Hey there, pickleballers! If you’re looking to up your game and find the perfect pickleball paddle, you’ve come to the right place. As your friendly neighborhood pickleball gear expert, I’ve made it my mission to test out and uncover the best pickleball paddles on the market, just for you.
I’ve spent countless hours on the court, getting hands-on experience with a wide variety of paddles. From lightweight speedsters to powerhouse sluggers, I’ve played with them all. And now, I’m excited to share my insights with you and help you find the paddle that’ll take your game to the next level.
My Top Pickleball Paddle Picks
- Best Overall Pickleball Paddle: PCKL Launch Series
- Best Professional Grade Pickleball Paddle: JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS
- Best Budget Pickleball Paddle : XS XSPAK Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle
- Best Ultralight Pickleball Paddle: Niupipo Voyager Pro
- Best Designed Pickleball Paddle: Paddletek Tempest Wave II
- Best Intermediate Pickleball Paddle: ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle
Best Overall Pickleball Paddle
1. PCKL Launch Series
Paddle Length: 16″
Paddle Weight: 7.5oz
Paddle Material: Fiberglass face with polypropylene honeycomb core
Colors Offered: Green, White
What We Like: Significantly smaller than other paddles, this paddle packs a real punch on its hits (once you master the control)
What We Don’t: Limited selection of very bold colors
This paddle has been making waves in the pickleball community, so I just had to give it a spin and see what all the buzz was about.
First impressions are important, and the PCKL Launch Series certainly didn’t disappoint. The paddle’s design was both eye-catching and functional, making me eager to hit the court and show it off. But, as we all know, a paddle’s true worth is determined by its performance – so let’s talk about how this baby handled on the court.
The PCKL Launch Series was lightweight and easy to maneuver, making it a breeze to dash around the court and execute those precision shots. It felt like I had a secret weapon in my hand, ready to unleash a volley of pickleball fury on my unsuspecting opponents.
But this paddle isn’t just about speed and agility; it also packs a punch in the power department. The PCKL Launch Series boasts a generous sweet spot, allowing me to deliver some seriously powerful shots without breaking a sweat. My opponents may not have been quaking in their shoes, but they definitely took notice of my new paddle prowess.
Control-wise, the PCKL Launch Series was no slouch either. I found myself able to place the ball with greater accuracy than ever before, making me a formidable force on the court. My dinks were on point, my drives were laser-focused, and my volleys were nothing short of spectacular.
If you’re looking to take your game to new heights (or maybe even launch it into orbit), give the PCKL Launch Series a shot – your pickleball game just might soar.For more information, read my in-depth review of the PCKL Launch Series. See the PCKL Launch Series
Best Professional Grade Pickleball Paddle
2. JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS
Paddle Surface: Carbon friction: an advanced, long lasting surface that allows for incredible spin.
Paddle Core: Polypropylene honeycomb, which minimizes vibration and provides consistent hits.
Paddle Weight: 7.9oz
Paddle Length: 16.5″
What We Like: Designed by the best player in the game, Ben Johns, this paddle is an absolute beast if you’re looking for the Cadillac of pickleball paddles
What We Don’t: It’s not a budget friendly paddle, that’s for sure!
JOOLA’s Ben Johns Hyperion CFS is a high-end paddle endorsed by the world’s best pickleball player, Ben Johns himself. This paddle is top-notch, but keep in mind, it does come with a price tag to match its prestige.
When I first unboxed the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS, I could tell that this was a paddle designed for serious players. The build quality and materials were impressive, and it felt like a premium product in my hands. It’s clear that this paddle was created with the pros in mind.
On the court, the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS lived up to its reputation. The paddle was lightweight and easy to maneuver, allowing me to react quickly and make precise shots. It felt like an extension of my arm, and my fellow players couldn’t help but notice my improved game.
The control provided by this paddle was truly exceptional. The sweet spot was generous, making even off-center shots feel solid and accurate. I found myself dinking, driving, and volleying with increased confidence, and it was clear that the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS played a significant role in that.
While the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS is indeed a bit pricey, it’s worth considering for those who are serious about their pickleball game and want to invest in a paddle that can help them reach new heights. The blend of power, control, and premium craftsmanship make it a standout option in the world of pickleball.
If you’re in the market for a high-quality paddle that’s designed with the pros in mind, the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS is worth considering. It may be a bit of an investment, but for those looking to elevate their game, it could be the perfect paddle to help you achieve your goals.For more information, read my in-depth review of the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS. See the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS
Best Budget Pickleball Paddle
3. XS XSPAK Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle
Paddle Length: 16.5″
Paddle Weight: 8.0oz
Paddle Material: Graphic carbon surface, with honeycomb core
USAPA Approved: Yes
What We Like: An excellent graphite pickleball paddle, with consistent and fast hits
What We Don’t: Slightly heavier build than other paddles can feel a bit slow on fast rallies
This nifty paddle has been making quite a splash in the pickleball community, and I couldn’t wait to give it a whirl.
Right out of the box, the XS XSPAK Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle caught my eye with its sleek design and cool graphics. It’s like the sports car of pickleball paddles – looks great, but also packs some serious performance under the hood.
On the court, the XS XSPAK didn’t disappoint. Its carbon fiber construction made it incredibly easy to maneuver. I felt like a pickleball ninja, darting around the court and executing shots with the precision of a master. My opponents didn’t know what hit ’em – and I was having a blast!
But don’t let this paddle’s sleekness fool you. The XS XSPAK Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle has plenty of power to spare, making it perfect for those who like to put some oomph behind their shots. The sweet spot was generous, and I had no trouble getting my groove on with this bad boy.
One thing I really appreciated about the XS XSPAK was the control it offered. I felt like I had a newfound mastery over the ball, directing it wherever I pleased. My dinks were dinkier, my drives were drivier, and my volleys were – well, you get the picture.
In a nutshell, pickleball pals, the XS XSPAK Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle is a fantastic option for players who want a high-performance paddle that doesn’t skimp on power or control. It’s fun, it’s functional, and it’ll have you feeling like a pickleball pro in no time.For more information, read my in-depth review of the XS XSPAK Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle. See the XS XSPAK Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle
Best Ultralight Pickleball Paddle
4. Niupipo Voyager Pro
Paddle Face Dimensions: 11.7″ x 7.5″ x 0.5″
Paddle Weight: 7.97oz
Paddle Material: Graphite carbon fiber, with added grit face
Paddle Length: Extra long (16.5″ total paddle length)
What We Like: The perfect all around pickleball paddle! Generous sweet spot, used by top pros, and one of the best selling paddles on the market. Excellent customer service to back it up as well.
What We Don’t: Not much to dislike about this paddle.
As a self-proclaimed pickleball gear expert, I can’t help but gush about the Niupipo Voyager Pro – our overall highest rated paddle and top pick for the best pickleball paddle. It’s like finding “The One” in a sea of paddles.
When I first unboxed the Niupipo Voyager Pro, I knew I was in for a treat. The paddle’s sleek design and build quality were top-notch, like a finely crafted sports car ready to hit the court. The comfortable grip had me itching to give it a test drive and show my fellow players what this beauty could do.
Once I hit the court, I found that the Niupipo Voyager Pro was incredibly light and easy to maneuver. The generous sweet spot meant even off-center shots felt solid, and the paddle’s graphite face added that extra bit of finesse I’d been craving. I was dinking, driving, and volleying with newfound confidence and ease.
But what really sold me on the Niupipo Voyager Pro was the control it offered. It felt like the paddle was an extension of my arm, allowing me to place the ball exactly where I wanted it to go. My opponents might not have been quaking in their shoes, but they definitely took notice of my improved game.
The Niupipo Voyager Pro has earned its place as our top pick for the best pickleball paddle, and I couldn’t be happier to share this gem with my fellow pickleball enthusiasts. It’s the perfect blend of power, control, and comfort that will elevate anyone’s game without being too flashy.
So, pickleball friends, if you’re looking to step up your game without breaking the bank, I wholeheartedly recommend the Niupipo Voyager Pro. It’s a no-nonsense paddle that packs a punch, and I’m confident it’ll quickly become your favorite court companion.For more information, read my in-depth review of the Niupipo Voyager Pro. See the Niupipo Voyager Pro
Best Designed Pickleball Paddle
5. Paddletek Tempest Wave II
Paddle Weight: 7.4 to 7.8 ounces
Paddle Length: 15.9″
Paddle Material: Textured graphite surface
Colors Offered: Yellow, Purple, Green, Blue, Red
What We Like: A relatively short paddle at under 16″, the sweet spot on the Tempest Wave II gives excellent control and spin on your shots
What We Don’t: It’s definitely on the pricey side, but fair enough… it’s a very solid high end paddle
First off, the Paddletek Tempest Wave II has a sleek design that’ll turn heads on the court. But as we all know, looks aren’t everything – it’s how the paddle performs that really matters. So, let’s dive into how the Tempest Wave II handled during play.
The paddle’s lightweight construction made it a joy to wield, allowing me to react quickly and stay nimble on my feet. It felt like an extension of my arm, making it easy to navigate the court and keep my opponents on their toes.
What truly sets the Paddletek Tempest Wave II apart is its control and touch. The paddle’s graphite face and polymer core provided a soft, responsive feel that allowed me to place shots with surgical precision. My dinks and drop shots were landing right where I wanted them, and my opponents were left scrambling to keep up.
The Tempest Wave II may not be the most powerful paddle out there, but it still packs enough punch for most players. With its focus on control and touch, it’s the perfect paddle for those who prefer a finesse-based game.For more information, read my in-depth review of the Paddletek Tempest Wave II. See the Paddletek Tempest Wave II
Best Intermediate Pickleball Paddle
6. ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle
Paddle Material: Carbon fiber frame with honeycomb core
Surface Texture: Slightly rough
USAPA Approved: Yes
Colors Offered: Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, Pink, White, and Yellow
What We Like: A favorite paddle of pickleball vets, offered in a huge variety of colors
What We Don’t: This paddle has been on the market for a while, and its design feels a little dated
At first glance, the ONIX Graphite Z5 boasts a clean, professional design that’s both stylish and functional. But, as we all know, the proof is in the pudding (or, in this case, the pickleball performance). So, let’s talk about how this paddle fared on the court.
The ONIX Graphite Z5 has a solid, slightly heavier feel compared to some other paddles I’ve tried. This weight translated into some serious power behind my shots. My opponents quickly learned that underestimating the Z5’s oomph was a grave mistake.
But what really impressed me about the ONIX Graphite Z5 was its ability to balance power with control. Thanks to its graphite face and Nomex honeycomb core, this paddle offered a great touch and responsiveness that allowed me to place shots with precision. It was like wielding a mighty hammer and a surgeon’s scalpel at the same time.
In terms of grip, the Z5’s cushioned handle felt comfortable and secure in my hand, allowing me to focus on my game without worrying about any slips or mishaps.
If you’re looking to bring the thunder while maintaining a soft touch, the Z5 just might be your perfect pickleball partner. Give it a whirl, and show your opponents who’s boss on the court!See the ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle
7. SLK Neo by Selkirk
Paddle Material: Graphite with fiberglass and SX3 honeycomb core
Grip Cushion Level: Ultra high
Paddle Length: 15.7″
Colors Offered: Blue, Red
What We Like: Excellent value for a high quality graphite pickleball paddle
What We Don’t: I’d love to see more designs for the SLK Neo
With its sleek design and reputation for smooth play, I couldn’t wait to give this paddle a spin and see if it lived up to the hype.
Right off the bat, the SLK by Selkirk sports a clean, modern design that’s as easy on the eyes as it is on the hands. But enough about aesthetics; let’s talk about how this paddle performs on the court.
The SLK’s lightweight build made it a breeze to maneuver, allowing me to glide across the court like a pickleball ninja. With its effortless handling, I could swiftly change direction and stay one step ahead of my opponents.
But what really sets the SLK apart is its exceptional control and feel. Its FiberFlex face and X5 honeycomb core work together in perfect harmony to provide a soft, responsive touch that made it a joy to play with. My drop shots and dinks were landing with pinpoint accuracy, leaving my opponents wondering how I’d suddenly become a pickleball wizard.
While the SLK by Selkirk may not be the most powerful paddle in my arsenal, it more than makes up for it with its finesse and control. The comfortable handle and balanced weight distribution make it a versatile paddle suited for a wide range of playstyles.For more information, read my in-depth review of the SLK Neo by Selkirk. See the SLK Neo by Selkirk
8. Head Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle
Paddle Weight: 8.1 ounces
Paddle Material: Fiberglass frame with composite hitting surface and polypropylene honeycomb core
Power Rating: Very high, due to heavy weight
What We Like: A powerhouse of a paddle, HEAD’s Radical Elite is a particularly solid choice for heavier players
What We Don’t: I’m not sold on the unique “composite hitting surface”… I prefer a classic rough graphite paddle face
Do you know the feeling of playing with a paddle that’s really responsive and lightweight? That’s the kind of experience I had when using Head Radical Elite. An exceptional combination of lightweight design and power, this paddle made it easy to take long shots and maneuver the ball around the court.
The head is made with Graphite material which helps in generating spin, while its Polypropylene Honeycomb Core adds power and bounce to shots. The 16 inches length of the paddle is good enough to perform mid-court shots with ease.
The edge protection is an important feature that helps keep the paddle aligned for better control during play. It also reduces vibrations when hitting the ball, giving me more confidence while playing. I am also satisfied with its sweet spot size, as it multiplies the power of my shots. Though it’s not the cheapest option available, its quality of materials and performance make up for the price.See the Head Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle
9. Electrum Pro II
Paddle Length: 16″
Grip Material: Leather
Manufacturer’s Warranty: 6 months
Paddle Material: Premium Toray T700 carbon fiber
What We Like: One of the nicest paddles I’ve ever used, super comfy grip and killer power
What We Don’t: The price matches the high quality! Buckle up haha
Known for its balanced blend of power, control, and maneuverability, I couldn’t resist giving this paddle a test run to see if it’s as good as gold.
The Electrum Pro II boasts a well-balanced weight, making it easy to wield while still packing a punch in the power department. My opponents quickly learned that it’s unwise to underestimate the oomph of this shiny powerhouse.
But where the Electrum Pro II really shines (pun intended) is its control and touch. Thanks to its high-quality construction and responsive core, this paddle allowed me to place shots with impressive precision. My dinks and drop shots were landing with remarkable accuracy, leaving my opponents wondering if I’d somehow gained pickleball superpowers.
The comfortable leather grip and well-balanced design made the Electrum Pro II a pleasure to play with, allowing me to stay nimble on the court and respond to my opponents’ shots with ease.See the Electrum Pro II
10. Franklin Signature Series Pickleball Paddle
What I like: The MaxGrit technology on this paddle really increases the spin.
What I don’t: The white grip on the gold color paddle option is prone to getting dirty easily.
When I got my hands on the Franklin Signature Series Pickleball Paddle, I knew it was going to be a game changer. It has a perfect sized surface area, so I can control where I want the ball to go with precision. The handle comes with a great grip that won’t slip even when I’m sweating from an extra-long game.
What I love about this paddle is its look – it’s sleek and sporty, and you can tell it was designed with the utmost care. On top of that, the paddle is light but strong, so I can swing faster while still having enough power in each shot.
The positive aspect is that you have the choice between two thickness options, 13mm, and 16mm, which will determine the power level you desire. I chose the 13mm option, which gives me enough power while also allowing me to maneuver the paddle better.See the Franklin Signature Series Pickleball Paddle
Pickleball Paddles: Key Features to Consider
With so many options out there, it can be a real pickle trying to figure out which paddle will be your perfect match. Fear not, my friends! I’ve got your back with a breakdown of the key features to consider when choosing your next pickleball paddle.
Weight: The Balancing Act
When it comes to pickleball paddles, weight is a big deal. Lighter paddles offer more maneuverability and quicker reactions, while heavier paddles provide extra power behind your shots. It’s essential to strike the right balance between power and control based on your playing style. Try out a few paddles with different weights to find your sweet spot.
Material: The Building Blocks
Pickleball paddles come in various materials, each with its own set of benefits. Common materials include wood, composite, and graphite.
Wood paddles are usually more affordable but tend to be heavier. Composite paddles offer a blend of power and control, while graphite paddles are known for their lightweight feel and excellent touch. Consider your priorities and budget when choosing a material.
Grip Size: The Perfect Fit
A paddle’s grip size can make a huge difference in your comfort and control on the court. Too big, and you risk straining your hand; too small, and you might lose your grip.
Measure your hand from the tip of your ring finger to the bottom of your palm to find the ideal grip size for you. Keep in mind that a slightly smaller grip can offer better wrist action for spin shots.
Sweet Spot: The Goldilocks Zone
The sweet spot is the area of the paddle face where you get the best response when striking the ball. A larger sweet spot offers more forgiveness on off-center hits and typically provides better overall performance. When trying out paddles, pay attention to how the ball feels and sounds when you hit it in different areas of the paddle face.
Price: The Wallet Whisperer
Last but not least, consider your budget when choosing a pickleball paddle. While it’s tempting to splurge on a top-of-the-line paddle, remember that there are plenty of fantastic options at various price points. Set a budget and stick to it, but don’t be afraid to invest in a quality paddle that meets your needs.
And there you have it, pickleball pals – a simple guide to help you navigate the pickleball paddle market with confidence. Keep these factors in mind when shopping for your next paddle, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect partner for your pickleball adventures. Happy hunting!Back to Our Top Pickleball Paddle Picks for 2023