Best Pickleball Paddles

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There are many different types of paddles available but this article will focus on the best beginner paddle, which is suitable for all kinds of skill levels and budgets.

Find out what the best pickleball paddle is and how to choose one for your game. This guide will take you through every step of choosing the right paddle.

When you enter the pickleball court, and you know you have a great tool in your hand, a right paddle, what looks like a part of you. You know you have a lot of chances to win, you have energy and confidence.

I would like to highlight some factors you can consider in order to narrow down your research for the best pickleball paddles. But first, let’s have a look at the most popular options on the market.

Best Pickleball Paddles On The Market:

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle

ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle

9.7
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JP WinLook Pickleball Paddles Set

JP WinLook Pickleball Paddles Set

9.5
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Uteeqe Pickleball Paddles Set USAPA Approved

Uteeqe Pickleball Paddles Set USAPA Approved

9.1
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ULAOUL Pickleball Paddles Set of 2

ULAOUL Pickleball Paddles Set of 2

8.8
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Amazin' Aces Pickleball Paddle Set

Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Paddle Set

8.6
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XS XSPAK Pickleball Paddles Sets of 2

XS XSPAK Pickleball Paddles Sets of 2

8.2
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Panel Sound USAPA Approved Set of 2

Panel Sound USAPA Approved Set of 2

8
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niupipo Pickleball Paddles Set of 2

niupipo Pickleball Paddles Set of 2

7.7
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Vinsguir Pickleball Paddles Rackets Set

Vinsguir Pickleball Paddles Rackets Set

7.4
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GRM Racket Graphite Pickleball Paddle Set

GRM Racket Graphite Pickleball Paddle Set

7.2
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Last update on 16th October 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Pickleball Paddles:

Paddle Weight

The weight of a paddle should be adjusted so that it feels “right.” Most experienced pickleball players (and even many novices) can easily adjust the weight of their paddles until they are perfectly balanced in their hands.

If you are just starting out, it may take you several practice sessions to get the feel for a properly weighted paddle. However, if you are a seasoned pro, a heavier paddle may actually be counter-productive and could cause you more problems than it solves.

Consider this: The heavier the paddle, the more power you will have. Also, the larger the paddle, the more power you will have. This is not to say that a small, light paddle is without use. On the contrary, a smaller, lighter paddle is useful for playing “fun” games where control of the ball is not as important as speed. However, when playing “serious” games, a larger, heavier paddle gives you an important advantage.

The choice of paddle weight is one of the most important decisions you will make when purchasing a set of pickleball paddles. A good rule of thumb is to buy the heaviest set of paddles that are comfortable for you to hold and swing.

The best weight for most players is between 8 and 10 ounces. Less than eight can be difficult to control if you are not strong, while more than ten may tire the arm during extended play. The lighter the paddle, however, the better it will react to spin shots that require sidespin. Being able to play with sidespin is an advantage that can win games, so don’t believe it if someone tells you that spin is only for advanced players.

A word of caution: Do not try to “game” the system by using a heavier or lighter paddle depending on the surface you are playing on. For example, if the courts you are playing on are hard, a heavier paddle will help you achieve maximum distance. However, if the courts are soft, a lighter paddle will help you achieve maximum speed. 

It is just that, in general, the choice of weight for your set of paddles should be made with the type of play you intend to engage in most often in mind. A good rule of thumb is to buy the heaviest set of paddles that are comfortable for you to hold and swing.

If you're looking for a pickleball paddle, then this is the ultimate guide for finding the right one.

Paddle handle length

A paddle’s length affects how accurately you play and how much power you have when you hit the ball. A short paddle gives you better control and lets you “reach” the ball better. It allows you to put more pressure on the ball when you hit it, giving you more power when you do hit it. This makes it easier to get a good shot at the net and increases your chances of making a rally. A longer paddle lets you “dig in” and “groove” the ball better. It lets you exert more power when you hit it, giving you more “oomph” when you do hit it.

 Most people have a natural inclination to grab the shaft of the paddle with their hand and then grip the “handle” with their other hand. This is fine when playing tennis, badminton, or even racquetball, but disastrous when playing pickleball.

In order for you to be a good pickleball player, you must learn to use the handle of the paddle instead of the shaft. The reason is simple. If you use the shaft of the paddle, you will not get any power from the blow. Instead, you will tend to flail around like a chicken with its head cut off.

The best handle length for most adults is between 3 and 5 inches. Extra-long handles are difficult to control at the net unless you have long arms. Very short handles are not good for generating power on the forehand or backhand, and they may be difficult to control at the net.

Paddle grip size

Generally speaking, the taller you are, the smaller the paddle you should use. This is because the taller you are, the more difficult it is to hit the ball with a large paddle. Also, taller people have a longer reach, so a longer paddle allows them to hit the ball further away from the server. A longer paddle is also easier to control for tall players.

On the other hand, a shorter person (or someone with a shorter reach) will be able to better exploit the power of a short paddle. The best paddle for you will depend on your height, reach and hand sizes. Taller shafts offer more stability and a larger surface area for your hand to grip. The farther forward your hand placement on the shaft, the more leverage you will have and the more powerful your stroke will be. 

The best grip size is the one that feels most comfortable in your hand. Make sure it’s not too thick or too thin; if it’s thick enough that you have to squeeze the paddle, it’s too small. If your fingers go numb when you play with the grip, it is either too thick or too thin.

Paddle surface

Hardness: Choose paddles that are the same hardness as your playing surfaces. Soft courts require softer paddles. Hard courts require harder paddles.

If you are a beginner, I suggest you get a pair of paddles with a soft surface. These are the least expensive type of paddles, and you can find them at most any sporting goods store. They are perfect for learning how to play and will last a lifetime.

As you advance in your game, you may wish to consider paddles with a hard, wooden or plastic surface. These types of paddles tend to be heavier and have more “give”, which makes them more accurate and gives you a better “feel” for the ball. They also tend to last longer because they are less vulnerable to becoming damaged from being dropped, stepped on or hit.

 The most popular pickleball paddle surfaces are wood and acrylic (polymer). Wood paddles make better sweet spot contact because there is no dead spot where the ball seems to disappear when you hit it. If you choose a wood paddle, make sure the surface is hard enough to prevent mushrooming. Acrylics are lighter and easier to play with on the net. They are also more durable than wood once they are broken in, however, they can break if mistreated.

When choosing an acrylic paddle, go with a hardness rating of 60-90. Harder ratings are more durable but they lose their feel; softer ratings are easier to control but wear quickly.

Lightweight and durable, these will last for years to come!

Paddle Face

Paddle face is the side of the paddle that contacts the ball. This side should be as smooth as possible, with no sharp edges. If you are using a wooden paddle, the sides should be smooth all the way around. 

Most pickleball paddles have a flat face that makes contact with the ball when you hit it. This type of face is best for beginners because it is easy to learn how to hit the ball with it. If you already play pickleball, you should consider getting a paddle with a slightly convex (curved) face. This type of face will give you more control over the ball and make it easier to “sculpt” the shot so you can achieve greater distances.

Factory Finish

When you are choosing a paddle, you should pay close attention to the factory finish. This is the surface treatment that is put on the paddle to make it more durable. You should insist on a hard wearing finish. There are several different types of finishes and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

The factory finish is there to provide protection against the elements, such as rain and sunlight. It is not there to provide a surface that is easy to learn to play on. If you scratch off this finish, it will be like removing the finish from a pool table. The pickleball paddles will then be ready to use right out of the box. I like the feel of the graphite ones. They seem to flex a bit more than the composite ones.

Price and Warranty

The more expensive the paddle, the better it will be- period. Many of the high quality paddles made by reputable companies come with a lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

You should never purchase an inexpensive pickleball paddle because they are not only inferior to more expensive paddles, they are also more likely to be defective. I have been in many sporting goods stores and have seen a few of these inferior pickleball paddles for sale for between $9.99 and $20.00- a ridiculous price for any type of paddle.

Most manufacturers give a one-year warranty on pickleball paddles. If you are buying online, be sure to find out the return policy before you buy.

Our Recommended Pickleball Paddles:

niupipo Pickleball Paddles Set of 2

Editor’s Choice
7.7/10 Our Score
  • USAPA Approve for Victory; Niupipo pickleball set has passed USAPA testing and is approved for sanctioned tournament play; When you choose the niupipo pickleball paddles, you receive exclusive passion for your Champion; Niupipo pickleball paddle can withstand any challenges on the court; Having a high-quality graphite pickleball paddle can completely transform your game
  • Improved Strength by The Honeycomb Core; The interior of our USAPA Pro pickleball set is constructed by polymer honeycomb and sandwiched between two sheets of durable carbon fiber; USAPA Pro pickleball paddle set offers great energy to spin the balls; The graphite pickleball paddle is made of exceptionally durable material that allows it to withstand a strike from balls; This USAPA Pro pickleball racket set will help you win any challenge
  • Ideal Balance with Graphite Carbon Fiber; Niupipo pickleball paddle set of 2 is made of graphite carbon fiber face and graphite-honeycomb composition for an ideal level of strength and stiffness with a surprisingly lightweight; The USAPA Pro pickleball paddles is a great combination for added control and power hitting; Your shots will be more accurate and have much more control over how much force you put into the pickleball
  • Premium Grip, Perfect Handle Size; Niupipo pickleball paddle is comfortable to handle and works well while in gameplay; USAPA Pro pickleball set is perforated, sweat absorbent, and cushioned, to allow for a better paddle grip, for longtime play without fatigue; Widebody pickleball paddles shape with 4-4/5” (4.8) grip length and 4-1/2” (4.5) grip circumference; Paddle Face Dimensions: 10.63″ L x 7.87″ W x 0.59″ H Lightweight pickleball paddle 8oz
  • Comes with 1 Bag and 4 Balls; Every Niupipo USAPA Pro pickleball set is designed to be an awesome pickleball paddle for either a beginner or a professional player; The pickleball set contains 1 Bag and 4 Pickleball balls

Last update on 16th October 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for pickleball paddles but don’t know where to start from, this is quite a popular option that is worth having a closer look at. This is a great set that is ideal for anyone just starting out, but also a great one for experienced players too.

If you are sweating a lot like me you will appreciate the grips. They are perforated and feature a sweat-absorbing cushion that is quite comfortable. I like the fact that you get a zippered cover too which is quite handy to store your paddles when not playing (unless you have a dedicated pickleball bag).

I would consider the Niupipo Pickleball Paddle Set the best pickleball paddles you can find online. Overall this is a great option that has is well constructed, features a comfortable handle, wide-body shape, and can be found at an affordable price. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option to get you in pickleball this is among the best choices on the market. You can’t go wrong with this one.


JP WinLook Pickleball Paddles Set

Runner-up
9.5/10 Our Score
  • We use cutting-edge technology to make superior quality pickleball paddles, approved by USAPA. Rackets are light-weight for only 7.8 oz. Durable materials with honeycomb core makes racquets feel great for balanced control and powerful hitting.
  • JP WinLook rackets with wide large sweet spot for perfect ball impact. Shots are more accurate. Resilient graphite surface offers great ball spin. Slim edge guard for protection of paddle head on ground hits. Two (2) paddles and three (3) balls bundle pack provides immediate game court needs.
  • Super soft ultra-cushion non-slippery handle with elite wraps (overgrip) for comfortable grip and precise maneuverability. Handles are designed well for both mens and ladies for recreational or professional indoor and outdoor play. Handle (holder) grip circumference: 4-1/4 inch. Handle length 5.27″.
  • Blue protective carrying duffel / storage cover case with nice gift bag design. Racquets are for all age (elders, teens, young kids, and whole family), female & male, different skill levels including beginner / starters, intermediate, to all-round advanced top players.
  • Precisely drilled holes make the JP WinLook pickle balls deliver perfect flight path. Balls can be used for the most aggressive pro play and minimize wind interference. Perfect bounce and remarkable durability make these pickle balls the best top choice for any level to champion game. High visibility orange / yellow color. Balls are good for both indoor and outdoor play.

Last update on 16th October 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for a value-for-money pickleball paddle set, this one is a great candidate to consider. The set from JP WinLook is a great deal for anyone, from beginners up to professional players. This is a comfortable option that you will love thanks to the super-soft, non-slippery handles plus it comes with a wonderful storage bag.

In fact, this storage bag that can fit two bats and three balls, which are included in this bundle, makes this is a gift for anyone looking to get in pickleball. If you are interested in a balanced paddle set that is lightweight but built to last, this is the one I would highly recommend having a closer look at.


ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle

Value For Money
9.7/10 Our Score
  • Graphite Z5 – Most popular pickleball paddle in the Onix line
  • Superior control – Excellent touch paddle for superior ball control
  • Paddle specs – Nomex, paper honeycomb core and graphite face
  • Widebody shape – paddle shape with 4-1/4″ grip size
  • Paddle dimensions – 15.5″ L x 8.3″ W x 1.5″ H; Medium-Weight 7.5-8.2 oz

Last update on 16th October 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are an experienced player that wants to take your game to the next level, this pickleball paddle from Onix deserves a closer look while researching. You can find it at a reasonable price and it is ideal for anyone looking for great control and a durable option that lasts for many years to come.

This option from Onix can be found in more than 10 different color variations so you can easily pick the one that matches your style. They are lightweight and feature a honeycomb comb for the perfect balance between control and power. I really like the comfortable grip of the paddle and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a control paddle that won’t break the bank.


Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Paddle Set

Honourable Mention
8.6/10 Our Score
  • Unbeatable value – Our Classic set includes two premium carbon fiber graphite pickleball paddles, four pickleballs, and one mesh bag for convenient carry and storage of your pickleballs. It’s everything you need to hit the court! Get started playing the amazing sport of pickleball today with industry-leading gear.
  • Superior quality & performance – We’ve worked long & hard to develop a high performing pickleball paddle. Our Classic paddles combine cutting-edge technology, premium-grade materials, and expert craftsmanship. The end result is an amazing racket that is excellent for everyone from beginner to pro. We’ve even gone the extra mile with our packaging; your order will arrive in a high-quality box that makes it easily giftable and also works well for storing the set.
  • Premium specifications for power and control – Our paddle has great specs! The Classic paddle features a polymer core paired with a carbon fiber graphite face. The Classic paddle weighs between 8.8 oz and 9.2 oz & expertly blends power with control. It has a large sweet-spot, optimized weight distribution, & classic shape. Our hand-stitched contour grip is second to none. Superior materials make the Classic an absolute joy to play.
  • Join millions of happy pickleballers – Millions have discovered the sport of pickleball over the last few years. Pickleball is a social sport that appeals to everyone. Hit the court with our Classic pickleball paddle set, get some fun exercise, and make new friends.
  • 1-year warranty – Choosing a pickleball set can be overwhelming! We back up our pickleball set with a 1-year warranty. Have an issue with one of our paddles? We want to get it fixed pronto! Contact us and we’ll replace it with no questions asked.

Last update on 16th October 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Amazin’ Aces are widely known for their high quality and reasonably priced paddles, and this set is not an exception. This is a great option that will allow you to get into the game without spending a fortune as it comes with everything you would need to have countless hours of fun. I would consider this set a great option for beginners, looking for an introductory set that won’t break the bank. This set is made of wood and features four paddles and four pickleball, making this a great investment for budget-conscious buyers.

The paddles are of great quality for their price, made from plywood for extreme durability. I like the cushion grip that allows you to comfortably hold the paddles, plus they feature a wrist strap that can be quite handy. Overall, this is a great set at a great price, and ticks all the boxes when it comes to beginner’s paddles, it will allow you to start playing this amazing sport without worries. If you plan on playing with friends and family, this is probably the best value for money option to consider while researching for your next purchase.

FAQ

Fiberglass VS Graphite paddles – Which one to choose?

Fiberglass is the least expensive option. Graphite is more durable and has a better feel when hitting the ball. If you plan to play a lot of pickleball, I would recommend going with a graphite paddle.


How much should I pay for my first paddle?

In most cases, you should pay between $50-$100 for your first pickleball paddle. Some are over $200, but you do not need to spend that much to get a good quality one. If you are on a limited budget, you will be better served buying a pickleball set.


What is the difference between “curved” and “flat” paddles?

Curved paddles have a face that slopes upward towards the edges where it meets the handle. This gives you slightly more surface area to hit with, which can be beneficial for moving fast around the court. Flat paddles have a face that is even across its width- rather like a ruler.


What are “soft” and “hard” paddles?

Soft pickleball paddles are typically made of composite materials. This makes them more flexible and less prone to cracking. Hard pickleball paddles are typically made with fiberglass composites, which give the paddle a stiffer feel. There is a tradeoff between durability and playability with hard pickleball paddles.


What kind of grip should I get?

Grip preference is subjective. Some players prefer a smooth grip while others prefer a textured one. Try out several different grips and find the one that feels most comfortable in your hand.


Are there different paddles for indoor and outdoor use?

Yes, pickleball paddles that are good for playing in a gym or other indoor venue will not be as durable as those made for outside. If you plan to play both inside and outside, consider getting two different types of paddles.


What is the distinction between composite and honeycomb?

Honeycomb pickleball paddles are made with a honeycomb structure on a striking surface. Honeycomb is lighter than composite and provides a better feel when striking the ball. Composite pickleball paddles are heavier and more durable than honeycomb paddles.