carbon fiber pickleball paddle

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Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddles: A Comprehensive Guide to Upgrading Your Game

6.5 min read

carbon fiber pickleball paddle

Tennis legend John McEnroe once said, “I’ll let the racket do the talking.” Although he was notorious for his confrontational demeanor and often in trouble with tennis authorities, he had the skills to back it up.  


The retired pro has told reporters he plays pickleball with friends and will soon be playing competitively.  John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, and Michael Change will compete for a one-million-dollar prize at the Inaugural Pickleball Slam on April 2 in Las Vegas. We don’t yet know what type of paddle he will use at the big event but it’s safe to assume he’ll have a carbon fiber pickleball paddle. 


Like McEnroe, you can let your pickleball paddle “do the talking.”  Light as a feather, strong as steel, a carbon fiber face pickleball paddle could be the secret to dominating the court. In this comprehensive guide we’ll cover everything you need to know about carbon fiber, graphite, and fiberglass paddles and explain how a carbon fiber pickleball paddle can upgrade your game!


What is a Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle?


A carbon fiber pickleball paddle is a high-performance paddle designed for playing pickleball. These paddles are made from a lightweight and durable material called carbon fiber, which is a composite material consisting of carbon fibers and a resin matrix. The carbon fibers are arranged in a specific pattern to optimize strength and stiffness.  Because of these unique characteristics, carbon fiber is also a popular choice for tennis rackets (read more on the difference between tennis and pickleball here).


Due to its stiffness and durability, carbon fiber provides a refined touch and feel on the court. For example, when a pickleball hits the paddle, the carbon fiber absorbs its energy and evenly distributes it across its face. This results in minimal deformation upon contact, translating to greater control and precision.


Carbon fiber is also highly durable and can withstand wear and tear without showing signs of damage. This means a carbon fiber face pickleball paddle can last for years, making it more cost-effective for serious players.


The primary advantage of a carbon fiber pickleball paddle is its lightweight construction. These paddles are much lighter than traditional paddles, and their reduced weight allows players to swing the paddle faster, translating to more power and speed. Additionally, a lighter paddle minimizes the strain on a player's arm and shoulder, making it a popular choice for players who suffer from tennis elbow or other arm injuries. 


Carbon fiber paddles also offer excellent control and precision. The stiffness of the carbon fiber means the paddle has a consistent response and provides excellent feedback to the player. This can help you fine-tune your shots and make subtle adjustments to your technique.



Carbon Fiber vs. Graphite Pickleball Paddles


There is a clear winner in the graphite vs. carbon fiber pickleball paddle battle, but the winning paddle may cost you a bit more.


According to the USA Pickleball Official Rulebook, paddle material shall be made of rigid, non-compressible material. Carbon fiber and graphite pickleball paddles both meet this criteria and are considered high-performance materials. While they share some similarities, there are some key differences.


The main difference between carbon fiber and graphite pickleball paddles is the fibers. Carbon fiber paddles are made by weaving carbon fibers together in a specific pattern that optimizes strength and stiffness while keeping the paddle lightweight. Graphite paddles, on the other hand, are made by weaving graphite fibers together in a slightly different pattern. Carbon fiber paddle’s reduced weight can translate to faster swings and more power.  The woven pattern also affects paddle stiffness. Carbon fiber is typically stiffer than graphite leading to better control and precision.

Carbon fiber is often considered a higher-quality material than graphite due to its increased strength which makes it more expensive than their graphite counterparts. In terms of durability, both carbon fiber and graphite are highly durable materials that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, carbon fiber is generally more durable than graphite.


For the best performance pickleball paddle, carbon fiber is the winner but due to the higher cost of the material, these retail higher.  As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.



Carbon Fiber vs. Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle


Fiberglass is another common pickleball paddle material with many great features. Although similar, the main difference between carbon fiber and fiberglass pickleball paddles is their stiffness and strength.

Carbon fiber is stiffer and more robust than fiberglass, making it a popular choice for players who prioritize control and precision. On the other hand, fiberglass is a more flexible material that can offer a softer touch and a more forgiving feel.


Once again, carbon fiber paddles are the lighter option, resulting in faster swings. That said, because fiberglass paddles are typically heavier, they can provide more stability and control. This can be an advantage depending on your playing style.  In terms of durability, both carbon fiber and fiberglass are highly durable materials that can withstand a lot of playing time.


Once again, carbon fiber paddles are also generally more expensive. Fiberglass paddles are a more affordable option, making them a good choice for beginners or players on a budget.

When choosing between a carbon fiber or fiberglass pickleball paddle, it’s all about personal preference and style. Carbon fiber paddles are ideal for players who want a stiff and precise paddle with excellent control, while fiberglass paddles are a good option for players who want that softer, forgiving touch.



Raw Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle


If you’ve read this far and have decided you want to use a carbon fiber pickleball paddle, that’s great, but there is a little more you’ll need to know before making that purchase. Not all carbon fiber pickleball paddles are equal and you’ll find different options available. 


One of these options is a raw carbon fiber pickleball paddle. This paddle is made entirely from carbon fiber material without additional layers or coatings. The term "raw" refers to the fact that the paddle is unfinished and lacks extra paint, resin, or protective layers typically added to carbon fiber paddles.


You’re probably asking yourself, “why would I want an unfinished paddle?”.  Well, it does has some advantages on the court.


Raw carbon fiber paddles are becoming increasingly popular among advanced players due to their lightweight, responsive feel and superior performance. In addition, because they are made entirely from carbon fiber material, they offer maximum stiffness and control, allowing players to make precise shots with greater accuracy and power.


However, raw carbon fiber paddles are also the most expensive, and require more careful handling and maintenance to avoid damage. They are also not as forgiving as other paddles, so they may not be the best choice for beginners or casual players.


T700S Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddles


T700S carbon fiber is another high-performance option for carbon fiber pickleball paddles.

T700S is a type of high-performance carbon fiber comprised of long, thin strands of carbon atoms woven to create a lightweight yet incredibly strong material.


T700S carbon fiber pickleball paddles have become increasingly popular because of their strong and stiff paddle face, resulting in better control and shot precision. These paddles are created by layering the carbon fiber sheets onto a mold, which is then shaped into the desired paddle shape. The carbon fiber is then infused with resin and cured to create a solid, lightweight paddle face.


The use of T700S carbon fiber in pickleball paddles allows for a paddle that is not only

robust and durable but also lightweight and easy to maneuver. The stiffness of the carbon fiber face also ensures that the paddle provides excellent control and accuracy, which is particularly important for players who want the best possible performance from their equipment.


This high-performance material has revolutionized the world of pickleball paddles. Its use in paddle construction has allowed for a new generation of paddles that are both incredibly strong and lightweight, providing players with the perfect combination of power, control, and maneuverability.



The Best Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle


When selecting a carbon fiber pickleball paddle, it's important to consider its weight, grip size, shape, and balance. You must also consider your playing style, skill level, and personal preferences.


Reading reviews from other pickleball players will help you get an idea of the paddle's performance in real-world situations. Look for paddles with good control, power, and shot accuracy, as well as those that are comfortable to hold and use for extended periods.


One excellent option is the OWN THE NET fiber paddle, comprising two vibration-dampening carbon fiber sheets and a more prominent sweet spot. This will give you more power and incredible control.


The Diadem Warrior Carbon Fiber Pickle Paddle also has great reviews. The paddle face is made of abrasion-resistant carbon fiber and durable grit paint, giving you better control and spin.


Although these are two great paddles, we’ve done our research and can confidently say for your best pickleball paddle carbon fiber option, look no further than the P-One.   This paddle is made of T700S carbon fiber and has a frosted carbon fiber surface. This is a unique textured layering on top of a carbon fiber twill weave paddle face. Combined, these two materials improve spin, power, and control. 


Final Remarks About Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddles


You've read our guide on carbon fiber pickleball paddles and are ready to upgrade your game. Congratulations! Now, all you need to do is find the perfect paddle that speaks for you - just like McEnroe's racket spoke for him (although, hopefully, your paddle won't be as talkative and get you disqualified).


With a carbon fiber pickleball paddle in hand, you'll easily dominate the court, impressing opponents and leaving them wondering just how you manage to make those killer shots. So, whether you're a seasoned pro or a newbie to the game, it's time to take the plunge and invest in a carbon fiber pickleball paddle.  Who knows, maybe one day you'll be as legendary as McEnroe, competing in the Inaugural Pickleball Slam!