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In the fascinating world of sports, pickleball is a rising star, so you may wonder what the best pickleball brands are in 2023. Born on Bainbridge Island, WA, in the mid-1960s, this game has evolved from a backyard pastime to a global sensation, attracting both recreational and professional players. As the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., according to the USA Pickleball Association, its appeal lies in its simplicity, inclusivity, and fun.
However, just like any sport, your game experience heavily depends on the gear you choose. The perfect paddle for your playing style, the right shoes for the pickleball court, and even the perfect pickleball set can enhance your performance and enjoyment of the game. This post will look closer at the best pickleball brands and their top-tested paddles and gear for 2023.
Understanding the Pickleball Paddle
The heart and soul of any pickleball game is undoubtedly the pickleball paddle. It’s your primary weapon on the court, and choosing the right one can make a world of difference in your performance. Let’s break down what makes a great paddle.
Material: The paddle face material plays a significant role in how the paddle performs. You’ll typically find three types of materials in the market today: composite, graphite, and wood. Composite paddles often come with a fiberglass face, providing a good balance of control and power. Graphite paddles, like the top pickleball paddle Onix Graphite Z5, are known for their lightweight and great touch. Wooden paddles, although less common, are a much cheaper option, ideal for beginners or recreational play.
Core: The core of the paddle significantly impacts its performance. The most common types are polypropylene honeycomb, Nomex honeycomb, and aluminum honeycomb. A polypropylene core provides excellent ball control, while Nomex core paddles offer great power. Aluminum cores are lighter and allow for better maneuverability.
Weight: The weight of the paddle directly influences the amount of control and power you have. Heavier paddles, like the ones professional player Ben Johns favors, provide more power but less control. On the other hand, lighter paddles offer more control and maneuverability but less power.
Shape: Paddle shapes vary, but the most common are wide-body, oversized/long, and blade-style. Wide-body paddles have a large sweet spot, making them an excellent choice for new players. Long paddles provide more reach and are popular with advanced players with good ball control. Blade-style paddles are long and narrow, providing excellent reach and power but require more skill to control.
Grip Size: Choosing the right grip size is essential for comfort and control. Small grips allow for more wrist action and spin, while larger grips offer more stability and reduce the chance of overuse injuries.
Now that we understand what makes a good pickleball paddle let’s dive into the best pickleball brands and their top paddles for 2023.
Best Pickleball Brands and Their Top Paddles
Paddletek is a household name in the pickleball industry, known for producing high-quality paddles suitable for all skill levels. This brand is among the best pickleball brands in 2023. Their flagship paddle, the Paddletek Bantam EX-L, is a favorite among amateur and professional players. It has a polypropylene honeycomb core and a fiberglass surface, providing an outstanding balance between control and power. It also features a large sweet spot and a comfortable grip, perfect for long hours of play. If you’re searching for a durable, reliable, and versatile paddle, the Paddletek Bantam EX-L is an excellent choice.
The Onix Graphite Z5, one of the most popular paddles from this brand, offers a perfect blend of touch and power. Its graphite face and Nomex honeycomb core allow for quick responses at the net and powerful smashes from the baseline. The wide-body shape provides a large sweet spot, making it perfect for new players looking to improve their game. However, it’s not just for beginners. Many advanced players, including professional pickleball player Anna Leigh Waters, swear by this paddle for its superb ball control.
Selkirk Sport is a family-owned brand passionate about creating the best pickleball equipment. Among their creations is the Selkirk AMPED Invikta, a paddle famous for its long handle and larger sweet spot. It is designed in collaboration with professional player Tyson McGuffin and offers great power without compromising ball control. Its unique design, featuring a thicker polypropylene honeycomb core and a fiberglass surface, makes it a solid-feel paddle suitable for all styles of play.
Engage is another well-respected brand in the pickleball community, known for its wide range of quality paddles. The Engage Encore Pro is a top choice for those who prefer a heavier paddle for more power. Its unique, thick polymer core and proprietary ‘ControlPro’ technology provide excellent control, allowing for precise placement on every shot. Advanced players will appreciate the textured surface of this paddle, which adds spin to the ball, providing an edge over opponents.
GAMMA is a brand that has been making waves in the pickleball industry thanks to its advanced materials and innovative designs. One of their top paddles, the Gamma Needle, stands out with its elongated blade-style design. This unique design offers an extended reach, perfect for advanced players who love playing at the net. Its textured graphite face enhances ball bite, while the Sensa Poly Core technology ensures a solid, durable paddle that will serve you for a long time.
So, there you have it, some of the best pickleball brands and their top paddles for 2023. But how do you decide which is the right one for you? Read on as we answer some common questions and provide more insight into the exciting world of pickleball.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pickleball Paddles
When should I replace my pickleball paddle?
Knowing when to replace your pickleball paddle can significantly impact your performance on the court. Indicators it might be time for a change include a decrease in ball control, a difference in the sound when the ball hits the paddle, cracks or dents in the paddle’s face, or a loose or worn grip. A great paddle can last for a long time. Still, if you’re playing frequently or competing at a high level, you may want to consider replacing it annually or biannually to ensure optimal performance.
How do I buy a good pickleball racquet?
Choosing a good pickleball racquet involves considering various factors, such as weight, grip size, and paddle shape. Heavier paddles provide more power, while lighter ones offer better control. For grip size, your comfort is paramount. As a general rule, it should fit within your hand without your fingers touching your palm.
Pay attention to the paddle’s core material. Polypropylene cores are popular for their balance between power and control, while Nomex cores are typically harder, offering more power. Meanwhile, the paddle’s face material can affect the ball’s spin and speed. Carbon fiber and graphite provide excellent responsiveness, while composite faces are known for their durability and power.
Also, consider your playing style and skill level. Beginners may prefer a wide-body paddle with a large sweet spot, while more advanced players might go for a paddle with a longer handle or an elongated design for extended reach.
What paddle does Anna Leigh Waters use?
As previously mentioned, professional player Anna Leigh Waters is known to use the Onix Graphite Z5. This paddle is favored for its superior ball control, perfect for Waters’ strategic and precise style of play.
What kind of paddle does Tyson McGuffin use?
Tyson McGuffin, one of the top-ranked pickleball players globally, collaborates with Selkirk Sports and uses the Selkirk AMPED Invikta. This paddle’s extended handle and larger sweet spot suit his aggressive, fast-paced playing style.
Choosing the best pickleball paddle can be a personal preference, largely influenced by your playing style and skill level. Whether you’re a beginner trying to grasp the basics or an advanced player looking to upgrade your gear, our list provides options for everyone.
Remember, the best paddle is the one that feels most comfortable in your hand and suits your style of play. Brands like Paddletek, Onix, Selkirk, Engage, and GAMMA continually innovate to provide players with top-quality paddles, making them excellent options to consider in your search.
No matter your choice, playing with a high-quality paddle from a reputable brand can take your pickleball game to new heights. Now that you have your paddle, Make sure you gear up with some of the funniest pickleball shirts in the country!
Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API