The Best Pickleball Rackets for a Better Game in 2023 | think of vail (2023)


Welcome to ThinkVail- Browse our list of the best pickleball clubs featuring ProLite, Onix, Gamma, Encore, Wilson, Prince, Selkirk and more.

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in North America, including here in Vail, Colorado. As the game matures, pickleball racquets continue to improve, incorporating new and innovative technological advances to improve your game. Use this list to find the best pickleball sticks for you based on your skill level and playstyle.


The weight of the pickleball bat (or paddle) is the most important thing. Oar weights range from 6 ounces (light oars) to 14 ounces (heavy oars).

Lighter blades give you more maneuverability and allow you to react faster to the ball. They are also favored for precise aiming and carefully placed dink shots. Lighter paddles are also recommended if you suffer from tennis elbow or another elbow injury.

Heavier racquets add power to your shots and can increase the power of your swing.

For beginners, it's best to start with a medium-weight paddle (7.3 to 8.4 oz).

paddle fist

The way you grip the racket handle is also very important. You can always increase the size by adding an overgrip to the handle of your paddle, but there is no way to decrease the handle size. So when in doubt, buy a size smaller (⅛ to ¼ smaller) and add a layer of overgrip to reach the desired size.

Most oars come with standard 4 to 4 1/2 inch handles. If you have small hands you will need a 4" grip, medium hands a 4 1/4" grip and large hands a 4 1/2" grip.


  • PolymerA high performance synthetic compound popular for being smooth, quiet, with lots of feel and lots of control. The quietest of the bunch, perfect for gated communities or homeowners associations where noise is an issue.
  • Nomexa cardboard-like material that adds power to your punches but is stronger and stronger than other materials
  • Aluminiumsofter than Nomex, but still gives your shots plenty of power and precision. It can also be noisy and tends to dent.


  • graphiteA graphite finish provides a glossy, smooth finish that creates that coveted pickleball "pop" as the ball flies off the paddle.
  • FiberglassA fiberglass surface typically has a textured finish that improves top and back turns while reducing drag. The texture gives the racquet its "bite" or "grip" to spin the ball.
  • ConnectionA compound face also makes it easier to spin the ball for a quieter shot.
  • Guaranteeda chemically bonded finish that sits on top of the paddle surface for added feel and playability.


  • NormalThe usual classic pickleball paddle is a "wide body" paddle, measuring approximately 8 inches wide and 15¾ inches long (20.32 cm x 40 cm).
  • Too largeOversized paddles lengthen the face and shorten the grip length while maintaining the same overall paddle length and within USAPA regulations.
  • extendReduces the width of the face while increasing paddle length up to 17 inches, which is the USAPA maximum paddle length. This type of racket is for more experienced players looking for longer range.


Most mangoes are between 4 and 5 inches long. Paddles with a longer handle may shorten the face of the paddle to keep the overall length of the paddle within USAPA size and weight requirements. Elongated paddle surfaces have shorter handles.

(Video) Tim Vail gives the new Karakal Core Pro Squash Racket with Click Bridge Technology a try out.

A longer handle can provide better overall paddle balance and reduce head heaviness. It's also preferable if you incorporate a two-handed backswing into your game.

See also: Where to Play Pickleball in Vail, Colorado

The best pickleball bats

The #1 Best Pickleball Racket: ProLite Crush

The ProLite Crush crushes the competition for top ball spin thanks to its innovative SPINtac face.

  • The paddle core consists of QuadCore polymer honeycomb cell technology
  • The lightly textured composite face is made from durable SPINtac fiberglass plates for enhanced spin control.
  • The exclusive ProLite MicroEdge protector protects the racket
  • Medium Grip Tack and CushionGrip means no paddle slippage and less hand fatigue.
  • Approved for quiet areas, noise restricted communities
  • USAPA approved
  • Manufactured in EE.UU.
  • Available in 3 different patterns and a variety of weight sizes.
  • Wide body design with a large sweet spot
  • Stylish graphics meet a contrasting handle in a small size.
  • Average Weight: Average: 7.6 ounces / Range: 7.4 - 7.8 ounces
  • Grip circumference: 4 1/8″ perfect for small hands
  • Handle Length: 5 1/2
  • Paddle length: 15
  • 1 year warranty against manufacturing, material or workmanship defects and 1 year no dead ends warranty.




#2 Best Pickleball Racket - Onix Outbreak

The Onix Outbreak is the ideal pickleball paddle when you want improved performance, stronger play and maximum precision.

  • The paddle is made of polypropylene honeycomb core, it has great feel and great shock absorption power.
  • The graphite face is reinforced with TeXtreme technology to increase the stiffness and strength of the face while maintaining pinpoint accuracy.
  • Wide body design with a large sweet spot
  • Paddle Dimensions: 15 1/2″L x 8 1/8″W x 1 3/8″H Average Weight: 7.8 – 8.2 oz.
  • Grip circumference: 4 1/8″ perfect for small hands
  • Handle Length: 5 1/2
  • Has edge protection
  • USAPA approved.
  • Available in red and blue.
  • 1 year manufacturer guarantee




#3 Best Pickleball Rackets - Gamma Needle

For experienced players looking for extra reach, this extended paddle is for you.

  • This polymer paddle is made with Sensa Poly Core Technology for improved feel.
  • Textured graphite face increases ball bite.
  • The long head shape increases the length of the paddle for greater reach
  • Medium weight: only 7.6 oz for a quick response in the kitchen
  • Grip Size: 4 ⅛ inches
  • Handle Length: 4.25 inches is shorter than most traditional wide body oars.
  • The Honeycomb Cushion Grip grip is extra sticky for less slippage and more comfort, and the honeycomb design wicks sweat like a boss.
  • USAPA approved
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • For more experienced players.
  • Available in a variety of colors



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#4 Best Pickleball Racket - Wilson Echo Energy

Wilson is a leader in the world of tennis, so of course it makes sense that they would dominate the world of pickleball as well.

  • PolyCore-X features a vibration-dampening polypropylene honeycomb core for superior feel.
  • Clear Spin TCH induces enhanced spin for more control with Circular Pattern Spin technology on the paddle surface
  • Shock Stop Dampening Bumper Guard protege tu remo
  • Padded, perforated handle wicks moisture and reduces fatigue.
  • Average weight: 7.65 ounces on average
  • USAPA approved
  • Manufactured in EE.UU.
  • Paddle measures 8 1/8″ wide x 15 1/2″ long
  • Grip Size: 4 1/4″
  • Handle Length: 5 inches



Top 5 Pickleball Rackets: Engage Encore Pro

When you're ready to take your game to the next level, the Engage Encore Pro is the paddle for it. Encore is all about control and ball placement.

  • This racquet has a special polypropylene/polymer honeycomb core.
  • The face consists of an innovative fiberglass with a special skin that maximizes the allowable limits of "surface roughness".
  • Core and face work together for ControlPro™ technology
  • Average weight: 7.8 - 8.3 oz
  • Size: 15 1/2" long x 8 1/8" wide
  • Griff: 4 1/4″
  • big sweet spot
  • Color: black, red, purple and green.
  • USAPA approved
  • Optimized to meet the municipality's stringent noise requirements.
  • Engineered to maximize the time the ball stays on the paddle allowing for a smooth feel.
  • Ideal whether you hit "hard" or "soft".
  • Weight varies as the blades are hand crafted and the handle is hand wrapped.





#6 Mejores Raquetas de Pickleball – Selkirk Amped Paddle

The Selkirk Amped is about combining performance and control. If you don't want to compromise, this racket gives you the best of both worlds.

  • The core of the paddle is made from thicker X5 polypropylene polymer, designed to increase power and control.
  • The FiberFlex face is a fiberglass impact surface.
  • USAPA approved for tournaments
  • Used by over 200 sponsored pro and ranked players worldwide.
  • Great sweet spot.
  • Middleweight rowing average: 7.9-8.3 ounces
  • Handle length 5.25″ inches
  • Recommended for singles.
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Manufactured in EE.UU.
  • family business
  • Recommended for beginners and intermediates with no prior racket/paddle experience.
  • lifetime guarantee
  • Available in 5 sizes: Epic, S2, Omni, Maxima and INVIKTA





#7 Best Pickleball Bats - Amazin' Aces Pickleball Set

This is a great all-around game for beginners on a budget just starting out. This quality pickleball game is great value for money.

  • This great value pickleball set features paddles with a honeycomb polymer core for a soft feel.
  • The graphite (carbon) face gives you that satisfying "pop" when you hit the ball.
  • This set includes two premium graphite pickleball paddles, four pickleballs and a mesh bag for transporting and storing your pickleballs. Everything you need to get on the pitch!
  • The rackets combine the latest technology, high-quality materials and expert workmanship.
  • The middleweight racket weighs 8.3 ounces.
  • Including edge protection to protect the racket.
  • 1 year warranty
  • The classic wide body design has a large sweet spot
  • High-quality hand-sewn contour handle ensures comfort
  • The free eBook "The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Pickleball" is included and contains rules, strategies and tips.
  • Ideal for beginners to advanced.
  • Amazin' Aces Classic Graphite Paddle Set Nicknamed "Top Pick".GeekEnvuelto




#8 Best Pickleball Bat: Gamma 2.0 Neutron

Not just an amazing paddle, choose from the entire GAMMA line of pickleball paddles including the Atomic, Phaser, Micron, Neutron and Voltage.

  • The Neutron paddle, like the entire line of top-of-the-line paddles, features an aramid honeycomb core.
  • The face is textured fiberglass.
  • 7.0 oz lightweight rowing machine
  • The flush edge protection protects your paddle and creates a 30% larger hitting area
  • Choose any paddle from this range that suits your skill level to improve your game on the court
  • 4" Honey Cushion Grip is soft, comfortable and sweat-wicking
  • USAPA approved.
  • 1 year warranty
  • Additional Gamma 2.0 palettes in this series include Atomic, Phaser, Micron, Neutron, and Voltage




#9 Best Pickleball Bats - Prince Response Pro

Prince has been at the forefront of the tennis industry for years and now he's in the pickleball game. It features Prince's thickest handle.

  • The Prince Response Pro has an extra thick 9/16″ polymer honeycomb core that powers your shot.
  • The face is made of textured fiberglass with a UV finish.
  • This racquet features a revolutionary new shape that increases the sweet spot and reduces vibration.
  • Available in two weight options: Light 7.1-7.6 or Standard 7.7-8.1
  • Available in two grip circumference options: 4 1/8" or 4 3/8"
  • Extra long 5.5" handle length
  • Paddle dimensions: 8 ¼" wide x 15 ¾" long
  • USAPA approved




Top 10 Pickleball Bats - Rally Master Wood Paddle

Looking for a quality, fun, classic pickleball racket? You found it in the Rally Meister, the only wooden pickleball paddle on this list.

(Video) Ben Johns Signature Paddle vs. Engage Elite Pro Maverick

  • This set includes 4 Rally Meister Heavy Duty Wooden Pickleball Bats + 6 Pickleballs
  • The solid wood core consists of 7-ply white maple with a staggered grain. These wooden pickleball paddles are lightweight, strong and durable.
  • Safety hand straps are great for young players just learning and for storage or hanging.
  • Premium padded handle with moisture-wicking ribs to keep your hands dry.
  • Lightweight compared to other wooden paddles but still in the heavyweight category for modern paddles (9.5-10.5 oz),
  • Perfect for beginners and family fun!
  • Impressive value and affordable price.
  • USAPA approved
  • Available as a single paddle, 2-pack of 4-ball paddles, or 4-pack of 6-ball paddles
  • 1 year manufacturer guarantee.
  • Grip circumference: 4 1/4″ (medium)
  • Handle Length: 5.5"
  • Paddle dimensions: 7″ wide x 15.5″ long





Also see: Best polarized sunglasses for women


Have you been looking for pickleball clubs for you and your family? If so, we hope you found this article on the best pickleball bats helpful. We've listed some of our favorites, but we'd love to hear about your favorites. Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Also, we carefully research all the information in our articles, but we are still likely to be missing something important or circumstances may have changed since publication, so please include any advice or information that you think others should know.

We would love to hear your thoughts, comments and stories.


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What pickleball paddle do most pros use? ›

Thirteen pros are playing with Joola, while 11 are playing with Selkirk and 10 are playing with Paddletek. This is particularly interesting for Joola, who is a brand that just made its way into pickleball this year in early 2022. The pro players have clearly taken to the Joola paddles.

Which pickleball paddle has the biggest sweet spot? ›

The S2 was the brainchild of US Open Silver Medalist, Tony Tollenaar. With a shorter handle than the Epic, the S2 has a larger surface area on the face of the paddle. In fact, the S2 has the largest sweet spot in the Pickleball industry!

What is the best pickleball paddle to reduce vibration? ›

This is often interpreted as a "larger sweet spot". Vibration damping: The Gel-Core reduces vibration unlike any other paddle. The damping characteristics of the elastomer infusion cuts the high-frequency vibrations you feel on ball impact, making for a paddle that lacks the harshness that paddles otherwise can have.

What is the most aggressive shot in pickleball? ›

The overhead smash is the most aggressive offensive shot in pickleball. The smash is a forceful hit executed as high in the air as the player can reach and directed downward at a sharp angle into your opponent's court.

Do expensive pickleball paddles make a difference? ›

The more expensive paddles are using a higher quality polymer that doesn't breakdown as easily and gives you a more consistent feel across the face. Other than the quality of the polymer, other things you'll see when the core material is described is core density.

Is it better to have a lighter or heavier pickleball paddle? ›

A lighter paddle gives you more control but less drive. Conversely, a heavier paddle gives you less control but more power and drive. Perhaps most importantly, a heavier paddle can cause elbow strain and fatigue in your arm. You may want to start with a paddle that is not too heavy until you build up more strength.

Are thicker pickleball paddles better? ›

The thickness of your paddle is a sliding scale of power and control. Thinner paddles offer more pop and power and are typically lighter than their thicker counterparts, which helps with paddle agility. Thicker paddles, on the other hand, provide more control and consistency on each shot.

Is graphite or fiberglass better for pickleball? ›

Whether graphite or fiberglass is better depends on what you're looking for in a pickleball paddle. If you want great handling and feel, then choose graphite. If you want more power, then a fiberglass paddle is the right choice for you. Since fiberglass isn't as stiff, it excels in the power department.

Which pickleball has the larger holes? ›

Indoor balls typically have 26 larger holes while outdoor usually have 40 smaller holes. Climate and court surface affect ball choice, which in turn affects weight, hardness, texture, and durability. In short, everything is different between indoor and outdoor pickleball.

How much should I spend on a pickleball paddle? ›

The price is majorly dependent on the type of material used to make the paddle. Wooden pickleball paddles cost between $15 and $35. To get composite pickleball paddles, you will spend between $40 and $100. Graphite pickleball paddles cost between $90 and $200.

What is better carbon fiber or fiberglass pickleball paddle? ›

Fiberglass is a composite material that has less stiffness than carbon fiber, which means it will be more flexible on contact, or in other words, offer more rebound as the ball hits the paddle surface. The result is greater energy return to the ball resulting in a more powerful response.

Is there a 6.0 rating in pickleball? ›

Pickleball Player Rating

', around your local pickleball court. The truth is, pickleball has a player rating system and it does follow some guidelines, but overall it can be a bit subjective. The rating system is based on 5.0 being the highest level players and numbers going down from there.

Is carbon fiber or graphite better for pickleball? ›

Carbon fiber is incredibly stiff. And this stiffness makes carbon fiber the ultimate material for the facings of pickleball paddles because it gives you incredible control over where your ball goes.

Is 70 too old to play pickleball? ›

With simple rules and inexpensive equipment, pickleball can be enjoyed by all ages and is a great physical activity for seniors.

What does 002 mean in pickleball? ›

To start a pickleball match, the score will be called zero, zero, two. This means that as soon as the serving team commits a fault, the other team gets to serve.

Who is the best senior pickleball player? ›

Senior Men's Doubles Rankings
1Scott Moore2700
2Paul Olin2000
3T. Lopez1600
4Dave Weinbach1500
105 more rows

What is the easiest shot in pickleball? ›

The volley should be the easiest shot in pickleball, but it is often times the most missed. Far too many players try to do too much with the paddle head during the volley.

What age is senior pro pickleball? ›

A Senior Rated event is open only to players who are 50+. Comment: If a Tournament Director wants to allow players under 50 to play in a Senior Rated event, it then becomes simply a Rated event and must be open to players of all ages.

What is the best grip size for a pickleball paddle? ›

The Ruler Test

Measure the distance from the bottom lateral crease (the middle of the three), up to the tip of your ring finger. This measurement will be somewhere between 4 and 5 inches, and should be the perfect circumference for your pickleball grip. Simple as that.


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