How To Choose a Pickleball Paddle: The Complete Buyer’s Guide

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced pickleball player, you’ve undoubtedly wondered how to choose a pickleball paddle (or “racket,” as it’s commonly misnomered) that would be best for you.

Players of all ages and ability levels have been drawn to pickleball in its enormous rise in popularity in recent years. Selecting the appropriate pickleball paddle is an essential choice for any player, regardless of skill level. It might be intimidating to choose the ideal paddle that fits your playing style and preferences out of the many possibilities on the market. We will cover all the information you require to choose a pickleball paddle wisely in this extensive buyer’s guide.

Understanding the Basics

It’s critical to comprehend the fundamentals of pickleball paddles before beginning the selection procedure. Typically, a pickleball paddle has the following parts: face, core, edge guard, handle, and grip. The performance of the paddle on the court is influenced by the different materials and designs of these parts. Paddles come in a variety of materials, including wood, composite, and graphite, each with special qualities and benefits.

What You Should Consider When Selecting a Pickleball Paddle

This article was made to clear up any misconceptions and provide precise instructions on how to choose the best pickleball paddle for your unique needs. When choosing the best pickleball paddle, there are a few important things to take into account:


Choose a weight that suits your playing technique and preferences.

Grip Size

Ensure the grip size accommodates your hand comfortably.

Shape Construction, and Color

Align the paddle’s design with your gameplay style.

Noise Level

Select paddles that produce less noise, especially for quiet environments.


Strike a balance between quality and affordability when making your purchase.

Choose the Right Pickleball Paddle Weight

Price is often the main factor that influences the decisions made by many consumers. Even though we fully appreciate how important it is to stay within your budget, a pickleball paddle’s price tag won’t tell you everything you need to know. Put another way, just because a paddle costs more, it doesn’t always imply it’s the best pickleball paddle for you.

Weight is widely regarded as the primary consideration when selecting a pickleball paddle, according to most pickleball experts.

Paddles for pickleball come in a range of weights, from 6 ounces for lightweight models to 14 ounces for heavier models.

Lightweight PaddlesUnder 7.3 oz
Mid-Weight Paddles7.3 to 8.4 oz
Heavy Paddles8.5 oz. and over

The paddle’s weight has an impact on how it feels in your hands and how well you perform on the court. It’s usually a matter of taste, depending on your level of fitness and playing style.

Lightweight vs Heavy Pickleball Paddles

Lightweight PaddlesHeavy Paddles
Improved ball management.More power
Enhanced maneuverability.Reduced exertion to generate powerful shots.
Reduced strain on the elbow and shoulder.It is more effortless to hit the ball with depth.
Decreased power or drive.Strain on injuries, particularly the elbows.
stronger swing neededLess control, slower swing.
It is more challenging to execute long or powerful shots.Leads to increased fatigue during extended play sessions.

Tip for tennis players playing pickleball

If you are a tennis player who is transitioning to pickleball from tennis, you are probably used to the heavier weight of a tennis racket. Consequently, you ought to be able to handle a heavier paddle without running the risk of getting hurt.

If wrist movement is a major component of your shots, a light to medium-weight paddle would be more appropriate. These paddles provide more control and grace.

Think about pickleball paddles that have grips similar to a tennis racquet handle, or “tennis style” grips. For tennis players making the switch to pickleball, some of the more recent extended grips have a feel more like that of classic tennis rackets.


Selecting the Ideal Pickleball Paddle Grip Size

“A pickleball paddle’s grip size is generally disregarded, yet choosing the right paddle depends greatly on it. The same goes for running: choosing a paddle with the incorrect grip size can have a big impact on how well you play on the court.”

Most paddles have standard grips that are between 4 and 4 ½ inches in length. Although you can add an overgrip to increase the size, you cannot decrease the grip size. If in doubt, go with a size that is just a little bit smaller (approximately ⅛ to ¼ inch) and make any necessary adjustments using overgrip or tape.

More wrist action is made possible by a smaller grip, which improves control and ball spin. Furthermore, you can boost the force of your serve by moving your wrist more. We have put together a list of lightweight pickleball paddles with 4-inch grips for those with little hands.

Choosing a bigger grip reduces stress on the elbow, shoulder, and wrist joints while improving stroke stability. However, playing for extended periods of time with a paddle handle that is too big for your hand might cause elbow strain, which can result in joint pain or tennis elbow.

Easy Way To Measure Grip Size By Height

Your HeightGrip Size
Under 5’2″4″ Grip
5’3 to 5’84 1/8 to 4 1/4 Grip
5’9 & taller4 1/2 Grip

Understand Pickleball Paddle Composition

One of the sports in the US with the fastest growth is pickleball. The number of pickleball paddle makers, retail outlets, and internet retailers has increased in tandem with the number of new players. The difficulty of selecting the ideal pickleball paddle is increased by the multitude of variations available.

With so many clothing options available, pickleball players have benefited from the boom in the sport. But with the variety of paddle options available, it can be difficult to choose the best due to the quick evolution of paddle types.

Pickleball paddles were first made from a single piece of plywood in garage workshops using simple instruments like bandsaws. But with new materials and technologies, pickleball players nowadays have to make increasingly difficult decisions. They have to decide on paddle-face materials like carbon fiber, fiberglass, or graphite and various core materials, including wood, polymer, Nomex, or aluminum.

Choose the Right Pickleball Paddle Price

Price is undeniably a crucial factor when selecting a pickleball paddle. The range varies widely, starting from under $15 for basic wood paddles and extending to $150 or more for premium graphite and composite options.

Although you may spend more than $100 on high-quality pickleball paddles, there are also many affordable options available. Additionally, the total cost of pickleball equipment is comparatively low when compared to sports like golf.

When buying a pickleball paddle, keep in mind that with proper care, a paddle can last for many years, even though every person has different spending constraints and budgets.

When budgeting for pickleball gear, consider investing in a quality pair of pickleball shoes before splurging on a paddle.

Cheap Pickleball Rackets

Wooden pickleball paddles are typically crafted from 7-ply maple or Baltic birch wood, offering the most economical choice on the market. Prices for wooden paddles range from around $10 to $25 for the highest-quality options.

For beginners seeking their first pickleball paddle, it’s advisable to bypass wooden choices and opt for a composite or graphite paddle, priced between $50 and $120. Even if you play only once a week, the slight increase in cost for a mid-range graphite paddle can translate to mere pennies per game over the course of a year.

To maximize savings, consider purchasing affordable pickleball paddle sets that include multiple paddles and balls. These bundles are ideal for couples or families in need of multiple pieces of equipment.

Club paddles, priced at approximately $30 to $35, are dubbed as such for their affordability and suitability for clubs, camps, and community centers purchasing paddles in bulk quantities.

Expensive Pickleball Paddles

Determining the most expensive pickleball paddle can be challenging due to the multitude of sporting goods stores and online retailers offering various paddle options. However, based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP), some of the newer paddles released in recent times have reached higher price points, with some selling for approximately $130.

Examples of such high-priced paddles include the Selkirk Sport Pro S1 and the ProLite Titan Pro, both marketed as “Pro” paddles by their respective companies. Additionally, more recent paddle releases, such as the Poach Advantage by Engage and the Selkirk AMPED line, are priced around $150.

Given the ongoing evolution of paddle technology and the use of premium materials in manufacturing, it’s plausible to expect further increases in paddle prices in the future. Similar to the tennis industry’s transition from wooden rackets to high-end options retailing for $300–$400 or more, the pickleball market may also see a rise in the cost of top-tier paddles.

MTEN Pickleball Paddleamazon
Selkirk AMPED Pickleball Paddleamazon
JOOLA Ben Pickleball Paddleamazon


To get the most out of pickleball and perform at your best on the court, you must select the appropriate paddle. You may choose the ideal paddle that improves your gameplay and meets your tastes by taking into account elements like weight, grip size, material, and skill level. Before choosing, take your time to consider all of your options, read reviews, and ask for advice. You’ll be prepared to step up your pickleball game once you have the appropriate paddle.

FAQs about How To Choose a Pickleball Paddle

What factors should I consider when choosing a pickleball paddle?

Consider factors such as weight, grip size, paddle shape, build materials, noise level, and budget when selecting a pickleball paddle.

How do I choose my next pickleball paddle?

Matching the essential aspects of a paddle with a player’s abilities and preferences.

Is there really a difference in pickleball paddles?

If you’re an aggressive player who enjoys attacking the ball, you’ll appreciate thinner polymer core paddles.

How do I know what pickleball paddle to buy?

Discover the ideal pickleball paddle tailored to your playing style.

How many pickleball paddles should I have?

At least two paddles 

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