Best Beginner Pickleball Paddles

Did you know that pickleball is one of the most popular games in America, and since 2020, 40% more players have played on five times as many courts nationally? More and more people are swarming to pickleball courts, eager to experience the fun and friendly rivalry it offers, thanks to its simple rules and entertaining action.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the best pickleball paddles for beginners while giving you helpful tips and suggestions to get your pickleball adventure off to a good start. 

To save you time, we have listed the best beginner pickleball paddles you should consider. At number one, we have the Gamma Needle Pickleball paddle. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly paddle, try Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set. For the best value, get the Onix Graphite Z5 pickleball paddle.

Things to know | Best beginner pickleball paddles | How our picks compare | How we picked

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Best Overall
Best Value
Best Bundle
Best for Small Hands
Budget Pick
Preview
GAMMA Sports Needle Pickleball Paddle
ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle (Graphite Carbon Fiber...
Pickleball Paddles GRM by Gonex , Pickleball Set of 2, USAPA...
Bantam-TS-5 PRO-Lightweight-Standard Grip-Purple
Amazin' Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set of 2- Pickleball...
Name
GAMMA Sports Needle Pickleball Paddle
ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle (Graphite Carbon Fiber…
Pickleball Paddles GRM by Gonex , Pickleball Set of 2, USAPA…
Bantam-TS-5 PRO-Lightweight-Standard Grip-Purple
Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set of 2- Pickleball…
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Best Overall
Preview
GAMMA Sports Needle Pickleball Paddle
Name
GAMMA Sports Needle Pickleball Paddle
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Best Value
Preview
ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle (Graphite Carbon Fiber...
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ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle (Graphite Carbon Fiber…
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Best Bundle
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Pickleball Paddles GRM by Gonex , Pickleball Set of 2, USAPA...
Name
Pickleball Paddles GRM by Gonex , Pickleball Set of 2, USAPA…
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Best for Small Hands
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Bantam-TS-5 PRO-Lightweight-Standard Grip-Purple
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Bantam-TS-5 PRO-Lightweight-Standard Grip-Purple
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Budget Pick
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Amazin' Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set of 2- Pickleball...
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Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set of 2- Pickleball…
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Things To Know

You must be familiar with the fundamentals of pickleball paddles before we discuss the best beginner pickleball paddles.

Although the new pickleball rage has been fantastic for players because there are so many new pickleball gear choices, it also makes it more challenging to choose amongst the various paddle options.

Here are some considerations for new pickleball players when selecting the best entry-level pickleball paddle. First and foremost, you should ensure you can swing and grasp the racket comfortably.

You should also consider the racket’s weight- if it is too heavy, it will be tricky to control, and if it is too light, it won’t have sufficient power. A lighter-weight paddle (around 7.5 to 8 ounces) is often recommended for new players, allowing for easier maneuverability and less strain on the arm.

Many beginner paddles are made of composite materials rather than wood or graphite, which can provide a good balance of power and control without being too expensive.

Some beginner paddles come with shorter handles, which can be helpful for players with smaller hands or those who prefer a closer grip on the paddle.

Lastly, many Pickleball paddle shapes are available, usually classic or elongated. Traditional-shaped paddles are easier to use and ideal for novices since they have a wider hitting surface. Players looking for more control prefer elongated paddles because they have a more extended reach, but a narrower sweet spot. 

Experts recommend choosing a paddle with a more prominent sweet spot, as it will be more forgiving for beginners who may not hit the ball perfectly every time. 

Best Beginner Pickleball Paddles

1. Gamma Sports Needle (Best Overall)

GAMMA Sports Needle Pickleball Paddle
  • ELONGATED MIDDLEWEIGHT: Just 7.6 oz for supreme handling and swift hand motions at the kitchen line
  • SENSA POLY CORE: Our new Sensa Poly Core technology enhances touch for consistent control
  • COMFORT GRIP HANDLE: 4 inch Gamma Honeycomb Cushion Grip handle provides extra cushion and comfort
  • GRAPHITE FACE: The RZR features an industry-leading textured graphite face to enhance touch and control

The Gamma Sports Needle is a top choice because it is excellent for both serious beginners and experienced players and offers an outstanding price-to-performance ratio. 

It is a middleweight paddle that weighs around 7.6 oz, yet despite its negligible weight, it worked well for blocks and dinks and had plenty of force for serves and returns. The Needle captures the ball with excellent control and stroke accuracy from all court regions because of its textured (Graphite) face.

What We Like

We like its unique graphite face designed to enhance the player’s control and touch. However, the graphite face on this Gamma paddle is also intended to have good spin capabilities. 

Graphite faces are best for power shots, and on an elongated paddle, that power is magnified. So you get the most strength and control with this long paddle.

What People LikeWhat People Dislike 
Large sweet spotCostly
Lightweight and delivers excellent power on driving shots

2. Onix Graphite Z5 (Best Value)

ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle (Graphite Carbon Fiber…
  • LEADING PICKLEBALL MANUFACTURER – ONIX is the leading manufacturer of performance pickleball paddles; balls; and accessories that enable players to compete at their highest level.
  • MOST POPULAR PADDLE – The Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle is the most popular paddle coming from ONIX. With its spectacular touch and control; it is the ultimate pickleball racket for every stage of pickleball player from beginner through advanced.
  • TENNIS HANDLE SHAPE – Mimics the handle shape of a tennis racket, making it comfortable to us; as well as providing great spin and control during play to ensure your game is at its best. Each Z5 pickleball paddle is protected with an edge guard.
  • NOMEX HONEYCOMB CORE – The ONIX Z5 paddle is perfect for any player that is striving for amazing ball control of a nomex paddle in a medium-weight graphite paddle. With the racquet being a perfect medium-weight of 7.5-8.2 lbs
  • USAPA/USA PICKLEBALL APPROVED – The Z5 ONIX pickleball paddle meets and is approved by USAPA and USA Pickleball requirements deeming it acceptable for all official tournament play.

The Onix Graphite Z5’s graphite face provides an excellent blend of power and control. Nomex honeycomb is the main component. It is cardboard-like material that has been resin-dipped. Due to its honeycomb design, it is lightweight, durable, and sturdy.

The widebody design of the Z5 offers a sizable sweet spot, enabling steady and precise shots. The Onix Graphite Z5 provides outstanding value for players of all skill levels because of its robust design and affordable price. 

What We Like

It’s reasonably priced, and it wouldn’t be inaccurate to describe it as a complete package.

For competitive and experienced players, the Z5 is a fantastic choice thanks to its well-rounded design. This paddle can help beginners get better at the sport. Regardless of the type of player you are, it is simply ideal. 

What People LikeWhat People Dislike 
Available in various colorsIt is a loud paddle. There is no noise-canceling technology in there, unlike other Nomex paddles
The extra weight provides a power increaseLoss of control
Slippery handle

3. Gonex Pickleball Paddles (Best Bundle)

Pickleball Paddles GRM by Gonex , Pickleball Set of 2, USAPA…
  • We combine cutting-edge technology, high-end materials and professional craftsmanship to create the best-performing racket on the market. Perfect for…
  • The interior of our racket provides redefined strength, optimal performance and durability. Provides more precise ball control and swing strength….
  • The racket is made of very durable graphite face, which has excellent strength and stiffness. The combination structure perfectly conforms power and…
  • The circumference of this racket is 4.3″ (about the medium size) and the length is 4.5″. The racket handles are suitable for most players. The fine…
  • What You Get: 2 rackets, 2 outdoor balls, 2 indoor balls and 1 carry bag. The racket’s proprietary thin edge protector protects the rackets set from…

The Gonex Pickleball Paddles are constructed using graphite, making them lightweight and medium size. Additionally, a zippered bag is provided to store the paddles conveniently.

In general, this paddle is a reliable choice for powerful shots. It shares similarities with other budget paddles, featuring a polymer core that provides a sensation similar to Nomex. This paddle suits players at various skill levels, including beginners and intermediates. 

What We Like

We like the design. It is aesthetically appealing, with a sleek, understated appearance that avoids excessive flashiness.

What People LikeWhat People Dislike 
USAPA approvedUsers have expressed a few concerns regarding the durability and handle length
Customers reported good quality for the price

4. Paddletek Bantam TS-5 Pro (Best For Small Hands)

Bantam-TS-5 PRO-Lightweight-Standard Grip-Purple
  • DURABLE HONEYCOMB CORE: Advanced high-grade polymer composite honeycomb of the Bantam TS-5 Pro pickleball racket guarantees consistent and quiet play. Equipped with a 1/8″ edged shock guard, these pickleball rackets absorb the shock of the ball, resulting in high-performance gameplay every time.
  • EXTRA-LARGE SWEET SPOT: Smart Response Technology of this pickle ball paddle provides controllable power, while an expanded playing surface and extra-large sweet spot give you incredible forgiveness on the court. Power and speed meet finesse in the Bantam TS-5 Pro.
  • ULTRA-CUSHION HIGH-TACK PERFORMANCE GRIP: The Paddletek Bantam TS-5 Pro pickle ball paddles feature an ultra-cushion high-tack performance grip (Standard Grip) and high tack performance grip (Thin Grip) that provides superior control and comfort during long games.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN: A lighter version of our EX-L Pro, the TS-5 Pro pickle ball racket combines power and forgiveness with a wide range of weight options. The TS-5 Pro also features a UV-coated fiberglass textured face for increased spin control and durability.
  • USAPA APPROVED: These pickleball rackets meet all the specifications laid down by the USAPA for pickleball paddle width, length, hitting surface, and weight. It means this pickleball paddle performs up to the highest standards when playing in a competitive environment.

Another paddle that works well for players with small hands is the Paddletek Bantam TS-5 Pro. It has a smaller grip area, allowing a more cozy and stable hold. This makes it the best option for women. The lightweight construction of the paddle improves mobility, and its composite construction offers a nice balance of power and control. The textured surface of the Bantam TS-5 provides exceptional spin and accuracy while playing.

What We Like

The Bantam TS-5 Pro pickleball paddle is made with Smart Response Technology, which provides adjustable power during play.

With this technology, players can alter their power output based on the type of shot they must make.

Players can also choose between increased power, speed, and maneuverability thanks to the paddle’s availability in standard and lightweight versions.

What People LikeWhat People Dislike 
Comes in two grip sizes and four colorsIf changing from another design or brand of a paddle, it could take some time to become used to
Positive customer feedback with excellent ball control, reactivity, and controllabilityIs not the best for experienced/professional players who need even more strength and control

5. HEAD Radical Pro (Best For Tennis Players)

HEAD Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle – Radical Pro Textured…
  • HEAD PERFORMANCE: Born out of revolutionizing how we ski and play tennis, HEAD has constantly pushed athletic equipment into the modern era. Pairing…
  • FIBERGLASS FINISH: The lightweight pickleball paddles feature HEAD’s fiberglass hitting surface that offers excellent feel and ample power for the…
  • TEXTURED: Extreme Spin Texture on the face of the paddle offers better grip on the ball for increased spin and shot placement.
  • DESIGNED FOR PROS: This fiberglass paddle takes advantage of HEAD’s most advanced tech. A polypropylene honeycomb core is paired with a new Ergo Grip…

For many beginners and those switching from tennis and with some experience, The Head Radical Pro is an excellent place to start. 

It resembles a tennis racquet in size and design, so it provides an ergonomic feeling. The Radical Pros’ somewhat elongated design offers a broader sweet spot, accommodating players transitioning from tennis. 

What We Like

The paddle has a good sense of balance; it doesn’t feel top-heavy. The paddle has outstanding power and control because of the composite face material. 

The paddle’s core is made of polypropylene, which makes it extremely lightweight and provides good cushioning. The paddle has a great sweet spot, and the grip is pleasant and simple to handle. 

What People LikeWhat People Dislike 
Solid and sturdy buildIt is heavier than most paddles, weighing about 8.1 oz, which some players might find uncomfortable
Comfortable to use

6. Selkirk Invikta Amped (Best Elongated Paddle)

Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddle | Fiberglass Pickleball…
  • 【 HANDCRAFTED IN THE USA 】 More than the premier Pickleball brand – we are Pickleball. Every Selkirk paddle is made with the finest materials…
  • 【 FIBERGLASS PICKLEBALL PADDLE 】 Pioneering an entirely new technology, never before seen in the Pickleball industry. The AMPED paddle combines a…
  • 【 X5 HONEYCOMB CORE 】 Built for consistent speed using advanced polypropylene honeycomb technology, the AMPED revolutionary Polypropylene X5 Core…
  • 【 USAPA APPROVED 】 All Selkirk Pickleball paddles are Tested and Approved by the United States of America Pickleball Association for Tournament…
  • 【 INVIKTA 】 Bringing an increased sweet spot size compared to traditional elongated paddles. The large sweet spot and elongated surface area…

Selkirk’s Amped paddles, which have a fiberglass surface and provide incredible power, control, and spin, are another excellent paddle. The collection is available in two weights.

Fiberglass technology mainly ensures that the ball adheres to the paddle’s surface for a bit longer, which causes the strokes to spin more.

It is crafted with materials of the highest quality, designed to last a very long time, and performs superbly and consistently. Many elite players across the world use these paddles, which offer quick reflexes and a sizable sweet spot.

What We Like

The Invikta Amped paddle appeals to us due to its design, allowing maximum reach without compromising equilibrium. Each Selkirk paddle also comes with a lifetime warranty.

What People LikeWhat People Dislike 
Even if you select the heavyweight version, the technology’s vibration dampening ensures ample comfort (helps players with their tennis elbows)Although it is a top-of-the-line paddle, many people may find its cost to be excessive

7. Carbon Fiber Composite Set by Niupipo

niupipo Pickleball Paddles, USAP Approved Pickleball Paddles…
  • USAPA Approve for Victory; The niupipo pickleball paddles use the latest technology to improve the quality, so it has…
  • The Perfect Combination of the Graphite Honeycomb Core and Graphite Carbon Fiber Surface; While the graphite honeycomb…
  • Cozy and Controllable; Paddle face dimensions: 10.71″ L x 7.80″ W x 0.43″ H Lightweight pickleball paddle; This product…
  • Every Part of the Pickleball Paddle is Well-designed; The handle of this pickleball paddles has reached the ultimate…
  • Applicable to a wide range of people; Every niupipo USAPA Pro pickleball paddle set of 2 is designed to be an awesome…

The Niupipo carbon fiber composite set is a fantastic sporting equipment innovation. This set gives athletes a huge advantage on the field because of its lightweight yet durable build. Carbon fiber’s strength and lightness allow players to move quickly with optimal control.

What We Like

This set’s design exemplifies excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail. Athletes may create more power and efficiency in their swings and strokes because of the carbon fiber composite’s improved reactivity. The evenly distributed weight ensures a pleasant grip and reduces muscle tension, enabling prolonged use without sacrificing performance.

What People LikeWhat People Dislike 
Durable and fine gripRepairing it can be more challenging and costly compared to other materials
Reasonable price

8. Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set (Best Budget Pick)

Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set of 2- Pickleball…
  • EVERYTHING YOU NEED: Set includes two (2) wood pickleball paddles, four (4) pickleballs, and carry bag
  • DURABLE WOOD: Paddles feature a durable 7-ply wood construction made from maple
  • COMFORTABLE HANDLE: Includes a comfortable cushion grip with a wrist strap
  • GREAT FOR EVERYONE: Great paddle for beginners and the ideal choice for schools, community centers, athletic clubs and YMCAs
  • SOCIAL SPORT: Pickleball is a social sport for all ages, and a great source of exercise

The best collection in terms of value is Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set. A two-paddle set or a four-paddle set with four balls are both options. Despite being made for beginners, these paddles are among the most widely used wooden swing sets.

Even if you have played pickleball before, you might be surprised by how well these paddles function. They have an excellent balance despite their heavier weight and wooden surface. You’ll get an outstanding balance of power and accuracy.

What We Like

We suggest the reasonably priced seven-ply maple wood paddles from Amazin’ Aces for novices. We like this kit since it includes four pickleball balls, a mesh carrying bag, and thick, robust paddles so you can start practicing immediately. 

What People LikeWhat People Dislike 
Robust and has a wrist strapNot authorized by the USAPA
Comfortable gripIs heavy for some users

How Our Picks Compare

It is challenging to accurately compare the pickleball paddles discussed above because each has distinct characteristics and aesthetics. Finding the correct paddle for you will be simpler if we group these paddles based on their materials, shapes, and performances.

For intermediate and experienced players, composite paddles with a superb balance of power and control, such as the Selkirk Invikta and the Paddletek Bantam TS-5 Pro, are excellent. 

The Paddletek Bantam TS-5 Pro is designed for players with small hands and has a little smaller grip size than the Selkirk Invikta, which provides balanced performance with an adjusted sweet spot. Due to their strength and efficiency, these paddles also frequently have a higher price tag. 

As an attractive value choice for beginners, the Gonex Pickleball Paddle and Ball Set come with a graphite paddle. It is a great beginner option with Onix Z5 because that, too, has graphite paddles and is ideal because of its lightweight feel and solid control.

Elongated paddles, like the Selkirk Invikta Amped and the HEAD Radical Pro, have a more extended reach and a narrower sweet spot, making them perfect for players who value finesse and control. 

The Selkirk Invicta Amped has a composite structure to accommodate various tastes and playing styles, while the HEAD Radical Pro has a graphite face.

Looking for something next level, check our top picks for the best pickleball paddles for intermediate players

Conclusion

Choosing a new pickleball paddle may be challenging, especially with the many choices that have flooded the marketplace and the new features and technologies continuously being launched. Below are some factors to consider when buying the best pickleball paddles for beginners. 

How We Picked

We examined dozens of paddles from the best, most reputable companies to identify the top pickleball paddles. We considered materials, toughness, strength, control, and price.

Weight

Look for a lightweight paddle (6-8 ounces), which will be easier to maneuver and control.

Material

Composite or graphite paddles are suitable for beginners as they balance power and control.

Shape and Design

Paddles come in different shapes (oval, teardrop, etc.) and designs (colorful patterns, plain colors). Choose one that appeals to you visually but also fits your playing style. 

And that’s a wrap! We hope this top pickleball paddle guide has been helpful in helping you select your next pickleball paddle.

Grip Size

Choose a grip size that feels comfortable in your hand. Most beginner paddles come in small or medium sizes.

Price

Beginner paddles can typically range from $30-$100. Consider how much you want to invest before making a purchase.

Brand Reputation

Stick with well-known brands that have positive reviews from other players.

And that’s a wrap! We hope this top pickleball paddle guide has been helpful in helping you select your next pickleball paddle.

Last update on 2023-09-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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