best pickleball paddles 2018

Top 8 Best Pickleball Paddles For 2018

Barrett Kincheloe article, Gear, review, Reviews 57 Comments

Note: This guide is OUTDATED! Please head on over here to see the updated list for 2019!

Every time I go out to play pickleball someone comes up to me seeking advice about pickleball paddles. It’s always fun and fulfilling answering people’s questions about paddles. But now and then, someone will ask “what’s your favorite paddle?” or something along those lines.

It’s a tough question to answer.

I’ve been mulling over this for a few months now, and I’ve finally come to some conclusions. Below are some of the best pickleball paddles that you should look out for in 2018. If you want some more recommendations, click here to check out some paddles based on what kind of player you are.

Keep in mind that although I’m ranking these paddles based on how great they are, I’m also ranking them based on how much impact they will have in 2018. Believe me, all of these paddles will stay relevant throughout 2018 and possibly beyond. You don’t have to worry about them becoming outdated.

Also, I’ve scattered a few affiliate links throughout the article. I get a small commission if you decide to buy something on Amazon through the link at no extra cost to you. I don’t take sponsorships so my advice to you remains unbiased. As always, make sure you check around because prices flucuate!

Ok, let’s take a look at the list!

#8 Paddletek Element

Great for beginners, intermediate players, and previous tennis players.

Specifications:

  • Core: polymer
  • Face: polymer vinyl
  • Average weight: ~7.6 oz
  • Paddle length: 15 5/8″
  • Paddle width: 7 3/4″
  • Grip circumference: 4 1/8″
  • Grip type: perforated, stitched and ribbed cushion
  • Handle length: 5″
  • USAPA approved

This paddle is not new by any stretch, but it’s a good one and is quickly becoming a classic. I know multiple people who use it successfully.

Regarding construction, the paddle isn’t anything to write home about. It’s standard in almost all ways. Its traditional shape and polymer core give you the consistency and balance that you need in pickleball.

But the unique aspect of this paddle is the polymer vinyl finish on the face. It’s not very often when you see paddle faces like this. You can easily mistake the face for fiberglass, but it’s not. It’s actually a polymer-vinyl finish (polymer is plastic). That leads me to my next point.

The common theme that I’ve noticed with the Element is that tennis players love it! As I said, the Element doesn’t have a fiberglass face, but it does have a very rough, plastic finish on it. That roughness equates to spin. If you’re coming from tennis then you’re going to love this paddle. Forehand strokes are solid and packed full of topspin.

The Paddletek Element will continue to make a strong impact throughout 2018 because of how it brings tennis players easily into the pickleball fold. If you’re a tennis player looking to get into pickleball, this can be a great starter paddle for you.

The Element comes in a few different colors which you can check out here on Amazon.

#7 Gamma Mirage

Great for players who love power and have the arm strength for it

Specifications:

  • Core: polymer
  • Face: composite
  • Average weight: ~8 oz
  • Paddle length: 15 7/8″
  • Paddle width: 8″
  • Grip circumference: 4 1/4″
  • Grip type: Honeycomb cushion
  • Handle length: 4 3/4″
  • USAPA approved

You probably haven’t heard of this paddle, but it’s a hidden gem that I’ve wanted to share with you. I love showing people this paddle because they always have a surprised look on their face. I guess that’s the “mirage” part.

Similar to the Element, the specifications for this paddle are ones that you typically see in pickleball. However, an 8 oz paddle is getting on the heavier side of things. But it’s not just the heaviness of the paddle that is significant, but the weight balance.

This paddle is very “top-heavy” or “face-heavy.” This means that the majority of the weight in the paddle is focused towards the end of the paddle instead of in the handle. So even though the average weight of this paddle is around eight oz, it feels much heavier than that. This combination gives you a ton of power. This is why I consider the Gamma Mirage to be a power paddle.

But the great thing is that you get to keep the control and touch that the polymer core and composite face give you. This paddle shines with drives but especially overhead smashes. It really is a mirage. Expect your opponents to be blown away by your smashes.

Gamma also put their newest grip on this paddle. Instead of tiny punctures in the grip, Gamma has put in larger holes to increase the absorption of sweat. I wasn’t able to test this when I played with the paddle because my hands don’t sweat much when I play, but you can’t go wrong with a grip from Gamma!

There are two other paddles that come in this line that you can check out.  You can check out the different colors and prices here.

#6 Selkirk 30p XL Epic

Great all-around paddle for people who need more power.

Specifications:

  • Core: PowerCore (polymer)
  • Face: graphite
  • Average weight: ~7.5 oz
  • Paddle length: 15 3/4″
  • Paddle width: 8″
  • Grip circumference: 4 1/4″
  • Grip type: Gamma Pro-Lite
  • Handle length: 5 1/4″
  • USAPA approved

Important note: this paddle is now discontinued and is difficult to find. If you like this kind of paddle, the closest thing to it would be the paddle below, the Tempest Wave.

Another Selkirk paddle has made the list! Before I get into it, there are two different versions of this paddle. One is the regular one, and the other is the Enrique Ruiz version. The picture you see above is the Enrique Ruiz version that I used for many months. It’s the same as the regular 30p XL Epic but weighs a bit more.

Selkirk is well known for creating proprietary polymer cores for their paddles. They don’t skimp out on materials; they go all the way all the time. The polymer core in this paddle is called “PowerCore,” a plastic technology that gives you more power.

And it really does.

This paddle is awesome because the non-Enrique Ruiz version has an average weight of around 7.5 oz. That’s a middle-of-the-road kind of weight that can suit many people. This allows you to react quickly on the court, but still have loads of power because of that “PowerCore” tech inside. Smashes and drives with this paddle are outstanding. This paddle is especially great for women who are tall, strong but need the power.

#5 Paddletek Tempest Wave

One of the best paddles ever made (in my opinion) and is great for anyone on any level.

Specifications:

  • Core: polymer
  • Face: graphite
  • Average weight: 7.6 oz
  • Paddle length: 15 ⅞”
  • Paddle width: 8”
  • Grip circumference: 4 ¼”
  • Grip type: Gamma perforated ribbed
  • Handle length: 5 ¼”
  • USAPA approved

This is the paddle that I’m using at the moment. The reason why I have it further down the list is that this paddle has already made its impact in the pickleball world. But even though it’s an older paddle, it’s still an incredible work of art. It’s close to legendary status.

The reason why this paddle is so great is that it can do everything with one of the best sweet spots in the industry. When you first try the Tempest Wave, you will be amazed. The polymer core and graphite face give you the control and power, while also remaining confident because of how forgiving the sweet spot is.

This paddle will continue to make its impact throughout 2018, and I still recommend it even though it’s starting to get “old.” It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced player, the Tempest Wave will work wonders for you. Click here to read a more in-depth review of the paddle that I wrote.

On Amazon, you can find blue, red, or pink versions of the paddle. It also comes in a special “US Open” version that costs a bit more. But keep in mind that there is no physical difference between the two versions.

#4 Paddletek Phoenix LTE

My #1 beginner paddle pick. This is also a great lightweight and affordable paddle.

Specifications:

  • Core: polymer
  • Face: composite
  • Average weight: ~7.1 oz
  • Paddle length: 15 ¾”
  • Paddle width: 7 ¾”
  • Grip circumference: 4 ¼”
  • Grip type: Gamma perforated ribbed
  • Handle length: 4 ½”
  • USAPA approved

This is one of my favorite paddles even though it’s far too light for me. The Paddletek Phoenix LTE is my “go to” paddle for seniors and young kids. The reason is that the paddle is lightweight but well balanced. I reviewed this paddle recently if you want to get into the details.

Whenever someone comes up to me asking for recommendations for lighter paddles, I immediately whip this paddle out of my bag. They come back off the courts with a pleased look on their face. I’m never surprised. The Paddletek Phoenix LTE is one of the best lightweight paddles on the market. And it’s not very expensive!

It’s even great for players who are young and strong if you don’t mind how light it is. As I said above, I used to use this paddle, and I’m a 31-year-old man. It’s just that good. The characteristic of the paddle that attracted me to it was ball control and touch. The dinking game around this paddle is phenomenal. It feels soft, precise and leaves you with a sense of confidence.

I recommend this paddle to seniors or anyone that loves light paddles. Yes, you lose a lot of power due to its feather nature, but what you gain regarding control is monumental.

The Phoenix LTE comes in red or blue and can be viewed here.

#3 Selkirk Lightweight AMPED Omni

Amazing for players who need more reach, but don’t mind a short handle.

Specifications:

  • Core: X5 polymer
  • Face: FiberFlex™ – fiberglass
  • Average weight: ~8.1oz
  • Paddle length: 16 1/4″
  • Paddle width: 7 1/4″
  • Grip circumference: 4 1/4″
  • Grip type: Selkirk ComfortGrip
  • Handle length: 4 1/4″
  • USAPA approved

This paddle is a part of the AMPED line that Selkirk released back in October 2017. There were four paddles released: the S2, Epic, Omni, and Maxima. The Omni is the longer version of the Epic and S2. The paddle width is 7 ¼” while the Epic and S2 are 8” wide. However, you gain around in terms of length.

The most significant reason why people use long paddles like the Omni is that they want more surface area and reach with their paddle. This allows you to cover more court without sacrificing much regarding the sweet spot. This kind of paddle is great for people who need more room to work with, need more reach, but are OK with using a small handle. If you want to read more about the AMPED Lightweight line, including the Omni, you can read my review of them here.

As players get better at pickleball, they can afford to move to longer paddles because their accuracy is good enough. I think the Omni is going to be one of the tools in their mind when they go shopping.

The AMPED line from Selkirk is unique. The paddles are some of the thickest on the market but are still relatively lightweight. They are expensive, but they’ve got everything you would want in a paddle.

The Omni comes in four amazing colors and can be bought on Amazon. If you choose to buy, make sure you select the right option!

#2 Pro-Lite Chrome N-R-G

Amazing for power players who are accurate and like a “whip” feeling to their strikes. Not for beginners.

Specifications:

  • Core: polymer
  • Face: fiberglass (vinyl coated)
  • Average weight: ~7.8 oz
  • Paddle length: 15 5/8″
  • Paddle width: 7 5/16″
  • Grip circumference: 4 1/4″
  • Grip type: Selkirk ComfortGrip
  • Handle length: 4 1/2″
  • USAPA approved

It’s been awhile since I’ve used a Pro-Lite paddle, but I was happy to try this one for the first time. This is another long paddle similar to the Omni above. But the Chrome N-R-G isn’t just a long-board paddle; it also has a teardrop shape. Let me just speak informally here: this paddle is so cool!

The first thing you will notice about this paddle is the shape. Similar to the Omni, the Chrome N-R-G is a “blade” or “long-board” paddle. This just means that the paddle face is longer, but narrow on the sides. Don’t worry, these paddles are legal for tournament play, but they are hard to use.

When I was trying this paddle out, I had one word in my mind: whip.

I don’t precisely know what it is, but this paddle has so much whip to it. When you swing, it feels extremely top-heavy, but still feels light! This translates to power. Smashes are quick and brutal with the Chrome N-R-G.

If you’re thinking about going from a traditional paddle to a longer one like this, please remember that the transition will take time. You will have to get used to the way the paddle feels in your hand. Not only that, but you’re going to need more accuracy to use this paddle effectively. Also, the sweet spot is more narrow considering the paddle’s length.

If you’re already using long paddles and you want one with more power, this could be the best thing for you.

Check out prices here on Amazon.

#1 Selkirk AMPED/Lightweight AMPED Epic

Awesome paddle for people who want a softer game without sacrificing much power.

selkirk amped epic

Specifications:

  • Core: X5 polymer
  • Face: FiberFlex – fiberglass
  • Average weight: ~8.1oz
  • Paddle length: 15 3/4″
  • Paddle width: 8″
  • Grip circumference: 4 1/4″
  • Grip type: Selkirk ComfortGrip
  • Handle length: 5 1/4″
  • USAPA approved

When Selkirk released their AMPED paddle line back in late October 2017, I immediately bought the paddle without thinking. I posted a review of the paddle which is still receiving an immense response from pickleball players. It’s not hard to see why.

As most of you know, I’m a huge Selkirk fan. Their paddles are works of art, and the AMPED Epic is no different. This paddle will undoubtedly be making waves throughout the pickleball world for years to come. This is one of the best pickleball paddles around and the one that I’m most excited for in 2018.

As I mentioned above, the AMPED paddles are unique in almost every way. Selkirk likes to go proprietary when they can, and they’ve done that in spades with the AMPED Epic. Both the polymer core and fiberglass are manufactured specifically for this paddle.

The “FiberFlex” fiberglass is a perfect example of how Selkirk brings new things to the table. Fiberglass faces are known for giving you spin and power but at the cost of increasing the weight of the paddle. Selkirk has figured out a way to bypass this effect. Also, the AMPED paddles are some of the thickest in the line. This should make the paddle heavier, but it doesn’t. The average weight is 8.1 oz, which isn’t too bad.

The AMPED Epic can do anything. It has spin, power, consistency, touch and dinking covered along with whatever else you can think of. It’s got the best of all worlds.

Selkirk is leading the pack when it comes to paddle innovation, and I have a sense that they’re not stopping anytime soon. If you want the latest and greatest, you can’t go wrong with the AMPED Epic.

You can check out the prices here on Amazon.

That’s it!

So that’s my list of the best pickleball paddles for 2018. Depending on your style, any of these paddles are going to work well for you in 2018 and most likely beyond. Have you tried any of these paddles? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Comments 57

  1. Hi Barrett, I’ve been reading all these posts and learning so much. I’m currently using the gamma Manta and have been playing too much pickleball (is there such a thing?) And I have developed tennis elbow. I am in the midst of looking for a new paddle and am turn between these two paddles, the Paddletek Tempest wave and the light weight Selkirk epik amped. I’m now on a two week healing process and I’m not sure if I’ll be prone more to tennis elbow. Oh yah I’m a 58 year old woman used is active and have played every racquet sports there is. Which paddle would you recommend for me? Thanks.

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      Author

      Hey Sue, I responded to your YouTube comment. Let me know if you need any further help. Thanks!

  2. Hi Barrett, thanks to your review I purchased the Gamma Mirage….wow! I only started playing in February and started with the Head Radical Pro which is a good all around paddle but lacked the power I was looking for on my serves and base line attacks. The Mirage has also got amazing touch and spin…I can go on! It is 8 ounces but feels heavier. I was so impressed by Gamma that I just bought the Voltage 2.0, lighter and has more feel around the NRZ. I start with the Mirage, especially if I am playing power players and if I play for hours on end and I wish to give my arm a rest I use the Voltage 2.0 which has deadly spin around the NRZ. Your review on the Pro-Lite Chrome NRG is very accurate, power paddle but you must be precise, i played a couple games with it and was impressed by the whip, amazing, only missed hit it once or twice as the hitting area is smaller, but a great choice for advanced players. Thanks again great reviews!

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  3. I am turning 70 in next year, weight 145lb 5’7” tall and in great physical condition. Have played some ping pong in high school and later tennis on and off for fun. Found pickleball 3 years ago and got addicted right away. Played almost everyday mostly indoors until 3 months ago. Now I play mostly outdoors and like it a lot. I believe I am currently a strong 3.5 player. I started out with a Z5 (7.5 oz) later changed to 30P XL Epic (Ruiz) 8.1 oz. A few months ago I bought an Engage Poach Advantage 7.8oz thinking that I need a lighter paddle than the 30P XL. I have also tried out quite a few paddles in the last 2 years but found myself keep coming back to the 30P XL. I guess I like the power of the 30P XL especially in serve and return of serve but want something with more touch with my soft game. The other paddle I seem to like when I tried it out in the past is the Paddletek bantam ex-l. I like the touch but somehow want some more power. Recently I have tried the Selkirk S2 (8.25 oz) and Ivanki (7.8oz) on a couple of games and seems to like them both. I was surprised to find that although the S2 weight 8.25oz, it feels lighter than my 8.1 oz 30P XL. I think deep down I want to improve more on my soft game so a paddle with touch is probably more important than one with more power. Honestly, the more research I do, the more confused I get sometimes.
    Sorry for the lengthy post but think it will help you to give me suggestion as what to buy next.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hey Wing Ping, don’t worry about the lengthy comment, it’s no big deal!

      When it comes to picking a paddle, there is definitely such thing as overthinking it. Sometimes we can get too wrapped up in our paddle choice that we end up paralyzing ourselves. Here’s some general advice that I can give you.

      If you like your 30P XL, then I would stick with that. If you want to try something similar to that, try the Paddletek Tempest Wave, the regular version, not the pro versions. If you want to try the Tempest Wave but with a bit more control, try the Pro version of it. Another paddle I would look at is the Prince Response Pro. I have reviews of the Response and Spectrum on this site and on my YouTube channel. Try those out then let me know what you think. But remember, don’t overthink it!

    2. Try other Selkirk Paddles eg Epic Prime or Epic Amped may be closest to Ruiz which I also use .

  4. Hi, I’m 5’5, 115lbs middle age petite Asian lady who has extensive experience in table tennis/ping pong, who was also trained for badminton, volleyball and tennis and other sports like gymnastics and long distance running. I started pickleball today, and see my future competitors are taller heavier guys and gals. What will be a good choice paddle on budget? Thanks

    1. Post
      Author

      Hey Jacquie, welcome to pickleball! The one paddle that I’d recommend for you would be the Paddletek Phoenix LTE. It’s affordable, lightweight and will last a long time as long as you take care of it. It’s the only one I’d recommend for you. Good luck out there!

  5. My husband and I just took up Pickleball and I have been researching about paddles, both online and in the past few weeks of playing at the local courts. We are in our young 60s and used to be good tennis players, so we are still getting used to the frustrating whiffle ball, short paddles, and narrow courts. But every day it gets more fun and I’m already addicted. I was told I need paddles around a 7 oz (and my husband an 8 oz), and I’d like a large sweet spot. I’ve heard great things about the Amped Selkirks (but which one? S2 lightweight for me?) as well as ProLite Magnum and Helo Paddletek. But we’d also love to spend less on these first paddles. Please help- thanks!

    1. Post
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      Hey Laurie, I’m glad that you guys are enjoying the sport! It will get easier as you play more. I promise!

      If you want to spend less on your first paddles then I would stay away from the Selkirk AMPED paddles. One paddle that a lot of tennis players start out on is the Paddletek Element. It feels top-heavy similar to a tennis racket and tends to be a great transition paddle. You could also look at the Bantam EX-L. Those should be great for you and your husband. Let me know if that helps.

    2. Pretty late to the party, Laurie; but I would be surprised if you really need a 7oz paddle after being a good tennis player(unless you stopped 40 years ago !). A paddle is so much shorter that it’s going to feel like a feather compared to even the lightest tennis racket. I think limiting your options to 7oz will eliminate quite a few paddles you would enjoy(and many of the ones that would be more budget friendly). You might also find a slightly heavier paddle to be more powerful(with less effort) and more stable. Just a thought.

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  6. Barrett – I enjoyed reading your recommendations. You seem to have a very experienced & knowledgeable “grip” on the game. ????. After 50+ years of tennis (high school, adult leagues), I’ve finally discovered pickleball. I’ve played 3 times. My tennis skills seem to translate pretty well. Of course, I’m still getting used to the way the ball doesn’t bounce like a tennis ball & the shorter paddle vs. racquet. I’m 65, 5’10”, 260 lbs. In tennis, I use a 4 ½” grip on a Babolat Pure Strike 100. I’m more into attacking, not so much long rallies (Big topspin forehand is my best “weapon”.). The reading I’ve done suggests a medium weight paddle. I’ve only used the paddles provided by local venues. Don’t really have access to trying other paddles except from other players. I have had tennis elbow issues in the past. I usually wear an elbow sleeve that seems to help. What paddle(s) would you recommend for an old hippie musician like me?

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      Hey Steve, thank you!

      A lot of previous tennis players love the Paddletek Element. It’s a great midweight paddle that doesn’t break the bank. You could also look into the Paddletek Tempest Wave, one of my favorites. Also, if cost isn’t an issue, the Engage Poach Advantage would be terrific. Let me know if that helps.

  7. Hi Barrett, I apologize for calling you Brett, I don’t know what I was thinking.

    Thank you for responding so quickly. I think we’ll take a look at those two, make a decision so we can get out there.

    Take care!!

    Dennis

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      Author

      No problem, Dennis! I’ve heard many more interesting versions of my name! Please let me know how everything works for you!

    2. Hi Barrett, I was about to purchase the Selkirk S2-X5 when I saw your top recommendation for the Epic X5. DId you try the S2 and if so what did you like better about the Epic?

      Thanks, Russell

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        Author

        The only difference between the AMPED S2 and the AMPED Epic is that the Epic has a slightly longer handle while remaining just as long as the S2. So the S2 has a shorter handle with a longer face, but the Epic has a longer handle with a shorter face. Does that make sense? I would just go with the AMPED Epic.

  8. Hi Brett,

    You have an excellent website with a ton of information, thank you!!

    My wife and I are 62 and transitioning from tennis to Pickleball. My wife is fairly new to tennis with decent volleying skills. She is 5′ 0″ and 120 lbs. I have a decent background having played tennis growing up. I’m 5′ 6″ and 150 lbs. With so many choices, can you suggest some options to look at? I noticed you recommend the Paddletek Phoenix LTE for quite a few people new to Pickleball. Do you think this would be a good choice for both of us or do you have other recommendations. Down the road we would like to compete in tournaments. Any information you could give us would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your help!!

    Dennis & Mary

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      Hey Dennis,

      Thanks for the compliments and you are absolutely welcome!

      The Paddletek Phoenix LTE is one of the best starter paddles out there. It’s inexpensive, lightweight and holds its own. Another slightly more expensive option is the Selkirk Prime Epic. Another very lightweight paddle that will get you a solid start in pickleball. Just start with those for now. I wouldn’t go too expensive.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  9. Hi Barrett,

    I am super new to pickleball. I have only played 2 times so far. I am looking at paddles. I am a faily good table tennis player and used to play regular tennis and raquetball. I played several college sports, so I am athletic and do pick up things pretty quickly.

    I bought a Walmart special (Franklin Dagger Honeybomb which feels like it weights 14oz.) I do like the finesse game, maybe because I have had 2 shoulder surgeries and can’t hit like I used to. I don’t know if it makes sense to go with a paddle that really allows me to spin the ball and play finesse or go a different route.

    I played the second time with the older Encore Pro-X (maybe it’s not OLD, but I am not sure with all the different options out there, I just know that the paddle said that as it was at a Rec Center so I assumed it was older). I really liked the paddle, I could put some good spin on it serving as well as returning serve. I can pretty much get it in the back 1/4 of the court with good spin already. I am just wondering what my options are.

    I am looking at the Selkirk Amped Epic which I keep reading is a great paddle with control, touch, and spin, but the lightweight version doesn’t have as much POP as the heavier versions (I probably am looking for the lightweight version for my shoulder).

    Does it make sense to get the light version for my shoulder? I mean how much power do you really need?

    I am also looking at the New Encore X Pro or Encore Elite Pro as well. What are your thoughts? Anything I am missing?

    Thanks so much.. I am really learning a lot reading through your site. I appreciate all the info. Looking forward to more information.

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      Hey Ryan, I’m glad that the site has been useful! Thank you!

      The thing about pickleball is that you will use less and less spin as you progress. It’s gotten to the point now where I hardly ever use spin at all. In fact, when I see people using spin, I start licking my chops!

      The big things to consider when searching for a new paddle are shape and weight. I would just go with a traditional shape. Anything 8″ wide will be fine.

      You’ll have to educate me on table tennis paddles, but don’t some have hard faces and other soft faces? Since you’re probably already used to the lightweight nature of a paddle, then I would go with something that’s under 7.5oz. That’s going to give you that quickness but also the finesse that you’re used to. Something like the inexpensive Paddletek Phoenix LTE would be good. Also, the Paddletek Tempest Wave wouldn’t be too bad either. If you liked Engage, then you would probably like the Engage Poach Advantage, but it’s quite expensive, a bit top-heavy and is certainly not under 7.5oz. I’ve got a video about it that you can find here.

      When you go out to play, try to find other people that are willing to let you try out their paddles. This is great for learning what you like and don’t like. And of course, if there’s anything else I can do or you, please don’t hesitate to ask!

  10. Barrett — Just found your site today and I am very impressed! I have used the Selkirk Epic Graphite 30PXL and more recently the Gamma Razor. I like both of them. I am primarily using the Razor now because I like it’s softer impact and sensation of compressing the ball (even if it’s not compressing!). I used to play a lot of squash, and now play table tennis and badminton as well. I’m male, 68 years old, and skinny, but I can still hit with good power and don’t get tired. Realistically I’m a 4.0 in pickleball. I lover to tinker with new equipment and would value your opinion on another paddle to try. I’m satisfied with the weight of my paddles but really haven’t tried anything that would be considered heavy or light. The grip size of 4 1/4 is fine. I do create a lot of spin with my natural shot motions, and would like a racquet that enhances that if possible. I’m always in favor of a large sweet spot and would hesitate to go to a paddle with a small one. Cost is not a concern. Thanks for your advice!

    Lynn

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      Hey Lynn, thanks for the compliments!

      I think a great combination of those two paddles would be the Paddletek Tempest Wave. It’s my personal favorite and the one that I recommend for pretty much everyone. If you want to go in the opposite direction of the 30P XL, then you could try the Selkirk AMPED Epic (either midweight or lightweight). It’s one of the most popular paddles right now, and for good reason. The softness feeling is off the charts.

      If you want something a bit more explosive and top-heavy, you can try the Engage Poach Advantage. Great paddle as well. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you. Thanks, Lynn!

      1. Barrett — what an incredibly prompt response! After reading your paddle reviews I had narrowed my choice down to the Paddletek Tempest Wave and AMPED Epic light, so I’m glad you agree. The Engage Poach Advantage looks tempting but I value quick response at the net over power, and so would prefer balanced or head-light over head-heavy. I’m not sure what you mean by “the opposite direction of the 30PXL”.

        Pickleball Hint #51 advises me not to fall in love with spin, but I may already be hopelessly smitten! Would I see a big difference in spin using the EPIC v. the Tempest Wave?

        Thanks again for a truly helpful website! — Lynn

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          My pleasure, Lynn.

          By opposite direction, I mean that the 30P XL is a very aggressive and power-oriented paddle. The AMPED Epic is much softer and finesse oriented. But going from the 30P XL to the AMPED paddles may take some time to get used to because of the thickness of the AMPED’s core. It’s a very different feel.

          I think you’re going to love the Tempest Wave. It’s a work of art. The only problem is finding one. I think they’ve stopped producing them so it can be difficult to find. Pickleball Central might have them though.

          I know what you mean about spin. I used to do it too. But if you can’t put the spinny stuff on the shelf, any AMPED paddle will give you plenty of spin. Let me know if I can do anything else.

          1. Thanks again Barrett. I had not thought of my 30P XL as power oriented but I knew nothing when I bought it. I did note a desirable softer feel with the Gamma Razor with an improvement in control. I don’t know if that makes sense but that’s what I experienced. I think I can create plenty of spin with any paddle, so picking a paddle just to produce more spin may be silly.

            I’m eager to check out your podcasts!

            Lynn

  11. Hi,

    I’m 22 years old and I’ve been playing for the past year and I need to change my paddle.

    I’m looking for something light/medium, because the paddle that I have currently is starting to give me shoulder pain. (Currently using Upstreet Paddle Pickleball graphite BLACK 8.6 oz) I’m looking for something that would give me more control than power… The Amped series by Selkirk is what I would like to get, but it is a bit off my budget. I’m willing to put around 130 $ CAD max, so around 100 USD. What do you got for me ?

    Thanks

    1. Post
      Author

      Hey Frank, if you can find a new or used Paddletek Tempest Wave I would go for that. That’s probably going to be the best for you, but I don’t think they’re making it anymore and so the prices have spiked. But if you can find one for around $110 US then that is your best bet.

      Otherwise, I would look at the Paddletek Bantam TS-5, either the pro or non-pro version. Great paddle. You could also look at the Selkirk Prime Epic or S2 but I think those may be too light for you. Other options: Paddletek Element, or any of the new Onix paddles.

      Hope that helps!

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          Author

          My pleasure.

          Wow, that’s awesome. It’s my personal favorite so definitely let me know how it goes.

          1. I played for the first time with it yesterday and it felt so weird. I’m used to my old, more powery, paddle. It felt like I was playing with a piece of cardboard at first because of the soft feel that you have with the Tempest Wave. BUT, I can see why this paddle is recommended by almost everybody on the internet. The paddle is really well made and it gives you a lot of control with your shot. In comparaison, I had trouble placing the ball in the kitchen with my 50$ paddle, which is no longer a problem with the Tempest Wave. It didn’t make me a better player. In fact, I hit the ball the same way that I was doing before, it just made my ball goes less far and it happens that my shot land in the kitchen. Also, by reducing the power of my shot, I put the ball out way less often

            Thanks again for the recommandation and I’ll update this post once I play more with it !

          2. Post
            Author

            I’m glad that it’s beginning to work out with you. I’m glad that you’re already in the mindset that the paddle won’t make you a better player. Because it’s so true! Going from a “power” paddle to a more modern one will take some time. Definitely update me!

  12. Is this paddle made of graphite. I am a beginner and I’m looking for the best paddle available. I’ve heard graphite is number one. Thank You for your response .

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      Author

      WHich paddle are you referring to?

      I wouldn’t worry too much on whether or not it’s made from a certain material. I would just focus on shape and weight!

  13. I’m pretty new to pickleball and looking to get something better than the wooden paddles I’ve been using. I’ve noticed there are no edgeless paddles on your list. Have you tried any edgeless paddles? It seems like they are more likely to break without the edge but also should give you a better hitting surface. Not that I plan on using the edge of my paddle but when it hits there I would think it would give a better chance of being accurate. Your thoughts?

    Also, what are your thoughts on graphite vs. composite vs. fiberglass surface? Which is better for putting a spin on the ball? Power? Accuracy?

    What’s the main attribute I should be looking for in a paddle?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hey Tom,

      Whether you go edgeless or not shouldn’t make much of a difference. Edgeguards are mainly for durability purposes. They can also help make the paddle a bit heavier if that’s what the manufacturer wants.

      For faces, fiberglass will give you the most spin, but it’s not by a huge margin. All three of them are fine for power, but graphite will feel more “explosive” and you’ll get more “pop”.

      The main attribute you should be looking for is weight. Nothing else comes close. Try other people’s paddles until you find a weight that you like. Then buy a paddle based on that. Hopefully that helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

  14. Bob E.

    Thanks for your expertise, I played racketball for years, was a “B” player and have fast reaction time. Now at 68 I’ve played a few games of pickle ball and it seems to be my last racket game. My last game found me “on” the court having gone quickly for a low back hand running at full tilt and crashed. Didn’t leave too much skin on the court, but I played semi-pro soccer as a goal keeper so I just shook it off. I think I freaked out a number of players.

    Now to the issue of the plate and screws in my elbow of my playing hand. Yup a cycling crash took me out of that sport, but I think a semi-light paddle will fit. I’m 5′ 10″ now and 174 lbs. with large hands.

    Can you recommend a paddle to start with? I’m thinking 7.4 oz or so but beyond that I’m not too sure. I think placement and power is a mixed bag. Seems dinking takes up most of the game but the speed of the paddle would be an advantage along with the elbow issue for the weight choice.

    Any thoughts??

    1. Post
      Author

      Sorry to hear about your accidents Bob. I think I’ve got the right paddle for you. I think the Paddletek Phoenix LTE is going to fit you well. It’s a great paddle, weighs around 7.1 oz, and is relatively inexpensive. It’s also a great starter paddle. Some other options I would recommend would be the Selkirk Latitude or the Onix Stryker 4. But I would try out the Phoenix LTE first. Hope that helps.

    2. What difference will I feel between my Tempest wave and the light epic amped paddle? How does new Prime series compare to epic amped and wave Tempest?

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        Author

        The Tempest Wave is going to feel more tactile or have more of that “pop” feeling whereas the AMPED line is going to feel much softer. If you have a more aggressive game, go for the Tempest Wave. If you have a softer game, go for the Epic or S2 AMPED.

        Not sure about the Prime paddles yet. I’m getting a hold of some next week. I’ll be doing a video and article review, so stay tuned for those!

  15. I’m looking to get into Pickleball. I’m in my mid-thirties, and have always been naturally athletic. Weight shouldn’t be an issue, is there a paddle you’d recommend that would provide leverage for a younger guy?

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      Author
    1. I am a 63 yr old woman who loved racquetball and had to give it up due to losing my vision in my dominant eye because of the hard ball. I started playing pickle ball this week but am struggling as I have a cheap wooden racquet and am having trouble hitting the ball due to depth perception and visual field loss- love to hit hard and have a pretty good back hand- struggling w the fall of the ball compared to racquet ball and tennis- what racquet would you recommend? Thank you! So much, Karen

      1. Post
        Author

        Karen, I’m so sorry to hear about this. That must have been rough.

        I would definitely move away from the wooden paddle. Most of your issues will probably be solved just by doing that.

        It sounds like you need a lightweight paddle. The Paddletek Phoenix LTE is one of the best ones that I recommend for beginners. If you want something a bit heavier, the Paddletek Tempest Wave is a great pick. My final recommendation would be the Selkirk AMPED Lightweight S2. Great paddle, but expensive. Hope that helps.

  16. Thanks! That tells me a lot. I listen to your podcasts, thank you for doing them they are VERY informative and enjoyable. It’s my favorite PB Podcast. I have the Amped Epic and really like it.. but now the lightweight is calling my name because ..I think mine might be a little heavy .. I don’t get a quick wrist with it to put a ball away w/my over head swing. ( prob. why the Razor wouldn’t be a good fit ) Do you think that’s something I should consider?? I borrowed a Gamma Voltage and was surprised how it was easier to maneuver, though the air and it was quick.. I could snap my writs, it was different from my Amped in that way ..but also felt a little hard to control if that makes sense. My “AH HA” radar went off about the weight and the ease of movement w/ Gamma Voltage, but I really like the pop and feel of my Epic… in your opinion do you think the lighter Epic would give me a quicker feel? Everyone seems to love the WAVE, every time I went to order it in the past they were out.. so I got the Epic. The other one I’ve been eyeing is the Prolite Titan Blk. Diamond, but due to the described “Ultra thin low profile” I’m guessing it might be a lot like the Gamma Voltage?? So many factors. I know I prefer a paddle 8 or less oz. I know I like my EPIC & I know I enjoyed the Voltage speed.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thank you for the nice comments! I really appreciate it and I’m glad you’re enjoying it. We’ll be starting up the podcast again soon along with a YouTube channel.

      You’re correct, going with the Gamma Razor would be the opposite direction that you should go. Funny enough, I’m replying to your comments in between writing the review of the new lightweight versions of the AMPED series. Selkirk sent me four of them, and they are amazing. The review should be out Monday.

      Yes, you can’t go wrong with the lightweight version of the Epic. It’s MUCH quicker than the heavier one. and it’s .5 oz lighter. In fact, I may replace my Tempest Wave with it. It sounds like you need quickness. In that case, I would stay in between the 7.3-7.7 oz range. The Epic lightweight is around 7.4-7.5 oz.

      Hope that helps!

      1. THANKS! I look forward to some new shows and reviews. I appreciate your time and thoughts. Much luck and fun going forward for you. ~k

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          Author
  17. If I overlooked you previously addressing this paddle, just tell me where to look for your review. Thx. I am wondering what the Gamma Razor is like. It has something called Sensa Poly Core, I’m not familiar with this term.. can you tell me what attributes this core has? Is it extremely different or similar to other paddle core’s “feel”? Can you rate this against your other picks??

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks for the comment. I may do a review of these paddles in the future, but I’m not sure when. I haven’t played with the Razor, unfortunately, but it’s probably similar to the Mirage. The core material used for this paddle is polymer. It’s just plastic that gives you good control without sacrificing power like aluminum cores do. Check out my paddle core article for more on that. They call the core something special, but honestly, I can’t feel, hear or tell the difference in any way. This paddle is great for people who want a very top-heavy paddle with a composite face. It’s a power paddle if you’ve got the arm strength to wield it. If you don’t want a heavy paddle, then I would just go with the Paddletek Tempest Wave instead.

  18. My amped Omni Light showed up on Saturday and I have had 4 days playing with it. It is the absolute best. Great control, substantial power, lots of spin, super quick. It also reduces the variability of touch with all the different balls that we end up playing with. I think I have found my goto paddle for a long time. It would take some serious tech improvements to have me look further than what I have.

  19. The Selkirk Amped Light paddles will be released on January 23rd. Next Week! This could place Selkirk several steps ahead of everyone else. I am hoping for an Amped Omni Light in the 7.2-7.4 range.

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      Author

      Hey JP, sorry for not responding to your previous comment. Yes, I’ll be getting the paddle as quickly as I can and will be reviewing it! Are you going to get one?

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