Welcome to the great sport of pickleball! Whether you’re just picking up a paddle for the first time or looking to upgrade from a starter, choosing your first “real” pickleball paddle can seem overwhelming. TThere are so many options on the market today; finding the right paddle to suit your skill level and playing style takes some research. The purpose of this detailed guide is to provide you with all the information you require in order to choose the best pickleball paddles for beginners that is most suitable for starting players. By the end, you’ll be an expert on what to look for and which paddles are ideal for the early stages of your pickleball journey. Let’s get started!
The Basics of Pickleball Paddles
Before diving into specific paddle recommendations, it’s helpful to understand some key terms and components that vary between different models. Here’s a quick primer on pickleball paddles for beginners:
Material – The majority of custom pickleball paddle designed for recreational use are constructed from either wood (usually maple) or composite material, which consists of a plastic core with fiberglass sides. Paddles made of wood offer greater control, but they are heavier than composite paddles, which are normally lighter and have the ability to produce more power, but at the sacrifice of feel. Beginners are usually best served by a composite model.
Size – Custom pickleball paddle are measured by their length (longest point to longest point) and width (widest point to widest point). A lot of starting paddles are about 7 or 7 and a half inches wide and fifteen or sixteen inches long, but you can find others that are much wider and longer. With larger paddles comes greater power at the expense of control.
Weight – Custom pickleball paddle designed for beginners typically weigh between 6.5 and 8.5 ounces, although weight is just one consideration among several. Paddles with less mass enable for less power but faster responses and maneuvers. Although they demand more strength, heavier paddles produce greater spin and speed.
Handle Type – Two main types are pinch (where you grip the paddle vertically between thumb and fingers) and button (featuring an extended plastic protrusion for your thumb to rest on). Button handles offer greater tactile comfort and are preferred by the majority of novices.
Grip Size – While the standard grip circumference is 3 inches, certain manufacturers provide options for an oversized or undersized fit. Make sure to measure your hand size before buying.
Surface/Texture – Paddle faces can be smooth, textured, or perforated, with various patterns and indentations providing control and feel. Faces with texture increase the rotation potential of novices.
Now that those basics are covered, let’s dive into some top-rated paddle options that are specially designed for best pickleball paddles for beginners!
Best Pickleball Paddles
Best pickleball paddles for beginners, the Paddletek Element is a great option. As one of the original and most established brands in the sport, Paddletek knows how to design paddles that are accessible for newcomers.
For rapid swing speed and effortless control, the Element’s head measures 7.0″ x 15.0″ and is constructed of a lightweight composite material. Its elegant textured face provides outstanding feel on contact. And at a mere 6.9 ounces, it allows effortless maneuverability without tiring the arm.
What really sells this custom pickleball paddle though is its affordable price point. At around $40, the Element is an absolute steal for a quality introductory model. Its smooth Button grip style transition is perfect for those still developing proper technique as well. Overall, this is simply one of the best bang-for-your-buck paddles on the market perfect for beginners.
Next up is the Franklin X-40, another long-trusted name among entry-level pickleball equipment. Like the Element, the X-40 delivers fantastic value at its low cost of around $35.
Don’t let the price fool you though – Franklin packs a lot of paddle for the money with this one. Its 7.25″ x 15″ head is perfectly sized to promote control and accuracy over power. Furthermore, its weight of 7 ounces is ideal for lesser maneuvers while maintaining stability.
Where the X-40 really shines is its unique “StippleTech” face design. Covered in small indentations, it provides incredible feel on ball contact while also generating serious spin potential. The textured stippling feels fantastic in the hand. And with a classic Button grip for comfort, this paddle lands near the top for beginners.
For those seeking a slightly higher-end beginner option, the Onix Rally paddle delivers pro-level quality and performance at an accessible sub-$60 price point.
Made from durable composite with an aerospace-grade graphite frame, this paddle brings serious heft for its 7.1-ounce weight. Its 7.25″ x 15″ head size remains nimble though thanks to a precisely weighted construction.
The Rally, however, is distinguished by its Hyper-Dry microperforated visage. These thousands of tiny indented pores provide phenomenal control and feel on returns while dispersing moisture for maximum grip. Few paddles at this level offer such an advanced surface.
Finally, Onix backs the Rally with an impressive lifetime warranty. So whether taking your game to new heights or passing it down, this paddle is truly a lifelong investment. For those prepared to upgrade their equipment, the Rally paddle performs like a premier model at an entry-level price.
Selkirk Sport Rox
Selkirk Sport has deep roots in pickleball history as the creators of the original wood paddle back in 1989. And their Rox model draws from this legacy to deliver classic craftsmanship for beginners.
Constructed from resilient composite material, each stroke of the Rox weighs an astoundingly light 7 ounces. Its modest 7.125″ x 15″ head promotes easy control without lacking power potential down the line.
Beyond just the specs, the Rox truly shines through its specially blended textured face. Its “Diamond Grips” micro-texture covers the entire surface for unmatched grip and feel on returns. Many players report it virtually eliminates slippery miscues common to beginners.
In addition, Selkirk provides superior customer service and a lifetime warranty that is a player favourite for the Rox. So whether you upgrade down the road or pass it to a friend, this premium paddle will serve you or a loved one for life. For rich performance that lasts, the Rox sets the standard.
Paddletek Warrior Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners
The Paddletek Warrior is the only paddle that offers a genuine versatility suitable for beginners. It meets every mark as the brand’s best-selling product for novices.
Crafted from lightweight yet durable composite, the Warrior comes in at an approachable 7.25 ounces. Its 7.375″ x 15″ sweet spot allows for growth into more advanced styles of play. But for now, its player-friendly dimensions encourage successful shot-making.
What sets the Warrior apart though is its combination textured/smooth face. Rough areas provide excellent control on dinks and lobs while butter-smooth sections lend power and versatility. Few paddles offer such a nuanced blend perfectly tailored for newbies.
At just $50, the Warrior also delivers incredible value. And like all Paddletek models, its 3-year warranty and replacement guarantee bring total peace of mind. For the complete beginner’s package, this do-it-all paddle can’t be beat.
Selkirk Sport Proto
Last but certainly not least is another Selkirk masterpiece, the Proto. Drawing from the brand’s rich history of innovation, it brings state-of-the-art tech and artistry to first-time players.
It is composed of an ultralight graphite core fortified with aerospace-grade materials. Combined with a mere 6.8-ounce head, the Proto floats through strokes with breathtaking fluidity and power.
A 7″ x 14.75″ head promotes pinpoint accuracy while its honeycomb face virtually eliminates vibration on returns. Meanwhile, hundreds of micro-textures deliver hyper-sensitive feel and unmatched grip in any weather.
For those ready to invest a bit more in their beginner’s paddle, the Proto rewards with touring-level performance perfect for driving the game. Its best-in-class craftsmanship and lifetime warranty simply can’t be beat. For a true lifelong paddle, the Proto sets the gold standard.
Additional Beginner Options to Consider
Although the paddles listed above are among the best options for beginners, there are numerous others that are similarly commendable, contingent upon personal preference and financial constraints. Consider the following additional points:
Gamma DynamX: An economically viable alternative that outperforms its weight category due to its unique textured visage and comfortable button grip.
Franklin X-30: A pinch handle and smooth composite face are featured on this ultra-cheap sibling to the X-40, which is ideal for experimenting with the water.
Paddletek Warrior XL: A jumbo version of their top seller with an extra-wide 7.5” head for added power potential at the cost of some control.
PickleballCentral Catalyst: An affordably priced custom pickleball paddle that offers a slightly superior feel compared to composite paddles, albeit at the expense of increased portability.
GerdaPuff Premium: A ladies’ specific model perfectly sized and weighted specifically for women’s hands and playing needs.
Onix Graphite: A higher
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