The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Pickleball Racquet (Paddle)

Did you know that pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States? According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, there are over 4 million pickleball players in the country, and that number continues to rise. If you're new to the game or looking to improve your skills, one of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing the right pickleball racquet.

Buying a pickleball racquet can be overwhelming given the many options available in the market. It is important to choose the right racquet that will enhance your game. Factors to consider when purchasing a pickleball racquet include grip size, weight, material, shape, and noise level. Pickleball racquets come in various grip sizes, weights, and materials such as wood, composite, and graphite. The shape of the racquet head, whether wider or narrower, can significantly impact gameplay. Additionally, for noise-sensitive areas, there are racquets available with noise-reducing technology. Making an informed decision on these factors will help you choose the perfect pickleball racquet for your game.

PBPRO Tour Signature XL 12.5mm Pickleball Paddle - PBPRO Pickleball Brand

Key Takeaways

  • Racquet Type: Consider your skill level and playing style when choosing between composite, wood, or graphite/carbon fiber racquets (paddles).
  • Material: Graphite racquets (paddles) offer a great balance of power and control, while composite options are more budget-friendly.
  • Shape and Size: Wide-body and elongated shapes provide a larger sweet spot, while round and tear-drop shapes cater to specific skill levels.
  • Weight and Balance: Aim for a racquet (paddle) weight between 7-9 ounces and a well-balanced head-weight for optimal control.
  • Grip and Handle: Ensure a comfortable grip size and shape that suits your hand for better control and maneuverability.
  • Edge Protection: Invest in edge protection like tape, guards, or caps to prevent chipping and increase shot power.
  • Skill Level: Beginners should prioritize lightweight, wide-body racquets (paddles) with a polymer core, while advanced players may prefer specialized options like the PB Pro or JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS.
  • Brand: Popular brands like PB Pro, Engage, and Paddletek offer quality racquets (paddles) with varying pros and cons to consider.
  • Research: Read reviews, try out different options, and consult with experts to find the perfect pickleball racquet (paddle) for your game.

Understanding the Different Types of Pickleball Racquets (Paddles)

Pickleball racquets (paddles) come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, each offering unique benefits. Here's an overview of the different types:

  • Composite Racquets (Paddles): Made from a combination of materials like graphite, aluminum, and fiberglass, these racquets offer a balance of power and control. They usually have a larger sweet spot, making them ideal for beginners.
  • Wood Racquets (Paddles): Crafted from materials like maple, birch, or basswood, wood racquets are lightweight and maneuverable. They often have a smaller sweet spot, suiting experienced players.
  • Graphite/Carbon Fiber Racquets (Paddles): These racquets are typically made from graphite or carbon fiber, offering a combination of power, control, and touch. They tend to be more expensive but provide excellent performance for advanced players.

PBPRO Tour Widebody Lite Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle - PBPRO Pickleball Brand

"No matter which type of racquet (paddle) you choose, you'll be sure to have plenty of fun playing pickleball!" 

Evaluating the Different Materials Used in Pickleball Racquets (Paddles)

The material of your pickleball racquet (paddle) can significantly impact your game. Here are the pros and cons of the most common materials:





Lightweight, good control

Most expensive


Lightweight, balance of power and control


Inexpensive, good power and control

Shorter lifespan

Understanding the Different Shapes and Sizes of Pickleball Racquets (Paddles)

Pickleball racquets (paddles) come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for different playing styles:

  • Wide-Body: Maximizes the dimensions allowed by official pickleball rules, providing a larger sweet spot.
  • Elongated: Longer than 16 inches, featuring a narrower face but a longer racquet length.
  • Round: Great for beginners, offering more forgiveness and similar to traditional tennis racquets.
  • Tear Drop: Provides more power and spin for advanced players.

Finding the Right Weight and Balance for Your Pickleball Racquet (Paddle)

The weight and balance of your pickleball racquet (paddle) can significantly impact your game. Here are some tips:

  • Weight: A good rule of thumb is to find a racquet (paddle) that weighs between 7 and 9 ounces.
  • Balance: Consider the head-weight of the racquet (paddle). A well-balanced head-weight will provide better control.
  • Grip Size: The grip size should be comfortable for your hand, typically ranging from 4 to 5 inches.

Comparing the Different Grips and Handles of Pickleball Racquets (Paddles)


The grip and handle of your pickleball racquet (paddle) can significantly impact your comfort and control:

  • Grip Shape: Round handles are popular and provide a comfortable grip, while tapered handles offer a better fit for your fingers.
  • Grip Size: Small grips are best for kids, while medium and large are typically more comfortable for adults.
  • Grip Material: Rubber grips offer more comfort, while foam handles provide a more secure grip.

Exploring the Different Pickleball Racquet (Paddle) Edge Protection Options

Edge protection is crucial for preventing chips and cracks, and it can also increase the power of your shots:

  • Edge Tape: The most popular option, providing protection while keeping the racquet (paddle) lightweight.
  • Edge Guard: Made of heavy rubber, edge guards protect the edges and increase shot power.
  • Edge Caps: Plastic caps that fit over the edges, providing excellent protection while maintaining a lightweight design.

Determining the Best Pickleball Racquet (Paddle) for Your Skill Level

Choosing the right pickleball racquet (paddle) for your skill level is essential for improving your game:

  • Beginner: Look for a classic or wide-body shape, lightweight (under 7.5 oz), and a polymer core for durability and balance.
  • Intermediate: Consider a medium-sized head and a lightweight racquet (paddle) for improved control and accuracy.
  • Advanced: Focus on racquets (paddles) that offer excellent accuracy, power, and control, such as the PB PRO or JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16mm Heavyweight Carbon Fiber Pickleball Racquet (Paddle).

Pros and Cons of Popular Pickleball Racquet (Paddle) Brands

When choosing a pickleball racquet (paddle) brand, it's essential to understand the pros and cons of each option:

  • PB Pro:(infinity collection) 
    • Pros: Superior control, unique design for generating spin.
    • Cons: Expensive, More durable.
  • Engage:
    • Pros: Lightweight, excellent power for experienced players.
    • Cons: Challenging for beginners, less spin-friendly.
  • Paddletek:
    • Pros: Great power and control, durable.
    • Cons: Can be heavier, less spin-friendly.

Where to Buy Pickleball Racquets (Paddles) and Accessories

Finding the right pickleball gear can be a challenge, but there are several options to consider:

  • Online Retailers: Amazon, Walmart, and Dick's Sporting Goods offer a wide range of pickleball racquets (paddles) and accessories.
  • Local Stores: Your local sporting goods store or pickleball club may carry a selection of racquets (paddles) and accessories.
  • Pro Shops: For specialized and top-of-the-line equipment, consider visiting a pro shop.

PBPRO Tour Widebody - 2 Pack - PBPRO Pickleball Brand



Choosing the right pickleball racquet (paddle) is crucial for taking your game to the next level. By understanding the different types, materials, shapes, sizes, weights, and brands, you can make an informed decision and find a racquet (paddle) that fits your needs and playing style. Invest time in researching and trying out different options to find the perfect match for your skill level and preferences.

Remember, the key to success in pickleball is finding a racquet (paddle) that feels comfortable and allows you to play your best game. With the right racquet (paddle) in hand, you'll be ready to dominate the court and enjoy this exciting sport to the fullest!