Top 5 Best Gamma Pickleball Paddles in 2022

When you’re just getting started out in the world of pickleball, it’s easy to become engulfed by your options in paddles. With literally thousands on the market right now, you wouldn’t be blamed for feeling overwhelmed with choices. 

If you’re looking for a great place to start, look no further than Gamma – they’re a premier manufacturer of pickleball paddles and are a household name in the industry. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll not only showcase five of Gamma’s best paddles, but we’ll also give you all the information you need when starting out in pickleball. Read on for more. 

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…

Choosing a Pickleball Paddle – How Do You Do It?

Pickleball paddles come in many shapes and sizes and are made from different materials. The type of paddle that works best for you might not work that well for somebody else, as with many other things. Let’s take a look at a few of the most important things you should be taking into consideration before you go out and purchase a pickleball paddle. 

Weight

Weight is one of the most important factors to consider – if not the most important – when you are purchasing a pickleball paddle. The weight of your paddle is going to influence your ability to play pickleball, as well as your hand and arm dexterity when you are on the court. 

Paddle weights are separated into three categories: 

  • Lightweight paddles – lighter than 7.2 ounces
  • Mediumweight paddles – between 7.3 ounces & 8.4 ounces
  • Heavyweight paddles – heavier than 8.5 ounces

Lightweight paddles

For new players, we recommend picking a lighter paddle that is easier to swing since they generally provide more wrist action and short accuracy. If you are using a paddle that is too heavy for you, especially when you’re just starting out, you’re going to become tired very quickly. 

Known for their control, lightweight pickleball paddles are excellent for touch players who prefer drop shots to slams and hard shots. What’s more, you’ll find that your response time is much quicker when you use a lighter paddle when you’re at the net. Unfortunately, there is the drawback of the fact that lighter paddles don’t provide as much power.

If you have previously played racquetball or ping pong and are making the change to pickleball, lightweight paddles are some of the best on the market since both pickleball and other light-ball sports involve lots of wrist action. Light paddles are also a favorite choice amongst doubles players. 

However, it’s worth noting that you should not go too lightly with your paddle, as doing so can cause several problems. If you are using a paddle that is too light for your strength level, you’ll find yourself missing shots because you swing faster than you mean to. 

Furthermore, lighter paddles can make your shots less powerful than what they could be. The weight of your paddle is directly linked to the power you are able to produce, and if you find that you just can’t put a lot of power behind your shots, it might be because your paddle is too light. 

Mediumweight paddles

Medium pickleball paddles are great options for people who are not sure which weight is right for them and are also suitable for players of all skill levels. They offer a good combination of control and power, and for players who are looking for a game with both finesse and power should definitely consider choosing medium-weight paddles. 

While they don’t necessarily offer the same level of power or control as heavier and lighter paddles, medium-weight paddles are still suitable for all play situations. 

Heavyweight pickleball paddles

If you are someone who prefers to make powerful shots rather than have total control of the ball, heavier paddles are for you, thanks to their ability to generate more pop on the ball during your shots. Heavier paddles allow you to swing faster, but you do have to put in more effort if you want to make top-speed shots. 

What’s more, this additional power does come at the cost of being able to control the ball fully. You’ll often find that singles players prefer heavier paddles, the same way singles tennis players prefer using heavier rackets. Dink and drop shots are not as common in singles pickleball as they are in doubles matches. 

As with lightweight pickleball paddles, you don’t want to use a paddle that is too heavy for you, as doing so can cause a number of problems. If you are using a paddle that is too heavy, you won’t really be able to control the ball at all, and you’ll often find it going in the wrong direction. 

What’s more, heavier paddles can actually injure those who are not strong enough to handle them. For instance, you might find that your wrists or arms ache after spending a day playing pickleball. If this happens to you, you should definitely consider getting your hands on a lighter pickleball paddle. 

Tennis Elbow – The Pickleball Player’s Curse

Choosing a pickleball paddle that is both comfortable and the right weight for you is not just about getting maximum power and control out of your shots but also preventing problems like tennis elbow. 

When you hit the ball with a lighter paddle, you can experience increased stress and vibrations on your elbow. Because of this, lightweight paddles might not be the best option for you if you are someone who is susceptible to tennis elbow. 

And, as we mentioned earlier, one of the downsides to using heavier paddles is that they can tire your arm out quicker and can even worsen the injuries of players with tennis elbow. Generally speaking, medium-weight paddles are a great place to start if you have tennis elbow. 

Of course, you should take other factors into consideration, such as shape and material (which we will discuss in a moment) – these factors can influence how comfortable you feel when using your pickleball paddle. 

Grip Size

Another very important aspect to consider when you are on the hunt for a paddle is its grip size. You’ll find that most grip sizes for paddles are between 4 and 4 ½ inches in circumference. Using a paddle with a grip that is not suited to your hand can lead to injuries, so you’re going to want to find a grip that works best for you. 

Here are a couple of ways that you can measure the size of a pickleball paddle’s grip to see whether or not it’s the right size for you. 

Hand measure test

For this first method of measuring, you don’t actually need a paddle but rather a tape measure or ruler. 

A good paddle grip size can be found between the fingertip on the ring finger of your paddle hand and the middle crease (which is usually the largest) on that same hand. So, the measurement you get from that space is the ideal grip size for your pickleball paddle. 

Index finger measure test

This method is more commonly used to determine the size of a tennis racket’s grip, but it also applies to the grip size of your pickleball paddle. For this method, you are going to need a pickleball paddle with a grip size that has not been modified in any way. 

To check the fit of your paddle’s grip, hold it with your normal grip. See if you can slide the index finger of your empty hand over the grip through the space between your fingertips of the hand holding the paddle and the palm of the hand holding the paddle. 

Your finger should fit snugly in this space without you needing to move any part of your hand holding the paddle. If you need to move your fingers away from the palm of your hand to get your index finger into that space, your grip may be too small. 

Conversely, if there is a lot of space between your index finger and the two points on your gripping hand, your grip may be too large. 

When in doubt, smaller is better

If you can’t settle on one size for your grip, consider choosing a pickleball paddle that has a smaller grip. If you need to increase its size later down the line, you can always use overgrips or even masking tape to make the handle thicker, but it’s never possible to decrease the size of a grip. 

What’s more, choosing a smaller grip size will let you have more wrist action on your shots, which can improve both your spin and ball control.

Paddle Material

Like we mentioned earlier, pickleball paddles are made from a variety of different materials, and these materials can influence how the paddle performs during your games. Some of the most common paddle materials include:

  • Graphite – An expensive and lightweight material that delivers excellent performance
  • Wood – The heaviest & cheapest of the materials
  • Composite – A bridge between graphite & wood. Comes in various weights for different prices. 

Let’s take a closer look at these materials. 

Graphite

Graphite pickleball paddles are generally the most expensive ones out there. Even the most affordable ones are more expensive than paddles made from wood or composite materials, and you’ll often have to fork out more than $100 for these paddles. 

Graphite paddles are not only lightweight but are notoriously easy to control. So, if your goal is to be able to control the ball and make precise shots, then these paddles are great for you. 

When you are picking out a pickleball paddle, remember that competitive players are generally picking graphite options. While they are quite thin, they are some of the strongest paddles out there, so you might want to consider purchasing a graphite paddle if you are looking for something durable. 

Graphite paddles usually weigh between 6 ounces and 9 ounces. They are made using cores made from polymer, aluminum, or Nomex honeycomb. One of the things that makes graphite paddles so special is that both of the paddle’s faces are made from graphite. 

Wood

Wooden pickleball paddles are the cheapest on the market and, while very durable, are the heaviest and most basic of all the paddle types. Because of how easy they are to produce, they are cheaper. 

You’ll often find beginners using wooden paddles, as well as people who are simply working on a budget. You can even find them at Walmart! If you’re planning on playing pickleball frequently, we suggest that you skip the wooden paddle altogether and rather pick up a graphite or composite version – they’re not as expensive as they once were and are not very difficult to find. 

Composite

Finally, pickleball paddles that are made from composite materials have become more and more popular over the years. Composite paddles are generally made up of carbon fiber or fiberglass surfaces and composite cores. Core materials can include aluminum or polymer, or Nomex, which is a rigid nylon. 

One of the biggest advantages to using composite paddles is that their textured surfaces can help players put more spin onto their shots. What’s more, these paddles are much lighter than their wooden counterparts, which makes them significantly easier to handle. 

Composite paddles vary in price, so be ready to fork out a pretty penny if you’re looking for good quality. Still, many of the best models on the market are quite affordable and readily available. 

The Core

Even the core of a paddle has an effect on its performance. You’ll find that pickleball paddle cores are made from three main materials:

  • Nomex
  • Aluminum
  • Polymer

Each of these core types offer different advantages and disadvantages while also influencing your gameplay when you’re on the court. Let’s take a more detailed look at how these materials perform. 

Nomex

Nomex honeycomb cores are popular in the world of pickleball and are used to make some of the spot’s most durable paddles. These paddles are made from a cardboard-like material, which is then dipped in special resin and arranged into a honeycomb pattern to boost the paddle’s durability. 

Nomex was actually the first-ever material to be used for composite paddles. Both professional and amateur pickleball players prefer the feel of a Nomex core to other cores. What’s more, Nomex cores are excellent for providing precision and power to your gameplay. 

Pickleball paddles with Nomex cores are the hardest and loudest out there. Each time you make contact with the ball, you’re going to hear a loud pop, so if you’re looking for a quieter experience, we suggest checking on the other core materials. 

Aluminum

Aluminum is the most common pickleball paddle core material. It makes the paddle more durable while not weighing it down too much, and if you value control and maneuverability, then we suggest you pick up a paddle with an aluminum core. 

However, paddles with aluminum cores tend to lack in the power department, so if you’re looking for a paddle to provide you with significant power behind your shots, consider a heavier core material.

Polymer

Polymer cores are made using a special blend of plastics and have become increasingly popular over the last few years. They are the newest of the three core styles, and the soft nature of these materials allows paddles with polymer cores to be quite quiet. 

If you hate hearing a loud sound each time you hit the ball, this is the perfect core type for you. The muted sound of a polymer paddle also makes it a great choice for anyone living in a gated community where there are noise restrictions in place. 

Polymer cores are, however, not without their disadvantages, with the greatest of these disadvantages being that they do not provide much power behind your hits, especially in comparison to Nomex cores. Due to its soft nature, the polymer absorbs some of the power behind your shots, so if you’re trying to control your power as much as possible, you might appreciate a polymer core paddle.

Paddle Shape

Pickleball paddles are available in a range of different shapes and sizes. The three common paddle shapes are:

  • Standard
  • Elongated
  • Long-handled paddles

The shape of the paddle has quite a significant influence on your performance, so you’re going to want to choose a shape that suits your playstyle. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the effects the different shapes have on your gameplay in just a second. 

If you can’t figure out which shape works best for you, it won’t hurt to pick up a standard paddle. They’re the tried and true paddles that work for anyone and everyone and don’t take much time to get used to. 

Standard

The measurements for a standard pickleball paddle are 16-inches by 8-inches, which fits into the official USAPA regulations. These paddles are also sometimes called wide-body paddles, and this shape allows the user to achieve an excellent balance between power, reach, and control.

They work well for beginners, thanks to the fact that they provide more area for ball contact. 

Elongated

Elongated pickleball paddles are usually between 16-inches and 17-inches long, with a thin body shape that is narrower than your standard paddle. This shape offers more power, reach, and spin while reducing your control of the ball. Elongated paddles are the preferred paddles for singles players. 

Long-handle paddles

Some pickleball paddles feature longer handles, making them great for players who prefer to make two-handed backhand shots. These paddles are larger in size but have smaller faces and, of course, longer handles. 

Edge Guard VS Edgeless Paddles

The edge guard of a pickleball paddle is the piece of material that wraps around its surface. Most players use paddles that have edge guards, though these guards are not without their benefits and drawbacks. 

The main advantage to having an edge guard is that it helps you protect your paddle, though one of its drawbacks is that it can interfere with your game. Because of the lip it creates around the surface of the paddle, if a ball were to hit this guard, you could make a miss-hit shot.

There are paddles that are edgeless, and while these do offer a large playing surface with no edge guard, continuous use of the paddle can result in dents and chips. 

Injuries and Arthritis – Effects On Pickleball

If you suffer from tennis elbow, arthritis, or any other injury on your arm, we strongly suggest that you use a middleweight paddle that weighs between 7 and 8 ounces. These paddles will be more than heavy enough to provide you with shock absorption and stability but will still be light enough that they do not tax your arm. 

Weight is generally considered the most important factor that comes into play when choosing a paddle. It determines how the paddle is going to feel in your hand and when you swing it in the court, so you don’t want to go too heavy. If you swing a heavy paddle while you have an arm injury, you could inflame that injury.

Like we mentioned earlier, you also should not be going too light on your paddles. Lightweight paddles require you to put more energy behind your shots so that you can get momentum on the ball, and there is also not as much mass to absorb the shock of the ball impacting with the paddle. Players that use lighter paddles are forced to swing harder, which puts more pressure on their joints and muscles. 

One of the greatest advantages to using a lightweight paddle when you have an arm injury is that, in situations where you have to move the paddle quickly for a defensive move, lighter paddles allow you to be more dexterous. This means you can move faster to get into that defensive position, allowing you to save more shots than you miss. 

Top 5 Best Gamma Pickleball Paddle Reviews

Now let’s move on to what you came here for – the best Gamma pickleball paddles. Read on for the full reviews. 

1. Gamma Compass Neucore Pickleball Paddle

The COMPASS Neucore Pickleball paddle from Gamma features the brand’s new Neucore Poly Core construction, which provides intermediate and advanced players increased responsiveness and predictability regardless of your shot. The Compass has an excellent balance between its face and handle, which makes it great for players who enjoy having food control over the ball.

What’s more, the enhanced feel of the paddle also comes with an enlarged sweet spot. The Compass has a graphite face that includes the Poly Core construction we mentioned earlier, giving you a balanced experience. This paddle provides the ultimate touch and control factors, while also offering a wonderfully soft feel around the net. 

Gamma has also enhanced the cell core by 25% while also increasing the cell size of the paddle overall. This results in more responsiveness and predictability, further improving the feel when striking the ball.

Who is This Product For?

IF you’re someone who values being able to control the ball as much as possible while also creating predictable shots, then the Gamma Compass is certainly the paddle for you. Its new and improved core makes it one of the most controlling paddles on the market. 

It’s also one of the most stylish paddles on the market, so if you want your paddle to stand out from the rest, we think you’ll love the Compass.

Specifications

  • Size – One Size
  • Color – Standard, yellow, black, pink, blue, red
  • Material – Graphite
  • Brand – Gamma
  • Dimensions – 15” x 7”

Pros

  • Improved core
  • Great design
  • Offers excellent control
  • Predictable hit patterns
  • Great responsiveness

Cons

  • Expensive

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a modern pickleball paddle that offers excellent responsiveness, control, and predictability, the Gamma Compass is the one for you.

2. GAMMA Voltage 2.0 Pickleball Paddle

Next up is the Voltage 2.0 from Gamma, which is another of the brand’s best sellers. The Voltage is built for intermediate to elite level players who are looking for a paddle that is responsive and fast, and that is able to crash the ball back over the net. 

Unlike the other paddles we have mentioned so far, the Voltage 2.0 is made using the Aramid Core 2.0 Core Construction technology from Gamma. This core is designed to offer plenty of power to the user while still keeping the paddle feeling super responsive and lightweight in the hands. 

You’ll find a textured graphite paddle face on the Voltage 2.0 that is durable while still providing excellent feedback and touch. What’s more, the Voltage comes with a reinforced edge guard that eliminates paddle-dead spots. 

Who is This Product For?

With a comfortable weight, the Gamma Voltage 2.0 is a great paddle for players who enjoy fast, responsive paddles on the court. It’s excellent for players at intermediate and elite levels, but beginners might want to consider a more amateur-friendly paddle if they’re just starting out.

If you’re a player that enjoys crashing balls back over the net, or if you like playing hard and fast, then we strongly suggest you keep the Gamma Voltage 2.0 on your radar. It’s an excellent paddle that is great for expert-level gameplay. 

Specifications

  • Size – One Size
  • Color – Orange, red, yellow, blue, green
  • Material – Fiberglass
  • Brand – Gamma
  • Dimensions – 10” x 12”

Pros:

  • Highly responsive
  • Great for hard & fast gameplay
  • Aramid Core 2.0 construction
  • Lightweight feel
  • Reinforced edge guard eliminates paddle-dead spots

Cons

  • May not be legal in some tournaments

Final Thoughts

For advanced players who want a paddle that will handle their hardest, most dextrous plays, the Voltage 2.0 from Gamma is a fantastic paddle option.

3. Gamma RZR Graphite Pickleball Paddle

The Gamma RZR pickleball paddle is up next and is the ultimate medium-weight paddle for anyone that wants the best of both worlds when playing. Featuring Sensa Poly Core technology, a graphite face, and a more traditional dimension, this is an excellent all-around paddle for players of all skill levels. 

The textured graphite face helps give the RZR a little more control when you’re hitting the ball, which allows you to be more precise with your shots. It is a comfortable paddle that can provide power, control, and spin. 

It’s not too light but not too heavy and is overall a very comfortable paddle to hold. Like the previous paddle on this list, the RZR features a honeycomb grip to absorb moisture from your hands and make sure that you always have a firm grip on the paddle. 

Who is This Product For?

The Gamma RZR is the perfect paddle for anyone who is looking for a medium-weight option that will provide them with the mix of the best and most important attributes in pickleball. It suits players of all skill levels and is also affordably priced. 

If you’re someone who values being stylish on the court just as much as they value a great-performing paddle, then we think you’ll love the Gamma RZR. It comes in a wide range of colors and styles for you to choose from, allowing you to pick the color that best suits your personal taste. 

Specifications

  • Size – One Size
  • Color – Various colors & styles available
  • Material – Composite
  • Brand – Gamma
  • Dimensions – 10” x 12”

Pros

  • Great all-rounder
  • Optimal weight
  • Suitable for all skill levels
  • Stylish
  • Many colors available

Cons

  • Narrow sweet spot is unforgiving

Final Thoughts

For the best all-around pickleball experience, the Gamma RZR is a great option.

4. Gamma Needle Graphite Pickleball Paddle

Next up is the Needle graphite pickleball paddle from Gamma, which is one of the brand’s best-sellers. It is an elongated paddle that has a fantastic sweet spot and wonderful weight distribution.

Like the Compass we mentioned previously, the Needle has a fantastic reach around the net, as well as an additional purchase when it comes to big hits at the back of the court. The face of the Needle is made from a textured graphite core, which ensures that you always have a pop off of the paddle face. 

What’s more, this allows the bore to hold onto the face of the paddle for longer, giving you increased control and the opportunity to spin from tighter angles around the net. The core of the Needle is made using Gamma’s Sensa Poly Core technology, which is renowned for offering even greater weight distribution and control when the paddle makes contact with the ball.

Who is This Product For?

The Gamma Needle is a paddle built for control, so it’s best used in the hands of players who prefer playing intricate shots either from the back of the court or at the net. The honeycomb grip on this paddle tacks moisture away from your palm, offering you even more control.

We suggest that intermediate and advanced players use the Needle while beginners search elsewhere for a paddle!

Specifications

  • Size – Elongated
  • Color – Various colors & styles available
  • Material – Graphite
  • Brand – Gamma
  • Dimensions – 16” x 7”

Pros

  • Great control
  • Excellent reach
  • Allows for ig hits at the back of the court
  • Grip tacks away moisture from hands
  • Even weight distribution

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginners

Final Thoughts

For players with lots of experience in the world of pickleball, the Gamma Needle can be a fantastic option for boosting your control and dexterity with the ball.

5. Gamma Shard Neucore Pickleball Paddle

Finally, we have the Gamma Shard Neucore pickleball paddle, which is essentially a more compact version of Gamma’s Compass. It features the same Neucore core, as well as the textured graphite paddle face, making the Shard an excellent option for anyone who is looking for more power behind their roll and spin shots, particularly from the back of the court. 

The Shard is the latest in Neucore paddles from Gamma, and like the Compass, it comes with plenty of Gamma’s latest technologies packed in. This includes the thicker Neucore Poly Core construction that boasts increased cell size and thickness to provide more responsiveness, control, and predictability when you’re on the court. 

In the same vein, the Shard features a textured graphite surface that allows you to add even more power behind your spin and roll shots. 

Who is This Product For?

If you want to be able to hit powerful spinning shots that will be impossible for your opponent to defend against, then the Shard pickleball paddle from Gamma is the one for you. It boasts a lot of Gamma’s most powerful technologies that give players an edge on the court. 

It is definitely more suited toward intermediate and advanced players, but it’s certainly not out of the reach of beginners, especially considering its affordable price point. It’s a great paddle all around and can work with a variety of different playstyles. 

Specifications

  • Size – One Size
  • Color – Various colors available
  • Material – Graphite
  • Brand – Gamma
  • Dimensions – 10” x 12”

Pros

  • High performance level
  • Excellent control
  • Suits various playstyles
  • Textured graphite surface
  • Neucore Poly Core construction

Cons

  • Small sweet spot

FAQ

What’s the best pickleball paddle for beginners?

As a general rule of thumb, the best pickleball paddle for a beginner will be one that they find comfortable to hold and that has a relatively large surface area. What’s more, the way that you play pickleball can influence the kind of paddle that works best for you. 

For beginners, start with a paddle that is easy to use, as this will make the game more enjoyable. In turn, you’ll be able to develop your skills faster. Remember – keeping the ball in play is the best way to get comfortable with the sport of pickleball.

How do I pick a paddle?

Picking the right paddle is no simple task. As you can see, there are dozens of different factors that you have to take into consideration before you make your final decision. Be sure to pick out a paddle that feels comfortable in your hand and that allows you to make smooth swings. 

We also suggest that you try to stick to paddles that are within your price range and determine which one you like best from there.

 How long does a paddle last?

The lifespan of your paddle will largely depend on how much use you are getting out of it. If you are using your paddle every day in tournaments or during your training sessions, it’s probably not going to last as long as a paddle that only gets used once a week. 

Composite or graphite paddles that experience daily use from a professional player usually last about a year before they begin to break down. If you take proper care of your paddle, you can expect it to last several years. 

Wooden paddles last longer than both graphite and composite paddles, but they aren’t without their drawbacks.

What is the best weight for a paddle?

The answer to this question will depend on how well you are able to control your paddle. Beginners should not be using heavy paddles. Instead, we recommend that you choose lightweight to medium-weight paddles. 

What is the best pickleball paddle to purchase?

Like we mentioned before, there are a few factors you need to take into consideration before you purchase your paddle. The best paddle for you may not be the best paddle for someone else – it’s all subjective, and finding the best paddle for you is going to depend on a lot of things. 

The best paddle for you is one that you enjoy using. Of course, the best way to find a paddle that you enjoy using is to use various paddles!

What is the best grip?

The handshake grip is the most common grip for pickleball players and is also known as the V or Continental grip. It is taught in most learning materials and involves using your thumb and index finger to create a V shape on the handle of your paddle. 

It’s generally considered the best grip because it provides you with lots of flexibility while still keeping the paddle stable in your hand.