The Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners

The Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and try pickleball. We’re excited for you because pickleball is great fun, not to mention great exercise. There are a lot of pickleball paddles on the market, and we know choosing your first can feel a bit daunting. Have no worries. We’ve used a lot of different pickleball paddles and come up with a list of 15 that are great and among the best pickleball paddles for beginners. 

Our 6 Best Beginner Pickleball Paddles 

Best Overall

Uteeqe Pickleball Paddles Set of Two

The Uteeqe pickleball paddle set is our top choice of best pickleball paddles for beginners for a couple of reasons. It’s a USA Pickleball-approved medium-size paddle with a very slightly textured paddle face and a contoured, cushioned grip that is easy on your hands. 

The Uteeqe pickleball paddle has a polymer honeycomb core and graphite surface and is considered a lightweight paddle with a paddle weight of only 7.8-ounces. It’s a standard squarish shape with rounded corners and a decent-sized sweet spot for beginners. 

We also like the affordability of the Uteeqe paddle for beginners. For a set of two paddles, the price comes in at just around $60, making it a great quality paddle at a great price. 


  • Great starter paddle for those looking for a midsize and midweight paddle
  • A lightweight paddle is comfortable for new players and prevents tennis elbow
  • Features edge guards to extend the life of the paddle 
  • The decent-sized sweet spot for beginners 
  • Made of durable polymer honeycomb core and a graphite face 
  • The great price point for a quality beginner paddle 


  • The midsize paddle might be too small for a player with larger hands and taller stature
  • Lighter weight paddles make power shots more difficult 
  • Some users complain of the paddle being too light for their preferences  

Best Set for Beginners

Vinsguir Pickleball Set

If you’re looking for a pickleball paddle set that includes a carrying case and balls, we love the Vinsguir paddle set. This set has all the right attributes of quality beginner pickleball paddles. It’s a medium-sized paddle, although the grip size is larger at nearly 5-inches. 

It features a honeycomb polymer core with a graphite face. This paddle is USAPA approved and features a wide paddle face for a larger sweet spot. Plus, we also love how colorful these paddles are! 


  • The list price comes in at under $80 for two paddles, a case, and balls
  • Specially designed for beginner to intermediate play
  • The cushioned grip is sweat resistant
  • 10.63-inch paddle width is great for beginners
  • Paddle guard included 
  • Great customer reviews


  • Users say paddles are prone to peeling
  • The grip might be too large and uncomfortable for smaller hands
  • The included balls aren’t the best quality

Best Budget Set for Beginners

Kanga Beginner Pickleball Bundle 

If you’re looking for a good budget pickleball paddle to start your pickleball journey, we highly recommend this Kanga Beginner Pickleball Bundle. This is a good quality paddle made of wood with a wood core. It’s an upper mid-weight paddle that’s suitable for juvenile and adult beginning players. 

What’s even better about this set is that it comes with four paddles and six balls. This means that you can play with family or friends, and you always have an extra paddle on hand if you misplace yours or something happens to it. To sweeten the deal, the Kanga Beginner Pickleball Bundle costs less than $50 for the complete set. 


  • The wood paddle is perfect for new pickleball players 
  • Mid-size paddle with a sizable sweet spot
  • A flat edge with no edge guards lends to more consistent play
  • Includes four paddles and six balls


  • Wood can be less durable than other materials 
  • Weight might be a bit heavy for some 
  • The lack of edge guards makes the paddle more vulnerable to damage

Best for Serious Beginners

Onix Graphite Z5 Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle

Some people start out in pickleball just knowing that they’re going to become avid players. If this is you or you’re someone who already has experience playing racquet sports, our top pick for you is the Onix Graphite Z5 Carbon Fiber Paddle. This is one of the more expensive paddles on our list, but if you’re in it for the long run, the extra price is worth it. 

This paddle weighs in the range of 7.5-8.2 ounces, which puts this paddle right in the zone of not being too heavy or too light. In other words, it offers flexibility for both control and power shots. 

This is a graphite pickleball paddle that’s designed with Nomex honeycomb core durability. It comes with a one-year limited warranty and your choice of eleven colors. 


  • Durable graphite with Nomex honeycomb core offers good ball control
  • Great beginner pickleball paddles that will build your skill
  • A wide shape is perfect for beginners 
  • Comfortable grip
  • Lots of colors to choose from
  • Edge guard included 


  • Pricier than others at $90+
  • The edge guard is slightly bulky
  • Grips could be of better quality for the price

Best Wood Paddles

Amazing Aces Wooden Pickleball Paddle Set

We love the Amazing Aces Wooden Pickleball Paddle Set because it’s simple, well-made, and has just the right amount of retro flair. These are edgeless paddles (meaning no edge guards) and are made entirely of wood. 

This paddle is on the smaller side, measuring 15.6×7.5 inches. This paddle’s length and width are perfect for new pickleball players who are also new to racquet sports. 

This paddle features a comfortable, firm grip and wrist straps for more stable play. These are edgeless paddles, so they’re also great for players who haven’t yet learned how to effectively play the ball with edge guards in place. 


  • Priced great for beginners – four paddles, balls, and a carrying case for about $50
  • Many say that wood is the best pickleball paddle material for beginners 
  • Lightweight for better control 
  • Also makes a great backup paddle to have on hand 


  • The edgeless design may be more prone to breakage 
  • Not really heavy enough for strong power shots without significant effort
  • It might need to be replaced more frequently than other types of paddles

Best Beginner Paddle for Kids

Helium Pickleball Paddle for Kids

If you’re looking for the perfect paddle for a younger player, these Helium paddles are a great choice. They’re colorful, made with good construction, and offer smaller size and ergonomic grip for smaller hands. 

These paddles are designed for children under the age of twelve, with a paddle weight of six ounces and a grip length of 4-inches. These paddles are made with a composite graphite surface and a polymer core. 


  • A great option for getting kids interested in pickleball
  • Colorful design
  • Lightweight and durable 
  • It can be purchased as a single paddle or as a set of two


  • Older kids might quickly outgrow these paddles or find them too light
  • Only two designs to choose from

Our Runners Up for Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners 

Amazing Aces Graphite Pickleball Paddle Set

Amazing Aces makes it onto our list again, this time for their graphite pickleball paddle. If you were thinking about the Amazing Aces wood paddles but decided to upgrade, this is the next best choice. This midweight paddle has a smooth graphite face and honeycomb polymer core. 

We can’t ignore the countless rave reviews and solid construction of this paddle that is just perfect for beginners. The design is simple, and you don’t have many choices for color, but the price is great for two paddles, balls, and a mesh carrying case. 

Niupipo Graphite Pickleball Set

The Niupipo Graphite Pickleball Paddle is USAPA-approved and will have you feeling like a pro on the court, even if it’s your first time playing. The Niupipo paddle is sanctioned for tournament play, so you know this beginning paddle means serious business. 

This paddle with take you from beginning play into more advanced, strategic play, including putting a little spin on the ball. This paddle has a polypropylene honeycomb core and a graphite carbon fiber face. This is far from being one of the cheapest pickleball paddles on our list, with a price point that hovers in the mid $80 range. 

Niupipo Pickleball Set for Families

We give Niupipo another nod on our list of best pickleball paddles for beginners with this set that’s specifically designed for families or a combination of adult and youth play. This set includes two adult-size paddles and two youth-sized paddles, all with a fiberglass hitting surface for durability and ease of play. 

The adult-size paddles are USAPA approved for size and construction, while the junior paddles offer the same construction, just with smaller dimensions. 

Ticci Pickleball Paddle 

The final paddle on our list is the Ticci Pickleball Paddle, which in our opinion, is a great option for those who are just beginning to play pickleball. This paddle weighs in at 8 ounces and features a honeycomb core, along with a fiberglass hitting surface that offers great control. 

The Ticci paddle offers the perfect blend of strength and control, along with a comfortable ergonomic grip. Plus, there are lots of fun colors to choose from, and these paddles come in a set of two that includes a nice paddle cover

Beginner Paddles Buying Guide

The Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners


You might not think much about the weight of your pickleball paddle, especially after looking at countless descriptions. Most pickleball paddles weigh between 7 and 9.5 ounces. In the grand scheme of things, how much difference can a couple of ounces really make? 

The answer is quite a lot, actually. Beginning pickleball players can’t always pick up on the nuances between paddles of different weights, but the more advanced you become, the more easily you’ll be able to feel the difference. 

Heavier paddles give you more power behind your shots, and they’re great for hitting the ball deep into your opponent’s court. However, for beginning pickleball players, heavier paddles are harder to control and can lead to additional stress on your wrist and elbow. 

A lightweight paddle gives you more control with better swing speed. Lighter paddles are also easier on your wrist and elbows. The downside to a lightweight paddle is that you really need to put some force into your shot if you want to hit the ball deep and hard. Mid-weight paddles fall somewhere in the middle on the spectrum between power and control. 

For reference, lightweight paddles are generally thought of as those that weigh less than 7.5 ounces. A medium-weight paddle is typically in the 7.5-8.5 ounce range, and the category of heavier paddles are those that weigh more than 8.5 ounces. 

It’s great if you have the chance to test out different paddles with various weights and get an idea of how they feel and how your wrist/arm feels as you move. It’s even better if you have a chance to play with paddles of different weights before making a purchasing decision. A pickleball center or athletic center with a pickleball court may be able to help you out with this. Many sporting goods stores also have pickleball paddles on display, so you can at least hold them and get a sense of their weight in your hands.  

Shape – Elongated, Rounded, & Square 

Initially, most pickleball paddles were shaped in this sort of square with roundish edges, but today, pickleball players have a much broader range of paddle shapes to choose from. Instead of just the rather squat paddles, there are now also elongated paddles. There’s also an entire spectrum that ranges from more rounded to more square. 

While you can choose the shape of your pickleball paddle based on your preferences, the paddle itself has to fit within a certain frame of measurements to be considered legal. Overall, the paddle cannot exceed 24 inches when you combine both the width and length measurements. 

For example, most pickleball paddles measure between 15.5-17 inches in length and 7.0-8.25 inches in width. If your pickleball paddle is 17 inches long, it can’t be any wider than 7-inches at the widest point, no matter what shape it is. Also, note that anything you add to the paddle, such as edge guards or grips, is included in the paddle’s measurements. 

Both rounded and square-shaped paddles are similar in how they handle on the court. The main thing you want to consider with these types of paddles is the size of the actual paddle, not considering the handle and grip. Wide and oversized paddles have the advantage of offering a larger sweet spot, although they may be more cumbersome for beginning pickleball players to comfortably use. If you feel comfortable with a wide or oversized paddle, these can be great for helping you build skill and confidence in your game. 

One type of paddle that beginners really should stay away from is elongated paddles. While it’s true they look really cool, they have a very narrow sweet spot, which isn’t ideal for new players. Elongated style paddles are really best for more advanced players who want to include more finessed shots in their strategic gameplay. 

Sweet Spot

No matter what type of sport you’re planning, if there’s a racquet involved, there’s also a sweet spot. The sweet spot is an area on the paddle face, generally found in the center of the paddle, that offers the perfect combination of control, power, and accuracy when you hit the ball. 

The center of the paddle is considered the sweet spot because, structurally, it’s the most solid and stable part of the paddle. The best paddles for beginners should have an average to the above-average-sized sweet spot. You’re more likely to find this with wider and some oversized pickleball paddles. 


Now that we’ve covered the shape, size, and sweet spot of the paddle face surface, let’s talk about the grip. The importance of the paddle’s grip is often underestimated by beginning pickleball players. 

The grip is important because it affects how the paddle fits in your hand and how much control you have over the paddle during movement. A grip that is too small or too large isn’t going to fit properly in your hand, and a poor quality grip is going to become slippery, making it more difficult to hit those precise shots. 

Imagine going for a long run in shoes that are either too big or too small. Now imagine that those shoes have poor traction. The effect that these shoes would have on your ability, stability, and comfort is akin to the effect of a grip on a pickleball paddle. 

Standard grip sizes range from 4-inches to 4.75 inches. Generally speaking, the larger your hand, the larger your grip. The easiest way to determine your best grip size, especially if you’re ordering a paddle online and don’t have the chance to hold it in your hand, is to measure your hand with a standard ruler. 

Place the bottom edge of the ruler against the palm of your hand so that it aligns with the bottom lateral crease of your palm. For most people, this is just a bit past the center point of your palm, almost aligned with the thumb joint. Now, follow the ruler up to the top of your ring finger. The length should correspond with your ideal grip size. 

If you don’t have a ruler handy, the general rule of thumb is that players who are taller than 5ft9in will feel more comfortable with a grip that measures at least 4.5-inches. Players who are under 5ft2in, including younger players, will do best with the shortest grip length. Of course, there’s a sizable spectrum between these two ends, but this gives you a general idea. 

If you want a bit of variety in grip size but don’t want to purchase multiple paddles, you can purchase grip add-ons, which are essentially layers that you can apply over the grip to achieve the ideal grip size for your hand. 

That said, some people prefer to play with a grip that is just slightly too small or too big. Notice the word “slightly” there. A grip that is just a tad too small can offer more control, while a large grip can offer more power. However, if you move beyond being slightly too big or too small, you not only run the risk of less effective gameplay but you also increase the risk of injury and fatigue to your hand, wrist, and elbow. 


At the center of your pickleball paddle is its core. There are four types of core materials used in pickleball paddles, with each having its own attributes. The four types of cores are wood, aluminum, polymer, and Nomex. 

Wood pickleball paddle cores are ones that are often preferred by beginning pickleball players based on their affordability and familiarity. A wooden pickleball paddle core is solid, stable, and reliable, all at a lower price point. The disadvantage to wood cores is that they’re also on the heavier side and don’t offer quite as much control. 

The aluminum core is one of the most popular across all skill levels. Aluminum paddles are lighter than wood and offer more precise control. The core is made from an aluminum honeycomb, which makes it lighter and stronger than solid aluminum. 

Polymer cores are popular among avid pickleball players who play in community matches, but maybe not at a tournament level. Polymer offers a great marriage of being lightweight and strong while offering both precise control and power. 

Finally is the Nomex core. Nomex paddles have a honeycomb core that is coated with DuPont Nomex paper and a resin coat that’s also heat resistant. Nomex makes for a durable paddle, and although it isn’t currently as popular as the other types of pickleball paddle cores, we’re starting to see more of it in new paddles. You can recognize a Nomex core by the loud pop it makes when you strike the ball. 


Sure, you want a paddle that looks great, but there’s more to the surface than just aesthetics. When looking for your very first paddle, you’ll want to choose between four different types of surface materials. 

A wood surface is what was used with the very first pickleball paddles, and even with all the advancements in paddle technology, it’s still in use today. Wood makes a good surface for beginners because it’s affordable and reliable. The wooden paddles by Amazing Aces are our favorite wood surface paddles, especially at such a great price point. 

Graphite paddles are insanely popular. They’re lightweight and offer great control. Graphite paddles are known for being stiff, which makes them a good choice for beginning players who need a durable paddle with stability and control. Graphite is generally a bit costlier than wood, so some players choose graphite as their next step up after becoming accustomed to the game with a wood paddle. 

Composite paddles have a surface made from a combination of materials, mostly graphite and fiberglass. There are a lot of composite paddles on the market, and many of them are of great quality and work well for a range of skill levels. 

Polycarbonate paddles are covered in polycarbonate resin. The main advantage of polycarbonate paddles is that they typically have a long life, outlasting many paddles with other types of surfaces. If you’re fairly certain of the type and size of paddle you want and don’t want to have to worry about replacing your paddle just a little way down the road, a polycarbonate surface is a great choice. 

Edge Guard 

An edge guard is a protective border that wraps around the edge of the paddle. You can purchase paddles with or without an edge guard, and you can also purchase edge guard tape to apply yourself. 

The purpose of the edge guard is to extend the life of your paddle by preventing cracks, chips, and nicks. The downside of a paddle with an edge guard is that it can create enough of a disruption on the paddle surface that precise shots become slightly more difficult, especially for new players. 

Without the edge guard, you have a smooth, flat playing surface. With an edge guard, the ball can hit the guard, or the little divet where the guard is attached, which can throw off your shot. 

Edge guards are great for protecting your investment in your pickleball paddle, but new players who want edge guards might want to compensate by choosing a wider paddle with a larger sweet spot. 


The last thing you need to consider when choosing your first paddle is cost. Many beginners choose to aim at the lower end of the price scale because they don’t know yet how well they’ll like the game, how often they’ll play, or which type and size of paddle they prefer. This is all very reasonable, which is why we considered price when choosing the best pickleball paddles for our list. 

On average, you’re going to pay anywhere from about $40 to upwards of $120 for a pickleball paddle. We know this is a huge range of price, but it gives you an idea of what to expect. Of course, there are outliers on either end of this price range. 

Keep in mind that while you might want to spend a fortune on your first paddle, you don’t want the absolute cheapest paddles either. Cheap paddles are often made of inferior construction and materials, which can take a lot of the fun out of the game and deter you from playing more. You also might not want to go too high in price, even if you have the budget for it, because many of the higher-priced paddles are designed for avid or pro-level players who are experienced in handling those types of paddles. 

Bottom Line 

No matter if you’re a beginner or pro, the right paddle helps you play a better game. We recommend first reading through our beginner pickleball paddle buying guide to get a good idea of what features matter, and then go back and take another look at our list (we know, we like to skim the list first, too). There’s a perfect pickleball paddle for everyone, and we wish you all the luck in finding yours!

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