Pickleball is a game that’s played with a pickleball paddle. Pickleball paddles are a racquet that is used to hit a ball. You need to have the best pickleball paddle if you want to have the best returning and serving experience. Pickleball paddles range in pricing, and since there are so many of them it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the best pro pickleball paddles.
All of the paddles you see listed below are great for pro pickleball players. So are you ready to level up your pickleball game? This guide will help you find the best pro pickleball paddles for pro players and understand what the best options are for you.
Different Pickleball Paddle Features
The days of finding and using an old wooden ping pong paddle to play a game of pickleball are gone. Today’s pickleball paddles come in sizes, materials, weights, and shapes. It’s important to note that each of these features has some benefits as well as tradeoffs that you should be aware of.
As stated previously, pickleball paddles come in a variety of shapes but there are shapes that are more common than others. The most common pickleball paddle shape is the rounded rectangle. Paddles with these shapes have a length of approximately 14 to 16 inches and a width of about 8 inches.
There is a different pickleball paddle shape that is becoming increasingly more popular, the elongated shape. Elongated pickleball paddles have the regular rounded rectangular shape, however, they’re longer than the standard rounded rectangle. These kinds of paddles are usually 17 inches long and 7 inches wide. The different shapes can offer either bigger or smaller sweet spots and can help provide a player have more finesse or power when playing.
Size is important when it comes to pickleball paddles. This is because it affects how far you will need to stretch for the ball and the amount of jump the ball will have when it bounces off the face of the paddle. Choosing the right size is going to fully depend on your personal playing style and the type of grip you like.
In recent years, pickleball paddles have been being made from different materials. Back when pickleball first started and up until a few years ago a lot of pickleball models were made from wood. Wood is sometimes still used today but it usually has some type of coating to help provide more durability, control, and impact on the ball.
However, players that are more advanced use paddles that are made from better materials like composite, graphite, and carbon fiber. These kinds of paddles also use better materials for the core, like Nomex, aluminum, and polypropylene.
Weight & Balance
Pickleball paddle weights can range significantly, anywhere from 6 ounces to 14 ounces. Pickleball paddles made from newer materials weigh around 6 to 9 ounces. It may seem like a few ounces wouldn’t make a huge difference, but you’d be surprised. When you swing the paddle to hit the ball countless times during a match, you’ll definitely notice the difference those few ounces can make.
Balance is another essential feature of pickleball paddles. You may find that some pickleball paddles are heavier towards the top, while others are heavier towards the bottom, by the grip. Paddles that are balanced offer equal weight distribution in the middle of the paddle.
I want to quickly go over with you why balance is important. When you swing the paddle, the heavier side usually leads the shot. Meaning if the paddle is not balanced where you think it is your shot may not go where you want it to. Don’t worry though, it’s easy to check where a paddle is balanced. To check, lay your paddle horizontally over a few fingers. Wherever you place your fingers on the paddle and the paddle doesn’t tip shows where the center of the paddle is. If your fingers have to be placed at the top for this to happen, then the paddle is top-heavy. If your fingers are more toward the bottom of the paddle, then it’s bottom-heavy.
The Top 4 Best Pro Pickleball Paddles
Below you’ll find the top 4 best pro pickleball paddles!
Best Elongated Paddle: GAMMA Sports Needle Pickleball Paddle
The Gamma Sports Needle Pickleball Paddle is a very good pickleball paddle. It has several features that help it stand out against the competition. One of the features you will notice immediately is the honeycomb cushioned grip. It really feels amazing in your hand, I feel confident saying that it definitely helps players feel as if they are in full control.
This is an elongated pickleball paddle that is more in the middleweight range. The paddle weighs in at just 7.6 ounces. The comfortable grip and weight should be comfortable enough for most pickleball players and will never feel cumbersome to use.
Another great thing is that this paddle is USAPA-approved. It adheres to all of the USAPA standards, making it an incredible choice for anyone who plays in serious competitive matches. The graphite face of this paddle is capable of enhancing both control and touch.
The only real downside of the GAMMA Sports Needle Pickleball Paddle is that the sweet spot is a bit narrow. So if you’re someone who prefers a wider sweet spot on their paddle, then you may wind up preferring another option.
Best Standard Paddle: Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle
The Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a great choice for both beginners transitioning to a pro paddle or pros looking for a new paddle. It’s made from graphite and has a large sweet spot, so it’s easy to use and provides a good amount of control. The paddle is also a good value: it can be purchased for $85 – $90. The price varies by color. Overall, this isn’t bad for the quality of the paddle.
If you’re looking to learn pickleball, this paddle will suit you well! With the wide body of the paddle and well-balanced weight, you’ll get used to playing with it quickly and will be able to hit the ball accurately. The core is a polymer honeycomb and gives an audible “pop” sound when the ball comes in contact with it.
Best for Control and Balance: Pro-Lite Titan Black Diamond Pickleball Paddle
The Pro-Lite Titan Black Diamond is one of the top paddles on the market today. It’s ben used by a variety of pro players, including Brian Ashworth. The Titan Black Diamond was the first paddle by ProLite for their Professional Black Diamond Series. This is for sure an advanced pickleball paddle, worthy of professional play at national championships. 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 serious about pickleball, looking to invest in a quality pro paddle, and can afford to pay the price, the Titan Pro Black Diamond by Prolite is an awesome choice.
Best for Speed: Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro Pickleball Paddle
The Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro Pickleball Paddle is a fantastic choice for pickleball players of all skill levels, including pro players! The face of the paddle is made of graphite, which is great for delivering power with little swing! The graphite is also lightly textured so that the face bites into each return and gives the ball some spin.
The paddle is 15 ⅞ inches long and 8 inches wide. These dimensions mean that it’s a standard wide paddle. You may or may not know but this is the most popular paddle size among pickleball players. This is because wide paddles like this have a sweet spot that is easy to locate and adjust to. This also helps with applying topspin or backspin to the pickleball ball!
This paddle weighs arounf 7.6-8 ounces, which means it’s a medium-weight paddle. However, I would like to mention that paddles can weigh up to 13 ounces, so 8 ounces is pretty light. With this weight, you won’t have to worry about developing swing fatigue early in the game. On the other hand though, it’s not too light that you lose power when swinging.
Paddle Features to Keep in Mind
Here are some 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 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.
There are the Best Pro Pickleball Paddles! 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 options listed–we do feel that there is one model that stands slightly above the rest. Our top pick would have to go to the Onix Z5 Graphite 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 of which are characteristics that pickleball players look for in a paddle.
Overall, Onix 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 pro pickleball paddle, 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.