Platform Tennis, just like any other paddle or racquet sport, comes with its own equipment requirements. But it doesn't have to be complicated! Our guide will break it all down for you.

Equipment for Playing Platform Tennis

It’s thirty degrees out. The puffy white clouds are turning to a dark grey. Snow flurries are in the air. A bit of breeze is coming out of the north but it’s not howling. The temp is likely to go down as the day wears on. It’s a perfect day for platform tennis and you can’t wait to get out for a friendly bit of doubles competition and to use your new platform tennis paddle.

Thankfully, you have spent a fair amount of time shopping on TennisRacquets.com and you think your paddle is a great fit for you. You’ve also gotten a great deal on the essentials so your fun is maximized and your costs are minimized.

Do you aspire to reach this Zen level of preparedness? Then you're in the right place! In this guide, we'll break down how to buy your most important piece of equipment - your paddle - and then take a moment to review some other equipment you may find useful.

Platform Tennis Paddles

There are other sports that sound the same and use paddles or things that look like paddles. But they are not the same. There are different rules, court sizes and equipment standards for each sport so it is important to get a paddle that is specifically made for platform tennis and is labeled as such. Here is a list of sports that are NOT platform tennis:

    • Pickleball.
    • Racquetball.
    • Squash.
    • Paddle Tennis.
    • Beach Tennis.
    • Padel.
    • Paddleball (one and four wall).
    • Pop Tennis.

Platform tennis needs to be played with platform tennis paddles and nothing else. No doubt these other sports are fun in their own way but the equipment required for each has their own nuances that should be respected.

Paddle Standards

Unlike some other sports, the standards for platform tennis paddles are fairly simple and clear. The paddle cannot exceed 18 inches in overall length which, as a practical matter, means that all paddles are exactly 18 inches in length. The paddle is perforated with up to 87 holes that cannot exceed 3/8 inch diameter. The surface of the paddle may be textured but it must remain flat (not curved or warped). The face may not be green or yellow after January 1, 2018 unless it was a paddle approved prior to that date.

Density of the Paddle

The most important differentiator of paddles is the density of the material (usually a foam) beneath the face.

High density means the paddle is heavier creating better opportunity for control but compromising power for the less experienced player. As a result, these paddles are usually in the domain of advanced players.

Medium density balances the need for power and control and is best for intermediate level players.

Light (or low) density makes for a lighter paddle that can help generate pace but compromises control.

Size of the Paddle

There can be some variability on the size of the paddle as long as it does not exceed the 18 inch maximum length. Larger heads have larger sweet spots but are somewhat more difficult to swing due to the increased wind resistance and the standard number and size of the holes. Larger paddles tend also to be heavier impacting power generation.

Grip Size

All platform tennis paddles come either in a 4 or 4.25 inch sized grip. The vast majority of adults (especially men) use the 4.25 inch size. Players who need a bigger size can build it up with overgrips or grip tape (see our Guide to Increasing Grip Size for more detail). For the regular player, replacing the grip is a great way to improve your ability to hang onto the paddle - even in colder weather.

Special Bonus Feature

While not all paddles include them, some models include a bottle opener at the base of the handle. This will not impact, in any material way, the balance of the paddle. However, if it is excessively used, particularly in post-match activity, it may impact the balance of the player. Responsible use of this special bonus feature is encouraged as part of this highly social sport.

How Do I Choose the Right Platform Tennis Paddle for Me?

There are a few key considerations when you are preparing to make your purchase.

#1 - Skill Level

Honestly assess your skill level. The newer player ought to stick to lighter density paddles. However, a player with extensive experience in other similar sports like tennis or pickleball may find they can adapt to medium density paddles quite easily.

#2 - Density

Focus on the density of the paddle as it relates to your skill level.

#3 - Grip

For most adults, the 4.25 inch sized grip is the right size.

Once the honest assessment of the three above points is made, then criteria like price and color scheme can be considered.

Other Equipment

Once you've figured out the racquet, a large part of your job is done. But there are some other key items you will want to consider.

Gloves - As this sport is often played in cold and even damp weather, use of a glove or mitten is common. Platform tennis gloves are designed for play in bad weather and maximizing the ability to hold the paddle while keeping the hand warm.

Balls - Platform tennis has specific standards for play. No other sport’s balls should be used.

Shoes - Any good quality court shoe makes sense for play on a platform tennis court. Note that it is considered to be very bad form to track dirt and/or moisture onto the court even though the heaters under the surface may minimize the damage done.

TennisRacquets.com carries paddles, balls, and gloves for platform tennis. Our huge inventory of shoes will provide you with all kinds of choices to help you get around the court as fast you can. Looking for more advice on what to buy? Call us! We love to help.


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