Pickleball paddles are in higher demand than ever, with new pickleball players trying the sport daily. This sport is growing so rapidly that there are more than 60 new places to play pickleball opening each month! This means there are also lots of great paddles on the market. With so many paddles to choose from, how do you find the best pickleball paddles? Pickleball paddle ratings are one of the most reliable sources for pickleball paddle info.
Ratings can be found in the reviews section of a paddle on Amazon, Pickleball Central, and other online retailers. We’ve done the research for you to find top-rated pickleball paddles in every category!
- Top Rated Pickleball Paddles
- Buying Guide to Find a Top-Rated Pickleball Paddle
- Bottom Line
Top Rated Pickleball Paddles
Best Pickleball Paddle in 2022 – Selkirk Evo Hybrid Paddle
The Selkirk Evo Hybrid Paddle is a versatile paddle at a reasonable price point with some of the top ratings in 2022! This fiberglass pickleball paddle features a flex power fiberglass face that spreads the impact of the ball on contact, creating a larger sweet spot on a classic-sized surface area.
The polymer core offers an excellent balance of power and control. This is one of the most comfortable mid-weight paddles on the market with an ultra-comfort grip and an ideal weight range of 7.6 to 8.0 ounces that won’t irritate tennis elbow.
- C6 Flex Power Fiberglass Face
- Polymer Rev Core
- Ultra Comfort Grip
- Edge Guard
- USAPA Approved
Best Medium Weight Paddle – Niupipo Fiberglass Paddle
The Nuipipo Fiberglass Paddle is marketed as a light paddle, but it’s midweight according to traditional standards. This 8.1-ounce paddle offers incredible power without losing speed or control. The fiberglass face provides a hard, durable hitting surface while the honeycomb core absorbs the shock of the ball for more comfortable playing.
An ultra cushion grip makes it easy to keep a good grip on your paddle during even long stretches of tournament play. This is a USAPA-approved paddle with more than 2,000 reviews on amazon for a total paddle rating of 4.5 stars!
- Reliable Fiberglass Face
- Polypropylene Honeycomb Core
- Ultra Comfort Grip
- Pickleball Paddle Cover Included
- USAPA Approved
Best Beginner Pickleball Paddle – Gamma Fusion 2.0
The Gamma 2.0 Paddle is a wide-body pickleball paddle with a textured fiberglass face. The wide body design creates a massive sweet spot, while durable edge guards allow the sweet spot to reach closer to the edge of the paddle face.
A composite core feels incredible, with an ideal balance for good control, ball spin, and powerful shots. The Gamma honeycomb grip is cushioned with a moisture-wicking material. This is a good pickleball paddle for beginners because you can experience superior ball control alongside a large sweet spot, setting you up for success!
The textured paddle face material makes it easy to add spin to the ball and achieve more complicated shots as your skills improve. This pickleball racket will give you the confidence to take your beginner skills to an intermediate level.
- Textured fiberglass face
- Composite core
- Gamma Honeycomb Grip
- Meets USAPA Requirments
Best Graphite Pickleball Paddle – Onix Graphite Z5
The Onix Graphite Z5 is a wide-body paddle that stands apart from the rest because it comes in 3 different weights! The lightest paddle is just 7.5 ounces, while the heaviest paddle is 8.5 ounces.
A graphite paddle face is paired with a polypropylene honeycomb core for a paddle that compliments many different playing styles. Graphite paddles are widely loved because the ultra-hard-hitting surface makes it easy to get a good “pop” off the ball.
The graphite z5 wide body design creates a large sweet spot. Most importantly, the Atomic13 edge works to disperse shock and increase power while maintaining great ball control. This could easily be ranked as one of the best pickleball paddles in more than one category!
- Composite Face
- Precision cut Polypropylene core
- Atomic13 Edge to disperse shock and increase power
- Available in 3 weights
- USAPA Approved for tournament play
Best Elongated Paddle – Baddle Ballista
The Baddle Ballista is an elongated paddle with a graphite face. Graphite pickleball paddles are not only powerful, but they also offer excellent ball control too! The SpinGrit surface coating is USAPA approved for tournament play and gives a serious edge to your ball spin.
The elongated shape of this paddle creates a longer reach on the pickleball court, which means fewer missed shots. Elongated paddles are some of the best pickleball paddles you can try if you’re looking to challenge yourself and learn new skills. A thin edge guard will protect your paddle while you learn for many matches to come!
- Graphite paddle face
- Polymer honeycomb core
- Paddle Length – 16.5 inches
- SpinGrit surface coating
- USAPA Approved
Best Composite Paddle
The Head Radical Elite is one of the more affordable composite pickleball paddles sold. The price isn’t the only great thing about this paddle, though! Composite paddles provide maximized power with a softer feel than other materials. The perfectly engineered material provides incredible comfort on impact too.
The optimized tubular core makes for comfortable sound levels and minimal vibration. An ergo grip will fit effortlessly in the palm of your hand for an enhanced feeling that compliments all levels of play. This composite paddle from Head weighs 8.1 ounces.
- Composite face
- Optimized tubular core
- Ergo grip
- Paddle weight – 8.1 ounces
Buying Guide to Find a Top-Rated Pickleball Paddle
Choosing the best pickleball paddle for you depends on your individual playing style and preferences on the court. Looking at the top-rated pickleball paddles on the market is a good start, but consider each of these categories to narrow down the best pickleball paddles for you!
Paddles can come in a few shapes. The most common are the classic paddle, wide body, and elongated.
Classic paddles are square with rounded edges. These paddles are the most versatile and remain the most popular. If you’re new to pickleball or require a lot of versatility on the court, a classic paddle shape is a great place to start.
Wide-body paddles are slightly shorter with a wider paddle face. This added width helps create a larger sweet spot, making it easier to achieve good shots every time. The downside of a wide-body paddle is that you lose a bit of reach since the paddle is shorter. It comes down to personal preference if you want a longer reach or a larger sweet spot.
Elongated pickleball paddles are more narrow than classic paddles with a longer paddle face. This creates a longer reach. A lot of players prefer elongated paddles because they can reach balls they would miss with another paddle. Elongated paddles have a similar sweet spot as a classic paddle but are not as large as a wide body.
Paddles come in a variety of weights. A lightweight paddle is another under 7.3 ounces, while a midweight paddle is between 7.3 – 8.4 ounces. Anything 8.4 ounces or above is considered a heavy pickleball paddle.
Paddle weight preferences may change as your skills develop.
The light pickleball paddle provides excellent control and quick response times at the net. You’ll notice less power with a lighter paddle, though. If you want to make power shots, all the power has to come from yourself since the paddle doesn’t have much weight to offer.
Midweight paddles are extremely versatile. They act as the happy medium between lighter paddles and heavy paddles. You maintain a good level of speed and control while still having a bit of power. Midweight paddles are the most popular type among recreational players and pros.
Heavy paddles are extremely powerful but harder to control. A heavy paddle will feel similar to a tennis racket in your hand. While some people love this, others can’t stand it. Heavy paddles will lead to muscle fatigue quicker than light or midweight paddles. Once you get the hang of controlling a heavy paddle, it’s a great tool for power shots across the court!
Pickleball paddles can be made with a variety of materials on the paddle face. Carbon fiber, graphite, fiberglass, and composite are among the most popular materials.
The most noticeable difference while shopping is that some materials create heavier paddles than others, and some come with higher price tags. You’ll quickly notice that paddles in your desired price or weight range probably have the material type.
If you’re a new player, graphite or composite is a good choice for a balance of power and ball control. More experienced players may prefer carbon fiber which is the most advanced and most expensive material used in pickleball paddles.
The pickleball paddle core plays an important part in the stability, durability, and comfort of your pickleball paddle. The most common types of cores are polycarbonate or polymer honeycomb cores.
The honeycomb shape is what you want to look for. Some brands experiment with other core materials like Nomex and aluminum, but most maintain a honeycomb structure. This shape adds stability and strength to the core that will extend the life of your paddle.
The paddle core is responsible for absorbing the vibration of the ball on impact to keep your playing arm comfortable and minimize sound. A good paddle with a bad core doesn’t exist – that’s just a bad paddle!
The pickleball paddle grip is where you hold your paddle. The most comfortable grip type is a cushioned grip with a moisture-wicking material. A grip with these features will be comfortable for long periods and prevent slipping as your sweat.
Another aspect of the paddle grip to consider is grip circumference. Some paddles only come in one grip circumference, while others have a variety of grip sizes available. Find your ideal grip circumference by holding different paddles at a store near you and identify what feels the most natural in your hand. From there, you can narrow your online search for paddles with your preferred grip circumference.
If you plan to use your paddle during sanctioned tournament play, it must have USAPA approval. Brands should advertise if the paddle has been approved for USAPA play.
Finding a USAPA-approved paddle is not important if you only plan to play casually for fun. USAPA approval just means a paddle has met the requirements for competitive play – that doesn’t mean that unapproved paddles are bad!
Most top-rated pickleball paddles in every category have reviews that note how quiet the paddle is. Pickleball paddles used to be very loud with a “pop” sound every time the ball hits the paddle. While you’ll never lose that sound completely, newer paddles are better at minimizing it.
Paddle features like the face and core determine how loud a paddle is. If keeping noise levels low is important to you, consider a carbon fiber face with a polymer honeycomb core.
Is there a difference in pickleball paddles?
Yes, there’s a noticeable difference between pickleball paddles. The belief that all paddles are the same is wrong and misleading.
What is the difference between a cheap and an expensive pickleball paddle?
An expensive pickleball paddle may use more expensive materials than cheap paddles. Some paddle prices are inflated based on the brand that creates it too. Notable brands can charge more because they have a good reputation.
Cheap paddles may use similar materials as expensive paddles. The price tag does not define if a paddle is good or not!
There’s never been a better market for pickleball paddles than there is today! With so many brands offering so many different types of paddles, there’s something for every player. Get more help finding the right paddle and learn more about America’s fastest-growing sport with our pickleball content!