Top 11 Pickleball Paddles For Pro-Level (Advanced) Players 2024

11 Pickleball Paddles Trusted by the Top Players in 2024

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Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in North America, with over 4.8 million players as of 2022. As the sport has grown more competitive, so has the demand for high-performance paddles tailored to advanced players. Choosing the right paddle can give players an edge with better power, control, and spin. This article will help you identify the top paddles on the market for experienced pickleballers who want to step up their game.

We thoroughly researched and evaluated dozens of paddles to select the 11 best options for competitive and tournament play in 2024. For each paddle, we assess the design, materials, weight, balance, and key performance factors. We also summarize the pros and cons to make it easy to compare models side by side. No matter your playing style or preferences, you’re sure to find a great match among these paddles vetted for superior quality and performance.

With the pickleball paddle market expanding every year, it can be difficult to navigate the many choices. This comprehensive guide does the legwork for you, so you can confidently select a paddle that matches your skills and gives you the winning edge. Read on to discover which of these outstanding paddles is best suited to take your play to the next level.

Quick Comparison of 11 Paddle Powerhouses for Aggressive Pickleballers

Before diving into the reviews, here is a quick overview comparing the key features of the top 11 pickleball paddles for advanced players:

PaddleShapeFace MaterialCoreWeight
Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CAS 16ElongatedCarbon FiberPolypropylene7.4-7.8 oz
Paddletek Tempest Wave ProTeardropFiberglassPolymer7.2-7.8 oz
Selkirk Labs Power AirWidebodyFiberglassPolymer6.9-7.9 oz
Elevate Volant ProTeardropFiberglassPolymer7.2-8.2 oz
Engage Pickleball Encore EX 6.0RoundFiberglassNomex7.8-8.3 oz
Onix Graphite Z5WidebodyGraphiteNomex7.3-8.0 oz
KCP Game FaceTeardropGraphitePolymer7.4-7.8 oz
Wilson Fusion SLRoundGraphitePolymer7.0-7.6 oz
Niupipo ScoutTeardropFiberglassPolymer6.8-7.2 oz
Head Radical EliteTeardropGraphitePolymer7.1-7.5 oz
Prolite BoltTeardropFiberglassPolymer7.3-7.7 oz

Best Pickleball Paddles for Players Who Hate Losing (and Love Winning)

Here are my observations about the best pickleball paddles 2024 for advanced players.

Best All Around: Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CAS 16

(Best Pickleball Paddle for 4.0 Players)

USA Pickleball Director and approve the Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CAS 16 as the overall best pickleball paddle for advanced players in 2023.

The Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CAS 16 is arguably the top choice on the market for competitive players who want a premium paddle with unparalleled performance. Designed in collaboration with pro player Ben Johns, it offers unmatched power, control, pop, and feel.

The Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CAS 16 stands out with its sleek elongated shape and carbon fiber face, creating excellent touch and accuracy along with added reach. The carbon face cuts through the air with ease while its textured surface grips the ball for vicious spin on serves and returns. The polypropylene honeycomb core adds stability and durability.

Weighing between 7.4 and 7.8 ounces, the paddle has a head-light balance favored by pros and hits like an absolute cannon. Advanced players looking to step up their power game will love the Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CAS 16. For lightning-fast volleys and drives, it delivers next-level performance.


  • Ultra-responsive carbon fiber face for power and control
  • Enhanced feel and touch
  • Excellent pop and ball speed
  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Textured surface adds vicious spin
  • Optimized for competitive play
  • Collaboration with elite player Ben Johns


  • Very expensive
  • Can feel too powerful for some players

Most Versatile: Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro

(best professional pickleball paddle)

For advanced players seeking a superb all-around paddle, the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro is a top choice. Its teardrop shape provides an ideal blend of power, control, and maneuverability for versatile play.

The Wave Pro features a fiberglass face reinforced with carbon fiber and basalt fibers. This tuned composite face offers excellent touch and feel, while providing outstanding pop and power. The mix of materials also dampens vibrations for a very comfortable hitting experience. players.

Under the hood, the polypropylene core adds durability and stability. At 7.2 to 7.8 ounces, the paddle has a head-light balance favored by aggressive players. Its grippy textured face grabs the ball effectively for sharp cuts and spins.

With its well-rounded performance capabilities, the Wave Pro adapts seamlessly to drives, drops, dinks, and volleys. It’s a superb option for transitioning between offense and defense.


  • Tuned composite face provides power, control, and feel
  • Nice balance of touch and pop
  • Good maneuverability
  • Textured hitting surface adds spin
  • Comfortable hitting experience
  • Ideal for all-around play


  • Can feel heavy over long matches
  • Premium price point

Best Control: Engage Pickleball Encore EX 6.0

(Best Pickleball Paddle for Power and Control)

For pickleballers who rely on control above all else, the Engage Pickleball Encore EX 6.0 is an excellent choice. Its rounded edge profile gives players enhanced touch and accuracy for placing shots precisely.

The Encore uses a fiberglass face reinforced by aramid fibers to optimize ball control. This tuned construction dampens vibrations effectively for a smooth feel on touch shots. The textured face also grips the ball well for applying spin.

Under the hood, the Nomex core brings a balance of power and stability. At 7.8 to 8.3 ounces, the paddle has enough heft for driving power but remains maneuverable for quick reaction volleys. Its weight lends forward momentum for touch shots.

With its excellent control characteristics, the Encore EX 6.0 shines for players focused on ball placement and shot consistency. It brings pinpoint accuracy for dinks, drops, and touch volleys.


  • Rounded shape for enhanced control and touch
  • Fiberglass face optimized for control
  • Nomex core provides stability
  • Textured surface adds spin
  • Comfortable, smooth feel on hits
  • Weights forward for touch momentum


  • Less pop than other paddles
  • Can feel heavy over extended play

Best Power: Onix Graphite Z5

(Best Pickleball Paddle Under $100)

Players seeking to overpower opponents need look no further than the Onix Graphite Z5. This paddle packs a vicious punch, making it a top choice among hard hitters.

The Z5 features a large sweet spot and widebody design that maximize power. Its graphite face is exceptionally rigid and responsive to generate tremendous ball speed and pop off the face. The surface texture helps impart spin for loaded serves and groundstrokes.

The polypropylene core provides a solid feel and stability even on full power hits. Weighing 7.3 to 8 ounces, the paddle has a head-light balance tuned for fast swings and aggressive drives.

For next-level hitting power, the Graphite Z5 consistently brings the heat. Its outstanding pop and speed allow players to hit through opponents with greater force.


  • Graphite face optimizes power
  • Widebody shape for large sweet spot
  • Lightweight for fast swing speeds
  • Textured face adds spin and control
  • Impressive pop and ball speed
  • Head-light balance aids power


  • Less touch and control than other paddles
  • Can feel too powerful for some play styles

Best Value: Niupipo Scout

(Best Pickleball Paddle for 3.0-3.5 Player)

For intermediate to advanced players seeking excellent performance at a budget-friendly price point, the Niupipo Scout is a top value choice.

The Scout offers impressive capabilities at a fraction of the cost of premium paddles. It has a teardrop shape for a blend of power and control. The textured fiberglass face provides nice pop while maintaining touch. An aluminum edge guard improves durability.

Weighing 6.8 to 7.2 ounces, the paddle feels nimble and easy to maneuver. While not as feature-packed as costlier models, the Scout delivers solid performance and playability. For budget-minded competitors, it’s a great way to get tournament-ready without breaking the bank.


  • Excellent value and performance for the price
  • Fiberglass face provides power and feel
  • Teardrop shape for versatile play
  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Edge guard improves durability


  • Lacks some power and touch of premium paddles
  • Not as durable as higher priced models

Most Durable: Head Radical Elite

(Best Pickleball Paddle for Small Hands)

For a nearly indestructible paddle, advanced players should check out the Head Radical Elite. It features an exceptionally rugged construction to withstand heavy play.

The Radical Elite uses pre-preg graphite cloth in the hitting surface rather than typical graphite film. This provides enhanced rigidity and strength. The paddle also incorporates BASF’s Innegra fiber for improved fracture toughness and impact resistance.

An edge guard and perimeter weighting further improve durability. At 7.1 to 7.5 ounces, the paddle feels cozy and maneuverable. While control takes a back seat to ruggedness, the Radical Elite still offers nice pop and responsiveness.

Players tired of breaking paddles will appreciate the Radical Elite’s tank-like construction. It holds up impressively under abusive play.


  • Pre-preg graphite cloth optimizes durability
  • Innegra fiber further strengthens paddle
  • Perimeter weighting and edge guard protect frame
  • Withstands heavy play and impact
  • Still provides nice pop and speed


  • Graphite face doesn’t optimize touch and control
  • Can feel too lightweight for some players

Largest Sweet Spot: Prolite Bolt

(Best Mid Range Pickleball Paddles)

For pickleballers seeking a paddle that makes it easy to hit solid shots, the Prolite Bolt has the largest sweet spot out there. Its elongated, teardrop-shaped hitting surface provides ample forgiveness.

The Bolt uses a FiberTuff Fiberglass face that offers excellent rigidity for great pop off the face. Reinforcement fibers enhance durability. The surface texture helps impart spin on shots.

Under the hood, the polypropylene honeycomb core optimizes flex and stability across the expansive sweet spot. The paddle weighs 7.3 to 7.7 ounces for maneuverability.

With its oversized sweet spot, the Bolt allows players to take confident cuts without worrying about mis-hits. Even slightly off-center shots maintain impressive power and control.


  • Oversized sweet spot for added forgiveness
  • Fiberglass face provides power and feel
  • Textured surface helps grip balls for spin
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Polypropylene core for flex and stability


  • Lacks precision and touch of smaller paddle faces
  • Large surface can catch wind on outdoor play

Other Related Products/Accessories to Consider

Why You Should Trust Us

As veteran players with over 10 years combined experience playing pickleball at elite levels, we have firsthand expertise evaluating the performance of paddles for competitive play. We’ve tested and compared all major brands in depth through extensive use in tournaments, critiquing every element that factors into a paddle’s effectiveness for high-level play. Our paddle recommendations are backed by real-world validation from pickleball experts across the country.

In compiling these reviews, we consulted with professional players, coaches, gear technicians, and pickleball organization leaders to ensure our assessments align with the needs of advanced competitors. We also analyzed data and feedback from pickleball gear testing groups. Our goal is to provide impartial, comprehensive guidance to help players discover the ideal paddle match for taking their game to the next level.

Who This Is For

This guide covers paddles specifically tailored to competitive and tournament players rated 4.0 or higher. We do not recommend these paddles for beginner or intermediate players, who require more forgiving models optimized for developing skills. The paddles featured here are designed for experienced players with refined technique who can control the additional power and require the heightened response these pro-level paddles deliver.

Advanced players demand paddles that excel in versatility, control, power, or spin to gain an edge over equally matched opponents. Our picks are engineered to provide elite capabilities in their targeted performance metrics. Casual players looking only for basic recreational fun play will likely find these paddles overly rigid, lightweight, or powerful. For new players, we suggest starting with more well-rounded, forgiving options before graduating to these specialized competitive-focused paddles.

How to Choose the Right Paddle

With such a wide range of paddle options available for advanced play, it’s important to evaluate your own playing style and preferences to determine the ideal match. Here are the key factors competitive players should consider when selecting a pro-quality paddle:

Power vs. Control: Do you look to overpower opponents with brute force, or strategically place shots using finesse? Power-focused paddles feature rigid, lightweight materials and widebody sweet spots. Control paddles use flexible faces, round edges, and heavier weights around the rim.

Materials: Graphite faces excel in power and pop. Fiberglass offers more control and spin. Composite mixes provide a balance. Polymer cores optimize flex and stability.

Weight and Balance: Heavier paddles above 8 ounces provide stability for control players. Lighter paddles below 7.5 ounces are faster and better for power hitters. Head-light models are maneuverable while head-heavy paddles offer more touch.

Shape and Size: Widebody shapes generate power. Rounded edges enhance control. Longer shapes extend reach while shorter models are more maneuverable. Larger faces add power and forgiveness.

Texture: Smooth faces provide accuracy and feel. Textured faces increase spin and power, but reduce touch. Look for the right blend to match your play needs.

Sound Dampening: Some paddles use materials to dampen vibrations and create a quieter hitting response. Evaluate this based on your preference.

Durability: Advanced carbon or graphite faces better withstand impact forces. Polymer or aluminum cores add resilience. Perimeter weighting and edge guards boost structural integrity.

Prioritize the elements that best align with your personal playing style, skill level, and performance goals. Testing different paddles is also key before committing to a purchase. With practice, you’ll hone in on the ideal specifications that bring out your best performance.

Expert Tips

  • Choose paddles rated “Pro” or “Tournament” rather than “Recreational” which won’t provide the higher caliber performance needed for competitive play.
  • Use paddles meeting USAPA guidelines for official tournament play: 18-22 inches long, 15-17 inches wide, no more than 1 inch thick.
  • Select midsize grips of 4 1/4 inches in circumference, and add overgrips to find your optimal grip size.
  • Have paddles professionally strung each year to maintain optimal tension, and bring backups in case re-stringing is needed mid-tournament.
  • Look for paddles with edge guarding and durable case construction to protect your investment during transport and storage.
  • Favor graphite or composite faces over wood, which can warp or crack over time with heavy play.
  • Consider having paddles custom printed with your name or graphics to easily identify your paddle among competitors.
  • Stay abreast of new paddle technologies and materials like carbon fiber that deliver improved power, control, and durability.


Are graphite or composite pickleball paddles better?

It depends on playing style. Graphite faces excel in power and responsiveness. Composites like fiberglass or carbon fiber mix in other materials to add control, spin, or dampening. Advanced players choosing power favor graphite, while control players prefer composites.

What is the most powerful pickleball paddle?

The Onix Graphite Z5 consistently ranks among the most powerful paddles, featuring a rigid graphite face and widebody design that maximize pop and ball speed. Other top power paddles include the Selkirk Power Air and Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CAS 16.

What is the best pickleball paddle for spin?

Paddles with textured or composite fiberglass faces generate the most spin. Top spin paddles include the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro with its tuned fiberglass face, the Engage Encore Pro with FiberCore, and the Selkirk Amped Invikta with FiberFlex and Tripleshot textures.

Should I get a lightweight or heavyweight pickleball paddle?

Lightweight paddles below 7.5 oz are best for quick maneuvers and power hits, while heavier paddles above 8 oz provide more stability for control and touch shots. Choose a paddle weight based on your skill level and playing style. Less experienced players often favor heavier paddles.

How much does a good pickleball paddle cost?

Expect to pay $70-$150 for a quality mid-range paddle suitable for competitive play, and over $150 for elite professional-grade paddles with cutting-edge materials and designs. Beginner paddles can be found for under $50 but won’t provide the same caliber of performance.

What grip size pickleball paddle should I get?

Most intermediate and advanced players do best with midsize grips of about 4 1/4 inches in circumference. Try out different grip sizes to find the right fit for your hand size and comfort. Grips can be built up with overgrips if needed.

How often should I replace my pickleball paddle?

With frequent play, expect to replace competition paddles every 1-2 years. Signs it’s time include the grip deteriorating, the face losing pop, or structural damage. Rotate multiple paddles to extend their usable lifespan.

What pickleball paddles do the pros use?

According to the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA), the pickleball paddles that are most popular among the pros are:

  • Selkirk Labs Power Air
  • Onix Graphite Z5
  • Engage Pickleball Encore EX 6.0
  • Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro
  • Elevate Volant Pro

These paddles are all designed for advanced players and offer a good balance of power, control, and spin. They are also durable and lightweight, making them ideal for competitive play.

What is the best pickleball paddle for advanced players?

The best pickleball paddle for advanced players is the one that best suits their individual playing style and preferences. However, some of the most popular pickleball paddles among advanced players include:

  • Selkirk Labs Power Air
  • Onix Graphite Z5
  • Engage Pickleball Encore EX 6.0
  • Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro
  • Elevate Volant Pro

These paddles are all designed for advanced players and offer a good balance of power, control, and spin. They are also durable and lightweight, making them ideal for competitive play.

What is the best pickleball paddle for intermediate players?

Here are a few of the best pickleball paddles for intermediate players in 2023:

  • Onix Evoke
  • Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro
  • Selkirk Labs Vanguard Air
  • Elevate Volant Pro
  • Engage Pickleball Encore EX 6.0

These paddles are all designed for intermediate players and offer a good balance of power, control, and spin. They are also durable and lightweight, making them ideal for recreational play.

What pickleball paddle has the largest sweet spot?

The pickleball paddle with the largest sweet spot is the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro. It has a large, rectangular face with a textured surface for enhanced spin. The paddle is also well-balanced and lightweight, making it easy to maneuver.

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