It wasn’t all that lengthy back when pickleball was freely specified as an edge sporting activity booked for retired people as well as informal gamers. Created in the summertime of 1965 off the shore of Washington, the video game called for just a paddle as well as 2 to 4 gamers, making it a racquet sporting activity much less complicated to try as well as take pleasure in than tennis. Years later on, pickleball expanded in appeal as well as today it stands as America’s fastest expanding sporting activity according to a 2022 record from the Sports as well as Physical Fitness Market Organization. With almost 5 million gamers in the U.S. alone, you as well might be lured to offer the sporting activity a shot, in which situation you’ll just require a paddle to start. As well as while there isn’t one paddle that’s best for every single gamer, the very best pickleball paddles will certainly aid you take pleasure in (as well as surpass) every suit.

Certainly, pickleball is preferred for factors past its reduced obstacle to access. Mixing components of tennis, tennis as well as Ping-Pong, the policies are instead basic, the court is little (it’s quarter of a tennis court) as well as, unlike tennis, it doesn’t take years of practice to play competitively. But as the most important piece of equipment in your bag, it’s imperative that you find a paddle that meets your needs.

While paddles look nearly identical from one model to the next, differences do exist—if you know what to look for. When distinguishing one paddle from the next, factors such as grip size, weight, shape and materials will impact your play. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This guide, which we’ve organized categorically based on every player’s needs, represents the best of the current pickleball paddle class. Read on to find the paddle that meets your needs and dominate every match.

Founded by a family of pickleball players, Selkirk makes a number of noteworthy paddles but the Amped Epic earns top marks for its fiberglass face that delivers plenty of spin as you shape your shots and a standard face that’s perfect for all-court play. The polypropylene honeycomb core reduces fatigue whether you’re lobbing or smashing, and it weighs between 7.8 and 8.4 ounces, making it a suitable mid-weight option. Find the Amped in different lens colors, weights and shapes to meet your needs and style of play.

What players say: “Awesome lightweight paddle that added a little extra reach to my game. I used it for the first time in a tournament and got awesome results.”

If you’d like to give pickleball a try without dropping a lot on a new paddle, Head’s Radical Elite model will serve you well (no pun intended). Featuring a fiberglass surface for excellent feel and power, it’s complete with a 4.25-inch handle and a polypropylene core that’s perfect for mid-level play. Head’s expertise in the tennis world plays a role in the paddle’s Ergo grip, which should add some confidence to your play as well. Best of all, the paddle’s $60 price tag makes it an affordable option, so you can get into the game with friends or play some pick-up in your free time without feeling guilty if you’re not on the court day in and day out.

What players say: “Great feel, lightweight. Useful for all skill levels. I thought about a more expensive paddle, but bought one for my wife and she liked it so much I bought another for myself.”

While materials, weight and dimensions will affect any player’s performance on the court, beginners should pay close attention to these details as they will have a lasting impact on your long-term experience. For instance, the Prolite Bolt offers a number of features that are great for beginners, including a thicker core that absorbs impact, a carbon fiber frame that improves control and a 4-inch grip that allows you to add tape if need be. The Bolt is also an affordable option at $71, and it’s incredibly quiet to reduce noise.

What players say: “This is a terrific paddle. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money until I know if I am going to stick with this game. I have been using this several months and I love it. It is just the right weight for a beginner.”

After you’ve got a few seasons of play under your belt, odds are you’re going to want to level up your paddle, at which point you should consider picking up the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro. Delivering unmatched accuracy, power and forgiveness, it features a large sweet spot and balanced weight to increase your finesse, speed and maneuverability. The textured graphic surface pairs with a tacky performance grip to improve accuracy and control through every shot, and Paddletek offers the Tempest Wave Pro in multiple colors to suit your style.

What players say: “High quality paddle with large sweet spot. Paddle absorbs shock well but has plenty of power. It’s a fun paddle to play with because it can do so much.”

When the time comes to invest in a new paddle, you’ll probably look to top-tier models that feature a polymer core and fiberglass surface, but those same details can be found in the value-driven Gamma Quest. Weighing 7.8 ounces, this middleweight paddle blends a polypropylene core with a textured fiberglass surface to deliver more precision and power. the signature Gamma honeycomb grip features a tacky and firm surface to maintain control, and the paddle costs a mere $35, making it a suitable option for beginners seeking a paddle that’s big on value, and not on price.

What players say: “Just wanted to purchase an extra paddle to have in case, so far I’ve enjoyed using it, very similar to the micron, slightly heavy but still very good for those learning to play without paying so much for a paddle.”

You’ll spot various Onix paddles at tournaments across the country, and the Graphite Z5 is no exception. The slightly elongated shape gives you extra reach and shifts the sweet spot upward, while the traditional width makes it easier to block shots or dink to your heart’s content. But most importantly, all that real estate allows you to generate loads of power without sacrificing control. If that’s your style, this paddle’s for you.

What players say: “This is a great paddle for all levels. The weight is right in the middle so it’s not too light or too heavy. Has a large sweet spot for consistent hits and a great surface for putting spin on the ball. The grip issues seem to be resolved and it feels great in my hand.”

Once you’ve finally fallen in love with pickleball after a few months of play, you’ll soon wonder how your game might improve if you were to invest in a new paddle. When that day comes, consider picking up the Joola Ben Johns Hyperion paddle—it makes for a suitable upgrade over your beloved entry-level model. The elongated handle improves grip in the midst of a heated match while a carbon surface adds texture, helping you put some added spin (and flair) on those placed shots. The paddle’s edge features a reinforced guard to strengthen the core and a honeycomb layer of polymer offers better feedback and control over that of an entry-level model.

What players say: “I began playing several months ago with a normal $50 paddle. I am athletic and play a lot of sports and know that quality equipment does make a difference and this paddle made a huge difference for me. You won’t be disappointed with this paddle, very much an upgrade.”

When the time comes for your little one to pick up a paddle, consider introducing them to the game by way of the OneShot Juniorshot paddle. The one-of-a-kind design includes Jurassic illustrations that add a playful element to every match, and the paddle is built with durability in mind to withstand abuse. At 5.8 ounces, it’s light enough to prevent fatigue but wide enough to deliver a large sweet spot that prevents mis-hits.

What the players say: “If you love pickleball and have kids in your life, these paddles are the best!! Finally a real paddle for kids. They are the perfect weight and well made for kids.”


If you’re simply looking for a paddle with a bit of pop (in terms of color), Nettie’s Ashbury should help you stand out on the court. The carbon fiber frame features a design inspired by the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco, which makes it an appealing choice for west coasters or those that just need to add a little style to their game. Complete with a 4.25-inch octagonal grip and a polymer honeycomb core, it plays just as good as it looks.

What players say: “Great style! Solid hitting capability. The grip is a bit larger than I expected, but it’s soft and does not slip.”

How We Chose The Best Pickleball Paddles

When the time comes to invest in a pickleball paddle, you’ll quickly notice that options abound. Some paddles feature lightweight materials, others promote durability, and every paddle claims to be the best option when the time comes to up your game. With that in mind, we pored over expert opinions, online reviews and the latest in paddle technology to assemble a list of noteworthy options. From there, we considered each paddle’s weight, shape, length and construction to determine which paddles are worthy of the court, and which ones you can leave behind. This list represents the best paddles for players both casual and competitive, and it’s updated often for accuracy and integrity. It was last updated January 2023.

What To Consider When Buying In A Pickleball Paddle

Take a gander at the best pickleball paddles and you’ll notice that while each model looks nearly identical from one to the next, they’re not quite the same. In reality, a handful of factors differentiate one paddle from another, and how you blend these factors will dictate your play.


A heavier paddle (over 8 ounces) will add power and stability to every shot, but will come at the cost of speed. If you’re a beginner, consider investing in a lighter paddle (less than 8 ounces) that allows you to focus on control.


A paddle’s shape dictates its sweet spot, power and control. Elongated paddles (like the Head Radical Elite mentioned above) offer more power to help you drive shots, while a squared paddle has a bigger sweet spot and offers more control. The latter shape is better for a beginner.


Thickness refers to how thick the core of the paddle is. A thicker core (over 16 millimeters thick) offers a bigger sweet spot and greater potential for spins, which makes it harder for your opponent to return a shot. A thinner core (less than 16 millimeters thick) offers more power, but this comes at the cost of a smaller sweet spot and less control. Consider investing in a paddle with a thicker core if you’re new to the game, as this will allow you to control and place shots before settings your sights on power.

Handle Length

The length of the handle is largely a matter of preference. A shorter handle mimics the geometry of a Ping-Pong paddle, which gives you the opportunity to choke up on the grip, thereby reducing its rotational inertia to swing the paddle quicker, while a longer handle sacrifices some speed but plays a lot more like a tennis racket.


Fiberglass, graphite, carbon fiber—pickleball paddles are made with different materials that perform a bit differently in the midst of play. Beginner-to-intermediate paddles are usually made with fiberglass, while intermediate-to-advanced paddles are made with carbon fiber and graphite. Read on to discover out what differentiates these materials from one another, and how they might impact your play.

Is Graphite Or Fiberglass Better For Pickleball Paddles?

Fiberglass typically weighs more than graphite, but the added weight allows you to generate more power when smashing. Graphite, on the other hand, provides more control or finesse so you can place shots with accuracy. While pickleball paddles were once primarily made of wood, these modern materials deliver greater comfort, control and long-term durability, and both make for great options whether you’re new to the sport or looking to level up your game.

Which Pickleball Paddle Has The Largest Sweet Spot?

Pickleball paddles look slightly different from one model to the next in terms of their shape, and some feature larger sweet spots to improve accuracy and response. While there’s no single paddle with the largest sweet spot, models like the aforementioned Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro are longer than a traditional paddle to elevate the sweet spot.

It’s worth noting that Selkirk claims to offer a paddle with the largest sweet spot in the industry, the S2, so consider this option if you’re looking for a paddle that offers more reach—it’s perfect for singles players.

Is A Thicker Pickleball Paddle Better?

A pickleball paddle with a thicker core will provide greater shock absorption and offer more consistency, especially if you’re new to the game. Thicker paddles have become more popular in recent years as a result of the improved control and the reduced likelihood of the paddle twisting in your hand when a ball is struck near the edge.

Do Expensive Pickleball Paddles Make A Difference?

Not unlike the best pocket knives or a pair of award-winning hiking boots, more expensive pickleball paddles will offer a series of advantages that include improved consistency, accuracy and durability as a result of higher-quality polymers that won’t break down as easily over time.

That said, don’t assume your game will drastically improve simply because you picked up an expensive paddle. If you’ve never played pickleball before, consider investing in a budget- or beginner-friendly option that costs less but still offers consistency so you can focus on the basics before upgrading your paddle in time.

What Is A Good Price For A Pickleball Paddle?

Take one look at this list and you’ll notice that pickleball paddles come in a range of prices. Wooden paddles cost anywhere from $10-$30, composite paddles go for $30-$100 and those made with graphite or carbon fiber can run you up to $200. At the end of the day, the best price for a pickleball paddle comes down to your budget and ability. If you’ve never played before, consider investing in a composite paddle that’s less than $100. And if you’re looking to level up your game, paddles in the $100-$200 range should meet your demands without shedding an opening in your pocket.

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