Paddle Cores – What is the difference?

As pickleball grows as a sport, so does the technology used to make the paddles. Pickleball paddles started out being made out of leftover scrap wood as shown in this awesome video by Pickleball Channel…

The Nomex Core

The first light-weight composite core put into pickleball paddles was the Nomex honeycomb core. Nomex technically is a “a registered trademark for flame-resistant meta-aramid material developed in the early 1960s”, according to Wikipedia.   This is the original cardboard-like material that is then dipped into resin to toughen it up. A fun property of this core is while it’s extremely tough while applying pressure down onto the honeycomb core, it is squishy while squeezing on the side of the core (as shown below).

NomexNomex core in general is the loudest of the three cores, as well as the hardest. Nomex cores will give you great pop and the ball will seemingly fly off the paddle’s surface.

Check out some of our most popular paddles with a Nomex core, including the Rally Graphite and Z5 Graphite.

The Aluminum Core

The second honeycomb core found in pickleball paddles is aluminum. Aluminum cores are exactly what they sound like: honeycomb-shaped cells made of the metal aluminum.

Aluminum cores are well-known for being the best at providing “touch”. We consider touch to be maneuverability, ball placement and finesse at the net, or being able to perfectly place your shot. Aluminum honeycomb core is slightly softer than Nomex, meaning the ball pops off just a bit slower which gives you more time to manipulate the ball. Aluminum cores are usually quieter than Nomex cores as well.

The most popular paddles with an aluminum core are the Phantom Graphite and Selkirk 300A Graphite.

The Polymer Core

The newest core is polymer, which is basically a plastic blend developed specifically for pickleball. Just like the other two cores, it’s laid out in a honeycomb pattern.

Polymer cores are the softest and quietest cores on the market. Because it is a plastic, each hit is quieter since the surface isn’t quite as hard. Lots of communities with noise restrictions list paddles with polymer cores the most frequently on their “Quietest” or “Approved” paddle list. Because polymer is the softest core, you’ll find that these paddles give you an immense amount of control over shot placement.

The most popular polymer core paddles are the Element and Tempest.

What’s your favorite type of pickleball paddle core?

Thanks to Pickleball Central and The Pickleball Channel for the great info and video!

See you on the courts!

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Check Out the New Pickleball Inc. Venom Paddle

Al & I will have these available for sale after Mother’s Day!  He will have a demo so you can try one out first!


The NEW VENOM paddle is produced with our latest innovation in core technology – PFG2 Core. This proprietary core was developed to generate solid power and control characteristics while decreasing the noise levels typically associated with high performance tournament paddles. The long handle and smooth radius blends of the VENOM come from one of our most popular wood paddles designed and produced since the late 1960’s. This shape provides players with more of a traditional ‘head heavy’ racquet feel for increased control and the head design puts more mass behind the ball at impact than a typical Pickle-ball® paddle which increases power. The combination of the new PFG2 core and the traditional long handle racquet shape make the VENOM paddle the quietest performance paddle in our line-up.

Paddle Features:
* The quietest performance paddle we’ve ever produced is up to 14 decibels quieter than other paddles
* New proprietary PFG2 Core offers players a quiet, medium weight paddle with great power and control

  • Sleek, long handle shape with gentle radius blends from one of our original wood paddle shapes of the late 60’s
  • Long handle creates a more ‘head heavy racquet feel’ in your hand and more mass behind the ball at impact for increased power
  • Computer generated graphics and UV face coating allow brilliant color graphics, high design detail and protection from the sun with increased durability

Paddle Colors:
* Red
* Blue
* Green
* Orange

Paddle Specs:
* Height: 15 7/8”
* Width: 8 1/8”
* Weight: 8 – 8.5 oz.’s
* Made in USA


VENOM Orange