Pickleball is a growing sport, with more and more people playing it every day. And for good reason! It’s an excellent cross-training activity that has many benefits.
What are the best pickleball paddles? What do pros use?
To answer this question, we interviewed professional players to find out their thoughts on the paddle they used during the competition. Here are some of our findings:
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Male Pickleball Pro Paddles
- Andrews, Jonny Pickleball – Engage – ‘Elite Pro’ Maverick
- Bar, Dekel – Engage – ‘Elite Pro’ Maverick
- Cassidy, Rob – Engage [not sure of the model]
- Davis, Frank Anthony – Niupipo Explorer Pickleball Paddle
- Dawson, Callan – ProKennex Kinetic Pro Speed II
- Deakin, Steve – Head Gravity
- Devilliers, Jay – Vulcan V530 Power
- Farias, Joey – Gearbox GX6 Power
- Hall, Jay – Players Pickleball Rogue2 Gel-Core
- Howard, DJ – Gamma Legend
- Johns, Ben – Franklin Ben Johns Signature
- Johnson, JW – Franklin Ben Johns Signature
- Kern, Aspen – Franklin Aspen Kern Centre
- Koller, AJ – Franklin Ben Johns Signature
- Loong, Tyler – Vulcan V550 Elongated
- McGuffin, Tyson – Selkirk Amped Invicta
- Merchant, Altaf – Onix Evoke Premier
- Navratil, Zane – Franklin Ben Johns Signature
- Newman, Riley – Gamma
- Nunnery, Rob – Franklin Ben Johns Signature
- Seckle, David – Head Gravity
- Smith, Spencer – Gamma Compass
- Stone, Adam – Paddletek Tempest
- Warnick, Jeff – Gearbox GX5
- Weinbach, Dave – Paddletek Tempest Wave
- Willson, Will – Head Gravity
- Wright, Matt – Onix Evoke Premier
- Yates, Kyle – Paddletek Bantam EX-L
- Young, DJ – Franklin Ben Johns Signature
Female Pro Pickleball Paddles
- Ansboury, Sarah – Head Extreme Tour
- Carr, Corrine – Vulcan V520 Control
- David, Vivienne – Niupipo Explorer
- Dawson, Jennifer – ProKennex Ovation
- Esquivel, Michelle – Engage Poach Advantage
- Franco, Regina – Head Radical Tour L
- Gehrke, Kasandra – Onix Evoke Premier
- Irvine, Jessie – Engage – ‘Elite Pro’ Maverick
- Jansen, Lea – Engage – ‘Elite Pro’ Maverick
- Jardim, Simone – Prince Response Pro
- Kovalova, Lucy – Onix Evoke Premier
- McGrath, Christine – Franklin Christine McGrath Signature
- Newman, Lindsey – Gamma
- Parenteau, Catherine – Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro
- Tereschenko, Irina – Paddletek Bantam EX-L
- Waters, Anna Leigh – Paddletek Bantam TS-5
- Waters, Leigh – Paddletek Phoenix Genesis
After all, a pro’s favorite might not be the right one for you! However, we did find that most of these players preferred lightweight (80 grams or lighter) and balanced (evenly weighted with no bias towards the head or handle) paddles.
The pros also agreed that you should be able to control your shots, and not just rely on power alone. This is why they prefer thinner (no more than 0.60 inches at its widest point), wider surfaces like a paddleboard meant for hitting rather than a paddle meant for scooping.
These are just some of the things to keep in mind when choosing a new pickleball paddle, so be sure to read our full guide on how to choose your own! And if you’re looking for specialized paddles made especially for beginners and professionals, we’ve got you covered there, too.
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What weight pickleball paddles do pros use?
Professional pickleball players use paddles that range in size up to 13.5 ounces. The one drawback with the larger weight is that it makes the movements less precise.
The next time you’re at a tournament, just ask any of the pros what paddle they are using. They’ll be happy to show off their tech or have people try one out if you are looking for an upgrade!
What are the best pickleball paddles?
Top Pick For Beginners: Niupipo MX-06 Pickleball Paddles
If you’re just starting out, you might want to pick up the niupipo MX-06 Pickleball Paddle. It has a lightweight design that’s made for quick movements and great control of your game. Plus it comes at an affordable price! If this doesn’t sound like what you’re looking for, check out our guide on the best pickleball paddles of 2023.
Top Pick For intermediate players: Rally Flare Graphite Pickleball Paddle
If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, check out the Rally Flare Graphite Pickleball Paddle. It’s lightweight and made with graphite to give it an aluminum feel while keeping it light at 100 grams. Plus its rubber core is designed not to slip if your hands get sweaty while playing!
Top Pick For Pros: Onix Evoke Premier Pickleball Paddle
If you’re looking to take your game up another level, check out the Onix Evoke Premier Pickleball Paddle. It’s got an aluminum core and is made with a shock-absorbing outer layer that helps dampen any impact on your wrist or arm. Plus it comes in four different sizes (so there’s one for everyone!) and at a price that won’t break the bank.
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As you can see, there are a few different types of pickleball paddles that pros use. What type will best fit your needs? Do you have any questions about the selection process or what the benefits and drawbacks to each type might be? Let us know! Our team is happy to help in any way we can with advice on picking out which paddle is right for you.