Like in any sport, advanced pickleball players will look for the best paddles to complement their expert play. There are many choices to make: carbon fiber or fiberglass? What weight? What length? Read on for a comprehensive buying guide to high-quality paddles for advanced players (or intermediate players looking to take the next step!)
5 Best Pickleball Paddles For Advanced Players
Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro
The Tempest Pro Graphite Paddle uses Smart Response Technology to strengthen the feel and sensitivity of the original Tempest Wave. You get the same responsive touch, but with a broader and more forgiving sweet spot which translates to consistent responsiveness across the face of the paddle.
- The Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro is a high-end pickleball paddle with a carbon fiber-hitting surface and carbon fiber honeycomb core. With a large sweet spot for power and finesse and a variety of paddle weights to choose from, it’s a great option for those looking to spend a little more on a pickleball paddle.
The industry continues in the direction of raw carbon fiber for paddle face surfacing, and the Onix Evoke Premier Pro is the perfect example of why that technology has become so popular.
- The Onix Evoke perfectly balances the best pickleball paddles for beginners and premium offerings for advanced players. The paddle is Onix’s premium offering, with a composite face and polypropylene honeycomb core for next-level maneuverability and maximum spin. Particularly interesting is the Atomic13 Edge Technology, an edge guard that disperses shock while increasing speed and power.
Selkirk Vanguard Power Air
The Vanguard Power Air Invikta is the cream of the crop when it comes to pickleball paddles in our opinion, as it has become a staple on the pro scene. It was developed in partnership with pro players, such as Tyson McGuffin, in order to ensure the best possible product.
- Selkirk claims that the Vanguard Power Air has been specifically designed for maximum spin and insane power. A hybrid fiberglass and carbon fiber surface area and honeycomb polymer core make this one of the top picks for professional players and advanced amateurs.
The 505 Graphite Paddle is best known for its elongated face and grip, which grant it a considerable sweet spot. GAMMA’s textured graphite face and NeuCore polymer honeycomb create a highly responsive feel that is often praised for its balance between control and power.
- While the previous three paddles have been all-rounders, the Gamma 505 is interesting because it caters to a specific profile of player. A textured graphite face adds spin and power, while the polymer honeycomb core provides a soft feel. What’s really interesting is the long handle, designed for advanced players who like to play with a two-handed backhand.
Prolite Titan Pro LX
This paddle utilizes Prolite's Hyperweave technology, which combines three layers of carbon fiber for maximum spin and shot control. The multi-layered and mixed materials create a huge sweet spot that balances out the rigidity of the paddle itself.
- This Prolite paddle is a fantastic option, and one of the best picks for players after a more lightweight paddle. Coming in at just over 7.5oz, the thick core made of three layers of carbon fiber nonetheless provides all the control you could want in a composite pickleball paddle.
These are just some of the best pickleball paddles for advanced players, but there are plenty more out there. Check out these offerings from Prokennex, Franklin, and Electrum for more options for all types of players.
Qualities To Consider
When buying a pickleball paddle, there are plenty of qualities to consider to select the right paddle for your skill level and playing style. Pickleball paddles for beginners and intermediate players can be quite different than those for advanced players.
Fiberglass Vs Graphite
- One of the first decisions to be made is the material for the face of the paddle. The two main options are fiberglass or graphite. Both will provide excellent performance: graphite faces are slightly cheaper and have a slightly better feel, but fiberglass faces provide higher accuracy. The best way to work out your preference is to try out some pro pickleball paddles and see how they feel.
Thick Or Thin Cores
- Your preference for thick cores or thin cores depends on your type of play. Players looking for a power paddle will prefer a thinner core, while those after more maneuverability and maximum spin and feel will lean towards thick cores.
Choosing A Grip Size
- Grip size is, again, very dependent on your type of play. If you like to hit a two-handed backhand, you will lean towards long-handle paddles, while a short handle will suffice if you only use one-handed backhands.
- Similarly to core size, paddle weight comes down to your type of play. Heavier paddles are power paddles, while light paddles offer more finesse and quick reactions at the net for volleys.
- If you’re looking to play in pickleball tournaments, you need to buy a regulation paddle. The best way to do this is to look for paddles that are approved by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) or the International Pickleball Federation (IFP). This will ensure your paddle is legal to use in tournament play.
What Paddles Do Pickleball Pros Use?
Here are some of the pickleball paddles used by the best players in the professional game:
- Ben Johns: Joola Perseus (his signature paddle)
- Zane Navratill: Franklin Signature Paddle
- Kyle Yates: Paddletek Bantem EX-L
- Jessie Irvine: Engage – ‘Elite Pro’ Maverick
- Lucy Kovalova: Onix Evoke Premier
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