Pickleball is like a cross between badminton, ping-pong and tennis. The game is popular with players of all ages because it is easy to learn and can be played either socially or competitively. You don’t need much equipment to play, but you do need a quality paddle. The best pickleball paddles for beginners are inexpensive enough to accommodate new players trying out the sport but have enough quality to still be useful as players increase in skill.
6 Pickleball Paddles for Beginning Players
If you are interested in pickleball but only plan to play once in a while or aren’t sure you will stick with the sport long term, an inexpensive paddle may be a good choice. If you have already tried out the sport and you are ready to step up to a high-quality beginner paddle, something in the intermediate range may serve you better.
Best Budget Picks
These paddles are not top-of-the-line models; however, they are not cheap junk that will fall apart or make your playing experience unenjoyable:
1. Upstreet Pickleball Paddle
This graphite paddle is USA Pickleball Association approved for tournament play, comes with a neoprene paddle cover and features a modern black and white monochrome design. It weighs 8.6 ounces and the core is constructed from polypropylene honeycomb composite. It measures 15.75 inches by 7.75 inches and has a 4.5-inch grip size.
This paddle currently sells for less than $40, placing it in the middle of the best pickleball paddles pack. The polymer honeycomb core provides additional power and excellent ball control, which is ideal for new players who have not yet developed a style that favors either power or finesse, and isn’t as loud or hard as paddles with aluminum cores.
If you are playing in a community that restricts pickleball noise, a quieter paddle is a good choice. The cushioned grip makes the paddle comfortable to use and absorbs sweat so you don’t drop your paddle during play.
2. Amazin’ Aces Graphite Pickleball Paddle
This budget pick meets USAPA specifications, currently retails for less than $35, comes with a one-year warranty and features a polypropylene honeycomb core and graphite paddle face. These paddles weigh between 7.8 oz and 8.2 oz and have a 4.75-inch grip size.
The face measures 16.38 inches by 8.66 inches. This paddle offers a balance of power and control that makes it well-suited to beginner players, and the paddle’s generous sweet spot makes it easier for new players to land a good shot.
3. Rally Meister Wooden Paddle
Wood paddles are one of the best pickleball paddles for bargain hunters because of their low price point but can be heavy and difficult to grip because the grip on many inexpensive wood paddles is just tape wrapped around wood. At 10 ounces, this paddle is one of the lighter wood models on the market and features a cushioned, 4.25-inch grip for comfort and control.
It measures 15.5 inches by 7 inches. The face is constructed from durable seven-ply white maple. This paddle currently sells for less than $25, meets USAPA specifications and comes with a one-year warranty.
Best Pickleball Paddles for Advanced Beginners
If you are ready to step up from your budget paddle or want to start with a higher-quality paddle that you can keep using as you improve, these moderately priced picks are all good choices:
1. Paddletek Phoenix G6
The textured poly-carbonate surface and large sweet spot of this paddle help you control the spin on your shots, and the polypropylene honeycomb core adds power. At 7.5 ounces to 7.8 ounces, the paddle is reasonably comfortable for players who do not have wrist problems. The face measures 15.5 inches by 7.75 inches and the grip is 5 inches. These paddles are known for durability and this model comes with a one-year warranty.
Paddletek paddles are among the best pickleball paddles for beginners because they are designed to be forgiving without sacrificing performance. This paddle’s current retail price is just under $70, making it about twice as expensive as a budget pick but still a reasonable investment for new players seeking a higher-quality starter paddle.
2. Head Radical Elite
This lightweight fiberglass paddle retails at just under $60. The smooth surface provides plenty of power but not as much spin control. It features a polypropylene honeycomb core and an ergonomically designed grip for improved touch and less vibration. It weighs 8.1 oz and is 16 inches by 7.9 inches in width.
The unique shape of the paddle face provides a large sweet spot, while the thick core increases playability. The fiberglass surface is extremely durable, making this paddle a good choice for players who play often. However, there is no warranty on this model.
3. Champion Graphite X
At almost $90, this paddle is the most expensive of the best pickleball paddles for beginners. This graphite paddle features a traditional shape and moderate weight designed to give players enhanced ball control, extra spin and lots of pop. The thick core dampens sound and vibration.
This paddle is a good choice for players who want a paddle that can handle any play conditions and prefer a balanced style of play. The plush high tack grip is slender for quick maneuvering while being soft enough to dampen the impact of the ball.
The paddle face is made from textured graphite, while the 0.5-inch thick core is polymer honeycomb. It weighs between 7.6 oz and 8.0 oz and measures at 15.625 inches by 8.125 inches. The grip circumference is 4.25 inches.
This durable paddle comes with a one-year warranty. It is USAPA tested and approved and is certified by the International Federation of Pickleball for IFP tournament play.
Learn More About the Best Pickleball Paddles
For more information about the best pickleball paddles for beginners, check out the in-depth reviews on Pickleball Portal. Site leaders Tom Filippini and Dan Langston are passionate about racket sports and dedicated to providing pickleball players of all skill levels with the information they need to get started on or continue their journey in this amazing sport. You will find the latest product reviews, tips to help you improve your game and a wealth of other pickleball information.