How to Select a Pickleball Paddle

One of the best things about pickleball is that it’s easy to pick up! You can start playing games quickly, whether with your own friends or joining pick-up games with new friends. Since there are so many public courts, you only need a paddle and a ball.

You can buy cheap paddles online, but you’ll want to upgrade if you play regularly. Paddles have various prices, but with anything I do, I prefer investing in something that I can get long-term use out of. Plus, many people have a few paddles, whether they play competitively or with friends. It’s always nice to have a few to introduce your friends to it too.

What to Consider

  • Weight: Generally, paddles have three categories: lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight. Lightweight paddles give you the most control but the least power, while heavyweight paddles offer the opposite. A midweight paddle is a good starting point since it gives you a balance of both.
  • Grip Size: The grip size of the paddle should be comfortable for your hand. You can find the right grip size by wrapping your hand around the paddle and measuring the distance between your index finger and the base of your palm. The measurement should be between 4 inches and 4.5 inches.
  • Core Material: The core material affects the performance of a paddle. Polymer cores are the most common and give you a balance of power and control. Nomex cores give you more power; aluminum cores are the most durable but least powerful.
  • Face Material: The face affects the feel and performance of a paddle. Composite faces are the most common and offer good durability and feel. Graphite is more durable but less forgiving.
  • Shape: The shape of paddles affects aerodynamics and performance. Most paddles are oval, but you can also find teardrop and wide-body paddles.

Selkirk was gracious enough to send us a few paddles to check out. Although I labeled them beginner, intermediate, and advanced, I’ve seen all levels of players use them. It’s good to try different ones since it all depends on preference.

Best Beginner Pickleball Paddle: SLK Evo Hybrid 2.0 ($100)

This versatile paddle gives you both power and control. The surface gives you increased spin consistency and ball control. We use this paddle for our friends who want to try it out. If I were to play with this longer, I would change out the grip tape since the white gets dirty quickly.

Best Intermediate Pickleball Paddle: SLK Halo ($140)

After trying all three paddles, this is the one I use! It’s great for spin and control. I have the 13mm Power Core, which gives me a little more kick on my hard shots, but I want the 16mm, too, since I love playing with a soft touch and control. It might have to be the next paddle I get, so I have both versions.

Best Advanced Pickleball Paddle: Vanguard Power Air Epic ($250)

I was most excited to try this paddle since I’ve seen many pros use it. I played with it for a few weeks and had difficulty adjusting my drop shots. It had too much kick for me. Esther uses this paddle now, which she likes since it helps her generate power in her strokes.

Selkirk discount code

Selkirk Discount Code: use Selkirk coupon code ADV-JACOBF to receive a gift card for future purchases
Here is how the gift cards work: Minimum order amount: $50
Orders from $50-$100 will receive a $10 digital gift card
From $101-$200 will receive a $20 digital gift card
From $201-$300 will receive a $30 digital gift card
Orders over $300 will receive a $40 digital gift card
Over $500 will receive a $50 gift card
Over $750 will receive a $80 gift card
Orders over $1,000 will receive a $100 gift card
Over $1,500 will receive a $150 gift card
Over $2,000 will receive a $200 gift card

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