The Best Pickleball Paddles under $100. Personally reviewed and Tested.
Some high-end pickleball paddles can get pretty expensive, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great, more affordable options out there for those of us (pickle) balling on a budget!
The best thing is that once you have a paddle and a ball, you’re ready to play pickleball without having to spend anything more for a long time. Sure, there are plenty of extra gear and gadgets you can get, but at its core, pickleball only requires a paddle, a ball, and a few friends!
In this article, we’ll be looking at the seven best pickleball paddles under $100, as well as their pros and cons and other features that make them special. Let’s jump in!
Also Check Out: Best Overall Pickleball Paddles Of the Year!
Top Pickleball Paddles Under $100 – Comparision
|Amazon ($89.99)Pickleball Central ($89.99)|
Best Lightweight Paddle
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Best For Spin
|Amazon ($79.00)Pickleball Central ($79.99)|
Best For Power
|Amazon ($89.99)Pickleball Central ($89.99)|
Top 8 Pickleball Paddles Under $100 – Reviews
#1. XS XSPAK Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle
The XS XSPAK is the best pickleball paddle under $100 by a long shot. It looks, feels, and plays identical to some of the best premium pickleball paddles on the market.
The face is T-700 Raw carbon fiber which is the same material used by CRBN, GRUVN, and Gearbox since it generates a massive amount of spin that gets better with time as the carbon fiber weaves start to fray.
If you’re looking for a durable paddle that you can use from a beginner level all the way to an advanced level without the need to switch, this is the perfect paddle for you.
It’s so well-balanced with a 16mm core to for buttery smooth dinks, and drops. and resets while still having enough weight to get some decent power on groundstrokes, and attacks.
The XS XSPAK has been getting a lot of hype in the pickleball community and I know why. It’s a great paddle for any player at an amazing price. If you want to learn more, here is the full review of the XS XSPAK.
- Raw carbon face produces amazing spin.
- 16mm core provides maneuverability and stability
- A slightly heavier swing weight and long handle allow for decent power
- Very easy to control after the paddle is broken in
- forgiving sweet paddle face
- Gets better with age
- No Manufacturer Warranty
- Starts off a bit rigid and stiff.
#2. Onix Z5 Pickleball Paddle
The Onix Z5 graphite pickleball paddle is highly popular throughout the pickleball community. You’ll probably see one or two of these paddles on most pickleball courts you visit. It has excellent all-around consistency, quality, and feel, and its price point is great for the quality you get.
The Onix Z5 is a super well-balanced paddle that has a solid feel in your hand. It has a wider-than-average face which gives it a huge sweet spot too!
The Z5 comes with a lightly textured surface that is ideal for spin shots and cut shots alike. One thing we love about this paddle is how power just seems to flow naturally through the Z5 when swinging it.
The design of the handle could be a bit better as it tends to give some players blisters, and the tape wrap has been known to unravel. But if you invest in a good overgrip to cover the handle, it’s a tough paddle to beat.
One thing about the Onix Z5 that bothers some players is the loud sound that it makes when striking the ball. Its core is harder and doesn’t absorb much energy, which results in a louder-than-normal noise level – but the harder core is also, in part, what gives it such great power for a lightweight paddle.
All in all, the Onix Z5 is one of the best pickleball paddles under $100. Its quality-to-price ratio is hard to beat, and it’s durable, too, so you’ll have a good paddle for years to come. It’s an excellent option for beginner and intermediate players looking to buy a quality mid-level paddle at an affordable price.
- Wide face and large sweet spot
- Great power for a lightweight paddle
- A gritty texture is great for spin
- Good feel and consistency
- Handle can be uncomfortable.
- Loud paddle
- Handle wrap is known to unravel
#3. Paddletek Bantam TS-5 Paddle
The Paddletek Bantam TS-5 Anna Leigh Waters Signature is an incredibly lightweight pickleball paddle that produces great power and approach to the ball. It boasts a soft core, slim body, and a silk-screened matte fiberglass face, which makes it perfect for players focused on the control game. It’s also approved as a “quiet paddle” for sound regulations.
The TS-5 has a fairly long handle and a shorter overall paddle length. It has a clever weight distribution, where it feels good for power shots despite its ultra-light weight. This is a great paddle for anyone who has joint or wrist issues, as it puts much less stress on your body while still producing similar power to heavier paddles.
This is the actual pickleball paddle that 6 time US open gold medalist Anna Leigh Waters uses. She had full control and was able to tailor this paddle for extreme performance.
The Bantam TS-5 comes with an edge guard that is a little thicker than many paddles. And the grip tape is known to come loose after heavy use, but that being said, the grip does feel good in your hand.
Overall, the Paddletek Bantam TS-5 is a high-performing and powerful lightweight paddle that is super quick and ideal for players with joint issues.
- Good power for a lightweight paddle
- Good control paddle
- Quiet paddle
- Ideal for players with joint issues
- Slim core has great pop
- Thicker edge guard
- Grip tape can come loose
#4. Head Gravity Pickleball Paddle
The Head Gravity pickleball paddle is the highest-priced paddle on this list, sitting at just under $100. It can stand toe to toe in comparison to most paddles out there, though, which can easily make it worth the price tag. It has a surface that’s made with a mixture of composite and graphite materials and has a tri-axial pattern that helps add killer spin to any shot.
The paddle’s thick, low-density core offers great touch and shock absorption while maintaining a highly reactive surface. One of the best things about this paddle is its massive sweet spot. It’s a slightly wider paddle than most, which helps create a bigger sweet spot, but the magic is in the unique core design!
The Head gravity has a comfortable grip that feels perfectly cushioned in your hand. Due to the extra-large sweet spot and high-quality surface material, the Gravity has a really solid and predictable pop when hitting the ball.
Although this paddle has a quality surface, it’s well-known that the paint on its face wears away quickly – this doesn’t affect its performance, but it can be frustrating as it makes the paddle look old even when it has plenty of life left.
Another common complaint we hear about this paddle is that some players feel that it lacks balance. If you’re not used to a thicker paddle, the Gravity can feel a bit clunky, but it performs really well once you get used to playing with it.
It ultimately comes down to preference – if you want a consistent mid-weight paddle that is thicker and wider than average, this is a good choice. However, if you want something that feels effortless to swing and will keep a pretty surface for a long time, you may want to opt for a different paddle.
- Comfortable grip
- Good pop
- Large sweet spot
- Produces killer spins
- Good shock absorption
- Surface paint wears away quickly
- The widebody is handle balanced which may feel off to some players.
#5. Selkirk SLK Evo Soft Max Paddle
Selkirk’s SLK Evo Soft Max is a powerful midweight carbon fiber pickleball paddle that totes a thick polymer core and low-profile edge guards. This thing is a super versatile paddle! Whereas it may not be the top performer in any category, it performs above average in almost every area.
This paddle has a big sweet spot that sends balls flying with a nice pop on good connections. The thick polymer core gives it a soft touch on the ball, while the carbon fiber surface keeps it snappy and precise.
The SLK Evo Soft Max has a shorter handle, but it still gives you a strong connection. The handle has a nice padding and tackiness to it, which keeps things comfortable and secure.
The shorter handle can feel awkward and uncomfortable to players who are used to longer handles, and the grip wrap has been known to unravel and have some durability issues.
This paddle is ideal for power shots, snappy placements, and control. It’s not the best in any category, but it’s a solid “jack of all trades” that could suit most gameplay styles.
- Good power and pop
- Large sweet spot
- Soft touch for control shots
- Low-profile edge guards
- Versatile paddle
- Grip has some durability issues
- Shorter handle can feel awkward to some people
#6. Head Cyber Elite Pickleball Paddle
Head brings us another solid pickleball paddle with the Cyber Elite. This paddle has a mildly textured and somewhat smooth fiberglass hitting surface, a comfortable grip, and a slightly top-heavy balance that gives it some momentum on your swings.
The balance of this paddle is great for power serves and overhand smashes alike, but it also has a nice feel and quickness to it as well.
The Cyber Elite has an average-sized frame and sweet spot, and a consistent pop on the ball. It’s another quality paddle that offers good overall performance while not having one particular feature stand out.
The shorter handle does get some complaints, as certain people just aren’t fans of the balance it creates, but that’s more of a preference issue. It doesn’t have as good of control as some other rival paddles, so if you’re looking for a great control paddle, you might want to look elsewhere.
This paddle is a solid choice for players who are looking for the next paddle up from a beginner paddle. It’s not a show-stopper, but it will perform consistently well overall, and it sits at an affordable price.
- Good balance for power shots
- Good quickness for a midweight paddle
- Consistent and forgiving sweet spot
- Lacks control for dinks and resets
- Short handle feels awkward to some players
#7. Joola Essentials
The Joola Essentials pickleball paddle is a slightly smaller-than-average midweight paddle that has a unique perforated grip, excellent pop, and a generous sweet spot. Its smaller size gives it extra maneuverability on the court, while its weight still allows for a firm control game and authoritative power shots.
It has a multi-layered fiberglass face that gives a nice snap to the ball, but is limited with its spin capabilities. This paddle has a particularly nice feel, which makes it really shine in the control game.
The handle on this paddle is exceptionally comfortable! It has a soft pillowy feel, but its tackiness and perforated design still allow for a firm connection.
The Joola Essentials pickleball paddle performs admirably and is certainly affordable, but it doesn’t typically last as long as some of the other paddles on this list. It has been known to have some durability issues, but it should still last a good while for most players.
This paddle is a good entry point for players who want to begin playing with a competitive paddle while not breaking the bank.
- Good control paddle
- Sizable sweet spot
- Great maneuverability
- Nice snap on the ball
- Great pop
- I found it hard to generate spin
#8. Rally PXL
The Rally PXL elongated graphite paddle combines reach, control, and accuracy. The extended length and top-weighted design will help you follow through every swing with power and authority. Its sleek and slender shape focuses the sweet spot towards the top, making it a great paddle for overhead smashes.
The Rally PXL’s lightly textured surface material provides a good amount of control and spin capabilities. It’s a relatively light paddle with a nice balance considering its elongated design. The paddle’s graphite face reacts sensitively to the ball, giving it a snappy feel on contact.
This paddle’s elongated shape makes it easier to hit balls that are usually out of reach for standard paddles – allowing for better defensive court coverage. Elongated paddles are a favorite for singles players as it helps them cover more ground by themselves. If you’re not accustomed to a longer paddle, the balance can feel a bit awkward at first, but once you get used to the feel, its length is a great utility!
The Rally PXL has been known to have some durability issues with its handle. However, the customer service is helpful and should quickly replace the paddle if it breaks while under warranty.
- Good texture for spin shots
- Consistent control
- The large sweet spot for an elongated paddle
- Unique design
- Has some durability issues with its handle
- Balance can feel awkward
Pickleball paddles come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and they come in all kinds of prices, too! But you don’t have to break the bank to get a quality paddle that will help you level up your game. After all, a pickleball paddle is the most important piece of equipment in pickleball. And not all paddles in the same price range will be of the same quality. So make sure you do your research and pick a paddle that suits your needs and playing style!
Hopefully, this list helped you in your search for a great pickleball paddle under $100. Until next time, fellow picklers!