Best Pickleball Paddles

I tested the best pickleball paddles of 2024, so now I know which ones offer the most harmonious combination of power, control, good feel, spin, and forgiveness. Check out my personal rankings and read hands-on reviews to find the one that’s perfect for your needs

1. JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus

joola ben johns perseus pickleball paddle
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: The Perseus pickleball paddle series by JOOLA excels with its remarkably lighter swing weight, unique soft feel, and a control-oriented design, offering players improved maneuverability, versatility in the soft game, and a customizable canvas for personalized performance.

Helpful review: The JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus Pickleball Paddle has certainly stirred up excitement in the pickleball community. As an enthusiast of the sport, I had to put this paddle to the test and share my thoughts on its performance, features, and overall value.

Pros:

1. The Ben Johns Signature Design collaborating with the world’s number one pickleball player is no small feat, and this paddle shows attention to detail. It’s tailored for aggressive players who seek an edge in their game (9/10).

2. The innovative charged carbon surface technology offers a crisp feel with enhanced energy return. The poppier response and ball feedback elevate the gameplay, giving you a noticeable advantage (8.5/10).

3. The fully carbon-encased construction boasts remarkable strength and stability, making it suitable for aggressive play. This design choice ensures the paddle’s consistency throughout its lifespan, which is essential for serious players (9/10).

4. The specially engineered shape of the paddle creates a larger sweet spot, contributing to enhanced accuracy and control. This feature is particularly advantageous for players aiming to finesse their shots (9/10).

5. The Feel-Tec Pure Grip is an excellent touch. It offers a tacky handle that helps maintain a firm grip, even during intense rallies. Additionally, its sweat-absorbing capabilities add to the overall comfort during play (8/10).

Cons:

1. High Price Point: One significant drawback is the price. While the paddle offers cutting-edge technology and features, the cost might deter some players from investing in it (6/10).

2. Weight: At 8.0 ounces, the paddle might feel slightly heavy for players accustomed to lighter options. This could impact maneuverability, especially for those with specific playing styles (7/10).

So, here’s the scoop: This Pickleball Paddle is like a pro-level tool for your pickleball game. It’s got all these awesome features that make you feel like a champ on the court. The big sweet spot, super grip, and tough build are all major pluses. But, and here’s the catch, the price is a bit high, and the paddle’s a touch heavy.

Should you go for it? Well, if you’re a dedicated pickleball player who wants to level up their game and doesn’t mind shelling out some extra cash, this could be your secret weapon. But if you’re just starting or want something lighter on your pocket, you might want to explore other options.

Keep slaying on the pickleball court, and remember, it’s all about having fun while you’re at it!

Dileep

Get it from Amazon now: $229.95 & FREE Returns

2. CRBN 2X Pickleball Paddle

crbn 2x pickleball paddle
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: Exceptional forgiveness; Solid blocking capability; A generous sweet spot for clean shots; A near-perfect balance between power and control.

Helpful Review: Having never been one to splurge on sports gear, I finally decided to treat myself to the CRBN² Pickleball Paddle, and boy, am I glad I did. Right out of the box, the sleek design and white finish had a classic, no-frills vibe to it. This is a paddle that screams, “I’m here to play, not to show off.”

The first thing you notice when you grip it is the solid feel, thanks to its carbon fiber construction. It’s neither too heavy nor too light, striking that Goldilocks zone of just right. I’ve played with cheaper paddles where you could feel them almost flex on a hard swing, but not this bad boy. It’s rigid yet responsive, which is exactly what I needed.

The honeycomb poly core does wonders for control while not sacrificing power. It’s like my hits have found a new level of precision without losing any oomph. Whether I’m slamming or dinking, the CRBN² has become an extension of my arm on the court.

Now, I’ve seen some folks getting all technical with specs and performance analytics, but for an everyday Joe who just wants to enjoy a good game with the buds over the weekend, this paddle is a homerun…or should I say, a pickle-run? Either way, it’s a stellar piece of gear that has noticeably improved my game.

All in all, the CRBN² Pickleball Paddle is worth every penny. It’s a straightforward, reliable paddle that delivers on both power and control, exactly as advertised. So if you’re looking to step up your pickleball game without any fuss, this is the paddle for you.

Verified Shopper

Get it from Amazon now: $229.99 & FREE Returns

3. Selkirk SLK Halo

slk halo pickleball paddle
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: Selkirk’s Halo, priced at $140, showcases a budget-friendly 16mm XL model with T700 carbon fiber, providing commendable spin performance and control-oriented play, making it an appealing option for players seeking a balance of performance and affordability.

Helpful review: This Halo paddle offers a lot of bang for the buck. Raw carbon fiber paddles are trendy, and many of them are priced above the Halo. There are some pros who use the Halo, which tells you how good it is.

If your game is exclusively about control and you don’t think much about power, this is the paddle for you. Choosing a paddle is such a personal subjective thing, so I’ll provide my impressions as they apply to my style of playing.

I typically prefer 16mm paddles like this one because I value control over power. I played back-to-back with three other 16mm control paddles, and this one was clearly the best of the lot. The sweet spot is large, and the paddle is forgiving of off-center hits.

I expected this paddle to be a spin monster. It isn’t. Spin is above average but not exceptional, which is what I was expecting. To me it feels about the same spin-wise as the SLK Evo paddles. Good, but not great.

To me, this paddle feels a little head heavy in my hand. I don’t mind the larger 4.3″ grip, and I REALLY like the faux leather material without ridges.

What’s lacking for me is power. Some paddles help generate power, but with this paddle the power has to come from you. So if you’re a muscular player who is fine generating your own power, this paddle will work well for you. For me, I felt like I had to really work to get the same power in serves and volleys compared to my other control paddles.

These two factors (above-average but not exceptional spin and lack of power) keep this paddle from being my go-to everyday paddle. It makes me wonder if the 13mm Halo might be a better choice for m instead of the 16mm.

But again, if your main priority is control, this paddle is excellent. Just be prepared to settle for good-but-not exceptional spin, and plan on providing your own power.

Sojiro Mifune

Get it from Amazon now: $140.00 & FREE Returns

4. Selkirk AMPED Epic

 selkirk amped epic pickleball paddle
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: The biggest advantage of the Selkirk Epic Amped Series paddle lies in its innovative X5 Fiber Fleck technology, creating a noticeably softer feel and quieter play while maintaining exceptional power, precision, and the distinctive aesthetic appeal that Selkirk is known for.

Helpful review: I’ve been playing pickleball (I should say, addicted to – fellow players know exactly what I mean) for about a year now. Although I went out and bought a cheap two paddle with balls set before the first time I played, I have since been using an old, kinda not great one that I borrow from the “bag-o’-paddles” where I play in a local gym. In the meantime, my husband began playing about the same time and after six months, forked out the bucks for this exact paddle. And because he loves me, he let me borrow it. What a difference! Playing pickleball with this paddle is literally epic. The difference versus the old one I’d been borrowing versus this one is literally night and day.

Most enjoyable is the feel of bounciness (vaguely like when a tennis ball hits your tennis racket, but less noticeable) as you SLAM THE BALL (sorry about that, but fellow players, again, know exactly what I mean). I’m really glad that I waited to buy a quality paddle until I’d been playing for a while and I’m even gladder that my husband used some sort of flowchart to find this one which allowed me to try it and choose same. Mine came marked “8.0 ounces” on the plastic covering and this is a good weight for me (5’4″x120#). A friend who is about my size said she’d tried the lighter weight version and it was too light.

In summary, where have you (Epic Pickleball paddle), been all my (Pickleball-playing-life)? I don’t know how I survived without you.

JuLee Rudolf

Get it from Amazon now: $149.99 & FREE Returns

5. Vatic Pro Flash

vatic pro flash pickleball paddle
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: The Vatic Pro Flash paddles, available in 16mm and 14mm variations, offer an affordable price point and notable power, making them suitable for players prioritizing hand speed. Despite a shorter warranty period, the 16mm version provides a more satisfying overall feel and performance, making it a recommended choice for those seeking a thermoformed paddle under $150.

Helpful review: I’ve owned both 14mm and 16mm paddles and love them both!

Both paddles:
-very fast and good for hand battles
-very good access to spin
-have decent power, although not as much as an extended paddle
-smaller face has a small but rewarding sweet spot

The 2 paddles are more similar than different. I don’t have any objective numbers to back this up, but here’s what I noticed:

14mm – when compared to the 16mm, it has a more direct feel and instant feedback. There’s less vibration dampening and as a result you know exactly where the ball is on the paddle. This results in very good directional control, excellent spin. A little more difficult to gauge depth when you miss the sweet spot, but the sweet spot is very nice when you hit it. Best for: attacks, counters, fast dropping drives.

16mm – when compared to the 14mm, it has a more dampened feel, a little more cushion and control. Slightly less power and less spin. The more dampened feel offered comfort on off center hits, but did not offer power on off center hits. Best for: dinking, resets

If you’re coming from tennis and have experience with players rackets, I’d say if you’re used to a Wilson Pro Staff try the 14mm. If you prefer a Wilson Blade, get the 16mm. I’m guessing most people gravitate towards the 16mm but my preference has been the 14mm lately for the direct feel.

I’ve experimented with some lead tape at various locations on both paddles but I’m finding it plays great in stock form with an over grip. When I keep the lead tape on, it’s 4g at the bottom of the handle to increase static weight without increasing swingweight for more of a traditional tennis racket style setup.

Customer service is terrific. I had a small issue but Daryl was incredible to work with. Vatic Pro really stands by their products.

Verified Shopper

Get it from Amazon now: $139.99 & FREE Returns

6. Six Zero Double Black Diamond

Highlight: A new entrant in the market, stands out for its innovation with a raw fiberglass surface, providing spin similar to carbon fiber but with added power.

Helpful reviews: The 60 Double Black Diamond paddle absolutely exploded onto the scene early this year and has remained one of 2023’s most popular paddles, and for good reason. It combines several features that make it one of the best all-around paddles that I’ve ever used.

It boasts top-tier spin, an extra-large sweet spot, a lower swing weight for good hand speed, ample control, and enough power to put the ball away. So, even though it’s advertised as a control paddle, I feel comfortable including it in the all-court category.

The dimensions of this paddle seem to hit the right balance for most players. Something about its hybrid shape that flares out toward the top gives this paddle a great feel in its stock form. In my opinion, this paddle leans more toward the control side of the spectrum, making it great for people who want enough power and pop to feel confident with speed-ups and putaways but really don’t want to stray too far from the fundamentals, such as drops, resets, dinks, and the soft game.

Johnkew Pickleball

Six Zero was the original pioneer of the thermoformed revolution and is constantly tinkering and innovating to create an ultra-premium product with little to no quality control issues, delamination, or crushed cores.

To put it more concisely, Six Zero is one of the most durable and respected paddle manufacturers on the market—a true all-core paddle. The Double Black Diamond does everything extremely well—solid power, a satisfying pop, great spin at 1977 RPM, and a beautiful feel off the face with a generous sweet spot.

Six Zero really did everything right with this hybrid-shaped paddle. Drives are aggressive, serves have tons of spin, dinking and hand battles feel very forgiving, and there’s plenty of pop to get the job done. It’s just an incredible all-around paddle. If you want a paddle that doesn’t lean towards any one aspect of the game and just does everything well, this is your pick.

STS PICKLEBALL

7. Neonic Force 16mm

neonic force pickleball paddle
Credit: Amazon.com

Highlight: Boasting a quality feel, excellent balance, easy maneuverability, good net pop, and decent baseline power, it’s ideal for all-court play, although it lacks top-tier spin capabilities.

Helpful review:
Update: After being contacted by the company and engaging in a few correspondences, I opted to give the paddle a fair chance. On paper, the paddle seemed robust, boasting all the features of an expensive Gen 2 paddle without the inflated price tag. Following a week of extensive play in both singles and doubles, I am genuinely impressed with this paddle. I own several high-quality paddles for comparison, and after consulting with friends who also tested it, we unanimously agreed that this paddle ranks among the top.

Firstly, the paddle exhibits considerable power, surpassing any Gen 1 paddles in our possession and nearly rivalling my 6.0 DBD 14mm, though not as overpowering as a CRBN 1X. The slightly extended dwell time contributes to a softer hit, preventing shots from sailing past the baseline during aggressive swings. However, it maintains an impressive pace, delivering winners against formidable opponents. The softer face enhances spin, complemented by a gritty raw carbon fiber surface. Although I can’t measure spin precisely, the ball’s behavior on hard top-spin returns indicates excellent spin capabilities.

While the paddle offers decent pop, it doesn’t quite match the stiffness of other Gen 2 paddles, requiring a bit more force for actions like speed-ups at the NVZ. However, the reduced pop makes ball resets effortless—simply get the paddle out, and it does a significant portion of the work. Care is needed when resetting with the forehand, as hitting away from the sweet spot may induce a slight twist.

On the positive side, the paddle boasts a sufficiently long handle for a two-handed backhand for most players, although those with larger hands may need to overlap. The handle circumference suits smaller hands like mine, but larger-handed players might consider an overgrip. The large sweet spot makes miss-hits forgiving, ensuring the ball travels over the net with power. However, there is some feedback on miss-hits near the edges, a characteristic shared with most Gen 2 paddles.

As an elongated paddle, it carries a slightly higher swing weight, comparable to a Vatic Pro V7. This higher swing weight is noticeable in the kitchen, particularly during hand battles against players with lower swing weight paddles. I mitigated this by favoring a two-handed backhand, enabling quick shifts if someone attacked my forehand side.

Overall, this paddle is outstanding. As a well-known content creator aptly put it, “good paddles are getting cheaper, and cheap paddles are getting good.” This Gen 2 paddle falls into the category of exceptionally good. I recommend it to players who started with a beginner paddle but are serious about improving. There may be a learning curve, especially for those transitioning from Gen 1, but the increase in power and control is well worth it. The learning curve, coupled with understanding the game’s tactics, will propel you to higher levels quickly. It performs admirably in both singles and doubles matches.

Note: Regarding durability, I expect my paddles to last for six months of play, equivalent to 800-1000 hours of actual game use (3-4 hours a day) plus hitting drills. If the paddle fails prematurely, I will provide an update.

Original: Upon receiving my paddle and inspecting it, I noticed a strange sound emanating from inside below the sweet spot, closer to the handle. Initially dismissing it, I tapped the paddle in various spots after a few minutes, and indeed, there was an odd sound, suggesting something may have come loose. Perhaps delamination due to insufficient glue in that area? Consequently, I returned it and purchased a different paddle. It’s unfortunate because it seemed like a good deal, and I liked the pink graphics and overall feel. However, I couldn’t take the risk of potential durability or quality control issues down the road with a replacement paddle.

Verified Shopper

Get it from Amazon now: $99.99 & FREE Returns

8. Volair Mach 1 Forza

volair mach 1 forza pickleball paddle
Credit: Volair.com

Highlight: The Mach 1 Forza by Volair is a well-made thermoform pickleball paddle with a solid mix of power and control, featuring a slightly heavier feel than its stated swing weight, excellent spin, and forgiveness, making it suitable for players seeking an elongated all-court type paddle with a stylish design and additional accessories.

Helpful review: I was very hesitant at first to even try the Mach 1 Forza. There are so many other brands to choice from and others are more well known. And, to be honest, Julian Arnold is not my favorite player. However, a friend is currently hitting with it and suggested I try it. Figured it doesn’t hurt to just try it.

After several days the paddle grew on me. So much so I ended up purchasing the 16mm. There are many factors I ended up likely this paddle but the top 3 reason’s are:

Pop – the feel and sound of the ball coming off the paddle was impressive. Very load sounding and the feel is very solid.
Surface – the paddle feels rough and the surface truly grips the ball for that top spin and slice when needed. It took a while to get use to but once I settled the paddle served me well.
Control – Again, it took me a while to get use to the paddle. But, as I master the particulars, I’m gaining more finesse.

Lastly, though a little pricey. You do get an extra over grip, cover, neck band, and eraser. Cheap extra’s but its still extras.

—Chet Reyes