Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

The exciting hobby of playing pickleball with your friends requires the best pickleball paddles and pickleball knowledge to help you pursue your new game.

We reviewed five of the most reliable yet affordable pickleball paddles and curated a buying guide to help you make a well-informed decision.

Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners: A Review

1. TICCI Pickleball Paddle Set

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TICCI has been designing durable pickleball paddles for sports enthusiasts for around two decades.

The TICCI Pickleball Paddle Set comprises paddles made with fiberglass, which serves a multi-purpose role.

Product Highlights

The paddles included in the set have a perfect construction to guarantee an ideal choice to ensure stiffness, low weight, and smooth strike.

The honeycomb core elevates the overall user energy associated with every spin.

Not only that, but the sturdy polymer can withstand intense strikes from the balls during the game. Consequently, you’ll be able to control the ball better.

These pickleball paddles also ensure extreme comfort, courtesy of the ergonomic design.

Lucky for you, the design prevents slippage by providing the desired balance to the hand and wrist.

The paddle weighs around eight ounces with total dimensions of 15.75 L x 7.91 W x 0.55 H inches with 4.76 inches grip length.

The grip length exhibits the following three unmatched qualities, which allow the TICCI pickleball paddle to stand out among the rest:

  • The ripple goes high and tight to prevent any loosening.
  • The clasp plus ensures a comfortable grip.
  • Lastly, it’s perforated to dissipate sweat.

By the way, this lightweight option is perfect for beginners or intermediate players, who don’t have much endurance, required to swing a heavy racket.

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The Good

This portable pickleball paddle set comes with a carry bag and four balls, saving you money from buying the supporting equipment.

Also, you can conveniently carry the bag without feeling any additional weight on your shoulders.

The Bad

As the name suggests, the TICCI Pickleball Paddle Set includes graphite craft rackets with honeycomb.

Graphite is still heavier than titanium, making it harder for you to swing in case of power serve.

That said, if you want to serve a ball with a high impact successfully, you really need to exert more power.

Graphite pickleball paddles are also prone to cracks, so they may break at the throat if you mishandle them.

Pros

  • Fiberglass paddle face
  • Interior polymer honeycomb core
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Recommended for beginners and intermediate players
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • May break at throat if not handled properly
  • The paint gradually peels off

2. Amazin' Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set

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Amazin’ Aces is a relatively new company specializing in designing affordable wooden and graphite paddle sets.

The Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set includes four high-quality wood pickleball paddles, four pickleball, and a mesh bag.

It’s a perfect set for beginners because of its sturdy construction and, most importantly, comfortable cushion grip.

Product Highlights

The Amazin’ Aces pickleball paddles feature simple seven-ply wood construction to keep them lightweight yet robust.

These paddles don’t include an edge guard, so you can hit from anywhere without any interference or resistance.

All the paddles included in the set measure around 16 x 8 inches, which are ideal dimensions of wider paddles.

They are large enough to hit easily, while compact to facilitate swift motion.

Consequently, these paddles are ideal for beginners to provide intuitive balance.

As far as the weight is concerned, each paddle weighs around 10 ounces, higher than the paddles reviewed previously.

The grip handle is covered with a wrist strap made of a cushioned material that can also absorb sweat.

The grip handle is 5¼ inches long, along with 4⅜ inches around, which means the circumference is larger than the standard of 4¼ inches.

That said, you should be mindful of selecting the grip size to prevent blisters and calluses.

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The Good

We love that the Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set offers top-quality plywood material made of durable maple to enhance the core strength.

Another great thing about this premium-quality pickleball paddle set is the sturdy handle. You can also easily re-wrap it according to your grip preference.

Not only that, but the paddle grip is made of polyurethane, renowned for robust ribbing and control.

Additionally, the package includes four outdoor balls so that you don’t need to spend extra bucks on buying new pickleball balls.

Lastly, the mesh bag included in the Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set guarantees convenient transportation and, of course, storage.

Plus, the included eBook provides tips and allows you to learn about the rules to improve your game.

The Bad

These paddles are heavy enough to provide the desired power to play but may not be comfortable if you have joint issues.

You’ll surely enjoy the satisfying sound when the ball hits the seven-ply wood core. However, some people opt for a quieter polymer core paddle.

Also, a wood paddle doesn’t exhibit outstanding shock absorption performance in the longer run.

Nonetheless, if you don’t have any specific preference and just want to enjoy the game, this seven-play wood core won’t disappoint you.

Pros

  • Recommended for power shots
  • Wider surface area
  • Firm and comfortable grip
  • Inexpensive
  • USAPA approved

Cons

  • Absence of edge guard
  • Not a suitable weight for people with joint problems

3. Niupipo Pickleball Paddle Set

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Niupipo is one of the well-renowned pickleball equipment manufacturers in the world. It specializes in designing near-perfection pickleball paddles and balls.

Approved by USAPA, the Nuipipo Pickleball paddles exhibit exceptional performance with more power and less noise, courtesy of their fiberglass construction.

Product Highlights

The Nuipipo pickleball paddles are carefully constructed with sturdy material, keeping in view the dynamics and, of course, physics.

The fiberglass is light yet tough enough to provide the power required for a forceful stroke with lesser manual effort.

It features a unique polypropylene honeycomb core that serves a dual-purpose. 

The honeycomb-like structure adds to the interior part’s fluffiness, while the crossed portions facilitate the strength.

Additionally, polypropylene is responsible for integrating its innovative characteristics especially flexural strength along with the structure.

It empowers you to transfer extra strength to your regular shots. Its chemical resistance protects the paddle to increase its longevity even when not in use. 

A cushioned-material also wraps the handle to give you a soft yet firm grip.

Lucky for you, it’s incorporated with a precipitation-absorbing mechanism to guarantee full control and grip even when you are at the game’s peak.

The handle is 4½ inches long with 4.25 inches of grip circumference, making these paddles ideal for long-time play.

The edge guard serves a dual purpose of protecting your elbows from injuries and saving the paddle if it hits the ground.

It also offers a wide body with total dimensions of 10.63 L x 7.87 W x 0.59 H inches.

Lastly, the USAPA approval guarantees that it’s a high-quality paddle suitable for sanctioned tournaments.

The Good

The construction of the Nuipipo pickleball paddles allows them to outshine the rest of the models.

You can swiftly spin the ball comfortably without using any other technique. Plus, the low weight of these paddles allows you to change hands faster.

The protective bag that comes with the Niupipo Pickleball Paddle Set lets you transport these paddles conveniently to the game court.

Not only that, but it protects the paddles from water, dust, and other harmful UV radiation.

It’s not possible for beginners, mostly to play regular strokes if the paddle is heavy.

On the other hand, you are unable to give strong strokes if the paddle is feather-light.

That’s why the Nuipipo pickleball paddle weighs eight ounces, which comes neither in a heavy category nor in a lightweight variety.

It’s an apt weight to provide a perfect balance to play both regular and strong strokes.

Additionally, the fiberglass face is undoubtedly more forceful than a graphite one, efficiently transferring your manual energy to the ball.

The Bad

The four included balls in the set aren’t suitable for an outdoor game, but for an indoor game.

You can segregate between indoor and outdoor balls with the help of its holes.

The holes on the outdoor models come with smaller holes so that the breeze doesn’t affect the game, while the indoor ball comes with larger holes.

Pros

  • Ergonomic grip
  • USAPA approved
  • Quiet strokes
  • Polypropylene honeycomb structure
  • Lesser stress on shoulder and elbow
  • Includes four balls and a bag

Cons

  • Less maneuverability
  • Slightly heavy

4. Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle

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The Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle offers exceptional control with its honeycomb core and graphite exterior.

Other notable features include a wide body shape, tennis handle, and medium weight.

Product Highlights

The Onix Z5 pickleball paddle comes with a hard face and wide space to strike the balls without exerting additional power.

The core is the fundamental essence of this paddle, allowing you to smash the ball by applying lesser force.

Additionally, it pops when you strike harder to assist in generating the desired power.

This well-balanced paddle weighs around 7.8 ounces with total dimensions of 15.5 L x 8.3 W x 1.5 H inches.

The force isn’t absorbed when the ball connects with the Onix Z5 paddle; instead, it bounces right away without absorbing any kinetic energy.

You must also have noticed that its width is broader than the regular eight inches wide paddles available in the market.

As far as the grip is concerned, it offers 4¼ inches of grip circumference, which perfectly sits in the hands.

Lastly, it comes with a cushion grip to provide the desired comfort while striking.

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The Good

The unique elongated paddle shape with a standard widebody enhances its versatility.

It’s a perfect combination for beginners to strike the ball with its wider sweet spot.

It’s the core of the pickleball paddles which decide its performance.

That’s why the Onix Graphite Z5 pickleball paddle comes with Nomex, a paper honeycomb core to facilitate you to hit powerful shots.

It’s essentially a cardboard-like material dipped in resin, so the surface becomes hard, yet the material itself is exceptionally lightweight.

Also, graphite, being a lightweight material, gives beginners a lot of maneuverability to ace their game.

The best thing about using the Onix Z5 paddle is its feedback mechanism. It means it tells you when you hit the ball slightly off from the sweet spot.

Consequently, you can adjust your hand accordingly, and that’s how the feedback loop works when you keep on adjusting your hand to improving your game.

The Bad

Many players aren’t comfortable with the popping sound, while some players love this sound when they make powerful shots. That’s why it drills down to your preference.

The overall graphics also aren’t visually appealing, even though the Onix Z5 paddle is available in various colors.

Lastly, it’s designed to offer more power than stability because the popping nature allows you to facilitate powerful strikes.

However, it sometimes leads to lesser control than the other pickleball paddles available in the market.

Essentially, what happens is that you don’t maneuver the ball accordingly when it pops against the face.

For instance, if your opponent hits a power shot, you won’t be able to control the ball reaction against your paddle’s face.

It’s because the Nomex core coupled with a graphite face will bounce right away without absorbing any kinetic energy, resulting in an unpredictable shot.

Pros

  • Wide-body design
  • Cushion grip
  • Nomex, paper honeycomb core
  • USAPA approved
  • Affordable
  • Wider sweet spot

Cons

  • Not aesthetically appealing design
  • Inclined towards power instead of control

5. GRM Racket Set

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GRM has been designing good-quality pickleball paddles, which are well-known for exhibiting exceptional performance.

The GRM racket is a perfect combination of premium-quality material and state-of-the-art-technology to guarantee you comfort, control, and ultimately, power.

It comes as a complete package comprising two rackets, two indoor and two outdoor balls, and a portable carry bag.

Product Highlights

This budget-friendly set has a paddle with a polymer core, making a pop sound when a ball strikes the graphite face.

In addition to that, the honeycomb construction adds to the overall robustness and strength of the paddle.

This innovative technology is responsible for enhancing the paddle’s elasticity and longevity.

The GRM racket also comes with a contour cushion grip that doesn’t let the hand slip.

As far as the dimensions are concerned, the handle is 4.9 inches long with 1.37 inches grip size, which is perfect for beginners.

The grip handle is also covered with a perforated material to wick away the sweat and moisture.

Additionally, the cushion protects against vibrations when you hit the ball or swing the paddle harder.

The circumference of the GRM racket is around 4.3 inches which comes in the medium-size category.

It also comes with a mandatory edge guard to protect it if you hit it harder on the ground.

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The Good

One of the best things about the GRM Racket Set is that it comes in a complete package.

It includes two paddles so that you can share them with your game partner.

In addition to that, it comes with a total of four pickleball balls: two for indoor and two for outdoor games.

The Bad

It’s better to avoid ground hits to prevent the paddle from hitting the ground, which will directly impact its durability.

Some users have also observed unevenness on the paddle’s face, which may be an illusion due to the honeycomb structure.

Pros

  • Sturdy graphite face
  • Anti-slip strips around the grip handle
  • Includes two paddles
  • Comes with outdoor and indoor balls
  • USAPA approved
  • Polymer honeycomb core

Cons

  • Uneven paddle surface

Buying Guide

We don’t want you to get intimidated by the entire pickleball paddle selection process.

That’s why we have compiled the following buying guide to facilitate you in deciding on a suitable paddle to match your game requirements.

Weight

The weight of the pickleball paddle is directly proportional to the amount of power and control.

You can find three weight options categorized as:

  • Light: Less than 7.3 ounces
  • Medium: 7.3 to 8.4 ounces
  • Heavy: 8.5 to 9.5 ounces

Material

Similar to weight, paddles are available in three different materials:

  • Wood: Heavy and affordable
  • Graphite: Light and equipped with modern technology
  • Composite: Light, budget-friendly, and comes with modern technology

Shape

As a beginner, we don’t recommend you to opt for a long-board or an elongated paddle.

It’s because these paddles require precision while playing shots.

It’s better to keep it simple and opt for a round and wider pickleball paddle with a larger sweet spot.

Grip Size

Grip size determines the course of your game. A more oversized paddle grip can make your hands slip out when you hit the ball.

It’s better to go for a smaller grip size so that you can comfortably grip the paddle.

Sweet Spot

It’s the point on the paddle which generates more power when a ball strikes it.

However, we can't’ determine the exact spot, but we know it’s somewhere near the paddle’s middle.

A rule of thumb is that a wider surface area provides a larger sweet spot.

Beginner Pickleball Paddle FAQs

1. What Is the Best Material for Pickleball Paddles?

Wood pickleball paddles have been in use for many years since they are affordable and reliable.

That said, they are relatively heavy and aren’t a suitable option for beginners.

On the other hand, the composite pickleball paddles are either made of fiberglass or carbon fiber with a polymer or aluminum core.

The composite paddles are not only lightweight but also exhibit better performance.

Lastly, graphite paddles are the most expensive, courtesy of their technically advanced construction material.

Many serious players opt for a graphite paddle because it gives them the desired strength and control required to ace the game.

2. How Long Should a Pickleball Paddle Last?

A durable pickleball paddle lasts for up to five years when used multiple times during a week.

However, you may need to replace it after two to three years if you use the paddles every day.

3. What Is the Best Weight for a Pickleball Paddle?

As noted, pickleball paddles come in various weights, including light, medium, and heavy.

All these weights have their pros and cons, and you need to select them according to your requirements.

  • Light Paddle

It gives you control by generating more head speed. 

However, it requires more momentum to swing, making it an unsuitable option for people with hand, elbow, or shoulder injuries.

  • Medium Paddle

It’s the best option for players who desire both power and finesse. People with shoulder or hand injuries can also conveniently use this paddle.

  • Heavy Paddle

It’s a perfect choice for hard-core players with more arm strength.

It also provides less head speed, which is excellent for light hitters.

4. Is Pickleball Bad for Knees?

Not exactly, but it’s a risky game for senior people. You play pickleball on a hard court where you spent 90 percent of the game near the net.

Not only that, but you bend over to get closer to the net.

It requires a lot of side-by-side shifts, leading to pain outside the knees.

5. Can You Lose Weight Playing Pickleball?

Absolutely! It’s a fantastic workout that allows you to burn calories depending on the time and intensity.

Playing pickleball usually lets you burn eight calories per minute depending on your weight and size.

Our Final Recommendation

Buying your first pickleball paddle is an important decision, and we surely want to make this buying process effortless.

That’s why we have done our best to review the best pickleball paddles for beginners, which provide a comfortable grip and a wider sweet spot.

Not only that, but most of them are quite affordable and reliable, so you don’t need to worry about replacing them after two or three years.

On that note, if we had to pick one for you, we highly recommend the GRM Racket Set because its drawbacks won't really affect your performance.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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