5 Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners

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4 picks for best pickleball paddles for beginners listed in a row

Let’s face the facts. Pickleball has exploded in popularity, and now there are so many paddles in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges to choose from. If you’re new to the game and looking for your first pickleball paddle, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with all the options. Here are 5 of the best pickleball paddles for beginners that you can’t go wrong with.

Also Check Out: Our Overall Favorite Pickleball Paddles

What To Look For In A Beginner Pickleball Paddle

You’ll notice that there are so many shapes, sizes, and weights of pickleball paddles on the market. However, since you’re a beginner, you don’t have to worry about any of that until you figure out the type of shots you excel at and need work at.

A pickleball paddle will not change your game overnight, but it could help by a fraction of a percent when you get more advanced.

Here are the top five requirements for a beginner pickleball paddle.

Paddle Face Shape

As a beginner, you’ll want a standard-sized face. The standard face gives you a bigger sweet spot and more forgiveness. It also allows you to hit all kinds of shots easily.

diagram of pickleball paddle size

Paddle Face Material

For your first pickleball paddle, you’ll want a composite or graphite face since that’s what most pickleball paddles are made out of. It will make transitioning easier if you ever upgrade, and it offers more durability than a wooden paddle.

Price

Since you’re new to the game, you want to ensure you enjoy it. You don’t want to go spend $150 or more on a pickleball paddle that’s going to collect dust in your garage. A Pickleball paddle under $100 will be more than enough.

Paddle Weight

This isn’t the most important factor for a beginner pickleball paddle, it’s something to keep in the back of your mind when trying out paddles, do you prefer a lightweight or midweight paddle, or does a heavier pickleball paddle feel better in your hands.

Light-weight Under 7.2 oz
Mid-weight7.3-8.4 oz
Heavy 8.5-9.5

Grip Length

Generally a beginner player should start out with a standard-sized grip until you know your strengths and weaknesses. If you come from a tennis background or other racket sports background you may already know some of your strengths like you have a nasty two-handed backhand shot. In that case you may want a paddle with an elongated handle.

Top 5 Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners – Reviews

All pickleball paddles reviewed are USPA-approved.

Best Overall
niupipo Pickleball Paddles

 

  • Paddle Dimensions: 15.35" x 7.79"
  • Handle Length: 4.8"
  • Grip circumference: 4.25"
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Features: Set of two paddles, 4 balls (2 indoor, 2 outdoor), paddle cover

This was the very first pickleball paddle I used when I was starting out. The niupipo pickleball paddle checks all the boxes for a perfect pickleball paddle for beginners. It is a standard-sized graphite face, and the core is the perfect thickness. The first thing I noticed was how good it felt in my hands. The handle is 4.25″ thick, and the stock grip is excellent.

This paddle offers exceptional forgiveness and sounds great off the face. Furthermore, it’s, easy to hit all kinds of shots from drop shots, to drives and even spin shots.

Discover More: 7 Best Pickleball Paddles For Spin

As far as affordability goes, it’s an amazing deal. You get two pickleball paddles, two indoor pickleballs, two outdoor balls, and a paddle cover. That’s less than $50 for a pickleball paddle

Pros
  • Very Affordable 
  • Set of 2 Paddles with Indoor and Outdoor Balls Included 
  • Great Feel
  • Quality Graphite face, with a polymer core 
  • Great Versatility
Cons
  • Graphite face scratches after a couple of months of use
Editor's Choice
Selkirk Sport SLK Evo
  • Paddle Dimensions: 16" x 7.85"
  • Handle Length: 4.85"
  • Grip Circumference: 4 1/4"
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Features: C6-Flex Power Fiberglass, Ultra Comfort grip 

This paddle is a beginner version from one of the top pickleball paddle manufacturers in the industry. The Selkirk SLK includes the technology that can be found in their more expensive pickleball paddles.

I’d say this is one of the most common paddles I see when I go out to public courts for round-robin play. I understand why…This paddle performs great.

This SLK evo has a large sweet spot with a lot of pop but also offers plenty of feel and control for the shorter shots. It comes with a cushioned and perforated Selkirk grip that adds a lot of comfort and control in your hands. Overall it’s hard to find many flaws in this paddle, especially for an intro-level paddle.

Pros
  • Great Balance 
  • Selkirk Brand Performance Grip
  • Durable
Cons
  • The face lacks gritty texture
  • Smaller Sweet Spot Means Less Forgivness

Most Affordable
VERSIX Strike 4F Composite
  • Paddle Dimensions: 15.4" x 5.1"
  • Handle Length: 5.1"
  • Grip Circumference: 3 3/4"
  • Weight: 7.3 oz

The Versix Strike 4F is a smoking deal. For under $30 you get a high-quality composite pickleball paddle with a slim 0.4″ core with a 5″ handle that comes stock with a tacky, cushioned grip.

When I personally tested this paddle, the first thing that jumped out was how nice the weight felt. It was very balanced around the head and the grip, but still an overall lightweight pickleball paddle.

The only real downside was the paddle felt a little dull. It was forgiving and easy to hit all kinds of shots, but it was hard to tell if you hit the ball on the sweet spot or not. This paddle was great overall, but if you’re a feel player, it may not be for you.

Pros
  • Very affordable 
  • Lightweight but balanced
  • The very forgiving sweet spot
Cons
  • Not as durable as other paddles. 
Best To Grow Into
ONIX Graphite Z5 Widebody
  • Paddle Dimensions: 15 1/2" X 8-1/8"
  • Handle Length: 5”
  • Paddle Weight: 7.9 oz
  • Grip Circumference: 4 1/4"
  • Features: Available in yellow, red, white, pink, blue, mod pink, mod blue and orange.

The ONIX z5 felt like it had far more power than any other paddles in this review. The wider body means that the sweet spot is less compressed, but that does not seem to take away from the pop.

This paddle is a great beginner, second, or intermediate pickleball paddle because it’s so versatile. The gritty graphite face is easy to spin, it’s very balanced so you have feel and control around the net, and did I mention it’s got power?

If you’re looking for a paddle that you can keep using as your game improves, this is the paddle for you. The grip is tacky, perforated, and cushioned, the core is thin but the face is wide and the weight felt perfect for me.

Pros
  • The wide body offers amazing forgiveness 
  • Gritty face texture
  • Responsive 
  • Durable 
  • Comfortable grip 
Cons
  • Slightly expensive for beginners 
  • The grip lacks durability and may need to be regripped.
Honorable Mention
Rally Tyro 2 Advanced
  • Paddle Dimensions: 15 3/4" x 7 7/8"
  • Handle Lenght: 5"
  • Grip Circumference: 3 7/8"

The Rally Tyro 2 is Pickleball Central’s in-house paddle. This is another great beginner pickleball paddle for under $50. The Tyro 2 has a composite face which helps with a little more power. Furthermore, the surface is surprisingly gritty for a paddle under $50. I was able to generate spin on a low of shorter shots.

Although this paddle is great for a beginner or someone who doesn’t play a lot, it may lack the feel, durability, and shock absorption that a more advanced player looks for in a pickleball paddle.

Pros
  • The wide body offers amazing forgiveness 
  • Gritty face texture
  • Responsive 
  • Durable 
  • Comfortable grip 
Cons
  • Slightly expensive for beginners 
  • The grip lacks durability and may need to be regripped.

Final thoughts

You cannot go wrong with any of these pickleball paddles we reviewed. They meet all the basic requirements for beginners and you’ll be able to get a feel for your own game. These paddles are great to have as you improve, but if you decide to upgrade to require future needs, you’ll have a great baseline to compare.

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