The Best Pickleball Paddles For Control!
The goal of this guide is to simplify your buying decision and provide you with a thoroughly researched list of the best pickleball paddles that help pickleball players with ball control.
Our overall pick for the best pickleball paddle that helps players control the ball and improve their shots is the Rally Graphite Pickleball Paddle because it works well for players at all levels, and is at a great price point. It’s been around for years and players continue to enjoy playing with it and feel confident that it helps them improve their ball control which results in more deliberate and accurate ball placement.
If you’re okay paying well over $100 for a pickleball paddle, the Tempest Wave Pro is a fantastic option. Players absolutely love playing with this paddle – great control and really helpful at the net with quite a bit of pop. If you’re good with the price-point, this paddle is worth giving a try.
More Top Picks – Pickleball Paddles For Playing With Control
Rally Graphite Pickleball Paddle
Most paddles offer good power but lack ball control.
The Rally Graphite Pickleball Paddle has a textured graphite face that provides enhanced ball control, placement and spin. The wide paddle face minimizes edge guard hits and provides a bigger sweet spot, while the ergonomic cushioned grip shape fits most hands comfortably.
The WINN grip is extremely tacky to the touch, giving excellent feedback. The edge guard is low profile, so it seems to lessen the chance for an edge hit and the textured surface allows for adding spin to shots, and ball control seems excellent. The paddle’s wide size provides plenty of power, with good touch/control.
The Rally Graphite Pickleball Paddle is great for all-around performance and pickleball players of all levels. The durable honeycomb composite polymer core is powerful and smooth while the textured graphite carbon face provides enhanced ball control, placement and spin.
The larger size XL head reduces edge hits, while the wide paddle face minimizes it even on off-center shots. The weight range of 7.7 – 8.0 ounces is great for all-around performance, and the ball control feels excellent with a rubber cushioned grip that fits most hands comfortably while minimizing slipping.
Pickleball players who want a balance of power and control in their paddles should choose the Rally Graphite Pickleball Paddle.
- Textured graphite face for enhanced ball control, placement and spin
- Durable honeycomb composite polymer core for power and smoothness
- Xl head size for a wide paddle face that minimizes edge guard hits and provides a bigger sweet spot
- Performance perforated cushion grip (size 4 1/4″) for an ergonomic cushioned grip shape that fits most hands comfortably and minimizes slipping
- Ball control feels excellent with rubber cushioned grip that fits most hands comfortably while minimizing slipping.
- Some users complain that the paddle is too lightweight
- Others say that the grip slips when wet
If you’re looking for a pickleball paddle that improves touch on the ball, try the Gamma Dart with Gamma Sensa Poly Core or the Gamma Needle with Gamma Sensa Poly Core which helps with ball control. Gamma Sensa Poly Core is a newer technology.
Paddletek Tempest Wave II
The Paddletek Tempest Wave II is the ideal pickleball paddle for those seeking unrivalled control. Its textured graphite face makes it simple to put the ball precisely where you want it while the graphite in the Tempest PolyCore dampens vibrations and reduces weight.
The large sweet spot ensures precision on every shot, while the balanced weight increases speed and maneuverability. This paddle comes with a performance grip that provides the best of both worlds in terms of comfort and durability. It is equipped with an ultra-cushion High Track Performance Grip and has an ⅛” edge shock guard.
Features a large, consistent sweet spot that adds finesse to every shot while the balanced weight increases speed and maneuverability. This paddle offers exceptional control, making it a great choice for strategic players looking for short games.
- Weight: 7.4 – 7.8 Ounces
- Core: Polymer Composite
- Surface face: graphite (textured)
- Grip length: 5 1/4″
- Total length: 15 7/8″
- Width: 8″
- The textured graphite face makes it easy to place the ball exactly where you want it, making the paddle ideal for strategic players
- The polymer composite core dampens vibrations, providing a smooth playing experience
- The paddle is lightweight and easy to maneuver, making it great for fast-paced games
- Since the core is a polymer composite, it has more flex than paddles containing graphite cores
- Some players may find that it lacks power and find it a bit unbalanced in the hand.
- The grip is smaller and can make it hard to control the paddle if you have a larger hand size.
Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle
If you’re looking for a great paddle for control, the Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a great option. This paddle has quickly become one of the most popular paddles on the market, and for good reason. It has a Nomex honeycomb core and graphite face for excellent ball control, a widebody paddle shape with 4-1/4″ grip circumference and 5″ handle length and a medium-weight 7.5-8.2 ounce paddle weight that is ideal for players of all skill levels.
The Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle offers great power, durability, and performance. While every paddle has a slightly different feel when in use, the Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle feels natural and comfortable when hitting with it. I’m personally a fan of wide-bodied paddles.
I felt right at home when I used it for the first time. The fact that it is also approved by the USA pickleball association is an added bonus. While it may not be the cheapest pickleball paddle on the market, I found it to be well worth its price. Plus, it also comes with a high-quality protective neoprene cover that will protect the paddle face when you aren’t using the paddle.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle, read on. Our goal is to give you all of the information that you need to know so that you can make a confident decision. We’ll start by telling you about its features, pros and cons, as well as things to consider.
- Nomex honeycomb core
- Graphite face
- Medium-weight 7.5-8.2 ounce paddle weight
- Widebody paddle shape
- 4-1/4″ grip circumference
- 5″ handle length
- Nomex honeycomb core for superior strength and durability.
- Graphite face for added power and control.
- Lightweight for easy maneuverability.
- Increased speed and agility.
- Widebody paddle shape for a more powerful swing.
- 4-1/4″ grip circumference for a comfortable grip.
- 5″ handle length for added reach.
- A slightly heavier paddle, which can make it difficult to manoeuvre quickly.
- the grip circumference is on the smaller side, so those with larger hands may find it uncomfortable to use.
- the handle length is a bit shorter than average, which could limit your reach on the court.
If you’re looking for a pickleball paddle that will give you ultimate control on the court, then look no further than the SLK Evo. This top-of-the-line paddle is engineered with a carbon fiber face to deliver a super-soft feel and unmatched control. Plus, its rev-soft core technology ensures that every shot feels soft, even when you’re playing at your highest level. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, the SLK Evo is sure to improve your game.
The SLK Evo offers a perfect blend of power, technology, comfort, balance and affordability for all players. Plus, its lightweight paddles are only 7.6 oz., making them quick to swing at the net while also helping maintain control. And with their max shape surface area combined with an ultra-comfort grip material that absorbs perspiration and impact, you’ll be able to play without fatigue after long gameplay intervals.
With its massive sweet spot, the SLK Evo soft offers game-changing performance at your fingertips. You’ll also find that our rev-soft core technology absorbs the impact to give you a softer feel while still delivering the power you need on the court.
The paddle has the perfect blend of power and technology united with comfort, balance and affordability for all player levels
It’s a paddle that immediately improved my game with its upgrade shot control and shot spin ability.
Great surface texture for putting spin on the ball and for controlling soft shots and dinks.
Well balanced and nicely weighted.
- Weight: 7.6 oz
- Grip: 4.25″ grip circumference
- Handle length: 5.25″ length
- Core: polymer
- Surface: graphite
- G8-flex control carbon fiber face provides a perfect blend of power and technology united with comfort, balance and affordability for all player levels.
- Max shape has a large surface area with the largest sweet spot. This paddle has the perfect blend of power and technology united with comfort, balance and affordability for all player levels.
- The rev-soft core technology absorbs the impact to give you a softer feel while still delivering the power that you need on the court.
- This lightweight pickleball paddle allows players to have quicker hands at the net while also helping maintain control.
- The paddle has a non-slip grip surface that absorbs shock and won’t cause blisters.
- No more than one year of warranty is offered.
- Since the paddle is lightweight, it doesn’t offer as much power as its counterparts with similar specs.
- Some complaints that this pickleball paddle design makes dinks and soft shots harder to execute compared to other paddles.
The Gearbox GX6 is the perfect option for pickleball players looking for power and control. It has a carbon fiber core that makes it light yet powerful, and the hyper bite spin technology ensures that your shots will have maximum spin.
The dampener system also helps to reduce vibration, so you can play longer without feeling any pain in your arm. And with its heavy-duty construction, the GX6 can stand up to even the most intense games.
The pros of the Gearbox GX6 are its power and control. It also has a dampener system to reduce vibration, making it a comfortable paddle to use. The downside is that it can transmit the shot up the arm, so you may get a sore shoulder after using it for a while.
- Handle Circumference: 3 5/8″ or 3 15/16″ grip
- Handle Length: 5-5/8″
- Paddle Length: 16-5/8″ (elongated)
- Paddle Width: 7-3/8″”
- Paddle Thickness: 7/16″
- Grip: Gearbox Smooth Wrap – Black
- Powerful shots with maximum spin
- Reduced vibration makes it comfortable to play for longer periods of time
- Improve your power and control over the ball
- Play with more precision and finesse
- Soften the feel of your shots and play with less fatigue and discomfort
- The ball really flies off the sweet spot
- Improved 3rd shot drops and spin when serving and trying to place top spin shots at the net to put balls away
- The face of the paddle is quite narrow, which may make it difficult to control shots in close quarters.
- The paddle has a massive sweet spot, but this can also lead to inaccuracy if you’re not used to it.
The Tantrum GXT is a high-performance paddle for the player who wants extra control at the net. Made with a unidirectional carbon fiber face and honeycomb polymer core, the Tantrum GXT is a medium-weight paddle with an extra-soft touch. It has a 5″ handle length and comes standard with a 4.25″ circumference that is octagonally shaped.
The Tantrum GXT’s rounded shape creates a larger sweet spot than traditionally shaped paddles. Features TMPR vibration dampening technology which diminishes arm strain that can lead to pickleball elbow.
Players looking to get a very maneuverable paddle will fall in love with the TMPR Tantrum GXT. This high-performance paddle has a slightly longer handle length that gives players more control over the paddle to carve shots and angle dink shots with efficiency.
The textured graphite face and polymer core provide a solid and powerful feel whether hitting groundstrokes or smashes. The rounded paddle head amplifies the sweet spot for added forgiveness, more accurate and direct shots.
The Tantrum GXT is an excellent choice for players who like control at the net. The unidirectional carbon fiber face gives it power with every shot. At 16.25″ long, you have an extra reach when dinking, but it also makes it really easy to get under balls for solid smashes! This pickleball paddle’s polymer core is lightweight without being too light so you have a good balance of power and control.
I like this paddle a lot – I can get great power behind my hits and still enjoy good control.
- Length: 16.25″ (slightly elongated)
- Width: 7.75″
- Handle length: 5″
- Weight: medium-weight is 7.6 oz to 8 oz
- Weight: heav-weight is 8.1 oz to 8.3 oz
- Colors: red, pink, blue
- Face: textured
- Face material: graphite
- Core material: Polymer
- Lightweight with no loss of power.
- Graphite face offers a forgiving bounce for the less experienced players or people with arm weakness.
- Ideal size paddle head shape creates a larger sweet spot, thereby increasing accuracy in shots near the net.
- Pros: Powerful, Durable, Less Stressful on Arms
- The handle is shorter than some paddles.
- The weight of the paddle may be too light for some people.
- TMPR Vibration Dampening Technology reduces arm strain that can lead to Pickleball Elbow, but also may decrease power in shots
Cons: May Not Be Suitable For All Sizes Of Players
Gamma Fusion 2.0
If you’re someone who loves the control that comes with a good paddle, you’ll want to check out the Gamma Fusion 2.0. This pickleball paddle has a textured fiberglass face that gives you insane amounts of control and spin – perfect for players who love to be in charge of each and every shot.
Plus, the honeycomb grip will keep your hand locked in place so you can make those shots with confidence. And if you’re someone who likes to switch hands during play, the long handle on this paddle will be just perfect for you. So why not give the Gamma Fusion 2.0 a try? You won’t be disappointed.
The wide-body provides a large sweet spot for accurate shots. Weighing in at 8 ounces, this paddle hits hard and is perfect for those who want more power in their game. So if you’re looking for a paddle that will let you take charge of each and every shot, the Gamma Fusion 2.0 is the paddle for you!}
- Weight: ~8.0 ounces
- Hitting Surface: Textured Fiberglass
- Grip Size: 4″
- Grip: GAMMA Honeycomb
- Grip Length: 5 “
- Paddle Length: 15 5/8″
- Paddle Width: 8-1/4″
- Paddle Thickness: 7/16″
- Core Material: Aramid honeycomb (Nomex)
- Textured paddles helps provide increased control and precision that will help you feel more confident in your hits
- Widebody provides a large sweet spot for accurate shots, which means you won’t have to worry about your ball going off course
- The textured face gives you crazy control and spin so that even if you’re not an expert, it will be easier to control your hits.
Cons: Some pickleball players report that the paddle face has a soft feeling so the ball doesn’t bounce quickly making it a bit tricky to hit a power shot
Another pickleball paddle to consider is the Engage Encore Pro. This paddle has been around for years, is true and tested.
FAQs – Best Pickleball Paddles for Control
Is a composite or graphite pickleball paddle better?
There is no definitive answer as to whether a composite or graphite pickleball paddle is better. Some people prefer the feel of a composite paddle, while others find that graphite paddles are better for control. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Here we will look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of both materials.
Composite pickleball paddles are heavier than graphite paddles, which means that they require more effort to swing. Some players find that this is a significant drawback because it slows them down and makes it difficult for them to perform well in fast-paced games. However, the extra weight in the blade of their pickleball paddle makes it easier to deliver heavy-hitting shots.
Graphite paddles are typically lighter than composite pickleball paddles, which means that they are easier to swing. The benefit of this is that you will be less tired when playing matches and your game will improve.
What pickleball paddle has the most power?
When it comes to pickleball paddles, power is typically measured in the weight of the paddle head. Graphite heads are significantly lighter than composite heads. As a result, graphite pickleball paddles are typically more powerful because they require less effort to swing them through the air. Also, since graphite is denser than resin, graphite paddles will typically be heavier than their equivalent-sized resin counterparts.
What is the best pickleball paddle for control?
Many players prefer lighter-weight pickleball paddles because they offer more control. Since graphite heads are significantly lighter than composite heads, graphite paddles generally provide better control than their composite counterparts.
How much do pickleball paddles cost?
There is a fairly large range of pickleball paddles available on the market. Cheaper pickleball paddles and wooden paddles cost around $10-$20, while more expensive ones can sell for between $40 and $80. Of course, there are also very high-quality pickleball paddles that go for around $100 or more.
How do you pick the right pickleball paddle?
The 4 key factors to consider when choosing a pickleball paddle are:
- Weight – Most experienced pickleball players agree that the weight of a paddle is the most important factor to consider when selecting a pickleball paddle.
- Core Material – The second factor to consider when choosing a paddle is to determine what core material is the best for your game. It’s important to understand the differences between each material and how it impacts the connection your paddle makes when hitting the ball and subsequently, how it affects your game.
- Grip Size – Not playing with the correct grip can cause problems with your stroke and potentially cause tennis elbow or a sore arm, particularly after playing for a while. To ensure you are set up to play your best game it’s important to select a paddle with a grip that works for the size of your hand.
- Surface Material – Some descriptions about paddles can be confusing with respect to the materials used to manufacture the pickleball paddle core and the pickleball paddle surface. When the term ‘graphite paddle’ is used, it’s actually referring to the surface material that is applied over the core material. As an example, graphite is the surface material that is applied over the core material (Nomex™, aluminum, polymer).
Learn more about how to choose a pickleball paddle