Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the US. With more people getting into this fun sport, having the right paddle can make all the difference between being a novice and becoming a pro. This guide will help you find the best pickleball paddles for your game in 2023 based on skill level, price, ratings and key features.
What are some features of the Best Pickleball Paddles?
When it comes to the best pickleball paddles, you can’t go wrong with paddles that have these features:
Carbon fiber or composite paddle face – this provides power and control
Polymer honeycomb core – offers strength while keeping the paddle light
Edge guard – protects the paddle rim from damage
Ergonomic grip size and shape
Textured surface for spin
Approx 7-8oz weight
Paddles like the JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus, Gamma Obsidian, and Selkirk Vanguard check these boxes and deliver outstanding performance for intermediate, advanced and pro players.
Who Makes the Best Pickleball Paddles?
Some of the top pickleball paddle brands include:
Selkirk – Known for premium carbon fiber paddles like the Amped and Vanguard
Gamma – Leading brand offering innovative paddles like the Obsidian
Engage – Makes consistently high-performing paddles like the Encore Pro
Paddletek – Top budget-friendly brand with great fiberglass paddles
Franklin Sports – Known for excellent entry-level and recreational paddles
Head – The paddle specialists offer advanced options like the Extreme Elite
ProLite – Leading choice of pros like the Sports and Cobra models
These brands use high-quality materials and innovative designs to create some of the best paddles available.
Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners
As a beginner, you’ll want a paddle that is lightweight, easy to control and forgiving on off-center hits. These pickleball paddles are great for new players:
Comes with 4 balls, 2 cooling towels and carrying bag
This paddle set from NATOLIKE is designed for beginner and intermediate players with its control-focused fiberglass surface. The ergonomic grip makes it easy to maneuver while the included accessories add value.
Designed in collaboration with pro player Ben Johns, the JOOLA Perseus paddle features a charged carbon fiber surface for maximum power and control. It’s on the pricier side but delivers exceptional performance.
Selkirk Vanguard Power Air Premium Pickleball Paddles
What are the different pickleball paddle materials?
The most common pickleball paddle materials are:
Composite: This budget-friendly material combines materials like aluminum and plastic polymers. Great for beginners.
Polymer: Paddles with a polymer core offer good control and pop. The honeycomb construction gives strength.
Wood: Wood paddles provide great feel and control. They are heavier than composite though.
Fiberglass: This lightweight material offers excellent control for spin shots. It has good durability too.
Carbon fiber: Premium carbon fiber paddles offer high power and responsiveness. The ultra lightweight material provides excellent pop.
Graphite: This material has properties between fiberglass and carbon fiber. It offers power and control for advanced players.
How much does a good pickleball paddle cost?
You can find pickleball paddles at a wide range of price points:
$20-50: Budget composite or polymer paddles for beginners
$50-100: Mid-range fiberglass or graphite paddles for intermediate players
$100-250: Premium carbon fiber paddles for experienced tournament players
What size pickleball paddle should I get?
For adult players, the pickleball paddle size you choose comes down to your grip preference:
4 1⁄4 inches: Best for players with smaller hands who prefer a compact grip
4 1⁄2 inches: The most popular midsize grip for average adult hand size
4 3⁄4+ inches: Allows for a two-handed grip for players with larger hands
How do I choose the right pickleball paddle?
Choosing the right pickleball paddle involves considering your:
Skill level: Beginners do well with composite or wood paddles. Intermediates can use fiberglass or graphite. Advanced players benefit from carbon fiber.
Weight: Lighter paddles around 7-8oz provide quick maneuverability while heavier 9oz+ paddles offer more power and stability.
Grip size: Make sure to choose a grip size that fits your hand size and playing style.
Surface texture: Look for a grippy textured surface that provides the touch/spin you are after.
Core material: Honeycomb polymer offers control and pop while composite is more budget-friendly.
Shape/design: Consider if you want a wider or elongated paddle shape based on how you play.
Testing different paddles to find the right balance of control, power, and feel for your game is key.
Finding the best pickleball paddle involves considering your skill level, budget and preferences around weight, grip size, materials and shape. While premium carbon fiber paddles offer the most advanced performance, you can find quality paddles for beginners and intermediate players at more affordable price points as well. Keep this pickleball paddle buyer’s guide handy and compare top rated products as you select the ideal paddle to elevate your pickleball game this year!
Aravind Pai is a passionate blogger and content creator who has been writing extensively on technology topics since 2020, with a focus on Online shopping deals and product reviews. He graduated as a B.Tech 4 years ago and enjoys road trips and exploring latest gadgets.