What Pickleball Paddles Do the Pros Use?

If you want to elevate your pickleball game, investing in a quality paddle is essential. Unfortunately, not all paddles are created equal!

Professional players use different paddles depending on their playing style and experience; some even tend to switch brands or models more frequently than others.

Paddles Used By Professional Pickleball Players

Professional pickleball players who excel use top-of-the-line equipment to take their game to the next level, including paddles of superior quality that ensure a seamless and enjoyable game.

Women generally look for paddles that are slightly heavier than standard sizes, offer a large sweet spot and offer both power and control in equal measures. Furthermore, they often prefer handles which fit comfortably around both their arms and wrists.

Pro paddlers typically select paddles constructed from multiple materials, including graphite and fiberglass. Both offer increased comfort, better control, and increased durability over time.

Paddles may seem like an expensive purchase, but investing in them could make all the difference if your goal is to become the best player possible. A paddle may make all the difference for newcomers who’d otherwise struggle on court; having one could mean the difference between enjoying your experience on court or seeing it slip away from you.

Professional paddlers rely on paddles from some of the industry’s top brands, including Franklin Sports and Niupipo, that have been approved by USAPA, made from durable materials that will withstand regular abuse.

Franklin Sports offers the Ben Johns Black Pickleball Paddle, featuring a MaxGritTM surface for increased spin and reduced vibration, along with a polypropylene core that ensures lightweight durability while offering increased power.

Niupipo’s X-Spin Pro Pickleball Paddle is an extremely popular option among professionals. Constructed with a polypropylene honeycomb core combined with an advanced composite fiber face for lightweight control and reduced shock and vibration levels – ideal for players suffering from tennis elbow or other injuries that restrict movement.

Niupipo pickleball paddles have also been certified by the USAPA. This certification helps ensure they adhere to stringent safety requirements and must meet strict criteria.

Professional paddlers also tend to switch up their paddles frequently in order to keep from over-using a single one, particularly players suffering from arthritis or other conditions that make gripping difficult.

Furthermore, this strategy helps those prone to injuries or illness adapt their paddle grip better; or when needing to accommodate different hands or wrists.

Apart from JW Johnson with his Franklin Carbon STK paddles. Below is the list of the pros with their favorite paddles to play:

Ben JohnsFranklinBen Johns Signature
Riley NewmanGammaRiley Newman Signature 206
Collin JohnsElectrumModel E
Tyson McGuffinSelkirkSelkirk Project 002
Dekel BarEngagePursuit MX
Adam StonePaddletekTempest Wave II
Jay DevilliersVulcanV560
Matt WrightOnixEvoke Premier
Jw JohnsonFranklinBen Johns Signature
Patrick SmithElectrumPro
Rob NunneryFranklin“Give Them Lala… With Randall”
Dylan FrazierOnixEvoke Premier
AJ KollerFranklinBen Johns Signature
Callan DawsonProKennexPro Speed II Hybrid
Rob CassidyEngagePursuit MX 6.0
Erik LangeHeadGravity
Steve DeakinHeadGravity
Altaf MerchantOnixEvoke Premier
Zane NavratilFranklinBen Johns Signature
Kyle YatesPaddletekBantam EX-L
DJ YoungCrbncrbn 1
Wesley GabrielsenSelkirkEpic Amped
Thomas WilsonElectrumModel E
Spencer SmithGammaCompass LH
Jeffrey WarnickGearboxCX 11 Power
Catherine ParenteauPaddletekTempest Reign Pro
Simone JardimPrinceResponse Pro
Anna Leigh WatersPaddletekBantam TS-5 Pro
Leigh WatersPaddletekPhoenix Genesis
Lucy KovalovaOnixEvoke Premier
Jessie IrvineEngagePursuit MX
Lea JansenFranklinBen Johns Signature
Callie SmithOnixEvoke Premier
Lauren StratmanElectrumPro
Irina TereschenkoPaddletekBantam EX-L
Andrea KoopPaddletekTempest Wave Pro
Michelle EsquivelEngagePoach Advantage
Corrine CarrVulcanV520
Vivienne DavidNiupipoExplorer Pro
Sarah AnsbouryHeadExtreme Tour Max
Lee WhitwellHarrowPeak XC
Maggie RemynseWilsonJuice
Susannah BarrSelkirkMaxima
Lindsey NewmanGammaHavoc
Martina KochliVulcanV560
Jillian BravermanGearboxGX6
Meghan Sheehan-DizonGammaLegend
Jade KawamotoPaddletekTempest Wave Pro
Allyce JonesFranklinBen Johns Signature
Jackie KawamotoPaddletekTempest Wave Pro

How to Choose the Right Pickleball Paddle for You

Pickleball paddles come in all sorts of shapes, materials and weights that will have an impactful influence on how you play the game – each factor will impact it differently, making it important that you select one which suits your personal playing style and preferences.

Height and Size

Initial steps should include considering your height and hand size; you can measure these with a tape measure or ruler and use this information to find an ideal paddle grip size.

Under 5 feet tall players typically find that a 4-inch grip provides optimal comfort, while players over five feet should opt for something between 4 1/8″ to 4 1/4″. Selecting the right paddle grip size will help prevent pickleball elbow pain.


Consider also what material your paddle’s core will be made out of; wood, polymer, Nomex and aluminum paddle cores each offer unique characteristics that may impact how you play the game.

Wood paddle cores tend to be softer and allow for more accurate shots, while aluminum or Nomex paddles tend to be stronger than their wood counterparts.


Considerations should also be given to the thickness of your paddle core, which may affect its feel against your face and power, yet make it harder to control. A thicker paddle may feel harder off the face but may prove harder to manage over time.

Beginner players often prefer thin paddle cores as they provide greater control and stability than thicker ones, yet these paddles may be difficult to control and may not provide as much feedback on off-center shots.

Professional players typically opt for lighter paddles as they allow faster movement on court. Furthermore, lighter paddles tend to cause less muscle tension and fatigue during play, thus decreasing risk of injuries during gameplay.

Some pros prefer edgeless pickleball paddles, which don’t feature an edge guard to maximize playing area without risk of balls getting stuck in edges. This gives them maximum space without worry that one may get caught.

Finding the appropriate pickleball paddle may prove to be challenging, but it is well worth your while. You can find options suitable to both your budget and needs at either a sporting goods store or your local pickleball club.

What Makes a Good Pickleball Paddle

A quality pickleball paddle must be lightweight, strong, and easy to handle. Furthermore, it should produce a satisfying “pop” on the ball’s surface depending on its core material thickness and surface material composition.

A paddle’s core is its structural component and can be composed of various materials, such as Nomex or polymer. It plays a critical role in how well the paddle performs as it affects everything from how it feels to its ability to absorb shock and vibrations.

Some paddle cores feature smaller honeycomb cells for a firmer feel and greater power; other models feature larger cells for more balanced feel.

Choose the appropriate core material is key for both beginners and experienced players. Beginners might prefer lightweight cores to help their shots hit faster; experienced players might prefer thicker cores that offer greater control and allow for a wider variety of shot types.

Paddle cores come in an assortment of shapes and sizes, but the most commonly seen is the honeycomb-shaped core. This option is an excellent way for beginners to start playing as it provides easy handling while offering balance between power and control.

The core also helps reduce vibration and shock, keeping your paddle stable during play. Some paddles feature an additional layer of grit to add extra spin when shooting shots.

Fiberglass paddles are popular options among beginner-to-intermediate players due to being light and durable while being able to generate power with minimal effort.

Graphite paddle surfaces are increasingly popular pickleball paddle options. Although lighter than fiberglass, Graphite offers similar finesse.

Paddletek’s Tempest Wave Pro paddle features a hybrid approach at its core, featuring a textured graphite surface which absorbs vibrations upon contact and offers accurate play, helping close out games more quickly.

Meanwhile, Gearbox’s GX5 Power paddle provides advanced players with powerful yet refined performance without losing control or finesse.

A Guide to Different Types of Pickleball Paddles

Pickleball paddles come in all sorts of styles and varieties. Selecting one that best meets your needs may seem daunting at first, but understanding what features should be present so that you can make an informed purchase decision can make all the difference.

First, determine what material and gameplay style suit you best. If your preference lies with power generation, a heavier paddle might provide the added speed and spin you need for each shot; on the other hand, for those wanting greater control a lighter paddle may provide better ball control.

Pickleball paddle materials typically consist of graphite, carbon fiber, fiberglass and wood; although some brands offer hybrid paddles which combine these materials.

Paddle cores are constructed from various materials, such as polymer honeycomb or Nomex. A harder polymer can absorb more energy to expand your sweet spot while returning more to the ball for increased pop.

Paddles with grit on their core surface often offer extra power when hitting a ball, as well as improving its feel when striking it. Grit can also improve how hard you hit it!

Grip size should also be an important consideration when buying a paddle. Select a grip size suitable to your hand in order to comfortably hold and prevent injuries such as tennis elbow. A paddle with too small of a grip could lead to wrist pain and fatigue while one with too large will prove hard to use.

Many paddles feature grip wraps to allow users to customize the circumference to suit individual hand sizes and preferences. If you’re still uncertain as to your ideal paddle grip size, feel free to try one out first before making a decision on purchase.

Finding the ideal paddle may not be as effortless as shopping for shoes, but it is well worth your while to put forth effort into finding one for your game. A quality pickleball paddle can enhance performance and take your game to new levels of success.


When selecting a pickleball paddle, it is important to take into consideration the material and core type that best suits your playing style. Whether you’re an experienced player looking for greater control or simply want more power when shooting shots, there are options available depending on what features suit you best.

Graphite paddles offer lightweight finesse while fiberglass provides both durability and accuracy with minimal effort. Paddle cores range from polymer honeycomb to Nomex which absorb energy and expand your sweet spot while returning more pop to the ball.

Lastly, grip size should be considered in order to avoid injury such as tennis elbow- some brands even provide wraps so users can customize their circumference accordingly! Investing time into researching different types of paddles will benefit any player’s game immensely; ultimately leading them closer towards achieving success at higher levels.

About the author

John's love for pickleball began when his wife bought him a set for Christmas one year. He quickly became obsessed with the game, and now plays several times a week.

John loves nothing more than spending an afternoon on the court with friends, whacking balls back and forth.

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