Over 4.8 million people in the U.S alone play pickleball. This growing sport combines a mix of a few paddle-based games such as tennis, table tennis, Ping-Pong, and badminton. Pickleball is likely gaining popularity due to its ease of play since it uses a smaller-sized court, compared to tennis. Having said that, you’re likely here to participate in this sport and find yourself a right-sized and perfect paddle. Luckily, there’s no shortage of the best pickleball paddles in the market. The downside is that it may make it more difficult to choose.
Although all pickleball paddles look the same, they differ in several aspects such as shape, surface material, and grip. With these factors taken into consideration, we’ve found the top options.
Stick around to learn more about the best beginner to intermediate paddles and which one could potentially be your next new paddle.
Best Pickleball Paddles for Pros: Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro
As an advanced player, you’re likely on the lookout for a pickleball paddle that offers precision coupled with power. In turn, the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro model may be what you’re looking for.
This paddle option attempts to put speed and accuracy above all else, making it an ideal option for all pro players. In terms of size, the Paddletek measures about 15 ⅞ inches in length and 8 inches in width, making it a widebody type of paddle.
Plus, the paddle weighs approximately 7.6 to 8 ounces which is a bit on the heavy set scale. A heavy widebody pickleball paddle is characterized by its high maneuverability, control, stability, as well as a large sweet spot.
Additionally, the Paddletek model is composed of a graphite surface. This sort of material is perfect for dinking practice. Although the graphite layer is thin, it still provides you with exceptional power and performance.
- Provides a powerful hit
- Heavyweight, making it sturdy
- It may not give you the best spin.
Babolat RBEL Power: For Aggressive Hitting
The Babolat RBEL Power paddle is a composite paddle, skin made from fiber but the supporting element is unquestionably fiberglass, which gives the paddle more explosive force on shots—even dinks feel rock solid. For some individuals, this is the only paddle that have lived up to the expectations. Although it seems heavy, so you can’t play for more than an hour “constantly” with it. Yet in a tournament setting, this beast demonstrates its power by paralyzing the other team. So if you are looking for a good pickleball paddle, then this is a good option. This is indeed a premium quality paddle.
- Enables extra reach
- Top-notch paddle built
- Edge guard consumes excessive surface amount
Best for Beginners: PickleballCentral Rally Tyro 2
The PickleballCentral Rally Tyro 2 model is ideal for beginners since it comes with an affordable price as well as a universal grip. The pickleball paddle is composed of a fiberglass surface which enhances your ball’s bounce.
Now, the pickleball paddle is relatively lightweight, weighing in at around 6.9 to 7.2 ounces. This may make it easier for playing near the net during a fast-paced ball exchange.
Apart from that, the Rally Tyro 2 paddle’s dimensions are 15.67 inches in length and 7.8 inches in width. This loosely categorizes it as a widebody-shaped paddle. This makes it perfect for beginners since there’s a larger sweet spot.
For reference, a sweet spot is identified as the central part of the paddle, often called the bullseye.
In addition to its lightweight and widebody shape, the Rally Tyro 2 model’s paddle surface is made of fiberglass material. Essentially, this improves your ball’s bounce.
● Large sweet spot
● Better bounce feedback
● It may not last as long since it’s lightweight.
Best Value: niupipo Pickleball Paddle
Whether you’re a beginner or you’re looking to buy in bulk, the niupipo pickleball paddle may offer you a cost-effective price and is the best pickleball paddle. Despite having a considerably cheap price, this paddle holds impressive performance.
Weighing at about 7.68 ounces, the lightweight paddle has a widebody to a classic shape with dimensions of 15.76 x 7.91 inches. On top of giving you a large sweet spot, you also may get impressive spin and ergonomic grip.
Speaking of grip, the paddle handle’s circumference comes in at 4.25 inches and the paddle length is 4.5 inches. That being said, a long handle will likely provide you with better control and maneuverability.
Plus, if you purchase the niupipo paddle, it could stay with you for a long while, even if you decide to play at a pro level. It’s USAPA approved for professional tournaments.
Overall, the niupipo model is well-suited for both beginner and pro hands plus provides you with a highly wallet-friendly deal.
● Highly affordable
● Improves your ball control
● Provides you with enhanced mobility
● Not the best option if you use two hands to play.
Best for Style: Clarkesville Pickleball Paddle
Quality and performance are usually key when purchasing a good paddle. On the other hand, sometimes you may just want to get a cool-looking paddle. One of the best paddles in the market in terms of looks is the Clarkesville pickleball paddle.
This paddle offers a squiggly lined design with a grey base. The thick lines are a lighter gray, while a few of the other lines are slightly dark beige. Moreover, this eccentric design is derived from a town called Clarkesville located in Austin.
The neighborhood has a bright-colored graffiti park, which may have inspired this pickleball paddle’s design. Besides that, the pickleball’s handle is encased in a stylish, dark beige faux-leather material that’s also sweat-resistant.
On top of that, at the neck of the Clarkesville paddle, the phrase, “Let’s Play” is written in dark green, giving you a cute little motivational message during your game.
Appearances aside, the Clarkesville paddle is USAPA approved for tournaments. Plus, it weighs around 7.5 to 8 ounces, placing it on a hefty scale. Fortunately, a heavy paddle gives more stability and overall control.
● Aesthetic design
● USAPA approved
● This model tends to sell out easily.
Best pickleball paddles for Kids: Oneshot Juniorshot Pickleball Paddle
What better way can you bond with your little ones than by playing a few fun matches of pickleball? For kids, you generally want to look for a lightweight option such as the Oneshot Juniorshot pickleball, which only weighs about 5.8 ounces.
The best part about this paddle is that your kids can customize its appearance. The paddle’s surface is equipped with a chalkboard surface where your child can bring out their inner artist. That being said, the paddle is composed of a fiberglass component giving it a good bounce and pop option.
Additionally, the paddle’s dimensions are about 14 ⅘ inches in length and 7 ⅖ inches in width. Keep in mind that mostly the kids under 12 years old have Oneshot Juniorshot paddle.
● Chalkboard feature
● Provides adequate pop and bounce
● Small sweet spot size
Best for Comfort: SLK Pickleball Paddle
A quality performance is key in any pickleball paddle, but you may want to essentially prioritize comfort. The SLK pickleball paddle may give you that exceptional comfort-fitting grip you’re looking for.
The graphite-surface pickleball paddle comes with a cushioned and sweatproof grip. You may not have to worry about the paddle slipping from your hands or catching a cramp. The SLK paddle is also lightweight making it easy on the hands.
All those comfort features don’t diminish this paddle’s performing features. To demonstrate, its graphite surface is shock-absorbent and packs a steady power hit. Having said that, the paddle is elongated in shape since its dimensions are 16 x 7.8 inches, giving you more spin and reach.
● Comfortable grip
● Provides control
● Shock-absorbent surface
● Not suitable for pro players
As a pickleball player, before you take your pick on one of the pickleball paddles mentioned, it’s worth looking at this guide first. That way, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for and which paddle will suit your needs most. Factors to take into account include the weight, materials, shape, grip size, etc. Let’s check:
The number one factor that you need to initially consider is the paddle’s size and length. Its size will ultimately determine how comfortably it’ll fit in your hands. As a general rule of thumb, if you go for a longer handle, you opt for a better grip and spin.
Apart from that, you usually generate spin and power when you hit the ball at the center of the paddle. For this reason, we suggest beginner players choose shorter handles and longer paddles to have a better chance of landing the ball dead center.
Another factor that can influence your size choice is if you either use one or two hands while playing. For the latter, a longer handle, measuring about 5.25 inches should be ideal.
In contrast, your grip on the paddle may be similar to that of a ping pong paddle where your fingers are touching the paddle. In that case, you can choose a shorter handle.
When looking for the best pickleball paddles, the weight also matters. The weight of your pickleball paddle may significantly impact your play. A lighter paddle is easier for beginners to handle.
For instance, if you use a lightweight paddle weighing about 7 to 7.6 ounces, it’s relatively easier to play around the net in a more fast-paced game. Nevertheless, you would need to hit the ball harder to gain more power.
On the other hand, a heavyweight pickleball paddle, which generally weighs about 7.6 to 8.2 ounces, doesn’t require as hard of a hit to generate power. This, in turn, is highly suitable when dinking since you’ll likely hit the ball correctly and adjust to your ready position faster.
A heavier paddle ball also provides stability, especially if you decide to hit the ball near the edge of the paddle. Meanwhile, a lightweight one may wobble from an edge hit.
Interestingly, some players choose to wrap their paddles with lead tape to increase their weight. Weight is a matter of personal opinion, although it is preferable to choose a lighter paddle that weighs no more than 12 ounces. Overall, heavier paddle is usually the preferable option for most players since you have better chances of winning by using them.
Another thing to consider in the core of the paddle. A thick core (at least 16 millimeters) provides more control, a larger sweet spot (the paddle’s target), and greater spin potential, making it more challenging for your opponent to retrieve the ball. A core that is 13 millimeters or less in thickness provides greater power, a narrower sweet spot, and less control.
When browsing for a pickleball paddle, you’ll likely stumble upon three different surface material variations. They include graphite, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Alternatively, you may also find some pickleball paddles with hybrid surface materials. The majority of beginner and intermediate players feature fiberglass surfaces, which provide strength. Carbon fiber and graphite surfaces provide enhanced spin and more control. Let’s have a look at the various surface material options:
Similar to the carbon fiber material, graphite paddle is an ideal option for all players since it’s light but doesn’t sacrifice sturdiness. Graphite paddles produce powerful hits and offers more control to place shots with accuracy. Aside from that, some professional pickleball players opt for this type of material.
In the past, fiberglass-made pickleball paddles dominated the market. Nevertheless, carbon fiber options are gaining more popularity nowadays. With that, fiberglass pickleball paddles, also referred to as composite, offer a relatively softer feel compared to carbon fiber and graphite.
For example, if you try to hit a ball with this sort of material the paddle will take the energy of the traveling ball and transfer it right back. Overall, this gives it a bouncier feel.
Carbon fiber is one of the most commonly used surface material types on this list. The carbon surface material is highly stiff and provides you with exceptional control. That being so, when the ball hits this sort of paddle, the prior’s energy spreads across the paddle.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t transfer the energy back to the ball as much as the fiberglass option. Consequently, this may give the player less power in their hits. A paddle with adequate vibration absorption is also essential, which is why active players should avoid wood paddles.
Hybrid surface materials often combine fiberglass, carbon fiber, and graphite materials into one paddle. This type of paddle is highly advantageous since it takes the best of both, or in this case three, worlds to make a universal pickleball paddle.
In terms of shape, you’ll likely find multiple options of pickleball padded. A couple of these include elongated and class shapes.
Classically shaped pickleball paddles have 16 x 8-inch dimensions. This is considered the medium between elongated and wide body-shaped pickleball paddles.
Classic shape paddles are suitable for those looking to get an even mix of control, spin, and power.
As their name suggests, elongated paddles are longer in length and slightly shorter in width. They usually measure 16.5 x 7.5 inches. An Elongated paddle may provide less maneuverability, but they compensate for this disadvantage with their better reach and spin.
Widebody paddles are wider in size as they’re estimated to be 8.5 inches wide and 15.5 inches tall.
Opposite to elongated shape paddles, widebody options offer more maneuverability, but less spin and reach.
Pickleball paddles come in a wide variety in terms of shape, size, weight, appearance, and material. Choosing the perfect pickleball paddle for you may depend on your skill level. For instance, as a beginner, the best pickleball paddle would be a lightweight widebody option. Also, depending on your pickleball court, you need to choose the right paddle. The games on indoor pickleball courts are more control-focused. On an outdoor court, you can have hard and quick strokes.
Don’t expect that buying an expensive paddle will significantly enhance your game. If this is your first time playing pickleball, think about buying a beginning or budget choice that is less expensive. Yet, it ensures consistency so you can emphasize the basics before eventually improving your paddle.
Apart from skill, you may prioritize your playing style. In this case, you may find an eclectic range of designs from minimalistic to vibrant-colored options. In essence, you mainly want to choose a comfort-fitting and high quality paddle option that’ll encourage you to play more pickleball. In this case, that mainly focuses on grip, weight, and size.
Before deciding one consider these factors:
- How the paddle feels when in hand: the weight, grip, balance
- How the paddle plays: a test of its ability to deliver an incredible spin and swing with strength.
- How comfort the paddle is: taking into account elements like vibrations, sound, and pressure points.
We have listed the range of beginner to intermediate paddles. So choose a great paddle according to your choice and get going.