The Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players

The Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players

Different skill levels may require different paddles to use your new skills and continue to learn more. When you’ve outgrown your beginner paddle, that means your game is improving! Consider the best pickleball paddles for intermediate players currently on the market to upgrade your confidence and playing strategy on the pickleball court!

9 Perfect Paddles For Intermediate Pickleball Players

Best Overall

PaddleTek Tempest Wave Pro

The PaddleTek Temptest Wave Pro is a paddle that can be used by all skill levels, although most beginners are nervous when they see the price tag. If you’ve advanced to an intermediate skill level and want to keep improving, this paddle is the one for you!

PaddleTek puts it all in this paddle with smart response technology, a large sweet spot, and well-controlled power behind every shot. A textured graphite surface makes getting a good spin on the ball easy, while a perfectly balanced weight makes it easier to maneuver the ball. 

This paddle may not be cheap, but it is one of the best pickleball paddles your money can buy.

Best Budget Paddle

Gamma Fusion 2.0

The Gamma Fusion 2.0 is an incredible budget option for intermediate players. It’s comfortable enough to use as a beginner but advanced enough to keep up with intermediate-level gameplay. This paddle features a large 8” face, so hitting the sweet spot is a breeze. 

A honeycomb grip, durable edge guard, and honeycomb core prove this paddle isn’t trading quality for the price. You’ll get all those features plus a textured fiberglass face, all for less than $60!

Best Paddle for Power

Gearbox GX6

Pickleball paddles that provide good power need to be well constructed with quality materials that can handle a hard hit. A heavier paddle makes it easier to get more power in every shot. The Gearbox GX6 Paddle is available in 4 different weights, so you can choose how much power you prefer.  

A large surface area of carbon fiber helps prevent mishits and handle hours of hard playing. A polymer core absorbs vibration, so you can still control the ball. The power model of this paddle features a thinner face that transfers more power to the ball in every shot. The carbon fiber face is also textured for great ball control and spin.

Carbon fiber paddles are some of the most popular among the pros, and you’ll understand why after holding this paddle for the first time!

Best Paddle for Spin

Vaught Sports Pickleball Paddle

Spin is a powerful tool on the pickleball court. Controlling how the ball spins can make the difference between winning and losing when you have a tough opponent. A paddle with a textured surface is key to a good ball spin. Texture allows the paddle to grip the ball, so you can control which direction it spins when you hit it back. 

The best pickleball paddle for spin for intermediate players is the Vaught Sports Pickleball Paddle. This paddle has a high grit carbon fiber face, perfect for spinning the ball. The midweight design makes it easy to maintain ball control without compromising power. 

Players who review this paddle cite using more arm motion than wrist motion, similar to a tennis paddle.

Best Lightweight Paddle

ProKennex Pro Flight

Pickleball paddles come in a range of different weights. Heavier paddles tend to be preferred by former tennis players, while a lighter paddle may be preferred by players prone to muscle fatigue or arthritis. Of course, you can have a weight preference just because you like how it feels in your hand too!

The Pro Kennex Pro Flight Pickleball Paddle is a great lightweight option suitable for intermediate players up to pro players. The carbon and diamond frost face connects with the ball effortlessly. A cushioned grip and cloud cell poly core will keep you comfortable through long tournament play. 

The pickleball paddle weight is just 7.3 – 7.85 OZ.

Best Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle

Selkirk Amped

Selkirk is known for being a high-quality brand for pickleball paddles, so it’s no surprise they have the best fiberglass paddle for intermediate players. The Selkirk Amped paddle uses a fiberglass face and an extra thick polypropylene core to create one of the best pickleball paddles money can buy.

The textured fiberglass paddle face helps achieve a good ball spin and control, while the extra thick core creates an ultra-smooth playing experience. No more wrist pain from feeling the vibrations of the ball! Choose your paddle weight for a personalized playing experience. You can choose a medium-weight paddle or a lightweight one. 

A comfortable grip size makes this a quality paddle with modern paddle technology that’s revolutionizing the pickleball paddle market!

Best Graphite Paddle

Gamma Needle

Gamma Needle

Graphite pickleball paddles are popular because of their extreme durability and comfortable paddle weight. Graphite paddles offer an ultra-hard paddle face that hits the ball off with ease. 

There are a lot of graphite paddles to choose from, but the Gamma Needle graphite pickleball paddle is at the top of the list.

An elongated handle makes reaching the ball on the court easier, while the huge sweet spot creates a good hit every time. An edge guard makes this paddle durable enough to last for all your upcoming practices, matches, and tournaments. Gamma also implemented a polymer core to absorb vibration and a universal grip size that’s comfortable for all players.

Best Composite Paddle

Onix Evoke Premier Paddle

The Onix Evoke Premier Paddle was co-developed by pickleball pros Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova. The minimal coating on the composite face of this pickleball paddle provides the traction you need without interrupting the flow of your shots. 

Composite paddles have gained popularity in recent years as more players realize the versatility and durability that a composite pickleball paddle offers. A precision-cut polypropylene core takes this paddle a step above other composite pickleball paddles.

The core works to absorb vibration, while the rock-hard composite surface adds power with every shot. This versatile paddle performs well at the baseline and in the kitchen. 

Best Pickleball Paddle Set

Selkirk Graphite & Fiberglass

Pickleball paddle sets are a good choice if you have a partner you usually practice with. Buying a set makes it easy to have two paddles with comparable skills. Plus, you’ll look uniform on the court. Pickleball paddle sets can be found all over, but finding a good set is a different story.

The best pickleball paddle set for intermediate players is the Selkirk paddles with graphite and fiberglass faces. The multilayer face features both graphite and fiberglass. A 3-layer honeycomb core and ultra-light design will prevent tennis elbow.

This set comes with two paddles, a carrying case, and four pickleball balls. You get all the Selkirk excellence in a reasonably priced 2-paddle set!

Buying Guide

The Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players

Pickleball Paddle Material

Pickleball paddle manufacturers have quite a few materials to choose from when designing a pickleball paddle. Composite, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and graphite are the most popular materials.

No material is undoubtedly better than the rest. Instead, they all have their pros and cons. For instance, carbon fiber is extremely durable, but it’s also very expensive. The best pickleball paddle for you is one with a material that feels comfortable, works with your playing style, and fits your budget. 

The quickest way to get familiar with the different paddle materials is to visit a sporting store and hold them yourself!

Paddle Shape

Pickleball paddles are commonly found in either the traditional shape, an oversized shape, or an elongated shape. Traditional paddle shapes are the middle ground and a good place to start. 

Oversized paddles have a shape that features a wider face and a shorter handle. This makes for a larger sweet spot but less reach.

Finally, elongated paddles are slightly more narrow with a longer handle. This offers better reach on the court, but you need more precision to hit the sweet spot.

Key Features

An intermediate player needs a paddle that offers some key features for a more comfortable and successful court experience. Some of the key features your paddle should have include:

  • Polypropylene or polymer core
  • Cushioned grip
  • Edge Guard
  • Comfortable grip size


Is it better to have a lighter or heavier pickleball paddle?

It depends on how you like to play. Pickleball paddles range from light to heavy weight.

Heavier paddles offer more power with less precise control, while light paddles are easier to control but harder to get power behind your shots. One choice isn’t universally better than the other.

Do intermediate players needs to upgrade from their beginner paddle?

Not necessarily. If you invested in a good paddle as a beginner, you might be fine using that same paddle.

It’s time to upgrade if your paddle is worn out or if you feel like your paddle isn’t helping you reach your max potential on the court. As an intermediate player, you’ll know more about your playing style and paddle preferences that might not align with your beginner paddle.

Do you need an expensive paddle to be successful?

Not necessarily. If you invested in a good paddle as a beginner, you might be fine using that same paddle.

It’s time to upgrade if your paddle is worn out or if you feel like your paddle isn’t helping you reach your max potential on the court. As an intermediate player, you’ll know more about your playing style and paddle preferences that might not align with your beginner paddle.

Are wooden pickleball paddles still used?

Wooden paddles used to be the only type of paddle, but today it’s rare to see a wooden paddle in action. Wooden paddles are loud and don’t offer the same technology you can find in the top pickleball paddles for sale in 2022.

Check Out the Best Paddles for Your Game and More

With so many paddles and different features, choosing the ideal paddle is something that requires some research. Any of the options on our list would be a great paddle for intermediate players, but only you can choose the right pickleball paddle for your game. Check back with us often for more recommendations and happenings in the world of pickleball. 

2 thoughts on “The Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players”

  1. Interested in purchasing a 2 paddle set for me and my girlfriend. We are in our sixties but athletic but new to the game. Do you have any recommendations that might best accommodate us? Preferred price range $50-100 Will likely be playing mostly outdoors

    1. Hi Ken,
      It’s great that the two of you are interested in playing pickleball! The Gamma Fusion 2.0 mentioned in this article is a great paddle for beginners and intermediates, and it fits in your price range. It offers a larger sweet spot, which, personally, I found helpful when learning to play. If you’re already familiar with racquet sports, the Gamma Needle has an elongated shape that’s more similar to a tennis racquet, which can be good for players who are already accustomed to that shape. This paddle is a little out of the price range you mentioned but it is a good option if you can snag it on sale.
      Best of luck in your pickleball adventures!

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