(For an Amazon link that offers a discount, be sure to see the bottom of this page).
NOT FOR BEGINNERS ONLY
When I first tested this paddle, I did so by going through a number of drills—dinking, volleying, third shot drop, serve, and ground strokes. It performed adequately, but I thought its light weight would not make it suitable for advanced players.
I have had a change of heart.
First, let me give the specs on the paddle:
- Weight – 6.6-6.9 ounces (this is a very light paddle)
- Grip Length – 4.92 inches (enough for a two-handed backhand)
- Surface – 3K Textured Graphite (T300 carbon fiber)
- Core – Polymer Honeycomb
- Thickness – 13 mm
- Grip circumference – 4.13 inches
- Core + Edge thickness – 16 mm
I personally like paddles that weigh 8 ounces or more. I have never encountered a paddle that weighed as little as the ZDLE, so I did some research on lightweight versus heavyweight paddles. I got this from “Pickleball Portal” website.
The problem is that the above table is not quite accurate. It says that lighter paddles have reduced power/drive, and that you need a stronger swing to (do what?).
This morning, because the wind was down and the temperature was up, I played some games with the paddle. I found that I could easily get serves deep with spin (no bigger swing required), that is dinked very well (including top spin dinks) and that it was GREAT for volleying (perhaps because of its light weight.
This paddle is NOT for beginners only! It is a very good paddle for most players who play recreationally.
So, if you are a beginner, what should you work on? Ball control and maneuverability. Given the weight of this paddle, it is a very good paddle for beginners, but if you are an advanced player, you want a heavier paddle.
T300 CARBN FIBER
I really am getting and education on paddle technology by doing these reviews. I have already discussed T700 carbon fiber in another blog post, so what about T300 carbon fiber? In terms of strength, the hardness of steel is very high, but the tensile strength of T300 carbon fiber is 3530MPa, which is 4 times that of steel.
Here is a chart comparing categories of carbon fiber.
Now here is some information that, unless you are a physicist, will probably hurt your brain.
A gigapascal (GPa) is a decimal multiple of the pascal, which is the SI-derived unit of pressure, stress, Young’s modulus, and ultimate tensile strength. The pascal is a measure of force per unit area, defined as one newton per square meter.
Tensile strength is usually measured as the amount of force in pounds per square inch (psi) or megapascals (MPa) required to pull a specimen to the point of material failure. This test is accomplished by placing a dumbbell shaped specimen into the grips, or jaws, of a tensometer. Everyone knows what a tensometer is, right? If not, here is the definition: An instrument used to measure the tension in a wire or yarn, or its tensile strength.
In summary, T300 is the most common and cheapest carbon fiber material. T700 is a material that is loved by drone enthusiasts (and now pickleball paddle manufacturers). It has both strength and cost performance which is widely used in the drone industry. T800 carbon fiber is the strongest, and of course the cost is the highest. It is mainly used in high-end manufacturing.
So, if a manufacturer is using T300 carbon fiber for its paddle, is will cost less than a paddle using T700 fiber. Because of that, T300 paddles are a good buy for beginners. That does not mean they are inferior, because, after all, T300 has 4 times the tensile strength of steel.
These paddles dink very well. Because they are lightweight, you have to do a little extra to make them “pop up” which, of course, you don’t want to do.
As a beginner, you can use these paddles to learn HOW to hit ground strokes. As an advanced player you can hit ground strokes as you normally do with, perhaps, a bit more of directional control.
As a beginner, you can use these paddles to learn HOW to hit serves—in other words, how to get your serve in consistently. As an advanced player, you can use these paddles to get serves deep with little effort, and to impart spin.
I really have to dig into the surface of the paddle material a bit more, but I was able to hit good topspin and side spin with these paddles.
I recommend these paddles for people who want to learn the game in a controlled fashion, such as beginners. I would also recommend them for advanced players who want more control than power, and especially for players who have shoulder issues.
We used the ZDLE outdoor balls today. Like most balls they are two-piece, but there was never a hint that they would crack, like (name withheld) balls. I am going to order 100 today for our ball machine.
WHERE TO BUY THE PADDLES
They are for sale all over the web, but Amazon has them with a discount code. Follow this link: