How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle for Best Results?

What is the No-Man's Land in Pickleball?

So you are ready to play pickleball. You have a friend to play with, you know which club you are playing at, your shoelaces are tied up, your hat is on, you have sunblock on your nose and you are all psyched to play. But, there is one major problem. You don’t have a pickleball paddle.

Well, for your first game we hope you can borrow a paddle, but thereafter, it will be time to buy your own. You can buy brand new, or you can buy a demo model or a second hand model. But you still need to choose which pickleball paddle to buy. And it can be a tough choice.

There are a ton of pickleball paddles on the market.

Some of the pickleball paddle brands include:

  • Amour
  • Babolat
  • Electrum
  • Engage
  • Franklin
  • Gamma
  • Head
  • Margaritaville
  • Niopipo
  • One Shot
  • Onix
  • Paddletek
  • Pickleball Central
  • Prince
  • Pro Kennex
  • Selkirk
  • Vulcan
  • Wilson

And of course, this does not help you at all. They’re just a bunch of names, some more well known than others. But even so, without the size, weight, length and pros and cons of each pickleball paddle, it’s not going to help you make a decision.

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What to Look for While Buying Pickleball Paddle

Here’s a list of factors to consider before buying a pickleball paddle.

Weight Of A Pickleball Paddle

Pickleball paddles start at approximately 6 ounces in weight and go up to approximately 14 ounces. The heavier paddles are made of wood, the light to medium range made of either a composite material or out of graphite.

Graphite are probably the most popular paddles, and these sort at 6 ounces and go up to about 9 ounces.

A small pickleball player (child or young teen) will want a small pickleball paddle. An adult who is of medium size would want a medium sized paddle. And a large person would want a heavy granite paddle or a wood paddle.

Heavy paddles can be harder to control, but they will give you great speed and strength. When you buy a pickleball paddle, read the specs.Choose the right paddle that will meet your body size and strength. Remember, the heavier the paddle, the more power you get. But the heavier it is, the harder it is to control.

  • Beginner players would do better with lighter pickleball paddles.
  • Experienced players do well with medium to large pickleball paddles.

Grip Of A Pickleball Paddle

A pickleball paddle needs to be comfortable to hold.

Like holding a tennis racket, or a golf club, or a baseball bat, it needs to ‘fit well.’ It is hard to buy a pickleball paddle online if you don’t know which grip you like. There are rules that will help you make the choice though, especially if you don’t have a pickleball paddle to test out.

You can get a good idea of your grip size by going with your height.

  • Under five foot and two inches – try a 4 inch grip.
  • Between five foot three and five foot eight – a 4 and a quarter grip.
  • Over five foot and nine inches – 4 and a half grip.

There are not that many grip sizes to choose from so it isn’t too tricky to buy a pickleball paddle online. And if you are buying for a child or teen, you do get children’s pickleball paddles.

If you are finding it hard to make a decision with the size grip, and you cannot try the paddle out, rather go for a smaller grip than a larger one. You can always buy tape and pad up the grip, and you can always add an accessory grip, over the grip you have.

When you buy a pickleball paddle set, the paddles are generally a standard size, with weights and grips for a standard sized person.

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The Shape Of A Pickleball Paddle

Pickleball paddle are all the same shape as that is what makes them pickleball paddles. But some have a wider surface hitting area than others, and this depends on the type of frame.

These types of paddle are known as wide-body paddles. They’re good for a beginner player, as he or she has more chance of making contact with the paddle and the ball.

There’s more space to make contact.

How they feel in your hand is a very underrated factor because you need to feel as comfortable as possible while trying to play the sport too.

Price Of A Pickleball Paddle

This is important because different people have different budgets. You do not need to spend a fortune on a pickleball paddle if you are a new player. Rather buy yourself an average but good quality pickleball paddle, moving on to a better paddle as you play more and as you improve.

If price is an issue, and it is an issue for a lot of people, look for a second hand pickleball paddle or look for a demo model. Just like cars, you get demo model paddles! You are more likely to find these advertised on specialist pickleball stores, but you do find them at some wholesalers too.

And only buy a pro pickleball paddle if you play a lot of pickleball and if you are a pro! Or if you are thinking of turning pro. Or if you just really like pickleball. Or if you want to hit the ball really hard…

You can read more about this here.

Some Of Our Favourite Pickleball Paddles

It’s always hard to give our favourite pieces of equipment and we definitely don’t want to show any bias. There are tons of brands, as we itemised them above, and there are so many different sizes and styles of paddles.

Go through them all and find the paddle that appeals to you and to the game that you play.

These are paddles that all got really high ratings:-

  • Pro Kennex Ovation Speed Pickleball Paddle
  • Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle
  • Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddles
  • ONIX Graphite Z5 Graphite Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle
  • Gamma NeuCore Pickleball Paddles
  • Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro Review
  • Gamma Poly Core Pickleball Paddle
  • Niupipo Pickleball Paddle
  • XS XSPAK Graphite Pickleball Paddle
  • Niupipo Pickleball Paddle-Graphite Pickleball Racket

The Pro Kennex Ovation Speed Paddle is known as the 2021 best performance pickleball paddle. The Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro Speed Paddle is known as the 2021best value pickleball paddle.

The Selkirk Amped Paddle is known for it’s excellent control. And the ONIX Graphite Z5 is the best graphite paddle. Each paddle has its top qualities, so check out the qualities that are important to you, the player.

Here are some of the pickleball paddles to consider for beginners with their reviews. Here’re some of the best pickleball paddles for spin for intermediate and experienced players.

And here’s how you can buy your pickleball paddle in the USA.

Don’t overthink buying a pickleball paddle. Look at the weight, the grip, the shape and the price. Choose the one that is right for you. Pick it up, grab a few balls, and get going. You’re sure to have loads of fun.

Stan Boone

I am the editor of Racket Sports World. I love my tennis, pickleball and most of the other racket sports played around the world and started this blog as my way to help other racquet sports fans even as I learn, explore and improve by connecting with them. Tweet at

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