First-time pickleball player? Well, welcome to the best game in the world.
You’ll need a great starter paddle, so we’ve got plenty of options that won’t break the bank. Peruse our top picks below.
5 Best Pickleball Paddles under $65
In the sporting world, there’s a common misconception that spending top dollar for a particular piece of equipment will lead to better performance. While quality equipment will improve your overall gameplay experience, you don’t need to buy all pro-level branded gear when first learning how to play the game.
Pickleball is a perfect example of this. Despite plenty of incredible high-end paddles, you can still find perfectly good, USAPA-approved paddles at low price points.
Of course, we would all love to jump into a game with a Selkirk Vanguard 2.0 Mach 6, $200 might be just a little out of the budget for beginners. Instead, let’s take a look at my 5 top picks for excellent budget paddles with a lot to offer for your pickleball game.
The Vulcan V320 Hybrid pickleball paddle is a great example of a budget paddle that still features modern pickleball paddle technology. Its polypropylene honeycomb core and fiberglass paddle surface give the paddle a softer feel and allow you more control with your swings. It comes with Vulcan’s factory max control grip, which offers you more comfort and confidence while on the court.
The Head Radical Elite pickleball paddle is a fantastic option for both new and experienced pickleball players. It has a fiberglass composite surface and thick polymer honeycomb core that make for a lighter paddle while also giving your swing a lot of power. Head uses a highly ergonomic foam handle for a more comfortable grip.
JOOLA is well known for their Hyperion paddle, popularized by Ben Johns’ pro model paddle, but they also offer a more budget-friendly paddle in their Essentials Performance pickleball paddle. The paddle features a fiberglass face with JOOLA’s Response Polypropylene Honeycomb core technology, giving the paddle a lot of pop and better responsiveness in terms of movement. JOOLA’s Sure-Grip technology gives your paddle a perforated anti-slip grip that is sweat-absorbent and increases shock absorption.
At just $30, you can’t go wrong with the Niupipo pickleball paddle. The core is made of a Nomex honeycomb design and features a graphite carbon fiber paddle face that keeps the paddle lightweight while enhancing its durability. Niupipo’s cushioned grip technology is perforated with a solid edge guard, allowing for a more comfortable experience.
There’s nothing wrong with going for an old-fashioned wooden paddle! While Amazin’ Aces pickleball paddles don’t have a lot of the modern technology seen in high-end paddles, they are easily the cheapest and best way to get started with pickleball.
This bundle offers not only two paddles (meaning they’re about $12.50 a paddle!), but also four pickleballs and a carrying bag. This makes it an excellent choice for pickleball newbies, as you get everything you need to go play a pickleball game with a friend for just $25.
Wood paddles will also last you a long time if taken care of properly, and Amazin’ Aces uses a durable 7-ply construction, giving these paddles a longer life span. Another nice thing about paddles is the uniformity in their material, which grants a large sweet spot making it easier for new players to hit the ball over the net confidently.
Limitations of Pickleball Paddles Under $50
Paddles under $65 work fine, so what makes $200 paddles different? The simple answer to this question is this: high-priced paddles are more refined.
A perfect way of looking at this is to compare two of Vulcan’s paddle models:
The V320 Hybrid is their base model paddle, coming in at around the $50 mark. The V720 MAX is their top-of-the-line model, coming in at $200.
What sets the V720 MAX paddles apart are the materials used in the core and the surface of the paddle. The V720 MAX utilizes Vulcan’s StrateraCore technology, a much higher-end polypropylene compound than the honeycomb core found in the V320. While they both use a polymer core, the high-quality materials used in the V720 MAX make it perform noticeably better and a more powerful overall option for advanced players.
The surface finish of the V720 MAX is also made up of a carbon-glass thermoplastic composite, using TeXtreme, one of the world’s best carbon fiber technologies. This, when paired with the wide body construction of the paddle, gives the V720 MAX higher maneuverability and better control when compared to the V320 Hybrid.
Who Should Buy Budget Pickleball Paddles?
Budget paddles are the best pickleball for beginners who want to get a feel for a real paddle before investing in a high-end one. If you like to play the game casually with friends or want a set of paddles lying around the house for the family, cheap pickleball paddles will get the job done.
Intermediate players will quickly grow out of these budget paddles. Even small paddle upgrades can make a noticeable difference to your level of play as an intermediate player.
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