From entry-level players to top-level professionals, most are looking to add more power to their pickleball paddle. As pickleball players, we are always looking for an edge over the competition, and for many, power pickleball paddles can help sharpen that edge.
That’s where I come in. In today’s guide, I’ve put together the best paddles for intermediate players. 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 Paddles for Intermediate Players – Reviewed
Here are the best paddles for intermediate players that you can purchase today.
Selkirk SLK Evo Hybrid Max Pickleball Paddle
The Selkirk SLK Evo Hybrid Max Pickleball Paddle combines control and power on the court. This makes it a popular choice for both intermediate and advanced pickleball players. In addition, the Evo Hybrid Max pickleball paddle offers unmatched performance for its value. This is because of its comfortable grip, low price point, and large sweet spot.
This is one of Selkirks’ newer paddles, and again it’s an excellent choice for intermediate players, especially those who want to take their game to the next level. The face is made from C6-Flex Power Fibreglass which helps provide the control and power you need. The cushioned grip on the SLK is extremely comfortable, non-slip, and provides a stable and secure grip.
The core is made from polymer and is called the Rev-Core Power Polymer Core. It provides a powerful interior and a massive sweet spot so the user can have maximum performance. The weight range for this paddle is 7.8 – 8.2 ounces. The grip circumference is 4.25 inches. If you are looking for an overall well-rounded paddle that can help you improve and even win more games, then I can’t recommend the Selkirk SLK Evo Hybrid Max Pickleball Paddle enough.
Features We Love:
- Every feature is strong so you can have stability all throughout a game
- An extremely comfortable grip that’s designed to absorb impact and sweat
- The paddle is very forgiving, due to its massive sweet spot
Pro Kennex Ovation Flight Pickleball Paddle
Pro Kennex’s Ovation Flight pickleball paddle is their lightest paddle yet, featuring a first-ever gripping face with diamond frost and the revolutionary Air-o-Guard System. It was engineered for easy maneuverability with wind-resistant edgeless construction and a thin core. The best way I can describe how this paddle feels in your hand is that it feels like lightning in your hand. Built for reflex enhancement and quickness, the paddle boasts unparalleled tip speed. It also has a kinetic shock-absorbing system. Touch, feel, and kitchen play are all enhanced bringing the best of both worlds to this paddle.
Like all Pro Kennex pickleball paddles, the Flights are engineered with their renowned, arm-saving Kinetic System, giving players maximum arm protection and maximum performance. The Flight Series is available in two head shapes: Pro Flight Square and Ovation Flight Oval. This is exciting because those who prefer an oval-shaped paddle over a square-shaped one have an option.
The flight series pickleball paddles feature Pro Kennex’s new proprietary cloud cell core system. This system dramatically reduces the weight of the paddle by increasing the space and size between each cell within the honeycomb core.
HEAD Gravity Graphite Pickleball Paddle
The HEAD Gravity Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a great paddle for players of all experience levels but mostly for intermediate players seeking more power to dominate during games. The HEAD Gravity offers great power combined with a feeling of soft impact.
HEAD has decades of experience and some of the best modern technology. They truly offer some of the best pickleball paddles available. HEAD’s lightweight carbon pickleball paddles feature a hitting surface that’s made from graphite, it provides a superior feel and an enhanced amount of control for the more competitive players.
The HEAD Gravity has a hybrid hitting surface that provides a superior blend of comfort, control, and power. Just to add to it it also has handle stabilizer technology so you don’t have to worry about impacts on your arm, wrist, or shoulder when hitting those hard shots.
Features We Love:
- The paddle is a lightweight carbon paddle
- It’s powerful but that doesn’t compromise its comfort
- Made with handle stabilizer technology
Pro-Lite Titan Black Diamond Pickleball Paddle
The Pro-Lite Titan Black Diamond is one of the top paddles on the market today. The price is definitely up there on this paddle but if you can afford it, anyone who plays with this paddle will appreciate the quality.
The paddle’s face is made from 100% carbon fiber, which gives it great shock absorption. The texture on the face is also enough to help you put extra spin on the ball. The Titan Pro has a weight that ranges from 7.5 – 8.3 ounces. To put that into perspective for you, the average paddle weighs around 8 oz.
This pickleball paddle is made of the same carbon fiber material that NASCAR uses to manufacture car bodies. The edge guard is low profile but significant enough to protect the edge of the paddle while still maintaining a very minimal impact on the paddle face. This reduces the chances of mis-hits or unintended redirection of the ball.
If you’re getting serious about pickleball, looking to invest in a quality paddle, and can afford to pay the price, the Titan Pro Black Diamond by Prolite is an awesome choice.
Paddle Features to Keep in Mind
Of course, if you’re reading this article you’re most likely looking specifically for the best paddles for intermediate players 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.
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
When looking for the the best paddles for intermediate players, you may have a few questions. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or have some pickleball experience. You should learn as much as you can about paddles.
Here are some common paddle questions.
How Long Do Paddles Last?
The lifespan of a paddle depends on the materials and construction. For example, if the paddle’s interior is thin and the exterior is too smooth, your paddle may not be suitable for long-term use. However, it can be good to get you started.
You should also consider that the area between the paddle and the handle is crucial. That can be a weak spot on a lot of paddles, and that can cause your paddle to break even when the surface is still usable.
If possible, feel the paddle and inspect the edges and the handle. Then, you can determine if it’s durable enough to last through many games.
What Paddles Give You More Power?
Heavier paddles have the most power. While lightweight paddles can be easier to hold and maneuver, they won’t be as strong.
You can also look for super-heavy-weight paddles for even more power. But if you just need an average amount of that, you can get a medium-weight paddle.
What Paddles Offer More Control?
While a larger paddle is more powerful, you may sacrifice control. Smaller and lighter paddles are better for players who need to respond quickly in a game.
You should look for a lightweight or medium-weight paddle for more control. A smaller head can help reduce the overall weight so that you can have more control over your shots.
Can a Good Paddle Help a Beginner?
Many things can help beginner pickleball players, and the right gear is essential. You don’t need the most expensive paddle, but you do need a good-quality one that won’t break the first time you use it.
As a beginner, you may want to start with a lighter paddle. While it won’t be as powerful, it won’t strain your wrist. Once you start playing more, you can decide if you want a heavier, more powerful paddle.
How Should You Hold Your Paddle?
While playing, try to keep your paddle near your chest. That will help improve your reaction time to make more shots early on.
You should also consider stretching before you play. Many pickleball injuries are preventable by warming up. Start by walking or jogging around the court, then stretch out your wrists and arms to help avoid fatigue.
Make sure your paddle feels comfortable and secure in your hand. If the handle feels too short, you may not have the best pickleball paddle for you. On the other hand, it shouldn’t feel like you have to strain to hold the paddle securely.
Are Expensive Paddles Better?
While many expensive paddles are excellent quality, they aren’t always the best. Therefore, you should consider your current paddleball experience and your needs.
Sometimes, paddles are more expensive because they’re thicker and heavier. So if you want something lighter, you may prefer a more affordable option.
Now that you know about the best paddles for intermediate players, hopefully, any questions you had were answered, and you’re now closer to figuring out what kind of pickleball paddle is right for you.
When it comes down to it, whether it’s graphite, composite, or wood, is not the most critical factor in picking out your paddle as most believe. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, and there are other factors that you also need to take into consideration when choosing the best paddle for spin.
The bottom line? Buy whatever paddle that feels right in your hands. I understand if you already have a specific model or brand in mind; but in the end, it should all comes down to a paddle that feels right for you and fits your skill level.
It’s crucial for you to be comfortable with your paddle; this is because the game is going to be much more enjoyable this way. Pickleball is quickly becoming the most popular sport in the country, and it’s a fun activity to pass the time or even grow to play professionally! Take your time and ask questions when picking out your paddle to be sure you get it right!
Looking for more? Here are some other articles I put together:
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- Composite vs. Graphite Pickleball Paddles
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