When I first started out to write this updated post, I decided to focus on Pickleball paddles used by pros. I figured the best players are using the best Pickleball paddles. However, I quickly learned the paddles favored by the pros may not be the favorite of most other Pickleball players.
I compiled a list of 25 pros where I could determine which Pickleball paddle they used. Most of these participated in the Franklin Masters, an invitational tournament for 32 of the top Pickleball pro players.
The interesting caveat to this guide on the best pickleball paddles is I found it took a lot of research to determine the paddle the pros were using. I reviewed videos, facebook pages, images, Pickleball manufacturer web sites, and other Pickleball sites. In most cases, I could determine the paddle brand sponsoring a player.
However, it was a challenge to properly identify the paddle. So, that’s how I came up with my list of 25 pros. Also, I know these players try new paddles so I looked for information from the last few months to verify their recent paddle choice in most cases.
Paddles Used by the Pros
Below is a list of the pros’ Pickleball paddles. Take a look at the far right column and you will see which pro uses which paddle. After the table is an analysis of the paddles on the list to help determine the best Pickleball paddle.
Best Pickleball Paddles
The interesting thing about the specific paddle choice is only five paddles were used by two or more pro players. Three players use the Selkirk Amped Invikta. Two players use both the Selkirk Amped Epic, Paddletek Bantam EX-L Pro and Tempest Wave Pro, and Head Extreme Tour.
The two Selkirk paddles are also highly rated by non-professional players as evidenced by the five star rating on Amazon. The Paddletek Bantan EX-L and Tempest Wave along with the Onix Summit C1 and Engage Elite Pro Maverick had excellent ratings with 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The Head Radical Tour and Prince Response Pro had lower ratings on Amazon. The are not the favorites of non-professional players so they are not the best Pickleball paddles.
To be fair, the other eight paddles had no reviews or had less than 5 reviews so I did not mention them above. In some cases this is because the Pickleball paddles are new like the Franklin Sports signature Ben Johns and Christine McGrath paddles. Both paddles are expected to be released in November of 2019.
So, what makes a Pickleball paddle a favorite among pros and non-professionals? Below is a breakdown of the best Pickleball paddles.
Whether you look at reviews on Selkirk’s website, Amazon, or Pickleball Central players love the Selkirk Amped Invikta and Epic. The Invikta is an elongated paddle which means it is longer than most paddles but not as wide. This means you have a longer reach but the paddle still has a large sweet spot. It also has a longer handle so it is great for tennis players who use a two-handed backhand.
Numerous reviewers said the Selkirk Amped Invikta takes some getting used to compared to previous paddles. However, players are very happy with the combination of power and control. Many people also saw the paddle has great feel so it works for beginners, intermediate players, and professionals.
The paddles comes in a lightweight and mid-weight version. Both versions have a 4.25″ grip and the lightweight paddle has a 4″ grip option.
The Selkirk Amped Epic, like the Invikta, has a longer handle so it is good for two-handed swings. Otherwise, the Epic has a traditional shape so it is a versatile paddle offering both power and control.
Both the Selkirk Amped Invikta and Epic retail for about $150. Despite the price point, reviewers say it is worth every penny.
The pros love Paddletek Bantam EX-L Pro paddle including Kyle Yates who has been using it for over five years. Another pro, Alex Hammer, says she gets excellent power from the paddle without having to swing hard. The pro version is thicker and heavier than the regular version so it provides more power.
Non-professional players also agree the the Bantam EX-L regular version has an excellent blend of power and control. Numerous players said the paddle is great for all playing conditions so it is consistent whether the weather is windy, hot or humid.
The price of the Paddletek Bantam EX-L Pro is about the same as the two Selkirk Amped paddles. However, the Bantam EX-L is about $100 so this may help with those on a budget.
I’m going to combine my analysis of the Paddletek Tempest Wave and Tempest Wave Pro. Both are in the control and touch category. The pro version has more power due to the added weight (7.6-8 oz ) and thickness of the paddle compared to the regular tempest at 7.4-7.8 oz. Both are graphite paddles so they can provide excellent spin if this is part of your game. The Tempest Wave is also great for dinks and superior accuracy in all of your shots. The regular Tempest has a 4 1/4″ grip while the Pro version has two options of 4 3/8″ or 4 1/8″.
In looking a reviews of the regular Tempest Waves vs. pro version, the preference is for the regular paddle. This isn’t surprising due to the weight as most recreational players prefer a lighter paddle. Still both have excellent reviews from both professionals and non-professionals.
I admit I’m a fan of Onix as I’m still playing with the Z5. The Onix Summit C1, however, is an elongated paddle so it is longer and narrower than the normal paddle shape. It also has a “ping pong” paddle style handle. This means it is shorter so you can put more spin on the ball.
Since it is an elongated paddle, it does take some getting used to if you’ve been using a traditional shaped paddle. The advantage, of course is the extended reach. The Onix Summit C1 comes in a fiery red color and is priced under $100.
Pickleball paddle technology is changing all of the time so this is a review of the latest and greatest paddles used my pros and non-professionals. These are all USAPA approved paddles meaning they can be used in sanctioned tournaments. If you are not using one of the best Pickleball paddles from this review, be sure to check the post on illegal Pickleball paddles. You can also take a look back at earlier paddles used by the pros and beginner Pickleball paddles.
Once again, here is the summary of the best Pickleball paddles used by the pros.