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Best Pickleball Paddles Reviews & Buying Guide updated for 2018

We will be discussing about the best pickleball paddles here. Pickleball is a great sport which is the exciting new variation of tennis, badminton and table tennis sports and it is gaining more and more popularity every year.

It is very addictive, fun sport and great for the family too. If you are just starting to play, you’ll quickly realize that the most important piece of gear in this sport are the paddles.

Whether you have some experience or wanted to compete in tournaments choosing the best pickleball paddle is important. Having the best pickleball paddle will lead to fewer injuries and greater mobility.

Remember, the paddle is an extension of your arm. You need a paddle that is reliable and easy to handle. Choosing high-quality paddles can be a bit tricky if you don’t know your need.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Follow this article and you’ll know exactly what type of paddle and which one is suitable for you. You will eventually have more fun playing pickleball.

What Is The Best Pickleball Paddle?

The best pickleball paddle will be the one that meets your needs. Choosing a paddle depends on what type of player you are. If you are more of an advanced player you should go for a paddle with less control and more power.

If you are new to pickleball, you might want a paddle with more control. It’ll help you perfectly place your shots. If you are older you should opt in for a lighter paddle.

This is just the basic criteria for choosing the best pickleball paddle. You can find more in depth buying guide at the end of this article.

If you’re looking for the best pickleball paddle, there are a number of very good pickleball paddles on the market. It’s not always a clear-cut answer as to say which one is actually the best.

To make things easier for you, we’ve narrowed down the search and selected only the best of the best. Here you will find the best pickleball paddle reviews so that you can easily make your buying decision.

Best Pickleball Paddles 2018 - Comparison Tabble

Best Pickleball Paddles Reviews

Rally Graphite Pickleball Paddle was designed from the ground up to be one of the best paddles on the market at an affordable price.

This paddle was made from the state of the art industry materials that makes this one highly durable and playable. This one is very lightweight so that you can play it for hours without any arm or wrist pain.

Things We Liked About This

  • This paddle has extremely strong graphite face which has 0/90 unidirectional carbon layers. Which means it has good strength and can eliminate dinging and denting.
  • The wide graphite paddle face has a good longitudinal and tensional stiffness. This wideness of the paddle face minimizes edge guard hits and provides a large sweet spot.
  • This paddle has an optimal balance of power and control which makes it perfect for beginner to intermediate player. It can be used indoors and outdoors.
  • The Nomex honeycomb core provides great durability. It can withstand countless dinks, lobs as well as volleys. The Nomex honeycomb core is lightweight and strong enough to last for years.
  • It has a stunning design. The sharp diagonal lines shine in a contrasting color that blends in nicely with the gray honeycomb background. The endcap also matches the color of the face.
  • The Winn Dry Grip makes it easier to grip dry and solid. The trim edge protects the paddle from ground hits.
  • The paddle weight, ranges from 6.7 to 7.4 ounces, 8-1/8” wide face gives players ample hitting surface. Also, comes with a great overall length of 15-3/4” with 4-3/4” long handle that has a small grip so that it can fit any hand.

What Could Be Better

  • The handle seemed a little soft compared to other paddles. But this won’t decrease performance.

Should You Buy It?

The Rally Graphite Pickleball Paddle was designed with great attention to detail and will give fantastic value for new players looking for a paddle. This paddle is highly durable, lightweight and affordable. You won’t have any problem playing with this paddle for a long time.

The Champion Graphite Pickleball Paddle by Pickleball Inc. is one of the most popular paddles on the market for nearly two decades. This paddle is a great choice for beginners who seek unparalleled responsiveness.

This paddle has set the standard for paddle design and performance for several decades. It was also one of the original honeycomb core paddles.

Things We Liked About This

  • The Champion Pickleball Paddle is an ideal choice for players who are looking for the perfect blend of performance and power. This paddle is USAPA/IFP approved for tournament play.
  • This graphite pickleball paddle is a is a true classic with an ideal weight range. Weighing in at 7.0 - 7.8 oz, which is the ideal weight range for most players.
  • The Nomex honeycomb core inside the paddle provides the perfect blend of power, control, and strength. The graphite face on the outer side provides incredible quickness at the net as well.
  • It has a sturdy foundation for play as well as exceptional maneuverability. Thanks to the polycarbonate skin on top of the graphite layer, the force behind each hit are increased dramatically.
  • The paddles extra-large face shape creates a more sizable sweet spot and reduces mis-hits. The edge is sturdy and rubberized which protects it from the ground shot impact.
  • In terms of design, this is a gorgeous paddle. It features strokes of contrasting colors which enhance the visual appeal of the paddle. It comes in four different colors.
  • You don’t have to worry about your hand size as this paddle comes with two grip options. You can choose between Ultra Cushion Contour grip for extra grip or Thin-Tac grip for enhanced paddle feel.
  • This is a 15-3/4” long paddle and has a 5” long handle. The 8 1/4” wide paddle width provides ample hitting surface. The thin grip circumference is 4” and the cushioned one is 4 ¼”.

What Could Be Better

  • In terms of power, this paddle isn’t a hard hitter. However, you can still play tricky shots with ease.

Should You Buy This?

This Champion Pickleball Paddle is perfect for most of the players out there. It is still now the most popular choice for paddle because of its ideal face shape, sturdy edge guard, and premium quality construction.

Upstreet is a new brand in the pickleball paddle industry. Their popularity is quickly rising each year. Their primary target audience is the younger and more recreational type.

 Their signature paddle is the budget friendly graphite pickleball paddle. If you are looking for a quality paddle but don’t want to spend too much, then Upstreet Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a perfect solution.

Things We Liked About This

  • This paddle is intended for beginner players who tend to be more recreational and play outside. It’s durable and comes with a paddle cover. It has durable construction and can withstand heavier shots with ease.
  • Upstreet uses a unique cell structure for its polypropylene honeycomb core that has 3 orientations vs. the 2 orientations. This gives the paddle a more uniform structure for optimal mechanical performance.
  • This paddle has a long handle that makes it feel more like a tennis racket than a pickleball paddle. The micro-dry smooth grip is very popular among recreational and also professional players.
  • This is a strong graphite paddle that provides a resilient surface with consistency across the paddle face. It weighs a little more than any other paddle on this budget range.
  • Although it has a graphite face, it weighs 8.6 ounces. This weight strikes the perfect balance between power and control. This is ideal for some new players.
  • This paddle is popular mainly because how well it's made. Upstreet Graphite paddles durability is something to brag about. They also have a good reputation for customer service.
  • In terms of design, the cool thing about these paddles is the graphics. It has a bold watercolor graphic on the surface of each paddle. Their clean and minimalistic art/logo makes them unique and stylish and a great way to learn the game.

What Could Be Better

  • You should be noted that this paddle not approved for tournament play by the USAPA. They are primarily for recreational purpose, not an approved brand that you can use during an official competition. This won’t be a problem If you are not competing in any tournament.

Should You Buy This?

If you're looking for a basic yet premium quality recreational paddle, Upstreet Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a perfect choice. It is ideal for outdoor use and you can be sure this paddle is a great budget friendly pick. It can easily be purchased in larger quantities for group or family play.

The Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle is the most popular pickleball paddle in the Onix line.

The paddle is endorsed and designed by National Champion Steve Wong. He is a three-time national champion and ranked #1 in the world who also happens to own Onix Sports, Inc. Use what the best use and play like the best.

Things We Liked About This

  • The Z5 is made with Nomex Honeycomb Core that provides excellent power while maintaining control. You can expect a little more zip behind your shots because Nomex core is one of the harder core materials.
  • The Graphite Face of this paddle offers light-weight characteristics such as added speed, pop, and maneuverability. It also has excellent touch paddle for superior ball control.
  • The Tennis Handle looks a lot like the handle shape of a tennis racket for players that starts to play this game. The Widebody shape on the Z5 gives a large sweet spot.
  • The Onix Z5 has a large surface area, the overall length of the paddle is 15-1/2” long. 4-1/4” grip size which is ideal for people between 5’3” and 5’8”.
  • The Z5 weighs in a little bit heavier that weighs between 7.8 – 8.2 ounce. More weight means it’ll give you more power but less control. This middle-weight paddle will give you the extra drive you need for your shots while maintaining control.
  • In terms of design, it is not its strongest factor. It has “Z5” model number and company information printed on it.

What Could Be Better

  • The only downside is the noise that it makes on impact. Other than that, there is no quality or performance issue.

Should You Buy This?

The Onix Graphite Z5 is top notch pickleball paddle. If you want a quality paddle with great ball control, this will be a perfect choice. You will not be disappointed with this paddle because this one is designed and produced by one of the best pickleball players.

Gamma Sports a reputable brand in the pickleball industry and the Voltage is Gamma's best-selling paddle.

This voltage model incorporates Gamma’s cutting edge innovations and features a high-quality design. This is a premium paddle designed for high-level, performance demanding players.

Things We Liked About This

  • This paddle is lightweight and fast that has a super responsive graphite face which provides outstanding feedback, touch, and durability. Ideal for players that want to stay one step ahead of the competition.
  • Bring your A game with this solid quality paddle. It has aramid honeycomb core material that is pilotable and ultra-responsive for all shots.
  • The GAMMA Flush Fit Bumper and increases the effective hitting area by 30% and protects the paddle without the risk of edge guard mis-hits.
  • Gamma Voltage is a big paddle with a width of 8.25” which makes it one of the biggest paddles on the market. Bigger hitting surface means you can expect no balls will go pass by you.
  • This paddle has an average weight of 7.8 ounces. It strikes a perfect balance between power and control. It is relatively light but that doesn’t mean it lacks any control.
  • The GAMMA Unibody Handle provides extra durability. This is a one-piece handle that is molded into the paddle for a more stable and solid feel. The GAMMA Live Periphery Frame also increases durability at the edge of the paddle.
  • In terms of design, this isn’t your average flashy looking. It has a minimalist and very simple design which a lot of people like.
  • The cushioned surface on the handle provides greater feedback and the stitched rib and perforations increase gripping power control. It can also absorb moisture from your hand. You don’t have to worry about those frustrating miss shots anymore.

What Could Be Better

  • This paddle is an expensive one. This is the price to pay if you want all this high-quality stuff.

Should You Buy It?

If you don’t care about the price and want the best of the best, then consider buying Gamma Premium Pickleball Paddle – Voltage. This will cost you a little more but you will certainly won’t be disappointed.

Amazin' Aces Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a top-notch paddle with a great price tag. It is designed for both beginners and for players ready to take their game to the next level.

This is the perfect paddle to get started with pickleball as this paddle comes with a PDF guide with pickleball rules and tips to help you start playing from day one.

Things We Liked About This

  • This paddle has a durable graphite face that ensures superior strength and the strong honeycomb polymer core virtually eliminates dinging and denting.
  • In combination with the polypropylene (PP) honeycomb core, this paddle offers a good blend of both power and control. It is strong and lightweight.
  • It also has a low-profile edge guard protection that protects the paddle from ground hits. Makes sure your paddle lasts a long time.
  • This is not a heavy paddle. You don’t have to worry about getting fatigued after hours of gameplay. It has a good complexion of power and control.
  • The grip is made of a high quality material that feels solid and dry. Also, the width is wide enough to provide a large sweet spot. It is easy to swing and feels great to hold.
  • It can be used indoors and outdoors, also features sturdy construction. You don’t have to worry about getting a new set of paddles after you purchase this one.
  • The perforated cushion grip makes it very comfortable to hold the paddle. This paddle meets USAPA specifications which mean you can compete in the tournament with this paddle.

What Could Be Better

  • So far there weren’t any complaints from consumers yet. We only noticed one customer said that the strip around the racket got pulled away at the top and along one side. But this is just a rare occasion.

Should You Buy This?

Amazin' Aces Graphite Pickleball Paddle provides the quality product at an affordable price. It is a good paddle to start your pickleball experience.

Duck Ranger Graphite Pickleball Paddle is good entry level pickleball paddle by Duck Paddles.

The unique feature of this paddle is probably the durable aerospace materials and the Polymer Birdbone Core. It has good build quality to make you enjoy your game for years to come.

Things We Liked About This

  • This paddle has the Polymer Birdbone Core which is the softest and quietest core in pickleball. This soft core gives you more power and control. Also more pop in every shot.
  • Polymer Birdbone Core is the softest because it is hollowed with air sacs. This core balances your paddle because it is light and strong at the same time.
  • The paddle is protected with rubber edge guard. It’ll protect your paddle from ground shot impacts.
  • The paddle weighs 220grams. More mass means you’ll have more power in your shots. More power doesn’t mean it’ll lack control. It also has a good combination of touch, feels, and strength.
  • The extra weight is balanced by the lightweight polymer core. This core also absorbs the shock which results in a good gameplay experience.
  • The paddles carbon fiber face is made using the latest and durable aerospace material that gives you years of fun from a paddle. It’ll last a long time. The carbon fiber paddles make this one waterproof and durable.
  • It has a unique and colorful spotted design. This paddle is approved for tournament use by the USAPA.

What Could Be Better

  • The rubber edge guard is not a low profile one. You may see some dead spots around the edge. But the paddle is wide enough to provide good sweet spots.

Should You Buy This?

Duck Ranger Graphite Pickleball Paddle is preferred by communities with noise restrictions because of its polymer-core paddles. It is one of the best and quietest core materials available.

These are our choice for the Top 7 Best Pickleball Paddle Reviews. There are other paddles out there, but these paddles here are the ones that actually piqued our interest. Rest assured they are thoroughly researched and tested before writing this article.

Best Pickleball Paddle Buying Guide

Pickleball is an addictive game that can be played by people of all ages. It is a ton of fun and requires skill, precision, and fitness. It has become so popular that thousands of people in the United States enjoy this every day.

This game is quite competitive too. If you want to do well on the court, you’ll need the right set of materials. Most of all the paddle you choose should be the right one.

The paddles that are listed here in this article will do just fine. A high-quality pickleball paddle will greatly improve your results on the court.

However, choosing a pickleball ladle isn’t that easy. it is easy to become confused by all of the choices because there are dozens of paddle manufacturers and hundreds of pickleball paddles for sale.

The purpose of this guide to simplify the process of choosing the best pickleball paddle and to explain the most important consideration when choosing a paddle for the first time.

Let us look at the key features for choosing the best pickleball paddle out there on the market.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Pickleball Paddle

Weight

When choosing a pickleball paddle, weight should be the primary concern. It affects your performance directly as well as how comfortable you are with your paddle.

Normally 6.2 – 7.2 ounces are considered lightweight. 7.2 - 8.2 are considered middle-weight and above that are considered to heavy weight. More than 9.5 ounces is actually too much.

Lighter paddles are great for making tricky shots and give you more control over your shots. Medium weight paddles give more power to your shots than lighter paddles. Heavy weight paddles are generally not preferred as they have too much power and can lead to overshoot sometimes.

Remember: More Weight = More Power & Less Control.

Grip Size

Choosing the correct grip size for your hand is another important key feature to consider. If you have smaller hands and the grip size of your paddle is a long one, you’ll have a tough time playing against any opponent.

Here is quick chart to show you which grip size is suitable for you –

  • Height under 5’2” will do just fine with a 4” grip.
  • Players between 5’3” and 5’8” height requires a 4 ¼” grip
  • Taller players that are above 5.9” need a 4 ½” grip.

This just a general rule of thumb. There also other aspects you should look out for. Like if you are used to playing tennis, you might want a thicker handle. If you are used to playing badminton, a narrow handle will suit you. Experiment with different types of grip to find the one that matches your playing style.

Surface Size

The paddles vary on this point. There is different width available because of the official requirement for the paddle width very flexible. If are new go for a wider surface area. Wide paddle means you can easily return any shots with ease.

More experienced people tend to choose narrow paddle because of the light weight. If you are a tennis player, you should choose the longer paddles so that you can play double-hand shots with ease.

Material

When pickleball was first invented, people used wood paddles. They were very simple in design. But now things have changed.

At present, the most popular choice for a paddle is the Graphite Pickleball Paddle. It is a popular choice with competitive and professional pickleball players. It has a very thin graphite skin on the exterior and a honeycomb inner core.

There is also composite pickleball paddle, but we would recommend you stick to graphite pickleball paddles. Because they are very light, responsive and strong.

Paddle Core

In the past few years, the technology used for making pickleball paddles has certainly advanced. Most of the latest paddles have now an inner core that is either made out of Aluminum Core or Nomex Core. There are also paddles that are made from Polypropylene Core. Each has their own uniqueness.

Nomex cores still remain very popular with competitive players because it is lightweight and strong. They also give the player a lot of power but the down side is they are very loud.

On the other hand, Polypropylene Core Pickleball Paddles are quiet. It also improves the level of control of your shots.

Design

Not an important aspect. It largely depends on your choice. There are paddles with flashy designs and there are other paddles with a clean and minimalistic design.

pickleball paddles

Durability

You should buy a paddle that has a high level of durability. You don’t want a paddle that breaks after two or three games.

Make sure to check consumer review to check whether the paddle you are buying are lasting longer or not.

Price

All of it comes down to this. The paddles can vary greatly in price, there are paddles that are cheap and don’t cost more than $20. There are also professional grade paddles that cost more than hundreds of dollars.

If you are a new one we would recommend you choose a more budget friendly paddle from our list.

Conclusion

The definition of the best pickleball paddle differs from user to user. Do you like it lighter? Has more control? More Power?

These questions need to be answered when buying a pickleball paddle. Like other racquetball sports, the success depends not only on the player himself, but also on quality of the equipment and his ability to take advantage of the features.

Whether you are a professional player like Marcin Rozpedski or a champion in your own family, choosing the best pickleball paddle is a key decision a player has to reckon with.

We hope you enjoyed our Best Pickleball Paddle Reviews & Buying Guide. If you have any queries or want to know more about any other pickleball paddle, leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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