Best Graphite Pickleball Paddles Review – Graphite Buyer’s Guide [2020]

Best Graphite Pickleball Paddles Review – Graphite Buyer’s Guide [2020]

The game of pickleball sure has found a firm footing in recent times, evolving from a fun and laid-back racket-game to a significantly competitive one. 

However, the undeniable charm of playing pickleball still lies in its old-school appeal that makes it a highly popular neighborhood game even today. 

I hail from a sweet North-Carolina neighborhood, which religiously played the game on every other holiday and occasion. And, my fondness for it made me take up full-time business in retailing quality pickleball gear.  

However, being involved in this gig has made me realize how difficult it can be to get the ideal pickleball paddle. And, if it’s a costly type like a graphite one, you must make sure to invest in a worthy alternative.

Hey, I’m Russel. And to make it easier for you, I’m going to review some of the best graphite pickleball paddles you can buy right now!

Top 5 Best Graphite Pickleball Paddle To Buy Right Now

  1. Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle

When it comes to the game of pickleball, we can all agree that Onix serves to be an absolute game-changer of a brand. And the Z5 Graphite pickleball paddle is considered as one of its absolute winners for good reasons.

Not only does it boast a stellar design, but it has also continued to deliver excellently over the years, without flaking on quality!

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My Experience

As a shop-owner and retailer of pickleball paddles, it is my top-most priority to test an endless range of these before putting them up for sale. And, in my opinion, out of the many different brands of pickleball paddles I’ve tested, Onix has always passed with flying colors.

The Z5 Graphite pickleball paddle from the brand is one of the top-selling ones in their graphite paddle category. And the reason behind that is its amazing structure and design, that help you make that perfect hit every time.

This pickleball paddle features a Nomex honeycomb core that is basically a sturdy cardboard material which is further treated with resin. And this makes it extremely enduring and stable enough to make a substantial impact.

This honeycomb core delivers a powerful impact each time, increasing the total force of the hit, and the extra-large sweet-spot gets the ball even at oddly-swung angles. The graphite face makes a loud, satisfying “pop” when it hits the ball, bouncing it right off with maximum force. 

What I really like about these paddles is that they get you the ideal combination of a lightweight structure and a convenient 4-4 ½” grip measure. This provides you a great amount of control to comfortably swing the paddle, even if the ball comes from a challenging angle. I would also like to mention that these features of the paddle make it a superb option for beginners, as it uses minimum force to deliver a power-packed performance.

A win-win in every situation, the Onix Z5 is definitely one of the best when it comes to graphite pickleball paddles.

What could have been better?

Although I have little to complain about this pickleball paddle, I wish it came at an affordable price-tag. The Onix Z5 can be a costly buy, which honestly isn’t all that justified. And, this makes it difficult for the wider public to opt for this paddle.

 Pros 
  • Excellent honeycomb graphite core design deals a powerful impact every time
  • Large sweet-spot gets the ball even at odd angles
  • Lightweight design and efficient grip lets you have full control while swinging the paddle
  • An excellent option for beginners
 Cons 
  • Can be a pretty expensive buy
  1. Rally Graphite Power 2.0 Pickleball Paddle

PickleballCentral is another fantastic brand that provides a range of high-quality pickleball gear. And its Rally Graphite Power 2.0 does a heck lot to deliver perfect, “popping” hits every time you swing it sharp!

Featuring some of the most functional attributes for pickleball gear, this paddle definitely makes a powerful impact both in structure and performance.

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My Experience

I had received this pickleball paddle as a gift from my elder brother a year ago. And, by now, I have used this extensively enough to know what makes it an absolute success!

The Rally Graphite Power 2.0 features a 50” Polymer PowerCore which is created specifically to make an enormous impact, absorbing the least force. When it comes to the durability of the paddle’s overall structure, it really scores high, maintaining a solid endurance against sharp blows. 

This pickleball paddle comes with a sturdy periphery along with a Corner-Shield and Interlocking Neck-Guard. This combination of some of the most enduring materials, ensure a more significant resistance, greater force, and incredible longevity of the product-life. Unlike most paddles that give away after a maximum of 8 months, this one lasted me full a year before I had to mend the grip on it.

One of the things that I really like about these paddles is their wide sweet-spot. It concentrates maximum force in this area for a high-impact hit. And, it offers a greater space that ensures more number of hits. Along with this, the paddle also brings you an efficient comfort-grip that allows you greater control while swinging it.

The 4.25” circumference of the handle with perforated Winn moisture-control grip makes it easier for you to maneuver the paddle while playing, preventing slippage due to sweat.

The paddle further comes with a 30-day Return Policy and a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer. This helps return the value of the kind of money you invest in these paddles, and, also, in my opinion, makes it easier for us to rely on the brand.

What could have been better?

One of the things that can be an issue with this paddle is its overall weight. While the paddle-head seems to be lightweight, yet sturdy; it may take you a while getting the swings right because of a comparatively heavier handle.

Also, it is an expensive model, which may require you to stretch your budget quite a bit, for that matter.

 Pros 
  • Enduring structure that resists sharp impacts, lasting for an extended period of time
  • Hits the ball hard with full impact, concentrating maximum force in its large sweet spot
  • Non-slip grip and efficient handle circumference offers full control of maneuverability
  • Comes with a 30-day return policy and 1-year warranty from the manufacturer
 Cons 
  • Heavier handle structure may take a while getting used to
  • Expensive
  1. Gamma Classic 1.0 Pickleball Paddles

When we’re talking about high-quality, super-performing graphite pickleball paddles, it would just be unfair if I didn’t tell you all about the Gamma Classic 1.0. Deemed as one of the highest-performing pickleball paddles, this model not only aces in design and structure, but it also does so for being almost foolproof with its hits.

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My Experience

The Gamma Classic 1.0 is one of the pickleball paddles that I’m currently playing with. I had bought this a good couple of months ago. And, it goes without saying that it has impressed me enough to make me put it on this list.

This pickleball paddle has a unibody handle structure that is made using a single molding process. This provides a formidable solid one-piece steel structure with enhanced stability. So, there is no way this paddle will fall-apart any time soon, and you can count on it to resist severe impacts during game-play without losing its structure.

The paddle features the brand’s patented “reinforced live periphery frame” that makes a substantial difference between the performances put up by this model and that of the rest. Along with a durable graphite face, the frame ensures the maximum number of hits by eliminating dead spots. 

Additionally, the “flush fit bumper” on the paddle surface provides a significantly larger hitting surface and reduces the risk of misses on the edge-guard.

This pickleball paddle is designed to deliver significantly each time you swing it. What I also noticed was that it could be swung really well even from different angles, which is a huge pro given its heavier build. But, that being said, the weight of it doesn’t bear you down in any way, letting you have all the control while maneuvering the paddle.

The paddle comes with a stitched rib and perforations on its handle that gets you a comfortable grip. This keeps it from slipping from your grip, ensuring greater control for you on the court.

What could have been better?

One of the problems I had with this model is the length of its handle, which is a bit too long for my liking. This could be somewhat difficult to manage when you’re using this paddle for the first time, as it may require you to find the ideal gripping point. And it may cause a bit of an unequal distribution of weight.

 Pros 
  • Highly durable graphite face guarantees the maximum number of hits
  • Reduces the risks of missed hits by eliminating dead-spots
  • The superior grip keeps it comfortable on your hands
  • Can be swung to hit curve-shots coming from challenging angles
 Cons 
  • The handle can be a tad bit too long, making the paddle difficult for you to manage initially
  1. Amazin’ Aces Signature Pickleball Paddle

Amazin’ Aces doesn’t really need a separate introduction when it comes to pickleball gear. Along with scoring significantly higher on the quality of its items, the brand also brings you a wide range of efficient features at a greatly affordable price tag.

And the Signature pickleball paddle is one such model that ensures all the comfort of playing the game to bag a definite win for you!

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My Experience

Amazin’ Aces has been one of my go-to brands since long now, and I have tested a number of pickleball paddles from it. And, I decided to gift the Signature pickleball paddle to my niece, Sara, on her 20th birthday this year after it delivered really well for me in a particular match.

This pickleball paddle combines some of the most efficient features in calculated proportions, which maximizes the chances of definite hits. It features a polymer core and a compact honeycomb structure, which, coupled with a durable graphite face, deal a significant blow for each ball that comes at it.

I love the simplicity of this paddle’s design, which is primarily focused on increasing the efficiency of the paddle rather than including unnecessary add-ons. This keeps the structure of the item pretty clean, providing complete ease of use.

The paddle does come with a substantial sweet-spot that hits fair and square. The adequate surface area reduces the chances of misses, covering a large portion of the ball’s way. It is comparatively a pretty lightweight model, that makes it ideal for a beginner to use. 

And since Sara, is getting just started with the game, I thought it would be best if she had a paddle that allowed her significant control over her moves. Because, that is what the overall structure of the Signature paddle ensures, by providing a proper-sized handle along with a hand-stitched, contoured grip to go with. 

Not only does this help you with your swings, but it also gives you enough control to manage your natural reflexes while playing the game. And, lastly, I would like you to know that this paddle is USAPA-approved, which assures you of substantial value that the product returns to you with its incredible performance.

What could have been better?

What you have to understand is that this one is fairly a beginners-level paddle. It may not be as high-performing as a professional-grade pickleball paddle, for that matter.

There can be a minor issue with the durability of this paddle, but that depends on how intense the match is. Again, this may not be the one to go for if you’re gonna play competitive shots with it.

 Pros 
  • Lightweight structure and simple designs make it an ideal choice for beginners
  • Provides an adequately-sized sweet-spot that reduces the chances of misses 
  • Comfortable contoured-grip and proportionate handle allow you significant control of your reflexes
  • USAPA-approved item returns all the value for your money 
 Cons 
  • Not a professional-level paddle; not recommended for intense matches
  • May have some durability issues
  1. Rally Graphite Pickleball Paddle by PickleballCentral

And the last paddle up on my list is another one from Pickleball Central, which delivers amazingly well for intense matches!

This Rally Graphite Pickleball paddle from the brand offers a uniquely “textured” core, which secures a significant number of hits by providing a large sweet-spot.

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My Experience

I have been quite a fan of the Rally Graphite models from the brand owing to their superior performance on almost any given day. This particular model was suggested to me by one of my pickleball-pals who I contend with frequently. And sure enough, it put up a power-packed performance for me on the court, pretty much like the rest from the line-up.

The winning feature of this pickleball paddle is definitely the textured graphite face that is made of a composite polymer honeycomb structure. This ensures a necessary balance for providing the maximum force during hits, making it easier for you to control curve-shots from odd angles.

The large paddle-face reduces edge-guard hits and offers a large sweet-spot that takes care of your off-center shots. It also ensures a balanced placement and spin, which are two vital factors when it comes to the overall performance of a pickleball paddle.

This composite polymer honeycomb core makes this paddle pretty durable. It can resist a substantial amount of impact during intense matches without losing its form. Furthermore, the material contributes to the longevity of the item, making it last for a considerable period of time.

Similar to the other Rally Graphite models, this one too has a significantly functional handle design. The ergonomic cushioned-grip shape is versatile enough to fit most hands quite comfortably, and it also prevents the paddle from slipping from your hand during those sharp movements.

Overall, this one is a pretty high-performing paddle that will suit both competitive or casual matches. And, being USAPA-approved, it can definitely be relied on to return good value for the price it comes at.

What could have been better?

One of the concerns with this pickleball paddle is that of its edge-guard. When I was testing it out, I did notice that the edge-guard on mine was slightly dented. I can’t exactly put a definite finger on whether this was a manufacturing flaw or had developed from impact. But, in any way, it seemed to be a bit flimsy.

 Pros 
  • Delivers a powerful performance each time owing to the brand’s patented textured composite polymer core
  • Provides a balanced, high-impact performance, allowing you to control your reflexes during the match 
  • Reduces the chances of misses, getting you almost secure wins at all times
  • Versatile enough for all kinds of pickleball matches and USAPA-approved
 Cons 
  • Edge-guard may be a bit tacky and flimsy
  • Can be costly

Buyer’s Guide

Given the wide-range of pickleball paddles out there and a whole lot of different styles, it can be pretty confusing to pick out just the ideal one for you. Factors such as material, weight, design, and the dimensions of the hitting-spot on the paddle are vital to consider while getting a quality pickleball.

And, to simplify this dilemma, I’ve attached the following buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision, so that you find just the perfect one yourself.

  1. Material

Pickleballs can be made using several types of materials. The material of a pickleball paddle also determines its deflective aspects.

Here are some of the things that are commonly used for making pickleball paddles:

Polymer: A polymer pickleball paddle is made using a blend of resin and plastic. These are pretty lightweight and durable paddles that you can get at affordable prices. And, these are popularly used for casual matches held at clubs or in the neighborhood. However, polymer paddles aren’t really fit for professional use, as these are barely as sturdy as graphite or composite ones.

Graphite: A graphite pickleball paddle will typically perform well in almost every kind of match: be it casual or professional. It is lightweight and yet, significantly responsive, delivering highly controlled and balanced shots for a secure win. And if you want just the fair amount of dinks, then this is the material you should opt for. Graphite paddles provide a high degree of accuracy and a bigger sweet-spot that increases the number of shots for you.

Composite: This type of pickleball paddles are made using a mix of a few different materials such as fiberglass, aluminum, polymer surfaces, and UV-resistant vinyl. Composite paddles are highly durable options that are mostly used by professionals. These are also some of the most expensive ones in the market.

Wood: Wooden pickleball are the oldest versions ever. These are simple to use and are the most affordable ones. However, these may not be as functional as the other types. But, you could still use them for a fun, casual match, nevertheless. Recent designs may feature wrist straps and decent grips for ease of use.

  1. Size of the paddle

The ideal size of a pickleball paddle should not be more than 24 inches. An 8 by 16 inches measure should be standard for a short paddle, while you can do well with a 5 by 19 inches measure for a long one. 

These figures will ensure optimal balance for any type of paddle, offering a wider sweet-spot, that is advantageous for a beginner. While professionals usually do well with longer handles that provide a better grip. 

  1. Weight

Lightweight paddles are highly responsive, having a faster reaction time and swing speed than heavier models, which offer higher deflection. Hefty paddles require less strength, having a lower reaction speed, that is needed to generate a powerful shot while hitting the ball.

  1. Deflection 

According to the USAPA standards, pickleball paddles should never have a trampoline effect, for safety and performance reasons. Paddles that come with a higher deflection-rate will have more bounce in its core. These will generate more power requiring less effort. But, these can also hamper accuracy and control in most cases.

  1. Grip

The grip on the handle of a pickleball paddle significantly affects the accuracy of a shot. It is important to find a balanced handle length and grip that fit your palm-size. Also, a decent handle-grip will keep the paddle from slipping during shots, which does make it a vital factor to consider.

  1. Edge Guard 

The edge-guards on a paddle keeps it from sustaining heavy damages caused due to sharp blows. A medium edge guard on the pickleball paddles works suitably, while larger ones can offer a wider hitting surface, reducing dead spots. But, on the downside, wider guards can make the paddle heavy, that may affect your overall performance.

Conclusion

And that was it for my extensive guide on some of the best graphite pickleball paddles you can get for that upcoming match right now! I hope I was able to provide you with a useful insight into how these work.

And here’s wishing you all the luck for your future pickleball adventures!

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