How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle for Children

When Joel Pritchard and his friends Bill Bell and Barney McCallum created pickleball in 1965, they did so to keep the children entertained during a friends and family vacation. Pickleball has always been a child’s game, yet it’s entertaining enough for adults to play. If you’ve been an avid pickler for a while, and your children have begun catching on and asked to play, you can’t hand them one of your paddles and request they serve first. They need a kids pickleball paddle. You can find yourself scratching your head as you begin shopping, wondering which paddle to choose if you’ve only ever dealt with adult pickleball paddles until now. The guidance ahead will help you select an option so your kids can experience the fun of pickleball with you.

Considerations for Children’s Pickleball Paddles

There are so many pickleball paddles, so little time. You can easily feel overwhelmed as you explore the world of junior paddles. Narrowing your choices comes down to a handful of factors that will make a world of difference in helping your children acclimate to the game. Below are the can’t-miss factors to prioritize:


Young children cannot play with adult-sized pickleball paddles. Perhaps with enough time and practice, they’d be learning the game on ultra-hard mode, which would reduce their fun. Children should play with a junior-sized paddle designed for smaller hands and shorter arms. Teenagers can use an adult paddle, as a junior paddle will be too small for them. They might also feel insulted and embarrassed if you handed them a miniature junior paddle and asked them to play pickleball!


The same three weight classes available in adult pickleball paddles are also present in children’s paddles. They are lightweight, middle-weight, and heavyweight.You shouldn’t have much need to buy a heavyweight child’s paddle, especially for beginners. These paddles are too heavy. A kid could grow into this as they gain pickleball experience, but that’s for later.A child eight or under shouldn’t play with a paddle exceeding six ounces. Kids eight to 12 years old can use a moderately heavier paddle that doesn’t weigh more than seven ounces. At this weight, a child should feel comfortable and confident batting the paddle around. They should also feel like they’re in control. Although your child won’t be capable of generating tremendous power out of a light or mid-weight pickleball paddle, they will feel flexible enough to learn the precision mechanics of the game.


One of the most important parts of the pickleball paddle is its face, or the flat part of the paddle players use to hit the ball. Many face materials are available, from carbon polymer to wood and graphite. Each material contributes to the look and cost of the paddle, both factors to weigh carefully before completing a purchase. The face material also impacts performance, as heavier materials can make even a lightweight paddle feel weighed down and difficult to play with.

Other performance elements are enhanced and reduced depending on which paddle material you purchase. For example, fiberglass pickleball paddles don’t have a large sweet spot. This means your child will have to become an expert at where on the paddle to hit the ball. For that sacrifice, they’ll be rewarded with a paddle that boasts a lot of power. Its rate of energy return is also exceptional.

Another youth paddle material to ponder is carbon fiber. The degree of precision and control you can enjoy with this paddle makes it a strong contender for a child’s first pickleball paddle. However, consider that power is lacking with carbon fiber.

Graphite paddles are the best of both worlds. They offer a larger sweet spot than fiberglass paddles, ideal for helping kids adjust and attune themselves to the game. Their power isn’t as much as in a fiberglass paddle, but it’s more than a carbon fiber paddle. Better yet, the power is consistent, so a child can learn how to work with the extra oomph.


Inside the paddle face is a core, the central material. Core materials run the gamut from aluminum to polypropylene. The latter is ideal for children, especially a honeycomb core. The core of a paddle has a honeycomb-like structure. Parts of the cells are left intentionally empty to keep the paddle lightweight yet strong.


The grip size is another major consideration when shopping for a child’s pickleball paddle. This is another way to refer to the circumference of the paddle. The grip size of a kid’s paddle must be significantly lower than the one you own. A grip size of no more than four inches is appropriate. For younger kids, a 3.5-inch grip size is fine.


This is the factor you’ll care about most as a parent. The good news is that since it’s smaller overall, a child’s pickleball paddle won’t cost as much as the full-sized adult version. However, factors such as material, brand, size, and weight do play their part.

A child’s paddle probably won’t last as long because kids are generally harder on all their items. That said, now is a good time to teach your child the value of respecting their belongings.


Here’s the most fun part for kids: choosing what their pickleball paddle will look like! Unlike adult paddles, which are more straightforward with their designs by comparison, a child’s paddle has brighter colors, more vivid patterns, and fun designs sure to spark their imagination. The right paddle style can get your child excited about playing pickleball. Seeing their paddle could enthuse them enough to start practicing, even when they’d rather sit inside and play video games. Encourage your child to express themselves with their choice of paddle, picking a design that’s meaningful to them. Perhaps they even get a custom paddle that perfectly reflects their tastes and personality.

Pickleball paddles for children require a different degree of care and consideration when shopping compared to buying an adult paddle. You must keep the size and weight reasonable for your child to confidently master the game of pickleball. The face option is one of the biggest considerations regarding what will affect performance. The kids will be obsessed with selecting the coolest design, so they’re the talk of the pickleball court! To learn more, visit Salted City Sports!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed