Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners

Hey, pickleball people! Welcome to our guide on the “Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners.” Discover top paddle options tailored for novice players, ensuring optimal control, power, and ease of use to elevate your pickleball experience.

1. Joola Essentials

joola essentials
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: A quality, lively feel, forgiveness, stability, and durability, making it a worthwhile investment over cheaper alternatives for entry-level players.

Helpful review: “Let’s get the elephant out of the room first, with $129 you can buy an intermediate level pair of paddles advertised as having medium grit carbon surface and graphite faces, also coming with a carrying case and a couple of balls.

I am reviewing the Joola Essentials Kit so i won’t wander into other specific paddle brands/models but to summarize, i think this is a quality kit aimed at control first, if you are just starting on pickleball, or adding a pair of paddles to lend to some friends or family and want them to get properly introduced to the game, this is a safe bet.

The paddle is 12mm but doesn’t have the power of a “proper” 12mm, what i mean by that is that the thicker the paddle, depending on how it’s build, the more towards “control” it was envisioned, the thickness, having usually a honeycomb structure inside absorbs some of the energy making it easier to “reset” a play, resetting being the term used to return from high energy hits to the controlled, slower phase of a point.

There’s paddle kits advertising “better” features, such as a carbon grit face for spin, but remember that this kit isn’t meant for somebody thinking about spin, but returning the ball successfully above the net and within the limits of the court, that’s the first step you take and these are wonderful for that purpose.

Build quality is excellent, and compared to other no brand (or random Chinese name brands) these feel more solid, in comparison to the hollow feeling of cheaper paddles, even the ones advertised towards an intermediate or professional level due to using carbon/graphite or a thicker pad.

The “sweet spot” is very forgiving on these paddles, wherever you hit the ball you’ll get a decent response and that’s exactly what somebody who’s just being introduced to the sport needs, a paddle that keeps the game going.

The grip and tape is comfortable and in line with their higher end paddles, slightly shorter, but not exactly a big deal, but being a beginner’s kit i would have made the grip just a tad longer so people figure out whatever works for them best.

Build quality is what you’d expect from Joola, it is a reputable company with years in the Table Tennis scene and you’ll probably outlast the paddles life cycle as you’ll probably move on to a more advanced paddle before you break these.

The included accessories (balls and carrying bag) are a nice addition and of different from the generic Chinese brands, not the square-ish bag and the seamed balls, but a more stylish, with a higher quality zipper and quality balls.

All in consideration, while not the cheapest of kits out there, i would say this is one of the most attractive starter kits from a reputable company, will provide the players with control, solid grip and pad size they need to get started and to an intermediate level in the game, they feel great and slightly better than other intermediate level paddles here in Amazon, if you’re looking for a reputable brand, this is it.”


C. M.

Get it from Amazon now: $43.08 & FREE Returns

2. Vatic Pro Prism

Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: The Vatic Pro Prism paddle is hailed as an exceptional value under $100, offering control-oriented features, a forgiving sweet spot, and competitive performance comparable to higher-priced paddles, making it a top recommendation for its unbeatable price point.

Helpful review: “I have been playing pickleball for a few months and still consider myself a beginner and was using a cheap Amazon branded paddle which work fine when learning for the first time until you get good enough to break them. For my replacement I was recommended by reviewers and a player that this paddle is a great replacement for beginners for it’s a paddle built as good as other more expensive paddles at a reasonable price.

It did take a few games to get used to the feel of the paddle but once I felt comfortable I was very impressed how much more control I had when being in kitchen area compared to how I played before. I have only played a few games so far but I know this paddle will improve my game and I strongly recommend any beginner who is looking for a good control paddle to by this paddle.


I also learned for these type of paddles you should use a rubber block like the carbon fiber paddle eraser to clean the carbon fiber so the paddle can be more effective when doing spins and to last longer. 

Gokuhan

I have been playing pickleball off and on for just over a year so still a beginner. My former paddle was an Onix Z3 which I struggled with in the short game. This Vatic paddle is a huge improvement.

It is very lightweight, grip has tacky feel and I find it extremely comfortable. In addition, it is about a half inch longer than my Onix which has helped give me confidence at the kitchen line. With the Vatic, my control over dinks and the 3rd shot drop has gone way up. The only downside I found with the Vatic is what several other reviews have stated-not as much power as other paddles.”

Jeff Kaster

Get it from Amazon now: $99.99 & FREE Returns

3. Niupipo MX-19

Top-rated: 3,517 ratings | 80 answered questions

niupipo mx 19
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: The Niupipo Graphite Paddle impresses with a powerful nomex core, scoring 9/10 in power, while its slick graphite face and hard core result in average control (6/10) and forgiveness (6/10), making it more suited for backcourt play; overall, it earns a solid 21/30, offering consistent power and affordability, making it a recommended choice for beginners.

Helpful review: “I bought this set for my boys to play pickleball with their grandparents. I had no clue what I was looking for, since I haven’t played since high school. (Way too many years ago to mention!) The paddles my parents have are from this brand, but they got WAY more expensive paddles than I did. I figured if they’ve had good luck with theirs, in the 6 months they’ve been playing, that it was a good brand to purchase from.

It’s a great beginner set. The paddles are light weight and when I’ve used them I haven’t had any issues with my tennis elbow. The handles are nicely padded and don’t get slippery or sticky when you start sweating. They seem to be extremely durable with the fiberglass face and polypropylene honeycomb core. My boys have dropped them a couple of times and there’s been no issue with breakage. The edge protection also helps protect the paddle when you’re going to get a low ball and accidentally scrape the edge on the ground.

It’s handy that it comes with a carrying bag and 4 balls. It’s a one stop set that contains everything you need to play, so you won’t have to spend any additional money. We’re extremely happy with this pickleball set. I’d recommend it to anyone that wants to try this fun sport.”

The OG Elf

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4. Uteeqe U1

uteeqe u1
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: The Uteeqe U1 pickleball paddle offers impressive power with a solid feel and audible “pop,” earning an 8/10 in power, while its entry-level control (6/10) is hindered by a slick surface, and its forgiveness (6/10) is somewhat compromised at the net due to its slickness and hard core, making it more suitable for backcourt play and poach finishes.

Helpful review: “A newbie to Pickle ball, and taking classes. The instructor pointed out in first class that my paddle was a good beginner paddle. I have played 2x and feel like the paddle is perfect and my biggest focus in trying to learn the sport rules, while the paddle does what it is supposed to do. If you are a beginner – I recommend.

Molly

I have extra-large hands (normally wear extra-large gloves) and this paddle feels very comfortable on the grip.
It is very light (although I’d like it a little bit lighter), and the construction seems to be top-notch. The surface of the paddle makes it very easiy to spin the ball.
Now, if this paddle is good for an advanced player…. you would have to ask one of them. I’m not there yet. ;o)”

Marcelo A

Get it from Amazon now: $39.99 & FREE Returns

5. Panel Sound Pickleball Paddle

panel sound pickleball paddle
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: A fiberglass face, calm technology, balanced weight, and a forgiving grip, making it suitable for beginners and intermediate players and coming as a set of two with balls, a bag, and towels.

Helpful review: “The Panel Sound USAPA Approved Pickleball Paddle Set has exceeded my expectations, delivering a complete package for pickleball enthusiasts of all skill levels. With its lightweight paddles, versatile ball options, and thoughtful accessories, this set caters to indoor and outdoor play with style and precision.

Pros:

Quality Paddles: The included fiberglass pickleball paddles are USAPA approved, ensuring professional-grade quality. Their lightweight yet sturdy construction enhances control and power during gameplay.

Variety of Balls: The set includes both indoor and outdoor balls, offering adaptability to different playing environments. This flexibility lets you enjoy pickleball wherever you choose.

Comprehensive Set: The addition of a carrying case, cooling towels, and various ball types demonstrates the manufacturer’s attention to detail, making this set a convenient and complete solution for pickleball enthusiasts.

Enhanced Gameplay: The paddles’ lightweight design and responsive construction contribute to improved gameplay, allowing for precise shots and better maneuverability on the court.

Durability and Portability: The quality materials used in the construction of the paddles and accessories ensure their longevity. The carrying case and cooling towels add portability and ease to your pickleball adventures.

Cons:

Cooling Towel Size: Some users might find the cooling towels on the smaller side, potentially requiring more frequent re-wetting during extended play sessions.

Personal Preference: While the paddles are versatile, some players might have personal preferences for specific paddle designs or grip styles.

In summary, the Panel Sound Pickleball Paddle Set offers an excellent combination of performance, variety, and convenience. The quality paddles, diverse ball options, and thoughtful extras like the carrying case and cooling towels create a comprehensive package for pickleball enthusiasts. While there might be minor considerations such as cooling towel size and personal preference, the overall benefits and attention to detail make this set a solid choice for enhancing your pickleball experience both indoors and outdoors.”

Jon Prince

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6. SLK Evo Power XL 2.0

slk evo power xl 2.0
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: The SLK Evo 2.0 paddles from Selkirk, priced at $100, offer three options – power, control, and hybrid, with customization in shape and color

Helpful review: “1. Sweet spot – (4/5). Very good sweet-spot. Paddle claims to be a power one, which shows in clean solid pops with minimum effort. This comes with a flip side, if you are not good at control, balls can fly out.

2. Surface/Spin – (4/5). The surface has grit and offers nice spin. However, I felt it was not as sharp as some of the raw carbon surfaces I have played with.

3. Grip – (3/5). Grip is soft and smooth, but on a bit small side at 4.125 for me. I have medium hands and it felt not so firm in my hand and grip felt just a bit small. Good thing is it could be just what someone may be looking for.

4. Weight – (5/5). This is a super lightweight paddle, just under 8 ounces. It will not stress your wrist.

5. Looks – It looks professional, sharp and stylish.

6. Packaging – (2/5). It came in a plastic bag, for a 100 plus paddle, it could be better packaged.

7. Cover included or not – (1/5). No! Why in a 100 plus paddle there is no cover. Charge me 5 extra and include a nice cover to keep my paddle safe and also look good.

Overall, a very nice paddle for beginner to intermediate levels, lightweight and powerful.”

RJ

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7. Ronbus R1.16

ronbus r1.16 pickleball paddle
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: “The Ronbus R1.16 is a control-oriented paddle with a plush, soft feel, boasting good maneuverability, a slightly larger sweet spot, and easy spin production, making it ideal for beginners and players seeking enhanced control, reduced errors, and good spin with a lighter swingweight.

Helpful review: “Alright, long story short before the Ronbus- after trying a bunch of different paddles the best all around paddle for my play style was a ben johns hyperion cfs. The Ronbus is the exact same shape so I ordered one as a back up paddle. After playing one game with it I realized the similarities end there and I finally found my favorite paddle.

To start, this is definitely a control paddle. It has a softer feel than the joola and has a much rougher texture that can generate incredible spin. Get yourself one of those paddle erasers, this thing will have plastic residue from balls on the paddle face every time you hit it. Insane…

Serves- I immediately realized the spin potential of the paddle and started utilizing some old tennis skills to try out some topspin serves that I couldn’t quite figure out with the joola. WOW- instantly changed my entire serving style and started forcing errors with heavy topspin.

Control- 3rd shot drop and dink machine…fantastic predictable touch

Battles at the net- this paddle is lighter than my previous joola and is the perfect weight and balance to be quick at the net.

Power- This may be the one area this paddle lacks compared to my joola. It lacks a bit of the put away power I got used to with the heavier hyperion cfs but its only noticeable on overheads. For everything else this paddle excels and enables me to drive much lower balls and keep them on the court which I couldn’t do before. You can really feel confident hitting the ball at your opponents feet and forcing pop ups and errors. Lead tape might fix the overhead issue but I’ve decided to leave the paddle the way it is at the moment because it plays so well.

Construction- quality. The Grip on the handle is a pretty vanilla generic feeling grip which leaves a lot to be desired, I’d highly recommend replacing it with a new grip you like which would cost you a max of 12$. It steps up the feel of the paddle even more.

Overall The price point of this paddle is unmatched, period. The warranty is excellent and the owner of the company responds quickly to questions via email.”

M

Get it from Amazon now: $99.99 & FREE Returns