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Pickleball Paddles with Thick Cores

Thick Core Pickleball Paddles

Paddles with thicker cores expand the sweet spot while maintaining power.

Many of the latest paddles on the market feature a core that is thicker than in traditional paddles. The consistent aim of the manufacturers using this design is that these paddles will offer a larger sweet spot for control, while maintaining enough power for put away shots. Below you will find a great selection of thick core paddles with more detailed descriptions to help you make an informed decision on the right paddle for you.

Learn more about the technical aspects of thick core paddles by clicking here.
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The Encore 6.0 paddle by EngagePickleball-choose from two grips and five colors. Encore 6.0 Paddle

The latest release from Engage features a thicker ControlPro Core paired with FiberTEK skin, the perfect combination for enhanced spin. Choose thin or standard grip.

Middleweight/Small or Medium Grip

Price $149.99

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The Encore EX 6.0 paddle by EngagePickleball-choose from two grips and five colors. Encore EX 6.0 Paddle

A perfect blend of control and power from Engage. ControlPro Core paired with FiberTEK skin offer the perfect combination for enhanced spin. Choose from thin or standard grip and 5 colors.

Middleweight/Small or Medium Grip

Price $149.99

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The Encore MX 6.0 paddle by EngagePickleball-choose from two grips and five colors. Encore MX 6.0 Paddle

Extended length for more reach from Engage. ControlPro Core paired with FiberTEK skin offer the perfect combination for enhanced spin. Choose from thin or standard grip and 5 colors.

Middleweight/Small or Medium Grip

Price $149.99

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Bantam EX-L Pro, choose from two grip sizes in blue, green, purple, red and yellow Bantam EX-L Pro Paddle

The pro series from Paddletek features a thicker core for more increased touch and power. Choose from two grip sizes and five color options.

Middle-Heavyweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $149.99

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Bantam TS-5 Pro Composite Pickleball Paddle, choose from 2 weights, 2 grips sizes and five colors. Bantam TS-5 Pro Composite Paddle

This composite paddle from Paddletek features a thick poly core, allowing a softer game. Choose from two grips, two weights and five colors.

Light or Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $149.99

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The Saber Pro Bantam Pickleball Paddle comes in two weights and two grip sizes. Bantam Sabre Pro Paddle

paddle offers more weight and a longer handle. Great for 2-handed backhands. Choose from blue or red and small or large grip options.

Middle-Heavyweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $129.99

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The Rally Graphite Power 5.0 with polypropylene core and graphite face, choose from blue green, red or yellow in thicker core for increased power. Rally Graphite Power 5.0 Pickleball Paddle

Powerful polymer core and graphite/fiberglass hybrid face. Designed to offer a large sweet spot and generous playing surface.

Middleweight/Small or Medium Grip

Price $79.99

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The Tempest Wave Pro Paddle is available in two grip sizes and two colors. Tempest Wave Pro Graphite Paddle

Free Paddle Cover! (16.99 Value)
The Pro version of the popular Tempest paddle offers softer play with a thicker core for increased power and touch.

Light-Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $159.99

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Legend Composite Pickleball Paddle by GAMMA GAMMA Legend Composite Pickleball Paddle

Free Paddle Cover ($16.99 Value)
Features thicker large-celled core to provide a soft and quiet responsive feel. Textured composite face enhances power.

Middle-Heavyweight/Small Grip

Price $119.99

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Compass Graphite Pickleball Paddle by GAMMA GAMMA Compass Graphite Pickleball Paddle

Free Paddle Cover ($16.99 Value)
Navigate your way to a win with this elongated paddle from Gamma, featuring a thicker core and textured graphite face.

Middle-Heavyweight/Small Grip

Price $139.99

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Compass LH Elongated Graphite Pickleball Paddle by GAMMA, a responsive paddle with improved control and spin. GAMMA Compass LH Elongated Paddle

Free Paddle Cover ($16.99 Value)
For hitting every type of shot, this elongated graphite face and thicker core offer incredible control, spin, and balance.

Lightweight/Small Grip

Price $139.99

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Shard Graphite Pickleball Paddle by GAMMA GAMMA Shard Graphite Pickleball Paddle

Free Paddle Cover ($16.99 Value)
Fracture the will of your opponent with this poly-core graphite paddle from Gamma. Choose from 2 color combinations.

Heavyweight/Small Grip

Price $129.99

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Jester Graphite Pickleball Paddle by GAMMA GAMMA Jester Graphite Paddle

Free Paddle Cover ($16.99 Value)
Keep them guessing with the quick and quiet Jester, featuring a thick core and a textured graphite face.

Light-Middleweight/Small Grip

Price $109.99

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AMPED Epic X5 FiberFlex Paddle, choose from blue, green, orange, or red AMPED Epic X5 FiberFlex Paddle

Free Selkirk Hat ($15.99 Value)
Traditional shape with vibration dampening technology. Excellent power and control combined with a larger sweet spot make this paddle a sure winner.

Middleweight/Small or Medium Grip

Price $149.99

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AMPED Maxima X5 FiberFlex Paddle, choose from blue, green red or purple AMPED Maxima X5 FiberFlex Paddle

Free Selkirk Hat ($15.99 Value)
A superb paddle for the power player, ball stays on the paddle longer allowing you to place shots perfectly.

Light-Middleweight/Small or Medium Grip

Price $149.99

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AMPED S2 X5 FiberFlex Paddle, choose from blue, green orange or red AMPED S2 X5 FiberFlex Paddle

Free Selkirk Hat ($27.99 Value)
With the largest sweet spot, this paddle is destined to be your favorite. The thicker core combined with softer face provide control as well as power.

Middle-Heavyweight/Small or Medium Grip

Price $149.99

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AMPED Omni X5 FiberFlex Paddle, choose from aqua, blue, orange or red AMPED Omni X5 FiberFlex Paddle

Free Selkirk Hat ($27.99 Value)
The elongated paddle face paired with a shorter handle provide increased reach. Revolutionary thicker core amplifies the power. Choose from four colors.

Light-Middleweight/Small or Medium Grip

Price $149.99

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AMPED Invikta X5 FiberFlex Paddle, choose from blue, charcoal, purple or red AMPED Invikta X5 FiberFlex Paddle

Free Selkirk Hat ($27.99 Value)
The thicker X5 core provides softer play, delivering an extreme amount of control. Available in two weight options.

Middle-Heavyweight/Small or Medium Grip

Price $149.99

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Response Pro Composite Paddle by Prince Pickleball, choose from 2 weights, 2 grips sizes and four colors. Response Pro Composite Pickleball Paddle

With years of expertise in racquet sports, Prince Pickleball brings us this poly-core composite paddle.

Light or Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $128.99

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Spectrum Pro Composite Paddle By Prince Pickleball, choose from 2 weights, 2 grips sizes and four colors. Spectrum Pro Composite Pickleball Paddle

Prince Pickleball created this poly-core composite paddle which features a generous sweet spot. Choose from 2 grips, 2 weights and 4 colors.

Light or Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $128.99

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The Quantum Pro Pickleball Paddle is available in two colors and two grips sizes. Quantum Pro Pickleball Paddle

Prince has done it again! Phenomenal power and control due to the longer handle and isometric shape. Choose from two grip sizes.

Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $128.99

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Hybrid hitting surface, polymer core. Choose from two weights and two colors Gravity Pickleball Paddle

This paddle's face features a hybrid blend of graphite/composite and a thicker polymer core. Ergonomic HydroSorb Pro Grip

Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price $149.95

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V540 Hybrid Pickleball Paddle by Vulcan Vulcan V540 Hybrid Paddle

This paddle combines control and power in a modern shape making it a versatile choice.

Middleweight/Large Grip

Price $119.99

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V530 Power Pickleball Paddle by Vulcan Vulcan V530 Power Paddle

A generous-sized sweet spot delivers extra power for deep lobs and drives.

Middleweight/Large Grip

Price $99.99

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Elongated face for maximum court coverage,  choose from midweight or lightweight VANGUARD Hybrid Invikta Paddle

Elongated paddle with double-layer face, slim edge guard and comfortable play. Choose from two weights.

Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price: $199.99

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Traditional shape, well balanced, choose from midweight or lightweight VANGUARD Hybrid Epic Paddle

Restocking Late October
Longer handle, wide sweet spot and double-reinforced face offer consistent control. Choose from two weights.

Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price: $199.99

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Temporarily Out of Stock
Unparalleled consistency, choose from midweight or lightweight VANGUARD Hybrid S2 Paddle

Large sweet spot, gentle touch and double reinforced carbon fiber surface. Choose from two weights.

Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price: $199.99

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Outbreak Graphite Pickleball Paddle, graphite reinforced face and polymer core. Outbreak Pickleball Paddle

Features a graphite-reinforced face and polymer core. Onix's TeXtreme Technology delivers increased durability without adding weight.

Middleweight/Large Grip

Price $129.99

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OneShot Pickleball PowerShot Series Paddle with a polypropylene core and fiberglass face, available in black camo, blue, gray, and red. OneShot Pickleball PowerShot Series Paddle

An extremely well-balanced paddle, great for all levels of play. Generous handle length is perfect for two-handed grips.

Middleweight/Medium or Large Grip

Price $79.99

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Pickleball Central Expert's Corner: Are Thick Core Paddles Right For you?

We’ve worked with over 100,000 players around the world, and what we’ve learned is this: Pickleball players are looking for a combination of control –putting the ball where they want to put it – and power – having the ability to put a ball away when the opportunity arises. To accomplish this feat, manufacturers have used combinations of core materials, face materials, size and shape to create over 100 models of paddles. The combination of all these elements is what gives each paddle its unique playing characteristics.

Manufacturers have put more resources into innovative designs that bring out the best in their products. There is a trend in the paddle market towards models with thicker cores. Over a decade ago composite paddles became the standard for performance paddles, and they generally used cores that were .375” to .40” thick. In the last 18 months, we’ve seen a dramatic number of new products introduced with cores ranging from .562” to .625” in thickness.

The challenge with “putting a ball where you want it” is that different parts of the paddle behave differently in terms of transferring energy to the ball. Informally, players refer to the place on a paddle where the ball receives the most energy (power) as the “sweet spot.” The most dangerous and ineffective shots in pickleball are shots where you "miss your target." Examples of these are balls that you leave up high for your opponent to attack, shots hit into the net, or shots hit out of bounds. Some paddles have a "hot spot" where the ball seems to "explode" off the very center of the face of the paddle, but that same paddle may feel more "dead" the further away you get from the center of the paddle face. This results in balls being hit inconsistently, some being hit too hard, and some too soft. Engineers model this phenomenon using physics, calculating what is called a coefficient of restitution.

To create more consistency in the energy delivered from a paddle to the ball, manufacturers have produced thicker core paddles. According to Jimmy Blue, Pickleball Paddle Product Manager at Pickleball Inc, that change started in 2013 when Paddletek introduced the polypropylene core. “Prior to that most paddles were constructed using 0.4” Nomex or Aluminum cores. The change to polymer honeycomb material coincided with a switch to primarily 0.5” thickness cores.” This change was as much about material as it was about thickness, but both factors lead to higher performing paddles. Now the majority of paddles in the industry use some form of polypropylene core.

Other companies saw this trend, and decided to test the performance limits of thicker paddles. While Paddletek tested and released a number of paddles around .5” in thickness, Selkirk went “all in” with .625” thick cores when they launched the AMPED line of paddles in late 2017. The AMPED FiberFlex technology was developed to provide payers with the best possible blend of both control and power. According to Rob Barnes, a co-owner of Selkirk, “The paddles blend of thicker core, FiberFlex uni fiberglass face and a number of options in weights, grips and shapes, makes it easy for players to select their preferred paddle.”

Prince Pickleball Paddles (which are manufactured by Paddletek), introduced the Prince Spectrum Pro and Prince Response Pro Paddles in the spring of 2018. These paddles featured thicker cores using a 9/16” thick core. Noah Kaplan, Vice President at Paddletek, explains that the idea behind their thick core paddles was to provide a couple of key advantages: “The thicker cores give players at almost every level improved shot consistency due to two factors: The first is energy absorption. Whether it’s an opponent’s driving shot at you or a volleyed dink, the thicker core helps dissipate the energy of the ball into the paddle and allows the player to regain control of the play. The second is stability. Not all of us have the accuracy of Simone Jardim, Kyle Yates, or Irina Tereshenko. The thicker core provides more stability across the paddle face for those shots further away from the center or 'sweet spot' of the paddle."

The next brands to introduce paddles with a thicker core were Onix, Paddletek, and GAMMA. In the fall of 2018 ONIX launched, the Onix Outbreak, with a .625” core, matching the thickest core paddles on the market to date. When asked about the advantages of thick core paddles, Zach Scheller with Onix told us, “The biggest advantage we’ve seen is play at the net, especially for volleys back and forth. The thicker core material further dampens the ball energy which gives you a little more feel and control on drop shots, volleys, and dinks.” The Outbreak was the first paddle to combine a thicker core with a woven carbon fiber face material (made from TeXtreme). This combined the traditional softer play attributes of a carbon fiber face with the enlarged sweet spot of the thicker core.

Also in the fall of 2018, Paddletek launched a line of thicker core paddles all featuring .562” (9/16”) cores. The new Tempest Pro model drew inspiration from its .5” core graphite faced counterpart (the Tempest Wave) to create a breakthrough paddle that many players consider the largest sweet spot paddle ever made. This is the result of combining a thick core with a soft playing rigid graphite face material. Paddletek also released thick core versions of its ultra-popular Bantam EX-L and TS-5 series paddles, giving players lots of options for traditional poly-core/fiberglass faced paddles with weight ranges as low as 7.0 ounces, or as heavy as 8.8 ounces.

In early 2019 GAMMA’s thick core paddles (using a technology they refer to as Neucore) were launched, including a variation of their very successful blade shaped paddles– the Compass. Along with the Shard and the Legend, they offer a variety of shapes and paddles surfaces to give even more combinations for players to try. As far as where the industry is heading, Chuck Vietmeier of GAMMA says, “I see new shapes, softer cores, thicker cores and new materials in the future. Players are looking for options in paddles such as longer handles to accommodate two-handed shots, and softer paddles for more touch and feedback.”

Our testing of these paddles here at Pickleball Central, combined with customer ratings from thousands of players, confirm what these manufacturer innovators learned in their labs. These paddles play great, delivering on the promise of exceptional control with a large sweet spot, with enough “put-away” power to finish points. All of these companies are advancing the sport of pickleball by providing players more creative choices when it comes to their equipment. The thick core paddles are proving a success on the courts and providing greater playability than the original non-wood paddles. Large sweet spots, vibration dampening and put-away power are a great combination to elevate anyone’s game.

The proof of the success is in the player reviews you can read about in each of the products on this page. Over half of these paddles are rated 5-stars, and the remainder rate at least 4.5-stars. They are very well received, and come in an exceptional variation of styles including short handle, long handle, ultra-long, wide-body, and everything in between. Face material options include fiberglass, graphite, woven carbon fiber, and hybrid systems using a mixture of face material build-ups.

Try these paddles and see what they do for your game.

Click here to see 19 different models of Thick Core Paddles.