It is not too crucial to try and find the best pickleball paddle for small hands since they don’t vary in size by too much, and it depends on the size of your hands. Finding the best pickleball paddle for small hands will not be a problem; choosing the right paddle weight, core, and face material might be more of a challenge. But let’s see what the best paddle would be for players with small hands.
The best pickleball paddles for small hands are considered to have a grip size of between 3 7/8 inches (the smallest) and 4 1/8 inches. The most popular paddles for small hands all have a grip size within the 4-inch range. Paddles with small grips are available in both lightweight and heavyweight.
With so many pickleball paddles available, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Every paddle has unique features to bring to the court; it is choosing the right one that is the pickle (pun intended) and challenge. Core material, face surface, weight, and grip all play an essential role. We will focus on paddles that are light-, mid-, and heavyweight and have a grip circumference of about 4 inches.
The Smallest Grip Size Pickleball Paddles For Small Hands
Paddles with a small grip size are best for small hands. We should also take note that the heavier the paddle is, the less grip control you will have in general. Extra weight could help your game, but you will have trouble playing if it is too heavy for you to control. The grip size, surface size, and weight are important when you choose the paddle best suited to you.
Best Paddles For Beginners With Small Hands
A paddle with a more extensive surface area will be better for beginner players. It is easier to play with, especially in the beginning when you do not have the best control over your paddle, and you’re still getting used to the grip size of the paddle.
In general, it is best to choose a paddle that you can control comfortably to give you the control that you need to get used to the game and to build confidence over time. The paddle should also be strong enough to endure the gameplay, which can get intense and fast-paced.
Here is an overview of how to determine what pickleball paddle is best for children or adults with small hands.
In the beginning, the best pickleball paddle for a child will be a lightweight paddle with a bigger surface area and a smaller grip size. As the child grows up and progresses in pickleball, you may decide to purchase another paddle that’s more suited for bigger hands. If you find that the grip size of 4 or 4 1/8 inches is too small, the grip can be wrapped with an overgrip to increase the size.
If you find that the paddle is getting too light since the child gained experience and got used to the paddle, you can add weight to the paddle using lead tape. You can add as much weight as you want; there is no restriction on how much weight can be added to a pickleball paddle.
While you are still a beginner pickleball player, purchasing a lightweight paddle with a bigger surface area and a smaller grip size is best. The recommended grip size of the paddle can be anything from 3 7/8 inches to 4 1/8 inches. The most popular grip size for smaller paddles is 4 inches.
As with children’s paddles, if you find the grip size too small, you can add an overgrip to the paddle’s grip. And if you want to add weight to your paddle, this can also quickly be done by adding lead tape to specific areas on the edge of the paddle. There is no restriction on how much a paddle may weigh.
The higher range of the small grip size paddles on the market is best for men with smaller hands. Depending on your wrists’ strength, you may choose to go for a mediumweight or heavyweight paddle if the lightweight paddle is too light for your grip.
How To Choose The Best Grip Size
When you’re choosing a pickleball paddle grip, it is essential to note that you can choose between two options. If you aren’t sure which grip size to choose, go for grips that are a bit smaller since it is always possible to increase grip size with an overgrip, but not at all easy to decrease grip size if it’s too large.
Another crucial note is not to use a paddle grip that is significantly too small for your hand. This causes you to increase the force you use to squeeze the handle, which can adversely affect your hand, elbow, and forearm, and could ultimately lead to injury.
Just as there are risks with using a grip size that is too small, there are also risks with grip sizes that are too big. A larger grip restricts your wrist movement. You will have less control over the paddle, and it will require more strength for you to try and keep the paddle firmly gripped.
Luckily, you can use two methods to measure the best grip size for your hand. You can measure this through the index finger test or by using a ruler. However, you need to have a pickleball paddle on hand for the index finger test.
Index Finger Test
Hold the paddle in your dominant hand, gripping it with an Eastern Grip. Now use the index finger of your other hand to slide it in between your ring finger and palm. You will know if it’s the right size when your index finger fits snugly in the gap.
If the gap is too tight to fit your index finger into it, then the grip size is too small. If there is still a gap between your index finger and your ring finger, then you know that the grip is too big. It is advisable to do the test more than once for each paddle just to make sure that all tests give you the same results.
What Is The Eastern Forehand Grip?
The Eastern Grip is a tennis grip where the index finger and heel pad rest on the 3rd bevel so that your palm will be placed on the same bevel as the string face or the face of the pickleball paddle.
Place a ruler on the palm of your dominant hand while your hand is open, with all your fingers fully extended and snug against one another. Do not have your thumb next to your palm; have it extended to the outside as well. Align the ruler parallel with your ring finger (third finger), with the ruler beginning at the bottom of your palm’s second crease (or middle crease).
You can determine your paddle grip size by measuring the length between the tip of your ring finger and the bottom lateral palm crease.
Lightweight Pickleball Paddles
There are lightweight paddles available for juniors just starting out with pickleball that will fit perfectly in their tiny hands. There is a wide variety of lightweight paddles to choose from that will work perfectly with small hands, whether you are a beginner or playing in leagues and tournaments.
If you are choosing a pickleball paddle to play professionally, it is essential to note that you must select a paddle that is USAPA approved.
Oneshot Pickleball Paddle – Junior Shot Series
This paddle is in a league of its own. It is made explicitly for young pickleball players. It is designed with the smallest of hands in mind, and players consider these paddles to be the best lightweight paddle available. They are sold in two different age categories: under eight years and under 12 years.
You can know for sure that these paddles will not frustrate young players by being too heavy for their small grips. It will be much easier to wield and control. You will also have an option to choose between paddles designed for kids or toddlers.
The Toddler Version
This paddle’s average weight is 5.3 ounces with a 3 ½ inch grip size. The paddle also comes in two basic designs that you can choose from, namely dinosaurs and sea creatures.
The Kids Version
This paddle’s average weight is around 6 ounces with a 4-inch grip size. This paddle is also available with the same two designs as the toddlers’ paddles, namely dinosaurs and sea creatures.
Lightweight Pickleball Paddles For Beginners
Selkirk Sport Amped Epic Lightweight Pickleball Paddle
This paddle offers you power, control, and improved performance. The Amped paddle comes with a grip size of 4.25 inches, so it is a bit bigger than the most preferred small grip size of 4 inches.
The paddle’s core is made from a cutting edge poly, called polypropylene X5 polymer, which makes it weigh much less than other polymer paddles. This means the paddle is lighter but does not sacrifice any power. It also comes with torque suppression in the paddle, which will dampen vibrations from shots, giving you much more control over your paddle.
Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddle
This paddle also features a lightweight design. It has a wide surface area, making it easier to control the ball. This paddle comes standard with a 6-inch long handle and can be ordered in either a small or medium-sized circumference. So for smaller hands, you can go for the smaller size.
Gamma Needle Pickleball Paddle
This paddle features an elongated surface which is perfect for reaching across the court while still offering good balance throughout the paddle. The surface material consists of textured graphite that enhances the ball’s bounce and makes it fast and responsive.
The grip size on this paddle is 4 1/8 inches, and it features the signature Gamma Honeycomb Cushion Grip. Gamma Grip is also the official grip used for the Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championship.
Midweight Pickleball Paddles
Kanga Wood Pickleball Paddle
This paddle is excellent for beginners with a grip size in the midweight paddle range. It features a grip circumference of 4 ¼ inches. The paddle is manufactured by Pickleball Central and priced right for the beginner pickleball player just looking for recreational fun, not to make it to the leagues. This paddle is designed and priced especially for institutions like schools and the YMCA.
Gamma Sports 2.0 Pickleball Paddle
This paddle is excellent for players that are beginners in pickleball, but you will still be able to play with it even if you are more experienced. It is a heavier midweight paddle, weighing in at 8 ounces. The grip size is 4 inches, perfect for adults with small hands.
The paddle’s face material is made of textured fiberglass and is perfect for power and stability. The core material is Aramid Honeycomb which provides a blend of power and control for both beginners and experienced players. The Gamma Sports 2.0 Pickleball Paddle is fully compliant, and USAPA approved.
Paddletek Bantam EX-L Pickleball Paddle
This paddle is probably the paddle to choose if you are looking for a midweight paddle with a grip size of 4 ¼ inches. All Paddletek paddles come with Ultra Cushion High Tack Performance Grips. This is the official paddle of the Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championship.
It features a Bantam Polycore interior material, which makes it perfect for responsive returns. Time and time again, it will deliver the power and performance you need when playing competitively in leagues or tournaments.
Rally Graphite Power 5.0
This paddle has a hybrid graphite and polymer face. The face and core of the paddle are molecularly bonded, giving the paddle extra strength. It is also manufactured to be one of the smoothest and quietest paddles out there. This paddle is also USAPA approved, which is excellent if you are going to play professionally.
This paddle offers you a few grip options, including the smaller grip of 4 inches, which we have seen is the most common size for small hands, and the standard grip size of 4.25 inches, which you shouldn’t consider if you have small hands.
Heavyweight Pickleball Paddles
Onix React Pickleball Paddle
This paddle features a 4 ¼ inch grip circumference, which is perfect for smaller hands. The paddle’s weight is about 7.9 to 8.3 ounces which places it between the midweight and heavyweight paddles.
The core of this paddle consists of polypropylene and Nomex, which gives the paddle extra power control. The surface material consists of graphite, giving the paddle power, stability, and balance.
Prince Response Graphite Pickleball Paddle
This paddle has a longer handle length of 5 ½ inches and a 4-inch circumference which is ideal for smaller hands. The paddle’s weight ranges from 7.6 to 8.0 ounces, making it a midweight to heavyweight paddle. The paddle is designed to reduce vibrations from the ball and cause less torsion on shots near the paddle’s edge while still maintaining power and stability.
We have seen that the grip size is essential when choosing a pickleball paddle for small hands. Still, we also determined that it is equally important to have the right paddle weight to reduce injuries in the wrist or fatigue from playing with the wrong grip or weight. People with small hands tend to have smaller arms as well, and a balance between size and weight is crucial for a fun time.