Best Pickleball Paddle for Beginners

Get ready to play pickleball like a pro! If you’re just starting, picking the right paddle is super important. We’ve done all the hard work to find the best paddles for beginners. Whether you’re new to pickleball or just looking for a budget-friendly option to start, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover the top deals on beginner paddles that will help you become a pickleball champ in no time.

Pickleball Paddle Basics

Before we get into the specific paddles, let’s go over some of the key specs and features that you’ll see when you start browsing different models.


  • Paddle weight is measured in ounces.
  • Lightweight paddles are around 7.0 to 7.8 oz
  • Medium paddles are around 7.9 to 8.3 oz
  • Heavy paddles are 8.4+ oz

Grip Size

  • Measured by the circumference of the grip in inches.
  • Standard sizes range from 4” to 4.25”

Paddle Length

  • Usually 15 to 17 inches long.
  • Longer paddles provide a wider surface area and more reach.

Paddle Face

  • This is the hitting surface of the paddle.
  • Materials affect power, control, touch and durability.
  • Common face materials: Polymer, Polypropylene, Composite Polymer, Graphite


  • Inner layer is sandwiched between faces for added stiffness.
  • Common core materials: Polymer, Aluminum, Nomex


  • Shape and length affect comfort and grip.
  • Common shapes: Round, Square, Octagonal

Comparison of Beginner Pickleball Paddle Weights

Paddle WeightBenefitsDrawbacks
7.0 – 7.5 ozVery lightweight and flexibility Can feel too lightweight and lack power
7.5 – 8.0 ozProvides good balance of control and powerHeavier than ultra-lightweight paddles
8.0 – 8.5 ozGenerates more power on shotsCan cause fatigue more quickly

Beginner Pickleball Paddle Materials

PolypropyleneDurable, good control, decent pop, inexpensive
PolymerLightweight, comfortable grip, good control, affordable
CompositeBalances control, power, and touch shots
AluminumLightweight, comfortable grip, affordable
GraphiteProvides added power and pop

Here’s the detail of the 5 Best pickleball Paddle for Beginners; 

Selkirk Sport Pickleball Paddle

The Selkirk Sport Pickleball Paddle is specifically designed with new players in mind. Selkirk is one of the top pickleball brands, so you can trust their gear.

Selkirk Sport Pickleball Paddle


  • Weight: 7.3 to 7.8 oz
  • Grip Size: 4 1/4 inches
  • Width: 7 7/8 inches
  • Length: 15 1/2 inches
  • Materials: Polypropylene honeycomb core, fiberglass face, polypropylene edge guard
  • Features: Wide body shape, minimal vibration

✅ Pros

  • Lightweight and well-balanced for excellent flexibility
  • Polypropylene honeycomb core dampens vibrations for more comfort and control
  • Fiberglass face is very durable for long-lasting play
  • Wider sweet spot makes it more forgiving for beginner shots
  • Comfortable seamless grip allows for good hand contact
  • Attractive simple design in multiple color options

❌ Cons

  • Compared to graphite or composite paddles, you might have slightly less control when hitting shots with this paddle.
  • Not as much touch/control as wood paddles


This paddle retails for $50 to $200 putting it on the lower end of the pricing scale. Very affordable for beginners not looking to spend a lot.


Let me tell you about my favorite paddle, the Selkirk Sport. Ever since I started playing pickleball a few years ago, I’ve been on a search to find the perfect paddle. One that gives me the touch and control I need for dinks and drop shots, but also packs a punch when I need to drive the ball deep. Well, I’m happy to say the Selkirk Sport is that paddle for me!

The moment I picked it up I could feel the difference. It has just the right weight and balance that makes it feel like an extension of my arm. The grip size fits my hand perfectly, allowing flexibility the paddle exactly how I want. The surface has this finely textured face that really grabs and throws the ball with some spin. Yet it still has a nice smooth feel when I brush the ball for touch shots.

The best part is this paddle can handle hard-driven shots just as well as finesse shots. I can really swing out and drive the ball hard cross-court or down the line when I need to put pressure on my opponents. But it also has the control for dropping a short shot just over the net. I feel like I can do it all with this paddle!

The design is pretty slick too. I love the combination of black and vibrant colors which really pops on the court. And it just has a sleek, athletic look that I think complements my game style.

Onix Graphite Z5

The Onix Graphite Z5 paddle is a step up for beginners looking for a little more power and performance. Onix makes some of the best graphite paddles.

Onix Graphite Z5


  • Weight: 7.6 to 8.2 oz
  • Grip Size: 4 1/8 inches
  • Width: 7 3/4 inches
  • Length: 15 3/4 inches
  • Materials: Graphite face and core, polypropylene edge guard
  • Features: Large sweet spot, textured grip

✅ Pros

  • Graphite face and core provide great touch and pop on shots
  • Lightweight and responsive for quick volleys at net
  • Larger sweet spot gives more forgiveness for off-center hits
  • Textured contour grip promotes good hand contact
  • Very durable construction for long term use
  • Ideal balance of control and power for beginners

❌ Cons

  • Not as much power as some composite paddles
  • Higher price point than other basic wood or poly options


The Z5 sells for $89.99 MSRP. A good value for a high quality graphite paddle.


The Onix Graphite Z5 – Now I know paddles can seem complicated with all the technical jargon about materials, weights, shapes etc. But let me break it down into simple terms for you.

The Z5 is what’s known as a “control” paddle, meaning it gives me great touch and control over my shots. The head shape is a bit wider which lets me get tons of power when I need it for hard drives or put-aways. But it’s also easier for me to place my shots accurately with this wider surface area. I used to struggle with keeping my shots in bounds, but the Z5 really helps me dial in my placement.

The other huge benefit is how lightweight it feels! At about 7.6 oz, my arm doesn’t get as tired and I can play longer matches or rallies without wearing out. But don’t let the lightweight fool you – the Z5 still packs plenty of pop when I need it.

That’s thanks to the graphite face material which gives me just the right blend of power and control. Graphite absorbs vibrations so my shots don’t rattle my arm as much. It also gives great touch and feel so I know exactly where the ball is meeting my paddle.

The comfortable, tacky grip fits my hand like a glove and stays put even when I’m sweating buckets on a hot day. No more paddle slippage or having to re-grip every few points!

I’ve also found the Z5 to be extremely durable and scratch-resistant, even when my shots clip the net or ground. The paddle still looks shiny and new after months of steady play.

For anyone looking to add control and finesse to their game, I can’t recommend the Onix Graphite Z5 highly enough. It’s the perfect weight and balance for me to really dial in my shots without sacrificing power. And the quality construction means it will be my trusty pickleball companion for many seasons to come. Give it a try and I’m positive you’ll fall in love with the Z5 just like I did!

Gamma Needle

Gamma Sports produces some of the top paddles on professional tours. The Gamma Needle is their budget-friendly novice model.

Gamma Needle


  • Weight: 7.6 to 8.3 oz
  • Grip Size: 4 1/4 inches
  • Width: 7 7/8 inches
  • Length: 15 3/4 inches
  • Materials: Fiberglass and Polymer Honeycomb Composite
  • Features: Moderate width and thickness, textured hitting surface

✅ Pros

  • Composite face provides power and control
  • Polymer core gives great touch and dampens vibrations
  • Wider face results in increased sweet spot
  • Textured surface allows for spin shots
  • Comfortable perforated synthetic grip
  • Very durable construction

❌ Cons

  • Still heavier than some beginner paddles
  • Lacks maximum power potential of premium composites


This paddle has an MSRP of $119.99, putting it in the mid-price tier.


Now I’ve played with a lot of paddles over the years but none have blown me away quite like this bad boy. If you’re looking to add some zip and zing to your pickleball game, then the Needle is calling your name!

First off, the name really says it all. This paddle slices through the air with laser-focused precision. The smaller teardrop-shaped head gives me pinpoint control to place shots exactly where I want them. I can really thread the needle on angled drop shots that hit the sideline and die.

Don’t let the smaller surface area fool you though – the Needle brings some serious heat on power shots too! The graphite and fiberglass face packs a ton of pop and rebound energy. I can smack hard drives that the opponent can barely react to. And my put-away shots have never been more explosive thanks to the punch this paddle delivers.

The Needle feels extremely comfortable and balanced in my hand. At about 7.8oz, it’s lightweight enough that I can swing freely and aggressively without tiring out too quickly. And the grip size/shape fits my hand like a glove with no squeezing or cramping.

I also love the cushioned, absorbent grip which helps reduce ball vibration and gives me a super soft, tacky feel. Even in sweaty summer conditions, the grip stays slip-free so I can swing with total confidence.

With its control-focused sweet spot and lively pop, the Gamma Needle truly does it all. My shots have never been more accurate AND powerful since switching to this bad boy. For well-rounded performance that can hang with hard hitters but also execute delicate touch shots, the Needle is an absolute game-changer!

Niupipo Pickleball Paddles

Niupipo makes a variety of budget-friendly pickleball paddles great for beginners just starting out. They offer both fiberglass and graphite face options.

Niupipo Pickleball Paddles


  • Weight: 7.6 to 8.5 oz
  • Grip Size: 4 1/4 inches
  • Width: 7 3/4 to 8 inches
  • Length: around 15 3/4 inches
  • Materials: Fiberglass or graphite faces, polymer honeycomb core, TPE edge guard
  • Features: Cushioned handle, average size profile

✅ Pros

  • Low price range from $69.99 to $150.00
  • Both fiberglass and graphite paddle faces offered
  • Polymer honeycomb core provides good control and touch
  • Comfortable grip promotes proper hand placement
  • Lightweight and easy to swing for new players
  • 1 year manufacturer’s warranty

❌ Cons

  • Durability and longevity questions
  • Standard design doesn’t stand out
  • Lacks power and spin potential of premium brands
  • Quality control issues noted by some users


I want to share my 4th amazing pickleball paddle I’ve been using – the Niupipo. As a longtime pickleball player, I’m quite picky about my gear. But right away I could tell this paddle was a game changer for me! Here’s why I love it.

The paddle surface and face design gives me more control on finesse shots. I can shape dinks and drop shots with ease and really move the ball around. The textured surface grabs the ball well and provides nice spin potential too. My touch game has reached a whole new level!

The Niupipo excels at power shots too. With its fiberglass face and honeycomb core, I can swing aggressively with excellent pop. It has a firm, crisp feel that provides great touch even on hard driven volleys and groundstrokes. My shots stay low and accelerate off this paddle face.

It also has a comfortable, ergonomic grip design that allows flexibility and  can flip the paddle to reach outside balls and attack from all over the court. It just feels like an extension of my arm.

And of course I have to mention the awesome graphics! The teal honeycomb design with black perimeter trim looks so stylish and modern on the court.

So if you want a paddle that delivers superb control, power, playability, and style, give the Niupipo a try.

Rally Tyro 2 Paddle

Last but not least, the Rally Tyro 2 is another top beginner’s choice with its composite polymer face and comfortable construction.

Rally Tyro 2 Paddle

Weight: 7.9oz

Grip Size: 4”

Length: 16”

Face: Composite Polymer

Core: Polymer

Price: 139.99

✅ Pros

  • Composite polymer provides power and control
  • Medium weight balanced handling
  • Cushioned grip for comfort
  • Great shape for ball contact
  • Light specs suitable for all play styles

❌ Cons

  • Not as much reach as longer paddles
  • Polymer absorbs force for less power
  • Standard grip may be small for some


The Rally Tyro 2 earns its spot as one of the best paddles for beginner players ready to level up their control and finesse. The Tyro 2 provides unmatched stability and accuracy thanks to its polypropylene honeycomb core which minimizes ball deflection.

Weighing under 7.5 oz, the Tyro 2 is highly maneuverable in-hand. The textured edge guard improves traction for easy spinning and angled shots. While the polymer core reduces power, it gives superior feel and touch for directing place shots. The Tyro 2 grip comes in 3 sizes to fit all hand dimensions.

For beginners focused on developing consistent and accurate shot-making ability, the Rally Tyro 2 Pickleball Paddle is the clear choice. Refine your overall control and return capability with this top adjustable paddle.

Comparison Table

Here’s a quick overview of our top 5 pickleball paddle recommendations for beginners:

PaddleWeightGrip SizeLengthFace MaterialCorePrice
Selkirk Sport Pickleball Paddle7.8oz4.25”16.25”PolymerPolymer$$
Onix Graphite Z57.8oz4.25””15.5”Composite PolymerPolymer$
Gamma Needle7.5oz4.125”15.75”PolymerNomex$
Niupipo Pickleball Paddles8.8oz4”16.5”PolypropyleneAluminum$
Rally Tyro 27.9oz4”16”Composite PolymerPolymer$$

Choosing the Best Pickleball Paddle for Beginners

As a new player, you’ll want to look for these ideal qualities in a starter paddle:

  • Lightweight – Makes it easier to maneuver and react quickly. 7.2 to 7.6 oz is a comfortable weight for beginners.
  • Midsize surface – Allows good reach without sacrificing control. 15-16 inches long, 7.75-8 inches wide.
  • Polymer composite face – Provides touch and control when hitting the ball. Easier on the arm than aluminum.
  • Polymer honeycomb core – Gives a balance of power, control and durability at an affordable price point.
  • Cushioned grip – Absorbs vibration and offers comfort, even for sweaty hands.
  • Edgeless design – Prevents paddle edges from catching on the ball and slowing your reaction time.
  • Moderate price – No need to break the bank on your first paddle. $50 or less is ideal.

My Top Pickleball Paddle Picks for Beginners

If I had to choose my top 2-3 favorite paddles from this list for new players, I’d go with:

  1. Selkirk Sport – Offers the best all-around performance for recreational play with its comfortable lightweight design and polymer touch.
  2. Rally Tyro 2 – A close second with its cushioned grip and composite polymer face that suits all playing styles.
  3. Gamma Needle – Can’t beat the value offered by this budget-friendly Gamma paddle for finesse and control.

FAQs About Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners

What is the best weight for a beginner pickleball paddle?

Look for paddles in the 7.2 to 7.8 ounce range. Lighter than 8 ounces allows easier maneuverability and quick reaction time, without being too lightweight to control properly.

What size pickleball paddle is best for beginners?

Midsize paddles with a surface area around 150-155 square inches are ideal for newer players. A width around 7.75-8 inches and length of 15-16 inches provides a forgiving sweet spot without sacrificing control.

Should beginners choose a graphite or composite pickleball paddle?

Polymer composite paddles are the best choice for beginners as they provide control and touch on shots. Graphite paddles offer more power but won’t be as forgiving to new players.

What grip size should I get on my first pickleball paddle?

Measure the circumference around the middle of your dominant hand in inches. For most beginners, a 4-4.25 inch grip circumference is comfortable. Make sure to get a padded cushion grip for optimal comfort.

Are more expensive paddles better for beginners?

Not necessarily expensive paddles are better for beginners. As you’re learning, focus on lightweight control paddles rather than more powerful graphite models. $50 and under is ideal for starter paddles with polymer faces and comfortable grips.

How can I find the right pickleball paddle length?

Aim for a paddle length of around 15 to 16 inches as a beginner. Standing upright with your arm outstretched, the paddle head should reach your wrist crease for optimal control and reach.

Where should I buy my first pickleball paddle?

Major sporting goods stores, online retailers like Amazon, or specialty pickleball sites usually carry quality paddles for all skill levels. Avoid generic, poor quality paddles from department stores.

What grip size pickleball paddle do I need?

Grip size is based on the circumference measurement of your hand. Measure the widest part of your palm in inches and match to the following general grip size guidelines:

  • Small: 4 inches (women’s)
  • Medium: 4 1/4 inches
  • Large: 4 1/2 inches (men’s)
  • Extra Large 4 5/8+ inches

Many beginner paddles come with measured grip sizes to make it easy to select the right fit.

Pickleball Paddle Selection Criteria Summary

To recap, here are the key criteria to look for in choosing your first pickleball paddle:

  • Weight – Select a lightweight paddle between 7.2-7.8 oz for easier mobility and control.
  • Grip – Size the grip circumference based on your hand size. Cushioned grips absorb impact best.
  • Length – Mid-length paddles of 15-16 inches allow good reach and maneuverability.
  • Width – Wider hitting surfaces (7.75-8 inches) provide more sweet spot coverage.
  • Face – Polymer composite offers control for beginners learning shot techniques.
  • Core – Polymer honeycomb or foam cores balance power and finesse.
  • Design – Edgeless paddles prevent catching on the ball during shots.
  • Price – Quality starter paddles can be found for $50 and under.

Now glide on over to the pickleball courts and start swinging away with your new beginner paddle – you’re ready to make some serious smashes! Just remember, keep calm and pickle on! 😜

Say Hello to me.

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