Top 11 Best Pickleball Paddles in 2021

If you are looking to crush it at pickleball, you will need the best pickleball paddle for you playing style. We tried and tested some of the alleged best pickleball paddles available right now, finally putting together this list after some strict evaluations and judgment.

We built out opinion around some major criteria. Paddles that are suitable for a wide range of player types (they offer a good mix of power, ball control, and spin, and work with most grip types) are set apart from the rest.

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Product Name

Features

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Pro Kennex Ovation Speed Pickleball Paddle

Pro Kennex Ovation Speed Pickleball Paddle

Maximum cushioning

Better air circulation

Good fit for wide feet

Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle

Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle

Comfortable cushioning

Better traction and torsional support

Durable outsole

Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddles

Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddles

Lightweight cushioning

Durable traction

Comfortable and high performance

ONIX Graphite Z5 Graphite Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle

ONIX Graphite Z5 Graphite Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle

Designed for women only

Lightweight and comfortable

It comes in many sizes

Gamma NeuCore Pickleball Paddles with Honeycomb Grip

Gamma NeuCore Pickleball Paddles with Honeycomb Grip

The special gel cushioning

Trusstic technology allows for extra stability

Lightweight

Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro

Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro

Stable, comfortable, and supportive

Attractive design

Extra toes guard

Gamma Poly Core Pickleball Paddle

Gamma Poly Core Pickleball Paddle

Adituff toe guard tech

Adiwear 6 durable outsole

High-quality lacing

1. Pro Kennex Ovation Speed Pickleball Paddle – Winner

Pro Kennex Ovation Speed Pickleball Paddle

The Kinetic Ovation Speed is the top paddle for today. With its amazing vibration-reducing characteristics, touch-sensitive and responsive properties, corner-less and oval shaped design, this paddle reduced the chances of mishit, automatically increasing the fun space. Thanks to the tungsten filled special chamber, it absorbs energy and prevents unwanted shocks during impact.

Because of this, you are free to play for a longer time without being concerned about “pickled elbows”. Kinetic Ovation Speed features a 7-layer face providing a “spin-grab” feature that makes the ball bend easier on the court.

PROS

  • High vibration dampening properties
  • Will not hurt arm during ball striking
  • Ability to spin the ball
  • Strong edge guard

CONS

  • Slightly heavy

2. Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle – Runner-Up

Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle

Being the first paddle designed particularly to prevent damage to the player’s elbow and arms, Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle was an exception from the start. The chambers in the core are filled with tungsten to minimize vibration as well as distribution.

Owing to the Kinetic Energy technology, paddles of this range has shown a large cut in energy transfer and vibration.

If you wish to play pickleball for a prolonged period, the Pro Kennex will be your reliable buddy. The paddle features a 7-layer skin made from a blend of graphite and composite materials, offering stronger hits and better grip for extra play.

PROS

  • Shock distribution and vibration reducing capability
  • Allows play for extended periods
  • Very comfortable grip
  • Facilitates strong hits

CONS

  • Nicks too easy
  • Quite pricey

3. Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddles

Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddles

If power, spin, and control are your primary concerns, the Selkirk Amped is the one for you. The versatile paddle features a generous surface, enabling you with adequate space to generate powerful hits. One of the prominent bits of this pickleball paddle is the FiberFlex face – known to provide more time to pick your stroke.

The face’s design ensures the ball bounces off the surface which will unbalance the opponent while adding power to the shots. Professional players adore the additional spin and power produced around the net. Plus, the design was made to deliver softer impact.

PROS

  • Available in two weight ranges
  • Medium weight offers more power
  • Lightweight design increases hand speed
  • Excellent feel and grip

CONS

  • May cause pain the arm and elbow
  • Bit too thick

4. ONIX Graphite Z5 Graphite Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle

ONIX Graphite Z5 Graphite Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle

When it comes to best pickleball paddles of graphite, it seldom gets better than the ONIX Z5. The design offers higher control over the ball, a nice touch paddle for power plays during heated matched, a wide shape at the top corner to provide more space to hit the ball. Additionally, it’s the ideal choice for pop harvest thanks to the graphite surface.

Professionals love this paddle as it’s easy to swing and the ball can be hit where you want. Not to mention the quite deliveries every time. The price tag only makes the whole deal better.

PROS

  • Produces minimum noise
  • Easy to move and lightweight
  • Comfortable grip
  • Remarkable control over the ball

CONS

  • Shots aren’t very powerful
  • Not the most heavy-duty

5. Gamma NeuCore Pickleball Paddles with Honeycomb Grip

Gamma NeuCore Pickleball Paddles with Honeycomb Grip

Gamma Compass Graphite paddle enters the list on the high-polymer core and premium-quality paddle. NeuCore technology particularly targets the 25% thicker core and larger cells to make the paddle provide power but still feel soft during impact.

The graphite surface conforms to USAPA standard but it can possibly enhance the ball’s spin. And despite the elongated length, the paddle can control shots from all angle.

In contrast to that, the small handle offers fast position changes. Due to its long-lasting adaptability and dynamic, smooth feel, the Compass Graphite will be the standard of play for you.

PROS

  • Offers more reach on the ball
  • Sweet spot provides stellar control
  • Produces sharper spins
  • Offers more spin

CONS

  • Quite expensive
  • Won’t last the longest

6. Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro

Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro

Tempest Wave Pro Pickleball Paddle used smart technology to improve sensitivity and taste. You can get more power and a responsive touch to control the game. This added power isn’t excessive, but just enough for compensation given in the basic Tempest model. The extra-long grip adds more space to adjust the grip so you can control or reach larger.

Apart from the larger hit zone, the materials of this paddle will take your shots to a different level. The supreme power, precision, and endurance prove they are of superior build.

PROS

  • Large hit zone
  • Offers amazing accuracy and power
  • Two kinds of handle option
  • High tack performance hold

CONS

  • The grip is rather slick
  • Expensive

7. Gamma Poly Core Pickleball Paddle

Gamma Poly Core Pickleball Paddle

Make sure to give your opponent a hard time with the RZR Graphite pickleball paddle which maintains the target strictly. The paddle features a combination of Sensa Poly Core and graphite face.

The honeycomb design makes the stroke gentle, but the ball will rebound off the face literally in milliseconds. It is a good choice for those who prioritize power and speed in the game.

On top of that, the design allows for the quickest contact between the paddle surface and the ball, adding an amazing touch to the handle. The small handle makes a helpful grip while the thin-edge protection creates a wider sweet spot.

PROS

  • Produces extra spin
  • Provides constant control
  • Extra cushioning and control on the grip
  • Super comfortable to hold

CONS

  • Narrow sweet spot
  • Not very sturdy

8. Prince Response Pro

Prince Response Pro

The Response Pro from Prince is one of the most impressive models of paddles out there. If you are already a tennis player and have been accustomed to the game of pickleball, you will know why this paddle is a showstopper. The product is made in the USA.

The paddle face of the product consists of textured composite with UV Protected Fibre Glass with Edge Guard (Textured Fiberglass), with a Polymer Honeycomb paddle comb and a pretty large sweet spot. It comes in two sizes- the Standard weight is 7.8 – 8.3 oz and light is 7.2 – 7.7 oz. The dimensions of the pickleball paddle is 15 ¾” L x 8 ¼” W. There are two available sizes for the Grip Dimensions- the large is 4 3/8” while the small one is 4 1/4”. You are able to choose between orange, blue, purple and red colours when buying it. 

PROS

  • This paddle is pretty impressive for both beginners and for experienced players
  • It is one of the best paddles for power and spin
  • The paddle is highly impressive in terms of pin point accuracy
  • It has sufficient placement on deep serves
  • The sweet spot of the paddle is pretty huge
  • The paddle has a superior touch at the net which makes it pretty easy to handle and maneuver

CONS

  • The paddle is relatively little expensive
  • Sometimes, the paddle is known to lack in touch

9. Engage Poach Advantage

Engage Poach Advantage

The Poach Advantage is a must mention to provide a complete list of the best pickleball paddle out there in the world of today. It is one of the more technologically advanced paddles you will ever come across. It has an ultra- unique 6 layer paddle skin which successfully combines the easy of playing with the unparalleled ball control of the paddle.  

The Engage Poach Advantage, made in the USA, ensures that you are able to take your game to a next level with some of the amazing features of the paddle that strongly makes it stand out in the market. 

The paddle face of the product consists of 6 layers of Fiberglass Composite, with a Polymer Honeycomb paddle comb and a pretty large sweet spot. It comes in two sizes: the Standard weight is 7.9 – 8.3 oz. and light is 7.5 – 7.8 oz. The dimensions of the pickleball paddle is 16” L x 8” W.

The Grip length is 5” while the Grip circumference is 4 ¼”. You are able to choose between blue, purple and green colours when buying it. Furthermore, it is approved for use in USAPA sanctioned tournaments. 

PROS

  • This paddle is pretty impressive for beginners and those who are still learning or wanting to improve
  • It is one of the best paddles for power, given that it has a consistent and deep baseline to baseline power
  • The paddle is highly impressive in terms of pin point accuracy
  • It has sufficient placement on deep serves
  • The sweet spot of the paddle is pretty huge
  • The paddle has a superior touch at the net which makes it pretty easy to handle and maneuver

CONS

  • The paddle is relatively little expensive but still worth the investment
  • Sometimes, the paddle is known to lack the blast black power

10. Upstreet Pickleball Paddle

Upstreet Pickleball Paddle

This pickleball paddle, weighing around 8.6 ounces, is made of polypropylene (PP) honeycomb composite. The length of the paddle is 15.75 inches and the width, 7.75 inches. This is one of the most affordable, top- notch quality pickleball paddles in the market.

The grip size is also decent- around 4.5 inches. Though this might not be in the high- end premium paddle side, the graphite paddle is perfect for use and a good investment. 

The decent weight of the paddle makes it popular among players, and the grip size is suited for bigger and taller players as well. It is true that players with smaller hand grips might struggle with it a bit. But, it will serve you well considering the price range in comes in.

PROS

  • This paddle is pretty impressive for beginners and those who are still learning or wanting to improve
  • It is one of the best paddles given the study feel it provides. The polymer core is also a huge plus
  • The paddle is highly impressive in terms of its lightweight
  • It is known to be very comfortable and has high shock absorption integrated within
  • The paddle is pretty easy to handle and maneuver
  • The paddle is relatively inexpensive for other options of the similar kind
  • It comes with a 12-month warranty

CONS

  • It is not suitable for players with smaller hand grips
  • It is not approved by USAPA, which means that if you are planning on participating in competitions, this is not the paddle for you

11. Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddle

Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddle

Designed by Engage Pickleball, this pickleball paddle comes in various colours and consists of advanced levels, making it perfect for professional players. Made with the core of specialized polypropene, the honeycombs present in the paddle are larger and provide soft effects. 

The face of the paddle is made of Propriety fiberglass, allowing you huge flexibility while focusing on the ball energy at the paddle core as well.

PROS

  • This paddle offers immense power due to the top notch materials used to make the paddle’s face
  • It is one of the best paddles which provide quieter shots due to the larger honeycombs present
  • The paddle is highly impressive in terms of its weight: 8.0- 8.3 oz
  • It is known to provide increased flexibility to the players
  • The paddle is designed according to the USAPA guidance rules and has undertaken all the approval and roughness tests in the process

CONS

  • The grip of the paddle has not been determined yet
  • The paddle has been considered to be too heavy for some players
  • It is not suitable for beginners/ intermediate players
  • It is relatively expensive considering the paddles of similar sort in the market

Buying Guide for Best Pickleball Paddles

Now that individual reviews of the best pickleball paddles is out of the way, let’s talk about what to look out for next time you are purchasing a pickleball paddle.

Paddle Core Materials

Also considered as the backbone of the pickleball paddle, the paddle core is one of the most important bits to consider while thinking if the racket is right for you. Deciding between a lightweight paddle or a heavier paddle is largely dependent on the paddle core built into the paddle. 

There are three kinds of cores found commonly: 

1. Nomex core: Nylon-based polymer, known for lightweight design and industrial flexibility, Nomex paddles are light yet sturdy, but they can be a bit on the noisier side as they lack the cushioning effect.

2. Aluminum core: Revolves around power, weight, and heavy-hitting. Paddles made from aluminum core are heavier and have less control that graphite or lighter fiberglass paddles. When paired with a fiberglass face, accuracy, durability, control, and power can be significantly enhanced.

3. Polypropylene core: Modern world’s favorite core. This new core type was brought into the market to create paddles both durable and lightweight. Polypropylene core boasts incredibly soft material and tends to be more flexible, providing better bounce. Thanks to the cushioning effect created by the soft surface, the paddle becomes less reactive and allows more contact with the ball.

Paddle Material

The deflective attributes of a pickleball paddle are dependent on the paddle material. Here are some of the most used materials:

1. Polymer: Made out of a mix of plastic and resin. Appreciated for being durable, lightweight, and also the most affordable variant in this industry. Polymer paddles are more popular amongst casual gamers and amateurs and complete unfit for the professionals as their performance doesn’t compare to composite or graphite constructions.

2. Wood: The first pickleball paddles in recorded history were made of wood. While the initial paddles were tried to be solely for functionality, modern day wooden paddles are much more refined. Hardwood has been replaced by plywood for added durability and hitting strength.

3. Graphite: Professionals love using graphite. It’s very lightweight, responsive, giving controlled shots. They’re also the best for dinking. The stroke accuracy paired with a little edge guard for a larger hitting surface is unparalleled when it comes to performance.

4. Composite: Made out of a blend of carious materials. Composite paddles are professional-grade and the most expensive in the market, and for good reason. The use of different materials means only the best will be delivered.

Even though the core and build material are the most primary aspects of a paddle, there are some other considerable factors:

Paddle Size

The acceptable size for a pickleball paddle is something that doesn’t exceed the 24’’ mark. Thus, you should select paddles measuring 8 x 16” for short paddles and 5 x 19” for long ones. These measurements offer optimal balance alongside a wider hitting area.

Paddle Weight

Extremely lightweight paddles need a swifter reaction time and have a speedier swing than heavier ones. This is why beginners opt for the heavier variants, as due to their higher deflection, lower reaction speed and lesser strength is required for hitting the ball.

Deflection

USAPA has set standards for paddle deflection which forbids a pickleball paddle to have a trampolining effect. Paddles with more deflection feature more spring in the core, generating more power for much lesser effort. But this takes a toll on control and accuracy.

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is an enjoyable sport that uses a pickle net, porous plastic balls, and pickle paddles to recreate the fun of table tennis, tennis, and badminton. Professional and recreational players alike have developed fondness for this game. 

Regardless of your age and skillset, you will be well suited for this sport. Although mostly simple, you still need a bit of practice to perfect those tricks and special moves. There are quite a few skills that you can pick up; and learning how to spin the ball is an important one amidst the mix.

Increase your chances of winning by correctly learning this technique. Plus, it can also make the game more exciting and challenging. After you’ve learnt these skills, you develop an advantage over your opponents. This is why it’s essential to have the best pickleball paddle to deliver your strongest plays.

Bottom Line

All our favorite pickleball paddles will be a great choice. You get to make the final call depending on your personal preference and playing style.

The Pro Kennex Ovation Speed Pickleball Paddle was the winner for us, but some paddles work better for a particular purpose more than others.

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