Pickleball is one of the most uniquely addicting sports you can play. Not only is the sport extremely easy to pick up and play, but the short learning-curve also allows you to quickly progress your skills during each match. If you’ve just started getting into pickleball or are simply looking to pick up your own paddles, this article is for you. Today, we’re specifically taking a deep look at the best pickleball paddles and brands on the market today.
Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners
The nice thing about novice pickleball players is the price of their equipment. Here are a few of the best pickleball paddles for beginners:
Paddletek Bantam EX-L
Designed to provide the best mix of power and control, the Paddletek Bantam EX-L is the perfect choice for those beginners who are serious about becoming better. The paddle has an ideal weight a player needs to exert complete control on the shots while its honeycomb core coupled with a fiberglass face allows you to hit big shots as well. For beginners, a paddle with a larger sweet spot is recommended and with a forgiveness rating of 7, the sweet spot is large enough to help players while gradually training them to hit perfectly. Many tournaments recognize the Paddletek EX-L as an acceptable paddle or their games. Paddles usually have a small learning curve and these things sometimes make a difference in competitions. As a player, it’s better to practice on an approve paddle like this one so you’ll be able to compete with a paddle you are accustomed to.
When it comes to the grip, this paddle can stand toe to toe with the most expensive options available. The grip has an ideal cushion that makes it comfortable and easy to maneuver the paddle and exercise some control over your shots. Whether you are an absolute beginner or are thinking of entering the pro world, this paddle is a great and reliable partner you can have with you.
Rally Graphite Power 5.0
Despite being the cheapest model in this list, the Rally Graphite Power 5.0 does not pale in comparison with the other models when it comes to the overall capabilities. Designed specifically for players that like to overpower their competition and end the game convincingly, the paddle comes with a huge sweet spot and enhanced control features. The Rally Graphite Power 5.0 has a polymer honeycomb core and Graphite-based face with the added capability of predictable shot control. This makes it an ideal choice for players looking to improve their shot control and the overall skills of the game.
Although the paddle leans more towards the middleweight sector, its excellent capabilities along with its price make it one of the most sought-after paddles in the market. The Paddle is also available with two-grip options for you to choose the most suitable one according to your needs.
The American made Pickleball Paddle even offers a comprehensive one-year replacement warranty and is available in numerous attractive colors. The manufacturer even offers a free paddle cover with this model to complete the set and ensure you enjoy the game without any worries.
Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddle
Selkirk has been a brand of choice for many professionals because of the excellent capabilities of their paddles. Continuing that tradition, the Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddle is a great addition in the market. Available in both lightweight and middleweight categories and a plethora of bright, attractive colors; this paddle can do the job for you in a variety of circumstances.
The middleweight model is designed for control specialists who are not afraid to let go of the wheel and overwhelm the opposition with power if the situation demands it. It’s the best choice for beginners as it retains both control and power to some extent. The lightweight model, on the other hand, is for players who solely focus on control and try to outsmart their opponents by playing close to the net and responding to the opponent’s aggressive shot with a smartly placed dink or a drop-shot.
Both lightweight and middleweight variants come equipped with awesome capabilities that make it one of the best pickleball paddles out and worthy of inclusion in this list. The patented X5 core allows the paddles to a great sweet spot and the fiberglass face helps to apply greater power while making less noise. The final designs of the Selkirk Paddles have post optimized and every single unnecessary element has been reduced from the paddle to ensure that the weight is kept at a minimum and while having no effect on the company.
ONIX Graphite Z5
This paddle is famous among both pros and absolute beginners. The ONIX Graphite Z5 stands as one of the most versatile and balanced picket ball paddles in its price bracket. Although it’s designed for stability and control, the Nomex honeycomb core coupled with a Graphite face allows you to play powerful strokes as well.
This pickleball paddle comes with a firm grip of 4 ¼’ and oversized dimensions with a huge sweet spot. The ‘forgiveness’ rating of this pickleball paddle is off the charts and even an absolute beginner can have a great and enjoyable game while using this paddle.
The ONIX Z5 features a tennis handle and has a wide body shape for beginners and players who struggle to maintain control over their shots. Despite the graphite facing and large shape, the paddle has a weight of only 8 ounces which is ideal for people with a weak elbow or a similar issue. The paddle is available in several colors and has an attractive outlook which will also help you stand out from the other players in the court.
Prolite Supernova Black Diamond Pickleball Paddle
The Pro-lite Supernova Black Diamond is the only paddle in this list that has been designed completely according to a specific player’s recommendations. This Pickleball Paddle was designed with the help of Brazilian born Women’s National champion Simone Jardim whose playing style, Supernova, is a namesake of this paddle.
Developed with absolute perfection, every stroke you’ll play with this paddle would be out of this world and allow you to enjoy the game completely. The paddle is made from 100% pure carbon fiber along with a quadcore polymer honeycomb core. These materials are extremely lightweight but extremely powerful which means that while being lightweight, the paddle has an excellent power rating. The carbon fiber facing is also ideal for spin shots and other maneuvers because of the material’s property to ‘grab’ and change the trajectory of the incoming ball. In addition to that, the paddle also has an oversized sweet spot specifically designed to help the player play their best shot even if they are late in reacting to a particular shot from the opponent.
The Prolite Supernova is designed and developed in the United States. It’s also tested and approved by USAPA. Similarly, it’s quiet operation makes it the best choice for people in quiet zones and other noise restricted communities. Prolite gives the customers a 5-year ‘no dead-spot’ warranty so you can play your games without any worries.
Other Notable Pickleball Paddles
Pickleball Paddle Buying Guide (for Beginners)
Poised to pick an appropriate Pickleball paddle for prodigious Pickleball progress? There are endless Pickleball paddles available for the fun and popular sport and when it comes to choosing a paddle that is right for you, as a beginner, then you can quickly become overwhelmed by the selection. You do not want to end up with a paddle that is difficult for you to control which in turn may limit your ability to learn and play at your best. Factors such as weight, grip, shape, and materials are important key differences between a beginner’s Pickleball paddle and a professional model. Take a look below to discover what you need to know before buying your first Pickleball paddle.
What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a sport played in the United States and Canada that is growing in popularity over the last few years. It combines elements of play from Ping-Pong, tennis, and badminton, is played in doubles or singles, either indoor or outdoor. The court is rather small at 20 feet wide by 44 feet long and this is the same whether one is playing in singles or doubles. Not much equipment is needed to play Pickleball, essentially a perforated ball, a net at the height of 36 inches and a paddle. The paddle needs to be within a small size variation, that being 7-8.75 inches wide and 15-16 inches total height, with a handle length of 4-5.5inches long. However, in recent times, manufacturers have begun designing elongated or flattened paddles that still fit paddle size regulations but allow for slight advantages to counter a player’s weaknesses. As you play Pickleball more often, you will find that perhaps one style may be more beneficial for you than another, but starting out, we strongly recommend you stick with a standardly shaped paddle.
Features to Consider in a Pickleball Paddle
After playing for a few times, potentially borrowing a paddle from a friend or from the rec center, and if you find that you yourself enjoy the game, you should consider purchasing a paddle of your own. This will allow you to play whenever you wish to allow you to advance your skills. So when it comes to buying your beginners Pickleball paddle, you need to ensure you consider the following features:
The weight of your Pickleball paddle is one of the key differences between a beginner paddle and a professional one and is the number one consideration when purchasing a Pickleball paddle for a beginner. Anything over 8.5 lbs. is classed as a heavy paddle and is better designed for more professional players. Although you have a lot of power with a heavier paddle, control is harder to come by and being able to guide your ball to your opponent’s side of the court is more important in the game than power. From 7.3 lbs. you are looking at a mid-range weight and is ideal for beginner players, and although lighter weights are designed especially for beginners, as you advance in your game and technique, you have more weight variations to adapt to, potentially resulting in a few hiccups and hurdles along the way. It is recommended by several professional Pickleball players and teachers that a weight of 7 to 8.5 lbs. is an excellent paddle, to begin with.
Lightweight materials that your Pickleball paddle will most likely be available in are generally either composite or graphite. Both composite and graphite paddles can be inexpensive and will last for several years if you don’t drop them too often and chip the sides. The textured surface of a composite paddle allows for a great spin on the ball whereas the graphite face sets a graphite paddle apart from the competition. Weighing between 6 and 9 lbs., the thin and strong layer of graphite provides quick action of the paddle. This is the material of choice for professionals, and still at a reasonable price and lightweight design is possible for beginners to enjoy as well.
Both graphite and composite paddles consist of a core of rigid nylon, polymer or aluminum, and a fiberglass or carbon fiber surface. Rigid nylon or Nomex is the hardest and the loudest of the cores available and is responsible for the familiar popping noise that you hear on the court. Rigid nylon is a sound choice for speed and power. The polymer is the most popular core material on the market and also the newest. It is the quietest and softest option, and although this softness dampens your blow, it allows for more control. Lighter weight models come with an aluminum core, which is relatively soft allowing for more control and less noise than the rigid nylon but does not compare with the polymer.
Originally, wood paddles were used for Pickleball, but due to their cumbersome weight, are not preferable for a beginner player.
It is important to find a handle that comfortably fits on your hand. Do not attempt to find a small handled paddle that you cannot hold properly just to potentially gain a few millimeters of length on the paddle (if the paddle is even designed this way). The quickest way to find the right grip size is to consider your height. If the player is less than 5 ft. 2 inches, then a small grip at 4 inches is desirable. If the player exceeds 5 ft. 9 inches, then a large grip of 4 ½ inches will suffice. Anything in between, seek for a grip at 4 ¼ inches or so.
So to the all-important question: how much is this going to cost me? Thankfully, even professional Pickleball paddles do not break the bank, and as a beginner, you can be comfortable in purchasing a Pickleball paddle for under $50. Our top picks include the Upstreet Graphite Pickleball Paddle and the Starter Graphite Pickleball Paddle, with Polypro Honeycomb Composite Core. Both come in at under $30 and have great reviews from players online. Both are respectable and reliable brands of Pickleball paddles with many years in supplying happy customers.