The 10 Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners (2023)

Are you a beginner looking for the best pickleball paddle?

Want an easy-to-understand guide on how to find the best pickleball paddle for beginners?

There are dozens of good pickleball paddles for beginners – it can be overwhelming.

The goal of these pickleball paddle reviews for beginners is to simplify your buying decision and provide you with a thoroughly researched list of the best pickleball paddles for beginners.

The Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners

Are you just getting started with pickleball and you’re not sure how often you will play or whether you’ll even like the game?

With the crazy growth of the pickleball, the question “What is the best pickleball paddle for beginners?” is often asked.

The paddles below provide you with some good options. I know players who are still using a few of these same paddles, well into their pickleball playing days.

You can buy cheaper paddles but the quality you get with paying a bit more is worth the cost.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you)

#1 – The Amazin’ Aces pickleball paddle is the best starter pickleball paddle for beginners who don’t want to spend a lot of money.

It’s a quality paddle at a very low price point and the best entry level pickleball paddle if you’re not sure you want to commit to playing.

This was my first paddle and it was a great way to get started with investing very little. Amazin’ Aces is well known for making good pickleball paddles for beginners.

#2 – Many players consider the Selkirk Latitude a good beginner pickleball paddle. It’s a great option because it’s a quality paddle at a good price point.

#3 – Another great option is the Gamma Fusion. It’s a good quality paddle with a bit of a textured surface which some players prefer.

#4 – If you are okay paying more, the Engage Encore Pro is a good option. Players love using this paddle for control and it’s ability to help you put some spin on the ball.

Pickleball Paddle Reviews for Beginners

Amazin Aces

  • core: polymer
  • weight: 8.3 oz
  • surface: graphite
  • grip width: 4 1/2”



  • Some mention of the paddle face cracking early on in purchase

Selkirk Latitude

The Selkirk Latitude is powerful, durable, and consistent with the Selkirk PowerCore polymer core giving an amazing responsive “Sweet Spot” coverage. Plus, players like the ability to manage spin with the composite surface.
  • core: polymer
  • weight: 6.9 oz
  • surface: composite
  • grip width: 4.125”


  • Lightweight, good balance at a great price point
  • Overall, players comments indicate that this is a great paddle for beginners and a paddle that could be used for years


  • Cover not included
  • No notable dissatisfaction with this paddle

Gamma Fusion 2.0

The GAMMA FusionThis paddle has a textured surface that can help you improve ball spin and control, a feature you don’t typically get with a paddle in this price range.
  • core: polymer
  • weight: 8 oz
  • surface: fiberglass
  • grip width: 4”


  • Lightweight, textured face helps with ball control and spin
  • Over-all good value for the price
  • 4” wide grip appreciated by players with smaller hands
  • 12-month warranty


  • Some mention quality concerns
  • More dead spots than expected


  • core: polymer
  • weight: 8.6 oz
  • surface: graphite
  • grip width: 4.25″


  • Good response from ball with a heavier weight that helps with applying power to the ball
  • Cover included
  • 12 month warranty


  • Heavier weight at 8.6 oz which may cause sore shoulder or elbow
  • Not USAPA approved for tournament use
  • Some quality issues are noted

Rally Tyro 2

  • core: polymer
  • weight: 6.7 oz
  • surface: composite
  • grip width: 4 1/8”


  • Players like the quality and price
  • Lightweight allowing for good ball control
  • Smallish grip so works well for smaller hands
  • Cover included, 12 month warranty


  • Not USAPA approved for tournaments
  • Some quality issues noted with dents and chips early in use

HEAD Radical Elite

  • core: polymer
  • weight: 7.9-8.5oz
  • surface: composite
  • grip width: 4.25”


  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable grip
  • Allows for good ball control


  • Cover not included

Best Pickleball Set for Beginners

Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Set

The Amazin Aces Pickleball Set is the best pickleball set for beginners.


  • 4 pickleball paddles and 6 balls
  • Face: graphite
  • Core: honeycomb polymer
  • Weight: 8.2 oz
  • Grip size: 4.25 inches


  • Affordable set for beginners
  • Paddles are lightweight, making them easy to maneuver
  • Paddles have a comfortable grip, reducing hand fatigue
  • Durable balls that can withstand frequent use
  • Paddles have a good balance of power and control


  • Some users have reported the balls feeling too light
  • Paddles may not be as durable as higher-end options

The Amazin Aces Pickleball Set is an affordable and high-quality option for beginner players.

The lightweight paddles have a comfortable grip and the durable plastic balls can withstand frequent use.

However, some users have reported the balls feeling too light and the paddles may not be as durable as higher-end options.

Overall, this set is a great choice for those looking to get started with pickleball.

Summary – The Top Beginner Pickleball Paddles

Any of these paddles are good beginner pickleball paddles.

None of these paddles had overwhelmingly negative reviews that were consistent, however, the Rally Tyro 2 did have more comments concerning quality and durability.

The Upstreet is one of the best starter pickleball paddles at a starter price that provides decent value.

On the higher price end of these paddles, you can be fairly confident buying a HEAD paddle.

Just a reminder that before I selected a paddle to include in this review, I read dozens of reviews from various sources for many paddles and only included the paddles that I believed would be a good choice for the new player on a budget.

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The Best Pickleball Paddles For The Beginner Who Is Okay Paying A Bit More

Are you looking to start playing pickleball or you’ve just started and you’ve decided to get a pickleball paddle that will stand the test of time without breaking the bank?

These 3 paddles are great options, however, if you know that you want to get more serious with your pickleball game, take a look at the paddles listed below in The Best Pickleball Paddles For The Beginner Who Wants To Grow Into Their Paddle.

After looking at these paddles, you might decide that you are happy to pay more for a paddle that will grow with you and help you improve your game.

However, this list of 3 paddles narrows the options for you while keeping the price point in-check.

If you want to understand more about how to choose a pickleball paddle, read my buyer’s guide on how to choose a pickleball paddle.


HEAD Radical Pro

  • core: polymer
  • weight: 8.1 oz
  • surface: fiberglass
  • grip width: 4.25”


  • Good power
  • Comfortable grip
  • Players like this paddle for ball control


  • Some minor mention of quality concerns

Onix Z5

  • core: Nomex
  • weight: 8.1 oz
  • surface: fiberglass
  • grip width: 4.25”


  • Extremely popular paddle and well known for having power but being lightweight
  • Good control with a big sweet spot
  • Comfortable grip, flared handle similar to a tennis racquet


  • Nomex core is known for a lot of power which can make it difficult for new players to control the ball
  • Louder pop so may not work well in designated quite areas

The Best Pickleball Paddles For The Beginner Who Is Okay Paying A Bit More For Quality

Any of these 3 paddles will work well and not disappoint. Just remember that a paddle might work well for one person but the next person may not enjoy playing with it.

That being said, the Onix Z5 is an extremely popular and well-liked paddle with literally hundreds and hundreds of positive reviews.

Nomex is not typically recommended for newish players because of the amount of power that comes off when hitting a ball.

However, majority rules here and people just like this paddle and seem to adapt well.

I can’t overlook the other 2 paddles on this list though because it’s hard to go wrong with 2 big names like HEAD and Selkirk.

All in all, I think this list of 3 provides new and newish players with the best selection at a really manageable price point.

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The Best Pickleball Paddles For The Beginner Who Wants To Grow Into Their Paddle

These 2 paddles are not in the entry-level paddle price range but I felt compelled to include a couple of options for those people who are okay spending more than many people would when buying a paddle that is truly for the beginner.

Both these paddles are well-liked in the pickleball community with the Selkirk being on the much higher end.

Keep in mind that Selkirk technology is unique and stands out in a crowd so if you’re okay investing in a paddle, this is definitely worth close consideration.

If you want to understand more about how to choose a pickleball paddle, read my buyer’s guide on how to choose a pickleball paddle.

Engage Encore Pro

  • core: polymer
  • weight: 7.8-8.3 oz
  • surface: fiberglass
  • grip width: 4.25”


  • If you are comfortable paying a bit more than the other paddles, this is a good place to start and you’ll get many games out of this paddle
  • Players love the control and appreciate how easily this paddle helpt to put spin on the ball
  • Quite a bit of power so it might take some time to adjust


  • Some players mention that this paddle feels a bit heavy but quite honestly, there weren’t enough consistent complaints to suggest that the majority of players will have problems

Selkirk Amped S2

  • core: polymer
  • weight: 7.4-7.8 oz / 8-8.4 oz
  • surface: fiberglass
  • grip width: 4.25”


  • Available in two models, a lightweight and a midweight which means there really is an S2 model for the majority of players
  • Players talk about the wide sweet spot with an easy ability to hit the ball with power and control
  • Selkirk uses its own technology including their X5 core which makes for a thick paddle and yet their paddles are light – even the midweight paddle is below 8.5 oz
  • Slightly shorter handle but the face is slightly longer giving a bigger sweet spot


  • No consistent complaints worth mentioning

The Best Pickleball Paddles For The Beginner Who Wants To Grow Into Their Paddle

Either one of these paddles will work well for the beginner, intermediate or advanced player.

If you are okay paying more for a paddle than you would typically pay for a starter pickleball paddle, the Engage or the Selkirk will work well and not disappoint.

Selection Criteria

The game of pickleball has grown exponentially over the last few years and as a result there are 1000s of paddles on the market now, making it time-consuming and overwhelming to weed through all of the options.

My goal is to make your pickleball paddle purchase easier, less confusing and less time-consuming.

I’ve spent many hours reading dozens and dozens of reviews and ratings so that you don’t have to.

And I’ve narrowed down this list and included only paddles that I believe are a good option and as a result, I hope that I will make it easier for you to choose a pickleball paddle that you’ll be happy playing with.

I describe the selection criteria below but I think it’s important to mention that I spent a tremendous amount of time vetting the reviews and ratings left by players and weighed the comments to determine whether a paddle would be worthy of being in this guide. And only then did I finalize the list of paddles that have been included.

I also want to mention that I have not played with all of these paddles and I’m not associated with any paddle brand or manufacturer.

I’ve chosen to do an incredible amount of research to understand how the actual users (players) feel about these paddles and share that information in a consolidated, easy-to-read format.

It’s true that if I had played with all of these paddles, I would be able to provide you with my own unique perspective.

However, I believe that it’s more valuable to provide you with consolidated feedback from a large group of players.

There will be situations where I provide my own personal feedback on a paddle or another product, but not in this particular guide.

Here are the criteria I used to determine which paddles to include:

  1. Reviews or ratings from a minimum of 2 or more sources, when possible
  2. I excluded paddles that had consistent complaints across reviews about a particular feature. There is no perfect paddle that works for 100% of the people but where I saw a problem that was consistently mentioned, I excluded that paddle
  3. Paddles in various price ranges have been included because what’s affordable to another person, is expensive to another. And some people can invest more than other people. I believe that this list is comprehensive and provides a good selection of paddles for people with various budgets
  4. Only paddles that have a loosely aggregated score of 8.5 out of 10 were included. Because the sources I reference have a different scoring system, I’ve done my best to average scores out to ensure only those with a score of 8.5 or higher have been included (at the time of writing this review guide).
  5. No aluminum or Nomex™ except for the Onix Z5 Nomix™ paddle due to its popularity and extremely positive reviews
  6. No edgeless paddles
  7. No wood paddles. You can learn about wood paddles here

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Pickleball Equipment For Beginners

  • Pickleball Paddle: A pickleball paddle is the most important piece of equipment for playing pickleball. The paddle is used to hit the ball over the net, and it comes in different sizes and materials. The standard size of a pickleball paddle is 15 3/4 inches by 7 7/8 inches, but there are also wide body, thin body, and blade-shaped paddles. The material of the paddle can be wood, composite, or graphite. Beginners should choose a paddle that is lightweight and easy to maneuver.
  • Pickleball Balls: Pickleball balls are lightweight and perforated, and they come in different colors. The official size of a pickleball ball is 2.87 inches in diameter, and the weight is between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces. Beginners should choose a ball that is durable and an easy to see colour.
  • Pickleball Court: A pickleball court is a rectangular area with a net in the middle. The official size of a pickleball court is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long, but can be smaller. The court can be made of different materials, such as concrete, asphalt, or wood. Beginners should choose a court that is flat and has good traction.
  • Pickleball Net: A pickleball net is a mesh barrier that divides the court in half. The official height of a pickleball net is 36 inches at the ends and 34 inches in the middle. The net can be made of different materials, such as nylon or polyester.
  • Footwear: Proper footwear is important for playing pickleball, as it provides traction and support. Beginners should choose shoes that are lightweight, comfortable, and have good grip. Tennis shoes or court shoes are a good option.
  • Apparel: Comfortable and breathable clothing is important for playing pickleball, as it allows for freedom of movement and prevents overheating. Beginners should choose clothes that are light and flexible, such as shorts, t-shirts, and athletic wear.
  • Accessories: There are several accessories that can enhance the playing experience, such as sunglasses, hats, and water bottles.

Pickleball Paddle Basics

Are you new to pickleball and trying to decide if this is the sport for you?

Or you aren’t too sure how often you’ll play?

One of the many great things about pickleball is that it can be affordable

If you’re a beginner, you have many options and as long as you stay away from the following types of paddles, most others should work for you: 

  • Nomex™ core
  • Aluminum core
  • Wooden paddles unless you absolutely need the most economical option (see Very Budget Friendly Wood Paddle Sets)
  • Long-board or tear-drop paddles (long and narrow instead of wide)
  • Heavy or light paddles, choose a mid-weight paddle (7.3 to 8.2 oz)

There are several other key factors to consider before buying a paddle and I’ve covered these points in How To Choose A Pickleball Paddle.

If you haven’t already read it, take a look because it can help you understand the basics of buying a pickleball paddle.

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How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle for Beginners

7 Key Factors To Consider

  1. Weight
  2. Grip Size
  3. Core Material
  4. Price
  5. Paddle Shape

#1 – Weight

Most experienced pickleball players agree that the weight of a paddle is the most important factor to consider when selecting a pickleball paddle.

It’s important to remember that there isn’t a clear set of rules that define what weight will work best for you, however, these guidelines will help you determine what weight will likely work best.

Pickleball paddles range in weight from 6 oz to 14 oz with mid-weight paddles weighing between 7.3 to 8.3 oz.

Light-weight: under 7.3 oz

Mid-weight: 7.4 oz to 8.3 oz

Heavy-weight: 8.4 oz

#2 – Pickleball Paddle Grip Size / Circumference

Another important factor to evaluate before buying a paddle is the grip circumference.

If you’re not playing with the correct grip size you can run into problems with your stroke and potentially cause tennis elbow or a sore arm.

Most paddle grips range between 4 – 5 inches in circumference with ⅛ inch increments.

There are 3 methods to determine the best grip size but the easiest and most common method is to measure your palm:

  • Measure from the middle crease of your palm to the tip of your ring finger and this should equate to the paddle grip size.
  • If the measurement from the middle palm crease to the tip of your ring finger is 4 ⅛ then the grip size of the paddle you buy should be 4 ⅛.
pickleball paddle grip size

#3 – Pickleball Paddle Core Material

The 3rd factor to consider when choosing a paddle is to determine what material is best.

At this point, manufacturers are using advanced technology and the only thing you really need to look for in a paddle is one with a composite core (polymer honeycomb) and a graphite or fiberglass surface.

Edge Guard

Unless a paddle is called ‘edgeless’, all paddles have an edge guard that protects the paddle from getting banged and nicked.

It’s best for beginner players to get a paddle that has an edge guard.

#4 – Price

Pickleball paddles can cost anywhere from $20 to over $200.

A beginner player can pay well under $50 for an entry level pickleball paddle.

If you are just looking for a cheap pickleball paddle, you can even get one for under $30.

If you’re fairly confident that you’ll play often and long enough, you can easily spend between $50 – $75 but you don’t have to.

#5 – Shape

A standard paddle shape is best for beginners.

There are elongated paddles and tear-shaped but it’s best to stick with the standard paddle shape.

Summary – 10 Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners

The game of pickleball is quickly rising in popularity and as a result, so are the number and types of pickleball paddles available on the market.

It can be overwhelming.

I hope that this guide will help you figure out how to choose the right pickleball paddle for you and your game.

If you are looking for some additional details on the basics of pickleball paddles, have a quick look at How To Choose A Pickleball Paddle.

Or if you want to take your game to the next level with a new paddle that is well known for helping players improve their spin and control, check out The 10 Best Pickleball Paddles for Spin.

FAQs for The 10 Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners

Is it important to have an edge guard on a pickleball paddle?

It is important to have an edge guard on a pickleball paddle to protect the edges of the paddle from chips, wear and tear.

Some paddles, such as the Gearbox pickleball paddles, don’t have an edge guard and the paddles are referred to as edgeless. The idea behind having an edgeless pickleball paddle is that pickleball players don’t need to worry about the ball bouncing off the edge guard and going in a direction that wasn’t intended.

What is better for a pickleball paddle surface graphite or composite?

A graphite pickleball paddle surface is better if you want a paddle that responds quickly to the pickleball. Graphite makes a very hard surface which means the ball doesn’t dip into it, instead it’s easier to direct the ball.

A composite paddle surface is better if you want a good, all-around paddle with a good combination of touch, feel and strength with usually a bit more power than carbon fiber or graphite. If you are a beginner pickleball player, who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, we recommend a composite pickleball paddle.

What pickleball paddle has the large sweet spot?

The pickleball paddle that has the largest sweet spot is difficult to determine but many pickleball players find that the Selkirk S2 and the Prince Response Pro both have a large sweet spot. Pickleball players might want to also consider the Gamma Legend elongated paddle from Gamma sports.

Are heavier paddles better than a lighter paddle?

Heavier paddles are not better than a lighter paddle. Sometimes heavier paddles are better if you’re a pickleball player who finds that the extra weight gives you extra power but many players find that heavier paddles cause tennis elbow.

Is carbon fiber or graphite better for pickleball?

Carbon fiber is better for pickleball paddles if you want a very durable and lightweight paddle. When on top of a honeycomb core, carbon fiber is strong and durable. It provides better control but sometimes loses a bit of power compared to other paddles.

Graphite provides a light and responsive surface and is less expensive and slightly less durable than carbon fiber. The carbon fiber surface is very stiff and makes it easier to place a ball.

Are graphite paddles expensive?

Graphite paddles are usually more expensive than composite or carbon fiber but you can get reasonably priced graphite paddles such as the HEAD Radical Tour.

What pickleball paddle is good for advanced players?

The best pickleball paddle for advanced players depends on whether a player is looking for more power or control. Many advanced players prefer a pickleball paddle that has a combination of power and control such as the Tempest Wave Pro.

What is the most important factor when picking a pickleball paddle?

The most important factor when picking a pickleball paddle is the weight of the paddle. Beginner pickleball paddles should be mid-weight, between 7.3 – 8.3 oz and will work for the majority of beginner players.

What pickleball paddle is best for tennis players?

A heavy pickleball paddle with a long handle will likely work best for tennis players.

Tennis racquets are heavier than a mid-weight pickleball paddle so many tennis players prefer a heavy paddle, weighing 8.4 oz or more.

A standard pickleball paddle has a paddle handle that is 5″ or less so a tennis player will likely prefer a paddle with a long handle that is greater than 5″.

How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle for Beginners

You can choose a pickleball paddle for beginners by selecting a paddle that is mid-weight, with a polymer core, and in your price range. A beginner pickleball player does not need to pay more than $50 for their first paddle unless they want to. Experienced players easily pay over $100 for a pickleball paddle.

Is a heavier pickleball paddle good for beginners?

No, a heavier paddle is not good for beginner pickleball players. Heavy paddles can be difficult to hold and accurately hit a ball and it can cause a sore arm, elbow, or wrist. A mid-weight pickleball paddle is better for beginners.

What pickleball paddle grip size is best?

The best pickleball paddle grip size that is best is the size that works best for the size of your hand. Many pickleball paddles have a grip size of 4.25″ but there are some paddles with a smaller grip width or a larger grip width.

Is fiberglass or graphite better for pickleball?

Whether a graphite or fiberglass face is better depends on whether you want more power or better handling. If you want great handling and feel, graphite is your best choice. If you want more power, then a fiberglass paddle is the right choice. Since fiberglass isn’t as stiff, it excels in the power department.

What pickleball equipment for beginners is best?

Pickleball equipment for beginners includes: a pickleball paddle, pickleball ball, and a pickleball net. Pickleball shoes, tennis shoes or court shoes are also a good idea. Protective eyewear is also recommended because a pickleball ball to the eye can very painful and cause eye damage.

What is a good beginner pickleball paddle?

3 good beginner pickleball paddles include: the Amazin’ Aces pickleball paddles, the Selkirk Latitude and the Gamma Fusion. There are many pickleball paddles on the market but these paddles are from quality manufacturers and at a good price point.

What is a good pickleball paddle for beginners?

A good pickleball paddle for beginners is graphite or fiberglass, mid-weight (7.3 to 8.3 oz), is a standard paddle shape and not elongated or tear-drop shape.

What’s the best pickleball paddle for beginner to intermediate players?

The best pickleball paddle for beginner to intermediate players is a mid-weight paddle like the Selkirk Latitude or the Gamma Fusion. Both paddles are mid-weight and at a good price point for those who don’t want to spend a fortune.

Best pickleball rackets for beginners?

The best pickleball rackets for beginners are the Amazin’ Aces and the Upstreet pickleball rackets. Both these rackets are good for beginners. Both pickleball rackets are at a low price-point making them easier to buy than some rackets that are priced $100 or more.