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Game Improvement Pickleball Paddles

The Best Pickleball Paddles To Improve Your Game


See below for advice from our professional teaching staff on how to select a paddle to improve your game


So, you’ve gotten bit by the pickleball bug and you’re ready to take your game to the next level. The beginner paddle you started with, or the borrowed paddle from your friends, is no longer cutting it. We have listed here paddles that can help you take the next step. These paddles are designed to be easy to use and solid for the all-around game. They have power to drive and touch to dink with just the right amount of forgiveness. Our professional instructors and product specialists have come up with a selection of paddles to help get your game to the next level.  Make a pick and hit the courts.

Click here to see US Open Gold Medalist & USAPA National Champion Glen Peterson's advice on selecting a Game Improvement Paddle.

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The US OPEN Tempest Pro Paddle is available in two grip sizes. Tempest Pro US OPEN Special Edition Paddle

Includes US OPEN Gift Bundle
This special edition paddle was designed for the 2019 US OPEN in Naples, Florida. All the same great features of the Tempest Pro in a custom design.

Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $167.99

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Kinetic Ovation Pickleball Paddle by ProKennex Kinetic Ovation Speed Pickleball Paddle

Includes US OPEN Gift Bundle
Reduce vibration and impact with this innovative paddle from ProKennex. Choose from blue, pink or red.

Middleweight/Small Grip

Price $159.99

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

Includes US OPEN Gift Bundle
The Pro version of the popular Tempest paddle offers softer play with a thicker core for increased power and touch.

Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $157.99

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Poach Icon Pickleball Paddle-Choose from Blue, Purple, Red or Black Poach Icon Pickleball Paddle

This paddle offers maximum power with a soft feel, but slightly less power than its predecessor.

Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price $149.99

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Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle by ProKennex Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle

FREE Paddle Cover
Reduce vibration and impact with this innovative paddle from ProKennex. Choose from blue, pink or yellow.

Middleweight/Small Grip

Price $149.99

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The Poach Advantage paddle by EngagePickleball-choose from two weights and four colors. Poach Advantage Paddle

This paddle features a proprietary skin and 6 powerful layers. Choose from Standard or Lite weight options and several colors.

Middleweight/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

Includes US OPEN Gift Bundle
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.

Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price $149.99

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

3 FREE Fuse G1 Balls!
This poly-core composite paddle paddle from Paddletek features a thicker core allowing a softer game. Choose from two grips, two weights and four color options.

Light or Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $147.99

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

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

Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $137.99
The Tangent Pro Pickleball Paddle comes in two weights and two grip sizes. Tangent Pro Pickleball Paddle

3 FREE Fuse G1 Balls!
This paddle has everything you want, touch, control and power. Choose from small or large grip and light or standard weight options.

Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $137.99

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

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

Traditional shape with vibration dampening technology. Excellent power and control combined with a larger sweet spot make this paddle a sure winner.

Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price $129.99

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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

FREE Prince Hat!
Prince Pickleball created this poly-core composite paddle which features a generous sweet spot. Choose from two grips, two weights and four color options.

Light or Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $127.99

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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

Includes US OPEN Gift Bundle
With years of expertise in the field of racquet sports, Prince Pickleball brings us this poly-core composite paddle. Choose from two grips, two weights and four color options.

Light or Middleweight/Small or Large Grip

Price $127.99

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Tempest Wave Paddle has a bold swirling design in three color options: red, blue, or pink Tempest Wave Graphite Paddle

Includes US OPEN Gift Bundle
This paddle has the popular polymer core from Paddletek along with a more responsive graphite face for great touch.

Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price $127.99

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RZR Graphite Pickleball Paddle by GAMMA RZR Graphite Pickleball Paddle

FREE Hat!
Balance, power and touch like you've never experienced before. Polymer core and graphite face. Choose from 3 colors.

Middleweight/Small Grip

Price $109.99

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Voyager Pro Graphite Pickleball Paddle, graphite face and polymer core. Voyager Pro Graphite Paddle

This paddle offers a graphite-face polymer core. Features wide face for a larger sweet spot.
Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price $99.99

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Evoke Pro Composite Paddle featuring Onix Superior Tacky grip, available in several great colors Evoke Pro Composite Paddle

3 FREE Fuse G1 Balls!
This paddle is great for intermediate to advanced players who want more power. Slightly heavier than its predecessor.

Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price $99.99

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Radical Tour Graphite Paddle, polymer core and graphite face. Radical Tour Graphite Pickleball Paddle

This paddle features a graphite hitting surface and polymer core. Ergonomic HydroSorb Pro Grip.

Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price $99.95

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Bantam TS-5, choose from red, yellow, or blue geometric design Bantam TS-5 Paddle

3 FREE Fuse G1 Balls!
A lighter weight and more maneuverable version of the popular Bantam EX-L will provide quicker speed at the net.

Light-Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price $97.99

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Mirage Composite Pickleball Paddle by GAMMA Mirage Composite Pickleball Paddle

FREE Hat
Transport yourself to the oasis of victory. GAMMA polymer core paddle features textured composite face.

Middleweight/Small Grip

Price $89.99

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XJ-900 Composite Widebody Paddle by TOPP XJ-900 Composite Widebody Paddle

This paddle provides a large hitting area and increased sweet spot. Available in red, pink, green or yellow.

Middleweight/Medium Grip

Price: $79.99

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Selecting The Best Pickleball Paddle To Improve Your Game

How To Pick A Pickleball Paddle To Improve Your Game - Expert Advice from US Open & USAPA Nationals Champion Glen Peterson:

Okay, so you've been playing pickleball for a bit and want to take your game to the next level with a better paddle. Or perhaps you've made a resolution to jump into this sport and move up quickly and you want the perfect paddle to help you start. My belief is this: If you are serious about your game, you should be serious about your equipment. Here are my thoughts on finding the best paddle to help beginner to intermediate players (2.5 – 3.5 rated) move their game along.

When working with players who are interested in improving their game, I often get asked about what paddle they should use. To these players I recommend what I call a “game improvement paddle.” My definition of this type of paddle is one that is both forgiving and effective for all aspects of your game (serves, dinks, drops, and volleys.) I have been playing for eight years and have moved through nine different paddle models during this time, so don't necessarily think of this next paddle as the final paddle you will ever use.

To me there are four paddle characteristics you should consider when choosing a “game improvement paddle”. To me, the most important consideration in choosing a game improvement paddle is paddle weight. Unless your career was an NFL linebacker, please don't think of a heavy paddle as your friend. Higher level players generally migrate to heavier paddles as their technique, strength and speed develops, but the rest of us should start light. What do I mean by light? Between 7.0 and 7.8 ounces. And if you haven't worked out much lately or are over 50, please consider a paddle closer to the 7 to 7.6 ounce range. I play regularly with a 70 year old women who weighs about 100 pounds and uses a paddle under 7 ounces, and she is lightning quick at the net but still has the power to hit amazingly hard. Yep, the lighter the paddle, the faster your hand speed (which translates into a fast moving shot). And in my experience, these lighter weights are less likely to result in an elbow or wrist injury.

So what's the big deal about an extra ounce in my hand? First, an ounce is about 15% of the paddle weight, which is a large incremental amount. You will feel a big difference between a 7.3 and an 8.3 ounce paddle. Secondly, that ounce is not centered in your hand but rather is some eight to ten inches away from your hand out on the paddle face. Because the handle becomes a lever giving leverage on the weight, this extra weight is felt much more. Third, ping pong paddles weigh about 3.0 ounces and tennis rackets weight about 10 ounces and athletes from these sports have concluded that weight is a huge factor and that starting light is wise.

The total weight isn’t the only factor, balance (or where the weight is located) matters as well. Some paddles are weight biased towards the head of the paddle, some are biased towards the grip, and some are balanced in the middle. Again, the leverage of the weight at the head of a paddle can make a paddle feel heavier, and cause you to exert more energy to simply move the paddle during a volley or from forehand to backhand. A “Head heavy” paddle take more strength to move around, puts more pressure on your joints and soft tissue, and reduces your hand speed in shot exchanges at the kitchen line. As a result, for a game improvement paddle I recommend selecting a paddle where that weight is balanced in the middle, or biased towards the grip.

The second consideration is shape and surface area. Paddles with wider (larger) faces are more forgiving when blocking and striking balls. The larger, more squared up surface area generates a larger more forgiving sweet spot. Balls don't come off consistently off the perimeter of paddles. Paddle “sweet spots” don’t extend all the way out to the edge of the paddle, and often stop one inch or more away from the edge. As such, narrow paddles end up creating paddles with a very narrow (thin) sweet spot, and players notice a big difference in how a ball feels when they don’t strike the ball exactly in the center of the paddle face. For game improvement paddles, I tend to recommend paddles where the ratio between the width and length of the face is closer, with paddle shapes that are less elongated. These wider shaped paddles create a larger, more circular and consistent sweet spot. These paddles are more forgiving when you mis-hit side to side on your paddle. I get asked often why paddles aren’t made both wider and longer. The reason is because the USAPA stipulates that the combined length (with handle) and width cannot exceed 24 inches. When I began playing, I was amazed at how many balls I actually hit by sheer luck off the back of my wrist. A paddle with a larger surface area is a luckier paddle because even balls I don't see well might get back over. And luck is a wonderful thing in pickleball. This is why I recommend more traditional, wider shaped paddle designs for beginners and people just moving up in the rankings (3.0 – 3.5 rating).

Some of you are wondering whether larger paddles are also heavier. Have I worked my way into a pickle by suggesting paddles that have both a large surface area face but are also light? Not really. Modern materials allow the world’s best paddle manufacturers to produce paddles that fit this profile, and the paddles on this page are available in these size and weight formats.

The third consideration is grip diameter and grip or handle length. As in other paddle or racket sports, starting with a smaller diameter grip generally encourages players to hold the paddle in a more relaxed way which is necessary to generate both power and control. Holding your paddle too tightly is referred to as a “death grip.” In my opinion, these death grips might also cause injuries. So start with a grip diameter 4.25 inches or under. Remember, you can always increase the diameter of your grip easily for just a couple dollars by adding an overgrip, so I recommend you start small because you can always go bigger later. As for grip (or handle) length, many players like to place a finger on the paddle surface for added control and paddle orientation; for these players, I recommend paddles with shorter handles which allows them to place their finger on the paddle surface without sacrificing much reach.

The fourth consideration is power vs control. While heavier paddles are generally more powerful, some lightweight paddles also have lots power. The goal at this stage of your game is not power but control. Consistency wins and is more fun for all involved. You can generate all the power you need at this stage of your game without a power paddle. Once you master control, then consider a more powerful paddle. Power vs Control is measured by how fast the ball comes off the paddle, and how consistent (or large) the sweet spot on the paddle is. I recommend players look for paddles with a large consistent sweet spot where they can control the ball and hit a predictable shot even if the ball is hit other than in the center of the paddle. Giving up a bit of power to have a larger sweet spot will reduce mis-hits, and give you more winning shots during match play.

To summarize my list of recommendations, game improvements paddles would include paddles that have a more traditionally shaped wider face (not blade or elongated shapes) and weigh less than 7.8 ounces with 4.25" or smaller diameter grips. They would be made from materials that create large consistent sweet spots, and bias the weight neutral or towards the handle, and have a shot feel that trades power for more control.

I’ve provided this list of characteristics to the product management team here at Pickleball Central, and the paddles on this page represent their recommendations of paddles that meet these criteria.

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