Best Pickleball Paddles for Control

When playing a game of Pickleball, are you starting to notice that it’s not always how hard you hit the ball but where you hit the ball? As more and more players enter the sport, you start to see more hard hitters. So, instead of returning the ball with more force, try returning the ball with a controlled and precise shot. More often than not, that will win you the point. Now, don’t get me wrong, all pickleball paddles can generate the power needed for a slam shot, but not all pickleball paddles can slow down the slam to a precise dink that will land softly into the corner of the kitchen. 

So what makes the best pickleball paddles for control? Control pickleball paddles are acclaimed for their ball placement, remarkable control, and maneuverability of the pickleball. The above traits seem like they should come from the player to many. While players can have those traits, no matter what pickleball paddle you have, there are options that are going to be best for controlling the ball. Control pickleball paddles usually have a thick paddle core, graphite paddle face, or advanced technology to create a larger sweet spot.

That’s where I come in. In today’s guide, I’ve put together the top 3 pickleball paddles for control. I know it can be confusing because there are so many models. Don’t worry, though; I’ve got you covered. You don’t have to worry about making the wrong choice. 

The Best Pickleball Paddles for Control – Reviewed

Here are our top picks from some of the best pickleball paddles for control out there in no particular order. 

Gamma Poly Core Pickleball Paddle

Best Pickleball Paddle for Beginners


The Gamma Poly Core Pickleball Paddle was introduced back in 2018, the material of the core considerably increases the touch on the ball. The Sensa Poly Core technology allows the control that you want when playing pickleball.

The handle is honeycomb, cushioned, and patterned to give you a better and comfortable grip. Thanks to the elongated middle-area weight, the overall handling is easier and makes hand movements much faster. This paddle weight in the kitchen line is why most players are fond of it. Also, the elongated shape provides more length making for better reach. 

The face material is textured fiberglass. This texture and the graphite face will give you a good “snap” when you play backhand strokes, all the while finding it lightweight. A word of advice for those who get sweaty hands, you can get yourself the Gamma gel cushion handle wrap to prevent slipping 

Things We Like

  • A good weight
  • Great balance
  • Sturdy
  • Good handle grip

Things We Don’t

  • Has a narrow sweet spot

TMPR Oculus XT



The TMPR Oculus XT is one of the most versatile options when it comes to the best pickleball paddles for control. It’s very well-rounded and balances power and control perfectly. Thanks to its larger oval shape, it has a much larger sweet spot than traditional paddles and some of the other paddles on this list.

Its high-quality polymer honeycomb core and fiberglass face gives you unmatched feel and control which will particularly benefit your soft hits without sacrificing power. I recommend this paddle for players of any skill level and will most definitely reduce the amount of uncontrolled edge hits thanks to its large sweet spot.

The Oculus XT has the impressive TMPR Sports’ handle vibration dampening technology, this greatly decreases strain on your arms, elbows, and hands. A pickleball paddle should feel like an extension of your arm and the Oculus XT does exactly that. 

The Oculus XT is available in four different colors and two weights (7.1 – 7.5 oz and 7.6 – 8.0 oz) so there is bound to be a perfect match for you. This paddle is USAPA approved and made in the US.

Things We Like

  • Offers great control without sacrificing power
  • Sturdy construction
  • Available in two different weights 

Things We Don’t

  • Pricey

Rally Graphite Power 5.0 Pickleball Paddle

Best Pickleball Paddles for Control


Another superior quality pickleball paddle worth considering is the Rally Graphite Power 5.0. This pickleball paddle is available in four different colors and is around $100. As an added binus, it comes with a carry case which is great for protecting the exterior of the paddle against scuffs and damage during transportation.

It is a graphite pickleball paddle that offers optimal control but also power. The paddle is USA Pickleball/IFP approved, it’s made in USA, and comes with a 1-year warranty. The Rally Grpahite Power 5.0 has a quad-layer design. It features a polymer honeycomb core that should give you control of your shots for years.

This paddle really is an allrounder. With the Rally Graphite Power 5.0, you should be able to control your shots but also add some spin. Adding spin is great because it can confuse your opponent when you’re returning the ball. The core of the pickleball paddle is also molecularly bonded.

Things We Like

  • You can choose from two grip sizes
  • Large sweet spot
  • Offers great control without sacrificing power

Things We Don’t

  • Handle could be longer

Paddle Features to Keep in Mind

Best Pickleball Paddle for Beginners

Of course, if you’re reading this article you’re most likely looking specifically for control so you may be okay with compromising in some areas. However, I’m still going to share other features to keep in mind as you search for the right pickleball paddle for you. 


If there’s one vital feature that you should pay attention to other than control, it’s weight. Weight determines how the paddle feels when you’re holding it, and it affects how well you swing.

Pickleball paddles can range significantly in this area, from anywhere from six to fourteen ounces. Lightweight paddles are those under 7.3 ounces, while medium ranges from 7.3 ounces to 8.4 ounces. Anything over 8.5 is considered heavy. 

Grip Size

Every pickleball player’s goal is to take accurate, controlled shots, and finding the right grip is paramount to achieving that goal. 

There is some debate about long vs. short grips. You’ll hear that longer grips offer more stability, while shorter grips deliver greater control. But in our humble opinion, the grip should be neither too long nor too short. For most people, a good rule of thumb is that it be roughly the same size as your palm and comfortable to hold. 

Paddle Width

The paddle’s width is another feature to consider, as it influences how well you can hit the sweet spot. In most cases, paddle width should not exceed twenty-four inches. 

Edge Guard

Some pickleball paddles have edge guards or protection for the edge of the paddle against chips and damage. Most people prefer medium-sized edge guards, though others go with large sizes, which increase the hitting surface. The trade-off with large edge guards is that the pickleball paddle’s weight increases, which may not be something you want. 

Wrap Up

Of course, you might be wondering what our top pick would be. While the competition on this list is close–and you can’t go wrong with any of the listed options–we feel that there is one model that stands slightly above the rest. Therefore, our top pick would have to go to the Rally Graphite Power 5.0 Pickleball Paddle.

It has several features that we think are useful for players of all ability levels. For one, we like the core and face material and the price. Then there’s the comfortable weight, wide sweet spot, and control and power, all characteristics that pickleball players look for in a paddle. 

Overall, Rally helps players achieve a fun, dynamic play with this model, and you’ll notice lots of pop when you hit the ball. Lastly, the price makes this pickleball paddle attractive. You can get a well-performing model at a price that won’t break the bank, which many new to the sport will appreciate. 

If you’ve found the information in this article useful and you’re ready to buy the best pickleball paddle for beginners, you can find it here.  

Looking for more? Here are some other articles I put together:

Learn: About Pickleball, Why is it Called Pickleball?, Basic Pickleball Rules, Pickleball Court Dimensions, What is Pickleball?, Pickleball Singles vs. Doubles – Strategies and Rules, Pickleball Strategy – Advanced, and What is the Most Aggressive Shot in Pickleball!

Equipment: What Type of Pickleball Paddle is Best?, Best Pickleball Shoes, Learn More About Pickleball Equipment and Where to Buy It, Best Pickleball Clothes for Men and Women, Best Pickleball Accessories And Must-Have Gear, and Best Pickleball Paddle.

Brianna Goulet

Brianna loves to get outdoors for everything creative and fun. She has a passion for all things Pickleball and is an avid player. It is her goal to share everything you need to know about Pickleball so you can get out there and play with confidence!

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