Whether you’re an absolute beast on the pickleball court or just playing for enjoyment, the finest pickleball paddles will elevate your game. When searching for the ideal paddle of the pickleball variety, there are features and criteria to consider despite the apparent simplicity of pickleball paddles.
Let’s take a look at three of the top pickleball paddles on the market and the features you should seek out to enhance your game.
Top Pickleball Paddle Characteristics to Search for
Polypropylene, also known as “poly core,” is the most common and popular inner material found in pickleball paddles. Due to their distinct influence on your serve and return, poly core paddles are the most desirable because they are suitable for players of all skill levels. When using a pickleball paddle with a polypropylene interior, the following advantages are realized:
- Popular: The majority of pickleball players use paddles with poly cores, making them the most popular and accessible paddles available. If you own a poly core paddle and become proficient with it, you will be able to seamlessly transition to other poly core paddles you may encounter on your local court or in a tournament.
- Improved Sensation: The ability to correctly “feel” the ball strike the paddle can greatly enhance your serve and volley. Pickleball paddles with a poly core provide an enhanced sense of contact, allowing you to feel one with the paddle and score more points than your opponent.
- Durability: The polypropylene material used in the construction of the interior of these pickleball paddles is incredibly durable and strong. When using a paddle made from this material, you can rest assured that even a powerful serve or return will not compromise the fundamental structure!
- Forceful: The chemical composition and structural design of poly core paddles make them effective on the court, translating your serves and returns into more forceful strikes that help you outscore your opponents and rack up more points.
- Flexible: A pickleball paddle with a rigid poly core does not have the same interaction with the ball as one with a flexible poly core. You’ll want a polypropylene core due to its superior flexibility, which will allow you to generate more power during serves and returns.
- Honeycomb Design: Poly core pickleball paddles are constructed with a honeycomb lattice design. It is the secret behind this material’s exceptional strength, durability, and adaptability. Each honeycomb-shaped cell in the paddle’s interior aids in “spreading out” the force of each strike for a more controlled, smoother impact.
- Quiet: Poly core pickleball paddles are favored because they are quieter than other core materials. This allows you to concentrate more on your game and technique and less on the incessant pop-pop noises.
Surface Grain and Texture
Enhanced surface texture and grit are a common feature of the most effective pickleball paddles, as they increase traction and thus power. When your paddle can “cling” to the ball a little longer after each strike, you can deliver a more forceful serve or return that travels further and in the desired direction. Look for paddles with USA Pickleball-approved surface texture and grain if you want the finest paddles for pickleball. You will rotate the ball slightly more without sacrificing direction control.
Fiberglass Exterior Layer
The surface texture and grain is not the only factor to consider when searching for the finest pickleball paddles. Look for a paddle with a surface made of fiberglass or composite material. Fiberglass surface layers result in an inexpensive, high-quality, durable paddle. There is no blow as potent and gratifying as the “pop” of a fiberglass paddle!
Paddle Thickness of 16 mm
Pickleball paddles come in a variety of thicknesses, but for the optimal playing experience, you should stick with the standard 16mm. 16mm-thick paddles are ideally balanced for forceful play that is still nimble and has excellent reach and placement control. If you come across a paddle that is thinner or thicker than 16 millimeters, you should undoubtedly avoid it.
Protracted Paddle Form
You should seek for pickleball paddles that are a bit longer than the standard measurement (16″x8″) — closer to 16.5″ inches long and 7.5″ inches wide.
Elongated pickleball paddles adhere to pickleball regulations, but are slightly narrower than standard paddles, allowing them to impart a bit more spin, reach, and power with each strike. The extended reach is an excellent reason to seek out a longer paddle.
Pickleball paddles of medium weight generate an optimal equilibrium of paddle speed and power. Regarding pickleball paddles, the finest of both realms exist.
7.8 to 8.2 ounce paddles are the golden spot when it comes to selecting the finest mid-weight pickleball paddles for balanced speed and power.
Lightweight paddles (less than 7.3 ounces) generate movement with little force, whereas hefty paddles (greater than 8.3 ounces) deliver more force than speed.
Three Top Pickleball Paddles to Improve Your Game
Make your search for the finest pickleball paddles much simpler by perusing the options listed below. We’ve chosen the finest pickleball paddles that include the aforementioned game-enhancing features.
- Poly core Surface grain and texture
- Fiberglass surface layer thickness of 16mm
- Extended paddle form
- Weight middleweight
Personalized Evo-Light Pickleball Paddle
With a polypropylene core, additional surface texture on the fiberglass layer, 16mm thickness, an elongated 16.5″ long paddle head, and the ideal weight for balanced power and speed, a custom Evo-Lite pickleball paddle from Salted City Sports is one of the finest paddles available. Customize your paddle with your own text, image, logo, graphic, edge guard, and grip hues.
SCS Pickleball Nostalgia Evo-Lite Series Paddle
The ubiquitous to-go containers of the 1990s will live eternally in our memories — and now on a pickleball paddle. Get your fix of nostalgia with the iconic blue-green and violet zigzags on a paddle that boasts all the finest features: Mid-weight, poly core, 16.5″ paddle head, and additional grain on the surface layer of fiberglass.
SCS Pickleball Drippy Evo-Lite Series Paddle
Continue to trickle, buddies! This 7.8-8.2-ounce, gripping, elongated paddle with balanced power and speed delivered by a durable poly core will have you pouring on the court when you deliver drop shots left and right. The hypnotic, blue-shadowed drip pattern will impress your opponents, but your forceful moves will take the show.
Like these flippers for pickleball? Click here for more information on choosing the finest pickleball paddles for your goals and playing style.