Do Pickleball Paddles Have Holes?

There are so many variations of racquet and paddle sports these days it is easy to be left wondering what piece of equipment is needed for which sport. Pickleball is unique, though, in that it is a hybrid, made up of aspects of other sports such as badminton, tennis, and table tennis. However, we are looking to address whether pickleball paddles have holes.

Although you may have seen paddles that look similar to pickleball paddles, you will find that pickleball paddles have an entirely solid surface. The surface is also smooth, unlike in games such as paddle tennis. Also, they contain either a graphite, composite, or wood core.

The reason you are wondering about this is likely that you have seen a similar sport such as paddle tennis being played and wondered if these are not the same used to play pickleball. And your hunch would not be entirely wrong as they have similar designs and are made of similar materials. However, we shall now delve deeper into the nature of pickleball and its paddles, so be sure to read on.

The Breakdown Of Pickleball Paddles

For example, in a sport like tennis, the racquets are made with a solid frame, encompassing taut strings that crisscross and overlap. This is very different for pickleball as the materials, and general structure of the paddle is entirely different. It is also very different from platform/paddle tennis, where the surface of the paddle can be textured to allow for an increase in spin.

The face of a pickleball paddle will be entirely smooth, and unlike in some other racquet or paddles sports, there are no rules against the color of the paddle. The materials used are also somewhat different from other sports. The pickleball paddle is known for its honeycomb interior while having either graphite or composite faces; composite usually refers to carbon fiber or fiberglass.

There is also a distinction in the overall shape of the pickleball paddle, and therefore you will need one when playing pickleball. Pickleball paddles were at first made of wood, but are now made from aluminum, graphite, and other materials. These are smaller than tennis racquets but larger than table tennis paddles. Often times there is confusion between them and paddle tennis paddles.

The pickleball paddle resembles a large table tennis paddle flattened out at the top and bottom. If you look at something like platform paddles, these are rounder on the “edges” and have holes in them, which is to aid in the reduction of wind resistance. Pickleball paddles are also limited to size in that their length cannot exceed 17 inches (43 centimeters).

What Type Of Pickleball Paddle Is Best For You?

A pickleball paddle sits comfortably in size between that of a table tennis paddle and a tennis racquet. There is a range of core materials that the paddles are made from, which we shall get to now. The main elements are typically wood, fiberglass (or composite), and graphite. The material used will be a variable for pricing and performance.

  • Wooden paddles are usually the cheapest option by far, and they are more traditional in a sense. They are heavier than the other types of paddles and are therefore not recommended for people with preexisting injuries or who are entirely new to the sport. However, they are more durable than their counterparts. 
  • Composite paddles or fiberglass ones are a nice mid-ground between the cheap and yet rather bulky wooden ones; however, you can typically pick them up for far less than a graphite paddle. Their cores are usually polymer or aluminum, and their faces are formed from fiberglass or carbon fiber.
  • Graphite paddles will usually fetch the highest price out of the three; however, they offer greater ease of use than the other two. The only downside here is that unlike, especially the wooden types, there is less weight and, resultantly, drive behind your shots.

Which Pickleball Paddles Have The Longest Expected Lifespan?

Although you are unlikely to see the professional, or even seasoned players using wooden paddles, they are the ones which will offer the most extended lifespan. This is due to their overall durability and being made from a much more robust material. So if you want something that will give you the most bang for your buck, then this is the option to go with.

The top-of-the-line composite and graphite paddles which professional players use daily are likely to only last for approximately one year before they need to be replaced. If you only play recreationally, once every now and then, you will find this time frame to be extended.

It comes down to how often you use the racquet in question and how well you look after it. Some of the onus is on you and how you care for your racquet. Be sure to not hit it against anything other than the ball. Clean off any sweat and residue after playing and store it in a cool and dry environment.

What Type Of Balls Are Used In Pickleball?

Pickleball uses a plastic, perforated ball that resembles that used in Wiffle ball, but these two must not be confused for one another. Both balls are lightweight; however, not so much that they cannot fly in a straight trajectory. This is even the case when there is a slight breeze or light wind, as the perforation allows for smooth sailings.

One thing you will learn if you are new to pickleball is that there is a distinct difference between indoor and outdoor balls. The latter has far more holes in them, and they are also harder than their indoor counterparts. Both forms of these balls need to be able to bounce, just like those in tennis or table tennis, and here is where the hard and durable composition comes into play.

The plastic used for each kind of ball is made to withstand as much abuse as possible, however, after time, the outdoor balls are prone to cracking, and the indoor balls tend to become softer. In these instances, the balls need to be taken out of play, and new balls must be introduced to the game.

Mainly it will depend on how frequently you play and how hard you are hitting the balls; some people will find that their balls will last them quite some time, while others will need to put a new ball into play almost every other game.


So as you can see, there is a distinction between pickleball paddles and those used in other paddle and racquet sports. They do not have holes in them as you would see in platform tennis, and their surfaces are also much smoother than such paddles. We certainly hope you found this post insightful and that you can now step onto the court confidently knowing what type of racquet to use.


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