The kind of pickleball paddle you use can make or break your game. Regardless if you’re playing just for fun or if you’re in a competition, using a paddle that feels right to you has a big impact on how you play. The wrong paddle adversely affects your hitting power, control of the ball, and the way you maneuver back to ready position after each shot.
So if you want to be the best you can be on the court at all times, it’s important to use the right paddle that complements your style and needs. However, finding the right one may not be as straightforward as you think. There’s a dizzying array of paddles on the market today that even the most experienced players may find themselves asking “How do I choose the right pickleball paddle?”
Regardless if you’re a newbie looking for your first pickleball paddle or if you’re worried that your current one just isn’t giving you the optimal performance you need, there are certain qualities you always want to look out for. When shopping for a pickleball paddle, you’ll want to be sure to keep an eye out for these three most important features.
- Weight. How heavy or how light your pickleball paddle influences how it feels from the moment you pick it up, to the time you swing it, up to when you bring it back to ready position. Heavier paddles will help drive the ball but with less control. They also tend to strain your arms more. Meanwhile, lighter paddles might be friendlier for those with weaker arms and want more ball control. But these also do not provide enough drive.
- Handle Size. Just like tennis rackets, the handle or grip of pickleball paddles varies in circumference. Smaller grips facilitate more wrist action resulting in more powerful serves and better maneuverability. Meanwhile larger grips are generally easier on the arms and provided more stability. It’s important to know as well that you can also customize grip size using over-grips.
- Material. Paddles are often manufactured using any of these three materials: wood, graphite, or composite. Each material imparts a certain weight characteristic to a paddle. Wood, the most inexpensive, tends to be heavier. Meanwhile, graphite paddles are on the expensive end of the spectrum but are also the lightest and most powerful. Composite paddles offer a middle ground in terms of price. These also tend to come in a wider variety of sizes and weights.
To help you find the best paddle, we’ve scoured the internet, done the research, read a ton of customer reviews so you don’t have to! Here’s our curated list of the top 10 awesome pickleball paddles you might want to check out!
Our Top 10 Pickleball Paddles: a Deep Dive
#1: Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle (Editor’s Choice!)
The Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle is one of the best-selling pickleball paddles on the market today and for good reason. It’s great for beginners, recreational players, and competitive players alike thanks to its lightweight and versatile design. It also offers outstanding ball control while delivering lots of power to drive the ball.
- It has a Nomex honeycomb core that provides excellent power while also maintaining control
- Its graphite face makes it lightweight and is perfect for speed, pop, and maneuverability
- The paddle has a wide body shape which offers a large sweet spot
- Weighs 7.5 to 8.2 oz which balances power and speed for an all-around performance
- Its edge guard protects the core from damage
Beginner and intermediate players can’t help but praise the Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle. Those who’ve purchased this paddle love the weight, balance, power it provides. Reviewers also appreciate the large sweet spot and the good grip that the Z5’s handle provides.
#2: XS XSPAK Graphite Pickleball Paddle
If you want great value for your money, then look no further than the XS XSPAK Graphite Pickleball Paddle. This paddle strikes an optimal balance between power and control while also providing maximum comfort when used in a game. What’s more, it meets the specifications of the USAPA so you can be sure that this paddle will perform right every single time.
- It has a graphite face gives the ball precise control and accuracy
- The paddle features a polymer honeycomb core which provides strength, optimal performance, and durability
- It’s superior overlapping edge guard not only protects the paddle’s hitting surface but also reduces ground hits.
- Lightweight at 8 oz.
- Medium grip circumference at 4 1/4 in.
People who’ve bought this paddle find the XS XSPAK Graphite Pickleball Paddle to be beginner and intermediate player friendly. With its lightweight body, the paddle is easy to swing. What’s more, the padded grip is comfortable to hold which makes it enjoyable to use on the court.
#3: Selkirk Latitude Widebody Composite Pickleball Paddle
If you like to slam the ball at the court with lightning fast speed then the Selkirk Latitude Widebody Composite Pickleball Paddle is for you. This all-around paddle is specially engineered to neutralize spin from opposing shots. It’s lightweight, powerful, durable, and consistent which will make every game you play with this paddle thoroughly enjoyable.
- It has a PolyFlex composite surface and wide body design which gives a responsive sweet spot coverage
- Its Selkirk ThinGrip handle allows for confident control
- It has a rugged EdgeSentry guard that offers protection and durability
- Has a long handle for an extended reach
- Comes in a wide variety of striking and appealing colors
The Selkirk Latitude Widebody Composite Pickleball Paddle is a crowd-pleaser at 4.7 out 5 stars on Amazon. People find it excellent not only for driving powerful shots thanks to its solid hitting surface but also for reaching awkward shots because of its long handle. The paddle is also excellent for volleying and it allows for a bit of spin.
#4: Osher Graphite Pickleball Racket
The OSHER Pickleball Paddle Graphite Pickleball Racket is a lightweight pickleball paddle designed for both beginners and advanced players alike. It has a large graphite face that provides power, precision, and control on every swing. The paddle also imparts a great spin on the ball making it a great option if you like intense games.
- The paddle has a graphite surface that promotes accurate and consistent shots
- Comes with a sweat-absorbent cushioned grip so it stays firmly on your hand during play
- The handle size on this paddle allows for wrist actions, spin, power, and quick hand changes at 4.25 in
- The paddle has a honeycomb polymer core which provides a nice pop
- It features an edge guard that protects the paddle from ground hits and a corner shield and interlocking neck guard to enhance strength and durability.
Newbies love the way the OSHER Pickleball Paddle Graphite Pickleball Racket provides comfort and control with every strike. The solid yet lightweight build of the paddle also allows users to play confidently on the court regardless of their skill level. Users also find the surface of the paddle to be durable and wear-resistant.
#5: ESPER Pickleball Paddle
If you like to add spin into your shots then the ESPER Pickleball Paddle Lightweight Graphite Pickleball Racket is the right choice for you. This lightweight paddle is designed with comfort and durability in mind. It is perfectly balanced too so you can control your shots much more effectively during play.
- Has a textured graphite surface allows for powerful ball spins
- Lightweight at 8 oz and easy to control
- The medium-sized handle is wrapped in a sweat-absorbent grip which makes it comfortable to hold during play
- The paddle has a slim edge guard that protects from mis-hits and accidental ground hitting
- The Nomex honeycomb core on this paddle allows for powerful shots
Customers who bought the ESPER Pickleball Paddle Lightweight Graphite Pickleball Racket found that it is well-balanced and provided better control of the ball every time they play. The paddle has an exceptional feel while being lightweight and sturdy. Users also enjoyed the ball spin that the textured surface allows them to create.
#6: Wolfe X3 Pickleball Paddle
The Wolfe X3 Pickleball Paddle is a strong, light, and durable paddle made from materials like carbon fiber, graphite, and aluminum. It’s meant to withstand aggressive play so if you like power shots, you can never go wrong with this paddle. What’s more, this line of pickleball paddles is tested and approved by USAPA for tournament play so it’s perfect for competitive players.
- The paddle surface has four layers including resin, fiberglass, graphite, and 3K carbon fiber which makes it strong and durable
- It has a light, strong, and durable aluminum honeycomb core
- It has an edge guard that protects against chipping
- Lightweight at 8.1 oz.
- It has padded grips that provide excellent comfort and control
Customers generally have positive opinions about the Wolfe X3 Pickleball Paddle. It is light, responsive, and has a decent weight. However, some users found that it comes up short on delivering power and pop at times.
#7: Coolpaddle Pickleball Paddle
The CoolPaddle Pickleball Paddle is great for players who already know how to control the ball on the court. It is lightweight and easy to maneuver making your swings effortless. It’s an excellent and sturdy paddle for practicing your moves.
- This paddle is made with premium quality materials including a graphite surface for controlled hits
- Has a polymer honeycomb layer that makes it durable and balanced and prevents soft or dead spots.
- Features a comfortable handle with padded cushions that lessens fatigue
- Has an ergonomic grip that allows for precise and powerful shots
- Has a low profile edge guard that protects the outer perimeter of the paddle from chipping and scratching
Beginner players especially love the CoolPaddle Pickleball Paddle. Its lightweight and durable design make learning how to swing and hit the ball easier. There were concerns, however, about the handle wrap coming loose after a few play sessions.
#8: HUDEF HB 2.0 Pickleball Paddle
Tournament players will love the HUDEF Pickleball Paddle. It’s a professional paddle made with superior materials and top-level craftsmanship. This results in a lightweight paddle that strikes a perfect balance between touch, power, and control.
- Features a high-strength composite fiber paddle face for an anti-slip performance, better ball control, and durability
- Its polypropylene honeycomb core reduces vibration and noise
- It has an ultra-soft and ultra-comfortable group that cushions against wrist, hand, and arm fatigue
- Features a sweat-absorbent handle with perforations that increase gripping power
- Has an edge guard that protects the paddle against ground hits
Players who’ve used the HUDEF Pickleball Paddle tend to make this paddle their go-to when playing. It may be lightweight but still gives an excellent pop. Its elongated face also allows users to extend their reach on the court.
#9: Siirve Picklebomb Paddle
If you want your paddle to be as eye-catching as it is well-made then look no further than the Siirve Graphite Pickleball Paddle. These paddles are designed not only to perform well with every swing but are also treated with cool graphics that will make your paddle the talk of the court every time. What’s more, it is made to withstand wear and tear so you can be sure that these paddles will last for a long time.
- Comes with a graphite face that makes it lightweight and powerful enough for dinking and smashing
- Its polymer honeycomb core provides great control power to this paddle
- Features unique and creative professional art
- Has unique finishing touches like the color-stitched group and stamped end cap
- It has a durable rubber edge that can survive mishits
The Siirve Graphite Pickleball Paddle delivers on its promise of a fun and creatively designed pickleball paddle that performs well on the court. Users found the grip exceptionally comfortable. Lightweight and powerful, this pickleball paddle can deliver spins when you want it.
#10: Amazin’ Aces Signature Pickleball Paddle
The Amazin’ Aces Signature Pickleball Paddle combines classic design with an overall great performance. This paddle is ideal for both novice and advanced players thanks to its large sweet spot and balanced weight distribution. It also offers superior control and placement while providing plenty of pop.
- Has a high-performance polymer honeycomb core that dampens vibrations
- Has a premium hand-stitched contour grip that won’t slip and slide even when making hard swings
- Weighs 6.3 oz which is the optimal weight for power and control balance
- Its wide body ensures a large sweet spot and weight distribution
- Comes with a one-year warranty
Players love the comfortable grip on the Amazin’ Aces Signature Pickleball Paddle. It’s an excellent paddle overall with its well-balanced weight distribution and large sweet spot. Users also found that the feel and quality of this pickleball paddle to be comparable to those at the higher end of the price spectrum.
Finding a pickleball paddle that suits your style of play and skill level is important if you want to play your best in the court every single time. Therefore, the paddle you use should always feel right to you. It must be of the right weight, size, grip, and material. This is because these factors have an effect on your control, power, reach, and movement on the court.
Our top pick for the best pickleball paddle for you is the Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle. This best-selling paddle has a great track record and continues to wow at the court. This all-around performer not only has a good grip but also has a large sweet spot that guarantees excellent hits every time. It combines balance and power in a lightweight piece of equipment that even professionals love to use in tournaments.