Best Pickleball Paddles

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Pickleball has surged in popularity, becoming a favorite pastime for many. Choosing the right paddle can significantly enhance your game, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player. This article delves into the best pickleball paddles on the market, offering a detailed comparison to help you make an informed decision.

ProductWeightMaterialCoreKey FeaturesPrice
Selkirk AMPED S2 X57.4 – 7.8 ozFiberFlex faceX5 polypropyleneLarge sweet spot, durable construction
Onix Graphite Z57.5 – 8.2 ozGraphite faceNomex honeycombExcellent touch, affordable
Paddletek Tempest Wave7.6 – 8 ozGraphite facePolymerSuperior accuracy, lightweight
Engage Encore Pro7.8 – 8.3 ozFiberTek faceControlPro polymerGreat balance, comfortable grip
Gamma NeuCore RZR7.6 – 8.1 ozGraphite faceNeuCore polymerQuiet play, good balance of power/control

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the different types of pickleball paddles can improve your game.
  • Comparing the top models on the market provides insight into the best paddle for your needs.
  • Recent developments and expert opinions can guide your purchase decision.

Top 5 Pickleball Paddles

1. Selkirk AMPED S2 X5 FiberFlex

  • Weight: 7.4 – 7.8 oz
  • Material: FiberFlex face, X5 polypropylene core
  • Price: $150

2. Onix Graphite Z5

  • Weight: 7.5 – 8.2 oz
  • Material: Graphite face, Nomex honeycomb core
  • Price: $90

3. Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro

  • Weight: 7.6 – 8 oz
  • Material: Graphite face, Polymer core
  • Price: $130

4. Engage Encore Pro

  • Weight: 7.8 – 8.3 oz
  • Material: FiberTek face, ControlPro polymer core
  • Price: $110

5. Gamma NeuCore RZR

  • Weight: 7.6 – 8.1 oz
  • Material: Graphite face, NeuCore polymer core
  • Price: $120

Pros and Cons

Selkirk AMPED S2 X5 FiberFlex


  • Exceptional control and power
  • Large sweet spot
  • Durable construction


  • Higher price point
  • Slightly heavier for some players

Onix Graphite Z5


  • Excellent touch and ball control
  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight and maneuverable


  • Less power compared to heavier paddles
  • Smaller sweet spot

Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro


  • Superior accuracy and control
  • Lightweight design
  • Good for all skill levels


  • Higher price
  • Less power on hard hits

Engage Encore Pro


  • Great balance of power and control
  • Large sweet spot
  • Comfortable grip


  • Mid-range price
  • Slightly heavier

Gamma NeuCore RZR


  • Quiet play
  • Comfortable and easy to handle
  • Good balance of power and control


  • Mid-range price
  • Durability concerns with frequent play

Major Differences

When comparing these top pickleball paddles, several key differences stand out:

  • Material: The face materials vary from FiberFlex and graphite to FiberTek, each offering different levels of control and power. For instance, graphite paddles like the Onix Graphite Z5 and Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro are known for their lightweight and precise control.
  • Core Technology: Core materials like X5 polypropylene, Nomex honeycomb, and NeuCore polymer impact the paddle’s feel and playability. The X5 polypropylene core in the Selkirk AMPED S2 provides a balance of power and control, while the NeuCore polymer in the Gamma NeuCore RZR offers a quieter play experience.
  • Weight: Weight affects maneuverability and power. Paddles like the Onix Graphite Z5 are lighter and more maneuverable, whereas heavier paddles like the Selkirk AMPED S2 provide more power.
  • Price: Prices range from around $90 to $150. The Onix Graphite Z5 is budget-friendly, while the Selkirk AMPED S2 is more expensive but offers advanced features.

Buyer’s Guide


The weight of the paddle is a crucial factor that affects your control and power. Paddles generally range from 6 to 14 ounces. Lighter paddles (6-7 ounces) offer better control and are easier to maneuver, making them ideal for beginners and players with a finesse game. Heavier paddles (8-14 ounces) provide more power and are suitable for aggressive players who rely on hard shots.


Paddles are made from a variety of materials, each offering different benefits:

  • Graphite: Lightweight and strong, offering excellent control and precision.
  • Composite: A mix of materials that provide a balance of power and control.
  • Wood: Durable and affordable, but heavier, making them less ideal for serious players.


The core of the paddle influences its feel and performance:

  • Polymer: Offers a softer feel and better control, making it a popular choice for most players.
  • Nomex: A honeycomb structure that provides more power and a crisp feel.
  • Aluminum: Lightweight and offers a balance between control and power.

Grip Size

Grip size is essential for comfort and control. Most paddles come with a grip circumference of 4 to 4.5 inches. Smaller grips allow for more wrist action and spin, while larger grips offer more stability and control.


Pickleball paddles range in price from $30 to $200. Higher-priced paddles usually offer advanced materials and technologies, which can enhance performance. However, many mid-range paddles provide excellent value for both beginners and advanced players.

Brand Reputation

Consider the reputation of the brand when choosing a paddle. Established brands like Selkirk, Onix, and Paddletek are known for their quality and innovation. Research reviews and feedback from other players to ensure you’re investing in a reliable product.

Player Skill Level

Your skill level should also guide your choice:

  • Beginners: Opt for lighter paddles with larger sweet spots for better control.
  • Intermediate: Look for paddles with a good balance of control and power.
  • Advanced: Choose paddles that offer specific performance features suited to your playing style, such as enhanced power or spin capabilities.

Playing Style

Match your paddle to your playing style:

  • Control Players: Prefer lightweight paddles with softer cores for precise shots.
  • Power Players: Opt for heavier paddles with rigid cores to maximize shot strength.


Check the warranty and return policy of the paddle. A good warranty can provide peace of mind and ensure that you’re covered in case of defects or issues.

By considering these factors, you’ll be well-equipped to choose the perfect pickleball paddle that suits your needs and enhances your game.

Recent Developments in Pickleball Paddles

The pickleball industry continues to innovate, with manufacturers focusing on enhancing paddle performance and player experience. Recent trends include the integration of advanced materials like carbon fiber and the development of new core technologies aimed at reducing paddle weight while maintaining power and control. Additionally, there has been an emphasis on ergonomic design to reduce strain and improve comfort during play.

Top Experts and Entities in Pickleball

USA Pickleball Association (USAPA)

The USAPA plays a crucial role in promoting and developing pickleball in the United States. They offer resources for players, organize tournaments, and set official rules for the sport.

Pickleball Central

As a leading retailer of pickleball equipment, Pickleball Central provides extensive reviews and insights on the latest paddles and gear. Their expert opinions help players make informed decisions.

Selkirk Sport

Selkirk Sport is a top manufacturer known for its innovative paddle designs and high-quality products. Their research and development efforts continue to push the boundaries of paddle technology.

Key Takeaways

  • The Selkirk AMPED S2 X5 is ideal for players seeking durability and control, despite its higher price.
  • Onix Graphite Z5 offers excellent touch and affordability, making it a great choice for budget-conscious players.
  • Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro stands out for its lightweight design and precision, suitable for all skill levels.
  • Engage Encore Pro balances power and control with a comfortable grip.
  • Gamma NeuCore RZR provides a quiet playing experience and good power-control balance.


This article is written by Trimflo, an expert in the field of pickleball equipment with many years of experience.


What is the best pickleball paddle for beginners?

The Onix Graphite Z5 is highly recommended for beginners due to its affordability and excellent touch.

How do I choose the right pickleball paddle?

Consider factors like weight, material, core technology, and your playing style when choosing a paddle.

Are expensive pickleball paddles worth it?

Higher-priced paddles often offer advanced features and better durability, making them worth the investment for serious players.

How often should I replace my pickleball paddle?

It depends on usage, but generally, paddles should be replaced every 1-2 years to maintain optimal performance.

Can a pickleball paddle improve my game?

Yes, the right paddle can enhance your control, power, and overall playing experience, helping you play better.

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