How to Choose the Best Pickleball Paddles: 5 Deciding Factors

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Are you on the hunt for the best pickleball paddles? Look no further! In this comprehensive buying guide, we’ll walk you through the top-rated paddles on the market, breaking down their features, pros, and cons to help you choose the right one for your game. Whether you prioritize power, control, or comfort, we’ve got you covered with detailed reviews and expert insights.

Pickleball is more than just a sport; it’s a passion. That’s why selecting the right paddle is crucial for enhancing your performance and enjoyment on the court. Continue reading as we help you navigate through the sea of options as we review the best pickleball paddles on the market to find your perfect pickleball partner.

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Our Top 5 Pickleball Paddles To Buy



CRBN 3X Power Series Pickleball Paddle

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RAD The Zinger Pickleball Paddle

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CRBN2 Pickleball Paddle

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BERK Kids Pickleball Paddle – The Sauce

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Gearbox GH7+ Pickleball Paddle

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CRBN 3X Power Series Pickleball Paddle Review


CRBN 3X Power Series Pickleball Paddle

The CRBN 3X Power Series Pickleball Paddle is a standout choice for players looking to enhance their game with a blend of power and control. This paddle, one of the best pickleball paddles available, comes in both 14mm and 16mm thicknesses, is designed to cater to a wide range of playing styles, offering a substantial sweet spot and excellent spin capabilities.

The CRBN 3X excels in delivering powerful shots without sacrificing the ability to place the ball accurately. Its polypropylene honeycomb core and T700 raw carbon fiber surface contribute to a responsive feel and consistent play. The paddle’s weight (ranging from 7.8 to 8 ounces) provides a good balance, making it easy to handle while still being heavy enough to drive the ball across the court.

User Experience
Players have noted the paddle’s impressive spin and pop at the net, making it a formidable tool for aggressive play. The extended sweet spot ensures that even off-center hits are effective, a feature that can significantly boost confidence in fast-paced games.


Enhanced Spin and Power: The CRBN 3X is engineered to provide excellent spin and powerful shots, making it ideal for players who enjoy an aggressive style of play.

Balanced Weight: The paddle strikes a perfect balance between being lightweight for maneuverability and heavy enough for impactful shots.


Control Challenges: Some users have reported that control can be challenging without the use of topspin, suggesting a potential learning curve for players adapting to this paddle’s unique characteristics.

RAD The Zinger Pickleball Paddle Review


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RAD The Zinger Pickleball Paddle

Dive into the pickleball scene with the RAD “The Zinder” Pickleball Paddle, a top pick for beginners eager to master the game. This paddle is a standout for its user-friendly design, combining durability with a lightweight feel that makes it easy for newcomers to handle and control. Its wide body shape enhances the sweet spot, making it more forgiving for those just learning the nuances of shot-making. Plus, the textured surface aids in putting a little extra spin on the ball, a fun feature for experimenting with more advanced techniques as skills improve.

In summary, “The Zinder” by RAD is an excellent entry point into the world of pickleball, offering a blend of comfort, control, and a touch of flair for the budding enthusiasts. We think this is one of the best pickleball paddles for beginners.


Lightweight Design: Easy to maneuver, reducing arm fatigue and allowing for longer play sessions.

Large Sweet Spot: Forgiving for beginners, improving the chances of solid contact with the ball.

Textured Surface: Helps in learning spin shots, adding an extra layer of skill development.


Beginner-Focused: More experienced players might find it lacking in power for aggressive play.

Durability: While built to last, intense use over time might necessitate an upgrade.

CRBN2 Pickleball Paddle Review


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CRBN2 Pickleball Paddle

The CRBN2 Pickleball Paddle is a stellar choice for intermediate players looking to elevate their game. This paddle, approved by USA Pickleball, features a T700 carbon fiber face and a honeycomb polypropylene core, offering a superb blend of power and control. Weighing between 7.8 and 8.1 ounces, it provides the ideal balance for players who need stability at the net while still being light enough for quick volleys and responsive play.

Overall, the CRBN2 is an excellent investment for intermediate players aiming to refine their skills and bring a competitive edge to their matches.


Optimal Spin and Control: The carbon fiber surface allows for high spin potential, enhancing game play.

Stable and Responsive: Perfect weight for intermediate players seeking to improve precision and power.

Extended Sweet Spot: The design extends the sweet spot, making it more forgiving and effective during play.


Shorter Handle: May not be suitable for players who prefer a longer grip for two-handed shots.

Price: At a higher price point, it may not be the first choice for those on a tight budget.

BERK Kids Pickleball Paddle – The Sauce Review


BERK Youth / Junior / Kids Pickleball Paddle – The Sauce

Introducing the BERK Youth / Junior / Kids Pickleball Paddle – The Sauce, a fantastic choice for young pickleball enthusiasts aged 8-14. This paddle is specifically designed to cater to the needs of younger players, making it an excellent tool for introducing children to the exciting world of pickleball.

The Sauce features a Poly Honeycomb core that provides a soft, consistent feel, which is crucial for developing control and consistency in young players’ games. The RTS Graphite face of the paddle enhances ball spin and offers a soft feel, which is gentle on young arms while still allowing for powerful shots when needed. Additionally, the paddle’s low profile, seamless edge guard increases durability and protection, making it a reliable choice for active kids.

Overall, The Sauce by BERK is one of the best pickleball paddles for kids, combining durability, control, and a child-friendly design to make pickleball both fun and accessible for the younger crowd.


Lightweight Design: At only 5.65 oz, it’s easy for kids to handle and maneuver.

Soft Consistent Feel: Helps in developing control and accuracy in shots.

Durable Construction: Features like the seamless edge guard enhance the paddle’s longevity.


Limited Power: While great for control, it might not satisfy kids looking for more powerful drives.

Specific Audience: Primarily designed for children, it may not be suitable as kids grow older and stronger.

Gearbox GH7+ Pickleball Paddle Review


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Gearbox GH7+ Pickleball Paddle

The Gearbox GH7+ Pickleball Paddle is an excellent choice for budget-conscious players seeking quality without breaking the bank. Priced at just $74.99, this paddle offers a superb blend of power and control, making it ideal for both beginners and intermediate players.

The GH7+ features a 12mm Polypropylene Honeycomb core and a six-ply hand-laid glass fiber surface, which together provide a crisp feel and consistent performance. Its Hyper-Bite Spin Technology allows for maximum spin, enhancing your game with more advanced techniques. The ergonomic molded handle ensures comfort during play, reducing fatigue and allowing for longer sessions on the court.

Overall, the Gearbox GH7+ is a standout option for players who want a high-quality paddle without spending a lot. It’s a solid investment for those new to the sport or looking to upgrade without overspending and one of the best pickleball paddles on the market.


Affordable Price: At under $100, it’s a great value for its features.

Excellent Control and Power: Balances control with the power needed for effective play.

Comfortable Grip: Ergonomic handle design enhances comfort.

Spin Technology: Allows for advanced spin techniques.


Limited Sweet Spot: May require precise hitting to maximize effectiveness.

Heavier Feel: Some players may find the paddle slightly heavier compared to others in the same category.

What You Need to Consider Before Buying

The paddle you play with affects your game, it’s nice to have one that best fits your style. Luckily, the recent boom in pickleball created a huge market with all types of gear. They usually have fancy space-age names, a trend that started in 1984 with the first composite paddle which was made by a Boeing industrial engineer, Arlen Paranto. The fiberglass/Nomex honeycomb composite he used was also a part of the airplane’s structural system.

The differences between paddles aren’t huge for beginners, but they tend to become significant as you move towards a more advanced level. Professional players have an extra set of rules they have to adhere to, so if you’re going to compete, the best pickleball paddles should be approved by the USAPA.

The 5 main deciding factors for a paddle are:

  1. Weight
  2. Grip
  3. Shape
  4. Material
  5. Core Constructs

There are a few more things I’ll also explore, but these are the essentials, let’s get into it!


Paddle weight either gives you more control or more power. A light-weight paddle allows you to maneuver the ball, do a lot of wrist action, and swing the racquet with ease. A heavy-weight paddle is great with slamming the ball hard and far. It’s also a good choice for pickleball players with a tennis background, it feels more familiar to them.

A mid-range paddle is well-suited for beginners who haven’t yet decided on a playing style. It offers them an opportunity to check the merits and shortcomings of both types. Medium-weight paddles might be easier for people with arthritis or tennis elbow. They’re lighter to carry and swing than the heavy variety, and easier to pack a power shot than the light ones.

The weights of a pickleball paddle are as follows:

  • 3 Oz and under for the light paddles
  • 3 to 8.4 Oz for the mid-weights
  • 5 Oz and over for the heavy paddles


This is a goldilocks moment. Using a pickleball paddle with a grip that’s not snuggly fitting in your hand is annoying and unhealthy, it’s a lot like sports shoes. Holding a grip that’s too small for your hands lets you clutch the racket harder, and move it with ease. It’s not very stable though and doesn’t give that much punch.

A larger grip is a bit more problematic, if it’s slightly larger, then it just gives more stability, but a substantial difference would make it hard to hold and places a lot of strain on the joints. A smaller grip can be augmented by rolling tape around it or buying a separate grip. A bigger grip can’t be shrunk, so when in doubt you might want to pick the smaller.

There’s an extra grip that’s optionally sold with some paddles to increase their size, which you can also use if your current paddle grip is worn out. The crucial thing here is to know your grip size, at least roughly. The easiest way is to hold the racket and see if you can slide your index finger between the heel of your grip and other fingers. It should be a snug fit.


Different paddle shapes let you vary your playing style, you might want to experiment with that a little.


This is the most common type, it’s the one favored by beginners and many pros. Going above and beyond this reference is a personal style choice.


It’s tall and narrow, thus it gives more reach as if the player has extra-long hands. This isn’t for everyone and mostly has to do with the kind of game you usually engage in.


This type is easier to play with than the standard widebody paddle. It can catch and return a wider range of shots.


This is for the picky player who doesn’t like it very much when the ball bounces off the edge of the paddle. It’s a uniform surface with no irregularities, not even a rim.


There are three basic types, each one has something to offer and an Achilles heel.

Wood Paddles

This is the budget-friendly choice and the original material of the very first pickleball make-do paddle. These paddles are also the heaviest. Use them if you’re a beginner, stock a few at home for extra visitors and friends, or buy them in quantities for summer camp. Otherwise, pick another type.

Graphite paddles

These are lightweight, strong, and very expensive. Graphite paddles are the top of the line and the pros favor them for their fast action. They’re made from a core construct covered by a very thin layer of graphite, and that’s where the bounce and spin of the balls happen.

Composite Paddles

These are the mid-range pickleball paddles. They usually have a fiberglass hitting surface and a core construct. The surface of this paddle is well suited for ball spinning too, so it’s a good choice for the more skilled players.

Core Constructs

The core of the paddle shapes its properties. There are three kinds:

Nomex Honeycomb Core

This is the material used in the first professional pickleball paddle. It was adapted from the airplane industry. Nomex still leads the pack in the market. They’re also the hardest and loudest, so all that popping noise you hear in a pickleball court, probably comes from a Nomex.


These give the paddles a lightweight and quiet quality. They offer maneuverability and ball control, but that’s achieved at the expense of power.


This is the quietest paddle in the block. It’s the newest tech too, and as expected they improved on the aluminum, so these paddles give much more punch as well. Low noise paddles are recommended at closed communities, private gym places where multi usage can get too bustling, and at home where the popping isn’t appreciated.

Best Pickleball Paddles – The Final Verdict

The right pickleball paddle is the one that feels good when you play with it. Try a few at the store, you’ll instantly see how the grip and weight work for you. Sometimes when I’m using any piece of gear I wish it was ‘different’ in a certain way and my next purchase usually reflects that wish.

If you’re serious about elevating your pickleball game we recommend the CRBN3X Power Series Paddle! This is the paddle that I personally use and I love it! It’s designed for players who crave power and precision, this paddle offers unmatched performance on the court. With its cutting-edge technology and sleek design, the CRBN3X is the perfect upgrade for serious competitors. Don’t let another game slip away. Take control, unleash your potential, and dominate the court. Click to buy now and transform your game with the CRBN3X Power Series Paddle!

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