Why Are Pickleball Paddles So Expensive?
You have heard that Pickleball is becoming extremely popular and want to try it. After a few inquiries, you realize that nothing comes cheap, and you are suddenly asking yourself why pickleball paddles are so expensive.
Pickleball paddles are expensive because of the limited number of suppliers for this relatively new sport. The use of expensive materials like graphite, as well as research to develop improved products and branding, are all elements that affect the cost of pickleball paddles.
Aside from the fact that it is a relatively new sport, how popular is the sport, and what is the likelihood that Pickleball paddles may become cheaper? Are there other factors that may contribute to the fact that Pickleball paddles may seem expensive?
What Makes A Pickleball Paddle So Expensive?
Pickleball has only been around for about half of a century but is fast becoming a trendy sport. As the sport grows, the paddles’ quality and material are also evolving. While wooden paddles may be a cheap option, other paddles are made of carbon fiber and fiberglass, which makes the production of paddles more expensive.
Like in every other industry, branding plays a significant role, and manufacturers will increase the prices if their brand is well-known, reputable, and trusted by the general consumer. If the paddles are made from high-quality material and use newer technology, there is no doubt that the prices will escalate accordingly.
As Pickleball is developing as a sport, technology and research become essential for developing more efficient and improved paddles. Manufacturers continuously research and experiment with designs and materials to improve the paddle’s structure and durability. This process is what makes manufacturing higher-quality paddles more expensive.
Are All Pickleball Paddles Expensive?
There are various kinds of Pickleball paddles available on the market, and some paddles are more expensive than others. Prices range from $50 to R250, depending on the quality and materials used. Manufacturers with trusted brand names will charge for their products, but lesser-known manufacturers can provide cheaper options with similar quality.
There are three different options of materials used in the production of paddles. These options are wooden, graphite and composite.
The difference between the three is explained below.
- Wooden – this is the cheapest paddle, but it is the heaviest.
- Graphite – This lightweight paddle made with carbon fiber is the most expensive.
- Composite – this is a paddle in between wooden and graphite. It is not as heavy as wooden and not as expensive as graphite. It is manufactured with fiberglass.
What Else Can Influence The Cost Of A Pickleball Paddle?
Five elements may influence the pricing of a paddle, and these elements are the weight, the grip, the core, the shape, and the face of the paddle. Let’s explore these elements and how they may influence pricing.
The weight range of paddles varies between 7oz to 8.50oz. A heavier-weighted paddle is generally less expensive because lightweight paddles are manufactured with higher-quality material. A medium-weight paddle is usually suitable for a beginner. After some experience, a lighter or heavier-weight paddle might be considered, depending on what kind of style you prefer to play. Lightweight paddles provide maneuverability, while heavyweight paddles provide power.
Each make of paddle has its own set of grip sizes, and it does not influence the price of the paddle. The paddle type and the paddle’s brand affect the pricing. A high-quality grip uses shock and vibrational absorbers to minimize shock ripples running to your elbows. A high-quality material paddle is more expensive irrespective of the grip size.
A pickleball paddle composes of three layers. The center is the paddle’s core, and the others are the faces or hitting surfaces. The core is made of Aluminum, Nomex, and Polymer. The hitting surfaces are made of graphite or composite material. The material quality determines paddle prices and whether paddles are manufactured with carbon fiber or fiberglass.
Paddles come in various shapes and sizes regulated by pickleball rules. The shape affects power, maneuverability, and the size of the sweet spot but not necessarily the paddle prices. The shape and size of a paddle are determined by what compliments your playing style. Some marketers may use different shapes and sizes to increase pricing.
How Much Does A Pickleball Paddle Cost?
There are usually three categories of pickleball paddles available on the market. The cheapest is the wooden paddle, which can vary between $15 and $30. These paddles are more suitable for beginners or new players that cannot afford to pay for higher-quality material paddles. Wooden paddles are durable and ideal for players that like to play power shots.
Manufacturers introduced many more materials as the game evolved and developed, which gave the paddles more distinguishing characteristics. The graphite paddle uses the lightest material and is the most expensive. Costs vary between $70 and $200, sometimes even more. This lightweight paddle provides the player with more control and flexibility.
Fiberglass (or composite) paddles are manufactured with different high-quality materials, which is why they are called composite. These paddles are heavier than graphite, allowing players to play with more power, and are suitable for hitting serves and passings shots. The costs can vary between $40 and $100, which makes them cheaper than graphite paddles.
Do Branding And Technology Affect Pickleball Paddles Prices?
There is no doubt that branding affects prices in any industry. Various brands of pickleball paddles are in the market with varying prices, even though many brands use the same materials. The reasons for these variations are that some companies spend a lot of money and effort researching and experimenting to improve their products.
As the game’s popularity grows, the demands and needs for the game change constantly, and manufacturing companies rely on modern technology to improve the quality of paddles. The process requires time, money, and effort, which causes prices to escalate. Marketers know that consumers will pay for a well-known and trusty brand.
Although pickleball is becoming a trendy sport, it is still relatively new. Purchasing pickleball equipment remains limited, and manufacturing companies take advantage by charging for their products. Over time, as popularity grows, more companies will compete, and the prices of pickleball paddles will become less expensive.
If you want to play pickleball, there are many budget-friendly options available, and you will discover that cheaper is not always bad. The leading cause for expensive paddles is the different quality and materials used to produce the paddles. There is no doubt that you will pay more for a higher-quality paddle. However, compared to other ball sports, the prices of paddles are not so expensive.