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Traditionally, paddles have been made from relatively rigid, non-compressible material. That is the traditional concept of a paddle and that is why the game is not played with a stringed racquet. Paddles that produce a trampoline effect or an effect similar to a stringed racquet are specifically disallowed.
The following test is one measure of rigidity and compressibility of the paddle. See paragraph 2.E of the Official Rules for additional specifications.
Deflection Test for Rigidity and Compressibility
The test stand is used to measure deflection of the paddle surface when a known weight is applied. The paddle is supported on blocks five inches in length, separated by 5.5 inches measured at the interior surfaces. A dial indicator measures the deflection in thousandths of an inch.
The photo shows a paddle mounted on the test stand. A known downward weight is applied to the center of the paddle with a one-half inch steel rod.
The popularity of Pickleball has been increasing at a rapid rate, and players are looking for new places to play in their local parks and recreation centers. Unfortunately outdoor play is not accepted by all, and courts close to residential neighborhoods have been areas of concern due to the "pop" sounds that many Pickleball paddles make when coming into contact with the wiffle ball.
PickleBall.net has conducted a Decibel Test on all of the Pickleball paddles we list, allowing us to show consumers which pickleball paddles produce the least amount of noise.
Decibel Test for Pickleball Paddle Noise
Each Pickleball paddle is tested outdoors in the same environment, with a decibel meter placed 15 feet away from the paddle. An outdoor Dura Fast 40 pickleball is used, and hit against each paddle 10 times replicating Pickleball play.
The number listed is the maximum dB rating recorded during the 10 hits. (lower dB rating = less noise)
This test was conducted in May 2013, on 47 paddles that were purchased from the distributors. Decibel ratings ranged from 79 dB (quietest) to 93 dB (loudest).