I remember shopping for my first Pickleball paddle. I was trying to find the best Pickleball paddle for beginners. While I knew about racquetball racquets, I didn’t know a thing about Pickleball paddles. At the time, I didn’t know any Pickleball players either. So, I did my research on the internet to find my first paddle. I thought I would share what I learned in this article and update my research to help people new to Pickleball find their first paddle.
If you are not a beginner but are looking for a new paddle, you can see our analysis of the best Pickleball paddles here and the best Pickleball paddles for spin here. We’ve also created a Paddle Selector to help your further. Click here to answer just 3 quick questions and we’ll make a recommendation on the best Pickleball paddles for you.
Otherwise continue on for a summary of this article and more details below.
The Onix Z5 is the paddle I started with and still use today. I choose this paddle for a few different reasons. First, it combines power and control. This means the paddle is not too light to generate some ball speed. The Onix Z5 also has excellent control whether hitting a third shot drop, dinking the ball or putting spin on a serve. Second, it is made of materials which will last. The surface is made of carbon fiber and the inner material is nomex honeycomb.
Third, the paddle is approved by the U.S.A Pickleball Association. Since I thought there was a chance I would play in a sanctioned tournament, I needed to make sure the paddle was approved. Finally, the Onix Z5 wasn’t outrageously expensive. You can spend well over $125 on a paddle but I thought that was too expensive since I was just starting out. I purchased my paddle for about $80.
Amazon usually has the best prices and selection. So, you can get the Onix Z5 in the color of your choice. Currently, Amazon has blue, purple, pink, orange, yellow, white, red, and teal.
Overall, I think the Onix Z5 is a great paddle with its wide body design and large sweet spot. Believe me, I wasn’t disappointed once I started using the paddle and still am not. It was consistent with the great reviews I read on the internet. I highly recommend it as the best Pickleball paddle for beginners and more advanced players.
Amarey makes a great beginner Pickleball paddle that is about half the price of the Onix Z5 and it has rave reviews. It retails for about $40 and is really the best Pickleball paddle for beginners. While the Onix Z5 is a great paddle, it’s really for people looking to be more competitive in the game.
The Amarey paddle has over 900 reviews on Amazon and is five-star rated. About 8% of the reviews were from players new to the game and it was hard to find any reviews less than five stars from this group. The paddle also comes with a cover which is great to preserve the surface.
The Amarey paddle is listed as the same weight as the Onix Z5 (although some reviewers said it was over 9 ounces) so it has adequate power. Intermediate players, however, will find it’s difficult to put spin on the ball with it’s graphite surface and polymer honeycomb interior. The paddle does have a wide body design with decent sweet spot but it is not approved for use by the U.S.A Pickleball Association.
The JP Winlook set comes with two paddles, three outdoor balls, and a carry case. The paddle has a carbon fiber surface but none of the reviewers mentioned it was especially good for putting spin on the ball. I guess this makes sense as the paddle is really designed for beginners who won’t care much about this attribute. The interior portion of the paddle has a polymer honeycomb interior like the Amarey paddle.
The JP Winlook bundle retails for about $60. You can find it on Amazon where it has a five-star rating and plenty of great reviews.
As you can see, this Amazing Aces bundle contains more than a paddle. The set has either two or four paddles, four balls, and a carrying case. The retail price ranges from $20-$40 depending on the number of paddles. While I don’t recommend wood paddles for adults, this is a great beginner Pickleball paddle for kids. With it, they can get a feel for the game and enjoy Pickleball along with the adults.
Four paddles are reviewed in this article to identify the best Pickleball paddle for beginners. Two reviews are for paddles and two reviews are for sets. A summary of the advantages and disadvantages of each is below.
Pros – Excellent paddle for beginners and more advanced players
Cons: More expensive than a beginner only paddle
Pros – Great value for the price. This is the best Pickleball paddle for beginners to see if they like the game.
Cons – Paddle may be heavier than the listed weight. Intermediate players will likely purchase a better paddle after they have learned the game.
Pros – You’re ready to play with the exception of a net since the set contains paddles, balls, and a carrying case. The set is a nice value for those new to Pickleball who want a starter set.
Cons – The paddle is not good for spin so anyone going beyond the beginning level will want to purchase a new paddle.
Pros – Great for kids and excellent value for the price
Cons – Wood paddles