Best Graphite Pickleball Paddles (2022 Reviews & Comparison)

Best Graphite Pickleball Paddles (2022 Reviews & Comparison)

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Graphite pickleball paddles are some of the best selling paddles on the market. Known for their durable construction, graphite paddles are very strong while still being lightweight.

These paddles can provide huge advantages for both power and control players and many consider them to be the best pickleball paddles available.

There are so many factors to consider and so many paddles on the market that it’s tough to come up with a top winner but here are our top picks depending on your playing style:


Budget Pick: If you are looking for a good entry-level graphite paddle we recommend the Amazin’ Aces Signature Paddle.

Best Graphite Pickleball Paddle for Power Players: Rally Power 2.0

Best Graphite Pickleball Paddle for Control Players: Onix Graphite Z5

Best Graphite Pickleball Paddle for All-Around Players: Selkirk 30P XL Epic   **Update: While we still love the Selkirk 30P, this paddle is being phased out by the company and replaced by Selkirk’s new AMPED and PRIME paddle lines that feature their new “FiberFlex” paddle face.

Selkirk no longer offers the paddle on their site and is selling off their remaining stock of the 30P on Amazon, once that’s gone we recommend you take a look at their new paddles – the closest match to the 30P would be the new AMPED Epic (Lightweight model).

Pro Level Graphite Paddles: If you are looking for a top-of-the-line paddle and have the budget for it, take a look at the Paddletek™ Tempest Wave 

Since I spend so much time researching and testing pickleball equipment, my friends and readers often ask me to name “the best graphite pickleball paddle”. This is a really hard question to answer! There are so many factors to consider and so many paddles on the market and really much of it comes down to personal preference and playing style. For our recommendations, we considered overall build quality, durability, grip, feel and price.

Companies are always launching new pickleball paddles (click to see up to date info on new paddles)- it seems like every month there are new paddles being launched – which makes it even more confusing for buyers.

Some of these new paddles would easily beat some of the ones on this list below on a side-by-side comparison, but many of those come at a steep price…with some nearing the $150 mark.

According to our readers, that is which is more than many beginner or intermediate players are willing to spend. Many said their budget $75-$100  so we tried to stay around that while including some more affordable options.

So maybe a better name for the list would be something like “Best Graphite Pickleball Paddle Under $100 in 2021”. 

At the time of publishing, all the paddles under $100 -but you can check the current price in the comparison table and links below.

WHY YOU SHOULD TRUST US

After years of playing other racket sports, we’ve fallen in love with pickleball and created this site to cover everything related to the sport.

We recommend products as a result of our analysis and research. A lot of the info in this site were gathered by talking to friends and competitors on the court – chatting about what they like and dislike and playing with each other’s gear to compare.

Best Graphite Pickleball Paddles: Quick Comparison

IMAGE PRODUCT
  • Tubular Core
  • Carbon fiber graphite surface
  • Comfortable grip
VIEW ON JUST PADDLES
  • Evo soft core
  • Textured graphite surface
  • Large sweet spot
VIEW ON JUST PADDLES
  • Elongated blade
  • Textured graphite surface
  • Effortless spin
VIEW ON JUST PADDLES
  • Smart response technology
  • Textured graphite surface
  • Large sweet spot
VIEW ON JUST PADDLES
  • Airflow technology
  • Textured graphite surface
  • Good spin
VIEW ON JUST PADDLES
  • Control with extra power
  • Textured graphite surface
  • Large sweet spot
VIEW ON JUST PADDLES
  • Incredible control for strategic short games
  • Textured graphite surface
  • Ultra cushion high track performance grip
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • Excellent touch paddle
  • Large sweet spot
  • Nomex, paper honeycomb core and graphite face
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • 50” Polymer PowerCore
  • Gives players quick shot response and power
  • Extra-large paddle
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • Eliminates dead spots
  • Increases hitting area by 30%
  • Provides increased paddle durability
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • Superior quality & performance
  • USAPA approved
  • Premium construction for power and control
VIEW ON AMAZON →
  • Nomex composite honeycomb core & graphite face
  • USAPA Approved
  • Sturdy edge guard and quality construction
VIEW ON AMAZON →

Because graphite is lightweight most of these paddles fall in the light to mid-weight categories. Players looking for touch and control style of play will gravitate towards these paddles but there are some on the heavier end of the range that pack plenty of power.

These paddles are named for their thin layer of graphite on both faces of the paddle while the core is normally filled with some variant of honeycomb core (aluminum, Nomex or polymer) similar to composite paddles. So the primary feature that sets this category apart is the graphite face and the reason why many players consider these paddles to be the superior option.

You may hear some players interchange the words carbon fiber and graphite. While the two materials have a similar look and feel, and you’ll even see them sometimes grouped together with graphite paddles, carbon fiber is more durable. There are only a handful of carbon fiber paddles on the market, from a players perspective they play similar to graphite.

As with any sports gear, with quality materials comes a higher price tag and the same is true for pickleball. We’ve reviewed the best selling graphite paddles on the market.

Below you’ll find our top-rated paddles, there really aren’t any inexpensive graphite paddles (compared to more affordable beginner paddles made out of composite or wood).

While you can find some entry-level options for right around $40, most graphite paddles start around $60 while high-end paddles for more competitive players are often $100+ but we have included some options on the low end of that price range to try to give options for all budgets.

Newcomers to pickleball may think that graphite paddles are automatically the best due to their higher price tag and lightweight. Although it’s true that many players do prefer graphite, players looking to add power to their pickleball game may actually prefer the few extra ounces of the heft of a composite paddle.

Graphite Paddles: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Better Contro
  • High-End Materials
  • Durability

Cons:

  • Less Power
  • Harder to put spin on the ball (glossy paddle face compared to composite)
  • Higher Price

What to look for in a graphite pickleball paddle?

Price is, of course, an important factor when shopping for any new sports equipment. Everyone has their own personal spending budget so cost is understandably one of the top criteria for most people when choosing a paddle.

However, there are good quality paddles in the different price ranges so you don’t necessarily have to spend more money thinking that alone will be the best paddle for you.  Usually, there is some truth that when paying more you get better quality (high-end materials do cost more) but don’t get caught into thinking that the more expensive of two options will be the better choice for you personally.

Spending budget aside, I think the most important factor to consider in a graphite paddle your own playing style to find the right match for you.

All of the different materials and fancy trademarked names for high tech paddle core material can get confusing, I’ve used a lot of paddles and read tons about paddles but still find that the details (Nomex vs. Polymer vs. Aluminum) can get to be a bit much to handle.  So when picking your next graphite paddle I recommend asking yourself one basic question:

What Style Of Pickleball Player Are You?

Power: You like to play from back at the baseline and hit long hard shots deep into the backcourt.  You have a strong serve and return. You’ll approach then non-volley zone strategically and can still dink a game-winner but would much rather smack the ball past opponents. You win many points by overpowering the other team with strong overheads and hard drives. Many cross-over tennis players play this way, at least in the beginning as they improve their dink shot.

Best Graphite Pickleball Paddle for Power Players: Rally Power 2.0

Control: You spend much of the game up near the non-volley line and love a controlled soft game. You prefer to play out a long point with controlled shots and a slow dink game while maneuvering the opponents into mistakes. You prefer finesse over brute strength. See our complete list of pickleball paddles for control here.

Best Graphite Pickleball Paddle for Control Players: Onix Graphite Z5

All-Around: You are new to pickleball and don’t have an established style OR  I’m an experienced player but don’t have just one playing style.  I play both a controlled dinking game and power shots depending on the particular game and the other team I’m playing against. **Most pro players and coaches will tell you that the short game wins the most points, not power. So most experienced players strive to be an an-all around player with a strong serve and return, ability to put away smashes and winners but really try to win most of their points at the NVZ.

Best Graphite Pickleball Paddle for All-Around Players: Selkirk 30P XL Epic

If you love having the latest and greatest gear, you’ll want to check out the new Epic AMPED version, part of Selkirk’s new line of “AMPED” paddles with brand new “X5” core and fiberglass face.

HEAD Radical Tour

Head makes some of the best pickleball paddles on the market. The head radical tour has a large sweet spot and an excellent grip that makes it easy to control the paddle. The paddle is very well balanced and has a nice weight to it that makes it easy to swing. The Radical Tour is also very durable and has a great pop to it that makes it easy to generate power. This paddle is above the beginner-level price range but it’s worth every dollar. Overall, the HEAD Radical Tour is an excellent paddle that is perfect for anyone looking to improve their game.

The HEAD Radical Tour is a great choice for those who love to crush the ball and maintain a consistent response from the paddle. It features a Carbon Fiber (graphite) hitting surface for added touch, and the new Control Stabilizer Technology (CST) for added stability or those really long matches. The Radical Tour also has an Optimized Tubular Core for the honeycomb core to create the ultimate playability for any court and all levels of play.

Head is a company that is dedicated to providing athletes with the best possible equipment. They have a long history of excellence in design and engineering and a passion for championing all sports. The company holds a higher standard than most, that is why they have been well known in the sports community for many years, namely tennis.

The only downside to this paddle is that there is no manufactures warranty.

Selkirk SLK EVO SOFT MAX Middleweight Graphite

The Selkirk SLK EVO SOFT MAX Middleweight Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a great choice for the control player. With a soft-touch and large sweet spot, you won’t find anything better out there in terms of pricing and performance. This paddle flights above its weight class. This paddle is designed for the control freaks. The large sweet spot and EVO Soft core provide excellent power and control, making it easy to hit your shots. It is also one of the lightest and most comfortable paddles on the market. It‘s made with soft graphite which makes it durable and gives it a great feel. The paddle has an ergonomic grip that is easy to hold and makes it comfortable to play with. The design of the paddle is also sleek and modern, making it aesthetically pleasing.

If you‘re looking for a paddle that offers excellent control and power, the EVO SOFT MAX is a great option. The large sweet spot and EVO Soft core make it easy to hit the ball cleanly, while the lightweight design makes it easy to maneuver on the court. Whether you’re a kitchen dweller or finesse player, this paddle is a great choice for anyone who wants to up their game and is a little more competitive than a beginner.

If you register your Selkirk Sport paddle online with Selkirk, you will be covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer defects. 

Selkirk is a familyowned business located in the Northwest that specializes in pickleball paddles. The company was founded by two brothers and their father with the goal of creating the best pickleball paddles on the market. Selkirk is dedicated to quality and strives to improve the pickleball community as a whole.

GAMMA 505 Middleweight Graphite

The GAMMA 505 Middleweight Graphite Pickleball Paddle is an excellent choice for those who want a paddle with extra reach. The elongated handle gives you the power you need to control the game, while the textured graphite face is very durable and makes it effortless to spin the ball. The thick core provides a ton of power without sacrificing maneuverability, making this paddle a great choice for those who want the best of both worlds.

The GAMMA 505 has an elongated handle that makes it unmatched against its competitors. The middleweight of the GAMMA 505 does not lose any agility or feel but still maintains a ton of power at the net. The textured graphite face does feel typical, but why change something that’s not broken? Taking the court with control, extreme reach and maneuverability is easy with the GAMMA 505, and we have a ton of fun using it to slam the high reaching shots around the net. 

If you‘re looking for a highquality pickleball paddle that is covered by a 1year Limited Manufacturer‘s warranty, the GAMMA qualifies. The paddle experts at JustPaddles are trained in product knowledge and can help you start a warranty claim if you experience any structural or performance trouble with your paddle within one year of purchase.

Paddeltek Tempest Wave Pro Middleweight

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line paddle that can provide unmatched accuracy, power, and forgiveness, the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro Middleweight Graphite is the way to go. This paddle has often been dubbed the Cadillac of pickleball paddles thanks to its Smart Response Technology and large, consistent sweet spot. The balanced weight also increases speed and maneuverability for even better play. Whether you’re slamming the ball or making soft dinks, the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro can be used on any court for any shot. Bring the touch to your game with this one. 

Paddletek is a company that offers a Limited Lifetime Manufacturer‘s guarantee on their paddles. This guarantee protects against manufacturer defects and is activated by registering the paddle within 14 days of purchase. If a customer experiences any structural or performance trouble with their paddle, they can start a warranty claim with Paddletek.

Paddletek is one of the leading names in pickleball, and for good reason. The company began as a small family business inspired by a love of the game, and has since grown into a paddle powerhouse, thanks to their advanced honeycomb core technology. Paddletek‘s paddles are some of the most innovative on the market, thanks to their Smart Response Technology and vibration control features. And, they‘re made with every type of player in mind from beginner to pro. Plus, Paddletek is dedicated to advancing the sport of pickleball as a whole. They sponsor tournaments, pioneer new technology and maintain strict quality control standards all in an effort to help every player reach their full potential. In short: Paddletek is a topnotch pickleball paddle company that is constantly innovating to help players up their game. If you‘re looking for a highquality paddle that will give you an edge on the court, Paddletek is definitely worth checking out.

Oneshot Aero Powershot Heavyweight Graphite

The Oneshot Aero Powershot Heavyweight Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a new and improved version of the classic Proshot 2.0. The Oneshot Aero Powershot Heavyweight Graphite Pickleball Paddle has been designed with Airflow Technology, which creates four aerodynamic airflow holes on the paddle face to create a ton of speed on the ball. 

The aerodynamic Airflow technology gives the Oneshot Aero Powershot heavyweight unmatched speed on the court! This paddle also features a newly designed graphite face that is thinner and lighter than ever before. This new design provides increased power and spin potential, making the Oneshot Aero Powershot Heavyweight one of the most powerful paddles on the market!

The Oneshot Powershot is a great paddle with great features. The Airflow Technology allows air to flow through the 4 vents on the side of the paddle which improves the aerodynamics and can reduce drag up to 2%. This paddle also has a textured surface which provides a longlasting face texture and significantly increases the friction between the ball and the surface resulting in powerful spins. 

They also used a printing technology that protects the vivid colors of the paddle graphics. The core of this paddle is made with stateoftheart 3D UV print technology which provides an evenly spaced honeycomb that distributes each impact evenly across the paddle. This design creates a lot more consistency. The light but durable core material allows for a larger sweetspot making the core integrity incredibly forgiving. Lastly, this paddle has Dual Edge Guard Technology which provides the right balance between a strong bond to uphold the cores integrity but versatile enough to allow its flexibility to maintain the responding impact accuracy. 

TMPR Tantrum GXT Middleweight Bundle

The Tantrum GXT is a great paddle for the player who likes to play with lots of control and a little extra power. It‘s a middleweight paddle with a graphite face and polymer core which will give you good ball trajectory, but not so much that you can‘t maneuver it for placement. The rounded shape of the face helps create a large sweet spot, which is always a plus. The TMPR Tantrum GXT is great for players who are looking to improve their game and want a paddle that will help them do just that.

TMPR Sports is a Michigan-based paddle company focused on developing new pickleball paddle designs with innovative shapes and improved paddle performance. The company was founded in 2018 by Doug and Diana Clark, and their son Taylor Clark soon joined the team. 

Doug Clark has a background in writing and producing jingles for radio and TV advertising, filming and producing TV commercials and documentaries, which led him to starting a new paddle brand. TMPR Sports’ first paddle series, the Tantrum series, was developed after numerous prototypes were made and tested by tennis pros. The company is focused on creating new pickleball paddle designs that improve performance through innovative shapes.

Selkirk 300A Graphite Pickleball Paddle Review

Selkirk Sport 300A+ Plus Aluminum Honeycomb Core Graphite Paddle 8.1 oz Midweight Series, Electric Spring, X-Large With it’s extended, wider playing area and long tennis-style handle the 300A by Selkirk (discontinued) will appeal to tennis players looking for carefully placed lob shots and controlled aim as well as full swings from the backcourt and powerful cross-court drives. As mentioned above, Selkirk has replaced these with two new product lines (Prime and AMPED).  The Epic Prime would be the closest match.

A low-profile edge guard is a great option for players who don’t want to go totally ‘edgeless”, and still want a guard to protect the paddle edge while minimizing interference in their gameplay.

One of the great options that set this paddle apart from its competitors is it comes in a choice of two sizes which we’ve compared here:

 Paddle WidthPaddle HeightHandle LengthGrip SizeWeight
Standard L Size7.875″15.5″5.5″4.25″6.7 oz
Extended XL Size8″15.75″5.25″4.25″7.4 oz

Graphite 300A paddle features the Selkirk “Control Core” made with an aluminum honeycomb core and vinyl graphics surface with UV Protection that increases the lifespan of this paddle and helps prevent the paddle face from delaminating.

This paddle is an overall winner on this list and any players looking to add an extra boost of power to their pickleball shot should appreciate the increased paddle surface and extra weight that the XL version delivers.

Selkirk Sports manufactures all their paddles in Idaho, USA. The Graphite 300A paddle is Tested and Approved for USAPA Tournament Play.

Pros

  • Great Control
  • Large playing surface
  • Two size options

Cons

  • Both L and XL come with small 4¼ inch grip.
  • Players with larger hands may need to build up grip with overgrip.

Gamma Voltage Pickleball Paddle Review 

Voltage - Classic 1.0 Model
Gamma Voltage

As the game of pickleball increases in popularity, the paddle industry continues to push the limits of design and materials. The Gamma Voltage is no exception, the company’s description reads more like a high tech gadget than a pickleball paddle but this is the tendency overall as manufacturers incorporate more innovative features and construction.

The Gamma Voltage paddle is filled with a Nomex core is surrounded by Gamma’s Live Periphery™ Frame system to reduce dead spots.

The Unibody™ molds the handle to the paddle body aiming to increase the connection between the paddle and give a more solid feel when it’s in your hand.

The Flush-Fit™ Bumper is Gamma’s answer to the edge guard with a reduced profile that is flatter to the paddle face than some more traditional edge guards which reduce the frequency of mis-hits and deflections.

The Gamma Contour Grip measures at 4⅛ inches in circumference and features a perforated stitched rib to increase moisture absorption and provide a comfortable cushioned gripping surface for increased control and paddle feedback.

Larger hands may require a larger grip size. The paddle handle comes wrapped with the standard PB Contour Grip but Gamma conveniently offers a wide range of pickleball paddle overgrips varying in tackiness and thickness for those looking to customize their paddle to their personal grip size.

The Gamma Voltage Pickleball Paddle is a good option for players looking for a mid-weight graphite paddle. The Voltage will most likely appeal to high-end players looking for the quality features and those with the budget able to afford the corresponding retail price.

Pros: 

  • Consistent response across paddle face.
  • Comfortable Grip.

Cons

  • The hybrid “bumper” edge may not cut if looking for a truly edgeless paddle.

Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle Review

Onix Graphite Z5 - Blue The Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle is a very popular model in the pickleball community. The unique Z on the paddle face can be seen on courts across the country and is one of Onix’s top-selling paddles.

The Z5 has a have a solid feel that appeals to pickleball players of all levels from beginner to advanced,  you’ll even see this paddle being used by some of the top players in serious competitions going against players with higher end “Pro” series paddles.

The Z5 paddle features a wide body shape (8.125 inches) that provides a sweet spot that is hard for even beginners to miss. The paddle weighs in between 7.8 – 8.2 ounces making it a perfect range for players seeking a quality medium weight paddle. At right around 8 ounces it packs plenty of punch for a solid power paddle.

But, even at 8 ounces, the Z5 Graphite paddle is still a well-balanced and offers great touch, it’s our top pick for control players on this list. 

The core is made of Nomex Honeycomb. Compared to the Onix Sub Zero (reviewed above) it lacks the high-end Ribtec Core, 1-Piece Construction but it also comes in at a lower price point than the Sub Zero.

For players drawn to the Onix line but looking to save some money on a graphite paddle, this would be a good option. The Z5 is currently the most popular pickleball paddle in the Onix line.

The Z5 paddle is made in the USA and is available in the following colors: blue, purple, red, yellow, pink, orange, white and green.

If you are still unsure, you can check out our full, detailed review of the Onix Z5 paddle here.

Pros

  • Superior touch and ball control.
  • Widebody shape.
  • Balanced weight.

Cons

  • More basic paddle core (compared to Onix React or Sub-Zero).

Rally Graphite Power 2.0 Review

Rally Graphite Power 2.0 Pickleball Paddle (Blue) The Rally Graphite Power 2.0 Pickleball Paddle is made in the USA by PickleballCentral. It is among the current top-selling paddles on the market.

The updated 2.0 version features a thicker. 50” Polymer PowerCore and extra weight compared to the previous version of the paddle, delivering extra power on your forehand and backhand shots.

The wide face and total paddle length of 15 ¾ inches provide a large forgiving hitting surface. The increased extra-large paddle size offers a great sweet spot that will add precision to your game, especially for those all-important dink shots and game-winning shots.

Rally’s unique Corner Shield Edge flares out slightly at the top edges of the paddle, adding extra edge protection without interfering with your game and adding lifespan to the paddle.

The 4 ¼ medium grips will appeal to most players and the combination of its one-piece grip guard, interlocking neck and flared end of the handle all come together to deliver a solid feeling paddle. The small grip will fit almost any hand size but could always be built up with additional overgrip.

The paddle’s 8.1-ounce weight allows players to both control a dink shot just over the net but still delivers enough power to hit deep line drives from the baseline. The Rally combines a great balance of power and control.

The paddle is available in the following colors: blue, red, green and yellow with a diagonal “RALLY GRAPHITE” printed on the face.

Pros:

  • USAPA and IFP approved for tournament play.
  • A balance of power and control.

Cons

  • Edge guard is definitely strong and durable but maybe too prominent for some players.

Rally NX Graphite Pickleball Paddle Review

Pickleball Paddle - Rally NX Graphite Pickleball Paddle | Composite Honeycomb Core, Graphite Carbon Fiber Face | Lightweight | Pickleball Sets, Pickleballs, Paddle Covers Available | USAPA Approved If you are shopping for the Rally graphite paddle, you have noticed that there is another paddle by Pickleball Central called the Rally NX Graphite paddle – that looks almost identical at first glance (except for the printed on the graphite face that differentiates it as an NX vs. Power).  Although they look very similar, there are a few fundamental differences between the two paddles.

1) Weight: The Rally NX weighs in at about half an ounce lighter than the Rally Power. The NX averages 7.4 ounces vs the 8-ounce average weight of the Rally Power.

2) The Grip: on the NX is smaller than the power (4 1/8” vs. 4 1/4″) making the NX better suited for smaller hands. At 4 and a quarter the Power is a medium grip that will adapt to most players grip with average hands.

3) Grip Length (handle) the NX offers an extra half-inch to the handle (five inches vs. 4 1/2) so while the grip is a smaller circumference than the Power, it is slightly longer.

4) Core material: The Power 2.0 is constructed on a. 50” Polymer PowerCore which gives the paddle it’s signature power boost. The NX, on the other hand, is built on a Nomex honeycomb core which provides a nice balance between power and control.

Other than those differences, the paddles do have a few similarities. They are both USAPA/IFP approved for tournament play and are made in the USA. Both paddles come with a 1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty. The paddle shape (length and width) are identical on the two Rally paddles:  Paddle Length: 15 and 3/4”  and Paddle Width: 8 and 1/8″ and both have a 1/8 edge guard.

Which is for me: Rally NX or Rally Power 2.0?

As we described above, the paddles have the same shape but the key differences are weight, grip size and grip handle length. I would say as a buyer your main decision comes down to the style of player you are (and your grip size).

If you are looking to add power to your game, the obvious choice is the Power 2.0 by Rally. If you prefer the lighter feel and all around the balance of the Nomex and lighter weight for control and finesse net shots, I would go with the Rally NX.

When making your decision, also keep in mind your grip size. When in doubt, go up a size rather than play with a paddle that is too small for your hand.  Your other option is to replace the stock grip with a new replacement pickleball paddle grip – which you can check out here.

Onix Graphite Zen Pickleball Paddle Review

Onix Graphite Zen Pickleball Paddle Orange The Graphite Zen from Onix Sports is a high-quality paddle and one of the current favorites we see on the courts. It features a concentrated sweet spot for increased control. If you play a control game with carefully placed shots, this is definitely one of the top options for you.

The Zen paddle has an oversized rectangular shape that extends a full 7⅝” from top to bottom.

The 4 ¼” medium grip circumference will fit comfortably into most people’s hands. The longer 5 1/4″ handle is designed to mimic the handle shape of a table tennis racket which will appeal to lots of players. Those coming from other racket sports, especially former tennis players will appreciate this tennis-style handle.

While the paddle excels at control the aluminum honeycomb core provides enough weight to boost the power of this paddle that it won’t leave you at a disadvantage against power hitters.

This is a top pick among those looking for a “Green Zone” approved paddle for quiet communities that have regulations against noise. Made in the USA (new 2017 model now made in Mexico) by Onix Sports, one the top-selling pickleball equipment makers currently on the market, the Zen is a mid-price paddle within the Onix line of paddles.

The paddle face is easily recognizable on the court due to it’s large Chinese “Power” symbol.  Available in the following colors: red, blue, green, pink, purple, orange and yellow.

  • Aluminum Core.
  • Touch Control.
  • “Green Zone” approved.
  • May lack some power from the baseline for power hitters.
  • Prominent graphic on paddle face may not appeal to some.

Onix has updated the paddle and recently released the 2017 Onix Graphite Zen Pickleball Paddle v2 (version two). The key features are the same but with a new and updated look.

Onix React Graphite Paddle Review

Onix React - Green The React Graphite Pickleball Paddle from Onix is loaded with innovative features, pushing the standards for existing pickleball paddles with new paddle tech.

The most impressive feature is the Onix Fusion Core technology that combines two of the most popular pickleball paddle materials: a polypropylene base with carefully placed Nomex insert in the center of the paddle for extra control and ‘pop’ off the graphite face.

The Nomex core insert creates what Onix calls their “Boosted Sweet Spot” for extra action and power. This also evenly balances the weight of the paddle and increases control.

The carbon fiber graphite face adds a strong surface while providing substantial pop for extra quickness during volleys. The paddle weighs in at an average of 8.3-8.7 oz paddle making it a perfect option for heavy hitters looking to smash the ball across the net while still maintaining control for those carefully placed game-winning dink shots at the net.

The PVC edge guard provides long-term protection and welcomed addition to this paddle vs. the edgeless models sold by Onix. The paddle is made with high-end materials and has a price tag to reflect that.

The tennis-style handle and wide-body paddle shape make it a great transition paddle for tennis players.  The React Graphite Paddle clearly displays the Onix brand name vertically down the face and is sold the following colors: Black and Green.

Pros:

  • Heavier paddle without sacrificing control.
  • Great maneuverability.
  • Good transition paddle for tennis players.

Cons:

  • $ High end of the price range.

Paddles retired from our list:

Manufacturers are constantly updating their product lines and coming out with new paddle technology. Because of that, paddles are sometimes officially retired or replaced by newer (2.0) models. Other times, companies just quietly sell out their existing stock and no longer offer them. Below, you’ll find earlier reviews we’ve done of graphite paddles that are either no longer available or have been replaced with new models. We decided to leave this information here for reference as we thought it still may be of use if you are researching older paddles, looking at factory seconds/liquidation paddles or shopping for a used pickleball paddle, you may still see these on the market.

Attack 2.0 Graphite Pickleball Paddle Review (Retired)

The Attack 2.0 Graphite Pickleball Paddle from Pickleball Inc. delivers a lot of power. This is an advantage to beginner players as it helps boost their deep shots over the net and deep into the opponent’s backcourt. But the Attack is also used by many advanced players who favor a power style of play. The 8” paddle face gives plenty of hitting surface. The shorter handle (4½”) leaves more of the overall length dedicated to the paddle face.  The longer and wider design make for one of the largest sweet spots available on the market.

The UV vinyl-covered graphite makes for a very durable paddle face able to sustain long-term use and exposure to sunlight. The aluminum honeycomb core is the same construction that was used in the original Attack Paddle. The Gamma Ultra Cushion grip is a comfortable medium grip should appeal to almost all players. Gamma is a well-known sports equipment maker and their grips for both tennis and pickleball are known for quality and comfort.   Averaging just over 8.1 ounces, it’s mid-weight paddle with a good amount of power without sacrificing too much control at the net. The paddle is designed to reduce noise which is an added plus, especially when playing in communities with noise restriction rules as it is on the list of approved quiet pickleball paddles. 

The Attack 2 was sold in the following colors: gray, green red and blue.

Pros:

  • Power.
  • Larger Hitting Surface.
  • Wide Sweet Spot.

Cons:

  • The short handle may not appeal to players with very large hands.

Onix Sub-Zero Pickleball Paddle Review (no longer recommended)

Although we previously recommended this paddle, the technology behind edgeless paddles has evolved quite a bit in the past few years.

We suggest you check out this article on our top picks for edgeless pickleball paddles and also Gearbox Sports (click to see our detailed brand overview) is our top recommendation if you are considering edgeless – since it’s all they do and they are the leading company in that sub-category of paddles.

The Onix Sub-Zero Pickleball Paddle is marketed as top of the line paddle created for pickleball players longing for a precise paddle for their controlled style of play.

This modern design features Onix Ribtec™ Core, a grid-patterned a ribbed structure which is surrounded by a foam core. This unique design delivers a paddle with lowered noise without limiting control. The one-piece single molded construction creates a very consistent paddle surface that eliminates dead spots and provides even power across the paddle face.

The Onix Sub-Zero Pickleball Paddle averages a weight of between 7.4 to 7.8 ounces, falling in the light to mid-weight paddle category which is a great range for control and maneuverability.

Onix uses its own ribbed cushion “Ergo” grip that contours to your hand and provide a great feel. The small 4-inch grip is designed to align to your hand so you can easily position the handle in the same spot every time you grip the paddle to add consistency and accuracy to your game, especially during quick action play.

The one major potential flaw of the Sub-Zero is the questionable durability of this edgeless paddle over time. It is one of two “Edgeless” paddles offered by Onix. The main selling point to these is that some players do not like the edge guard found on most pickleball paddles because it can cause mishits and deflections if the ball hits part of the raised edge. The edgeless models remove this protective piece from the paddle thereby creating an obstruction-free paddle surface.

However, the edge guard does serve an obvious purpose. Apart from protecting the paddle edge from knicks and scratches, it does appear to add to the overall durability of the paddle as it also helps absorbs shock and maintain the structural integrity of the whole paddle. Some edgeless pickleball paddles may suffer from delamination over time.

So, while the verdict is out on edged vs. edgeless paddles, I personally feel that unless you have a very strong desire to go edgeless I wouldn’t recommend this paddle at the current price with all the other graphite options available on the market.

The paddle faces are both covered in lightweight graphite. The Sub-Zero is sold in grey, blue and black graphics.

Pros:

  • One-Piece Construction.
  • Wide Body.
  • Unique Foam Core Construction (Ribtec™ Core)

Cons:

  • Small grip will require overgrip to fit large hands.
  • High-end price tag .

Hopefully, this comparison and the detailed paddle reviews above have helped you narrow down your choices for a good graphite pickleball paddle.  If you are still unsure which is best for you, you may want to review our Complete Paddle Buyers Guide that explains the differences between different kinds of pickleball paddles and what to look for when buying a new paddle.

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