Best Pickleball Paddle

People using Pickleball Paddles


Over the past several years, pickleball has seen a massive spike in popularity, to the point that it's now one of the most beloved activities for outdoor fitness and recreation. Whether you're a pickleball pro or you're only now hearing about America's fastest-growing sport, there's no time like the present to gear up and get out on the court.

First, you'll need a paddle. Which pickleball paddle is right for you? The ACTIVE Reviews Team has researched a number of the top models, and we've developed a list of recommendations that include something for every skill level. Read on for the best pickleball paddles, as well as the best pickleball set.

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The Best Pickleball Paddles - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall - Franklin Sports Pro Pickleball Paddle

Franklin Sports Pro Pickleball Paddle

SPECS

  • Weight: 7.5 oz.
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Grip size: N/A
  • Core thickness: 13mm

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Ready for the big leagues? The Franklin Sports Pro Pickleball Paddle is a professional-level paddle that will help you take your game to the next level. Embedded carbon fiber is designed to promote spin and speed, all while allowing you to maintain balance and control. The core is dense and strong, without any dead spots, and the grip is nice and thick. This paddle is approved by the USAPA for both competitive and tournament-level play.

What We Like

  • Carbon fiber technology promotes spin and speed
  • Dense, strong core
  • Thick grip
  • Several fun colors to choose from

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point
  • Wears pretty quickly

BUY: Franklin Sports Pro Pickleball Paddle

Best Pickleball Paddle for Beginners - niupipo Pickleball Paddles

niupipo Pickleball Paddles

SPECS

  • Weight: 8 oz.
  • Material: Graphite carbon fiber
  • Grip size: 4.5"
  • Core thickness: N/A

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If you're new to the sport, you'll love the niupipo Pickleball Paddles. This set actually provides you with a couple of paddles, all for a very modest price point. The paddles themselves are made with lightweight graphite carbon fiber and have cushioned handles that will be comfortable even after many hours of play. An edge guard helps prevent premature wear and tear. Novices will get just the right kind of balance and control to learn the ropes of this great sport.

What We Like

  • Full pickleball set
  • Modest price point
  • Cushioned, sweat-resistant grip
  • Made for balance and control

What We Don't Like

  • No color options available

BUY: niupipo Pickleball Paddles

Best Pickleball Paddle for Spin - JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion Pickleball Paddle

JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion Pickleball Paddle

SPECS

  • Weight: 8.3 oz.
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Grip size: 5.5"
  • Core thickness: 16mm

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The JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion Pickleball Paddle has been heartily endorsed by some of the sport's biggest names. It's not hard to understand why: Its polypropylene construction and honeycomb shape are well designed for maximum spin, allowing you to keep opponents on their toes. It's a great paddle for blocking as well as for powerful drives.

What We Like

  • Designed for maximum spin
  • Long, thick grip
  • Multiple materials ensure versatile performance

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point
  • Not as well-suited for beginners

BUY: JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion Pickleball Paddle

Best Pickleball Paddle for Intermediate Players - Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddle

Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddle

SPECS

  • Weight: 7.9-8.3 oz.
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Grip size: 4 3/8"
  • Core thickness: 0.5"

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If you've played a few games and feel ready to take things up a notch, the Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddle may be just for you. With a strong core and a lightweight polypropylene design, this is a great paddle to use for improving your spin, balance, and control. It's universal enough that it also makes a really great gift for the pickleball player in your life.

What We Like

  • Reasonable price point
  • Lightweight feel and strong core
  • Textured skin helps promote spin
  • Vibration control technology

What We Don't Like

  • Limited color options
  • Not as well-suited for beginners

BUY: Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddle

Best Pickleball Paddle for Advanced Players - PaddleTek Tempest Wave Pro

PaddleTek Tempest Wave Pro

SPECS

  • Weight: 7.6-8.0 oz.
  • Material: Graphite
  • Grip size: 5.25"
  • Core thickness: N/A

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For skilled and experienced players, we recommend the PaddleTek Tempest Wave Pro. It comes with one of the highest power ratings we've ever seen, and it scores even higher in forgiveness and control. A large sweet spot allows skillful players to finesse every shot for maximum effect.

What We Like

  • Made for power and control
  • Large sweet spot is great for skilled players
  • Durable, lightweight graphite

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point
  • Not as well-suited for beginners

BUY: PaddleTek Tempest Wave Pro

Best Pickleball Paddle for Control - TMPR Sports Luxe Series

TMPR Sports Luxe Series

SPECS

  • Weight: 8.1-8.5 oz.
  • Material: Polymer
  • Grip size: 5.0-5.5"
  • Core thickness: 16mm

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Pickleballers need plenty of control over their paddle, and ultimately over where they drive the ball. The TMPR Sports Luxe Series features several paddles that are made with control in mind. Also note the thick core, offering plenty of power, as well as the fiberglass face, which creates a generous sweet spot.

What We Like

  • Each paddle in the series is well-rated for control
  • Plenty of color and grip options
  • Generous sweet spot
  • Thick core

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point
  • Just a bit on the heavy side

BUY: TMPR Sports Luxe Series

Best Budget Pickleball Paddle - HEAD Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle

HEAD Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle

SPECS

  • Weight: 14g
  • Material: Graphite
  • Grip size: 4.25"
  • Core thickness: 13.0mm

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Pickleball paddles can get pricey, and yet it's very possible to find a decent product that doesn't break the bank. Case in point: The HEAD Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle. For less than $75, you get a well-designed graphite paddle with a thick core, a well-rounded head, and an ergonomic grip that provides comfort and minimizes vibration.

What We Like

  • Modest price point
  • Minimizes vibration
  • Robust graphite design

What We Don't Like

  • Only recommended for intermediate level and up
  • May wear quicker than other paddles

BUY: HEAD Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle

Best Pickleball Paddle for Power - Babolat Rebel Power Pickleball Paddle

Babolat Rebel Power Pickleball Paddle

SPECS

  • Weight: 0.26kg
  • Material: Graphite
  • Grip size: N/A
  • Core thickness: N/A

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Looking for a pickleball paddle that packs a punch? With the Babolat Rebel Power Pickleball Paddle, you'll be able to drive like never before. The graphite skin unites power and precision, while an edge guard preserves your paddle over many intense games.

What We Like

  • Great for powerful drives
  • Edge guard
  • Durable and long-lasting

What We Don't Like

  • No color options to choose from
  • Spin is just so-so

BUY: Babolat Rebel Power Pickleball Paddle

Best Pickleball Paddle Set - OLANNY Graphite Pickleball Paddles

OLANNY Graphite Pickleball Paddles

SPECS

  • Weight: 8 oz.
  • Material: Graphite
  • Grip size: 5.3"
  • Core thickness: N/A

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If you're ready to invest in a complete pickleball set, the OLANNY Graphite Pickleball Paddles are a great option. For a not-unreasonable price point, you'll get four graphite paddles, six indoor balls, and a set of replacement grips, plus a carrying bag. The paddles themselves are made of robust graphite, and made with a great balance of power and control.

What We Like

  • Great value
  • Sturdy graphite paddles
  • Balance of power and control

What We Don't Like

  • Balls are for indoor use only
  • Paddles will show wear after a year or so

BUY: OLANNY Graphite Pickleball Paddles

Best Lightweight Pickleball Paddle - SLK Evo Hybrid Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle

SLK Evo Hybrid Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle

SPECS

  • Weight: 7.6 oz.
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Grip size: 4.25"
  • Core thickness: N/A

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For quicker hands at the net, consider the SLK Evo Hybrid Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle, a wonderfully lightweight option made with high-quality carbon fiber. It's stiffer than other paddles made from the same material, ensuring greater power. And the soft feel is augmented by vibration reduction technology, allowing you to play a truly nimble game.

What We Like

  • Sweat-absorbent handles
  • Soft feel with fewer vibrations
  • Stiff heads provide lots of power
  • Multiple color options

What We Don't Like

  • Grip is a little on the short side
  • Not recommended for brand new players

BUY: SLK Evo Hybrid Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle

What to Look for in a Pickleball Paddle

There are a few factors to consider as you shop for the best pickleball paddle.

Weight

As a rule of thumb, you're going to want your pickleball paddle to be fairly lightweight. The ideal paddle is one that isn't heavy and that lets you feel like you have total control over your swing.

Material

For the perfect combination of lightness and durability, we recommend pickleball paddles made from carbon fiber or fiberglass.

Core

The best pickleball paddle has zero dead spots, meaning you can hit the ball with any part of the paddle head and you'll get a hit. For this reason, thick paddles with honeycomb designs are pretty popular.

Grip Sizes

Just like with tennis rackets, pickleball paddles come in a variety of grip sizes, allowing you to find the grip that best fits your hand for maximum balance and control.

FAQs About Pickleball Paddles


Is graphite or fiberglass better for pickleball?

Both materials are known for being strong yet lightweight and are common options for pickleball paddles.

Which paddle do pickleball pros use?

There are a number of paddles that have made their way into the bags of pickleball pros. Most recently, the Paddletek Phoenix Genesis was used to win a national championship.

Is it better to have a lighter or heavier pickleball paddle?

Most players find that it's easier and more comfortable to play with a lighter paddle.

When should I replace my pickleball paddle?

Professional players replace their paddles yearly, but recreational players may get two or three years out of each paddle.

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