"What makes these paddles so quiet?"
As pickleball continues its rapid expansion across the United States, the demand for courts is at an all-time high. And while communities rush to construct them in an attempt to meet that demand, courts are opening closer and closer to residential areas where the neighbors don't always appreciate the noise. Manufacturers and enthusiasts have taken note that certain communities near public courts aren't too pleased with the "pickleball pop" and have worked to create equipment that dulls or mutes the impact of ball against paddle. We've selected a group of paddles here which meet specific materials and manufacturing guidelines to produce a quieter sound.
You might be wondering, "What makes a pickleball paddle quiet?"
Below are the shared characteristics of the best quiet pickleball paddles and where to find them:
- Core Material - a polypropylene honeycomb core is the key here. That's great, because most paddles use this material! Years ago paddle core materials were commonly Nomex or aluminum, which produced a much louder and higher-pitched "ping" sound, and have fallen out of favor for this and other reasons. That all began to change in 2013 when the legends at Paddletek introduced polypropylene to the pickleball market as a core material. Brand enthusiasm for this material has only grown since, and today very few paddles manufactured use anything other than some configuration of a polymer honeycomb core.
- Core Thickness - broadly speaking, thicker is quieter. Thicker cores almost always translate to greater control over your shots, too, which is an added bonus on your drops and dinks. When it comes time to drive a ground stroke, thicker-cored paddles tend to absorb more of the kinetic energy and result in a kind of low "thud" sound, rather than a high-pitched "pop." We recommend looking for paddles with at least a 16mm (0.63") thick core, and as always, we've made it easy for you to find them on our Thick Core Pickleball Paddles category page.
- Face Material - almost always, a paddle with a graphite or carbon fiber face is going to be the quieter choice. These materials allow a pickleball to sit just a split-second longer on the paddle's surface ("dwell time") before springing away. This maximized dwell time transfers more of the energy from the ball, into the paddle, which then dissipates across the face and reduces the audible noise of the strike. Again, PBC makes it easy for you to find our vast collection of paddles with these surfaces, just check out our comprehensive Graphite Face Paddles category page.
Explore our list of quiet pickleball paddles today. Remember, the only thing we want echoing around your court is the sound of you winning!