Pickleball has gained tremendous popularity in recent years, attracting players of all ages and skill levels. When choosing a pickleball paddle, one of the primary decisions you’ll face is whether to opt for an elongated paddle or a standard-sized one. There is a difference between elongated and standard-sized pickleball paddles.
In this blog, we will explain in detail Elongated Vs. Standard-Sized Pickleball Paddles along with pros and cons of elongated and standard pickleball paddles. Additionally, we will also explain how to choose between these types of pickleball paddles. Read this blog, and you will know the difference between these two pickleball paddles along with their benefits and drawbacks, and according to it, you will be able to choose any one out of these two types of pickleball paddles.
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Elongated vs. Standard-Sized Pickleball Paddles – What’s the Difference?
In pickleball, paddle design plays a crucial role in the game and can significantly impact your performance. Two common paddle designs you’ll come across are elongated and standard-sized paddles. Let’s explore the explanation of elongated vs standard pickleball paddles(i.e., differences between elongated and standard-sized pickleball paddles):
Shape And Dimensions:
Elongated Paddles: Elongated paddles, also known as elongated or narrow-body paddles, have a longer and narrower shape compared to standard-sized paddles. Typically, elongated pickleball paddles measure approximately 6 to 7 inches in width and 17 to 24 inches in length.
Standard-Sized Paddles: Standard-sized paddles, commonly known as traditional or wide-body paddles, exhibit a shape that is either square or rounded. Typically, these pickleball paddles possess a width ranging from approximately 7 to 8 inches and a length of about 16 inches.
Elongated Paddles: The elongated shape of these paddles provides players with a larger sweet spot or hitting area. This means you have a bigger surface to connect with the ball, which can be advantageous for players who want more forgiveness and control. Elongated paddles are often preferred by beginners or players who prioritize accuracy and placement.
Standard-Sized Paddles: Standard-sized paddles have a wider surface area, which can offer more power and a slightly larger margin for error. They are often favored by more advanced players who prioritize power and shot-making capabilities. The additional width on the paddle face allows for more aggressive shots and greater spin potential.
Weight And Maneuverability:
Elongated Paddles: Due to their longer and narrower design, elongated paddles tend to be slightly lighter than standard-sized ones. This lighter weight can make them more maneuverable and easier to control, especially for players with slower swing speeds or those who prefer quick reactions at the net.
Standard-Sized Paddles: Standard-sized paddles are generally heavier due to their wider body. The extra weight can provide more power behind your shots, making them suitable for players who rely on aggressive play and smashing the ball. However, the added weight can make these paddles slightly less maneuverable.
Style Of Play:
Elongated Paddles: The larger sweet spot and enhanced control of elongated paddles make them suitable for players who prioritize finesse and accuracy. They excel in softer shots, dinking, and precise ball placement.
Standard-Sized Paddles: Standard-sized paddles are well-suited for players who rely on power play, aggressive shots, and strong serves. Having a wider surface area on the paddle allows for improved shot-making, especially when it comes to hitting the ball with more speed and spin.
Pros and Cons of Elongated Pickleball Paddles
Elongated pickleball paddles, also known as elongated or elongated shape paddles, have gained popularity among pickleball players due to their unique design. Like any equipment, they have their own set of pros and cons. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of elongated pickleball paddles:
Increased Reach: Elongated paddles feature a longer face, which assists players in reaching balls that would be hard to reach with a standard-sized paddle. This advantage becomes particularly noticeable when returning shots that are positioned far away or towards the sides of the court. The extended face makes it easier to reach challenging shots, enhances a player’s ability to cover more ground on the court, and improves overall performance.
Larger Sweet Spot: The elongated shape often results in a larger sweet spot, which refers to the area on the paddle where you can make solid contact with the ball. This can improve your consistency and reduce mishits.
Enhanced Power: Having an extended length, the paddle can generate additional power when striking the ball. The increased leverage offered by the extended length of the paddle can help in hitting more powerful shots and adding greater speed to your shots.
Better Control For Singles Play: Elongated paddles can provide better control when playing singles pickleball since the longer face allows for improved shot placement. This can be advantageous for players who prefer finesse and precision over power.
Reduced Maneuverability: The longer length of the paddle can make it slightly less maneuverable compared to standard-sized paddles. Quick reactions and swift changes in paddle direction may be more challenging with an elongated paddle.
Adjusting To The Paddle’s Feel: If you’re familiar with playing with a standard paddle, transitioning to an elongated paddle may take some time to adjust. The different feel and balance of the paddle might affect your shots initially until you become acquainted with it.
Potential Weight Distribution Issues: Elongated paddles often have more weight towards the head because of their longer length. The weight distribution towards the head of elongated paddles can impact their balance, necessitating players to modify their swing mechanics to adapt to this change.
Limited Availability: Finding an elongated pickleball paddle that suits your preferences and requirements may be more difficult than standard-sized paddles because they are less commonly available.
Advantages and Drawbacks of Standard-Sized Pickleball Paddles
Standard-sized pickleball paddles have both advantages and drawbacks. Let’s explore them:
Control: Standard-sized paddles offer better control over the ball. They provide a larger sweet spot, which makes it easier to hit shots accurately and place them where intended.
Maneuverability: Compared to larger paddles, standard-sized paddles are lighter and more maneuverable. This allows players to react quickly, make fast shots, and adjust their paddle position effectively.
Quickness At The Net: Standard-sized paddles are popular among players who prefer a faster game at the net. Their smaller size allows for quicker reactions and faster reflexes, which can be advantageous during fast-paced exchanges at the kitchen line.
Precision Shots: Due to their smaller surface area, standard-sized paddles excel in making precise shots, especially dinks and drops. Players can place the ball accurately and control the pace of the game effectively.
Power Potential: Standard-sized paddles generally have less power potential than larger ones. The smaller hitting surface may limit the ability to generate as much power on shots, making it harder to hit powerful drives and smashes.
Less Forgiveness: Standard-sized paddles have a smaller sweet spot, which means that off-center hits are less forgiving and more likely to result in errors. To consistently hit the ball accurately and avoid mishits, players must possess good technique and timing.
Reduced Reach: Standard-sized paddles offer a smaller reach compared to elongated or elongated-shaped paddles. This may make it slightly harder to reach balls that are farther away from the player.
Surface Area: The smaller surface area of standard-sized paddles may result in a slightly smaller sweet spot. This can make it more challenging to return hard shots with precision and consistency.
How to Choose Between Elongated and Standard-Sized Pickleball Paddles?
When deciding between elongated and standard-sized pickleball paddles, it is important to consider several factors to make an informed choice. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
Playing Style: Elongated paddles typically offer more reach and a larger sweet spot, making them advantageous for players who prefer a power-oriented game or those who play from the baseline. An elongated paddle may be suitable if you rely on strong serves, volleys, and groundstrokes.
Control vs. Power: Standard-sized paddles are generally more maneuverable and offer better control. They are favored by players who prioritize shot placement, finesse, and accuracy over sheer power. A standard-sized paddle might be the better choice if you prefer a finesse-oriented game.
Sweet Spot: Elongated paddles tend to have a larger sweet spot due to their extended length. This means you have a larger area on the paddle where you can hit the ball effectively. If you’re still working on your shot accuracy or looking for forgiveness on off-center hits, an elongated paddle could be beneficial.
Weight And Balance: Think about how the paddle’s balance and weight distribution align with your preferences. Elongated paddles are generally heavier towards the head, while standard-sized paddles have a more balanced weight distribution. Test different paddles to see which balance feels more comfortable and suits your playing style.
Trial and Error: Ultimately, the best way to determine which paddle size is right for you is to try them out. Borrow paddles from friends, join local pickleball groups, or visit sporting goods stores that allow you to demo paddles. By testing out various paddle sizes, you can gain firsthand experience and make a well-informed decision based on your preferences and playing style.
Frequently Asked Questions
Elongated paddles generally offer a larger sweet spot, more reach, and additional power due to their extended length. They are suitable for players who prioritize power and prefer a baseline-oriented game.
Yes, elongated paddles typically offer more power due to their longer length and larger sweet spot. They allow for more leverage and a greater swing arc, resulting in increased power potential.
Yes, standard-sized paddles are generally easier to handle and maneuver due to their shorter length and balanced weight distribution. They allow for quicker reactions and better control during fast-paced rallies.
As a beginner, a standard-sized paddle is often recommended. It provides better control and allows you to focus on developing your technique and shot placement. Once you gain more experience and determine your playing style, you can explore elongated paddles if desired.
Yes, you can switch between paddle types based on your preferences and the specific demands of your game. Some players use both types and alternate between them depending on the opponents, court conditions, and their desired style of play.
When it comes to elongated and standard-sized pickleball paddles, there is no definitive “better” option. These pickleball paddles have pros and cons, catering to different playing styles and preferences. Elongated and standard-sized pickleball paddles are different from each other in terms of shape & dimensions, playing surface, weight & maneuverability, and playing style of players.
If you want to choose between elongated and standard-sized pickleball paddles, consider factors like playing style, sweet spot, weight & balance, etc. We hope you have understood about Elongated Vs. Standard-Sized Pickleball Paddles with some pros and cons of Elongated and standard-sized pickleball paddles, and you will definitely choose the suitable paddle for you from these two pickleball paddles.