You'll also find paddles with and without holes. Paddles with holes are more intense and painful because of the lower amount of air friction between the object and the person's skin. It means that you can hit harder, with less effort. Beginners should stick to full, no-hole paddles until they have a good sense of their strength and how to control it.
Remember: the smaller the impact area, the more painful it will be. It's better to use larger implements for a warm-up, and then move on to smaller ones to inflict more localized pain. Also, warming up gets the blood flow started and the endorphins going, which makes it easier to handle more painful toys down the road.
Of course, even a large paddle can hurt a lot if you hit hard enough, but a good rule of thumb is moving from larger to smaller impact size for a good progression through the spanking.
Most mass-market paddles you will find in sex stores are made of faux leather covering a cardboard or soft plastic core. This is a good choice for beginners, as the lighter core makes for a lighter impact, and faux leather softens the blow a little. Paddles with softer cores can be flexed or bent a little.
Real leather i stings more, and the harder and less flexible the core, the more painful the impact.
Hard materials like wood and perspex (a type of plastic) are much less forgiving. If you decide to use wood, make sure that the wood is treated and properly varnished; otherwise, you may end up with very painful and dangerous wood splinters. If you notice a split in your wood paddle, stop using it immediately.
Sturdy and resistant fiberglass and perspex are excellent materials for more advanced players. They don't break easily, and they provide quite a sting in the right hands.
Never, ever use objects made of cheap plastic or glass. Glass, especially, can cause severe injuries when broken against skin.
Read: 8 Tips for Buying Your First Spanking Paddle
Ready? Get Paddling!
Now that you know a little more about impact safety and the features of different paddles, you can begin exploring new horizons in impact play. Have fun!