Pickleball is quickly picking up steam as one of the hottest sports in the country, and although it’s been around for many years, people are only just realizing how fun this activity can be. Whether you’re a total beginner or have been playing the game for a long time, having your own pickleball paddle is a must.
Pickleball paddles are designed a little differently to the other sports that it was based off so you’ll need a specific one to play. There are plenty of features you consider with this paddle and to find the right one you need to consider things like skill level, comfort requirements, and material preferences.
The search for the best pickleball paddle can become overwhelming then, especially if you don’t know where to start.
Just like other pieces of sports equipment, your paddle is an important part of how well you play the game. They determine your control, performance, speed, and comfort while you’re on the court and help to improve your skills. Therefore, having the best pickleball paddle is essential to your success and enjoyment.
We’ve done a lot of the research for you and found the top rated pickleball rackets and sets available, and exactly what makes them so good. We also show you the important features you need to know about when buying a paddle and why they matter, so you’ll be an expert pickleball paddle shopper in no time at all.
Searching through pickleball paddle reviews could take hours, so we’ve found the very best and top rated to present to you. These paddles cover all budgets and styles which means there’s something for everyone, and we’ve even included complete sets that have everything you need to get started with this amazing game.
Best Pickleball Paddle
Best Pickleball Set
Best Pickleball Paddle
Winner: Gamma Sports Atomic 2.0 Paddle
If you want to get the best pickleball rackets, you have to be prepared to spend some extra money for the privilege.
The Gamma Sports Atomic 2.0 Paddle is often considered the best on the market but it’s also pricier than the rest, so this is a racket for those who take their sport very seriously or want to learn to be the best.
Gamma Sports has carefully designed this paddle to improve your performance and ensure that you’re comfortable playing.
With a cushioned grip that’s made out of sweat absorbing materials, you can play for hours without ever losing hold of the paddle and have a huge advantage over the competition who will probably end up losing their grip.
This is one of the only pickleball paddles that’s been approved for use by the USAPA and meets their specifications. Other pickleball paddles might be good but they’re not designed for professional use, so knowing that you have something that an expert would be happy to play with makes the extra cost well worth it.
The weight of this racket is 8.0 oz which seems pretty standard. However, according to customers who had been playing pickleball for a while, this was a little heavy. If you’re a seasoned professional you may want something lighter, so keep that in mind.
The materials used on this paddle is another reason why it’s always a top choice. Gamma Sports have used textured fiberglass on the face of the paddle with aramid honeycomb in the core and inside the grip. You can feel instantly when you pick it up that it was made with quality materials and these only help you further in your performance.
The fiberglass also helps when you’re hitting the ball because it gives you a greater sweet spot and less dead spots on the face of the paddle. This makes it perfect for beginners who are looking to build their skills and need a racket that can be flexible as they learn.
There are six cool colors to choose from and all have a very retro vibe, however, don’t expect any cover or carry bag to come with your paddle. You'll have to be prepared to spend a little more to get protection for it, otherwise, it won’t last very long in between matches. Overall, the cost is high but the features and craftsmanship make it very worthwhile.
Runner-Up: Amarey Pickleball Paddle
If you’re after a pickleball paddle that won’t cost a fortune, there’s no need to settle for something flimsy and cheap.
Amarey has managed to design a pickleball racket that’s made with quality materials and is durable enough to play with for years and all at a much lower cost than the competition.
This makes the perfect paddle for people new to the sport or for those who don’t have a whole lot of money to spend.
When you compare pickleball paddles around this price range, there are plenty of subpar products around, but after reading the reviews on this one from Amarey you’ll see that it’s the best in the price range.
The best thing about this racket is the feel, and with a weight of 7.8 – 8oz it’s actually one of the lightest around.
This can work to your advantage when you’re playing and puts it in a similar weight class to the professional paddles, indicating that the lightweight feel is the way to go. Professional players may want their paddle even lighter so shopping for something around 7oz is ideal.
Made with graphite, it’s incredibly lightweight and balanced so there are minimal dead spots on the surface.
Every time you hit the ball you can feel the power and control, and many customers were thrilled at how well they were able to perform on the court when they had this racket. Although it’s cheaper, Amarey has proven that the price has nothing to do with its performance.
One downside to its design is the rubber around the edge. This is a common feature on pickleball paddles but Amarey has made it too thick and it tends to get in the way sometimes. A low profile design would have been better and worked well with the graphite surface so it may be something to consider for the next model they release.
Being a beginner player doesn’t mean you have to settle for an inferior paddle so this is the perfect in between that balances price and performance. With the Amarey Pickleball Paddle, you’ll get a forgiving racket to play with, a large sweet spot to make every hit worth it, and a low price tag that’s well within the reach of every type of player.
Best Pickleball Set
Winner: JP WinLook Pickleball Set
Many pickleball players need more than just a racket to get started in this sport, and if that sounds like you, you’ll want to shop for a complete set instead.
The JP WinLook is our top pick for the best pickleball set that includes everything you need like paddles, balls, and carry case.
The JP WinLook Pickleball Set features two paddles that are made out of premium graphite so they’re just as good quality as standalone rackets.
They each weigh 7.8oz so they’re the perfect lightweight feel and good for beginners and experts alike.
The holes feature precisely drilled holes that give them the right flight path and this is such an important part of the pickleball game. Not only have they designed their balls with the right features but their rackets too, including the wide body on the paddle which means a huge sweet spot to let you hit it perfectly every time.
This is a great gift for yourself or to share with someone else, and there’s no need to be a professional player to know how to use it. You’ll get everything you need in the one place and with paddles that are super easy to hold and control. The grip on the paddle is non-slip and comfortable so even after hours of play, you won’t feel any strain thanks to the elite wraps.
Some customers have complained about the smooth surface on the paddles as many others have a textured face. If you believe that the textured surface gives you better control on your ball then you may want to choose another brand, because this is high gloss and even somewhat slippery.
Another minor complaint is that the balls included in this set are outdoor balls and not suitable for indoor play. Not every customer found this was the case but if you’re thinking of playing mainly indoor with your pickleball setup then you might want to invest in some extra balls so you have one for every occasion.
Pickleball couldn’t be easier to get into with this complete set from JP WinLook and it’s very fairly priced on the market. If you’ve been waiting for the chance to try this sport out or want to share it with your friends, this is definitely our top pick for the best pickleball set.
Runner-Up: A11N Pickleball Paddle Set
A11N has created a pickleball set for those who take the game seriously and probably already know a thing or two about it.
Priced a little higher than its competition, it does include some things that you won’t find in a standard pickleball set and is better suited to people who have played before and are looking to upgrade their paddles.
The A11N Pickleball Set comes with everything you’d expect, including four balls, two paddles, and carry case.
However, it’s the extras that make it worth the higher price tag. You’ll also get a neoprene cover for each racket so it can stay protected when not in use and two extra over grips so you can change it up as you need.
Having these extra grips was great for their comfort level also and if you’re someone who plays for long periods then this will definitely help. It features a medium grip handle made with sweat absorbent and cushioned materials. There’ll be no straining, red marks, or slippery grips when you play with the A11N Pickleball Paddle Set.
You’ll get two indoor balls and two outdoor balls so it should mean you can play anywhere. However, after reading the customer reviews, it appears they’re really only suited for indoor play and not outside as suggested. If you do plan on playing outside, you might want to test out how effective they are before you commit to a match.
According to the previous customers, these are better suited for intermediate players as those with years of practice might find the paddles a bit large. Those who had just started playing found an instant boost in their skills and a lot of ease when hitting the balls so it’s a great choice if you’re looking to move up to the next skill level.
A11N has designed their paddle with a wide body and slim trim edge guard so it’s a lot more forgiving. The low profile feel of the paddle is a result of this edge guard that’s been reduced in size since the last model and definitely works a lot better.
This is one of the only kits that truly has everything you need to enjoy pickleball so you won’t be spending any more money to get the extras. With a carry case for everything you need and enough balls and paddles to play for hours, the A11N Pickleball Paddle Set is the perfect choice for intermediate players.
Alternate: Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Paddle Set
Amazin’ Aces is one of the biggest names in pickleball products and they claim to be the first ones to ever make a complete set.
Their products are popular for beginners and intermediate players, and they’ve managed to share this amazing sport with many people around the world thanks to their ingenuity in marketing.
The color and design used in these paddles are what sets them apart from the rest with a cool retro classic look that makes you feel as if you’re playing back in the 1970s.
They come with a mesh carry bag and the set is packaged up as a gift so you can share your new favorite sport with friends and family if you wish.
The grip is the best thing about these paddles and will help you play better than ever before. They feature a contoured grip that’s been hand stitched so each one is made with quality. Even when you’re sweaty or have been playing for hours, you’ll never lose your grip and will always have absolute control and power over every swing.
Although Amazin’ Aces might be credited as being one of the first makers of these sets, there are some areas where they fall short. The handles are short and narrow which put a lot of customers off as they were used to a different design. Although they’re made for beginners, this type of handle can actually make it harder to use, especially for those with larger hands.
The Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Set is also pretty expensive considering you only get two paddles, four balls, and a simple mesh bag.
The carry bag is by no means protective and you’ll want to invest in something made out of a more durable material if you plan on keeping these paddles and balls for a long time. These minor differences won’t affect the performance of the paddle but do make it a more expensive set overall.
These negatives aside, the feel and power of the paddles are definitely worth investing in. Amazin’ Aces create their paddles with polymer honeycomb and graphite so it’s just like a professional racket but without the huge price tag. If you’re new to the game or want to get your friends and family involved, this is a quality set that will give them everything they need.
What To Look For When Choosing A Pickleball Paddle
Learning how to choose a pickleball paddle doesn’t come easily, and it usually takes a bit of trial and error until you get it right. If you don’t want to spend your time and money trying to figure out what features you need in a paddle, we’re here to help, so you can choose the right paddle and set on your very first purchase.
There are a few different measurements to consider when choosing a paddle that will help it be a perfect fit for you. The handle, surface area of the paddle, and length and width should all be considered before choosing yours. Generally, wider paddles are better for beginners as they’re more forgiving.
Many of the pickleball paddles and kits fall into the same price range, with some obvious differences when you get to the professional grade equipment. A racket alone costs between $40 - $60 for a good quality one, and upwards of $100 for professional models. It’s usually better value to purchase a complete set which includes two paddles, balls, and other gear.
Most professional paddles are made with materials like polymer and graphite, but there are variations. You might prefer a smoother or textured surface or have a weight in mind, and these are all determined by the type of material they’re made with.
Unlike other sports rackets, it’s rare to find a pickleball paddle made from wood as they usually feature materials like fiberglass or graphite. The handle material is important for grip and sweat absorbency so keep this in mind as you shop around.
How Often Do You Play?
The frequency that you play pickleball will determine the type of racket you need and how much you’re willing to spend. Those who play weekly or more than just for recreation will need something more durable as it will be getting a lot more use.
For fun, there are plenty of great beginner quality sets that has everything you need to get started. Most people upgrade when they start playing more regularly.
Where your skill level is will also determine the type of racket you need. Most beginners find a paddle with larger surface area and mid-weight range is ideal for their skills. Expert players prefer something much more lightweight and with a narrower handle and slimmer surface. Many of the sets are made to suit beginners so avoid these if you’re a professional player.
The grip on the handle will have a huge impact on your performance and should be considered just as much as the paddle itself. There are options like hand stitched, contoured, sweat absorbent, and nonslip, all giving you a better grip on the paddle.
Some paddles come with extras like an overgrip for added comfort or protective case to store when it’s not in use. The complete sets include things like indoor and outdoor balls, carry bags, and replacement grips for when they get worn out.
The Best Way To Enjoy The Game Of Pickleball
There’s nothing like having your very own pickleball paddle to make you feel as though you’re involved in the game. With your own racket, you’re guaranteeing yourself the best performance possible and learning how to master the game using your very own equipment.
Pickleball is becoming one of the biggest sports in the US and its popularity is spreading throughout the world. This game is so much more enjoyable when you play with quality equipment and whether you’re just starting out or have been playing for years, this means having a dedicated racket that you can call your own.
There are so many different types of paddles, materials, designs, and styles to choose from with pickleball so getting the perfect fit for you will ensure a better performance. No matter how often you play, whether you’re competitive or do it for fun, or if you’re an absolute beginner, having the right paddle by your side will do wonders for your game.