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Ready to take your pickleball game to the next level? Now that you have gained a certain level of experience, you probably want to get a pickleball paddle that reflects your skill. In short, you need a pro pickleball paddle.
There are many paddles out there for advanced players, but finding the one that suits your needs can be challenging. That is why this article is going to review the best pro pickleball paddles currently available as well as some of the things to keep in mind when shopping.
Let’s not keep you waiting!
The 8 Best Pro Pickleball Paddles of 2022
Finding the best paddle for you is going to take some time. Fortunately, you have stumbled upon this guide to the best pro pickleball paddles out there, so some of that research has already been done for you. The pickleball paddles selected have been compared based on their materials, core, brand, shape, and other criteria. Plus, it helps that pros have used many of these advanced pickleball paddles!
Check them out:
Last update on 2023-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Want a pro pickleball paddle with a reputation for winning matches? Then you are going to want the Pro-Lite Supernova Black Diamond, which has helped players win 3 US Open gold meals. For those who come from tennis, this paddle is going to be right up your alley. Let’s start from the ground up, shall we?
First off, the Pro-Lite Supernova Black Diamond has a handle straight from a tennis racquet, including the end that flares out slightly. The 5.25-inch long handle is also wrapped in Pro-Lite’s SofTac 32 cushion, which also absorbs sweat. It’s perfect for those long and grueling matches.
Secondly, this paddle is made out of woven fiberglass. That makes the paddle exceptionally vibration and shock absorbent and provides a balanced amount of control and spin. Since there is less shock from hits, you will suffer from less fatigue and conditions like tennis elbow. Inside the paddle is a polymer honeycomb core to complement the large sweet spot.
Also, the paddle, which is black, gold, and with either a purple or teal accent, looks cool. You really can’t go wrong with this option.
- Made with eye-catching colors
- Comfortable grip
- High-quality polymer honeycomb core
- Extremely durable
- Oversized sweet spot
- Some power is diminished by the thick core
Key Specifications Box:
- Specification 1
- Specification 2
- Specification 3
- Specification 4
- Facing: USA Made Braided Woven Carbon Fiber. Core: Top Grade Polymer Honeycomb
- PROLITE's exclusive woven carbon fiber and vibration dampening system helps alleviate chronic tennis...
- Surface Specs: Length: 15 9/16" | Width: 8 1/8" | Weight range: 7.9-8.3 oz.
- Grip: SofTac 3-2 Cushion Grip | 4 1/8” Handle Circumference, 5 1/4” Handle Length
Last update on 2023-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
HEAD is known for its incredible products, and the Gravity Pickleball Paddle is no different. Popular among the pros, HEAD Gravity is available in two colors and has a standard weight of 8.1 oz (which is shown here). If you go with the LITE version, it’s 7.6 oz.
What makes this HEAD paddle so great? The unique shape. The bottom, near the handle, is more narrow than up top, providing you with a much larger sweet spot. The hybrid paddle also comes with graphite and composite face, adding power and control alongside more spin. The spin is generated by the tri-axial surface.
Inside the paddle is a 3/5 inch core made from polypropylene to dampen sound. You might not get the satisfying smack of the ball, but you do get an excellent drive. The grip circumference is 4.25 inches, and the length is about 4.5 inches. Furthermore, the grip is made all the more comfortable with EVA foam.
Even if you aren’t a pro but want a pro paddle, the HEAD Gravity is right for you. Both intermediate and advanced players are going to like the versatility of this paddle.
- Hybrid paddle that blends both control and power
- Extremely comfortable grip
- Humongous sweet spot
- Comes in both a standard and lightweight version
- The standard version may be too heavy for some players
Looking for a paddle that 5.0+ pro picklers love? The Selkirk Amped Epic paddle is the answer. With superior weight, reach, and balanced power and control, this is a paddle that will up your game and help you win match after match.
You will find that there is a variety of weights and sizes in the Amped Epic line from Selkirk, so you can tailor the paddle to your needs (including an INVICTA option). Not many other producers have that option.
Inside the paddle is a Selkirk X5 Core, which is made with polypropylene honeycomb. The core is thick, generating more power. Even smaller players can smash the ball with this paddle. FiberFlex technology is used on the face, adding control and speed while dampening vibrations.
There is also an edge guard. The grip is slightly narrow—around 4.25 inches—and the 5.25-inch long handle will remind you of a tennis racquet.
This paddle comes highly recommended, so why not give it a shot?
- Available in multiple colors, weights, and sizes
- Includes an edge-guard
- Huge sweet spot
- Balanced control, power, and speed
- Comes with a warranty
- Less durable than other pro models
Most pros above the 4.0 level have used a Paddletek paddle at least once. Many more love the Tempest Reign Pro Pickleball Paddle. Another version, the Tempest Wave Pro, is about the same, though it is the standard size, compared to the elongated length of the Reign Pro.
This video explains the differences (which aren’t much):
This is one of those paddles that not only look good but also play great. You get a blend of accuracy, control, and power that will make you want to blow a chef’s kiss after every incredible shot. This is an elongated paddle that reaches 16.5 inches long and 7.5 inches wide. The extra reach is useful in singles, for when your opponent knocks the ball a little too far.
But imagine their shock when you return the hit!
Inside the Tempest Reign paddle is a graphite polymer honeycomb core. On the outside is texture graphite for a spin. The paddle also uses a smart response technology that provides consistent power generation. Furthermore, the ultra-cushioned grip makes handling the paddle a dream.
- Exceptional stability and durability
- Larger sweet spot and reach
- Excellent spin
- Used by many pro players
- The price tag
- Edge-guard may cause miss-hits
Here is a paddle that has been built using the latest pickleball paddle technologies, including Sweet Spot Mapping for a larger sweet spot. The Roge2 Second Generation Pro Pickleball Paddle has the bells and whistles you didn’t even know you wanted in a paddle.
Consider the vibration and sound dampening throat made out of carbon fiber. Not only is your game less noisy (a downside for some), but your arms and wrists are also protected from injury.
For additional sound and vibration control, this paddle has a gel and polypropylene hybrid honeycomb core beneath the durable fiberglass surface. It is exceptionally durable, quiet, and resistant to impacts. As an advanced player, these are the kinds of features you need to level up your game.
- Available in many colors
- Durable construction
- Sound and vibration dampening
- Large sweet spot
- May not generate enough power
Perhaps you want a pro pickleball paddle that comes straight from the pros? Then check out the Franklin Sports Ben Johns Signature, which was named after Ben Johns, a gold medalist pickler. Many advanced doubles players find this paddle to be top-notch. It has all the ingredients for superb quality, including a 13 mm polypropylene core that delivers both power and stability.
The fiberglass surface has a large sweet spot and a little texture (Max Grit technology) for spins. The amount of control is also adequate for trick shots. You will also be able to angle and aim your shots more effectively. Coming in at 7.5 to 8.0 oz, this paddle is midweight and balanced.
The grip circumference is 4.25 inches and feels comfortable in your hand. The length also allows for a double grip when returning with a backhand.
For advanced players who are looking for something slightly less expensive that other pro pickleball paddles out there, this is definitely an option to consider.
- Four color options
- Lightweight feel with mid-weight handling
- Large sweet spot
- Thick core for more power generation
- Does not hold up as well as other paddles
- No warranty
The ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle is one of the budgets picks for more advanced players. The reasonable price tag, however, does not mean it is of lower quality. Rather, you get excellent construction, durability, and maneuverability from this paddle.
The Graphite Z5 happens to be one of the most popular paddles in the ONIX lineup, too. The wide-body shape and improved sweet spot enhance your returns and serve. The 4.25-inch grip size is also ideal for most hands.
The ONIX Graphite Z5 has a Nomex core, which adds a satisfying sound with each hit. Plus, Nomex provides superior control over the ball. One feature that tennis players may love is the handle. The flared edge of the handle is reminiscent of a tennis racquet and may make gripping the paddle easier for some.
Like most pro pickleball paddles, the ONIX Graphite Z5 is USAPA-approved. The main advantage here is that you get an incredible paddle with dozens of color choices for a very reasonable price.
- Plenty of colors to choose from
- Nomex honeycomb core and graphite face
- The finish flakes easily
Want to improve your soft game? The ONIX Evoke Premier is used by many pros in the game, including Lucy Kovalova and Matt Wright. The design was made to allow for more precision, as well as spin. The balance between the weight of the paddle and the handle optimizes control. The entire weight of the paddle is 0.5 pounds, putting it at a medium weight.
But what makes this paddle so good? Consider the polypropylene honeycomb core, which has been precision-cut, and the composite face. When these two materials are paired together, you get a paddle that is excellent for all kinds of situations.
It’s ideal for players who like baseline play, as well as getting up close and personal to the net. Another feature of the Evoke Premier is the use of Atomic13 Edge Technology, which disperses the shock of the paddle throughout the paddle and uses it to enhance the speed of your swing.
If you want a slightly larger version of the Evoke series paddle, ONIX also came out with the XL version. The construction is relatively the same, but the face of the paddle has been elongated slightly. Both the regular and pro versions of the ONIX Evoke are USAPA -approved, so you can take these to your next match and win.
- Balanced weight for both excellent spin and control
- Made with a polypropylene core
- Atomic13 Edge Technology
- Comfortable grip
- It may feel big in your hands
Buyer’s Guide to Pro Pickleball Paddles
Now that you have seen the list of the best pro pickleball paddles, let’s discuss how to choose the one that suits your needs. Obviously, there are a lot of decent pickleball paddles on the market, but there is going to be one that feels heavenly in your hand. The tips below will help you track down your destined pickleball paddle.
You should also check out this video that details how to find the best pickleball paddle for you:
Liking how good a paddle feels in your hand has a little (or a lot of) something to do with the paddle weight. That means that weight is one of the most important things to consider when choosing your pro pickleball paddle.
It’s similar to tennis, where the weight of the racquet determines how quickly your arm fatigues. However, in pickleball, the weight affects how you play. You might think that going for the lighter paddle is the best option, but that’s not the case. Many pros will tell you that midweight is the best weight.
Getting a feel for your pickleball paddle is difficult when it feels like air. This could diminish the consistency of your serves and strikes. However, some people do prefer a light paddle.
- Lightweight paddle: 6 oz to 7.3 oz
- Middleweight paddle: 7.3 oz to 8.0 oz
- Heavyweight paddle: 8.0 oz and higher
As an experienced player, you may gravitate toward the middleweight, since you get both control and power. If possible, test out a couple of pickleball paddles for the feel before choosing the one that is best.
Can You Add Weight to a Pickleball Paddle?
Yes, you can—legally, too. 5.0 pro Sarah Ansboury, who is sponsored by HEAD, does this all the time by using lead tape. By applying the tape to the edge of the paddle or to the edge guard, you can effectively make a lightweight paddle heftier, thereby giving you the ability to plow through more swings.
However, while adding some weight with lead tape is permitted, there are regulations on how much weight you can add.
The grip size is an important element to consider when choosing a paddle. Generally, the circumference is 4 to 4.5 inches. Personal preference plays a role in what you choose. However, the size of the grip is also key in injury prevention.
If you plan on purchasing a paddle online, there is no way to test out the grip, so you’re going to have to rely a little on luck. Also, measure your hand to determine the best size. Using a tape measure, go from the tip of your ring finger to the middle crease of your palm—your playing hand. This is your recommended grip size.
Still not sure what to get or stuck with an in-between size? Go a size down. The good news is that grip size can be increased by adding an overgrip. However, if you go a size up, there’s no way to make that grip smaller. If you buy too big of a grip, it will limit your wrist mobility and could lead to less control, as well as a greater chance of injury.
Does the material the paddle is made out of change the way you perform at pickleball? You bet! For that reason, pro picklers tend to choose light and controllable materials for their paddles.
Durable and inexpensive, wood pickleball paddles tend to be for recreational players. You won’t find many pro picklers using a wooden paddle for their matches. Wood is best for beginners or for those who are playing a match in the backyard with their families.
When a pickleball paddle is made of a composite, it means that there is a blend of either carbon fiber or fiberglass on the surface paired with an aluminum or polymer core. The surface of most composite paddles is textured, providing you with more spin.
The most expensive pickleball paddles are made of graphite. Despite weighing between 6 to 9 oz, paddles made from graphite are incredibly strong. Graphite paddles may come with polymer, Nomex honeycomb, or aluminum cores. If you are looking for the best pro pickleball paddles, seek out ones made of graphite.
Core Construction and Materials
The core of a paddle changes how the paddle performs during play. Many pro pickleball paddles come with either polymer or Nomex cores, though you may be able to find a more budget-friendly pick with an aluminum core.
Light, easy to control, and durable. Aluminum cores have impressive maneuverability. The downside to aluminum is that, since these paddles are much lighter, they lack the driving power of heavier paddles.
Made from a plastic blend, the polymer is one of the newer cores on the market. The polymer is much softer than aluminum and Nomex. It is also quieter since the soft material absorbs much of the impact from the ball. However, due to the absorption, the paddle decreases power output. Thus, polymer core paddles are recommended for those players who prefer control over power.
One of the more popular cores is called Nomex honeycomb, and it provides durability, power, and precision. Nomex is a cardboard-like material that has been dipped into resin and then pressed into a honeycomb pattern. While Nomex cores tend to resonate a bit more, they do have many advantages. That is why professional players tend to select Nomex cores.
The most standard paddle is 8 inches wide and 16 inches long, which provides plenty of balance and control for beginners. These are known as wide-body paddles and are built according to USAPA regulations. That said, the shape, width, length, and size may vary between the manufacturers and how they design the paddle. As long as the paddle does not exceed 24 inches, including the handle cap and edge guard.
An elongated paddle is slightly longer (around 17 inches) and thinner than a standard one. Elongated paddles provide the player with more spin and reach, but they do come with less control. More experienced users and those who play a lot of singles matches tend to prefer elongated paddles.
Leveling Up With a Pro Paddle
Which pro pickleball paddle caught your fancy? You may want to follow in your professional role models footsteps and choose the very paddle that they play with, or you want to find your favorite pro pickleball paddle from the list above.
Even if you didn’t find a paddle in this list that suits you, keep the buyer’s guide in mind. By considering what makes a pickleball paddle suitable for advanced players, you will be able to find one you have been dreaming about.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
There are many paddles out there that have been used by pro picklers. For example, Franklin came out with the Ben Johns Signature Paddle. Simone Jardin uses the Prince Response Pro; Riley Newman plays with the Selkirk Amped Epic paddle; Lucy Kovalova and Matt Wright both use the Onix Evoke Premier, and Tyson McGuffin uses the Selkirk INVICTA. The Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro was used by Catherine Parenteau, and her partner for doubles, Joey Farias, uses the Gearbox GX6 Power Joey Farias Signature Paddle.
Out of all the brands of pickleball paddles that exist, it is difficult to name the one who takes the top spot. Many brands make multiple models for various situations and play styles. However, the consistently top-ranked brands include ONIX, Selkirk, Franklin Sports, Paddletek, HEAD, Joola, Gamma, and Gearbox.
Tyson McGuffin uses the signature edition of the Selkirk INVICTA paddle, which is 8.1 oz and supports McGuffin’s aggressive baseline play style.