14mm vs 16mm Pickleball Paddle

14mm vs 16mm Pickleball Paddle

Are you finding it hard to decide between a 14mm and a 16mm pickleball paddle? You’re not alone! Many players, from beginners to pros, face this dilemma. This article will dive deep into the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of both paddle thicknesses, helping you make an informed decision. Whether you are looking for the best pickleball paddle for beginners or seeking advanced equipment, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!
14mm vs 16mm Pickleball Paddle

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a fast-growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It’s played with a paddle and a perforated plastic ball on a court similar to a badminton court. The game is easy to learn but can be highly competitive and physically demanding. Understanding the best pickleball equipment, including paddle thickness, can greatly enhance your game experience.

Understanding Paddle Thickness

Paddle thickness is one of the key factors that can affect your game. It generally ranges from 10mm to 20mm, with 14mm and 16mm being the most popular choices. But why does thickness matter? Let’s explore the benefits of different pickleball paddle thicknesses and how they impact your play.

Why Thickness Matters

Thickness influences the paddle’s performance in terms of power, control, and feel. A thinner paddle, like the 14mm, tends to be lighter and can offer more power, while a thicker paddle, like the 16mm, provides better control and a softer touch. When choosing the right pickleball paddle, considering these factors is crucial.

Overview of 14mm Pickleball Paddles

The 14mm paddle is known for its lightweight design and quick maneuverability. It’s favored by players who enjoy a fast-paced game and prefer a paddle that can deliver powerful shots with minimal effort. When searching for the best lightweight pickleball paddles, 14mm options often stand out.


  • More Power: The thinner design allows for more powerful hits, ideal for aggressive players
  • Lightweight and Quick: Easier to swing, which is perfect for rapid exchanges at the net.
  • Better Feedback: Provides a more direct feel of the ball, which can help improve shot accuracy.


  • Less Control: The thinner design can make it harder to control the ball, especially for beginners.
  • Less Shock Absorption: Offers less cushioning on impact, which might lead to more strain on the arm.
  • Smaller Sweet Spot: Requires more precision to hit the ball effectively.

Overview of 16mm Pickleball Paddles

The 16mm paddle is known for its superior control and comfort. It’s a favorite among players who value precision and a softer touch. These paddles tend to be slightly heavier but offer a more balanced feel. For those looking for the best control pickleball paddles, 16mm paddles are a great choice.


  • Better Control: The thicker design provides more stability and control, making it easier to place shots accurately.
  • More Shock Absorption: Reduces the impact on the arm, making it more comfortable to play for extended periods.
  • Larger Sweet Spot: Offers more forgiveness on off-center hits, making it easier for beginners to play.


  • Heavier: The extra thickness adds to the weight, which can slow down your swing
  • Less Power: The thicker core can absorb some of the energy, resulting in less powerful shots.
  • Less Feedback: The cushioned feel might not provide as much direct feedback, which some players prefer.

Comparative Analysis: 14mm vs 16mm

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s compare these two popular paddle thicknesses in more detail. Understanding the differences between 14mm and 16mm pickleball paddles can help you choose the best paddle for your playing style.

Weight and Maneuverability
The 14mm paddles are generally lighter and easier to maneuver, making them ideal for quick reactions and fast-paced play. In contrast, 16mm paddles, being thicker, tend to be heavier, which can affect your swing speed. However, the added weight can also contribute to more stable shots. When considering the best lightweight pickleball paddles, 14mm options often come out on top.
Power and Control
If you’re an aggressive player who loves to smash the ball, a 14mm paddle might be your best bet due to its power potential. On the other hand, if you prioritize placing the ball precisely and prefer a controlled game, a 16mm paddle will likely suit you better. The best pickleball paddles for power often fall within the 14mm range.
Durability and Longevity
Thicker paddles like the 16mm often have more durable cores, which can extend the paddle’s lifespan. They can also handle the wear and tear of frequent play better than thinner paddles. However, the quality of materials and construction also play a significant role in durability. When seeking durable pickleball paddles, 16mm options are frequently recommended.
Choosing the Right Paddle for You
Deciding between a 14mm and a 16mm paddle depends on various factors including your skill level, playing style, and personal preferences. Here are some key considerations to help you make the right choice. Whether you are looking for the best pickleball paddle for spin or the best pickleball paddle for beginners, understanding these factors is crucial.
Skill Level Considerations
Beginners might find the larger sweet spot and better control of a 16mm paddle more forgiving and easier to play with. Advanced players, however, might appreciate the power and responsiveness of a 14mm paddle. The best pickleball paddles for advanced players often feature a thinner design for enhanced performance.
Playing Style and Preferences
Think about how you play and what you value most in your game. Do you prefer power or control? Do you play a fast, aggressive game or a more measured, strategic one? Answering these questions can help you determine which paddle thickness is right for you. The best pickleball paddles for control are usually found in the 16mm category.

Top Recommendations for 14mm Paddles

  • Selkirk AMPED Epic Lightweight: Known for its power and speed, making it one of the best pickleball paddles for power
  • Paddletek Bantam EX-L: Offers a great balance of power and control, suitable for aggressive players.
  • ONIX Graphite Z5: Popular for its lightweight design and quick maneuverability.ONIX Graphite Z5: Popular for its lightweight design and quick maneuverability.
16mm vs 14mm pickleball paddle

Top Recommendations for 16mm Paddles

  • Engage Encore Pro: Renowned for its control and large sweet spot, making it one of the best control pickleball paddles.
  • Selkirk Prime S2: Offers superior control and comfort, ideal for strategic play.
  • ProLite Titan Pro Black Diamond Series: Known for its durability and balanced feel.
pickleball paddles 14mm vs 16mm


Which paddle is better for beginners, 14mm or 16mm?

For beginners, a 16mm paddle is often recommended due to its larger sweet spot and better control, making it easier to learn and play consistently. This makes it one of the best pickleball paddles for beginners.

Can a 14mm paddle improve my power shots?

Yes, 14mm paddles are generally lighter and stiffer, which can enhance your power shots by providing more direct energy transfer to the ball.

Do thicker paddles like the 16mm last longer?

Typically, thicker paddles can be more durable due to their robust core, which can handle frequent play and absorb impact better over time.

How do I choose between power and control in my paddle?

Consider your playing style: if you are aggressive and enjoy powerful shots, a 14mm paddle might be ideal. If you focus on precision and control, a 16mm paddle would be better.

pickleball paddle 14mm vs 16mm


Choosing between a 14mm and a 16mm pickleball paddle ultimately comes down to your personal playing style and preferences. Both have their unique advantages and potential drawbacks. If you favor power and speed, the 14mm paddle might be your go-to. However, if you prioritize control and comfort, the 16mm paddle could be a better fit. Consider your skill level, the way you play, and what aspects of performance matter most to you. With the right paddle in hand, you’ll be better equipped to elevate your game and enjoy every moment on the court.

READ ALSO: Graphite vs. Fiberglass pickleball paddles [8 main differences]

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