to other types of paddles, saving you money in the long run.

More Power

Wooden paddles are known for their ability to produce more power compared to graphite or carbon fiber paddles. This is because of their heavier weight, which allows players to put more force behind their shots. The added power can be beneficial for players who prefer a stronger and faster game.

Control and Touch

Wooden paddles also offer a unique level of control and touch compared to other types of paddles. The wood’s natural grip allows for better control over shots, making it easier to place the ball exactly where you want it. This can be especially helpful for players who rely on precise and strategic shots.


Another advantage of wooden paddles is the variety of designs and styles available. With different types of wood, colors, and designs to choose from, you can find a wooden paddle that suits your personal style and preferences. This option for customization is not as prevalent with other types of paddles.


Wooden paddles are also a great choice for beginners because they provide a good balance of power and control. They are not as sensitive to slight movements or mistakes, making it easier for beginners to get a feel for the game and improve their skills. Additionally, the lower cost makes them a less intimidating option for those just starting out in pickleball.


Lastly, wooden paddles are an eco-friendly choice compared to other types of paddles. They are made from a renewable resource and can be easily recycled or repurposed at the end of their lifespan. This makes them a more sustainable option for players who want to reduce their environmental impact [2].

Cons of Wooden Pickleball Paddles

Wooden pickleball paddles are a popular choice among players due to their affordability and traditional feel. However, there are several disadvantages to using wooden paddles that players should be aware of before making their purchase.

Cons of Wooden Pickleball Paddles

Wooden pickleball paddles tend to be heavier than their composite or graphite counterparts. This extra weight can make it more challenging for players to maneuver the paddle quickly and could potentially lead to fatigue during longer matches.

The sweet spot on a pickleball paddle is the optimal area for hitting the ball and achieving maximum power and control. Wooden paddles tend to have a smaller sweet spot compared to other materials, making it more challenging for players to consistently hit their shots accurately.

Modern pickleball paddles often incorporate advanced technologies such as textured surfaces for added spin and control, and vibration dampening technology for improved comfort. Wooden paddles, on the other hand, lack these technological advancements and may not provide players with the same level of performance as newer materials.

Wooden paddles are not ideal for players who rely on power shots.
Due to their heavier weight and smaller sweet spot, they may not generate as much power as composite or graphite paddles. This can put players at a disadvantage against opponents who use these newer materials.


Can you successfully play pickleball with wooden paddles?

Yes, you can definitely play pickleball with wooden paddles! In fact, the first ever pickleball game was played using wooden paddles back in 1965. Although modern pickleball paddles are typically made of composite materials such as graphite or aluminum, wooden paddles are still widely used and loved by many players.

Why do some players prefer wooden paddles?

There are several reasons why some players may prefer wooden paddles over modern composite paddles. Firstly, wooden paddles have a distinct traditional feel and produce a unique sound when striking the ball, evoking a sense of nostalgia for players who appreciate the heritage of the sport. Moreover, wooden paddles typically offer a larger sweet spot, providing a generous margin for error and enhancing the player’s ability to hit the ball with precision and accuracy.

Why do some players prefer wooden paddles?

Additionally, the natural properties of wood allow for better control and touch, allowing players to finesse their shots and adapt to different playing conditions more effectively. By choosing a wooden paddle, players can embrace the classic charm of the game while benefiting from its inherent advantages in terms of feel, sound, sweet spot, and control.

Can you use any type of wood for pickleball paddles?

No, not all types of wood are suitable for making pickleball paddles. In order to create high-quality paddles that meet the standards and regulations set by the USAPA (USA Pickleball Association), manufacturers typically use specific types of hardwood such as maple, ash, or cedar. These woods are chosen for their strength, durability, and ability to withstand the wear and tear of pickleball gameplay. Additionally, they are carefully selected for their weight and density to ensure optimal performance on the court. Some manufacturers also use a combination of different woods for their paddles to achieve a desired balance between power and control.

Is there really a difference between pickleball paddles?

Yes, there are various factors that can make a difference between pickleball paddles. As mentioned before, the material and construction of the paddle can greatly impact its performance on the court. Additionally, other factors such as weight, grip size, shape, and surface texture can also affect how a player handles the paddle and strikes the ball. Some players may prefer a heavier paddle for more power, while others may opt for a lighter paddle for better control and maneuverability.

How do I choose a pickleball paddle for beginners?

Choosing a pickleball paddle for beginners can be overwhelming with the vast array of options available. However, there are some key factors to consider when selecting a paddle that will best suit a beginner’s needs. Firstly, it is recommended to choose a lightweight paddle with a large sweet spot and forgiving surface, as this will help new players develop their skills and build confidence on the court. Additionally, it is important to choose a grip size that feels comfortable and secure in the player’s hand, as having a proper grip can greatly impact the accuracy and power of shots. Finally, it may be beneficial for beginners to try out different types of paddles before making a purchase, either by borrowing from friends or renting from a local pickleball facility, to get a feel for what works best for their playing style.

How do you protect a wooden paddle?

To ensure the longevity and performance of your wooden pickleball paddle, it is important to take proper care and protect it from damage. Here are some tips for protecting your wooden paddle:

  • Always store your paddle in a protective cover or case when not in use to prevent scratches, dings, and exposure to moisture.
  • Avoid leaving your paddle in extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, as this can cause warping or cracking.
  • Regularly clean your paddle with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated during gameplay.
  • Do not submerge your paddle in water or expose it to excessive moisture, as this can damage the wood and affect its performance.
  • If playing on rough surfaces such as concrete, consider using a protective tape on the edges of your paddle to prevent wear and tear.

By following these tips, you can help extend the life of your wooden pickleball paddle and continue to enjoy playing with it for years to come.  Overall, whether you choose to play with a wooden or composite paddle, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the game of pickleball!

How much should I spend on a pickleball paddle?

The cost of pickleball paddles depends on various factors such as the material, brand, and features. On average, a good quality pickleball paddle can range from $50 to $150. However, some high-end paddles can cost up to $200 or more. For beginners or casual players, it may not be necessary to invest in an expensive paddle right away. It is always recommended to try out different paddles and find one that feels comfortable and suits your playing style before making a significant investment. Additionally, it is important to consider the warranty and return policies of the brand when purchasing a pickleball paddle, as this can provide peace of mind and protection against any potential defects or issues with the paddle.

Useful Video: Niupipo Wooden Pickleball Paddle Set Review

Conclusion Paragraph

So, the right equipment for pickleball is an important aspect of playing the game. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, having the right gear can make all the difference in your performance and enjoyment on the court. The wooden paddles for pickleball have been around since the beginning and still hold a special place in many players’ hearts. However, with advancements in technology and modern materials, graphite and composite paddles are gaining popularity for their lightweight and powerful performance. Ultimately, the best paddle for you will depend on your personal preference, playing style, and budget.