a hand holding a pickleball paddle

​Why Are Pickleball Paddles So Expensive? Is Pickleball An Expensive Game?

Although pickleball paddles are much smaller than other sports equipment, such as tennis racquets, they can cost as much as $200. But what makes them so pricey compared to other pieces of equipment?

So here, we discuss why pickleball paddles are so expensive and if pickleball is an expensive game. Let’s begin.

Why Are Pickleball Paddles So Expensive?

Pickleball paddles are expensive mainly due to the use of high-quality, pricey material, newer technologies, and higher prices charged by renowned brands. 

Let’s look at these factors in detail.

1. High-Quality, Expensive Material

You can easily get a decent wooden paddle for under $25 because wood is cheaper. But the use of carbon fiber or fiberglass material significantly increases the cost. For graphite paddles, you’d usually have to pay $80+ while fiberglass paddles cost around $50.

Carbon Fiber is one of the most expensive materials, which is used in space crafts and the automobile industry. But since it’s lighter, durable, and strong, it’s used for making pickleball paddles as well. Similarly, fiberglass though cheaper than carbon fiber is still considered an expensive material in different industries.

2. New Technology 

Pickleball is a relatively new game. This means that the equipment used in pickleball is rapidly evolving. The manufacturers and brands are investing money in research, designs, and experimentation to come up with new technologies. 

A good example of this is the Selkirk Vanguard Power paddle. It uses Quadracarbon+, X6 poly core, Edgesentry edge guard, and Vanguard Neo Grip technologies. As a result, it’s one of the most expensive paddles, costing over $150. 

Since the brands invest in the new technologies, they charge high for them. But these latest technologies can greatly improve your play and provide comfort to your arms. So if you’ve money to spend, it’s worth going for a paddle that uses the latest designs or materials.

3. Brand 

As in every industry, renowned brands charge high because of the trust they offer. Similarly, there are famous pickleball paddles brands like Gamma, Onix, Selkirk, and Paddletek.

Though the brands offer better support, higher quality, and most importantly trust, you can still get a similar quality paddle for cheaper from a lesser-known manufacturer.

If you are not a fan of buying from brands, you can get your hands on decent, inexpensive paddles made by not-so-well-known manufacturers. But if you need peace of mind, it’s better to spend a few extra dollars and purchase from a reputable brand.

Is It Expensive to Play Pickleball? 

No, pickleball is one of the most affordable games you can play. All you need is a decent quality paddle (which you can get for $50) and shoes. If you already own tennis or gym shoes, they will suffice, at least in the beginning. 

Even if you purchase shoes, they’ll cost around $80. Both these things are one-time investments. A pickleball paddle usually lasts two years or more, while the shoes should last one year.

Compare the cost of playing pickleball to other sports, and you’ll realize that it is one of the most affordable and healthy activities for your leisure time.

Do You Necessarily Need Expensive Pickleball Paddles? 

No, if you’re playing for recreation, an affordable paddle will suffice. But competitive players should go for high-end paddles. 

How Much Should You Spend on a Pickleball Paddle?

It depends on your purpose and budget. We’d recommend you to at least spend $50+ on paddles, even if you’re playing it as a hobby. Professional players should not skimp on paddles as it greatly affects your game.

The Bottom Line

To sum up, pickleball paddles might seem expensive to you, considering their small size. However, the high-end materials, latest technologies, and branded models make it expensive.

Still, pickleball is one of the most economical sports and leisure activities. If you even have less than $100 to spare, you can’t get started with playing pickleball.

If you’re short on budget, you can choose these top pickleball paddles for under $75.

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