Pickleball is a great sport to take up as a hobby. It provides you with a great cardio workout as well as improves your overall strength and your cognition and coordination.
With that being said, it can be quite daunting to get into a sport that requires equipment without any guidance. Thankfully, we have put together a list of some of the best pickleball paddles for beginners to help get you started.
In this guide, we will look at some of the best pickleball paddles on the market that are great for beginners.
We have also included a handy buyer’s guide to help you make the most informed decision when shopping. There is also a frequently asked question section to give you all the information you need.
Best Pickleball Paddles
For the perfect paddle to help you improve your skills, the Champion Eclipse Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a must. This paddle is available at a very reasonable price point which is great for beginners dipping their toes into the world of pickleball.
Despite the reasonable price tag, this is an exceptionally high-quality paddle. The blend of graphite and carbon that makes up the surface of the paddle gives you an excellent feel for the ball which can help improve the accuracy of your shots.
Beneath the graphite outer layer, there is a polymer core that provides you with just the right amount of bounce. This can help you to perfect different strokes and returns such as dinks, volleys, groundstroke, or cross courts.
The circumference of the grip is small and the handle is elongated at 5 inches. This makes it extremely easy and comfortable to hold. It also helps to increase your reach slightly. This can help you to maintain your stance for better form.
- Made with high-quality, durable materials
- Polymer core provides adequate bounce to perfect your shots
- The circumference and length of the handle help perfect your stance
- The grip size might be too small for taller players
If you are focused on improving your control and finesse as a beginner, the Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddle is for you. If you have played tennis before starting pickleball, the grip on this paddle will feel very comfortable and familiar.
This pickleball paddle is performance-oriented which gives you a significant amount of control over how you hit the ball and the results that you get. This can help you to improve the accuracy of your shots much more quickly than other paddles.
The main surface of the paddle is made with high-quality fiberglass which is incredibly durable and resistant to scratches and dents from the pickleball.
The core of the paddle is made with heavy technology C4 honeycomb. This is an incredibly tough material that provides a reasonable amount of bounce off the paddle.
This is a paddle that is perfect for beginners who are committed to improving their game quickly. Because of the robust materials, it can last you through into more advanced and rigorous play.
- A performance-oriented paddle to help improve your skills
- Comfortable grip, similar to a tennis racket
- Solid and robust core
- The handle may not be large enough for taller people
For a paddle that helps you improve your game and makes pickleball feel easy, you need the ARD GF200 Graphite Pickleball Paddle.
One of the standout features of this paddle is the molded throat design of the handle. This design helps to control the vibrations that are felt through your hand and provides a larger sweet spot.
This paddle features a Monolithic Poly Frame with a foam core. This provides stable power and enhanced control.
The core in particular helps to reduce the amount of deflection on the ball which helps to keep it manageable no matter how new you are to the game.
The shape of the grip has been specifically designed to help improve your hand/eye response.
This can reduce the number of mishits you have and improve ball contact for stronger, more accurate shots. It is a great way to train techniques for beginners.
- Lightweight but sturdy
- Molded throat grip for better control and comfort
- Cancels vibration to protect your thumb
- More expensive than others on the market
This is another pickleball paddle that features a graphite face. This is because it is a great material for beginners. The Onix Graphite Z5 paddle also features a wide body construction. This gives beginners a larger surface area to strike the ball and have fewer misses.
The core of the paddle is made from Nomex honeycomb which provides a decent bounce to improve the power and distance of your hits. Because of the honeycomb design, you can easily maintain control of your strikes without losing the additional bounce.
This is a medium-weight paddle that is great for beginners who have experience with other racket sports. This paddle has been approved by the USAPA which gives it a level of professionalism and authenticity for beginners that want to dive into the sport.
- Durable and resilient graphite outer material
- Nomex honeycomb core to provide bounce and control
- USAPA approved
- The medium weight might be too much for some beginners
If you want to stick with a trusted racket sports brand, the Head Radical Elite paddle is for you. Head is a well-known brand in the sports industry, so you can trust that this is going to be a high-quality value-for-money product.
One of the main positives about this paddle is that it has an extremely reasonable price tag.
This is great for beginners who are just testing the waters of pickleball and don’t want to invest a lot of money if they don’t continue with the sport.
Despite the low price tag, this is still a high-quality paddle that offers all the control and bounce you need.
The Radical Elite paddle has been designed to be an all-rounder paddle that is suitable for players with different styles and skill levels which is great for letting you figure out your own style.
It features a larger sweet spot than many other paddles and has a thicker core for a better bounce back.
- Trusted and well-known brand
- Reasonable price point
- Suitable for players with different styles
- The lack of texture on the paddle restricts you to basic shots
If you want to make sure you are getting a premium product and are willing to spend a little more money, the Joola Ben Johns Hyperion Pro paddle is a great option.
As the name of the paddle suggests, it is the paddle that is used and designed by Pro pickleball player Ben Johns.
Despite the professional endorsement, this is still a great option for pickleball novices. The paddle incorporates Johns’ knowledge of pickleball to create a great all-rounder paddle for players of all levels.
One of the standout features of this paddle is the larger sweet spot which gives you more chance of hitting a decent return shot.
The surface of this paddle is covered with Carbon-Flex5 material which provides texture. This texture makes the paddle more durable and effortlessly adds a spin to your ball.
- Designed and used by professional pickleball player Ben Johns
- Features a durable, textured material to improve your shots
- Has a larger sweet spot to make playing easier
- More expensive than other beginner paddles
The final beginner pickleball paddle on this list is the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro. The most impressive thing about this paddle is that it features smart response technology.
This technology has been designed to give you a larger area of the paddle to return strong but controlled shots.
The paddle has a textured graphite surface that is durable and can withstand the mishits and scrapes that come with beginner practice. The texture of the paddle face also helps to put a spin on the ball which aids control and speed.
The core of the paddle is made from high-grade carbon fiber polymer composite honeycomb, a very advanced design. This core provides a noticeable bounce when you hit the ball but doesn’t cause deflections that could hinder your performance.
- Advanced, high-grade core
- Smart response technology
- Durable and textured surface to provide spin
- Slightly more on the expensive side
Now that you have some options for pickleball paddles to get you started in your search for the perfect beginner paddle, it is time to look at things you should consider when purchasing your first paddle.
Even if you are looking for a cheap beginner’s paddle, it is still an investment and you want to get your money’s worth. Below are some common things to consider when looking at pickleball paddles.
One of the most important things you should consider when purchasing a paddle for pickleball is the material that is used. This refers to the material of the grip, the core, and the surface of the paddle.
The material of the grip needs to be durable as it spends most of its time being held and experiences a lot of wear and tear.
Most grips are made from leather which is incredibly durable. However, you might find that some cheaper paddles have grips made from a synthetic material that may come loose over time.
The majority of pickleball paddles have a core that is made from some form of honeycomb polymer. This is a great option as it provides bounce but allows you to maintain control of the ball easily.
On the lower end of the price scale, you might find some paddles that feature a foam core. This can be less ideal in terms of building up your skill but can be great if you aren’t totally sold on pickleball yet.
Finally, there are two main types of surface material that you can get. There are pickleball paddles with smooth surfaces and ones with textured surfaces.
If possible, you should avoid smooth surfaces for your beginner paddle. The texture on the surface helps to effortlessly add spin to your ball which improves the speed and accuracy of your shots.
Weight And Dimension
Two other important factors to consider are the weight and dimensions of the paddle. If you are a complete novice when it comes to pickleball, you are unlikely to know how the weight of your paddle will affect your performance.
There is no set rule on what the weight of a paddle should be for beginners because everyone is different. The paddle shouldn’t be so heavy that your arm and hand become fatigued quickly.
However, it shouldn’t be so light that you are striking the ball too hard rather than returning it in a controlled manner.
The best way to find out what weight you need in a pickleball paddle is to visit a physical store where you can hold the paddle in your hand and have a few practice swings.
If you are unable to visit a store, the most popular weight range for beginners is between 210 and 235 grams.
You should also consider the dimension of the face of the paddle. Many beginners opt for paddles with a larger face to give a bigger surface area and sweet spot to work with.
These are known as wide body paddles. As you improve your game, you can work down to a smaller paddle face.
Pickleball paddles are quite different from tennis rackets when it comes to the variation in grip size.
Tennis players take the time to work out the grip size that works best for them, the size of their hands, their strength, and their style of play. However, this variation doesn’t seem to exist in the world of pickleball paddles.
There are a few brands of pickleball paddles that offer slight variations in the circumference of grips. However, it is most common for the grip size of a paddle to be around 4.25 inches.
Thankfully, if you find this grip size to be too small, there are a couple of things you can do to help.
It is possible to purchase overgrips to increase the width of the handle. These often come in universal sizes, although some sports brands may offer their own which can fit better and have a better feel.
You can also use additional grip tape to build up the size of the handle if you only need a slight increase in diameter.
Price is an important factor to consider when making any kind of purchase. This is even more true when it comes to investing in sports equipment.
As a beginner, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest paddle available. This is particularly common for people who aren’t 100% committed to the sport yet. It makes sense to not sink a ton of money into a sport that you might not continue.
With that being said, there is a nice middle ground between buying the cheapest paddle on the market and buying an expensive, professional paddle. Spending just a little bit more than the cheapest paddle can make a huge difference.
When you opt for the cheapest paddle, you are going to get a low-quality product that can make pickleball much harder than it needs to be. This is going to make you more likely to quit early on.
If you invest just a little bit more, you can get a reasonable-quality paddle that creates a much better experience and lasts longer too.
Style And Color
This is something that is slightly less important, but should still be considered when looking at pickleball paddles. The style and color of the paddle don’t have a tangible impact on the use of the paddle or how well you play.
However, having a paddle that you like the look of and feel good holding can help your motivation.
There are some brands that don’t offer a lot in the way of style and color choices. However, there are others that boast a wide range of patterns and bright colors. You can even get fluorescent colors to really stand out on the court.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is a common question that gets asked when purchasing any kind of sports equipment.
There is no reason why you can’t buy your first pickleball paddle online. In fact, you can often get better deals on paddles when buying online, not to mention the additional range of products available.
With that being said, if you are completely new to pickleball, it is a good idea to visit a physical sports store to get a feel of some different paddles.
You don’t have to make a purchase in the store, but it can be useful to help you know what you want. Also, it is easier than returning multiple paddles to online retailers.
I am Michael Wanner, an experienced and educated expert in the field of pickleball. I hold a degree in Sports Science from Cleveland State University, Ohio, USA. My expertise lies in the technical aspects of pickleball and how to play it effectively. I have spent many years playing and coaching pickleball and have a wealth of knowledge to share with my readers. I am a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their pickleball skills and strategies.