If you are a complete beginner or an experienced player who needs a guideline on which to choose as your first or additional pickleball paddle, check my best pickleball paddle guide. I want to make this guide straight and simple, so my readers will not get overwhelmed with lots of unnecessary information and too many paddle choices.
Believe it or not, there are lots of veteran players who still using their first paddle that they bought several years ago. The technology of the new paddles nowadays are excellent and they are getting better each year. Manufacturers designing more pickleball paddles to cater specific types of players. This is a good news to all of us pickleball lovers. Although some paddles are still lagging on their physical appearance, that’s only a minor drawback.
Best Pickleball Paddles
1. Gamma Voltage 2.0
Beginners can also use it as their first or second paddle. It can teach them the needed techniques earlier and the paddle can grow with you as you progress. The rough textured surface really provides great spin shots. Dinking is very consistent but some players may take some time to getting used to it. The paddle also offers more power so your shots are sharper.
With its 7.6 oz weight, dinking is very consistent but some players may take some time to getting used to it. The paddle has a big sweet spot and offers more power so your shots are sharper.
The Gamma Voltage has a great balance of power, touch and control. No doubt this is the best paddle regardless of your game type. It can take your game further.
- Great for all types of players
- Grip is excellent. It is tacky and comfortable
- Power, touch and control in one package
- Suitable for beginners
- Short life-span
2. Paddletek Phoenix Pro
Weighing at 8.5 oz this paddle is loved by many power hitters. It has a soft honeycomb polymer core that offers a large sweet spot. The paddle is quieter than others and the surface has a very solid feel. The Paddletek Phoenix Pro is aimed at experienced players but beginners can also use it. It is lighter than most wood or beginner paddles, new players can use it easily without hurting their arms.
If you love to dink then this paddle is much better choice than the Gamma Voltage. Because of its weight, dinking is no problem. Quick balance for net play and provides spin on groundstrokes this paddle will help you to improve your game.
If you’re looking for a paddle that has a big sweet spot, a great amount of power and control then the Phoenix Pro is for you.
- Consistent paddle
- Great for power plays and soft plays
- Beginner friendly
- Solid feel in every hit
- Smaller grip
3. Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle
Other than that, one of the best features of this pickleball paddle is its handle as it mimics a tennis handle, thus giving so much comfort for any beginners who can play tennis but are new to this game. The handle is long and many players loved it.
Although it is not as powerful as the Gamma Atomic, the Onix Graphite Z5 can also provide power to put shots past your opponents when needed. It has a good pop, dinks decently and quick at the net. The Nomex core is known for consistency and power.
- An all-around paddle but most suited for players who like more control and touch
- Good for experienced players
- Comfortable to use
- Small sweet spot
4. Selkirk 300A Graphite
The graphite-hitting surface offers enough power when needed. Another great feature of the Selkirk 300A is its vinyl laminated surface to protect it from UV radiation and to help keep the paddle’s classy and sleek appearance.
A great paddle for control not just in the baseline but also in the kitchen. The paddle is great if you want to control your opponents and put it exactly where you want it.
- Great for dinking
- Great control with decent power
- Classy design
- The sweet spot is smaller than the other paddles in its class
5. Gamma Atomic 2.0
The Nomex core integrated into the frame also helps the paddle to eliminate dead spots and adding durability onto it. A fiberglass hitting surface to ensure that it gives extreme power to its users. Because of its weight (8 ounces), the Gamma Atomic 2.0 is not a great choice quick at the net plays. Dinking with can be really frustrating.
Generally speaking, single or double players, 4.0 and above use lighter paddles with good touch and is quick at the net. You might beat lower level opponents with the Atomic by pure power but you will have a hard time against more advanced players.
So, if you want this paddle, I suggest that this should not be the only paddle in your arsenal due to its limitations.
- Extremely powerful paddle
- Suitable for beginners that can’t generate their own power
- Stable and solid feel
- Not arm friendly
- Not a great choice if you love dinking
6. Champion Pickleball Paddle
This pickleball paddle is considered one of the best choices for beginners and for those who plays a lot of pickleball games including amateurs as it provides a perfect blend of strength, grip, and control. It allows you to play with control due to its average weight feature that can snap a ball with excellent response.
However, this paddle’s handle may be too short for some players due to its paddle width of 8 1/4 inches and paddle length of 15 3/4 inches. Therefore, for those who prefer longer handles, you may opt for those with a combined size measurement of 24 inches.
- USAPA approved
- Powerful and durable honeycomb core that provides bigger sweet spot
- Perfect as your first pickleball paddle
- Basic paddle
7. Upstreet Graphite Pickleball Paddle
The Upstreet Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a great choice if you’re upgrading from a wood paddle. Regardless of your current skill set, you can surely go for this paddle. It is soft-edged that guarantees performance consistency because its surface is resilient.
Although the paddle is a bit heavy, it is still lighter than wood paddles. Many players loved the grip of this paddle. It is really soft and comfortable. The paddle’s polypropylene honeycomb core provides great mechanical performance, so players have an edge when playing.
- Great for beginners and casual players
- Some dead spots and has a smaller sweet spot
Things to Consider When Choosing a Pickleball Paddle
Are you a beginner, a power player or a soft game player? Luckily, there are paddles to suit your playstyle. You can read my recommendations above for different playstyles. If you want consistency, choose a paddle with a bigger sweet spot. If you’re a power player, choose an explosive and heavier paddle. Love dinking? Go for a lighter paddle with lots of control and responsive.
Not all lightweight paddles are better because it will still be based on your skill set in relation to your age and strength. Thus, considering it can affect swing speed and reaction time. Always take note of the overall components of a paddle since there are lightweight paddles that has enough power and more control, while there are massive paddles that are superior in strong shots but less control.
Find the right balance between power and control, determine you playstyle and you will surely have an easier time choosing what paddle is right for you.
Wood paddles are the least expensive, but I will not recommend them unless you are really short on budget. If that is the case, save more and get a graphite or composite pickleball paddle. They are not that expensive, their price usually starts at $50. For a total beginner, graphite or composite paddle is a much better choice.
Make sure that the length of the handle should be sufficient and the circumference is correct to ensure it fits your hand and the paddle will not slip. Slippage can cause injuries and may end your pickleball career early. You can use an over-grip to further enhance the grip of your paddle.
What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a popular game in the US since it began to become widespread around the 1960s. This game has been a favorite family fun game since then. Over time, this has become a professional sport that is played by many sports enthusiasts.
Pickleball is a game derived from the mechanics of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is such a fun game that a lot of people are enticed to play it. The notable element of this game is its combined features of the three sports with slight modifications. The net and rules are similar to that of a tennis game. In contrast, the layout and dimension of this game are similar to that of a badminton game.
The Future of the sport?
Pickleball is gaining more popularity throughout the years. Manufactures keep on improving their paddle lineup, there are lot of courts being made, tournaments being held here and there and many tennis players are slowly transitioning from Tennis to Pickleball.
Before, Pickleball is only popular for older players but now, I see a lot of young men and women who plays it too. The future is certainly bright!
I will pick my first ever paddle. What is the best?
A composite or graphite paddle with a classic paddle shape is a great first paddle. Depending on your preference, you can choose a lighweight or heavier paddle. You can also purchase a wood paddle if you want to, but it is much heavier and you will progress slower.
How to choose durable paddles?
Unfortunately, purchasing a pickleball paddle is not a lifetime purchase as it can get worn out over time. It can get scrapes as you play. Graphite or composite is the best choice for players who wants great playability and durability.
Is the color, sound or design of a paddle important?
Believe it or not, the color and design of your paddle has a effect on the court. Knowing that you have a great looking paddle with a quiet or nice sound may boost your confidence while playing. Additionally, the color and design of your paddle, although not that much, may distract your opponent, so it makes as a good and simple strategy. You can also choose a color to match your every outfit!
Playing pickleball as a beginner or not is not so much of a big deal for as long as you know the deals when buying a pickleball paddle that can suit your skill set. One paddle can go wrong with one person, and that basically depends on the skills and strengths.
Take into account all the things you need to consider when buying your first ever pickleball paddle, and try to ace your first game with the help of the pickleball paddle you can find!