If you’ve recently become interested in pickleball, we know how you feel. You thought it was easy to understand the rules, and you adored that you could play your first match just minutes after getting on the court. But the paddle your friend gave you didn’t feel right, so you decided to buy the right one. You went to Google and typed “pickleball paddles for beginners.”
And BOOM. Your screen is filled with a ceiling of search results. You have a lot of questions and decisions to make at this point. Should you choose fiberglass paddles over those made of graphite? What is drinking? How does a honeycomb core work? What kind of weight are you? What’s the right size of the grip? If only choosing the right paddle was as simple as learning the rules of the game, right?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. So, our Paddle Experts made this complete guide for people just starting out. This article will simply show you three key bits of a paddle that you should look at before buying it. Each of these parts has a big effect on the way a paddle plays. Then we’ll switch gears and talk about the 5 best pickleball paddles for beginners, including a detailed explanation of why they are the best.
There is no order to these paddles, and they are all great choices for a beginner player. Let’s get started.
Pickleball Paddle Buyer’s Guide for Beginners
In this section, we’ll discuss the paddle’s weight, the significance of the two substances, and the variety of grip sizes available to you when making your purchase.
Pickleball Paddle Weight
Most pickleball paddles weigh between 6 and 14 ounces, which may have come as a surprise at first. However, USA Pickleball, the country’s governing body, places no limits on paddle weight.
- Pickleball paddles weighing 7.5 ounces or less
- Pickleball paddles that are midweight, weighing between 7.5 and 8.4 ounces
- Pickleball paddles weighing more than 8.5 ounces are considered heavy.
Choosing the paddle’s weight is arguably the most crucial step in the process.
Pickleball Paddle Materials
Pickleball paddles can be made from an almost infinite variety of materials, with different materials utilized for various paddle components. components such as the handle, edge guard, and grip. To keep things straightforward, we’ll just talk about the surface and core materials of the paddles, as these have the most obvious bearing on the game.
Wooden paddles have been used in the sport for decades, but they are just one of several possible materials for the paddle face. Carbon fiber (a kind of graphite) or hybrids are also common.
The surfaces of modern paddles, however, are often made of fiberglass or graphite. It’s where you ought to put most of your attention as a beginner because of how common materials like fiberglass and graphite are.
Both have distinct effects on the game and should be carefully considered before purchasing your first paddle.
Polymer, often known as poly core and polypropylene core, has replaced Nomex as the most prevalent core material in usage. Nomex paddles have indeed been around for a while and the Nomex core can offer extra power to play.
Paddles often feature a polymer core, a resilient and malleable plastic. A good compromise between freedom and security is provided. When thinking about poly core, the thickness should be prioritized.
Pickleball Paddle Grip Sizes
The size of your grip, also known as the circumference of your grip or the thickness of your grip, is an important factor to consider.
The diameter of the grips on each type of paddle is listed on the product page, allowing for simple comparison shopping. Options abound in this respect as well: the most frequently encountered sizes will be between 3.875″ and 4.25″, ranging upwards in one-sixteenth-inch increments.
How big a grip you want is dependent on your hands and how you want to hold the weapon.
Nonetheless, you can use a few consistent patterns to guide your decision-making.
The most popular grip sizes include 4 inches and 4 and eight inches because they provide players plenty of room to add tape to the grip to make it the right thickness for their hands.
If you are unsure, it is better to err on the side of caution and go with a smaller amount, since you can always add to it later.
Very few businesses have a 30-day Paddle Assurance period during which you can try out different grips to make sure you get the one that works best for you.
The Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners
Vulcan 530 Heavyweight Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle
Vulcan pickleball paddles can’t go wrong. Vulcan is a well-known company that makes pickleball and other forehand sports equipment. The Vulcan 530 weighs 8.5 oz, which brings it into the hard category. Its carbon fiber surface tends to help the paddle create a lot of power. Even though its weight and information make it a great paddle for smashes, don’t think that’s all it can do because of that.
Because it has a wide body, the Vulcan 530 has a massive sweet spot that makes your shots more forgiving. That means you will be able to play on the website or anywhere else on the court. This will feel wonderful in your hands if you used to play tennis and are switching to pickleball. The paddle does have a big 4 3/8″ handle. So if you possess small hands, this could not be the top pick.
GAMMA Dart Lightweight Composite Pickleball Paddle
The Gamma Dart Lightweight pushed the envelope of how lightweight a paddle can be while yet maintaining control and power. At just 7.4 ounces, the paddle has a mild side, barely missing the cut for the midweight category. You’d assume the paddle was stronger than it is because of the force it generates.
The Dart Lightweight’s textured surface offers outstanding grit, allowing you to impart a precise spin on any shot. The hold is on the narrow side, however, even if users have giant hands you can make it work by taping it together.
PROLITE Bolt Middleweight Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle
The player who is concerned about cost but yet wants a quality paddle will find this midweight paddle to be an excellent option. Aside from the cost, it features a great balance consisting of reduced weight (about 7.6 ounces on average) and a spacious sweet spot, which is beneficial to beginning players as it helps them with stroke forgiveness.
The striking surface, which is proudly manufactured in the United States, features a textured pattern that increases spin and a quiet construction that reduces noise on contact, both of which may be appreciated by the courts in your neighborhood.
Onix Z5 Mod Middleweight Graphite Pickleball Paddle
The Onix Z5 is widely regarded as one of the finest and most sought-after pickleball paddles available.
The Z5 strikes an excellent blend between raw power and manageability. With its balanced design, ergonomic shape, and sturdy build, this club will feel great in your hands on every swing. Since the face is more forgivingly rounded, it’s ideal for beginners and net players. Pickleball beginners looking for the best paddles need to look no further. Not to mention, this paddle is available in a rainbow of hues. They likely stock every shade of pink, blue, and purple imaginable.
Paddletek Phoenix G6 Middleweight Composite Pickleball Paddle
For good reason, Paddletek paddles have a reputation as the best in the game. You’ll get your revenue’s value and then some from this Phoenix G6 model. This paddle, like two others on the shortlist, is a midweight option that strikes a good mix between power and control. Although similar products exist, the Phoenix G6 stands out due to its huge sweet spot, high-quality build, and affordable price.
A large sweet spot aids novice players in accuracy, tolerance, and overall control, as previously indicated. When you factor in its tendency toward the heavier paddles, you have a weapon designed for maximum forgiveness and maximum power.
Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners: How To Play
- The sport of pickleball is contested on a court that is roughly the size of a badminton court using paddles as well as a ball that’s also comparable to but somewhat smaller than a Wiffle ball.
- You can play pickleball either in singles or in doubles.
- After a toss of the coin to determine who would serve first, the game will get underway.
- When the ball is served, it is done so in a diagonal fashion with the paddle held below the waist.
- The ball should really be served in a diagonal direction with an underhand swing. The paddle should be held below the player’s waist, and both feet should be placed behind the back line.
- The service needs to go over the net as well as the no-volley zone before it may enter the playing area of the receiver.
- Before attempting to return the ball, the receiver should allow it to bounce once.
- If your attack hits the ball outside of bounds, misses the return, or long balls it in the designated non-volley zone inside 7 feet of the net, you get a point for each of those situations.
- When one team reaches 11 points with a two-point advantage over the other, they have won the game.
Pickleball Paddles Cost
There is a significant price difference between different brands of pickleball paddles. The primary factor that determines the price is the kind of material that was utilized in the production of the paddle. Pickleball paddles made of wood can be purchased for anywhere between $15 to $35. Pickleball paddles made of composite materials might cost anywhere from $40 to $100 each. Pickleball paddles made of graphite can be purchased for anywhere between $90 to $200.
The Bottom Line
Pickleball is a sport that is relatively simple to learn & play, yet players have the ability to quickly turn casual games into intense competitions. Players are going to require a paddle that can handle them in a variety of situations and is suitable for both amateurs and seasoned pros. In addition to this, the paddle needs to be extremely long-lasting and constructed out of materials of the highest possible quality. A few of the best pickleball paddles on the market as of 2023 are detailed here. We think these paddles are top-notch for the reasons listed below.
Have padded and absorbent handles that prevent slippage, and include upgraded designs for maximum control of the ball.
Are constructed from long-lasting materials, ensuring that they will see many years of service.
Nonetheless, the ultimate choice is yours, pick which one best fits your needs.
For what reason does the paddle’s weight vary so drastically?
The typically varies from one version to another due to the fact that it is dependent on the dimensions as well as the material that is used in the manufacturing of the particular paddle. There are three different weight options available for pickleball paddles: lightweight, mid-weight, and heavyweight. These options cater to a variety of styles of play and personal preferences, as well as players who suffer from elbow problems or arthritis.
Is it best for a newbie to start out with a paddle that’s not too heavy?
Beginners who are still developing their skills can benefit more from using lightweight paddles because these paddles are easier to manipulate and control, and they also generate and improve spin. They also make it possible for you to practice for a number of hours without running the risk of becoming tired or sore. All of the goods that we have examined weigh 8.3 ounces or less, with the exception of the Sports Adventure Pickleball Paddle Set, which weighs in at a maximum of 8.3 ounces.
Are these paddles able to withstand contact with water?
Foam and epoxy resin are used in fiberglass versions like the Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddle to create stiff items that are resistant to water. Various other versions make use of a protective covering that is impervious to moisture and rust.