Pickleball is a fun way to play tennis indoors or outdoors, but you’ll need the right equipment to get started. Pickleball paddles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. While there is no official size regulation for pickleball paddles, the paddles are typically between 6 and 8 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide.
The grip style is also important. Paddles with a grip style called “pistol grip” have a handle that curves slightly toward the paddle face, while paddles with a grip style called “tennis grip” have a handle that extends straight out to the end of the paddle. Some paddles even have grips that are shaped like tennis racquet handles.
In our Kitchen Appliances and Culinary Innovation Lab, we’ve tested dozens of pickleball paddles over the years, evaluating them for performance, durability, and comfort. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, these are the best pickleball paddles to buy in 2023, according to our experts.
The Activator pickleball set is an affordable way to get started playing this fun game, and it’s made by a company that’s known for making quality sports equipment. Both paddles and balls are solidly built, and the balls are made of high-quality plastic that resists scuffing, fading, cracking, and tearing. You’ll also find plenty of added padding on the paddles and balls, so they’re comfortable to use.
The paddles have comfortable grips, and the balls are regulation-size. The paddles have holes for adding weight, and the balls have dimples to help your shots go through the air. This set comes with 2 paddles, 2 balls, which is enough for two players to play on a court.
ACTIVATOR PICKLEBAL STARTER SET: The Activator starter set comes with (2) wooden paddles and (2) X-40 outdoor pickleballs. They’re made with heavy-duty, 7-ply wood, and a non-slip grip to provide durability match after a match. X-40LEBALLS: This set comes with (2) X-40 outdoor pickleballs, which are the official pickleball of USA Pickleball (USAPA). They’re made of high-quality plastic and designed for ultimate durability and performance.
GREAT FOR BEGINNERS: This all-in-one, 2-player set is perfect for pickleball beginners to stock up on all the equipment needed to hit the courts and join the fun.
USA PICKLEBALL APPROVED: Both paddles are approved for competitive and tournament play by USA Pickleball (USAPA).
This pickleball paddle boasts large sweet spot, increased power, and serious durability. The JOOLA Perseus paddle has an official paddleball rating, and it has a carbon-fiber construction with an extremely solid feel.
These pickleball paddles are top-notch and performed well in our tests. The carbon-fiber grip is super soft and comfortable, and the pickleball paddle’s construction stands up to vigorous use. The Z5 is also suitable for players of all levels, from beginner to advanced.
The Franklin Sports Half Court Pickleball Pickleball Net by Franklin Pickleball is the perfect set for practicing pickleball. The net is 10 feet wide by 3 feet tall, making it easy for players of all heights to practice their shots.
The paddles are included and are well-made, but they’re not regulation size, so they’re best suited for casual play. The pickleball balls are USA PICKLEBALL APPROVED, and the net fits snugly over them. Overall, this net is well-made and is perfect for singles pickleball play.
The Radical Elite Pickleball is a premium pickleball paddle that feels great and provides excellent feel, sound, and control. It performed well in our tests, and it’s a great option if you’re looking to upgrade from a budget paddle. The paddle is noticeably heavier and thicker than most budget paddles, which improved its feel and made it easier to hit the ball with more power. The head is well-constructed and has a pleasing wood-grain texture, and the grip features plenty of padding, so you shouldn’t have any problem holding the paddle for long rallies. The paddle has a cupped head shape, which provides help control on angled shots.
The paddle comes in a traditional pickleball shape, and its dimensions are 8.1 inches by 13 millimeters. The head is 16 inches long, and it’s made of polypropylene honeycomb material with wood overlays. The head features a large sweet spot, and the paddle has a comfortable handle. The paddle has 4 layers of wood, composite hitting surface that’s designed to reduce vibration, and the paddle has 16 square-shaped holes.
This paddle is well-balanced for all levels of play, and it proved durable in our tests. The paddle has a rubber grip that provides a comfortable feel when you hold it. The paddle has a plastic core, and the wood overlays are replaceable.
The Pickleball Set from JOOLA is a nice option for people who don’t want to spend a lot on pickleball equipment. The paddles are lightweight but durable, and the case holds two paddles and four balls. The set is easy to use and set up, and it’s a good choice for beginner players.
The JOOLA Pickleball Paddles are high-quality pickleball paddles that live up to the brand’s reputation. The graphite and fiberglass surfaces are durable, and the polypropylene honeycomb core provides a textured surface for good spin.
The paddles are approved for tournament play, so they’re a good choice for serious players. Although the paddles are a bit heavy (which isn’t ideal for casual use), they have a comfortable grip, and their Sure-Grip technology helps absorb moisture and prevent slippage. Overall, these pickleball paddles are great value for the price.
The Ben Johns CFS Pickleball Paddle has a clear edge for spin and it’s very easy to swing thanks to the carbon-fiber surface. The paddle is low-profile, which helps it generate a lot of spin. It also has an oversize, elongated handle, which makes gripping and manipulating it a breeze.
The paddle is also very good for power shots, and the carbon-fiber surface absorbs vibrations, so the ball doesn’t rattle or slip off the table. The paddle is well-balanced, so it feels comfortable to use. Overall, the Ben Johns CFS Pickleball is a great pickleball paddle for anyone who wants to improve their game.
The JOOLA Paddle Cover is sturdy, stylish, and waterproof, making it a great choice for protecting your paddle from dirt, spills, and humidity. The cover is made of thick neoprene and stretches far enough to fit most pickleball paddles with an edge guard and lead tape.
The velcro straps make it easy to put on and take off. The zipper opens to the top, making it easy to put on and take off the paddle, and it comes with a small bag for carrying it. Overall, it’s a high-quality cover that we recommend for pickleball players who want a rugged and durable option.
The JOOLA Vision pickleball paddle has a distinctive shape that feels great in the hand. The head is shaped for a faster swing, and the honeycombed core helps create spin on the ball. The textured carbon surface adds a unique texture to the handle, making it much more comfortable to hold. The paddle is strong and durable.