Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners
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Best Beginner Pickleball Paddles under $100

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For beginners and those new to the game of pickleball, selecting the best paddle to purchase can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience. There are now literally hundreds of paddles on the market from which to choose and a seemingly equal number of factors to consider before purchasing. Paddle core. Paddle length. Paddle face. Circumference. Grip size. Weight. Not to mention price, warranty, color, and so much more.

Paddle Pricing and the Importance (or Lack Thereof) of Paying a Higher Price

If you’re a beginner and have been perusing paddles online or at your local sporting goods store, you’ve likely noticed that prices range from approximately $15 on the low-end (for a wooden paddle) to $200 on the high end. The question then, inevitably becomes, “Is there a significant difference in paddle playability that justifies these pricing differences?”

The answer to this question is “yes” and “no.”

It’s important to remember that pickleball paddle technology plays just a part in your progression as a pickleball player.

Simply put, while I would advise against purchasing the lowest-end wooden paddles – unless, of course, your budget only allows it – I would also steer you against going “all in” with a $200 purchase as well. At least at first.

Pickleball Paddles Priced at $100 or Less

Without further ado, here are my recommendations for the best pickleball paddles for beginners. The following paddles – all priced at $100 or less ($90 or less if using the “10MAX” 10% off coupon code at checkout) – are smart options that provide a good combination of power and control for the beginner pickleball player (or any level, for that matter). The paddles listed below range from least to the highest price.

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Gamma Fusion 2.0 Pickleball Paddle

The Gamma Fusion 2.0 Pickleball paddle is a paddle made available at our local club for new players to temporarily borrow if they come without a paddle. It is designed with a textured fiberglass face and a composite core. This is a solid composite paddle for beginners and intermediate players.

Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!

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Vulcan V330 Hybrid Pickleball Paddle

I’m a fan of Vulcan-sponsored pro, Jocelyn (Jay) Devilliers. While this isn’t the paddle he uses, it is nevertheless a solid choice for beginner and intermediate-level players. The Vulcan V330 Hybrid Pickleball Paddle comes with a polypropylene core and graphite surface. It features a sleek 10mm polypropylene, honeycomb core with a durable surface. Vulcan Max Control Grip at 4-1/8”. The paddle is made to 7.8 oz.

Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!

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Head Extreme Pro Pickleball Paddle

The Head Extreme Pro has a unique diamond shape that incorporates a Comfort Grip for less vibration and more comfort. The paddle has a composite face for increased power. The Extreme Pro offers a mid-weight option.

Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!

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Prince Response Graphite Pickleball Paddle

The Price Response Graphite Paddle uses Prince’s characteristic circular shape which results in a huge sweet spot that extends to every part of the 8-1/4″ wide face. It has a fairly long handle at 5-1/2″ so it can be used for double-handed backhands, or those who prefer having a bit more handle length. The grip size is 4.” The paddle’s weight ranges from 7.6 – 8.0 oz., placing it in the light-to-midweight range.

Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!

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Onix Z5 Composite Pickleball Paddle

The Onix Composite Z5 is perhaps the best-selling paddle for beginners and intermediate-level players on the market. You will likely see several people playing with this paddle at your local pickleball club. The Z5 has a fiberglass face and total paddle weight of 8.4-8.7 ounces. The Widebody shape on the Z5 has a relatively large sweet spot.

Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!

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Selkirk Graphite Atlas Control Widebody Paddle

The Selkirk SLK Atlas Graphite is a great entry-level paddle. It features a Dual-Layer Graphite face and a Polymer PowerCore. The SLK Atlas gives players the ability to control shots and improve the overall performance of their game.

Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!

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Vulcan V510 Hybrid Pickleball Paddle

The Vulcan V510 Hybrid Pickleball Paddle has a 4 3/4″ long handle and weighs an average of 7.9 oz. The carbon fiber surface is 7 3/4″ wide and helps give you the great ball feel that graphite and carbon fiber paddles are known for.

Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!

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Gearbox CP7 Pickleball Paddle

I know several people that absolutely love Gearbox paddles. This paddle features a carbon fiber and glass fiber face with a 7mm x 12mm Polypropylene honeycomb core. True to Gearbox’s high quality signature and promise to always achieve excellence, this paddle will deliver outstanding control, power on demand and give you the best overall value for its class.

Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!

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Onix Evoke Pro Pickleball Paddle

The Onix Evoke Pro is a paddle that I have previously personally played with for a couple of years and really liked. The polypropylene core delivers touch and control with a composite face providing additional power.

Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!

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Selkirk Prime S2 Pickleball Paddle

This is a paddle my mother-in-law recently purchased. She seems to really like it. The Selkirk Prime S2 has a slightly shorter handle and longer face compared to the Epic. The S2 shape boasts the largest sweet spot and surface area of all Selkirk paddle shapes. Durable, well-balanced, and impactful, the Prime S2 is a solid choice for any level pickleball player.

Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!

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Franklin Ben Johns Signature Paddle

Many would argue, just purchase the Ben Johns paddle and be done with it. This is a paddle used by several professional pickleball players, including Zane Navratil, JW Johnson, and many others. With a price point of $100 (before 10% discount code [10MAX] applied), you can’t go wrong. And it’s hard to argue with the success of the #1 player in the world!

Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!

To find out which paddles the pros use, check out this article!


Free Shipping + 30-Day Return Window

Please note that if you make a purchase of $75 or more from Fromuth Pickleball, you are entitled to free shipping. Additionally, there is a 30-day return window for used paddles if, after playing with it, you just don’t like it.

In addition to the 11 aforementioned paddles, a couple of other affordably priced beginner pickleball paddles available on Amazon include the Niupipo Explorer paddle and Amazin Aces.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the best pickleball paddle for your game, while likely stressful, is also an exciting time for you as a beginner pickleball player. Your journey is just getting started. Now buckle up and enjoy the ride.

See you on the courts!

>>READ MORE: Pickleball Paddles 101 – How to Choose One that is Best for You<<

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Coach Todd
About Todd

Todd is the talent behind PickleballMAX. He knows pickleball and demonstrates it on the court as a 4.5 – 5.0 player. In addition to creating content and running the PickleballMAX business, Todd is IPTPA Level II certified. As an instructor at the Ohio Pickleball Academy, he instructs students and runs adult and youth clinics. He also manages tournament desks throughout the tri state for tournaments ranging from 100-500 participants.

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