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Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners: Various Types For More Control & Accuracy In Game

pair of pickleball paddle on a wooden bench with balls

Last Updated: May 14, 2024

Choosing the best beginner pickleball paddle may be a challenge when you don’t have any idea about what’s suitable for you.

We’ve got you!

We prepared the best companions to start your pickleball journey, whether for recreation or to train for competitions. Take a read and find the best paddle for you.

Our top pick among the best beginner pickleball paddles is the Niupipo paddle. Its outstanding features work best for beginners.

The Top 6 Best Pickleball Paddle For Beginners

1. Niupipo Pickleball Paddle - Best Overall

niupipo Pickleball Paddle, USAPA Approved Graphite Pickleball Paddle, Cushion Grip, Paddle Covers, Honeycomb Composite Core, Lightweight Pickleball Racket The Niupipo paddle is one of the most popular pickleball paddles in the market for over two decades - let’s find out why!

This paddle is made of high-quality materials - from its graphite face to the honeycomb polymer core, the paddle offers a nice bounce and texture, reduces ball deflection, and enhances the strength of every strike.

Additionally, its construction provides elasticity and durability to the paddle, making it long-lasting in court.

It is also USAPA approved, so you can take it to competitions. The wide-body shape measures 15 inches long (4.5 inches for the handle) and 7.9 inches wide, weighing 8.8oz in total.

When it comes to the handle (4.25-inch circumference), it is cushioned, perforated, and sweat-absorbent, providing comfort and a good paddle grip for prolonged use in court.

The paddle also features a low-profile edge guard that protects the paddle against damage and is slim enough to avoid interfering with gameplay. It even includes a corner shield and an interlocking neck guard, further solidifying the durability of the paddle.

Finally, a zippered neoprene paddle cover is included upon purchase. Although all of the paddles in this list have beginner-friendly prices, the Niupipo paddle is the most expensive one.

Pros

  • Extra features for durability
  • High-grade materials for enhanced performance
  • Textured surface
  • USAPA approved

Cons

  • Heavyweight
  • No customization options

Takeaway

Even though it’s the priciest item on this list, the high-quality construction of the Niupipo paddle is a great investment for beginners since it retains its value even if you become an intermediate player.

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2. Diller Pickleball Paddle - Best Budget Buy

Diller Pickleball Paddle The Diller paddle is manufactured by Pickle-Ball Inc. - the founders of pickleball themselves! That in itself should already give you an idea of how great this beginner paddle is, among its other features.

This USAPA approved paddle is one of the original paddles that thousands of beginners have used to learn the sport since 1972. Through the years, it has been used by schools, community centers, YMCAs, clubs, and families.

The 7-ply hardwood core is durable and meant to last for years. It weighs around 9-10.6 oz (10oz on average) and is 15.5 inches long (5.5 inches for the handle) and 7 inches wide.

Its grip is made of a comfortable and secure cushion with ribbing for a better hold of the paddle. It has a circumference of 4.25 inches and includes a safety strap.

Not only can you buy this paddle individually, but you can purchase a bundle consisting of two paddles and four balls for singles, or four paddles and six balls for doubles.

Pros

  • USAPA approved
  • Manufactured since 1972 by Pickle-Ball Inc.
  • Long and cushioned grip comes with a safety strap
  • The set comes in doubles, singles, or individual paddle

Cons

  • Reduced sweet spot due to paddle size
  • Heavyweight
  • No customization options

Takeaway

This paddle has truly survived the test of time. It has been used by thousands of players through the years, and so can you! If you want an affordable introduction to pickleball, look no further from the Diller paddle.

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3. Cyrus Graphite Pickleball Paddle - Best Versatility

Cyrus Graphite Pickleball PaddleThe surface of the Cyrus paddle is made of high-quality graphite and a layer of carbon fiber underneath, both of which emphasize its lightweight but hard-hitting performance in every swing.

Additionally, its honeycomb polymer core makes it easier for players to focus on the ball because of its outstanding ball touch and control, as well as its responsive nature for executing shots such as dinks.

These features are complemented by its measurements of 8 inches wide and 15.6 inches long (4.9 inches for the handle), for an overall weight of 8oz which makes it easy to swing the paddle.

Additionally, the paddle is USAPA approved and can be used both indoors and outdoors. You can even use it for baseball and softball training drills.

You can choose between a purple and blue color, both with splashes of white to give the paddle a vibrant look. It also includes a zipper case to protect the paddle when it’s not in use.

Pros

  • A layer of carbon fiber
  • Responsive and outstanding control
  • It can be used for drills in other sports
  • USAPA approved

Cons

  • No customization options

Takeaway

If you’re looking for something well-rounded and performs well, then the Cyrus paddle is for you. Impress all of your pickleball friends with this great paddle!

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4. AUTOSAN Pickleball Paddle - Best Sweet Spot

AUTOSAN Pickleball Paddle Set Graphite Paddles Set or Single with Bag,Balls & EBook Polymer Honeycomb Core Pickleball Paddle Ultra Cushion Grip Low Profile Edge Bundle USAPA Approved Pickleball Paddle The AUTOSAN is an affordable paddle despite its composition from the paddle face, the core, all the way to the grip.

The paddle face is made of graphite with a layer of high-strength aviation-grade carbon fiber for a fast-response texture and enhanced durability.

On the other hand, the core is constructed with honeycomb polymer that doesn’t only give it power and control, but noise reduction as well which is important if you play in an area with noise regulations.

This USAPA approved paddle has a unique shape with the measurements of 8.25 inches wide and 15.5 inches long (4.75 inches for the handle) which gives it an exceptional sweet spot. It also only weighs 8oz which provides enough maneuverability.

The handle (4.125-inch circumference) is a hand-stitched contoured grip that is ribbed and perforated to ensure comfort during prolonged gameplay. It also comes with a low-profile edge guard to protect the paddle from damage.

Finally, the paddle comes with a case that stores the entire paddle (including the handle).

Pros

  • A layer of carbon fiber
  • Exceptional sweet spot
  • Contoured and perforated grip
  • USAPA approved

Cons

  • Grip circumference may be too small
  • No customization options

Takeaway

As a beginner, the most crucial skill to learn is properly hitting the ball. The unique shape of the AUTOSAN paddle will give you enough room to perform accurate shots while playing.

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5. Amazin' Aces Classic Paddle - Best Proportions

Amazin' Aces Graphite Pickleball Paddle | Racket Features Graphite Face & Honeycomb Polymer Core | Meets USAPA Specifications (Black) The Amazin’ Aces Classic paddle is one that underwent a lot of development using cutting-edge technology, premium-grade materials, and expert craftsmanship.

It features a honeycomb polymer core with a graphite hitting surface for an expert blend of power and control.

The paddle weighs between 7.8-8.2oz, with the hitting surface (excluding the handle) measuring 8 inches wide and 10 inches long. This provides a large sweet spot, optimized weight distribution, and a classic shape.

It features a contoured grip for comfort and reliability when it comes to extended gameplay, as well as an edge guard to reduce the chance of the paddle sustaining damage.
Although most of the Amazin’ Aces paddles are USAPA approved, the Classic version isn’t despite meeting the USAPA specifications.

Upon purchase, your order will arrive in a high-quality box for either storage or gift-giving.

Pros

  • Composite honeycomb core
  • Textured surface
  • Contoured grip for anti-slipping
  • Even weight distribution between paddle and handle

Cons

  • Not USAPA approved
  • No customization options

Takeaway

The proportions of the Amazin’ Aces Classic paddle provide a large sweet spot and optimal weight distribution, which are crucial for beginners. Additionally, its packaging makes it a great gift.

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6. Champion Sports Pickleball Paddle - Best Durability

Champion Sports Wooden Pickleball Paddle: Rhino Edge Wood Pickleball Paddle - Indoor/Outdoor Pickle Ball Paddles - Red/Black Racket The Champion Sports paddle line comes in different variants that are constructed with different materials, but we’ll take our attention to the wooden “Edge” paddle.

The Edge paddle is constructed with a 7-ply wood base covered with a rubber edge guard, ensuring a strong and durable performance for beginners in court.

It’s a wide paddle that measures 8.5 inches wide and 15 inches long (5 inches for the handle), weighing between 11-11.2oz, wherein its weight emphasizes its power at the expense of some maneuverability.

The EVA handle is also cushioned for a soft and comfortable grip during gameplay.

Just like in the Amazin’ Aces paddle line, some of the paddles in the Champion line are USAPA approved, but the “Edge” model is one of the paddles that isn’t approved.

The paddle design includes a white rhinoceros logo at the center and an “X” design over the black background. You can choose between red and yellow for the “X” design when ordering.

Pros

  • Hard-hitting paddle
  • Long cushioned handle
  • Wide paddle size

Cons

  • Heavyweight
  • Not USAPA approved

Takeaway

If you want to show off your power in court with an affordable paddle, the Champion “Edge” surely won’t disappoint. As long as you can carry a heavy paddle, this is another great option for beginners.

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A Pickleball Paddle By Definition

A pickleball paddle or bat is used by players to hit and direct a ball during a match. It is the most important piece of equipment in the sport.

It’s shaped like a square with round edges and is usually smaller than a tennis racquet but larger than a ping-pong paddle.

The paddles were originally made of wood. Over the years, innovation has caused them to be made from lightweight and composite materials such as aluminum and graphite.

What To Look For In A Pickleball Paddle For Beginners

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with pickleball’s official rules, the next step is automatically to get your gear. Let’s discuss the crucial components of paddles.

Type Of Pickleball Paddle

two pickleball paddle on the ground with three colorful balls

A paddle’s surface material and texture contribute to how you execute your shots. These are divided into three variants - wood, composite, and graphite paddle.

Wood

As mentioned earlier, pickleball paddles were originally made of wood. Wooden paddles nowadays have been improved by adding grip and safety straps to make sure that the paddle doesn’t slip off your hand.

These are normally bought in bulk by schools, summer camps, or any community organizations since they are cheap and durable despite extensive use.

However, the major drawback is that wooden paddles are heavy and will require more energy and stamina to swing which can cause tennis elbow.

Most beginners use wooden paddles since they play less frequently than regular players, and so they are less susceptible to injury from the paddle’s weight.

However, that doesn’t mean that beginners should use wooden paddles exclusively. They are a great option, but you should still look into a budget-friendly composite or graphite paddle.

Composite

Composite paddles consist of a fiberglass or carbon fiber surface and have a composite core, which we will discuss later.

The paddle’s textured surface allows you to perform technical shots, especially the pickleball paddles for spin. This is because the contact of the ball onto the surface is longer, allowing you to have better control.

Additionally, its weight is considered the lightest of all paddle types, so injuries will be minimized.

Graphite

Graphite paddles are popular in the market due to their smooth control and great power.

The paddle’s core is made of the same material as a composite paddle. The only difference is the surface is made of graphite instead of fiberglass or carbon fiber, hence the name.

However, graphite and composite paddles are more expensive than wood, so it may be difficult to find beginner-friendly prices especially if you’re unsure about your interest in pickleball.

Core Structure

The core provides the structure of a paddle. It is typically covered and protected by the paddle surface and edge guard.

The core construction determines the amount of power and control exerted by the paddle, so it is crucial when it comes to overall performance.

There are two major types of the core composition, which are wood and composite.

Wood Core

A wooden core is exclusively made for a wood surface paddle, wherein the whole core structure is composed of uniform plywood.

Wooden cores are generally 25-75% heavier than composite cores. They are also durable, so you don’t have to worry about frequent replacements.

The lack of technology makes it the cheapest core composition, so this is best for recreational events such as family gatherings or party games.

Composite Core

As we mentioned, this core type is used in composite and graphite paddles like the best Paddletek pickleball paddle.

Composite scores are arranged in a honeycomb design, wherein the hollow cells reduce the weight of the paddle without harming its power.

These are further divided into three variants, which are Nomex, aluminum, and polymer.

However, we don’t encourage beginners to buy a paddle with a Nomex core since its hard-hitting nature is made for players who already have good ball control.
Aluminum

Aluminum is the polar opposite of Nomex - the former has prominent control, while the latter has immense power.

This core type is the most lightweight of all cores, which makes grip, ball control, and paddle swinging easier. You don’t need to worry about hitting the ball too hard because aluminum takes off some of the ball’s speed.

However, its biggest drawback is power. Due to its weight, it may be difficult to perform hard-hitting shots with the paddle. Remember, more weight means more power in pickleball.

Aluminum is best if children are playing or if you have an arm or wrist condition, such as arthritis. This is also a good option for beginners who aren’t used to the fast pace of pickleball or panic easily in court.

Polymer

Being the newest and most developed core, the polymer has the best attributes of both Nomex and aluminum.

It is made of blended plastic, which offers great flexibility, endurance, strength, and a soft feel. Each strike from a polymer core paddle feels powerful yet under control.

The polymer also solves one of the major issues of pickleball paddles which is noise. This may be the deciding factor if you play in a cramped neighborhood or gated community where noise is a big disruption.

Its balance between power and control is perfect for beginners who are still figuring out their playing style.

Paddle Shape

red pickleball paddle on the ground

There are numerous styles, shapes, and sizes of paddles available in the market. You can experiment with any paddle shape as long as the sum of its height and width doesn’t exceed 24 inches.

A wide hitting surface is a perfect choice for beginners since you need time to do drills and train. With a wide paddle, you can easily find the sweet spot and hit the ball easier.

On the other hand, elongated shape paddles are not recommended for beginners. Although it has a fancy look, it may be hard to maneuver.

Grip

Comfort is crucial if you want to hold the paddle confidently. The grip must match your height and palm-size for it to feel natural to your hand.

It should provide maneuverability to the paddle without requiring too much strength to swing or giving too much tension to your arm, elbow, and wrist.

Some paddles come with a perforated, extra cushioned grip like the best Gamma paddle for a solid hold and easy maneuvering, while a contoured grip reduces the risk of the handle slipping. These ensure the ideal strokes and placement of the paddle.

Edge Guard

Protection from fragmenting is a must for a long-lasting paddle. Most beginners have a lack of knowledge about guarding the paddle against potential damage.

Edge guards are protective liners over the core and between the surface that are made of either plastic or rubber.

Although some paddles are built with it, others are not. We don’t recommend edgeless paddles since it jeopardizes the durability.

This is a getting started video to know more about edge tape and overgrips to protect your paddle:

Weight

Weight should be taken into great consideration as it dictates how easy or difficult it would be for you to maneuver the paddle. This includes all of the parts we’ve discussed combined.

Paddles usually weigh from 6 to 14 ounces. They are classified as light (<7.3oz), medium like the best Head pickleball paddle (7.3-8.4oz), and heavy (8.5-9.5oz, but some wooden paddles go even higher).

Ideally, we recommend medium-weight paddles since their versatility is great for beginners, especially if you’re unsure about your preferences.

But if you’re buying a wooden paddle (which is typically what beginners buy), you have to get used to limited maneuverability due to its heaviness.

Price

A paddle’s composition is what causes its price to vary. Wooden paddles usually retail for $40 and below, composite paddles range from $50 to $150, and graphite ranges from $60 to $160.

For beginners, a good option is to start with a wooden paddle to see if you’re interested in playing pickleball.

Once you start playing regularly, you can work your way up to a budget-friendly composite or graphite paddle, then upgrade to a high-end paddle.

This way, you’re buying pickleball paddles based on your skill level and interest in playing so you can make sure that it will be worth the investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Pickleball Paddle For Beginners?

We’ve offered great choices in our review, but the best pickleball paddle for beginners has to be the Diller paddle. Make sure to read the section at the top to find out why!

What Does A Beginner Pickleball Paddle Look Like?

Well, there isn’t a universal look for a beginner pickleball paddle - it all depends on your comfort, preferences, and available budget.

To recap our recommendations, you can choose between a wooden, composite, or graphite paddle. If you choose one of the last two options, you want the core to be made of either aluminum or polymer.

We encourage you to start with a wide paddle shape for a higher chance of hitting the ball. You also want the grip to complement your height and palm-size for easy maneuvering.

There should also be an edge guard to help it resist damage.

Overall, we recommend a paddle that weighs between 7.3 to 8.4oz for a balanced playstyle, but if you’re buying a wooden paddle, you have to get used to the heavier weight.

What Are Other Equipment Involved In Pickleball?

The other vital pieces of equipment you need to consider as a beginner are nets and the best pickleball ball.

The ball is unique as it is covered with holes. There are different balls used for indoor and outdoor play.

Balls used for outdoor play are made of heavy and hard plastic with small holes. In contrast, indoor balls are made of soft and light plastic with large holes.

They also come in several colors such as white, yellow, and green. But official matches have special specifications made by the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP).

On the other hand, the net is made of any mesh fabric material that can stop the ball from passing through. It is 21 feet and 9 inches long from one end to the other, and 30 inches tall from the bottom edge of the net.

The Bottom Line

Out of all the best pickleball paddles for beginners, the most outstanding one is the Niupipo paddle. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Diller paddle is a solid choice as well.

The Niupipo paddle is constructed with a graphite face which provides texture to improve ball control, as well as a honeycomb polymer core for balanced power and control without the noise.

It even includes extra features around the paddle that make it long-lasting, so this is truly a good investment for beginner players.

Among all the beginner pickleball paddle reviews out there, we hope that ours helped you the most in starting your pickleball journey!

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