A Composite Pickleball Paddle primarily consists of a fiberglass or graphite hitting surface and a composite (Nomex), Aluminum or Polymer core. The fiberglass hitting surface is said to offer excellent ball control and for many provide the perfect balance of power and control.
The Graphite hitting surface is said to provide soft-control and feel while retaining ultra-power.
Where once the standard was wooden paddles, like tennis racquets and the development in sporting goods in general, new technology and terminology has entered the market the new term is Composite.
Other buzz words used with composite paddles are next generation or aviation technology or honeycomb design or space-age or aerospace technology or dual-core or spintac surface or spin master and any number of other descriptive words and ‘slogan’ market driven terms.
Nomex or ‘nomex core’ simply means that the inner layer of a pickleball paddle is made of a cardboard type material that has been dipped in resin. The resin serves to harden the cardboard to create an extremely durable material which is usually manufactured in a honey comb design which offers the built in advantage of low weight, combined with great structural strength.
This honeycomb nomax core is then sandwiched between the two outer faces of the pickleball paddle with one of two common materials used being fiberglass or graphite.
Nomex cores where one of the first of the new generation cores that superseded wooden paddles and have maintained a good reputation and are well-liked, making them a favorite among countless players. They are said to be the loudest of the cores used and being very hard, the ball ‘POPS” off the surface when hit.
Aluminum cores used in pickleball paddles stems from the aircraft and aerospace industry and are said to provide the Best ‘touch’ because the aluminum is softer than nomex. Being softer they are a little quieter also. Again, honey comb in design to provide maximum strength and light weight to maintain maneuverability.
Polymer cores are as the name might suggest are made of plastic and are the latest inclusion to the lineup of materials used in a composite pickleball paddle.
They are the softest of the core materials used and therefore are quieter than both Nomex and aluminum. Users report that these paddles give you an immense amount of control over shot placement because of the softness of the polymer.
Any Composite Pickleball Paddle you buy will have built in or add-on edge guards to protect the 3 layers on the edge of the paddle which will either be a durable add-on neoprene edge guard or a putty filled edge. Pickleball paddle guard.
When it comes to the choice of top and bottom or outer layers of the composite paddle, there are slight differences between the main two materials used being fiberglass and graphite.
Fiberglass paddles often weigh a little more that graphite paddles. Some players like the added weight as they feel they can generate more power while others like the lighter weight of the graphite because they feel it gives them more control or finesse.
Both graphite and fiberglass paddles are lightweight and strong so durability is not an issue and in the end, or at the end of the day – (pick your metaphor) - paddle choice and the composite make up it is made of is a player choice.
So no more confusion when it comes to a Composite Pickleball Paddle. You now know that it is simply a construction design of a paddle. It is a combination of 3 elements, a face, a middle and a back or two outer surfaces generally either fiberglass of graphite and one inner core and the inner core is typically Nomex, Aluminum or Polymer.
So what about Graphite paddles?
Are Graphite Pickleball Paddles the best you can buy and what classifies as a graphite paddle? Are all graphite paddles the same and what are the performance characteristics of a graphite skin? Learn more about Graphite Pickleball Paddles – The Run Down of What Graphite Means
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