Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in America. Over 36 million players picked up the game during 2021-2022 because it is so easy to get started, no matter if you have a small backyard or join a community club.
While pickleball has been around for decades, it's only recently started to go mainstream. That is probably why so many people are searching for the best pickleball paddles for beginners 2023 models. It's a game that can be played by anyone and everyone, regardless of age or skill level.
The best pickleball paddles 2023 for beginners are like other sports equipment. You will get what you pay for when it comes to buying one! However, as with most things in life, there are exceptions to this rule - and we'll be looking at those throughout this updated article.
A Brief Outline of Pickleball
Pickleball is a sport like tennis, but played with a perforated plastic ball and a paddle. It's played on a smaller-sized court with a net in the middle. The game was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard and his wife Dee when they were trying to find something fun to do in their retirement community on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Before you look for the best pickleball paddle for beginners 2023 edition, you should know a bit about how to play. The rules are pretty straightforward. Players alternate serving one point at a time until someone reaches 11 or 15 points. Players can only hit into open spaces on the other side of the net and should bounce once. A serve can’t land in the no-volley zone, and players can hit with one or two hands on the best pickleball paddles 2023 for beginners.
Overall, this is a fun and easy-to-play game that anyone in the family can pick up quickly.
The Pickleball Equipment You Will Need
One of the joys of playing pickleball is it requires so little equipment. All you need to enjoy a game is:
- One of the best pickleball paddles 2023 for beginners
- Pickleball balls
- Hard open surface in or outdoors
- A net in the middle
- Some friends to play with
Types of the Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners 2023
There are several different types of pickleball paddles that you should consider before making your purchase. Here is a quick rundown of each type:
1 - Wood
If you're looking for the most traditional type of paddle, then wood is your best bet! Wood paddles are also known for being the heaviest type of pickleball paddle. This means they will be more durable and last longer than other options. But there is a downside. They tend to be more expensive and heavier than other paddles, like the best graphite pickleball paddle for beginners.
2 - Composite
Composite paddles are a mix of materials, such as graphite, carbon, and fiberglass. They're typically lighter than wooden paddles and more expensive than graphite. Composite paddles also tend to be more durable than their counterparts because they don't crack or splinter like wood or chip with graphite.
3 - Graphite
Graphite is the third material on our list, and it's also the most popular choice for pickleball paddles. When you ask what is the best pickleball paddle for beginners, you’ll likely find a graphite option on anyone’s list. They are lighter than wooden ones, which makes them easier to swing when you're just starting out. They're also more expensive than wood, but graphite lasts longer because it doesn't absorb moisture as natural wood does.
4 - Aluminum
Aluminum is a good option for beginners. It's light, easy to control, and has a good grip. If you have problems with wrist pain, aluminum may be the best pickleball paddle for you. Many of the more affordable best pickleball paddle for beginner options available are made with quality aluminum materials.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Paddle
When choosing the best pickleball paddle for beginner to intermediate level, there are several factors to consider. These include:
- Weight - One of the most important factors to consider when buying a paddle is weight. Any paddle with high weight tends to be more durable and last longer, but it can also be difficult for beginners to control.
- Balance – This is the ratio of weight to surface area. The best paddle for beginner pickleball players will feel more natural in your hand.
- Grip Size - This is important because it determines the weight of your paddle. A small grip is better for beginners, while an advanced player may want to use a large grip. The best grip size depends on your hand size.
- Surface Area – Knowing the surface area helps to factor in how a paddle will perform for you. The more surface area, the more power you can generate. But if your paddle has too much surface area, it may be difficult to control and spin effectively.
- Sweet Spot - The sweet spot is the part of your paddle that gives you the best chance of hitting a shot. It's usually located in the center of your paddle and is where the weight of your paddle is centered.
What is the Best Pickleball Paddle for a Beginner?
Here is our researched list of the best pickleball paddle for beginners 2023 edition. These are in no particular order and provide plenty of playing opportunities so you can enjoy what is turning into a great American pastime.
The Selkirk Amped Epic is a great pickleball paddle for beginners. It has a large sweet spot along the fiberglass face and is lightweight, durable, and affordable. With a polypropylene honeycomb core, you won’t feel your arm or wrist burn out too quickly, especially if you prefer to play under the hot sun. You get just enough added length on this pickleball paddle option for some great saves and to widen your reach whether playing singles or doubles.
2 - Prolite Bolt
When you ask what type of pickleball paddle is best for beginners, you’ll probably hear about the Prolite Bolt. This is an excellent paddle for beginners and intermediate players. It's made of carbon fiber and has a textured face to give you extra spin when returning an ambitious serve from an overzealous friend. The contoured grip ensures you won’t lose your paddle as you run for any side shots. This is a wonderful option at a reasonable price point.
The Nicol P-One Elongated Pickleball Paddle is an excellent choice for beginners. It's an all-around paddle that can be used by players of all skill levels and will last you for years to come. While this company is a little new to the industry, its advantages in design and balance have propelled it to the top of our list. You get a frosted carbon fiber core with a twill weave handle that ensures a solid grip with plenty of power.
4 - Gamma Quest
A little more on the budget end is the Gamma Quest. At 7.8 ounces in weight, this middleweight paddle blends fiberglass with polypropylene for a textured delivery surface that offers significant control. This is essential when you are just starting out and unfamiliar with how the pickleball spins or maybe need a little more work on your aiming to score after playing a few games and feel a bit tired.
The Joola Ben Johns Hyperion is an ideal paddle for beginners and advanced players alike. It's made of a carbon fiber and graphite composite, giving it a large sweet spot that allows you to hit the ball with more power. While this is a well-deserved addition to the best pickleball paddle sets for beginners, you may want a couple of weeks under your belt before jumping in because it represents a commitment to the sport.
It's essential to do your research before purchasing a paddle. You want to make sure that the paddle you choose is going to get the job done and help improve your game.
We hope this article answering what are the best pickleball paddles for beginners has helped you understand how different factors can affect your choice of equipment. There are many fantastic reasons to get into a new sport that is easily playable in your backyard, community park, local gym, or professional setting. So dig in, find your paddle, and call up your friends – it's pickleball time!