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Quiet Pickleball Paddles – Green Zone Approved Paddle List

Paris Todd using the selkirk halo, which is a quiet paddle

Editor’s Note: Meet Kerry Pittenger, the eyes behind the lens at Pickleball Portal. He transforms ordinary pickleball scenes into extraordinary visual narratives.

Are you looking for quiet pickleball paddles that are “Approved” for Green Zones? As we recently discussed in our recent blog post: “Pickleball Noise Problems,” the noise from pickleball is starting to annoy some residents living near pickleball courts, some have even gotten to the point of bringing lawsuits against some local city governments to resolve the noise issues!

Quiet pickleball paddles can be part of the solution. Our top two choices are

  1. Selkirk SLK Halo Control Max (Affordable option)
  2. Joola Perseus 16mm (Premium option)

See full list of quiet “Green Zone” Paddles

While pickleball is noisier than tennis due to the hard paddle and plastic ball, some solutions have started to help the problem.  While quiet paddles can help reduce the noise, the issue goes beyond just the paddle.  Some pickleball players use soft foam practice tennis balls to avoid disturbing neighbors during early morning hours- but realistically, those aren’t the solution either since they don’t play the same as a real one.

Some people think the pickleball ball itself needs to be redesigned to be quieter…but I don’t see a significant change like that happening anytime soon.

Retirement communities and some city courts are retro-fitting acoustic barriers to help alleviate the problem. Many courts are now being built with soundproofing fences to minimize noise. Communities and cities are strategically building courts farther away from residences and, in some cases limiting early morning and late-night playing hours.

quiet green zone approved pickleball paddle
The packaging on Franklin Pickleball-X X Factor Pickleball Paddle 2017. Source: Franklin Sports

Pickleball equipment companies have taken notice of the problem and are marketing their paddles as quiet and”Green Zone” approved for noise restricted communities.

So a common question is who is really “approving” these paddles as suitable for noise restricted communities and classifying them as “quiet”?  What criteria and testing method to determine if paddles pass or fail the noise test? 

From our research, it appears that as of date, there is no official approval noise rating given out by any pickleball governing body (USAPA or IPF).

As mentioned in our longer blog post, it appears the original idea of approved paddles came from Sun City Grand Pickleball Courts, located in the City of Surprise, AZ.   Sun City came up with a list of quiet “Approved” Green Zone paddles and a list of “Red Zone” Pickleball Paddles that are not quiet enough to be used at their facilities.

The list is quite extensive, and they continue to analyze new paddles that come on the market to keep the list up to date.

It’s not exactly clear what the criteria are to qualify or disqualify a paddle as “approved” for green zones nor exactly what testing methodology is used done, but according to the Sun City website, they outsource the sound testing to an expert sound analysis company.

Quiet Pickleball Paddle: How To Choose?

Some people have asked me….”What’s the best quiet pickleball paddle that is on the approved list”? But I think that’s just such a hard question to answer!  First of all, there are a LOT of paddles on the list (over 100 the last time I counted!).

Secondly, the list includes paddles from every price range, material (wood paddles, composite and graphite paddles), edgeless paddles, and those with edge guards.  Virtually every paddle shape (wide-body, elongated, etc.) grip size and core material (polymer core, aluminum core, Nomex) are represented on the list.

Because of this, it’s too hard to declare any single paddle as “The Best Quiet Pickleball Paddle.”  I think the key to finding a good paddle has not changed and noise, although definitely a priority if you live in a “Green Zone” community,  should NOT be the number one deciding factor.

Although some very well known and commonly used paddle models were not approved, every major pickleball paddle maker has approved paddles on the list.  Just as an example, the Gamma Proton was approved on the list. In contrast, the other Gamma paddles (Atomic, Fusion, Ion, Micron, Voltage) have all been categorized as “banned” Red Zone paddles by Sun City.

The fact is that there are some very well-known and best-selling paddles on the market that did not pass the noise test. Still, the same manufacturer’s other paddles were accepted, so you really can’t isolate the best quiet paddle just based on brand or other general criteria such as core material or price range.

I recommend you FIRST find a paddle that meets your playing style, weight, and grip size requirements and THEN cross-reference the list to see if it is also approved as a “quiet paddle.”

As I’ve repeated multiple times on the blog and here in our paddle buyer’s guide,  I would first look at paddle WEIGHT and GRIP SIZE as top priorities when buying a new paddle.

Best Quiet Pickleball Paddles:

If you scroll below, you’ll see a convenient comparison table showing a full list of quite approved paddles for Green Zones.


Comparison table of “Approved” Pickleball Paddles

If you would like to see the updated list from Sun City’s website click here:

The table is listed in alphabetical order by the paddle manufacturer’s name.

Sniper “Quiet” Pickleball Paddle-by Patriot Pickleball

SNIPER Patriot Pickleball Paddle "Quiet" Composite
SNIPER Patriot Pickleball Paddle “Quiet” Composite

The Sniper is the first in class product and the only one currently on the market that was specifically designed as a quiet paddle.

The owner of Patriot Pickleball, Wayne Goodwin, invented the Sniper “Quiet” paddle using a patent-pending foam encasement(the honeycomb core is surrounded by a coating of cell foam). The net effect is that the design eliminates the drum-like noise that other paddles create.

HDS3 technology produces a high-density sweet spot. The mid-weight paddle excels at power. While the “Sniper” is the first paddle launched by the company, there are plans to produce a lightweight “Ranger” paddle, another lightweight paddle called the Green Beret (great branding to go with the theme of “Patriot Pickleball”).

All of the quiet paddle models are made from a single piece of molded polyfoam covered in polymer honeycomb insert with a welded”sweet spot insert.” The unibody design eliminated the need for loose butt caps or edge guards, which can cause vibration and additional noise. The result is a sturdy paddle made from a solid construction.

The company is located in Holland, Ohio. The paddle is made in the USA and sold on Amazon. The paddle meets all USAPA specs and is approved for tournament play. The Sniper weighs between 7.6 and 8.1 ounces, with an average weight of 7.7 oz. The grip size is 4 3/8″ and finished with a premium Gamma cushioned grip.


As we’ve discussed, as the sport continues to grow and more courts are being built, there are and will continue to be more issues surrounding the “noise problem” and finding a compromise that works for both pickleball players and non-playing residents.

Realistically the fundamentals of the sport- the hard plastic ball and paddle specifications are not going to change dramatically any time soon. So while quiet paddles may help alleviate the problem to some degree, much of the problem and possible solution revolves more around ​where and how the courts are built, the noise insulation around them, distance from homes, and the overall impact on the surrounding area.

We’re interested to see how this progresses, and the steps that paddle manufacturers and local communities take to help minimize the issue as much as possible. ​

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About Dan Langston

With experience in the ecotourism industry and time well spent as a fly fishing guide in the remote absaroka mountain range for 6 years, Dan brings a unique perspective on customer service to the digital world. As the operator, Dan is now committed to revitalizing Pickleball Portal and plans to build a support system for content creators and provide helpful information for the pickleball community. dan@pickleballportal.com

30 thoughts on “Quiet Pickleball Paddles – Green Zone Approved Paddle List”

  1. We’ve had piclke ball in our community (300+homes) for several years. Recently there has been significant opposition to the sport because of the noise of the paddle striking the ball. Any suggestions including any information on quieter paddles & balls?

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
      Unfortunately this has been a problem for many communities.
      If you scroll up, we have a few picks for quiet paddle options.

      You may also want to see our blog post on pickleball noise:

      Although solving the problem is no easy feat, there are some solutions for dampening the noise-such as soundproofing material like “Acoustifence”
      as we mentioned in that blog post.
      Another thing can be to limit pickleball during early mornings and late evenings to compromise with non-pickleballers.

      Hope that helps-

    • I have been making pb paddles for 6 years…1200 plus to date. Recently started making paddles with holes to muffle the sound. No Usapa approval but can eliminate sound problem …they play normally…a little more spin, but not bad…

  2. We finally got conversion of one tennis court to Pickleball approved by our HOA after proposing use of quiet balls only for play. We tested a variety of paddles including the Patriot and concluded that it’s all about the ball. The quiet paddles didn’t really make that much of a difference.

    • Hi Jim,
      Thanks for the comment.
      That’s a smart compromise, at least got approval by HOA to play.
      We would be really interested to hear more from you- What kind of quiet balls are you guys playing with?
      That’s interesting that you didn’t see much difference between the paddles.
      I think so many brands now are marketing their paddles as quiet- but there’s really no standard.
      At some point hopefully they come out with a official standardized decible test or way to prove the paddles really are quieter.
      Thanks again for the feedback.

      • Matt,

        I tried glueing some kitchen shelf liner designed for non slip. I’m pretty confident it wouldn’t meet specs for official play but it does SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER NOISE LEVEL with regular pickle balls.

        Have had about a dozen players at various levels try it and mostly positive feedback.

  3. As an avid pickle ball player I do agree that the noise in an outdoor setting can be pretty obnoxious. Since the ball is designed to be a high loss item (inefficient energy conservation on a bounce) it would seem to me that a new ball designed with a low acoustic signature say by adding a urethane coating, same on a paddle with a low frequency first mode of vibration with high damping would bring the issue down to the level where it wouldn’t matter any more. You could do an even better job if you tune the frequencies to be less annoying to the human ear which is understood. All this stuff is known and not difficult to pull off. It doesn’t have to be loud and annoying. It just is because nobody cared about it when it was started and the balls are designed to be cheap as nails. All that matters for the game to be the same is that the combined coefficient of restitution between the ball and the paddle and the ball and the playing surface remain similar. Another constraint is that it has to have the same aerodynamic drag coefficient so it flies similarly. This should be easy to pull off and the Governing Body (if there is one) should mandate the properties of the ball, the racket, the playing surface in the same way that golf or tennis manages the properties of their equipment in their respective sports. Coat the ball with urethane to get the high frequency noise out of the interaction and maybe up the stiffness of the ball material so the coefficient of the restitution stays the same. The coefficient of restitution is just the height a ball bounces back to divided the the height you drop it from. They don’t bounce back very well so it should be easy to make a low noise contact interaction that plays the same. The governing body should just put the issue to bed as soon as possible as it is restricting the growth of the game. The players will adjust. No big deal. The sound issue though that is a big deal.

    • Thank you for explaining this problem so well, and its possible solution. Do you know of any progress yet? For something that is so fun, it sure does make a lot of good people hopping mad. Solve this ball problem and make room to solve the next problem…how to provide pickle ball courts without taking away tennis courts.

      • There has been no solution to the problem, even though some engineer wannabe thinks he has the solution summed up in a paragraph or two. I suggest if the solution is so simple, please implement it and then share the startling reduction in sound with the rest of the world….

  4. I have been in touch with your content and seems like you are not updating the content since some days. your information is very helpful and valuable about paddles. Please update the content so that we can aware more about paddles.

    • Hi Wilson. We really appreciate you giving your thoughts! We are actually in the process of rebuilding the entire site with new layouts and new content. We are also working on a Guest Review Program that gives those who love the sport a chance to test out gear and give their own in-depth opinions about pickleball paddles, shoes, and other equipment. If you want to learn more, we would love to discuss your interest!

  5. We’re glad to hear that you had a great experience with pickleball paddles. Please continue to make sure that products are of the highest quality, and we hope you provide the best information!

  6. Z5 making this list is a joke. Piercing sound on every hit. There are also paddles on this list that nobody plays with. I find it hard to believe that all of the Joola paddles don’t make the list. They aren’t any louder than any other paddle.

    Bottom line: if you play pickelball there will be sound. If there aren’t any houses around and you aren’t playing before 7am or after 9pm who cares! The grunting that occurs in tennis is more of a problem that pickleball noise. Wind screens do reduce sound a tremendous amount. I’m kind of flabbergasted that people complain about this. It’s nonsense.

  7. Hi – you have the incorrect link for the Sun City Grand Quiet Paddle list – it’s pball.grandpickleball.org/Menu-Organization/Paddle%20Test%20Results.pdf and is regularly updated.
    We failed the sound study our county required twice, then we found this list. We then tested using the following combinations:
    – Only quiet paddles, various balls
    – USAPA (non-quiet) paddles, Onix 2 Pure balls
    – Only quiet paddles & only Onix 2 Pure balls
    We only passed with the quiet paddles & Onix 2 Pure balls. These studies were performed with four courts and 16 people playing for over two hours. As a result, the county requires we use both quiet paddles & Onix 2 Pure balls. There is a definite difference in noise level. Many communities require both now. We embrace it because otherwise we would not be allowed to play Pickleball at all. We also have acoustifence installed to futher muffle the sound.
    If you don’t think it’s a problem, you obviously do not live near a court and want to use your backyard. We choose to be proactive and do everything we could to reduce noise, and it’s paid off. We’ve never had a noise complaint and our courts are full all day.

    • Ana,

      Thank you so much for all your wonderful information! Are you located in Sun City Arizona or Texas ? We would like to get the acoustifence however it is very expensive and would like to be sure our city will accept the decibel level once it installed before we lay out $40000. Any help you could offer would be very much appreciated.

  8. In regard to the pickleball paddle noise, I just want to add to the conversation my trying a single thick coat of Rust-oleum Flexible Rubber Coating spray to one side of a paddle hoping to get more spin. I get a very quiet paddle needing more power for the same effort spin not improved over my graphite faced paddle. For my next effort I am going to spray the other side of the paddle with a similar product by Rust-oleum called Peel Coat, a rubber coating that can be peeled off, to see if there is any difference. Probably not much, if any, difference, but an experiment to try.
    If I get a miracle result, or even a difference of one to the other, I will post. Hmm… maybe I should try drilling one hole and progress with and/or w/o coatings.

    Tnx, everyone, all of this is very interesting sharing.


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