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Best Pickleball Paddle Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking for the best pickleball paddle for the money? Read on as we review all the top options with Pros & Cons.

Finding a pickleball paddle isn’t hard. Given the fact that the game has increased in popularity, there are literally dozens of options to choose from. While having a lot of choice is certainly a good thing, it can be overwhelming, too. So, how do you know which pickleball paddle to choose? Well, fortunately for you, you’ve come to the right place!

In an effort to simplify the process of finding the best paddle, we’ve taken the liberty of doing the research for you. After spending countless hours testing and scouring the internet and reading through the descriptions and reviews of dozens of pickleball rackets, we’ve narrowed down the options to what we think are the best options currently on the market and have compiled our picks for the sturdiest, most well-made pickleball rackets in this guide.

Below, you’ll find a collection of reviews of our top picks, which highlight the key features of each racket. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide, where you’ll find the key factors that you should take into consideration when you’re shopping for a pickleball racket.

We wrap things up by answering some of the most frequently asked questions that consumers have about pickleball rackets. With the information presented in this guide, you should be able to choose the best pickleball racket for your specific needs.

Top 3 Pickleball Rackets

We’ve compiled a lot of information in this guide but realize that not everyone has the time to read through all of the information presented. If you’re in a rush but still want to find the highest quality pickleball racket, this section is for you. Here, we present our top three picks for the best overall, best premium, and best budget pickleball rackets, including a brief overview of each rackets key features.

Best Pick: Scuddles Pickleball Paddle Set of 2

Scuddles Set Includes Pickleball Paddle Set of 2 Honeycomb Composite Core-Ultra Cushion Grip-Portable Cover Case-Carbon Fiber Surface-Lightweight Racket-Graphite Face-PaddlesRacket Bag and 6 Balls
  • Whats In The Package - 2 paddles, 6 balls, 4 yellow outdoor balls and 2 neon orange indoor balls, Plus 2 soft cushioned paddle covers, and a physical booklet that explains all about pickleball strategies and concepts.
  • High Quality For Optimal Performance - Scuddles PRO-X SERIES model is sturdy and strong so that you can hit with power and it will not break yet, it is light and easy to swing with quick motion. We give you 6 balls in total, 4 yellow outdoor balls with 40 precise machine drilled holes for the best outdoor performance and a high visibility color and 2 neon orange indoor balls with 26 machine drilled holes.
  • Usapa Approved - Scuddles pickleball paddles and outdoor balls is Usapa approved so that you can use our paddle and ball in tournaments and have the best experience on the court, Scuddles paddles and balls passed the Usapa testing for quality, accuracy, and performance.
  • Compete Like A Pro - whether you're a beginner at pickleball or a professional you will fall in love with the Pro-X Series paddle, The rectangular shape paddle is designed to hit the ball when it's a bit further than your arm's reach and narrow on the sides to pass air flow for quick maneuvering, With a cushioned and strong handle that provides a comfortable and tight grip with small breathing holes so that your hands won't get sweaty and slippery.
  • We are An American Company – We are a recognized national brand that stands behind our customers and we are here for you to guide you and help you with all your questions and needs.

Our pick for the best overall pickleball racket is the Scuddles Pickleball Paddle Set of 2. You’ll receive two USAPA-approved pickleball paddles. The paddles are super sturdy and durable, so you’ll be able to hit with impressive power without damaging them, yet they’re lightweight and easy to swing with high speed. The rectangular shape of the paddles are designed to hit the ball when it’s a little outside of your arm’s reach; they’re narrow on the sides, too, so they’ll pass airflow and allow for fast maneuvering. The cushioned handles allow you to maintain a firm, yet comfortable grip because the small breathing holes will prevent your hands from becoming sweaty and slippery.

Premium Pick: Pickleball Central Rally Flare Graphite Pickleball Paddles

Rally Flare Graphite Pickleball Paddle | Polymer Honeycomb Core, Graphite Hybrid Composite Face | Lightweight | Paddle Cover Included (2-Pack Blue/Red)
  • Rally Flare 2 Player Pickleball Set - Includes 2 Paddles (1 Blue, 1 Red), 2 Neoprene Protective Paddle Covers, 4 Yellow Outdoor Pickleballs
  • AN ALL-AROUND WINNER: Take your game to the next level or get started in pickleball with confidence using a paddle that enhances your skills and will stand up to the rigors of daily indoor or outdoor play | Designed in Seattle, WA USA | USAPA approved | 1 Year Warranty from PickleballCentral
  • LIGHTWEIGHT PERFORMANCE: At 7.5 ounces (average weight, range 7.3-7.8 oz) the Rally Flare is well balanced light-middle weight paddle making it quick to the ball for faster reactions, better defense and allows for swift strokes putting more power into the ball. We love the adaptability and versatility of the Rally Flare which is enhanced by its weight and balance.
  • EXCELLENT FEEL FOR CONFIDENT PERFORMANCE: A universal size cushion comfort grip, smooth flared endcap, slightly elongated handle and standard size head make for an intuitive feel. Vibration reducing core and velvet textured face enhance the smooth but reactive feel of the paddle.
  • TOP QUALITY MATERIALS & DURABILITY: Built for performance, built to last. The high-end polymer honeycomb core and carbon graphite face packs more punch than competing paddles, resists wear and dead spots. Features reinforced neck and a sleek but ultra-durable protective edging.

If you’re looking for a top-quality pickleball paddle set and you don’t mind spending a little extra, the Rally Flare 2 Player Pickleball Set from Pickleball Central is a great choice and our pick for the best premium pickleball paddles. These light-middle weight paddles are well-balanced and allow for fast reactions so you can enjoy better defense and swifter strokes, as you’ll be able to put more power into the ball. The universal size cushioned comfort griped, smooth flared endcap, and slightly elongated handle with a standard size head makes for an intuitive feel.

Budget Pick: Win Sports Wooden Pickleball Paddle Set

Win SPORTS Wooden Pickleball Paddle Set,Beginner Racket,Pickle Ball Paddles - with 2 Paddles,4 Balls and 1 Carry Bag | Durable and Classic
  • ★PICKLEBALL PADDLE SET :Includes 2 durable wood rackets,4 indoor pickleball balls,1 carrying bag for convenient carry and storage.Experience the original feel of the game with pickleball racquets.Dimensions:15-3/5"X7.5",Grip Circumference: approx 4-1/4",weight:260-290g (9-10oz).This raquetballs racket is a fun pickleball gift for your kids and family.
  • ★HIGH QUALITY PADDLES: Durable 7-ply wood construction made and durability. The handle includes a comfortable cushion grip with a wrist strap. We've even gone the extra mile with our packaging; your order will arrive in a high-quality box also works well for storing the set.
  • ★GOOD FOR BEGINNERS &POPULAR IN SCHOOLS :Excellent value, lightweight and strong wood, higher bounce and slower flight balls for easy play.Paddles have been used for decades by community centers, athletic clubs, recreation centers and more.
  • ★GREAT FEATURES: Comes with safety wrist strap and wrapped perforated cushion grips for comfort and performance.
  • ★PERFECT FOR KIDS & ADULTS:Everything you need to get started in America's fastest growing sport. Set comes with everything you need to play a full-sided game with this pickle ball set.

For shoppers who want a high-quality, yet economically priced pickleball paddle, this option from Win Sports is a great choice. It’s specifically designed with beginners in mind, but experienced players can certainly enjoy using them, too. The set comes with two durable 7-ply wooden paddles with cushioned, comfort-gripped handles, complete with a safety wrist strap. The lightweight design and Authentic Bounce Technology allows for consistent and high bounce rate.

Top Pickleball Paddles

Now that you’ve read through the brief reviews of our top picks for the best overall, best premium, and best budget pickleball paddles, let’s dive in a little deeper and explore a little more. In this section, we provide detailed overviews of the three aforementioned pickleball paddles, as well as several additional high-quality models. The reviews are more in-depth and include a list of pros and cons for each option, too.

Scuddles Pickleball Paddle Set of 2

Our pick for the best overall pickleball paddle set comes from Scuddles. It comes with two paddles that measure 7 7/8 inches wide, 15 ¾ inches long, a 10 inch paddle surface, and five inch handle, and they weigh in at just 7.7 ounces. The size is ideal for pickleball playing and is approved by the USAPA, so they can be used in tournaments.

The carbon fiber construction is extremely durable, yet very lightweight. The polypropylene honeycomb core is also lightweight and offers the perfect balance between power and control. The cushioned perforated hand grip ensures maximum comfort, as it allows for high breathability and keeps sweat to a minimum, ensuring that you can maintain a secure grip, while also preventing hand fatigue.

The rectangular elongated shape of the paddle is designed to hit the ball when it’s a little further than arm’s reach and the narrow sides allow airflow to pass through the paddles to ensure quick maneuvering. In addition to receiving two exceptionally designed paddles, you’ll also receive six balls – four yellow outdoor balls and two neon orange indoor balls.

The outdoor balls feature 40 precise machine-drilled holes that ensure maximum outdoor performance and the indoor balls feature 26 machine drilled holes that ensure maximum indoor performance. Both the paddles and the balls have been put through rigorous USAPA testing and have passed the stringent quality, accuracy, and performance requirements.

The set also comes with a Pickleball Strategies and Concepts guide that highlights the history of the game and shares strategies and tips to improve your game. The paddles also come with durable protective sleeves, too. Two color options are available, pink and blue. Scuddles is an American Company that is recognized national brand that stands behind their products and their customers.

Because this set comes with everything you need and since the paddles and balls are so thoughtfully designed, it’s perfect for beginners and professionals alike.

What We Liked
  • Carbon fiber construction and polypropylene honeycomb core is lightweight and durable
  • Cushioned perforated handle ensures a comfortable and secure grip while preventing hand fatigue
  • The design allows for longer reach and fast maneuvering
  • USAPA approved for tournament use
  • Comes with four yellow outdoor balls and two neon orange indoor balls
  • Includes durable protective covers
  • Comes with a Pickleball guide that highlights the history of the game and shares tips and strategies
  • Available in two colors: blue and pink
  • Made in the USA

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Pickleball Central Rally Flare Graphite Pickleball Paddles

If you’re looking for a super durable, yet lightweight and thoughtfully designed pickleball paddles, our pick for the best premium pickleball paddles. Each paddle in this set features a performance polymer honeycomb core that is intended to improve the size of the sweet spot while also improving dispersal of energy to enhance feel and power.

The super durable graphite material spreads the impact of energy over a larger surface area for greater consistency and control. The vibration reducing core and velvet textured face enhances smoothness and improves the reactive feel of the paddles.

Ribbed and perforated cushion gripped handles are extremely comfortable and ensure a secure grip. The reinforced neck and sleek, yet durable protective edging delivered long-lasting and reliable performance.

The paddles pass rigorous testing for durability and performance and are USAPA approved for tournament use. They also come complete with four outdoor balls for outdoor playing and protective covers, too.

What We Liked
  • Performance polymer honeycomb core
  • Energy dispersing and super durable graphite construction
  • Designed to reduce vibration
  • Comfort-grip handle and reinforced neck
  • Allows for smoother and faster strokes
  • Extremely durable and designed to resist wear and tear
  • USAPA approved for tournament use
  • Comes with four outdoor balls and protective covers

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Win Sports Wooden Pickleball Paddle Set

For shoppers who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a pickleball paddle set but they don’t want to sacrifice quality, the Win Sports Wooden Pickleball Paddle Set is an excellent choice.

This set comes with two durable rackets that are constructed of high-grade 7-ply wood for enhanced durability. The handles are wrapped with cushioned grips that ensure a reliable and comfortable grip.

The rackets features wrist straps, too, to ensure that they are always close at hand, making them the perfect choice for those who are just starting to play the game.

While they’re designed with beginners in mind, these pickleball paddles can certainly be used by experienced professionals. In fact, these paddles are among the most popular models used in schools, community centers, and athletic centers, too.

The well-made paddles come complete with four balls that are specifically designed for outdoor games, and which are stored in a durable mesh bag.

The Win Sports Wooden Pickleball Paddle Set is perfect for adults and beginners alike, and they are very affordably priced.

What We Liked
  • Includes 2 durable wood rackets
  • 4 indoor pickleball balls
  • Carry bag Included
  • Durable 7-ply wood construction
  • Excellent value
  • lightweight and strong wood
  • Comes with safety wrist strap
  • Everything you need to get started

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Cyrus Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle Set

The Cyrus Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddles is a set of two high-quality paddles. They feature an advanced graphite face that delivers a lightweight, yet powerful punch.

The honeycomb inner core and thick carbon fiber skin makes these paddles exceptionally responsive and strong, allowing you to enjoy maximum control. The advanced honeycomb core ensures exceptional touch and ball control, making it a lot easier for you to focus on and enjoy the game.

Weighing in at 8 ounces, it’s super lightweight and easy to maneuver. The side shape of the body makes these paddles super versatile and great for players of all levels, from first-timers to experts. USAPA approved, the paddles, as well as the balls, can be used in tournaments and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

They provide the perfect balance between power and speed and the handles are exceptionally comfortable and ensure a proper grip. One paddle features a blue color and the other features a purple color so that you and your partner can easily identify whose is whose.

The set comes with four outdoor balls and a convenient storage back. All of these benefits and the Cyrus Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle Set is backed by a money back guarantee; if, for any reason, you aren’t happy with your purchase, the manufacturer will offer you a full refund.

What We Liked
  • Made of top-quality, lightweight, and durable carbon fiber
  • A honeycomb inner core allows for great responsiveness and control
  • USAPA approved for indoor and outdoor, as well as tournament use
  • Comfort grip handle
  • Comes with two paddles: one that features a blue color and one that features a blue paddle
  • Comes with four outdoor balls and a durable storage bag
  • Backed by a money-back guarantee

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A11N HyperFeather SE Pickleball Paddles

The A11N HyperFeather SE pickleball paddles are another exceptionally made and thoughtfully designed option. These paddles weight just 7.3 ounces, so they are extremely lightweight and allow for superior maneuverability and faster reactions to the balls.

With a graphite surface and a polymer honeycomb core, these rackets provide the perfect balance between ball control and power while keeping noise to a minimum. The broader face of the rackets and the slim-trim edge guard provide a large sweet-spot to improve the chances of successful contact with the ball.

The handles are wrapped with foam material that improves grip and comfort.

The set comes with four outdoor use balls and an oversized, yet lightweight and durably made storage bag that features zippered storage compartments, an adjustable shoulder strap, and a built-in fence hook that allows for easy access.

What We Liked
  • Graphite surface and polymer honeycomb core offers the perfect blend of balance, control, and power
  • Wide body and edge guard provides a large sweet spot to improve the rate of contact with the ball while preventing the paddle from hitting the ground
  • Sweat absorbent cushion gripped handles
  • Keeps noise while hitting to a minimum
  • Comes with a four outdoor balls
  • USAPA approved
  • Comes with an oversized and durable storage bag that features zippered compartments, an adjustable strap, and a fence hook

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Niupipo Pickleball Paddles

With the Niupipo Pickleball Paddles, you and the entire family can enjoy the fun of pickleball. This set comes complete with two adult paddles and two junior paddles, as well as two outdoor balls.

All of the paddles feature a fiberglass face and a polypropylene honeycomb core that provides the perfect balance between strength and stiffness, yet they’re impressive lightweight. The fiberglass face offers more power than graphite and will cushion eat hit, giving the ball an impressive pop.

The wide shape of the body improves the chances of making contact with the ball. The adult paddles weight 7.8 ounces and the junior paddles are 6.7 ounces and are perfect for players who are under the age of 12.

Thanks to the lightweight construction, they’ll reduce the risk of fatigue, as well as shoulder and elbow stress. Comfort grip handles ensure a firm grip on the paddles while keeping the amount of sweat on the hands to the minimum.

The set comes with a handy storage case, too, that offers enough space to keep all four of the paddles, as well as the balls, in one convenient location.

What We Liked
  • USAPA Standard Racket
  • High-quality Fiberglass pickleball paddle
  • Premium Grip
  • Perfect Handle Size
  • Comes With 1 Bag And 4 Balls

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Other Best Selling Options

SaleBestseller No. 1
Pickleball Paddle, USAPA Approved Pickleball Paddle with Fiberglass Face, Protective Cover, Ultra Cushion, Polypropylene Honeycomb Core, 4.5-Inch Grip, 8.2 Ounces, for Indoor and Outdoor, Purple…
  • Polypropylene Honeycomb Core for More Durable Hit: Our pickleball paddle comes with a durable and extremely responsive polypropylene honeycomb core for maximum performance and controlled hits with great power and lesser efforts; It was extremely responsive and strong which enables better energy transfer; This pickleball racket will add progressive power to your strike
  • Reliable Fiberglass Face for Decent Shot Power: Composite pickleball paddles are usually lighter than timber or polymer pickleball paddles; The polypropylene honeycomb core and the fiberglass face are a very good combination that allows for excellent power and control; An 8.1-ounce lightweight pickleball paddle which can give more spin and pop at the same time to help you to beat the opponents like a pro; Our pickleball racket is an excellent composite pickleball racket choice for all players
  • Discover Supreme Comfort with Ultra Cushion Grip: Our pickleball racket fits sufficiently for most of the players; The grip circumference of this pickleball paddle is 4.25 inches (about the medium size) and the length is 4.5 inches; You can play easily with great control and easy handling of this pickleball paddle and the ball without putting as much stress on your joints; The proprietary and thin edge guard of this pickleball racquet protect the paddle from damage if it is dropped
  • Comes with Pickleball Paddle Cover Making for Easy Carrying: Protect the pickleball racquet with zippered neoprene cover when toting around and when not in play; Our pickleball paddle weighs around 8.1 ounces and which is quite manageable for beginners; Also, this pickleball racquet can be used indoors as well as outdoors
  • Help You Maneuver The Game Easily: Our pickleball racquet is approved by USAPA and is qualified for the players who want to take part in the tournament; When you choose our pickleball paddle, you are one step closer to being a pro; The pickleball racquet will help you nail the games and enjoy your pickleball time on the court; Having a high-quality composite pickleball paddle can completely transform your game
SaleBestseller No. 2
Niupipo Pickleball Paddles, Fiberglass Surface, Pickleball Set of 4 Balls and 1 Pickleball Bag
  • USAPA Approve for Victory; niupipo pickleball set has passed USAPA testing and is approved for sanctioned tournament play; Widebody pickleball paddles shape with 4-4/5”grip length and 4-1/2'' grip circumference; Paddle Face Dimensions: 10.63" L x 7.87" W x 0.59" H Lightweight pickleball paddle 8oz; Niupipo pickleball racket can withstand any challenges on the court; Having a high-quality Fiberglass pickleball paddle can completely transform your gamensform your game
  • More Power and Less Noise; The pickleball set is made of fiberglass face and Polypropylene-honeycomb composition for an ideal level of strength and stiffness with a surprisingly lightweight; Fiberglass face has more power than graphite face which can cushion each hit with supper pop; Polypropylene is softer and has larger honeycomb cells - this is a good material that holds up well; Because it’s a softer material it is quieter and has great power
  • Less Stress On Elbow and Shoulder; The pickleball paddle is noticeably lighter than most paddles, which allows for a longtime play without fatigue; It can also effectually reduce your elbow and shoulder stress while gaming; Edge protection is provided for ground hits; Low-profile edge guard protects the edges of pickleball paddle, yet slim enough to reduce mishits
  • Premium Grip, Perfect Handle Size; The pickleball paddles are comfortable to handle and works well while in gameplay; USAPA standard pro pickleball set is perforated, sweat absorbent, and cushioned, to allow for a better paddle grip
  • Comes With 1 Bag And 4 Balls; Every pickleball set is designed to be an awesome pickleball paddle for either a beginner or a professional player; Durable pickleball paddles, plenty of pickleballs, and a convenient carry bag provide everything you need for your group; This pickleball set will help you win any challenge; Having a high-quality fiberglass pickleball paddle can completely transform your game
Bestseller No. 3
ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle (Graphite Carbon Fiber Face with Rough Texture Surface, Cushion Comfort Grip and Nomex Honeycomb Core for Touch, Control, and Power)
  • Graphite Z5 – Most popular pickleball paddle in the Onix line
  • Superior control – Excellent touch paddle for superior ball control
  • Paddle specs – Nomex, paper honeycomb core and graphite face
  • Widebody shape – paddle shape with 4-1/4" grip size
  • Paddle dimensions – 15.5" L x 8.3" W x 1.5" H; Medium-Weight 7.5-8.2 oz
SaleBestseller No. 4
Graphite Pickleball Paddle with Cover - Lightweight Pickleball Racket for Beginners to Professionals - Optimized Grip Pickle Ball Racket for Indoor or Outdoor Sports - Meets USAPA Specs - Single
  • MORE CONTROL: This pickleball paddle uses a unique UV printed graphic design on its face. That gives it a matte texture that grips the ball for more control while lasting longer than traditionally painted rackets. It's a difference you can see!
  • LIGHTWEIGHT CARBON FIBER DESIGN: With advanced carbon fiber face material and a polypropylene honeycomb core, this pickleball racket tips the scales at just 7.8oz! That makes every swing easier, so you feel less fatigued and can compete in even more matches.
  • GRIPPY ERGONOMIC HANDLE: This quiet pickleball paddle has a slightly longer handle for better control and longer reach. With perforated synthetic leather grip material, it wicks away sweat to give you a firm, non-slip grip on the paddle at all times.
  • DURABLE PROTECTIVE EDGING: This pickleball racquet comes with a tough edge guard to protect it from damage. Don't worry if you happen to swipe the court on a swing; this graphite paddle will stay protected so you can get years of use out of it.
  • MANUFACTURER WARRANTY: We offer a 1 year manufacturer warranty on all our products. If for any reason you’re not completely satisfied let us know! We are a family owned business that works hard to bring our customers great products and service.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Niupipo Pickleball Paddles,USAPA Pro Graphite Pickleball Paddle Set of 2 Pickleball Paddles with 2 Indoor & 2 Outdoor Pickleballs 1 Bag, Polypropylene Honeycomb Core,Graphite Face Cushion 4.25 in Grip
  • USAPA Approve for Victory; Niupipo pickleball set has passed USAPA testing and is approved for sanctioned tournament play; When you choose the niupipo pickleball paddles, you receive exclusive passion for your Champion; Niupipo pickleball paddle can withstand any challenges on the court; Having a high-quality graphite pickleball paddle can completely transform your game
  • Improved Strength by The Honeycomb Core; The interior of our USAPA Pro pickleball set is constructed by polymer honeycomb and sandwiched between two sheets of durable carbon fiber; USAPA Pro pickleball paddle set offers great energy to spin the balls;The perfect set pickleball paddles for beginners to intermediate players. WIth the desired stiffness and surprisingly lightweight. You can experience a perfect balance in great control and power.
  • Ideal Balance with Graphite Carbon Fiber; Niupipo pickleball paddle set of 2 is made of graphite carbon fiber face and graphite-honeycomb composition for an ideal level of strength and stiffness with a surprisingly lightweight; The USAPA Pro pickleball paddles is a great combination for added control and power hitting; Your shots will be more accurate and have much more control over how much force you put into the pickleball
  • Premium Grip, Perfect Handle Size; Niupipo pickleball paddle is comfortable to handle and works well while in gameplay; USAPA Pro pickleball set is perforated, sweat absorbent, and cushioned, to allow for a better paddle grip, for longtime play without fatigue; Widebody pickleball paddles shape with 4-4/5” (4.8) grip length and 4-1/2'' (4.5) grip circumference; Paddle Face Dimensions: 10.63" L x 7.87" W x 0.59" H Lightweight pickleball paddle 8oz
  • Comes with 1 Bag and 4 Balls; Every Niupipo USAPA Pro pickleball set is designed to be an awesome pickleball paddle for either a beginner or a professional player; The pickleball set contains 1 Bag and 2 outdoor pickleball balls+2 indoor pickleball balls Warm Hint:MX-06 pickleball paddles package has been updated on January 1st

Pickleball Paddles Buyer’s Guide

Pickleball is a thrilling sport. Not only is it a great form of exercise, but it’s just a lot of fun. The game involves volleying a perforated plastic ball over a net with paddle. The game is can be equated to a combination of badminton, tennis, and ping pong. While it’s been around since 1969, in recent years, its popularity has really surged. It seems like pickleball courts and teams are popping up everywhere!

Of course, just like any other sport, in order to have successful in the game of pickleball, you need to have the right equipment, and a pickleball paddle is an essential part of the game; without it, you wouldn’t be able to play. Whether you’ve recently discovered the sport and you want to give it a try or you’ve been playing for a while and you need a new paddle, you want to be sure that you choose the best pickleball paddle for your specific needs.

Choosing the right paddle is vital to success in the game of pickleball. If you have the wrong paddle, you could increase your chances of sustaining an injury; not to mention, you’ll decrease your chances of winning. Plus, the main point of playing pickleball is to have fun, and if you injured and your odds of winning aren’t great, well, let’s be honest, you aren’t going to have a good time.

Now that you’ve read through our review of the best pickleball paddles, you’re probably wondering which one you should choose. While all of the models on our list are high-quality and very well made, each one offers different features that make them more suitable for some players than others.

So how do you decide which option will best meet your needs? By taking some key factors into consideration. In this part of our guide, we highlight the most important factors that you should take into consideration when you’re shopping for a pickleball paddle.

By considering these factors, you’ll be able to determine which paddle will work the best for you and will allow you to enjoy the maximum amount of fun and improve your chances of winning, too!

The Paddle Core

The paddle core is one of the most essential parts of a pickleball paddle, as it serves as the backbone of the paddle. As such, you want to make sure that you take the materials that the core is constructed of into consideration, as the materials will have a direct impact on the design, the weight, and the usability of the paddle.

Three main materials are used for the paddle core of pickleball paddles:

  • Nomex. A nylon-based polymer material, Nomex is highly regarded for its incredible flexibility and light weight. Cores that are made of this material feature a honeycomb framework, which is dipped into the polymer resin material, and then cooled down and hardened. Paddles that feature a Nomex core are super lightweight, yet super durable; however, they are louder than other cores, as they do not offer a cushioning effect.
  • Aluminum. Paddles that have an aluminum core are known for offering weight, power, and heavy-hitting. Similar to Nomex, aluminum cores are also feature a honeycomb framework, but they also feature an aluminum hexagonal wall instead of a polymer resin material. Aluminum cores make the paddle heavier, so they’re more difficult to control, but they do offer great balance, so they can improve accuracy; especially when paired with a fiberglass face.
  • Polypropylene. This material has become the standard for pickleball paddles. It’s a new type of material and it is generally used to create a paddle that is both durable and lightweight. A polypropylene core is soft, so the paddle is more flexible, yet it offers the perfect amount of bounce. Because the surface is soft, it generates a cushioning effect that makes the paddle less restrictive and allows the player to make more contact with the ball, increases control over the ball, and improves your chances of winning.

Paddle Material

In addition to the material the core is made of, you’re also going to want to consider the material that the paddle itself is made of. The material that the paddle is made of directly determines the deflective attributes of the paddle. The most common materials that pickleball paddles are constructed of include:

  • Polymer. As mentioned above, polymer is a comprised of a combination of resin and plastic. Paddles that are made out of this material are regarded for being lightweight and durable; they’re also some of the most affordable pickleball paddles on the market and are extremely popular among beginners. They are not well-suited for professional players.
  • Wood. The first pickleball paddles were made out of wood. They were pretty simplistic back then, but over the years they have become more refined and sophisticated. Modern wooden pickleball paddles boast enhanced features, such as wrist straps and comfort grips that improve control. Additionally, they are no longer made out of the hardwood that they once wore, but rather, they are made with plywood material, which helps to improve the durability of the paddle, and also makes it more lightweight.
  • Graphite. Professional pickleball players often choose paddles that are made out of graphite. These paddles are lightweight and highly responsive, which makes them very strong and affords better control over shots. If you like drinking at the net, a graphite paddle is your best bet. The incredible accuracy of the stroke combined with the small edge guard allows for a broader hitting surface for improved performance.
  • Composite. Paddles that are made of composite are very high-tech. They’re made of a combination of several materials, such as fiberglass, aluminum, polymer, and UV-resistant vinyl. Composite pickleball paddles are considered professional-grade and they are among the most expensive on the market.

The Size of the Paddle

Once you determine what type of core and paddle material you would like, you’re going to want to consider the size of the paddle. For adults, the paddle size usually should not exceed anything larger than 24 inches.

The ideal size is a paddle that measures between 8 and 16 inches for short paddles or 5 by 19 inches for longer paddles, as these measurements ensure the optimal balance of the paddle.

The Weight of the Paddle

Just as important as the size of the paddle is the weight. A pickleball paddles weight impacts the reaction time, speed, and usability. Very lightweight paddles require quicker reaction time and swing speed than paddles that have a heavier weight, which is why beginners prefer to use paddles that are a bit on the heavier side.

Lighter paddles are widely used among professional players, as experts will have an easier time controlling them.

The Grip of the Paddle

The accuracy and control of the shot relies heavily on the proper grip. It’s recommended that you avoid a grip that’s too long or too short. Ideally, it should be the same size as the palm of your hand and it should work with your hold.

While you might have more stability with a longer grip, with a shorter grip, you’ll have more control. With that said, the most important thing to consider when choosing the grip is ensuring that it fits right in your hand.

The Durability of the Paddle

You’ll also want to consider the durability of your pickleball paddle. The more durable the paddle is, the better it will be able to stand up to wear and tear and the longer it will last.

While the materials that the paddle is made of will have a direct impact on the durability of the paddle, there’s another component that will also impact the strength of the paddle: the finish of the face. In regard to the hitting surface of a pickleball paddle, the face finish is just as important as the core.

Wood, composite, graphite, and wood; face finishes come in a variety of options. It’s crucial to choose a paddle that come that can inhibit UV rays, as these inhibitors helps to minimize discoloration of the paddle as a result of exposure to the sun.

Pickleball Paddle FAQs

Is power or control more important?

It depends on your specific needs and how you want to play. In our opinion, the paddles that offer both are the best.

Is indoor playing or outdoor playing  better?

Again, that depends on your specific interest. Some people like to play outside where they can soak up warm weather, while others prefer playing indoors if it’s too or too cold outside.

How much should I spend on a paddle?

There is no “right” or “wrong” amount to spend. As noted above, the cost of the paddle depends on the type of materials that they’re constructed of.


Pickleball is such an enjoyable game, and with the right paddle, you can ensure you’ll enjoy it as much as possible and experience the most success, too. With the information in this guide, you should be able to choose the best pickleball paddle for your specific needs.

Adrienne is a traveller and blogger with many years experience of the outdoors life. An adrenaline junkie at heart she loves to try different sports and activities all year round. With a degree in journalism she combines her love of sports with writing here at BeActiveOutdoors.com Contact adrienne@beactiveoutdoors.com

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