Pickleball is a game that many people enjoy – but without the right gear, pleasure can quickly be turned into annoyance. This is why you might want to try and invest in the best pickleball paddle – to ensure that you are only playing at your finest. By looking at the right factors, you should be able to improve your skills – and hopefully, take your game to a higher level.
However, with so many options on the market, it might be quite difficult for you to find the one that is most appropriate for your preferences. Some are looking for more grip, whereas others are more attentive to the size and weight. This is why you might want to read some pickleball paddle reviews, to ensure that your purchase is just right for you. With our buying guide and reviews, we are planning to help you out.
What Is Pickleball and How Do You Play It?
So, what is pickleball? The answer to that would be: it’s a game that everyone can play. Pickleball is a fun game that is like a combo between table tennis and field tennis. The gear looks like bigger ping pong gear – but you play it on the field like you would play tennis or badminton. Check out our homepage for court sports gear. It is a sport that is continuously evolving, with pickleball growing fast in America, as well as in many other countries.
Pickleball can be played both indoors and outdoors – and the rules are generally fairly easy to understand (although they can be lengthy). On average, if you ever played field tennis, badminton, or ping pong, then you should be able to learn how to play pickleball as well.
Overall, the purpose is to let the ball bounce once on the field before you serve it back to your opponent – all while ensuring that you do not step into the non-volley zone. This seven-foot zone surrounds the pickleball net, having the purpose of preventing any spikes from occurring. From there on, it depends on the technique of the player and how they use the paddle to send the ball spinning.
Why You Need a Good Pickleball Paddle
Pickleball is a sport that is growing more and more in popularity, with every passing day – but at this point, many people that are playing casually as beginners are still using other paddles (e.g. ping pong paddles that look similar) instead of investing in a good set of pickleball paddles. That being said, here is why you might want to gather up the courage and make the investment:
Basic Player Gear
In order to properly play pickleball, you will have to invest in the right gear. You may want to get some good pickleball shoes to ensure that you do not injure yourself and run comfortably. You should also invest in a good racket to make sure that you deliver the perfect hits.
Ease of Use
Pickleball paddles are very simple to use, once you start getting your head in the game and learn how to play pickleball. Plus, if you are already familiar with games such as ping pong, tennis, or badminton, then it will be even easier for you to make the swings. There should be no reason for you not to make the investment.
Vide Range of Materials
If there’s anything that most players tend to appreciate about pickleball paddles, it’s the fact that they can be bought in a variety of materials. Most of the time, people either go for wooden or graphite paddles, depending on their style of playing – but one thing that you can be certain of is that you’ll have no complaints about the variety. You may also find them in numerous colors, which means you will never be aesthetically bored while looking at your paddle.
Some people might find it inconvenient to handle a tennis racket, as they are too big – but they also believe that tennis rackets do not provide them enough coverage. That being said, this is the case in which most people opt for a pickleball racket, to ensure that it’s not too bulky to hold, but not too small either.
Unlike other racket and paddle types, pickleball paddles are actually quite durable. The paddle does not get easily damaged or distorted, even when you use it often. You may be certain that the investment you make with this kind of paddle should pay off for quite a long time.
Best Pickleball Paddles Comparison Chart
Niupipo Graphite Pickleball Paddles with Honeycomb Core
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XS XSPAK Graphite Pickleball Paddle Set with Honeycomb Core
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Niupipo Honeycomb Core Ultra Cushion Pickleball Paddl
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Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Paddle Set
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JP WinLook Pickleball Paddle Set
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Niupipo Pro Graphite Pickleball Racket
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HEAD Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle
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ONIX Graphite Z5 Graphite Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle
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Best Pickleball Paddles – (Newest Models)
1. Niupipo Graphite Pickleball Paddles with Honeycomb Core
If you are looking for a good pickleball racket, then this is certainly one that you should put on your list. Featuring the USAPA approval for victory, it is the perfect option to take with you on the game – no matter if you are a beginner or a professional. For those going on a tournament, this seems to be a great choice.
Featuring the perfect balance graphite carbon fiber, this should easily improve any game of yours. Moreover, its graphite carbon fiber surface along with the graphite-honeycomb core gives it the ideal strength – along with ensuring that it is very durable. It will surely last you for quite a long time – even throughout the most intensive games.
Moreover, despite it being so strong, it is still very lightweight. This is thanks to the graphite composition, as well as the fiberglass sheets that ensure its durability. This way, you will know that your shots are smooth and accurate – providing you more control during your movement.
- Very lightweight
- Quite a high durability
- Very responsive to movement
- Also includes playing balls
- Some consider it quite small
- The clear plastic front is inconvenient for some
2. XS XSPAK Graphite Pickleball Paddle Set with Honeycomb Core
If you are looking for more color along with strength in your pickleball paddles, then you might want to give this one a go. Having passed every USAPA test for performance, it is the kind of paddle that every professional can use for tournaments without any issues.
The set itself is quite convenient, as it comes with its own carry bag – which may also be used as a shoulder bag. Plus, it is quite lightweight – which is not only perfect for portability, but for playing as well. This way, you will not feel weighed down by the racket, regardless of your level. You can have some very accurate shots.
This pickleball paddle also features a strong polymer honeycomb core – one that provides strength along with durability. Moreover, the superior low-profile edge guard will sweat-absorbent the hitting surface of the paddle, further increasing its durability. It is the kind of paddle that will accompany you to every game for quite a long time.
- Great non-slip grip
- Very lightweight and easy to use
- Quite durable and strong
- Provides great accuracy when playing
- Some people find it very expensive
3. Niupipo Honeycomb Core Ultra Cushion Pickleball Paddle
Quality has always been a sure thing when it comes to Niupipo – and this set once more proves that. Featuring USAPA approval to be used in tournaments, this is the kind of racket that you may easily use in a professional game with ease. Regardless of the challenges, you may encounter on the court, this paddle should be able to take you through each and every one of them.
Made with a graphite carbon face and a honeycomb core, this paddle is very strong and durable – all while being quite lightweight. This way, you should be able to deliver quite powerful shots – all while improving your maneuverability. You should not be brought down by the weight of this racket.
The paddle also features a perforated sweat-absorbent cushioned grip that not only makes the racket more comfortable but also easier to use. This way, if you tend to sweat a lot during your games, you won’t risk accidentally losing the grip on your racket. It keeps the game running – and it also prevents any black eyes from occurring.
- Very lightweight design
- Quite comfortable to hold due to cushioned grip
- Sweat-absorbent and non-slip design
- Perfect maneuverability for accurate shots
- Some complaint about the handle being short
- Some believe it is a bit heavy
4. Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Paddle Set
This pickleball paddle set provides great value for those that want to improve their games – but are still beginners in the field. Featuring a premium graphite face along with a polypropylene honeycomb core, this pickleball racket is very strong – and will likely last you through quite a number of games before you have to order another one.
That being said, the materials that make this paddle so strong are exactly what make it so lightweight as well. This way, you won’t feel like the weight of your paddle is weighing you down – and you also won’t tire yourself too easily by playing with it. Your hits will also be smooth and accurate, allowing you to win the game with experience.
This paddle also features a one-year warranty – which proves the trust that the company has in its quality. If something happens to the paddle that compromises its performance, you may contact customer support and they will guide you through the process of solving this issue.
- Perfect for the beginner to intermediate players
- Quite an affordable price
- Very lightweight
- Durable design
- Not USAPA approved
5. JP WinLook Pickleball Paddle Set
If you are looking for a high-quality set of pickleball paddles that will not create a hole in your budget, you might greatly appreciate this set. Featuring a quality graphite carbon face and a honeycomb polymer comb, this racket is dent-free and promises great durability. For beginners that want to ease their way into pickleball playing, this is a great choice.
In comparison with other similar models, this one features a wider body – one which also creates a better sweet spot for quality hits. Plus, the resilient surface will also provide a nice ball spin, allowing you to send some accurate shots towards your opponent. Moreover, the paddle comes with a very comfortable non-slip grip that will remove fatigue all while increasing comfort.
The set also comes with a few extras that beginners will appreciate. Not only do you have three balls with precisely drilled holes that allow for an accurate flight path, but it also comes with a protector bag that will enhance its portability. This way, you may take the game with you wherever you want.
- Very affordable price
- The cushioned handle is very comfortable to hold
- Lightweight and very easy to maneuver
- The carry bag makes it very portable
- Does not have USAPA approval
6. Niupipo Pro Graphite Pickleball Racket
If you wish to take your pickleball game to another level, then you might want to give this model a try. Featuring USAPA approval to be used in tournaments, this set shows great promise along with high durability. That being said, while professionals tend to use it more, it is also a great choice for beginners – mostly due to its ease of use.
First things first, this pickleball racket uses high-quality materials that have an incredible value. The face is made from graphite carbon fiber, whereas the core is honeycomb polymer composite – which not only gives you a nice pop, but it also reduces ball deflection. If you are looking for great power in a paddle, then this one is certainly a nice choice to go for.
The grip for this paddle is also extremely comfortable. The fact that it has been perforated makes it sweat-absorbent and non-slip – making it a good choice for long games that are more intense. The cushion is also generous enough to be comfortable – but not thick enough to impact your game. Regardless of your style of playing, it is a good overall choice.
- Comfortable grip
- Perfect for tournaments
- Sturdy design – it uses quality materials
- Lightweight and perfect for long-term use
- It does not provide too much spin in the hits
- Some say that it is a bit heavier than they expected it to be
7. HEAD Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle
If you wish to take your pickleball game up a bit more but you are still not ready to hit it on the professional level, then you might want to give this racket a try. Perfect for those that are at an intermediate level, it’s great to take with you to the pickleball club.
This paddle has been given a very smart design so that you may win every game with ease. Using popular fiberglass technology, this paddle is quiet and smooth, giving you the perfect hit with as little vibration as possible. This also makes it quite lightweight and suitable even for the games that are slightly longer dragged.
Aside from being efficient, the HEAD paddle is also very strong. With its honeycomb core along with the Ergo grip, this paddle is likely to last you for a long time before you require a new replacement. Plus, it should be able to take up the intensity of any game so that you can pave your way towards becoming a professional player.
- Perfect for intermediate players
- Durable construction meant for heavier games
- Lightweight and very easy to maneuver
- Fiberglass construction that makes it shock-absorbent
- Not appropriate for professional pickleball
- No USAPA approval
8. ONIX Graphite Z5 Graphite Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle
Those of you looking for a bit of a wider coverage when it comes to pickleball practice and games might greatly appreciate this one. With a width of 5.5 inches, this one is a popular choice among those that are not beginners but still aren’t quite ready to take the game on a professional field.
Featuring a graphite face, this paddle should provide a smooth hit – rotating the ball in a way that should provide you good accuracy. The honeycomb core will also help you in that regard, as it will further provide you strength in all of your hits. When it comes to ball control, many players can agree that this paddle is quite superior.
Aside from smooth ball control, the graphite face of this paddle also makes it quite lightweight. Not only does this increase your pop, but your speed and maneuverability as well. You should be able to get all the power that you need – all while maintaining control.
- It handles very well throughout a game
- Very lightweight and easily maneuvered
- Perfect size and shape if you are looking to get more coverage
- It does not come with a cover
- Not USAPA approved
Spotting the Difference: Best Pickleball Paddle for Beginners vs. Professionals
In pickleball, it might be quite difficult to find the differences between a pickleball racket for beginners and one for professional players. However, beginners might want to focus more on the lightweight models, as they will allow them to build up control without sacrificing their stamina excessively.
As a beginner, you might want to avoid longboard paddles, as they require quite a bit of accuracy – and you may also want to avoid wooden paddles, as they tend to be quite heavy.
However, if you wish to play on a professional level, make sure that your racket features USAPA approval. All top-rated pickleball paddles feature this kind of certification, and you will not be allowed to play pro without it.
Important Things to Consider When Buying a Good Pickleball Racket
When looking for a good pickleball paddle, there are several things that you might want to consider. Here is how to choose a pickleball paddle:
Obviously, the first thing that most players tend to look at when buying a new pickleball paddle is the price that it’s sold at. Most of the paddles that we reviewed here are within the average price – but with that said, you should not go for the least expensive option either.
In most cases, it is actually more recommended to buy a more expensive pickleball racket – but at least you’ll get one that brings you value. That said, this applies to intermediate to professional levels. As a beginner, you will not have to make a great investment, as you are still testing out the fields, so to speak – and you are not yet certain whether you plan on playing in the long term or not.
Pickleball paddles come in a variety of materials, all of which can greatly affect the feeling you get when you are holding it. Generally speaking, wood paddles are the least expensive option – but people do not find them that effective. In most cases, you will come across graphite paddles, composite paddles – or a combination of both.
A pickleball racket will feature a variety of technologies – all depending on the type of player that you are. As a beginner, you might not have to go for anything too fancy, with all the bells and whistles – all of which will cost you a lot of money. On the other hand, if you are a professional player that also wants to join tournaments, you may invest in something that uses the latest technologies – all of which will help bring your topspin a boost.
Before buying a pickleball paddle, you should check whether it has a good edge guard or not. A low-quality paddle may not have one – which is why you might want to invest in one that does. This will help protect your paddle from scratches or any kind of damage – therefore, improving its lifespan.
A paddle for pickleball might weigh anything from 6.5 to 9.5 ounces – all of which are good weights, depending on what you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for more strength behind your hits, you might want to go for a heavier paddle. Indeed, you will be exerting more energy, but you should be able to send the ball much faster as well.
On the other hand, if you are looking for more control and speed, then you might want to go for a more lightweight paddle. These paddles are also more recommended for beginners, as they might not have a lot of stamina in their arms – causing them to tire rather quickly.
The grip you have on the paddle is also very important. If your grip on the paddle is too small or too big, it might cause you to drop your paddle – which in some cases might lead to injury. If you are on the smaller size, you might want to go for a paddle with a smaller grip. On the other hand, if you are taller or on the slightly bigger side, then you might want to go for a paddle with a bigger grip.
If you are planning to take your gameplay into official tournaments, then you might want to invest in the paddles that feature USAPA approval. If a certain paddle does not have the certification proving that it passed all the USAPA tests, the player will be sanctioned for using illegal pickleball paddles. If you want to go further into the tournaments, make sure your paddle has been approved for that.
Pickleball paddles can be bought alone – one piece at a time. But in most cases, these paddles come in sets – so, you might want to check what else they come with. If you are planning to take your game outside your own quarters, you might want to ensure that the paddle also comes with pickleball bags. Also, depending on whether they are provided in the game or not, you might want to make sure that the set contains pickleball balls as well.
Pickleball Racket Face Materials
As mentioned, pickleball paddles come in a variety of materials – and you will have to choose depending on your preferences. Here is what you may go for:
A graphite pickleball paddle is made from a combo of epoxy and graphite – as no paddle will only be made from graphite alone. Epoxy is needed to make the graphite moldable, allowing it to take that paddle shape that we want. Graphite is typically more lightweight, making it easier to handle on the field – but because of this, you might have to use more of your physical force to deliver a stronger serve.
In the beginning, every pickleball paddle was made of wood. Since wood was heavy in general, players had more ease to send the ball farther – but they also had to sacrifice maneuverability. However, they are the least expensive option – and quite a good choice if you are playing on a larger field.
Typically known as composite paddles, these models have their bottom and top faces made primarily from fiberglass. Since the technology is relatively new, paddles from this material are quite expensive (although not as pricey as graphite), and they also provide quite a good balance between strength and control. The only drawback here is that they are not as durable as graphite or carbon, for example.
Carbon is not as common as graphite, wood, and fiberglass in terms of pickleball rackets – but it sure is very durable, and can also give off a lot of control. In some cases, when you can’t find a racket made entirely from carbon, you may find them in a combo with graphite. It can be quite pricey – but most players find it to be extremely qualitative.
Core Materials of Pickleball Paddles
Aside from the face of the paddle, you also need to pay some close attention to its core. Most of them come in honeycomb designs that make it strong and lightweight – mostly using the following materials.
Nomex is the first material type ever to be put inside a composite paddle for pickleball. It’s a material that is similar to cardboard dipped in resin – and it is also lightweight. That being said, Nomex is also the hardest core (ergo, the loudest), giving it that “pop” you hear during the game. It is strong, but it can also be quite noisy.
The polymer core is the latest you can find in regards to pickleball paddles – and in fact, the material was made specifically for this game. The material is also soft and quiet, reducing the “pop” sound, all while ensuring that the service is strong enough. Most people see this type as the best pickleball paddle for a spin.
Paddles with an aluminum core are quite popular, as they tend to be fairly inexpensive. They provide a lot of maneuverability and control – and while they are a bit noisier than polymer paddles, they don’t go as high as the Nomex ones. Still, they are quite lightweight – which means you will have to exert a lot of force to have them served.
Finding the best pickleball paddle is not all difficult to do, particularly if you know the type of player that you are. Beginners should look into certain aspects that make them easier to use, whereas professionals should look into the things that make them suitable for tournaments.
Since not everything is always found in the product descriptions, you might also want to read some pickleball paddle reviews. This way, you can determine whether they are suitable for beginners or not – and also if you can use them in a tournament. Hopefully, our guide helped you find the right paddle. You may also be interested in our other reviews such as top-rated racquetball racquets.