Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners in 2022

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the US, with many people comparing it to a mesh of tennis, badminton, and table tennis all in one. And I have to say, I can see the comparison, given I regularly play all three sports.

As a result of this quick expansion, the pickleball player base grew to 4.8 million players in the US alone. And of these 4.8 million players, 3.5 million were defined as casual players.

So if you’re looking for pickleball paddles for beginners, you’ll find plenty of options. But when you look online, it is unclear what paddle you should purchase. There are hundreds of models to choose from with a lot of confusing terminology thrown around.

To save you the trouble of hours of research, we’ve broken down the best pickleball paddles for beginners and what features you should look out for. Or skip to the reviews below.

Buyer’s Guide

Price

The prices of pickleball paddles vary from around $10 to $200. And while it can be tempting to purchase a more expensive model (in the hopes of higher quality), it makes sense to purchase a fairly cheap beginner pickleball paddle.

As a beginner, you lack the skill to effectively make use of more advanced paddles. And who knows, you may grow bored of the sport after a while which leaves you more out of pocket. We recommend spending around $30 for a good beginner paddle. You can help bring down your cost per paddle by purchasing a pickleball paddle set.

Weight

Besides price, weight is the next most important property you should consider — it will significantly affect how you play. Paddles are separated into 3 categories: light, average, and heavy. Heavy paddles offer the most power, so you don’t need to put as much force into your strokes. They can, however, be quite hard to control.

Light paddles are the exact opposite. They provide the most control, but lack power, instead requiring more force on your part to play strokes. Paddles of average weight offer the best of both worlds.

Pickleball Paddle Size Weight
Light <7.3 oz
Average 7.3 – 8.4 oz
Heavy >8.4 oz

Material

We won’t go too much into paddle materials as the terminology can become quite confusing even when choosing the best pickleball rackets for beginners. But essentially, the material of your paddle affects how it performs. And most paddles will have a mix of materials for the body of the paddle itself and the core.

The main three types of paddle material you should know about are wood, graphite, and composite. Wood tends to be the most basic and heavy, while graphite is much lighter and the most expensive. Composite sits between the two.

Paddle Shape

Paddle shape is generally split into two types: wide-body and elongated. However, you may find paddles that are a cross between both. Wide-body is the most common and the type we recommend for beginner pickleball paddles. It has a good margin for error and offers a large sweet spot.

Elongated paddles, by comparison, are longer and thinner. As a result, it is easier to miss the ball. However, the advantage of these paddles is that they offer more reach making them an option for players who often get caught by drop shots.

Grip Size

You should purchase a grip size that suits the size of your hand otherwise the paddle will feel awkward to use. The easiest way to do this is to equate grip size to height. See the useful table below to determine which grip size you should use.

Height Category Grip Size
<5’ 2” Small 4”
5’3” – 5’8” Medium 4 ¼”
>5’9” Large 4 ½”

Edge Guard

An edge guard helps protect your beginner pickleball paddle from damage. Having one is always a good idea as a beginner as you will hit the ground more than elite players will. If you choose to go without one, you may end up having to replace your paddle sooner than you expect.

Best Beginner Pickleball Paddles

Uteeqe Pickleball Paddle Set

best pickleball paddle for beginners

Features

Material: Graphite

Shape: Wide-body

Grip dimensions: 4 ¼”

Weight: 7.8 oz

Included: 2x paddles

Edge guard: Yes

Warranty: 1 year

Cost: $$$

Pros

  • 5 stars on Amazon
  • Long warranty period
  • Textured graphite surface
  • High control
  • Fast
  • Unique stitched grip
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Unclear if balls and cover are included

First up, we have the Uteeqe pickleball paddles set. It includes two graphite paddles with a polypropylene honeycomb core. This means they aren’t too heavy, have high control, and are not that loud. This set also has a full 5 out of 5-star rating on Amazon which makes it a very safe buy.

The rackets featured a unique stitched grip which is durable and highly effective at absorbing sweat while you are playing.

Our main issue with these pickleball paddles is how unclear the listing is. The title suggests buyers receive 4 balls and a case with their purchase. However, a disclaimer on one of the product photos, and the comments left by buyers suggest that it may not include these items. This is a pretty simple issue to rectify, so it’s disappointing to see the seller has not addressed it.

However, we don’t feel that this should phase you. The rackets themselves are the highest quality on this list, and included pickleballs are almost always low quality — you’ll have to purchase decent balls separately. So with all aspects considered, we still find the Uteeqe paddles to be the best pickleball paddles for beginners in 2022.

Franklin Sports Jet Pickleball Paddle

best pickleball paddle for beginners

Features

Material: Aluminum

Shape: Wide-body

Grip dimensions: 4 ¼”

Weight: 10.7-11 oz

Included: 1x paddle

Edge guard: Yes

Warranty: 90 days

Cost: $

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Fast
  • Fairly quiet

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Basic

The Franklin Sports Jet paddle is a great choice for beginners who are on a budget — it is one of the cheapest paddles on this list. Made almost entirely from aluminum it’s certainly on the heavy side. This makes it great for players who lack power when they are near the baseline. Of course, this extra power it has over many of the other rackets means it falls behind in terms of precision. It’s a great pickleball paddle for beginners.

Niupipo Pickleball Paddle Set

best pickleball paddle for beginners

Features

Material: Graphite

Shape: Wide-body

Grip dimensions: 4 ¼”

Weight: 8 oz

Included: 2x paddles, 4x indoor pickleballs, 1x carry case

Edge guard: Yes

Warranty: 1-year warranty

Cost: $$$

Pros

  • Long warranty period
  • High control
  • Fast
  • Quiet

Cons

  • No outdoor balls

The Niupipo rackets combine the popular graphite racket face with a polypropylene honeycomb core. This means they are very similar in structure to our favorite rackets: the Uteeqe Pickleball Paddle Set. They are almost identically priced too. So naturally, they are some of the best pickleball paddles for beginners.

You can expect fairly fast rackets with a decent amount of control. They are also not very loud when you strike the ball which is a benefit if you play in a residential area.

Included with the set are 4x indoor balls and a carry case. If you plan on playing outdoors we recommend purchasing some outdoor pickleballs.

Westop Sports Pickleball Paddle Set

best pickleball paddles for beginners

Features

Material: Wood

Shape: Wide-body

Grip dimensions: 5”

Weight: Unknown

Included: 4x paddles, 8x pickleballs, 2x carry case, e-book with rules and tips

Edge guard: No

Warranty: Unknown

Cost: $

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Great value for money
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Fast

Cons

  • Unknown paddle weight
  • Poor quality pickleball balls

The Westop pickleball paddles set is the perfect choice for the family if everyone wants to give pickleball a go. The bundle is very inexpensive and easily works out as the cheapest if you measure the cost per paddle. Of course, this means the rackets are more basic than the rest. They are made mostly of wood and have no edge guards for protection.

An issue with the listing is that the seller does not specify the weight of each paddle. However, given their wooden composition, we can make an uneducated guess. They probably weigh around 10 oz each which means they will be fast, loud, and have fairly low control.

There are a lot of extras with this bundle including an e-book which is a nice addition. They are certainly among the best pickleball racquets for beginners and a great choice for children especially who lack power.

WIn SPORTS Pickleball paddle Set

best pickleball paddle for beginners

Features

Material: Wood

Shape: Wide-body

Grip dimensions: 4 ¼”

Weight: 9-10 oz

Included: 2x paddle, 4x pickleballs, 1x mesh bag

Edge guard: No

Warranty: Unknown

Cost: $

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Great value for money
  • Fast

Cons

  • Conflicting grip circumference
  • Not very durable

This two-set of pickleball paddles is another good choice if you are wanting to try out pickleball without investing a lot of money. The paddles are both made from 7-ply wood therefore they are quite fast.

The weight of the paddles varies between 9-10 oz so there isn’t a lot of quality control — this helps keep the cost low. Unfortunately, it does seem they are not particularly durable relative to the other paddles. So you may want to spend more to purchase a paddle that you can be certain will last.

Like the Uteeqe Pickleball Paddle Set, this listing also has some inconsistent information. They cite the handle circumference as 4 ¼” in two places, however, one of the photos states 3.93”. We can only assume the latter is inaccurate, as it does seem very thin for a handle.

FAQs

Which Pickleball Paddle is Best for a Beginner?

We find the Uteeqe pickleball paddle to be the best for beginners. It features a high-quality graphite face and polypropylene honeycomb core making it very quiet. The Uteeqe paddle also comes as a set of two which is great if you have a partner who is also new to the game.

How Much Does a Beginner Pickleball Paddle Cost?

Beginner pickleball paddles cost anywhere from around $10 to $60. We find $30 to be around the average. You can help bring the price per paddle down by purchasing multiple paddles as a set.

Is it Better to have a Lighter or Heavier Pickleball paddle?

Pickleball paddles vary in weight from around 6 oz to 14 oz. Light paddles are less than 7.3 oz. These paddles offer the most control. By comparison, heavy paddles weigh more than 8.4 oz, and these paddles give you more power but they lack control. Therefore you should choose a paddle depending on the strength of your shots and how much control you require.

Final Thoughts – Our Pickleball Paddle Recommendations

By now you should understand what features to look out for in a beginner’s pickleball paddle, and potentially have some models that you like the look of. Of all the paddles we have reviewed, we find the Uteeqe pickleball paddle set are the best pickleball paddles for beginners.

With textured graphite surfaces and polypropylene honeycomb cores, they offer a mix of control and speed and are not very loud. This means you can play in your garden without annoying your neighbors. They also have an average of 5 stars on Amazon across 1,400 reviews which means you’ll almost certainly like the way they perform.

Alex Horscroft

Freelance writer. Table tennis enthusiast. Lover of all things online. When I’m not working on my loop game I’m probably binge-watching some fantasy show.