7 Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners

Third Shot Blog

By Third Shot Blog

Pickleball is exploding in participation in the United States. According to several reports, millions of people are trying the sport every year.

If you’re one of the many people trying the exciting game of pickleball, you may be asking, “which beginner-friendly pickleball paddle is right for me?” Not to worry – we’ve answered that question for you.

In this post, we’ve compiled our favorite pickleball paddles for beginners. Discover effective and cost-effective paddle options to help kickstart your pickleball journey.

ONIX Z5 Composite Pickleball Paddle

ONIX Z5 Graphite pickleball paddle

ONIX Z5 Composite Pickleball Paddle (source: Pickleball Central)

One of the classics, the ONIX Z5 graphite pickleball paddle is a hit in the pickleball scene for beginners, favored for their solid feel and comfortable control.

This high-quality paddle boasts a classic pickleball shape and a well-balanced design that ensures excellent control and powerful shots. Thanks to its generous 8-1/8” wide face, the sweet spot is notably large, making it a preferred choice. The weight falls within the 7.5 to 8.2-ounce range, a sweet spot for many players.

Paddle Face: Graphite

Core Material: Nomex Honeycomb

Price: $89.99


Average Weight7.9 ounces
Weight Range7.5 – 8.2 ounces
Grip Size4 1/4″ (Medium)
Grip StylePerforated cushion grip
Handle Length5″
Paddle Length15 1/2″
Paddle Width8-1/8”
Paddle FaceGraphite
Core MaterialNomex honeycomb
Edge Guard1/4” overlapping paddle face

Oneshot X Pickleball Paddle

OneShot X pickleball paddle
Oneshot X Pickleball Paddle (source: Pickleball Central)

The Oneshot X composite pickleball paddle is a fantastic choice for players seeking an affordable paddle that adds extra power to their game. It maintains the beloved, traditional square-shaped design and boasts Oneshot’s high-performance OneCore polypropylene honeycomb core, the same core found in their professional-level paddles. This core is expertly enclosed between two top-quality fiberglass faces.

With an impressive width of 8.2 inches, the Oneshot X provides one of the widest hitting surfaces available, ensuring a substantial sweet spot. Moreover, it’s incredibly lightweight, weighing in at just 7.2 – 7.3 ounces. This ensures that your hand speed remains unaffected, allowing you to swiftly return a variety of shots.

Paddle Face: Fiberglass

Core Material: Polypropylene Honeycomb

Price: $49.99


Average Weight7.25 ounces
Weight Range7.2 – 7.3 ounces
Grip Size4.25″ (Medium)
Grip StylePerforated Stitched Cushion
Handle Length5″
Paddle Length15.7″
Paddle Width8.2″
Paddle FaceFiberglass
Core MaterialPolypropylene Honeycomb
Core Thickness0.5″
Edge Guard1/8″ overlapping paddle face

Paddletek Phoenix G6 Composite Pickleball Paddle

Paddletek Phoenix G6 Composite pickleball paddle
Paddletek Phoenix G6 Composite Pickleball Paddle (source: Pickleball Central)

Experience the incredible performance of the Paddletek Phoenix G6 composite pickleball paddle! Boasting an expansive sweet spot and remarkable shot accuracy, this paddle is designed to elevate your game. Its polymer core not only provides ample power but also effectively eliminates shaking and vibrations that can hinder your precision on the court. Additionally, an innovative graphite layer within the design enhances control and ensures quieter play during intense matches.

With a weight ranging from 7.8 to 8.1 oz, the Phoenix G6 strikes a perfect balance between heft and maneuverability – delivering solid swings while remaining easy to handle at the kitchen line. The medium circumference grip features a reinforced structure that further reduces shock upon impact.

Paddle Face: Velvet Textured Polycarbonate

Core Material: Graphite/Polymer Composite Honeycomb

Price: $69.99


Weight Range7.8-8.1 ounces
Grip Size4 1/4″
Grip StyleHigh Tack Ultra Cushion
Handle Length5″
Paddle Length15 5/8″
Paddle Width7 3/4″
Paddle FaceVelvet Textured Polycarbonate
Core MaterialGraphite/Polymer Composite Honeycomb
Core Thickness9/16″ (0.5625″)
Edge Guard1/8″ Edged Shock Guard

Selkirk SLK Latitude Graphite Pickleball Paddle

SELKIRK SLK Latitude Graphite pickleball paddle
Selkirk SLK Latitude Graphite Pickleball Paddle (source: Pickleball Central)

The Selkirk SLK Latitude graphite pickleball paddle is the perfect choice for novice players seeking a blend of quality, equilibrium, and comfort. Boasting an expansive face measuring 8-¼” wide, this paddle offers a generous sweet spot enabling players to effortlessly counter powerful shots and secure crucial points.

Weighing between 7.7 – 8.4 oz, the SLK Latitude provides a lightweight feel without compromising on explosive power when necessary. With its 5-¼” long handle, it accommodates both double-handed backhands and facilitates agile maneuverability during gameplay. This paddle not only lives up to Selkirk’s rigorous standards, but also comes at an unbeatable price point.

Paddle Face: Dual-Layer Graphite

Core Material: Polymer PowerCore

Price: $59.99


Average Weight8.0 oz
Weight Range7.7-8.4 oz
Grip Size4 1/4″
Grip StyleUltra-Comfort Grip
Handle Length5 1/4″
Paddle Length15 1/2”
Paddle Width8 1/4″
Paddle FaceDual-Layer Graphite
Core MaterialPolymer PowerCore
Core Thickness13mm

GAMMA Dart Composite Pickleball Paddle

GAMMA Dart Composite pickleball paddle
GAMMA Dart Composite Pickleball Paddle (source: Pickleball Central)

The GAMMA Dart composite pickleball paddle is a lightweight and nimble choice that adds finesse to a player’s game. This paddle is ideal for beginners seeking a high-quality, affordable composite paddle.

GAMMA has put in significant effort to create a paddle that performs well without breaking the bank. Its textured surface enhances spin, keeping opponents guessing your next move. The grip offers optimal tackiness for secure hand placement during action, while the cushioning ensures comfort.

With an average weight of 7.4 oz, this paddle allows quick maneuverability for returning any shot, while its 7-½” width provides ample room for strategic play. The grip measures 4-⅛” in circumference and 4-¾” in length.

Paddle Face: Textured Composite

Core Material: Poly Core

Price: $69.99


Average Weight7.4 ounces
Weight Range7.3-7.5 ounces
Grip Size4 1/8” (Small)
Grip StyleCushion, perforated, ribbed
Handle Length4 3/4 “
Paddle Length15 5/8 ”
Paddle Width7 1/2″
Paddle FaceTextured composite
Core MaterialPoly Core

Diadem Hero Composite Pickleball Paddle

Diadem Hero Composite pickleball paddle
Diadem Hero Composite Pickleball Paddle (source: Pickleball Central)

The Diadem Hero composite pickleball paddle is perfect for beginners who want a paddle that will help them improve their game. It has a unique material called HMT fiber on the face, which gives it a reactive feel and allows for spin and accurate ball placement.

The slightly thicker core softens impact and provides consistency across the entire surface. With a weight range of 7.5 – 7.7 oz., it offers the right balance of speed and power. The solid edge guard ensures durability, while the Comfort Max grip keeps your hand dry.

Paddle Face: HMT Glass Fiber (composite fiberglass)

Core Material: High-Density Polymer Honeycomb

Price: $49.95

Average Weight7.6 ounces
Weight Range7.5 – 7.7 ounces
Grip Size4″ (Small)
Grip StyleComfort Max Grip
Handle Length4.5″
Paddle Length15.6″
Paddle Width7.8″
Paddle FaceHMT Glass Fiber (composite fiberglass)
Core MaterialHigh-Density Polymer Honeycomb
Core Thickness13mm (.55″)
Edge Guard1/4″ overlapping paddle face

Holbrook Day N Night Pickleball Paddle

Holbrook Day N' Night pickleball paddle
Holbrook Day N Night Pickleball Paddle (source: Pickleball Central)

Whether you’re out on the court with your friends, enjoying a game of pickleball in the bright sunshine or under the lights, the Holbrook Day N Night pickleball paddle is guaranteed to enhance your experience.

Beneath the paddle’s stylish exterior lies a state-of-the-art FlexTech carbon fiber graphite blended hitting surface that allows you to effortlessly execute powerful winners, strategic dinks, and spin-filled serves. As part of Holbrook Pickleball’s performance line, this paddle also boasts a 14mm (0.55) thick Responsive Polypropylene Honeycomb core that enhances sweet-spot accuracy and touch.

Paddle Face: FlexTech Carbon Fiber Graphite Blend

Core Material: Responsive Polypropylene Honeycomb

Price: $89.99


Average Weight7.8 ounces
Weight Range7.6 – 8.0 ounces
Grip Size4.25″ (Medium)
Grip StyleSpecialized Comfort Grip
Handle Length5″
Paddle Length15.75″
Paddle Width7.8″
Paddle FaceFlexTech Carbon Fiber Graphite Blend
Core MaterialResponsive Polypropylene Honeycomb
Core Thickness14mm (0.55″)
Edge Guard1/8″ overlapping paddle face

Tips When Shopping for Pickleball Paddles for Beginners

  • If you’re a beginner, don’t settle for a pickleball paddle just because it has a low price point. Pay attention to its specs, reviews, and how it can impact your technique.
  • If you lean towards a two-handed backhand, consider pickleball paddles with handles that are 5.5 inches or longer.
  • If you want to hit the ball with spin (which is common for tennis players who try pickleball), a spin-friendly surface material, such as composite, is ideal.
  • Don’t worry too much about power-friendly specs as a pickleball beginner. Aim for something that is balanced, lightweight, and maneuverable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do beginners need specific pickleball paddles?

Beginners benefit from using specific pickleball paddles designed for their skill level as these paddles offer larger sweet spots and better control, helping them improve their game faster.

How important is paddle weight for beginners?

Paddle weight is crucial for beginners as it affects maneuverability and control. Lighter paddles are generally easier to handle, allowing beginners to swing with less effort and develop proper technique.

Should I choose graphite or composite pickleball paddles?

Both graphite and composite paddles have their advantages. Graphite offers better power and responsiveness, while composite offers more control and forgiveness. Beginners often prefer composite paddles for their ease of use.

What grip size should beginners look for in pickleball paddles?

The proper grip size depends on personal preference and hand size. However, most beginners find success with smaller grips as they provide better feel and control over the paddle during play.

Can beginners use edgeless or traditional-shaped paddles?

Both edgeless (rounded) and traditional-shaped (rectangular) paddles are suitable for beginners. Edgeless paddles offer a larger hitting surface but may sacrifice some power, while traditional-shaped ones provide more power but may require additional control.

Are expensive pickleball paddles necessary for beginners?

Expensive paddle options often come with advanced features that may not be essential for beginners. There are plenty of affordable beginner-friendly options available that can help you enjoy the game without breaking the bank.