Pickleball is a fun sport, which borrows interesting elements from both tennis and badminton. However, it is enjoyed with the help of special paddles that are neither borrowed nor inspired by either of these sports. Not only are they shaped somewhat differently, but their size, weight, length, and material may also vary. The top 7 best pickleball paddles have also been mentioned as part of the article.
And we also aim to present a comprehensive buying guide to assist you in choosing the right paddle. Read on to find out everything there is to know about these unique paddles!
Top Selling Pickleball Paddles of 2018
|Name/Image||Learn More||Brand||Rating||Average Weight||Paddle Width||Grip Size||Core Material||Surface Material|
Is it Worth buying Amazin’ Aces Classic Graphite Pickleball Paddle?
|view pricefull review||Amazin' Aces||9.2 oz||-||4 inches||Honeycomb polymer||Graphite|
Rally NX Graphite Pickleball Paddle Review
|view pricefull review||Pickleball Central||7.4 to 8.0 Ounces||4 Inches||4 Inches||Nomex Honeycomb||Graphite|
Best Onix Pickleball Paddles Review and Buying Guide
|view pricefull review||Onix||7.5-8.2 oz||8.3" Width||4-1/4 Inches||Honeycomb||Graphite|
Venom Aramid Honeycomb Composite Pickleball Paddle Review
|view pricefull review||Pickle Ball Inc.||8 to 8.5 Ounce||4.25 Inches||4 ¼ Inches||Honeycomb||UV resistant Vinyl over Fiberglass|
Paddletek Bantam EX-L Paddle Review
|view pricefull review||Paddletek||7.8 - 8.3 Ounces||7.75 Inches||4.5-inch||Polymer||Poly|
Best Selkirk Pickleball Paddle Reviewed
|view pricefull review||Selkirk||7.1 to 7.7 Ounces||8 Inches||4.125-inches||Polymer||Graphite|
Gamma Sports Voltage Classic 1.0 Model Review
|view pricefull review||Gamma Sports||7.6 Ounces||8.25-inches||4⅛ inches||Aramid Honeycomb||Carbon Fiber Hitting|
Top-Rated 7 Best Pickleball Paddles
Given below is a list of pickleball paddles that will help you add a spin to your game, be it beginner or advanced level. These reviews will aid you in making the right decision.
1. Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle (Recommended)
Onix Z5 ensures premium quality and the right price. It may be used by all skill levels (beginners and intermediate and advanced players). It features a large sweet spot, allowing more strength and the perfect spin.
The Onix Z5 weighs about 8.1 ounces, making it slightly heavier than other paddles. However, it does not fall in the heavy paddle category; it can be considered a middle-weight paddle. Hence, you can expect more power with this pickleball paddle without losing control.
It features a wide hitting area with a length of 15 ½ inches and a width that measures 8 1/8 inches. The grip measures 4 ¼ inches, which is most suited for average heights. However, the handle length may be smaller than other paddles.
This Onix pickleball paddle has been designed using a Nomex core and graphite exterior, so durability is not questionable. Since the core features a brittle material, there will be more zip in your shots. Its lightweight material makes for enhanced speed and maneuverability.
Moreover, the Nomex core tends to be slightly noisier than other materials, so it may not be suited for places with noise restrictions. The design ensures a good balance of control and speed, but noise is the only downside.
- Available alone and in a bundle (including balls)
- It features control and speed
- It comes equipped with an edge guard for protection
- Available in 8 different colors: red, blue, green, orange, yellow, purple, pink and white
- Upgraded contour Gamma grip w/ 4 ¼ “grip size
- Newest WIDEBODY dimensions
- Crafted from high-performance and quality graphite materials
- Larger than other oversize paddles
- Extra-wide hitting surface that comes with a new WIDEBODY design
- Designed and endorsed by Steve Wong, a known top player
- Cool and fresh logo and exciting colors
- Made in USA
- Customers complained about graphical style
Selkirk Sport 30P XL Epic Polymer Graphite Pickleball Paddle comes from one of the most renowned names in the market. It comes equipped with a large sweet spot, so you feel good while gripping it and the ball pops off its solid face quite beautifully.
It weighs about 7.4 ounces, successfully making it to the middle-weight paddle category. Its lightweight design allows greater control of shots without causing strain during longer games. This signature paddle from Selkirk brings together tons of power and lots of control – the best combination!
In terms of hitting area, it features a width of 8 inches and a length that measures 15.75 inches. Moreover, the handle comes at a length of 5.35 inches and a circumference that measure 4.25 inches. Its Pro-Lite Gamma Grip allows for a solid grip.
It has been designed using a polymer core and a graphite exterior. Selkirk paddle ensures great cushioning and grip during competitive games. The polymer material makes for a less noisy paddle, so it is suitable for use in noise restrictive zones. Overall, it ensures a sturdy performance and cutting-edge durability and suits all skill levels equally well.
- Tested and approved by the USAPA for tournaments
- It comes equipped with a lightweight and low-profile edge guard
- Available in 3 different colors: blue crush, blue note, and lime
- Lightweight and durable
- Ideal for intermediate and advanced players
- Good for power and control
- Ideal handle size and grip
- Not the best paddle for heavy hitters
Looking for a durable yet affordable pickleball paddle? If so, you’ll love this one from Rally that ensures unmatched performance and acing shots such as dinks, volleys and slams. The best part about this Rally NX graphite pickleball paddle is that it works well for all skill levels – beginner, intermediate and advanced!
It comes at a weight of 0.51 pounds approximately, making it a lightweight and easy-to-hold paddle. It features a Winn Dry Grip that allows a dry and solid cushioned grip while playing. The paddle is an ideal weight for enabling greater control of all shots.
The paddle features a length of 15 ¾ inches and a width of 8 ¼ inches. The grip comes at a length of 4 ¾ inches and a medium circumference that measures 4 ¼ inches. The size makes it optimal for use in USAPA games since it complies with the size standards put forth by the organization.
The paddle has been designed with the help of state-of-the-art material, allowing greater control and making for exceptional durability. It comes equipped with a Nomex honeycomb core and graphite face, providing the optimal blend of power, control and strength. The Nomex core has been placed in for additional durability, so the paddle is guaranteed to stay with you for more than a few years.
It also features an edge guard that measures 1/8 inches, which is thin, meaning you get more paddle playing surface also protecting the paddle from chipping.
- Available alone and in a bundle (including balls)
- It can be used for both indoor and outdoor gameplay
- Available in 4 different colors: red, blue, green and yellow
- Ideal balance between control and power
- Larger sweet spots
- Ideal for both outdoor and indoor use
- The honeycomb core ensures longevity and strength
- Lightweight yet strong paddle
- While buying, most shoppers might think about the paddle’s lightweight nature which causes vibrations while playing. But it’s the fact that it doesn’t really do so.
Venom Pickleball paddle takes inspiration from the famous wood paddles that closely resemble tennis racquets. If you are all for longer handles and enhanced control of your shots, this one has been made just for you.
It weighs approximately 7.6 ounces, falling in the medium category. It is a sturdy pickleball paddle that does not cause fatigue, even during the longest games. You may need to get used to the paddle since the weight, shape, and handles are unlike all other pickleball racquets.
The size is also optimal for a medium hitting surface with a width of 8 1/8 inches and a length that measures 15.75 inches. It also comes equipped with a grip length of 5.5 inches and a circumference of 4.25 inches.
Its unique teardrop design features a Nomex honeycomb core with aramid fibers and phenolic resin. It has been designed to ensure performance and durability. Not only does it feel good in the hands, but you also get greater power and control with this lightweight pickleball paddle.
It comes equipped with an ultra-cushion grip that ensures moisture control and a solid grip. A ½-inch edge guard has also been placed to offer enhanced protection from chipping.
- It has been tested and approved by the USAPA
- It comes equipped with an edge guard for protection
- Available in 4 different colors: red, blue, green, and orange
- IFP approved for tournament play
- USAPA approved
- Durable and powerful fiberglass face
- Honeycomb core guarantees
- Durable and powerful performance
- Weighted guard and rubberized guard gives protection to the paddle and improve performance and power
- Issues on the weight distribution
- Some find this product a bit expensive
This one has been designed specifically for intermediate and advanced pickleball players. If you are a beginner, this particular paddle could give you a tough time since control and power must be mastered for using a professional paddle such as this.
It weighs about 8.3 ounces, falling within the middle-weight paddle category. It’s not at all heavy but allows great control over shots. The weight also makes for a shock-absorbent feature.
It’s a slightly large paddle with a width of 7.75 inches and a length that measures 15.75 inches. You can expect to exert more power using this paddle. It also features a cushioned and textured grip that measures 4.5 inches with a circumference that spans 4.25 inches.
It has been designed using a polymer honeycomb composite core which features greater power and placement control. You may also experience minimal vibrations with this type of solid construction. If you prefer power to control, this pickleball paddle serves the purpose just right. Its fiberglass face ensures a strong base for powerful strikes and shots such as dinking, smashes and volleys.
- It has been approved by the USAPA for use in tournaments
- It features a velvet-textured polymer surface for more spin
- Available in a wide range of color combinations
- Offers players enough power without the fatigue
- Gives players better control but some adjustment might be needed
- It is built to offer you balance and versatility
- Quieter and lighter than other medium weight paddles
- Lacks power or control as heavy hitters might want
- It’s not ideal for beginners
If you prefer durability and performance over price, there is nothing better than Gamma’s Classic 1.0 paddle. It has been designed with the help of premium material, ensuring a good balance of control, power and strength.
The paddle weighs on average about 7.8 ounces and falls in the middle-weight category. The weight allows good control of shots and a fairly reasonable amount of power. There is no need to worry about fatigue during long hours of play with this paddle.
It is one of the longest and widest paddles available in the market for pickleball. It features a length of 15.6 inches and a width that measures 8.25 inches. With a hitting surface as huge as this, you really don’t have a legit reason to miss shots.
It has been designed using a graphite exterior and aramid honeycomb core. The hitting surface features a carbon fiber material, making for exceptional performance and durability. The surface is super responsive against shots, but noise is a downside.
It comes equipped with a simple design, featuring GAMMA Flush Fit Bumper that makes up for the missing edge guards. The stitched PB contour grip makes for a solid and moisture-free grip at all times.
- It has been tested and approved by the USAPA
- Comes equipped with a live periphery frame
- Features a unibody handle
- Available in 6 different colors
- Comfortable grip
- Consistent paddle surface response
- Flush edge effectively reduce errant shots
- Good-sized handle
- Great control and maneuverability
- Provides extra little power
- Loud sound coming from the paddle when hit
This one comes with the approval of USAPA for meeting and exceeding all standards. If you are looking to get your hands on a professional paddle for your next championship, get yourself acquainted with this sturdy paddle from Amazin’ Aces.
This graphite paddle weighs about 0.93 pounds and is available in 3 different colors. It lands in the heavier paddle category, but the additional weight enables greater power too. Moreover, it combines a soft core that works perfectly for beginners and intermediate players.
It comes with a grip length of 4 3/4″, a paddle length of 16″ and a paddle width of 16″. This lands it among the longer paddles.
This pickleball paddle features a combination of polypropylene honeycomb core and a graphite face. Since polymer cores are made from plastic, they tend to be soft and not as loud as other materials. The softcore enables greater control while playing. Moreover, the noise-free feature makes them great for almost all pickleball courts.
The paddle also comes equipped with a high-quality grip and a protective edge guard.
- Available alone and in a bundle (including balls)
- Great for beginners and intermediate players
- Available in 3 different colors: black, blue and pink
- Best in low budget
- For the price it has maximum durability as well as playability
- The graphite face guarantees ultimate strength which virtually eliminates denting and dinging
- Honeycomb core is lightweight but strong enough to withstand countless slams, volleys and dinks.
- Perfect combination of control and power without getting users fatigued just like some other heavier paddles available.
- The superior-quality grip keeps your grip solid and dry and the edge guard protects paddle against ground hits while keeping maximum paddle-playing face.
- Minimal drawbacks from a few unsatisfied users.
- Some have complaints about the rubber batting all around the paddle seems to be coming loose.
Pickleball Paddle Buying Guide
Pickleball paddles come in a variety of cores. The core allows the paddle to be lightweight or heavier in the hand. The common core materials are as follows:
Nomex is a polymer material that is somewhat related to nylon. Its use includes a number of industries such as aerospace. It is utilized for its numerous features such as durability, lightweight, and flexibility. Nomex Core was developed in the 1960s to be used in sporting goods. It has remained a popular choice of material for pickleball paddle cores.
A honeycomb framework is dipped into polymer resin to formulate Nomex cores. On hardening, a tough material is created that does not compress easily.
Nomex paddles tend to be extremely lightweight yet durable. These cores are hard and noisy relative to other materials. If powerful strikes are what you are looking for in your pickleball paddle, this one may just become your favorite.
Aluminum core shares a capability with Nomex – power. For players who are out looking for a paddle core that ensures great power, the choice has to be between Nomex and aluminum. This one is also structured using honeycomb shapes featured in aluminum hexagonal-shaped walls. Not only do aluminum cores come at a reasonable price, but they also make for quite the durable and strong paddles.
All cores made from aluminum may not necessarily be lightweight unless thin aluminum is used in construction. Moreover, they may not be as light as Nomex or polymer paddles.
There is a loud pop associated with these paddles, which is unique to this material. If you love aluminum paddles, try its combination with a fiberglass face – you’ll love it!
This is a polymer plastic material that has recently made its way into the pickleball paddle world. It has become an increasingly popular choice of material for paddles to achieve enhanced durability and lightweight. Since the material is soft, the inner cores tend to be all the more flexible, contrary to other core materials.
Furthermore, the softness of the material makes the paddle less reflective, allowing for prolonged contact of the ball with the paddle. As a result, the player can exercise greater control over their shots while enjoying a quiet game. These cores do not make loud thuds every time you hit the ball hard, as is the case with aluminum and Nomex.
Based on your preference related to durability, weight, and noise, you may choose from one the aforementioned inner core materials.
The material used to construct a pickleball paddle is another essential feature. It determines the weight and deflection attributes of the paddle. The following material choices are prevalent:
These paddles feature a combination of plastic and resin and are quite lightweight and durable. Most sporting clubs use these paddles owing to the affordability factor that they deliver. Polymer paddles are not a preferable choice of professional players since their performance is not as strong as graphite and composite options. They are most liked for casual games, especially among kids.
The very first set of pickleball paddles was made from wood. It came in a simplistic design at the time, but now, wooden paddles have become quite sophisticated with the addition of features such as wrist straps and ornate grips.
In order to incorporate the lightweight attribute, plywood replaced hardwood eventually. Owing to durability and the economical price, the wooden paddle has since remained a popular choice. However, if you are not comfortable with heavier paddles on the court, it’s probably best to avoid going for a wooden paddle.
Professional players have been fond of graphite paddles because of its many exceptional qualities. Within the graphite exterior, a honeycomb inner core is present that is usually made from aluminum, Nomex or polypropylene.
These paddles are both lightweight and extremely responsive, making for strong and powerful strikes. In addition to this, graphite paddles allow unmatched control and dinking at the net. If you are an expert player, there is no matching the exceptional performance that a graphite paddle can guarantee. Beginners may try graphite paddles that feature small edge guards.
This one makes for the best pickleball paddles since the construction features a range of materials. The basis for the use of different materials is to ensure durability and performance. The materials used include:
- UV-resistant vinyl
- Polymer surfaces
These materials are high-tech, so don’t be surprised by the higher cost! They also tend to be lightweight and are probably the most lightweight paddles in the market. Moreover, they ensure greater control, power, and durability.
The noise factor associated with these paddles can be a matter of concern for most players. However, if you aspire to achieve powerful shots and dinks, it’s best to pick up a composite pickleball paddle.
Other Essential Features
Although construction and core are the most fundamental aspects, there are a few other features that you must consider to get the best pickleball paddles. These have been slightly touched upon in the following paragraphs:
The hitting surface size is the combined width and length of the paddle. The preferable size is not more than 24 inches. Basically, you are looking for a paddle that measures 8 by 16 inches or 5 by 19 inches for short and long paddles respectively.
A wide hitting area (or short paddle) is good for beginners, but a professional is more likely to choose a longer paddle to ensure a better grip. A narrow hitting area does not stop them from giving their most powerful shots.
The weight determines reaction time and swing speed. Less weight means you need to have a fast reaction time and swing speed. Beginners train well with heavier paddles owing to their higher deflection and because the strength required for hitting the ball is much less than what a lightweight paddle requires.
You can choose a lighter option, but the choice depends largely on your age, skill level, and strength. Light paddles have been used more often in doubles, while heavier ones (especially wooden paddles) do great in singles games.
Without a comfortable and strong grip, you tend to lose control. A paddle grip should be neither too small nor too long but just right for your hand.
Generally, longer grips are known for providing stability, while shorter ones allow greater control over shots. Hence, your choice could depend on which aspect you prefer. Still confused as to which grip to go for, start small, literally!
Once you have got a hang of the grip, you’ll know whether it works in your favor. Some of the paddles feature gel padding to minimize vibrations. Experiment with a few paddles and see which one works best for you.
It’s imperative to choose a durable product that ensures value for money. The durability regarding cores and material have already been discussed. Here, we will focus largely on the face finishing and handles.
Handles are mostly made from materials such as fiberglass, polymers, wood or hard foam. Choose one that you feel provides long-lasting durability.
As for the face finishing, you’ll find paddles that use graphite, plastic, wood or composite materials. Make sure to choose one that offers ultraviolet inhibitors that minimize discoloration and sun damage.
According to the standards set by USAPA, a paddle must not have a trampolining effect. For instance, if you have a paddle weighing 3 kg, it should not deflect more than 5000th of an inch.
Paddles that have a higher deflection offer more spring, thereby allowing a hit that requires less effort and offering less control over the shot. Therefore, if you choose a high deflection paddle, you could lose control of your shots. It’s always a good idea to choose lower deflection that enables greater control over shots.
This may not be considered as an essential feature by most, but it requires the same amount of attention as all the other features. A few courts have had to ban certain paddles as they were quite loud. The unique popping sound from the aluminum core is the perfect example.
If you are not a fan of thuds and popping sounds, it’s best to go for a polypropylene core and foam center. Without the sound, you could even surprise your opponents as they may not hear your shots.
You’ll find rubber or plastic edges on the face of your pickleball paddle. These are called edge guards. The idea behind the edge guard is to keep the edges secure. However, it adds weight to the paddle. The edgeless paddles have gained popularity, but they are more prone to chipping.
The choice is entirely up to you. It’s not going to impact performance, but it might take a toll on the paddle’s durability.
Which Color to Choose?
Color might not be an important feature for some of you, but it does matter. Color is not simply a personal specification. It can even impact performance – well, not your performance, but that of your opponent.
Choosing brightly colored and patterned paddles is like a distraction for the opponent. It keeps them focused on the paddle when they should really be focusing on the ball. You can even find kaleidoscope patterns in the market that will dazzle your opponents and keep their attention.
This is yet another important aspect that you must account for. The more technologically advanced material will cost more as compared to, for example, wooden paddles. The idea is to start cheap if you are a learner or beginner at the sport and go for pricy paddles only when you have reached a certain skill level.
Casual players may also not need to spend a lot of money on getting the top-rated pickleball paddles that cost a fortune. However, if you are passionate about the sport and intend to convert casual gameplay into professional playing, the investment might be worth it!
Making the Right Choice
The aforementioned features will help you decide which pickleball paddle is the most suitable for you. However, before you read through the best pickleball paddle reviews, here’s a list of questions that you must ask yourself to understand what type of choice you should make:
What Is Your Skill Level?
Identifying your skill level is important since it can help with a lot of decisions regarding features that you must consider when buying a pickleball racquet. If you are a beginner or play the sport casually, you are most likely to have a different priority when it comes to the paddle’s features.
Professional players are more likely to prefer the more sophisticated features, such as longer paddles, graphite material, and bright colors. Unless you have identified your skill level, you may not be able to decide on the most essential features.
Which Shots Do You Prefer Most?
If you have established your skill level as a beginner, intermediate or advanced player, identify your most preferred shots. Within a few months of playing the sport, you will discover your playing style. You might do well with dinks, accurate shots, or heavy hitting. Whichever style you are most comfortable with, choose a paddle that complements it. Furthermore, it must help you improve your style and master it better than your opponents.
What Do You Value More – Control or Power?
The next question to ask yourself is your most valued attribute while playing pickleball. If power is what you are after, heavier paddles with higher deflection are what you must look for.
However, if you like to have complete control over your shots, it’s probably best to go for low deflection paddles. Moreover, for enhanced control, you must opt for pickleball paddles that are lightweight, easily maneuverable and extremely responsive. Touch paddles enable you to position shots perfectly through greater precision and consistency.
Thus, your choice will depend on which aspect you value more.
Do You Play Indoors or Outdoors?
For outdoor games, a UV-resistant coating has been used in most paddles in order to avoid sun damage and discoloration. If you play outdoors most of the time, you should secure your paddle with a durable edge guard. As for indoor games, these two features may be overlooked.
Do You Value Price More Than Durability?
Here’s another question that will help you choose either a more durable paddle or one that costs less and does not last as long. It’s very likely that an expensive paddle will last for as long as intended and vice versa. Hence, you need to choose which factor you place greater value on – is it price or durability? Once you have decided, go for options that best suit your preference.
These questions will allow you to choose a pickleball paddle that matches your requirement, skill level and personal preferences regarding the many features that have been identified in the preceding section. Once you are clear on these, you will have an easy time selecting the best pickleball paddle from the list given above.