The Best Pickleball Paddles You Can Buy In 2022

With the popularity of pickleball ever-growing, more and more people are dipping their toes into the sport and seeking to purchase their own paddle. And choosing which one to buy is no easy task. Hundreds of models are available online, each with different properties and varying prices.

Today, I will be breaking down what you need to know about pickleball paddles in 2022. I love all things sports, especially racket sports. My heart may lie with table tennis (I’ve had the opportunity to play against some of the top players in England), but many of my friends are getting interested in pickleball as the sport has grown 39.3% in the past couple of years.

I did some research so you can read on for my pickleball paddle tips and the top products that are currently available. And don’t worry, I’ve selected a range of paddles from beginner to advanced, so there should be one here for everyone.

Pickleball Paddle Buyer’s Guide

A pickleball paddle with two pickleballs
OvertAnalyzer, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>

Paddle Material

Perhaps the most important aspect to consider when choosing your pickleball paddle is what the thing is actually made of. There are four options to choose from, and each has unique playing characteristics.

Wood: Back in the sport’s inception, wooden paddles were a staple of the game. They were often very hard and heavy. However, wooden paddles have become lighter, frequently made from plywood over time. Wooden paddles have the advantage of being durable but are still rather heavy.

Polymer plastics: These paddles are made from a mix of resin and plastic. They offer a more lightweight option, and they are the most affordable choice on the market. Generally speaking, they are only suitable for amateurs as the quality is not high enough for the professional level.

Graphite: Graphite paddles are a significant step up from wood and polymer plastic paddles. It is often the material of choice for pros. Graphite paddles are lightweight, fast, and precise. This means an elevated cost.

Composite: Composite paddles are a great middle-ground for more serious players who perhaps don’t want to fork out for a graphite paddle. Like polymer rackets, they use a mix of materials. However, said materials are of very high quality. This leads to an advanced racket that utilizes the properties of multiple materials.

Weight

Paddles, on average, weigh from 4 to 14 ounces which is quite a large range. No weight is inherently bad. It’s more a case of choosing the right weight for you. Heavy paddles are faster and require reduced strength and reaction time. This makes them a great choice for beginners. Lightweight paddles are incredibly common in the competitive scene to take advantage of the improved control they offer.

Paddle Core

Aluminum: These cores are heavy, which gives you good speed. However, this comes at the cost of control and accuracy. A fiberglass face can help improve its accuracy.

Nomex: This is a nylon-based polymer that has a honeycomb shape. Before treatment, it is soft, but after applying resin, it becomes rock hard. Nomex paddles are very light and loud and are popular with professional players.

Polypropylene: These cores are the newest technology and are proving to be incredibly popular at the top level. Unlike Nomex, polypropylene is very soft. This makes these cores quieter and gives you more control over the ball.

Paddle Shape — Wide-body vs Elongated

There are two main types of paddle shape: wide-body and elongated. Wide-body is the most common of the two as it suits all skill types. The wide playing surface is relatively forgiving. On the other hand, elongated paddles are a little less forgiving, so perhaps not the best pickleball racket choice for beginners. The advantage they possess is a longer hitting area, great for players with short reach.

The Best Pickleball Paddles Reviews

Best Graphite Pickleball Paddles

HEAD Radical XL Pickleball Paddle

pickleball paddles

Specifications

Face material: Graphite

Core material: Polypropylene

Shape: Elongated

Paddle dimensions: 17” L x 7” W

Grip dimensions: 4-1/4” length

Weight: 7.6oz

Included: 1 paddle

Cost: $$$$

Pros
  • Top materials
  • Suitable for pros
  • Multiple color options
  • 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Elongated head is not everyone’s preference
Rating: 9.3

Kicking off the top pickleball paddles, we have the Radical XL paddle by HEAD. It’s a pricey paddle but possesses undeniable quality. The racket is made from graphite and features the ever-popular polypropylene honeycomb core giving it great feeling and control. It also uses Optimized Tubular Core (OTC) technology for further refinement.

The racket surface is highly textured. This aids both with control and imparting spin — perfect for taking your game to the next level. You’ve also got the option of 3 different colors — blue, black/blue, or black/red — all of which look great.

Vinsguir Pickleball Paddles Set

pickleball paddles

Specifications

Face material: Graphite

Core material: Honeycomb composite core

Shape: Wide-body

Paddle dimensions: 15.5” L x 8.07” W

Grip dimensions: 4.92” length

Weight: 7.8oz

Included: 2 paddles, 1 bag, 3 outdoor balls, 1 indoor ball

Cost: $$

Pros
  • Top materials
  • #1 best seller on Amazon
  • Inexpensive
  • Very quiet
  • 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Not suitable for advanced players
  • Racket pattern is somewhat childish
Rating: 8.8

This graphite pickleball set is one of the top-rated pickleball paddles for beginners to intermediate players. It is very well-priced and has everything you need to play with a partner, whether indoors or outdoors. Like the HEAD Radical XL, the paddle is made from graphite, but it features a different core: polymer honeycomb surrounded by two carbon fiber layers. This helps absorb noise and vibration, making it one of the quietest pickleball paddles you can buy!

Like most paddles, it features an edge guard for protection and comes with a 1-year warranty which is very respectable. One issue you might have with these pickleball racquets are the designs on the face. They feature doodle artwork which might look okay to some but certainly not to others. This probably shouldn’t bother most intermediate players. But if you want to be taken seriously, perhaps you should purchase a more professional-looking paddle.

Best Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle

niupipo Pickleball Paddles

pickleball paddles

Specifications

Face material: Fiberglass

Core material: Polypropylene

Shape: Wide-body

Face dimensions: 10.63” L x 7.87” W

Grip dimensions: 4-4.5” length, 4-½” circumference

Weight: 8oz

Included: 2 paddles, 1 bag, 4 balls

Cost: $$

Pros
  • Top materials
  • Inexpensive
  • Multiple color options
  • 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Not suitable for top players
Rating: 8.9

These niupipo pickleball paddles are very competitively priced as you are getting two paddles for around half of the cost of the most expensive models. Constructed with a polypropylene core and fiberglass face, these pickleball rackets are lightweight, durable, and have a somewhat elastic feel.

Sporting a black design with an orange and blue geometric pattern, they look professional, and if you want to choose a more muted look, you also can buy the same set with a black and grey pattern.

Selkirk Amped Invikta Pickleball Paddle

pickleball paddles
pickleball paddles
Specifications

Face material: Fiberglass

Core material: Polypropylene X5

Shape: Elongated

Face dimensions: 16.5” L x 7.38” W

Grip dimensions: 5.25” length, 4.25” circumference

Weight: LW: 7.3oz – 7.7oz  MW 7.8oz – 8.4oz

Included: 1 paddle

Cost: $$$$

Pros
  • Top materials
  • Revolutionary technology
  • USAPA approved
  • Multiple shape options
  • Multiple color options
  • Multiple weight options
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Expensive
Rating: 9.6

For advanced players seeking unrivaled quality, this is the paddle you should be looking at. It marks a shift in the pickleball industry as it features revolutionary technology. The Amped series of paddles pair a premium FiberFlex Fiberglass face with a thicker polypropylene X5 core. This creates a larger, more consistent sweet spot which helps make you a more dangerous player to face off against.

Also, part of the paddle is vibration dampening. This gives it a better feel in your hand and helps mitigate the risk of various injuries such as tennis elbow. Furthermore, the torque suppression increases stabilization which enhances control and accuracy.

Another unique advantage the Amped series possesses over other pickleball paddles is the level of customization. I have opted for the Invikta for our pick, but you can also choose from either the Epic or S2. Each sport a different shape with varying sizes for the sweet spot, racket face, and handle. In addition, each racket comes with 8 different color options with various weight choices.

All in all, the customization on offer here truly is spectacular, and to further drive home its quality, you get a limited lifetime warranty when you purchase. You won’t get that with any other pickleball paddle manufacturer. In my opinion, this is one of the best pickleball paddles for advanced players.

Best Wood Pickleball Paddle

Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Wood 2-Paddle Set

pickleball paddles

Specifications

Face material: 7-ply maple

Core material: 7-ply maple

Shape: Wide-body

Paddle dimensions: 15.6” L x 7.5” W

Grip dimensions: 5.5” length, 4.25” circumference

Weight: 10oz

Included: 2 paddles, 1 bag, 4 balls

Cost: $

Pros
  • Very inexpensive
  • No edge guard eliminates mishits
  • 1-year warranty
Cons
  • No edge guard minimizes protection
  • Poor control
  • Only suitable for beginners
Rating: 8.1

If affordability is your primary concern, this Amazin’ Aces 2-pack is a top pickleball paddle choice. With its all-wood build and cushioned grip, it is perfect for beginners who are just learning the game. You don’t need to hit the ball especially hard as the 7-ply maple wood does a lot of the work for you. The rackets also do not have edge guards. This reduces your likelihood of mishits but does compromise slightly in terms of durability. However, you do get a 1-years warranty when you purchase, so if either paddle unexpectedly breaks, you should be able to get a replacement.

FAQs

The rossetti brothers gwr longest pickleball rally
The Rossetti Family, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>

What Is the Difference Between Pickleball Paddles?

Pickleball paddles vary in many respects, namely, shape, size, racket material, core material, and weight. Each of these significantly affects how each paddle feels and plays. If you’re interested in a product and want to learn more about its performance, we recommend checking out pickleball paddle reviews for that product.

Does Your Pickleball Paddle Matter?

Certainly. You need to choose a paddle that is right for your style and skill level. What feels great to one player might feel unnatural to another.

Is a Composite or Graphite Pickleball Paddle Better?

Both types of paddle tend to be very high quality but will differ depending on what model you choose. Generally speaking, graphite paddles are lighter and are always of very good quality. On the other hand, composite paddles are a little heavier, and their quality has wider variation. Yet the top composite paddles are some of the best pickleball paddles that you can buy.

Why Do Pickleball Paddles Have a Weight Range?

Because each player has their own weight preference. Like paddle shape customization, having various weights to choose from gives you more precision to choose the right racket for you.

What Is the Best Weight for a Pickleball Paddle?

Around the 7oz to 8.5oz is a good range for most players. We advise going on the lower end if you’re skilled and have good power and reaction time. Alternatively, if you’re not particularly skilled, we recommend going heavier. Absolute beginners may prefer heavier wooden paddles, so don’t be scared to go beyond 8.5oz.

Conclusion

That marks the end of our pickleball paddles guide. You should now have all of the knowledge you need to make an educated decision choosing your shiny new pickleball paddle. In case any of the info went over your head, here are our top recommendations.

For casual players, we recommend going for the niupipo racket bundle. It features a polypropylene core with a fiberglass face. This gives you a little more speed than the Vinsguir paddle set, which is great for players starting out. However, both are great choices that we recommend. They are identically priced at the time of writing, so it’s tough to separate the two in terms of value for money.

For advanced players, the Selkirk Amped Invikta is our clear favorite. It may be expensive, but it’s worth every penny. With a premium FiberFlex fiberglass face and thick polypropylene X5 core, you get unmatched power and control in a quiet and lightweight racket. It’s tough to imagine an advanced player who wouldn’t love how it performs.

The level of customization on offer is also staggering. If the elongated Invikta racket shape isn’t your style, then no worries, choose from either the Epic all-around paddle or the S2 paddle, which has the largest sweet spot. Any pickleball paddles from the Selkirk Amped range get our seal of approval.

Enjoy this guide? Perhaps you might like our write-up on the best pickleball nets or the top table tennis paddles.

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.