Best Pickleball Paddles of 2021: Complete Reviews & Comparisons

Finding the best pickleball paddle is much more than looking for a design that catches your eye.

With a ton of paddle features, including hitting surface area, grip type, paddle core material, and surface material, you’d have to consider each and every single factor when reading pickleball paddle reviews.

In this guide, we'll explore 10 of the most impressive and best pickleball paddles on the pickleball market in hopes of helping you find your next favorite pickleball paddle.

Best Pickleball Paddle Reviews

1. Niupipo Pickleball Paddle

Niupipo Pickleball Paddle

Starting our list of the best pickleball paddles is the Niupipo Pickleball Paddle. This premier paddle comes in a set of two USAPA approved paddles.

It boasts a balanced paddle combination of eye-catching design and one of the best graphite pickleball paddle interiors that every player would approve of.

With these quality paddles, you’d be able to put plenty of good paddle features to good use even during your very first session.

Product Highlights

Purchasing this set ensures that you get two pieces of USAPA approved paddles at your disposal.

They feature exceptional balance, as they are made from high-quality graphite carbon fiber.

The interior boasts a honeycomb design, which allows you to take advantage of optimal strength and ball control.

Thanks to this design, pickleball players will also find that they have far more ball control over the force they put into their ball.

The polymer honeycomb interior is meshed between two fiberglass pieces. The fiberglass hitting surface allows the paddles to withstand sufficient pressure.

With the added specialized grip, you'll be able to handle any challenge with ease.

After your first use, you'll find that the paddle handle is sweat absorbent and perforated, helping your hands to stay cool during play.

With a superior grip, playing for hours won’t be a problem. What’s more, you won’t experience excessive hand fatigue.

Overall, these paddles are quite lightweight. The paddle weight is at eight ounces, and they're comfortably sized. Compared to its counterparts, it has a wide body with a four and a half-inch grip paddle length.

Lastly, if you're a player who likes to travel, you'll surely appreciate the zippered neoprene cover that comes with every order.

Niupipo Pickleball Paddle construction

What to Like About It

The soft and comfortable handle, combined with the honeycomb interior, make these one of the best selling paddles.

With its design, you'll be able to cushion hits to have more ball control with ball placement. Also, the high-quality neoprene covers will help to protect the paddles during the off-season.

What Not to Like About It

As comfortable as the handles are, the grip also tends to wear away quickly.

In fact, several pickleball players experienced the grip tape unraveling on its own and wearing down after frequent use.

You might also want to take note of the paddle weight, as it might be more cumbersome and less balanced than expected.

Pros

  • Comfortable and soft handle
  • High-quality neoprene cover
  • Honeycomb interior cushions hits
  • Provides optimal control
  • Can easily shape shots

Cons

  • Shows paddle face wear and tear
  • Not a very textured graphite face hitting surface 
  • Heavier paddle than expected

2. JP WinLook Pickleball Paddle

JP WinLook Pickleball Paddle

Like the Niupipo, the JP WinLook Pickleball Paddle has a polymer core and comes in a set of two, providing you with a backup paddle for extra play. This is a great first paddle set.

With a USAPA approved paddle design and honeycomb composite pickleball paddle interior, you're sure to experience optimal ball control and more power if you choose this for your next paddle. 

Also, it is a slightly lighter weight paddle than the previous paddles we explored, which could be ideal for beginners.

Product Highlights

What makes this product an excellent choice is you receive two paddles, three balls, and a protective case for your equipment.

On the inside of the paddles, you'll find a honeycomb polymer core, while the exterior is made of carbon fiber face.

Denting is far less evident with the hardness of a graphite face pickleball paddle; nevertheless, it still maintains its lightness. Also, with balance and ball control, power-hitting is much simpler with these paddles.

This premier pickleball paddle feature a vast body, too, which gives you the perfect sweet spot for landing specific shots. You might also find the high-quality paddle face makes it easier to encourage ball spin.

The balls that are included with your order have also been designed with everyday play in mind. The drilled holes allow for the perfect flight path, whether you're aggressive or not.

Also, you'll enjoy the minimal wind interference combined with ideal bounce and durability.

The grip of the JP WinLook Pickleball Paddle is incredibly comfortable, as it is non-slip and incredibly soft.

The overgrips are elite wraps, helping to prolong the longevity of the handles without unraveling. Whether you're a veteran or a beginner, you'll appreciate having these on-hand.

New paddles are quite lightweight. The new paddle weight is just under eight ounces with a four-inch grip circumference.

JP WinLook Pickleball Paddle perfect paddle

What to Like About It

Whether you prefer playing indoors or outdoors, these paddles are highly recommended. They feature exceptional balance and feel more lightweight than other models. The review will help you find your lightest paddle that hopefully meets your needs.

Also, the balls are rather high-quality, especially if you're playing on a cement court.

What Not to Like About It

There appears to be an unappealing mildew smell with some of the paddles, which can be off-putting.

Also, the heel cap could detach during hard play, as well as the edging. Still, these issues can easily be remedied using epoxy or staples. 

Pros

  • Comfortable grip
  • Great for indoor and outdoor use
  • Lightweight Paddle & Polymer core
  • Comes with high-quality balls
  • Great balance

Cons

  • The heel cap could detach
  • Edging may fall apart
  • Could smell of mildew

3. Amazin' Aces Pickleball Paddle

Amazin' Aces Pickleball Paddle

When it comes to finding a game for the whole family to play, pickleball is a great option. To enjoy the game to the fullest, you’d need the best paddle and pickleball gear.

The Amazin' Aces Pickleball Paddle comes in a set of four paddles with four balls, as well. This is one of our favorite pickleball brands. 

They are designed for beginner to intermediate players, making them ideal for curious pickleball players and great for your first paddle. Amazin' Aces made it into our pickleball paddle reviews list because of the many features listed below. 

Product Highlights

The value of the Amazin' Aces Pickleball Paddle is its most significant feature. You'll receive four premium wood pickleball paddles, as well as four pieces of pickleball.

There is also a mesh bag included with every order so that you can carry them anywhere. 

Each paddle is made using seven-ply wood, so you'll have more power and durability.

The handles are made with a cushion grip and durable wrapping and a wrist strap to protect your paddle.

You'll also find the shipping packaging is top tier, as each paddle is wrapped in a high-quality box for gifting.

There's plenty of attention to detail put into these paddles, but their construction makes them best pickleball paddles for beginners. If you are new to the sport then this could be the right paddle for you.

You'll also find that they are incredibly affordable, so you won't have to buy pro paddles, especially if you're just starting.

Also, every order comes with an eBook titled "The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Pickleball."

With this, you'll learn about tips and tricks and the rules of the game to get you started. There are also professional strategies, etiquette tips, and ways to avoid beginner's mistakes.

classic wood paddle

What to Like About It

The Amazin' Aces Pickleball Paddle is a great starter kit to have for your children and their friends.

The handles are comfortably padded and easy to handle, as they're longer than average.

Overall, it's an excellent option for families looking for a starter kit to learn the ins and outs of pickleball.

What Not to Like About It

If you're looking for high-quality pickleball paddles, these might not meet your needs.

The included mesh bag is too small to fit the pickleball paddles, so it's not recommended for travel.

Pros

  • Great for pickup games
  • Ideal for children and teens
  • Comfortable handles for small hands
  • Fantastic starter kit

Cons

  • Small mesh bag
  • Non carbon fiber face
  • End caps may fail

4. Franklin Sports Pickleball Paddle

Franklin Sports Pickleball Paddle

Franklin is one of the leading brands in the sporting equipment industry, and this signature paddle, the Franklin Sports Pickleball Paddle is among the industry favorites.

Available in a set of two, these pickleball paddles have plenty of exciting and innovative paddle features worth noting.

Product Highlights

Like most of the other pickleball paddles on this list, these are USAPA-approved, which means each one follows industry standards.

Along with the pickleball paddles, you'll also receive two pieces of X-40 pickleball in the set.

Instead of being graphite carbon fiber, these pickleball paddles are constructed from seven-ply wood. To improve the quality of the paddles, they feature specialized Activator paddle technology.

As such, the managing power hits will be much more comfortable, allowing you to capitalize on ball placement.

The comfortable cushion grip is also quite notable, as you won't have to worry about sweat. Also, the grip is form-fitting and features a non-slip material for even the toughest games.

Because they are made from wood, these are  a slightly heavier paddle than others, weighing between nine and 10 ounces.

The added pickleballs are also constructed with quality in mind, as they are USAPA-approved. With their specialized rotationally molded design, they have incredible court life.

best pickleball paddle

What to Like About It

If you need a beginner set for pickleball, the Franklin Sports Pickleball Paddle is a great choice.

It is easy to use for play on any surface, and the balls are bound to withstand a lot of wear and tear.

When held, the paddles feel sturdy, and the grip length is very comfortable for small and large hands.

What Not to Like About It

Unfortunately, these handles are not made with as much attention to detail as professional paddles.

You might notice breakage around the handles, or they could snap off entirely after several games.

Also, the plastic edging is likely to fall off and need to be glued back on.

Pros

  • Ideal for beginners
  • For all surface types
  • High-quality balls
  • The grip is very comfortable
  • Useful for kids

Cons

  • The handle may break
  • Paddle face could crack
  • Edging will break

5. Win SPORTS Wooden Pickleball Paddle

Win SPORTS Wooden Pickleball Paddle

Starting with wooden pickleball paddles is a great way to get an idea of how to play pickleball without investing too much.

The Win SPORTS Wooden Pickleball Paddle is an excellent option for first-timers because it is budget-friendly.

Product Highlights

When you order these paddles, you'll receive two rackets, four balls, and a carrying bag for ball storage.

These paddles are made from seven-ply wood and are glued together for added durability.

They are highly recommended for beginners, especially if you need a relatively small paddle weight yet durable paddles.

Players are bound to experience better bounce and less powerful hits, making it easier to refine your skills.

Whether you're teaching yourself or your kids how to play, these wooden paddles could be a great option.

It's also important to note that the cushion grips are incredibly comfortable in your palm.

With the addition of the wrist straps, beginners won't worry about losing their paddles' grip. The straps are also quite useful when storing the paddles during the off-season.

Fortunately, the Win SPORTS Wooden Paddle is highly adaptable for anyone to use. This versatile paddle is great for casual play, community centers, and more.

The pickleball paddle width is seven inches with a paddle length of 15.5 inches. The grip is just over four inches wide, and the average paddle weight ranges between nine and 10 ounces.

durable wood paddle

What to Like About It

If you are on the hunt for a beginner's kit that will offer plenty of fun, this is one of the best pickleball paddle options to consider.

It is a well-rounded kit, as it comes with the paddles and balls you need to get started right away.

Also, the packaging has instructions for how to play on the front, if you're genuinely new to the game.

The grip and grip length are exceptionally comfortable for weak hands or if you're prone to getting hand fatigue quickly.

Overall, the paddles are highly recommended for beginners.

What Not to Like About It

The Win SPORTS Wooden Pickleball Paddle lacks quality compared to higher-end paddles, so you won't have a lot of power and ball control.

Also, the end caps appear poorly secured to the bottom of the paddles, which means they will have to be re-stapled or glued.

It would be far more beneficial if the carrying case were large enough to accommodate the balls and paddles.

Pros

  • Well-rounded kit
  • Offers plenty of fun
  • Highly recommended for beginners
  • Comfortable for weak hands

Cons

  • End caps could fall off
  • The bag is too small for paddles
  • Lacks control and not a power paddle

6. ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle

ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle

The ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle has a lovely aesthetic with plenty of great pickleball paddle features. It is the most expensive pickleball paddle on our list. You'll easily be able to choose from over 10 different color combinations for the pickleball paddle.

Product Highlights

According to the paddle manufacturer, the ONIX Z5 graphite paddles are the most popular pickleball paddle line that they own.

The paddle has a graphite face, which helps to provide an exceptional sweet spot, speed, and maneuverability. The Z5 paddle has a thicker core compared to others on this list which adds to the sweet spot. 

Also, this powerful paddle material is highly durable without adding an exceptional amount of paddle weight to the body.

Compared to other pickleball paddles, this one is much larger because it has a full body shape. This feature is ideal for players who want far more space to capture hard-to-reach balls.

It's also important to note that the interior paddle features a Nomex honeycomb core, providing you with exceptional power and ball control.

If you're someone who has always found pickleball paddles to be uncomfortable, you'll love the design of these handles.

They are specially made to mimic tennis rackets, which makes it great for transitioning players.

With an average paddle weight of seven to eight ounces, it's very comfortable to hold for extended periods. Compared to other ONIX paddles, this model excels in control compared to more power.

What to Like About It

When playing with this pickleball paddle, you'll find that it handles particularly well, and it is a moderately comfortable weight.

These light paddles are easy to maneuver and has an incredible sweet spot for dealing with challenging hits.

Compared to other paddles, this model doesn't show an excessive amount of wear and tear.

What Not to Like About It

The grip on the ONIX Graphite Paddle is the most disappointing feature.

It feels more like spray-on paint and isn't as comfortable as you would expect, so it's best if you purchase grip separately.

Players also found that it felt substantially more lightweight than they had anticipated.

Also, there are much quieter play, they have vibration dampening technology that help to reduce vibration. These paddles could cause wrist and elbow fatigue from vibrations.

Pros

  • Handles very well
  • Comfortable weight
  • Forgiving paddle
  • Huge sweet spot
  • Slightly shows wear and tear

Cons

  • The grip feels like spray-on paint
  • Feels much lighter than advertised
  • Not ideal for ball spin or power
  • No solid vibration dampening technology 

7. Diller Pickleball Paddle

diller pickleball paddles

Out of all of the pickleball sets on this list, the Diller Pickleball Paddle comes with the most accessories. You'll receive four paddles and six balls for indoor and outdoor play.

There are few other paddles with notable features to consider before purchasing these beginner-friendly paddles.

Product Highlights

After your first use, you'll notice how these paddles are designed for beginners in mind. The wood is solid yet still lightweight, allowing a lot of wear and tear from excessive play.

You'll find that your hits will have better bounce with slower flight, so it's easier to manage to play for extended periods.

The handles on these pickleball paddles are far more than comfortable; they are also perforated. With the cushioned grip, you're less likely to experience hand fatigue and excessive sweating.

The perforated material also helps to allow for optimal airflow so that you can maintain a comfortable grip.

As an added benefit, there's a wrist strap that you can use as an extra protective measure.

You'll find that these paddles are ideal for quick pickup games, but they can also be great for schools and community centers.

As they are made from seven-ply alternating grain hardwood, they are far higher in quality than other paddles beginner's sets.

It's important to note these paddles are also USAPA-approved.

What to Like About It

The grips are particularly notable as they are sturdy and comfortable. You'll also appreciate how easily the wrist strap keeps the paddle in place for both children and adults.

Not to mention, the balls are fantastic for indoor play and infrequent outdoor use.

Many players appreciate the colors of the paddles and balls, which makes them easy to differentiate.

What Not to Like About It

Over time, you'll find the pickleball paddle will show signs of wear and tear, especially when it comes to the wrist strap.

It could unravel, which means you might have to construct your wrist strap in the future.

Also, there are some concerns with the quality of the handles, as they can fall off after frequent use.

Pros

  • Comfortable and sturdy grips
  • Useful for children and adults
  • Sturdy balls
  • Wrist strap keeps paddles in place
  • Great coloring

Cons

  • Wrist strap may fall apart
  • The handle could break off

8. GRM Pickleball Paddles

GRM Pickleball Paddles

The GRM Pickleball Paddles have a unique and modern design that stands out from other kits we've discussed so far. 

They also ship with four pickleballs and an exceptionally designed carrying case to protect all of your equipment.

Product Highlights

The composite pickleball paddle weighs in just under eight ounces, which is the perfect pickleball paddle weight for most players.

You'll appreciate how the lightweight design provides superior ball control and power for intermediate and advanced players.

Players will also be able to focus primarily on the strength of their hits and their rackets' durability. 

With the honeycomb composite paddle core, these paddles are bound to last substantially longer than other paddles. The paddle has a lot of attributes of a pro paddle.

The paddle features a graphite face, which is lightweight yet durable and limits signs of wear and tear.

The graphite carbon fiber paddle face is also incredibly stylish, with remarkable lime green and black designs.

If you're searching for a pickleball paddle with comfortable grips, this set is a great choice.

Both of the paddles are equipped with an ultra-cushion grip that prevents slippage, so you'll easily maneuver the racket.

Control has never been more natural, too, especially as you can play for hours without experiencing hand or wrist fatigue.

Both of the paddles are constructed to meet USAPA standards, with a wide-body and a grip circumference just over four inches.

In your kit, you'll receive two paddles, two indoor balls, two outdoor balls, and a padded carrying case.

Thanks to the carrying case, you'll no longer have to worry about damaging your paddles if you travel with your pickleball equipment. 

Another notable feature of the GRM Pickleball Paddles is its edge guard, which is an issue with other paddles.

The proprietary edge guard helps protect the paddle's integrity, even if it's dropped right on edge.

carbon fiber face pickleball paddle

What to Like About It

When you're playing with the GRM Pickleball Paddles, you'll find plenty of great paddle features. They have fantastic bounce, which makes them easy for intermediate players to use.

The textured grip is also quite comfortable for all pickleball players, and you'll find that they're best pickleball paddles for blocking and dinking.

Pickleball players who like to travel with their equipment will love the design of the case, which has plenty of storage.

What Not to Like About It

Over time, you're going to notice a lot of wear and tear with the travel case, as the material could tear.

Some players have noted the hitting surface of the paddles has manufacturing defects. If your model has an uneven paddle face, it could lead to a lack of responsiveness.

Also, the included balls aren't as high-quality as you would expect, and they might not last through an entire game.

Pros

  • Offer exceptional bounce
  • Work well for advanced players
  • Comfortable for beginners
  • Perfectly textured grip
  • Innovative carrying case
  • Fantastic for blocking and dinking
  • Perfect for travel

Cons

  • Travel case might tear
  • Could have an uneven hitting surface
  • Low-quality balls

9. Vinsguir Pickleball Paddle

Vinsguir Pickleball Paddle

The first thing you'll notice about the Vinsguir Pickleball Paddle is its unique and extrinsic paddle face design.

With a style you've likely never seen before, they can be a great way to show your personality.

What’s more, the build quality is also quite notable, making it an excellent choice for beginners and intermediate players because of it's polymer core. 

Product Highlights

The surface of the paddles has a graphite face, similar to many pickleball paddles of high-quality.

With the surface's resilience, you won't have to worry about excessive damage, thanks to the strength of the material.

Even the printing on the racket is made using UV paddle technology to ensure the design prevents color fasting over time.

Fortunately, both of the paddles you'll receive in this set meet USAPA specifications, making them great for casual and professional play.

Players are also going to love the reinforced handles that feature elite wraps for optimal breathability and grip.

You'll also find a reinforced strip at the bottom of the handle to prevent the end cap from falling off.

The vast body of the paddles makes them an exceptional choice for a larger sweet spot. You'll also find pickleballs will have a higher impact, allowing for more powerful shots.

This design has a honeycomb polymer core, which is the perfect median for control and power.

When you purchase the Vinsguir Pickleball Paddle, you'll get everything you need to play, except for a net. You'll receive two paddles, three outdoor balls, one indoor ball, and a portable bag.

You'll notice raised ribbing on the paddles, which is designed to offer a superior tactile experience for added grip.

Even the pickleballs are crafted with close attention to detail, including precisely drilled holes for superior flight.

As you play with the balls, you'll find they also have effective control in windy conditions and exceptional bounce.

You might not even need to consider buying extra balls due to their high-quality design and longevity.

pickleball paddle

What to Like About It

Beginner and intermediate players will love the moderately sized sweet spot, though it might be a centimeter lower than expected.

The handles are exceptionally comfortable, too, and the unique paddle face design will catch other players’ attention.

The most impressive feature of the set is the travel bag, as it's great for storage and protects your equipment.

What Not to Like About It

Although the paddle face design is meant to withstand plenty of UV exposure, it peels off easily and quickly.

Some players have also found that the paddles are slightly too lightweight for their preference.

Also, the paddle itself could be too thin, which means it is bound to transfer a lot of vibration.

Pros

  • Handle is comfortable
  • Moderately sized sweet spot
  • Ideal for casual players
  • Unique design
  • High-quality travel bag

Cons

  • The design could peel off
  • Could be too light
  • Too thin

10. XS XSPAK Pickleball Paddle

XS XSPAK Pickleball Paddle

Players searching for pickleball paddles known for their accuracy will love the XS XSPAK Pickleball Paddle.

In your order, you'll receive two paddles (one red and one blue) and two protective covers. There are a few other impressive paddle features to consider, as well.

Product Highlights

Accuracy is the most significant feature of these paddles, thanks to their graphite pickleball paddle face. The graphite pickleball paddle allows intermediate to advanced players to provide compelling shots with less effort.

You'll also find that ball placement will come more naturally, allowing you to make challenging shots.

The built-in honeycomb polymer core is another notable feature, as it helps to make the paddles have quieter play.

You're less likely to be affected by elbow and wrist fatigue from vibrations, too, because the paddle face absorbs the most impact.

With the help of the innovative paddle core, your overall performance will surely increase, as will the durability of the paddles.

The edge guard on most other paddles is one of the most concerning paddle features.

With this paddle, you'll have a superior edge guard specifically designed to protect the paddle.

The low-profile design ensures the surface isn't damaged if the paddle hits the court.

As an added benefit, the edge guard won't encourage mishits because it's very low-profile.

It's important to note that even though intermediate and experienced players can use this advanced paddle, so can beginners.

Beginners are bound to love the comfort of the medium grip as well as the eight-ounce weight.

quality grip pickleball paddle

What to Like About It

You can bet the XS XSPAK Pickleball Paddle is a significant upgrade from wood paddles, especially as they reduce elbow fatigue.

The comfortable, high-quality grip allows you to play for hours on end, and it's also great for kids.

With the embossed paddle face, you'll find your top and backspins have never been better, and the pickleball paddle has incredible bounce.

As an added benefit, the travel cases are incredible, as they protect the surface of your paddle efficiently.

What Not to Like About It

There are only two concerns to note with these pickleball paddles. Depending on your hand size, you might need to adjust the grip size, but that is easy to do with extra grip tape.

Also, as the paddles are more lightweight than what you might be used to, you would have to put more power behind your swings.

Pros

  • Upgrade from wood
  • Reduce elbow fatigue
  • Embossed surface for spinners
  • Very comfortable high-quality grip
  • Great for bounce, topspin, and backspin
  • Polymer core
  • Useful for adults and kids

Cons

  • Grip size might need adjustments
  • Requires more power

Pickleball Paddle Buyer's Guide

Even as a beginner, you'll want to make sure you're buying the best pickleball paddle that your money can buy.

That is why you will want to read our pickleball paddle reviews guide because the cheapest pickleball paddles are not always the best for beginners and the best pickleball paddles on the market may not be the best for your playing style.

There are plenty of paddle features that separate one set of paddles from the next pickleball paddle, so knowing what to look for is essential. 

In this buyer's guide, we'll discuss the top features to look for, regardless of skill level, when shopping for paddles. This is important because there are many "best pickleball paddles" that can be claimed as the best pickleball paddle but it really depends on what your skill level is and which paddle compliments you the best. 

1. Material

There are four primary materials used in pickleball paddles: wood, graphite, composite, and polymer.

Wood

The first material is wood, as it is easily accessible and quite durable. Players also found that it offers a durable feel.

However, back then, a wooden paddle weighed more substantially than they do today.

Because they led to wrist fatigue and were relatively clunky, pickleball paddle manufacturers started to delve into using other materials.

Today, wooden paddles are the best paddles for beginners who want inexpensive entry-level paddles. They're reliable and stand up against wear and tear, but they also have faults.

For example, most paddles are constructed of several layers of wood that can splinter and fall apart.

If you're a professional player, or even intermediate, you'll want to consider another material for superior play.

Graphite

Graphite is the single most common material used in high-quality pickleball paddles. It's used in a variety of sports industries, such as tennis and golf.

Graphite is a more expensive pickleball paddle, as it takes newer technology to curate and manipulate, but it's well worth the extra investment.

Graphite pickleball paddles are incredibly lightweight and allow for fast and agile movements.

A graphite paddle is also exceptionally more responsive than most other materials. For a substantial edge over your competitors, a graphite paddle is the best pickleball material to opt for.

With that said, it's not the best pickleball paddle recommendation for beginners, as you might not need the responsiveness that they graphite paddles offer.

Still, they're also ideal for incredible control over your shots and dinking.

Composite Paddle

A composite paddle is another material that offers fantastic responsiveness, and it features a combination of materials. 

Compared to polymer paddle, as we’ll discuss below, a composite paddle is made with a blend of higher-quality materials like graphite, fiberglass, or aluminum. There are fiberglass paddles on the market and some have a textured composite face that helps ball spin.

They are generally heavier and have more power. Where as a graphite paddle is lighter but offers more control. A paddle with a textured composite face is an example of a paddle that offers excellent control.  Both materials are strong and durable. Few paddles will be made completely out of aluminum because the material is heavy and not responsive like graphite. 

All of these high-end materials in a composite paddle offer a long-lasting, durable, and lightweight paddle with technological advancements.

With better control and more robust power, players will notice a significant improvement in their overall performance with a composite paddle.

Polymer Paddle

The last material is polymer, which is a step above wood in terms of performance and cost.

Like composite, they are made from a blend of materials, but they're far more affordable because they're plastic.

Along with their reasonable price tag, but not a cheap pickleball paddle, polymer paddles are lightweight and can have impressive performance.

This material is best suited for entry-level players and children, as they can withstand a lot of wear and tear.

However, they do not feature the performance that professional and experienced players would expect.

2. Weight

When browsing through pickleball paddle reviews, one feature commonly discussed is the weight.

Not only does weight have a huge bearing over fatigue, but it can also affect your agility and ability to conquer challenging shots.

Some players prefer a heavier paddle, while others like a more lightweight paddle feel in their hands.

As you begin to garner more experience playing, you'll have an idea of what works best for you based on your swing power.

You'll find that most paddles weigh anywhere from six to 14 ounces, and the heaviness affects control and power.

Opting for lightweight paddles gives you less drive, while heavier paddles offer less control.

Comfort is another thing to remember because the less comfortable you are, the lower your performance will be.

If you choose a light pickleball paddle, you'll require less arm strength, allowing you to excel in speed and agility.

It also limits the amount of fatigue your hands and elbows are going to experience after playing.

A Medium weight paddle is a fantastic middle-ground for players and best for beginners who don't know their preference.

Typically, these pickleball paddles weigh between seven and 10 ounces, allowing you to have both power and reasonable control.

3. Grip Size

Similar to how you would hold a tennis racquet, you'll want to make sure your paddle's grip size fits comfortably in your hand.

Players who use models with huge grip sizes will find it hard to put power behind their drives. On the other hand, a small grip pickleball paddle can lead to just as much discomfort.

When you're fitting the right pickleball paddle grip size for you, you'll want to think about your height. Shorter players are bound to appreciate a smaller grip.

For example, if you're just over five feet, a four-inch grip size should be ideal. If you're taller, a four and a half-inch grip size can be a great option.

For your reference, consider these guidelines:

Height
Grip Width
5’2”
4-inch grip size
5’3” - 5’8”
4 1/4-inch grip size
5’9” +
4 1/2-inch grip size
 

With that said, if you are unable to find a grip that fits perfectly, you can customize them at home.

Using special grip tape, you can adjust your grip's width so that it fits your hand.

4. Type

Along with materials, you'll also want to think about the type of pickleball paddle you're interested in.

The body's design can have a significant bearing on your performance in terms of how far you can reach and its forgiveness.

The three main types are edgeless, oversized, and elongated.

Edgeless

With edgeless paddles, you'll find that they're some of the most popular because of their versatility.

These paddles have significantly large sweet spots and offer optimal forgiveness, allowing you to capitalize on poor shots.

Also, they're seamless and allow you to work around the court with ease.

Oversized

Much like their name suggests, oversized paddles look precisely like a traditional paddles but they're bigger.

Players might prefer oversized paddles because they help to boost their confidence, especially for beginners.

With a much larger surface area for play, you'll have the most forgiveness from all of the designs.

Also, an oversized pickleball paddle increases your chances of making contact with the ball. Overall, they're great to use if you're heading out for a casual game with your family.

Elongated Paddle

The only difference between regular and elongated paddles is that they are shaped more rectangular than square.

This difference in framing allows you to reach out further on the court, lessening your chances of missed shots with a elongated paddle. 

However, the width of the pickleball paddle could be smaller than with edgeless models, for example.

If you have shorter arms, you're bound to notice the most significant difference with an elongated paddle.

5. Core Material

Did you know that most high-quality pickleball paddles have a material sandwiched between the surface panels?

This feature is known as the paddle core and has a significant influence on how the ball reacts when it hits the paddle's surface.

There are a few different paddle core materials, including Nomex, aluminum, and polypropylene.

Nomex

Nomex core paddles are known for their fabulous levels of control, making them some of the most popular choices.

Its a much harder material than most and allows pickleball paddles to perform flawlessly over extended periods.

The density of the material is responsible for adding resilience and durability, especially as the honeycomb interior can be smaller. 

Players will find paddles with Nomex interiors are louder, especially when compared to polypropylene.

Their main downside is that they have far less power, which means you'll have to put more effort into your swings.

Aluminum

Overall, aluminum paddles tend to perform quite similarly to Nomex in that it is highly dense.

However, the weight of aluminum can be slightly overbearing and can make a lightweight pickleball paddle much heavier.

When used in a honeycomb design, you'll find that control is the best feature of this material, but it's quite likely to dent.

Also, aluminum core paddles are much louder and don't offer as much power as you'll have with polypropylene.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene is one of the newer materials used in pickleball paddles and is only increasing in popularity due to its softness and quietness.

You're sure to experience a much different game using a polypropylene core than either aluminum or Nomex.

When using one of these polypropylene honeycomb paddles, you'll find that it's more comfortable, and it's going to hold up very well over time.

You're going to lose a little bit of control, but you'll provide incredible power behind your drives. Also, it's mostly found in some of the more expensive paddles because of its ease of use.

6. Surface Size

One of the essential features to consider depending on your skill level is surface size.

For beginners, your first game of pickleball can be intimidating, especially if you're using a professional pickleball paddle.

Opting for a larger surface area will give you far more space for hitting the ball, and it also makes dinking easier.

However, larger surface areas also mean you'll be less agile while swinging the pickleball paddle.

Alternatively, you can find paddles with a narrower hitting surface.

Although they can lessen your chances of hitting the ball, they are a far lighter paddle and more flexible.

Not to mention, once you get enough experience, you won't have to worry about needing an extra hand to improve your hit average.

7. Color

At first, you might not agree that color is one of the more critical things to think about with pickleball paddles.

Then again, when you're playing in public, you'll quickly notice how easy it is to lose track of your equipment.

The color of your paddles shows off a personal flair and allows you to have top visibility while playing.

Most players will try to find a paddle manufacturer that designs paddles with a style that they like, which is easy to see.

The color of your equipment is particularly important when it comes to the extra balls that come with your paddles.

You won't want your pickleballs to get mixed up with other players' equipment, so you'll want a bright and unique design.

Pickleball Paddle FAQs

1. Is pickleball easier than tennis?

There are plenty of similarities and differences between pickleball and tennis. The pickleball technique and training is much different than tennis because of the size of the court and balls for pickleball used. However, the grips used in tennis and pickleball are similar if not the same. 

One of the most notable is that pickleball can be more comfortable for mature players, as the court size is much smaller. Like tennis, shoes for pickleball are designed to help you move in all different directions. 

However, the same can be said about the pickleball paddles compared to tennis rackets, requiring more effort.

Regardless of which sport you choose, though, you're sure to get a good workout.

It’s also important to note you are open to the same injuries, such as tennis elbow. There are plenty of seniors who prefer playing pickleball as a way to get daily exercise.

2. Which is better graphite or composite pickleball paddle?

There are a few things to consider if you're stuck deciding between a graphite paddle and a composite paddle.

Composite pickleball paddles are typically seen as the middle ground between a wood and graphite paddle because composite pickleball paddles are lightweight and flexible.

You'll also find the textured graphite surface or composite-faced paddles allows for impressive spins.

A graphite paddle, on the other hand, is a more expensive paddle and used most often in high-end paddles.

It's a highly responsive, reliable, lightweight, and agile material, while a composite pickleball paddle is a blend of high-end materials.

Both offer similarities in their performance, as graphite appears to be the most effective professional option.

3. What is the best weight for a pickleball paddle?

There isn't a specific ideal weight for the best paddles because every player has their own needs.

You can typically find light, medium, and heavyweight paddles based on their core and exterior materials.

Your playing style will also impact the weight of the pickleball paddle you're interested in.

Lighter paddles have less power, and heavier paddles have less control, so the choice would depend on your preferences.

If you are unsure of which to choose, opt for a medium weight pickleball paddle between seven and ten ounces.

From there, you can determine whether you'd prefer to have better control or power.

4. How long should a pickleball paddle last?

As with any other type of sporting equipment, you're going to need to put effort into maintaining your pickleball paddles.

On average, some higher quality models can last three years or longer before they can be considered dead.

However, you might also find your frequency of play will significantly impact their longevity.

For example, professional players might find their expensive paddles last only one year before needing to be replaced.

If you're someone who plays two times per week, you'll find your equipment will last substantially longer.

Also, be sure to follow these maintenance tips:

  • Clean the edge guard and paddle face with a glass cleaner.
  • Wipe the grip regularly with a damp cloth.
  • Replace the grip as necessary.
  • Store the paddles away from extreme temperatures.
  • Periodically inspect the edge guard.
  • Prevent dropping or landing on your paddle.

5. What pickleball paddle does Kyle Yates use?

Kyle Yates uses the Paddletek Bantam EX-L paddle, the pro pickleball paddle offers superior power and balance.

This model has a polymer core that allows you to place shots with limited effort correctly.

Final Verdict

After careful consideration, we decided the XS XSPAK Pickleball Paddle is the best pickleball paddle because of its accuracy and performance.

Our best paddle pick has the perfect surface area for spinners, a reasonably sized sweet spot, and is easy for beginners and intermediate players to use.

Also, it is quite stylish and is bound to impress you even after several months of consistent play. However, if you are looking for more pickleball paddle reviews considering reading our list of HEAD pickleball paddles

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