You really do not have to go for the expensive options for you to buy the best pickleball paddle today. As a matter of fact, there are some great paddles that are relatively affordable and will offer you the features you are looking for.
This can make it relatively hard for you to choose the best paddle. However, things would be a lot easier of you knew what you are looking from. Basically, the right pickleball paddle should be of the right material, weight and grip size.
Top Pickleball Paddles
1. Upstreet Graphite Pickleball Paddle – Best Overall
The Upstreet Graphite paddle is one of the best-rated products in the industry today and for a reason. The features offered by this product may be compared to those of the relatively expensive high-end paddles available today.
Even so, the Upstreet Graphite Pickleball paddle is very affordable. With regards to variety, this product comes in an assortment of styles and colors. This allows you to choose the paddle you find appealing.
Weighing 13.6 ounces, this product is considered to be a heavyweight paddle. As such, it will give you a decent drive with minimal energy requirement. The product features a unique polypropylene composite honeycomb core.
This has been proven to offer players more control a larger sweet spot as well as reduced vibration. The honeycomb core structure used on this product comprises of 3 main orientations. This is advantageous, bearing in mind that most paddles today only have 2 orientations.
Owing to such a design, the paddle exhibits uniform properties, which leads to the enhanced mechanical performance of the product. This structure will also give you a ‘crisp’ feel whenever you are striking the pickleball. As you will learn later in this guide, grip is another aspect you need to consider while shopping for the best paddle.
This Upstreet paddle features a smooth, micro-dry grip for a more reliable repulsion.
- Fitted with a durable rubber edge guard
- Features a Micro-dry smooth grip
- The grip is well cushioned and sweat absorbent
- Comes with a neoprene paddle cover
- It is made of graphite
- Features a Polypropylene composite honeycomb core
- Delivers optimal power and reduced vibrations
- Comes with a 1-year warranty by the manufacturer
- The paddle has a smaller sweet spot and a few dead spots
2. Rally Graphite Power 2.0 Pickleball Paddle – The Best Lightweight Pickleball Paddle
What if you could get a paddle that is lightweight and easy to control? The Rally Graphite Power 2.0 Pickleball paddle features a 100 percent Nomex and Graphite construction. This makes the unit one of the lightest in the industry today. As such, it offers superior control and is associated with minimal vibrations.
Designed to offer the best performance possible, this paddle will be a great choice for recreational play as well as for competitions. Owing to its graphite face construction, this product will offer you consistent volleys, lobs and dinks. As a matter of fact, most of the leading experts think of the Rally Graphite 2.0 as one of the best paddles for spin.
- Offers impressive power and speed
- Features a game improvement design
- Fitted with a comfort control grip
- Features a durable construction
- Comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee
- The weight is optimized for weight
3. PaddleTek Tempest Wave Pickleball Paddle – The Best Medium Weight Pickleball Paddle
The PaddleTek Tempest Wave paddle is one of the best paddles, in this regard. As a matter of fact, this is one of the products that have minimal room for improvement in the industry today. This is probably why the paddle is commonly used in national pickleball competitions.
The lightweight nature of this product may be attributed to its Polymer Honeycomb Composite and graphite composition. The product weighs about 8 oz, hence is known to offer an impeccable ball strike performance.
- One of the best medium weight paddles
- Offers an extra-large playing area
- Delivers optimal weight distribution
- Fitted with a Graphite surface
- Offers a superior touch
- Features Advanced ProPolyCore™
- Uses a vibration dampening technology
- Offers a quieter playing experience
- Conforms to USAPA Tournament guidelines
4. Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle – The Best Value for Money
Again, the paddle is a great choice for the players looking for the best medium weight paddles. In addition to such attributes, the Onix Z5 is renowned for its remarkable touch and enhanced ball control.
The product features a graphite face. This will give you a superior feel of the ball while you are playing pickleball. The average weight of the product allows it to offer a unique balance of speed and power. If you are looking for unmatched ball control, this is the pickleball paddle for you.
- The most popular Onix paddle
- Features a Graphite face
- One of the best medium weight paddles
- Offers impressive ball control and speed
- Features a Nomex, paper honeycomb co
- It may be hard to control for beginners
5. Amazin’ Aces ‘BAINBRIDGE’ Pickleball Paddle – the Best Affordable Pickleball Paddle
Featuring a lightweight aluminum core produces an appealing ‘touch &pop’ playing experience. The manufacturer uses a graphite face on this product. This alone makes it lightweight, which enhances the responsiveness of the paddle.
The appealing aesthetics of this product may be attributed to its rimless design. In this regard, the paddle does not have an edge guard. This further reduces its weight. The manufacturer offers a paddle cover with every purchase of the Amazin’ Aces ‘BAINBRIDGE’ Pickleball Paddle. This protects the product while in storage and makes it easier for you to transport your paddle.
- Features a lightweight rimless design
- Offers a large sweet spot
- Delivers an impressive balance between control and power
- Features a honeycomb core structure
- May be used both indoors and outdoors
- Comes with a paddle cover
- Features an ultra premium cushion grip
- It is not very durable
Things You Must Know Before Buying a Pickleball Paddle
If you are interested in the pickleball sport, it is worth noting that the paddle you use for the sport must meet International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) requirements. Such requirements often touch on the size and material of the paddles.
For instance, the various paddles that tend to produce a trampoline-like effect and stringed racquet paddles are prohibited by this governing body. if you are shopping for the best paddle for this sport, you must know what you are looking for.
With so many paddle options to choose from choosing the best pickleball paddle may not be a straightforward as you may be thinking. While the IFP site will give you all the facts you need to know about pickleball equipment, here are some of the main considerations you need to make while shopping for the right paddle.
1. Paddle Material
Paddles meant for playing pickleball come in an assortment of materials. Each of the materials used to make these products has its unique set of benefits and downfalls. For the best results, these are some of the materials you need to consider:
The very first pickleball paddles were actually made of wood. The various wood paddles are considered to bed heavyweight, with most of them weighing between 8.5 and 9.5 ounces. Due to their weight, such paddles can drive the ball further with minimal effort. However, wooden paddles are hard to control.
Basically, not paddle is entirely made of graphite. Most of the products within this category are made of a combination of epoxy and graphite. If you would like to buy a graphite paddle, you need to know that there are several graphite grades as well as different types of epoxy available today.
This being the case, the various graphite pickleball paddles differ in terms of quality and durability.
As compared to graphite and wood paddles, carbon fiber paddles are not very common. In most cases, this material is used to make the high-end products. As such, the various carbon fiber paddles are relatively costlier, but are known to be very durable. Additionally, such paddles will give you unmatched control.
Paddles made of fiberglass are commonly referred to as composite pickleball paddles. Being a relatively new technology in the industry, such products are not very common.
For additional protection, paddles made of fiberglass feature a UV vinyl laminate coating. The various composite paddles are known to offer a good balance between control and power. However, they are not as durable as carbon fiber and graphite paddles are.
2. Paddle Weight
The weight of any pickleball paddle mainly depends on its material. As such, the weight varies from one product to another. As such, the various paddles may be classified onto 3 main categories based on their weight, as discussed below:
- Heavyweight Paddles – these are the paddles that weigh between 8.5 and 9.5 ounces as most of them are made of wood. Such paddles are known to offer more drive with minimal effort, but less control.
- Middleweight Paddles – these weigh between 7.3 and 8.4 ounces. These paddles are a great choice for players looking for a good balance of power and control.
- Lightweight Paddles – these weigh between 6.5 and 7.2 ounces. Most of the paddles within this category are made of fiberglass, lightweight aluminum core, composite materials or graphite faces. These will be a great choice if you are looking for enhanced control. However, they require you to use more physical power.
3. The Right Grip Size
Another aspect that you must consider when choosing the right pickleball paddle is the grip size. Like a tennis racket, the pickleball paddle’s grip size also matters per player. If you use a paddle with a grip size that is too small or too large, it is easier for you to drop it while playing. Additionally, the wrong grip size for these products can lead to injuries. Therefore, you just have to get the right grip size for your hands. In this regard, the various paddles may be classified as:
- Small Grip Paddles
- Medium Grip Paddles
- Large Grip Paddles
The best pickleball paddles with a small grip are ideal for younger players and ladies. Basically, you should go for a small grip size if you are less than 5’2” tall. Paddles that are classified as medium grip paddles have a grip size of between 4 1/8” and 4 ¼”.
Such paddles are considered to be the right fit for average players, between 5’3” and 5’8” tall. Large grip paddles, on the other hand, have a grip size of more than 4 ½”. Large grip paddles are meant for players taller than 5’9”.
Ready To Buy?
As a beginner or an experienced pickleball player, you need to have the right training and competition equipment. Though simple in design and construction, choosing the right pickleball paddle can be a challenge.
When looking for the right product, it is advisable to consider the weight, grip size and material of the various paddles. Regardless of your personal preferences, this guide will help you buy the best pickleball paddle today.