Best Pickleball Paddles | 2021 Guide and Reviews
Pickleball is an increasingly popular sport that combines the best aspects of ping-pong, tennis and badminton. Unlike low-key table tennis, pickleball is played by two to four players on a badminton-sized court. While the game itself can be a little tricky to master to those unfamiliar with it, once you have perfected a winning technique it can be a very rewarding experience. However, in order to succeed at pickleball, you will need a reliable paddle at your disposal. Looking for some advice to point you in the right direction? Our useful guide includes all the essential information you need to know to select one of the best pickleball paddles available.
The paddle core is arguably the most important part of any pickleball paddle. It is a crucial component that serves as the robust backbone of the paddle itself. When shopping for the perfect pickleball paddle for you, the core is something you need to seriously think about. The paddle core material ultimately determines the carrying weight of of the paddle itself.
One of the most popular options available to you is the Nomex core. This core utilizes a nylon-based polymer material that is incredibly lightweight and provides you with superior flexibility. A Nomex core begins life as a honeycomb type frame. This frame is then submerged in polymer resin that is then left to cool. Once the resin has cooled down considerably, the material will harden. Nomex core paddles are a suitable option if you are looking for a paddle that is lightweight and easy to handle, yet also delivers when it comes to superior durability. However, there are some drawbacks to this type of core material. This type of core does not offer the same level of cushioning as other varieties, which has a distinct impact on acoustic feedback. To put it another way, Nomex core paddles are very noisy.
If you want a more powerful paddle, you should definitely look into purchasing an Aluminium core paddle. These cores are made in much the same way as Nomex varieties. However, these cores utilize a hexagonal frame made from aluminium, rather than polymer resin. Aluminium core construction usually results in a heavier overall paddle. These cores also provide less control than more lightweight alternatives. However, provided a paddle with an aluminium core includes a face made from fibreglass, these issues with accuracy and balance can be improved significantly. These enhanced paddles are also very durable, allowing you to add plenty of power to your shots.
At the premium end of the market you will find polypropylene cores. This cutting-edge material is incredibly soft, allowing for the paddle to benefit from greater flexibility and significant amounts of bounce. The softer finish of this material also provides your paddle face with essential cushioning. This allows for greater contact between the paddle face and ball. If you want superior levels of ball control and a greater shot at winning a game, a polypropylene core will serve you well.
How well your pickleball paddle deflects a ball is significantly affected by the material used to make it. More traditional pickleball paddles are made from wood. The most basic wooden paddles on the market are very limited when it comes to performance, but many brands now offer a decent range of refined designs that push the wooden material to its limits. Contemporary wooden paddles will include ergonomic grips and wrist straps for better control over the paddle itself. In the past, second-rate materials like plywood were often used in the construction of paddles. Today, the best wooden paddles are made from superior hardwood to ensure maximum durability and ensure you are enjoying the best results in hitting power.
Polymer paddles are also very popular. This lightweight blend of resin and plastic provides you with a durable choice of paddle that is also incredibly affordable. If you are working with a very tight budget, polymer paddles are probably the best option for you. While polymer paddles do not perform as well as those made from composite materials and superior graphite, they are a decent option for the occasional player.
If you can afford it, go for graphite whenever possible. Graphite paddles are lightweight and very responsive, making them a good choice for those who hit hard and want to maintain high levels of control over their shots. Graphite paddles also excel when it comes to things like stroke accuracy. Another high-end option is a composite paddle. These high-grade paddles are without doubt the priciest you are likely to find on the market, but they more than deliver when it comes to professional-level performance.
Other Key Things to Consider
When shopping for a paddle, you need to make sure you are selecting a suitable size. Ideally, short paddles should measure 8 x 16 inches. Longer paddles should measure 5 x 19 inches. If you stick to these measurements, you will ensure that the paddle you select is perfectly balanced. A shorter paddle is undoubtedly the best option for a beginner. The wider hitting area provided by a short paddle will suit the less experienced well. If you have more experience under your belt, look to invest in a longer paddle. As a rule, the longer the paddle, the better the grip will be.
Another primary factor to consider is the weight of your paddle. A lighter paddle will allow for faster swing speeds and reaction times. Lighter paddles are the preferred option for more experienced players. The beginner is better served by a heavier paddle. Bulkier paddles are designed with beginners in mind. Heavier paddles allow for higher deflection rates and require less strength to successfully react to the ball and return a shot.
Grip size is another thing that will impact the overall control and accuracy of your paddle. To make life easy, avoid paddles that have significantly short or long grips. A decent grip should accommodate your hand comfortably. Look for grips that provide a close match to your palm size.
Brand is another important thing to consider when choosing a paddle, with many brand-loyalty driving many customers to their selection – be it Onix, Head or GRM.
Whenever you shop for pickleball paddles, look for options that suit your individual skill level. If you are just starting out and need to perfect your technique, a heavier paddle with a more generous face will help you build confidence and develop essential skills. Beginners need a a reactive surface and a substantial sweet spot in order to keep up with a game. Those with more experience looking to replace an existing paddle will definitely want to consider upgrading to premium materials. Look for paddles made from graphite or a quality composite. These lightweight paddles are designed with the more advanced player in mind who is keen to fine-tune their control of the ball and take their performance to the next level.
Champion Eclipse Graphite Complete Pickleball Set | Includes 3.0 Portable Net System + 4 Graphite Pickleball Paddles + 4 Outdoor Pickleballs + Pickleball Duffel Bag + USAPA Rulebook
This Champion Eclipse pickleball paddle set has everything you need to enjoy a great game of this popular racquet ball sport. The pickleball paddle itself will deliver exceptional performance and durability. The polymer honeycomb core, combined with the carbon graphite face results in paddle with exceptional levels of power. The premium materials also make it a hard-wearing choice of paddle with minimal dead spots. The neck has also been reinforced to enhance paddle durability, while the edges have all been trimmed with a hard-wearing protective material to maintain the integrity of the design.
There are four pickleball paddles included in this set, but that is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is included here. Four yellow pickleballs are also included, along with a free-standing net. The lightweight net can be assembled in minutes, allowing you to start playing just about anywhere. You will also find storage bags for both the paddles and net, allowing you to safely store and transport your gear to your playing location with ease.
Pickleball Paddle Set of 2，USAPA Approved Graphite Pickleball Paddles, Carbon Fiber Surface, Polypropylene Honeycomb Core, Cushion Grip, Paddle Covers, Lightweight Pickleball Racket, Blue
This set of two pickleball paddles from niupipo provides you with superior performance and will help you maintain the edge come your next game. These paddles feature ultra cushion grips that make them more comfortable to handle and easier to control. The perforated grip provides superior sweat absorption, with enough cushioning to ensure vibrations are minimised when the paddle surface comes into contact with the ball. This allows you to swing with more power, without worrying about putting too much strain on your wrist. It also means you can be more versatile with your wrist action and playing technique.
These paddles should also impress those looking for premium materials and engineered design. The polymer honeycomb core and graphite carbon fibre face provide you with superb levels of playing power and enhanced control. The graphite carbon fibre is particularly useful for playing at high speed, helping you hit with more power without sacrificing control of the paddle.
GRM Pickleball Paddles Set of 2 Graphite Pickleball Set Lightweight Pickleball Racket, 2 Pickleball Paddles and 4 Balls Including Portable Carry Bag
This GRM pickleball paddle set includes all the essentials you need to start practising and perfecting your skills. Included in this set are two paddles, both with graphite faces to provide you with a perfect balance of hitting power and control. The high-grade materials also make these paddles a durable option. Contour cushion grips also come as standard. This ensures they are comfortable to handle, while providing you with a good level of protection against vibrations when swinging and making contact with the ball. The paddles are also fairly lightweight, coming in at just under eight ounces apiece. With this lightweight build, these paddles can be swung quickly, making them ideal for those looking to play at speed without sacrificing performance. The honeycomb cell construction of the paddle face makes them incredibly strong, with plenty of elasticity for superior bounce.
In addition to the two paddles, this set comes with a selection of accessories. You will find two indoor balls and two outdoor balls included, allowing to master playing in all situations. A stylish carry case is also included for safe storage of your paddles, with a mesh pouch on the outside for storing balls.
Pickleball Paddles – Uteeqe Graphite Pickleball Paddle Set Lightweight Texture Surface Polymer Honeycomb Core Pickleball Racket Cushion Comfort Contour Grip Low-Profile Edge Guard Pickleball Racquet
These Uteeqe U1 pickeball paddles are a great value option for those looking for the best materials and engineered design. These paddles have a polypropylene honeycomb core, providing you with plenty of power and high levels of precision. This polymer material also makes the paddles incredibly quiet, with minimal noise created, even when you strike an incoming ball with significant force. These paddles also allow you to put extra spin on balls. This is possible thanks to the textured graphite face, providing you with added grip that will help you add spin with ease. These are also a good option for the beginner, thanks to the larger sweet spot.
This Uteeqe U1 paddles also feature a contoured grip. This stitched handle covering provides you with a firm grip at all times, with little chance of you losing your hold in the middle of a game. The grip also includes plenty of cushioning that will effectively absorb vibration as you play. You can also expect a lightweight and balanced paddle here. Weighing only 7.8 ounces, these paddles can be swung with little effort, allowing you to strike the ball with considerable power, every time.
ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle (Graphite Carbon Fiber Face with Rough Texture Surface, Cushion Comfort Grip and Nomex Honeycomb Core for Touch, Control, and Power)
The Graphite Z5 is one of the most popular pickleball paddles from ONIX. This quality paddle is the way to go if you are looking for something that allows for enhanced control. The touch paddle features an oversized face that provides you with a substantial sweet spot. The graphite face makes for a lightweight choice of paddle that will allow you to play with more speed. It also delivers more of a pop than other paddles on the market. If you want a pickleball paddle that will allow you to play at speed, with maximum manoeuvrability and precise levels of control, the Graphite Z5 is a must.
The Nomex honeycomb core is also a welcome feature of this paddle. This core construction provides you with superb hitting power, without inching in on the control credentials of this paddle. Another great feature of this paddle is the inclusion of a tennis handle. Although the handle might look fairly small in comparison to the paddle face, it will allow you to wield the paddle effectively. The paddle handle is similar to the kind of handle you would find on a conventional tennis racquet, making the Graphite Z5 feel familiar if you are only just getting into the sport.
JP WinLook Pickleball Paddle Set – 2 Premium USAPA Approved Graphite Rackets Honeycomb Composite Core; Portable Racquet Bag and 3 Balls, Ultra Cushion Grip, Gift Kit with Accessories, Indoor Outdoor
This JP WinLook pickleball paddle set includes two premium paddles for more rewarding play. The paddles feature a polymer honeycomb core, along with a graphite carbon fibre face that yields incredible power. It also makes these paddles very tough and durable, making them a good option for those with a more aggressive playing style. The graphite face not only makes these paddles suitable for powerful hitters, it also improves feel at the moment of impact. The graphite face will also allow you to enjoy better control over shots.
These paddles are also very user-friendly. The Elite handle feels soft when gripped onto, with a non-slip finish to ensure the paddle never gets away from you. The handle also features plenty of cushioning, giving you more flexibility when it comes to playing techniques. It also makes these paddles suitable for particularly long playing sessions. The lightweight build of these paddles also ensures they are suitable for a broad range of players. Beginners and younger players will find these particularly easy to handle.
This SLK pickleball set from Selkirk NEO includes all the essentials you need to get started with pickleball. Two premium paddles are included, with polymer cores and graphite faces providing you exceptional performance and powerful hitting. These paddles also have a large sweet spot, making them a good option for beginners looking to learn the basics of play, or those who simply want an easier time of things.
These paddles also feature an EdgeSentry guard, making them far more durable than many other paddles. It also makes them far more comfortable to wield for long playing sessions. In addition to the two paddles, this SLK set comes with four high-quality balls. You will also find a zip-fasten case for storing your paddles when you are not using them.
Amazin’ Aces Signature Pickleball Paddle Set | USAPA Approved | Graphite Face & Polymer Core | Premium Grip | Includes Paddles, Balls, Paddle Covers, Bag & eBook | 2 Paddle Set (Blue & Pink)
This Amazin’ Aces Signature pickleball paddle set comes with all the things you need to get started with this popular sport. Included in this set are two USAPA approved paddled that have been engineered to for maximum power and enhanced control thanks to a polymer core and graphite face. These paddles have a great feel, with a lightweight design that makes them suitable for both beginners and intermediate players. They will probably appeal more toward the beginner however, with the larger sweet spot making it easy to return a ball with more control.
A hand-stitched contour grip increases the overall comfort of these paddles considerably. Not only will the grip reduce unwanted vibration to alleviate strain while playing, it will also give your more flexibility when it comes to wrist actions and playing techniques. This set also includes two sheaths to protect the faces of your paddles, as well ass four balls. A tote bag is also included for convenient storage of all your items.