With the exciting launch of Baddle Junior Pickleball Paddles, we wanted to take a moment to describe the differences between a children's pickleball paddle and an adult pickleball paddle.
You're probably thinking, size duh! Which is what we thought at the beginning of this process. Honestly, we figured we could just scale down the size of our adult paddles. But that wasn't the case. Or at least, that shouldn't be the case.
What we found is that of the few children's paddles on the market, a lot of them are simply larger paddles scaled down to smaller paddles. I.e., the same proportions. But that actually doesn't make for the best paddle for kids.
So we started from scratch and designed our line of Junior Pickleball Paddles specifically for kids aged 6-12. Here's how they're different from any other children's pickleball paddle.
#1: The Grip
First, the grip needed to be both narrower and shorter. But not proportional to how much smaller the face of the paddle needed to be. So we fitted the grips for our junior paddles specifically for kids aged 6-12. Then, we moved onto the paddle surface.
#2: The Paddle Surface
When we shrank an adult paddle surface down to fit our junior grip, we noticed that the sweet spot was way smaller (proportionally) than the adult paddle. So we started playing with the shape of the paddle surface. Ultimately, we found the optimal surface shape for juniors by slightly elongating the paddle. This provides a nice sweet spot, comparable to an adult paddle sweet spot. Plus, it helps with reach, which children definitely need on the court.
We used a fiberglass material for the surface and a polymer honeycomb for the core. This gives the paddle the same exact pop as an adult paddle. And keeps it under 7 ounces in weight.
#3: The Design
Last but not least, the design. Remember when you were a kid? Maybe it was a hockey stick. Or good-luck socks. Maybe it was your favorite pair of basketball shoes. We all wanted to feel our best, look our best, and play our best. So we spent a significant amount of time exploring different design options, before ultimately landing on the perfect combo of fun and competitive.
Our Junior Paddles come in six different colors/designs, which makes it fun for kids to pick their favorite and feel unique on the court.