Having the right type of paddle is essential to the quality of your pickleball gameplay. Standard paddles are by far the most popular paddles, but they’re not perfect for everyone – if you find that you just can’t seem to make a standard paddle work for you, it might be time to switch to a widebody paddle.
Of course, with literally thousands of different widebody paddles on the market right now, choosing the right one for you can be a challenge, to say the least. So, we’ll take a look at 5 of the best widebody pickleball paddles on the market right now. Read on for more.
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In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
|Amazin' Aces Signature Pickleball Paddle||Buy Now|
|Top||ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle||Buy Now|
|niupipo Pickleball Paddle||Buy Now|
What to Consider Before Purchasing a Pickleball Paddle
When you’re on the hunt for a new pickleball paddle, there are a number of things that you’re going to want to take into consideration. It’s not always clear what the advantages and disadvantages of certain paddles are or what they are truly capable of, which can make looking for the right paddle quite difficult.
That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you find the right paddle. Let’s learn more about the different technologies and features of various pickleball paddles.
Before we move on, let’s establish a few things.
There is a lot of information out there about pickleball paddles and what they have to offer, and this information is often contradictory. It helps to be able to narrow your focus slightly in order to understand what you need to concern yourself with initially.
There are three basic things that you should be thinking about when you pick out your new pickleball paddle:
- Its weight
- How its grip fits in your hands
- Its shape & whether it matches your playing style
When you understand these factors, you’ll be much better at finding paddles that work well for you. The key to enjoyable pickleball is playing with a paddle that you feel totally comfortable with. It should feel natural in your hands and should be the right size for you. Pickleball paddles are not unlike tennis racquets when it comes to their sizing in relation to your hands.
You want your paddle to feel normal while you’re playing. Using a paddle that is too large for your hands will reduce your ability to control the paddle and the ball during your gameplay – after all, pickleball is quite an active game and can get pretty fast-paced at times. If you are not able to play to the best of your ability because you’re using a paddle that you are incompatible with, then you are never going to enjoy the sport.
Now let’s take a look at all of the many things you need to consider when you purchase your new pickleball paddle.
The weight is, by far, the most important factor that you need to consider in your pickleball paddle because it influences the way that the paddle feels in your hands. Generally speaking, pickleball paddles weigh between 6 ounces and 12 ounces, and their weight will affect how the paddle feels when you hold and swing it. It will also influence your ability to control the ball.
There are three distinct pickleball paddle weight classes:
- Light-weight paddles – these weigh less than 7.3 ounces
- Medium-weight paddles – these weigh between 7.3 ounces & 8.4 ounces
- Heavy paddles – these weigh 8.5 ounces & over
Heavier paddles make it much easier to drive the ball, but they don’t provide you with as much ball control as lighter paddles do. For the most part, the weight of the paddle you play with is going to be a matter of preference, but it’s likely that a medium-weight paddle will work best for you, especially if you are a beginner. This is because medium-weight paddles offer good ball control and driving power.
Furthermore, you are going to need to take your physical condition into account when you are picking your paddle weight. Those who have suffered arm injuries in the past often use lighter paddles, as they are easier to handle and place less strain on the injured area.
On the contrary, players who are in great shape will often opt for heavier paddles that allow them to put a lot of power behind their shots. These players are also often more experienced with the sport since you really have to know how to control the ball yourself in order to play with a heavy paddle effectively. Still, heavier paddles will wear you out quicker, and it’s not uncommon for players to feel totally fatigued after playing with a heavy paddle for a few hours.
The Grip Size
The next factor to consider is the size of the grip, which is also one of the most important factors. You want to choose a pickleball paddle that has a proper grip circumference for your hand. If you are playing with a paddle that you have a hard time holding, then your performance on the court is going to be sub-par.
When you use a grip size that is too large for your hands, you’ll find that your hand might slip when you try to make contact with the ball. This can lead to some pretty serious injuries over time.
For beginners, we always recommend going with a smaller grip size first, then moving up from there. The advantage to playing with a smaller grip is that it offers you greater wrist action and freedom of movement, which is super helpful for ball control and adding spin to your shots. Smaller grips also work the best for powerful serves and nimble hand changes.
It goes without saying that you do not want to use a grip that is too small for your hands either. Your choice is grip size will generally come down to a matter of hand size and what you find to feel the most comfortable in your hands. Using a larger grip is not without its advantages – for instance, they can offer improved stability in comparison to smaller grips.
You’ll find that most paddles on the market have a grip with a circumference between 4 inches and 4 ½ inches. The grips will increase in size in ⅛ – inch increments, which is the same measuring system used for tennis racquet grips. You want to find a paddle that feels perfect in your hands.
Measuring the Grip Size
You can determine your perfect grip size by measuring your hands, which is something that many professional players do. Hand measuring is also a more accurate way of determining the right grip for your hand, but it is not absolutely necessary – if you find a grip that feels comfortable in your hands and that works well for you without having to measure your hands, by all means, use it!
You can also use your height to determine an appropriate grip size.
- People under 5’2” – 4-inch grips work the best
- People between 5’3” & 5’8” – 4 ⅛” grips work best
- People 5’9” & taller – 4 ½” grips work the best
This is definitely the simplest way to measure your appropriate grip size, but it’s often quite accurate.
Alternatively, you can use a ruler to measure your hand. To do this, use the ruler to measure the distance between the middle of your palm and the tip of your ring finger – the number that you calculate will be the best grip size for you. To check if this measurement is accurate, grip your paddle with your natural grip. Then, try to fit your index finger on your other hand snugly in the gap between your thumb and other fingers – if you can, then the sizing was accurate.
Control VS Power
The choices that you make picking out a paddle will also determine its overall control and power, and you need to figure out which of these aspects is more important to you. Do you want to be able to have precise control over your shots, or is it more important to be able to drive the ball powerfully?
The answers to these questions will also depend on the kind of player you are. Depending on your unique playstyle, lighter pickleball racquets that have smaller grips would work better for you. They will prove you with increased control, though you might find that your shots are not as powerful.
On the other hand, heavier paddles will provide you with some serious hitting power, but you might not be able to control the ball as much or make quick hand changes.
It’s important to think about the way that you play the game when making a decision, as doing so will allow you to find a paddle that suits your specific playstyle. Just remember that there’s really no right or wrong answer in this situation, and it’s totally normal to do a lot of experimentation with different paddles before you settle on the perfect one for you.
The Danger of ‘Tennis Elbow’
You might have heard of tennis elbow injuries. These injuries can be very painful and debilitating, and you want to avoid them as much as you possibly can. The medical term for tennis elbow is “epicondylitis,” though it earned its colloquial nickname due to the frequency of tennis players contracting this injury.
Tennis elbow is an injury that involves small tears that form in the tendons surrounding the elbow, which leads to inflammation. This is where the pain comes in, and it can get extremely painful.
Epicondylitis injuries, for the most part, are caused by repetitive motions. These injuries are not exclusive to tennis players and are actually fairly common in people who play pickleball, golf, and many other sports. You can even get epicondylitis from too much gardening! Of course, it’s easy to see how playing pickleball can cause this injury, especially if you are not careful about choosing the right paddle.
When you constantly swing a racquet or paddle, you’re at a high risk of getting a tennis elbow. You can reduce this risk dramatically by making sure that you swing with the proper form. When you swing wildly or do not have the proper form, you place unnecessary tension on your elbow that can cause a host of different problems. This is often what causes tennis elbow injuries when playing different sports.
Epicondylitis is also caused by using a paddle that is too heavy for you. When you use a pickleball paddle that is heavier than what you are comfortable with, you strain your elbow, and every shot you take pushes you a step closer to getting a tennis elbow injury. Switching to a more appropriate paddle is the best way to avoid this injury, as well as being mindful about how you swing.
If you do end up getting tennis elbow, just know that the condition is totally treatable and improves over time. It will involve resting your elbow a lot and avoiding the movements that caused the injury in the first place. Icing the injury can be super helpful in alleviating the pain, and your doctor will probably recommend that you take anti-inflammatory medicines to ease the problem. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you think you have tennis elbow.
Paddle Build & Shape
The shape of your pickleball paddle also affects how it will feel to you. There are a bunch of different paddles styles, many of which consist of different materials. The build and shape of your paddle will make it better or worse at certain things.
For instance, some paddle shapes are extremely easy for some people to use while being ridiculously difficult for others to you. In the next section, we’ll take a look at the different materials that are used to make pickleball paddles, how they affect the way that the paddles feel on the court, and other aspects.
You’ll find that every pickleball paddle on the market is made using three different materials: graphite, composite, and wood. Each of these materials comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s examine them now.
Composite pickleball paddles are growing in popularity with each passing year. They are made from a composite core and generally have surfaces made from carbon fiber or fiberglass. Composite cores can be made from many different materials, most commonly aluminum or polymer, or even Nomex, which is a unique, rigid nylon.
There’s lots to talk about with regards to the cores of these paddles. For now, it’s important to note that they have a textured surface that allows you to put more spin on your shots, so if you enjoy hitting spinning shots, then you’ll enjoy playing with composite paddles. They have a great feeling in the hand and are significantly larger than wooden paddles – which we’ll get to in a second.
You’ll also find that composite paddles vary in their price points, so you’ll be able to find one that suits your budget that is still an effective paddle to play for. Composite paddles are excellent for beginners because they are easier to control than heavier wooden paddles while also allowing a level of finesse.
Wooden pickleball paddles are some of the most common on the market and are excellent options for people who are working on tight budgets. They are very easy to produce, which is what leads them to having lower price points. Wooden paddles are even available at Walmart!
If you are a beginner, then starting out with a wooden pickleball paddle can be a good option since they are both affordable and easy to use. They are also easy to get your hands on, but the only real downside is that they are the heaviest paddles on the market.
Depending on your needs, heavier paddles may or may not work for you. Like we’ve mentioned earlier, they are great for people who want lots of drive power, but this power comes at the cost of having control over the ball. If you’re looking to make shots that are extremely precise, then we consider going with other material options.
It’s also worth mentioning the wooden pickleball paddles were the originals, and people have been using them since the sport came into fruition. They have, of course, received some improvements over the years, but they are not as sophisticated and composite or graphite paddles.
The final paddle type is graphite, and these paddles will almost always be the most expensive on the market. Even the most affordable graphite paddles will cost you more than a wooden or composite counterpart, though they have the advantage of being very lightweight and wonderful to control. If you want to be able to make precise shots on the court, then graphite paddles are for you.
The majority of these paddles weigh between 6 ounces and 9 ounces. Like their composite cousins, they are constructed using cores, generally made from polymer, aluminum, or Nomex honeycomb. What sets graphite paddles apart is that they have a graphite face on both sides of the paddle.
You’ll find most professional and competitive pickleball players wielding graphite paddles. The graphite on them is very thin but is still extremely strong, giving players the chance to make excellent shots. If you’re just looking for a paddle that most professionals would recommend, then graphite options are your best bet.
The only real downside to graphite paddles is how expensive they are. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly paddle, then you shouldn’t be considering graphite paddles. You’re better off with a composite model, which is still very good for pickleball.
The construction of your paddle’s core is going to have a big impact on your decision. As we learned in the previous section, there are three different core styles that are found in paddles: Nomex, aluminum, and polymer cores. Let’s take a closer look at each of these styles.
Nomex honeycomb cores are some of the most popular paddle cores out there. It is a technology that is constantly improving and has become one of the best options in recent years. Pickleball paddles made with Nomex cores are extremely durable, which makes them desirable to players who enjoy playing hard and fast.
The construction of these cores involves using a material that kind of looks like a honeycomb, which is then dipped in resin to improve its durability. This was the first core used in the making of composite paddles, interestingly enough.
Nomex cores are the loudest and hardest cores on the market – when your paddle comes into contact with the ball, you’re going to hear a loud popping sound each time. These cores are great at delivering both power and precision, so you’ll be able to play fast pickleball matches while enjoying excellent ball control.
Aluminum pickleball paddle cores are also extremely popular due to their lightweight nature. If you want to make sure that your paddle is as light as possible while being in total control of the ball, be sure to pick up a paddle with an aluminum core.
Sadly, aluminum cores are horrible at providing power to the paddle, so while they are very easy to maneuver and adapt to nimble playstyles, you won’t be able to make high-powered shots. Thankfully, aluminum cores are quite affordable, so they work well if you’re operating on a tight budget.
The third and final core type is polymer, and these cores are different from the others in that they are made from a special plastic blend. Polymer core technology is also the newest of the three and is constantly evolving. One thing to note is that these cores are extremely silent during gameplay.
The reason for this is that they are much softer than the other core styles, so if you need to be quiet in your neighborhood or gated community, polymer cores are the way to go. Of course, this softness is not without its downsides – one of the biggest being that polymer cores lack power.
Top 5 Widebody Pickleball Paddle Reviews
Let’s get into our reviews of 5 of the best widebody pickleball paddles.
1. Niupipo Pickleball Paddle
First on our list is the classic Niupipo pickleball paddle, which is made using a graphite carbon fiber face and honeycomb Nomex core composition. This lightweight pickleball paddle from Niupipo has an excellent level of strength and stiffness that makes it perfect for power hitting and precise control.
It’s an excellent option for beginners not only because of its wide face but also thanks to its ability to provide players with both great control and powerful shots. It’s a little on the heavier side, so if you’re prone to injuries like tennis elbow, we suggest choosing a lighter paddle, but other than that, it’s a great option.
What we like about the Niupipo paddle is that it comes with its own cover that fits the paddle perfectly. This means that you don’t have to go out and buy your own cover, and you also won’t have to worry about the cover fitting the paddle since the cover was made specifically for the paddle.
Who is This Product For?
Like we mentioned earlier, the Niupipo pickleball paddle is a great option for beginners since it offers a wide hitting surface, generous sweet spot, and perfect balance between power and control. Its grip size is great for many different types of hands as well.
It’s also very affordable, so if you’re working on a tight budget, this would be a great option for you.
- Size – One Size
- Color – Blue
- Material – Graphite
- Brand – Niupipo
- Dimensions – 10.63” x 7.87” x 0.59”
- Durable interior
- Great for beginners
- Excellent balance between control & power
- Perforated grip
- Comes with cover
- Only one color option
For a great beginner-friendly paddle, look no further than the Niupipo pickleball paddle.
2. PickleballCentral Pickleball Paddle
Next up is this durable and classic paddle from PickleballCentral, which features a graphite construction that makes it both highly durable and extremely effective on the court. What’s more, it features a sturdy honeycomb composite polymer core that ensures that your hits are smooth and powerful.
We appreciate the fact that this paddle has a larger sweet spot since it makes it friendlier to beginners. What’s more, the ball-control edge allows you to do exactly that – control the ball and with excellent precision.
All in all, if you are on the hunt for an all-around pickleball paddle that suits various playstyles and various degrees of skill, the pickleball paddle from Pickleball Central is a great option that you should definitely consider.
Who is This Product For?
The PickleballCentral pickleball paddle is a great option for anyone that values durability in their paddles. It features an extremely sturdy construction that is able to withstand years of wear and tear without showing signs of damage.
If you enjoy being able to control the ball and manipulate it on the court, then we think that you’ll love this paddle, thanks to its large sweet spot and ball-control edge. It’s super lightweight as well, making it great for beginners or people who are prone to arm muscle injuries.
- Size – One Size
- Color – Yellow
- Material – Graphite
- Brand – PickleballCentral
- Dimensions – 15.8” x 8”
- Wide paddle face
- Ball-control edge
- Large sweet spot
- Ergonomic cushioned grip
If you’re looking for a paddle that makes the game of pickleball as simple as possible, the PickleballCentral paddle should definitely be on your radar.
3. ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle
Next up is this graphite pickleball paddle from ONIX, called the 5. It’s one of the best paddles on the market, as well as the most popular, and for good reason – its graphite construction and widebody form factor make it a champion on the court, delivering powerful blows with its generous sweet spot.
This pickleball paddle is made from a graphite face and Nomex paper honeycomb core that offers both maneuverability and speed, and its design makes it one of the lightest paddles on the market. So, if you’re on the hunt for a paddle that will deliver powerful shots while not feeling like a brick in your hand, this paddle is the one.
The Nomex core makes it very durable and powerful but at the cost of being quite loud when impacting with the ball. Because of this, you’ll want to consider purchasing another paddle if you live in a gated community or a neighborhood where you have to be quiet.
Who is This Product For?
If you want a great balance between durability and power, then we strongly suggest the Z5 graphite paddle from ONIX. It is one of the strongest models on the market and boasts a fantastic lightweight form factor that makes it easy to handle.
It’s also great for players who are transitioning from tennis to pickleball, so if that’s you, then definitely consider the Z5 from ONIX.
- Size – One Size
- Color – Blue
- Material – Graphite
- Brand – ONIX
- Dimensions – 15” x 7”
- Nomex honeycomb core
- Light-weight and durable
- Generous sweet spot
- Great for larger hands
- Works well for players transitioning from tennis to pickleball
If you are transitioning from tennis to pickleball, you should definitely consider the Z5 from ONIX.
4. Amazin’ Aces Graphite Pickleball Set
This next contender is not just a pickleball paddle, but an entire pickleball set, complete with a paddle, pickleballs, and a ball-carrying pouch! For players who are just getting started in the world of pickleball, there’s no better option than the Amazin’ Aces graphite pickleball set.
It features a standard design that puts comfort and affordability at the forefront. The paddle itself is made using a polypropylene honeycomb core that is specially designed to be quiet during your gameplay – something you don’t see very often in honeycomb core designs.
The grip is hand-stitched, as well as contoured, which means that it offers not only a better grip overall but maximum comfort as well. We really appreciate that the set comes with everything you need to get started in the world of pickleball.
Who is This Product For?
If you are an absolute beginner to pickleball, then we strongly suggest this paddle. It comes with everything that you need to go out onto the court and start playing, and the fact that it comes with pickleballs is invaluable.
If you are a more intermediate to advanced player, then we suggest you look elsewhere for a paddle. This one is definitely geared more toward beginners, and you might feel childish playing with it.
- Size – One Size
- Color – Black
- Material – Graphite
- Brand – Amazin’ Aces
- Dimensions – 15” x 7”
- Hand stitched grip
- Grip is contoured
- Comfortable to hold
- Set is complete with balls and a bag
- Comes with a free beginner ebook
- Not super durable
What’s not to love about a complete pickleball paddle set? Amazin’ Aces gives you everything you need and more!
5. Gamma Shard Neucore Pickleball Paddle
Lastly, but certainly not least, is the Gamma Shard Neucore pickleball paddle, which features a Neucore core, as well as a 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 Gamma’s latest in their range of paddles with Neucore cores, and it features a host 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.
What’s more, the Gamma Shard boasts a textured graphite surface that lets you put even more impact behind your spin and roll shots.
Who is This Product For?
If you are looking to be able to hit powerful spinning shots that will be almost impossible for your opponents to defend against, Gamma’s Shard pickleball paddle is a paddle for you. It features 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.
- Size – One Size
- Color – Various colors available
- Material – Graphite
- Brand – Gamma
- Dimensions – 10” x 12”
- High performance level
- Excellent control
- Suits various playstyles
- Textured graphite surface
- Neucore Poly Core construction
- Small sweet spot
How do I hold a pickleball paddle?
Holding a pickleball paddle properly is super simple. Simply reach the palm of your hand out to the middle of the grip, wrap your hands around the grip, then hold it in such a way that your finger and thumb create a V shape that points toward you. This is the standard grip for holding a pickleball paddle.
There are other ways to hold a paddle that appeal to different types of players. For example, the way in which you position your wrist can help you put more power behind your shots if you want to drive the ball.
How long do paddles last?
Paddles do not come with an expiration date. The duration for which you are able to use your pickleball paddle before it becomes damaged beyond repair is going to depend on how well you take care of it. If you are careful and gentle with your paddle, it will last you several years. If you are rough with it, it’s going to break within a year.
Of course, some paddles are more durable than others, such as those with edge guards or those that are made from composite and graphite. No matter what kind of paddle you buy, try your best to take care of it so that it lasts you as long as possible.
What is the difference between graphite & fiberglass paddles?
Many people make the mistake of assuming that graphite and fiberglass paddles are the same, but there are a number of key differences between the two. For starters, fiberglass paddles are heavier than their graphite counterparts, which makes them better for players who want to put more power behind their shots.
Graphite paddles, on the other hand, are excellent for players who want to control the ball as much as possible. They allow you to be very dextrous and technical with your players. Both graphite and fiberglass paddles are powerful and lightweight – one is just a little lighter than the other, while the other offers improved power.
How do I find a quiet paddle?
The quietest paddles are always the softest. Using paddles with polymer cores is your best bet if you want to be quiet, though there are even softer paddles that produce even less noise when impacting the ball. Still, polymer cores are a great starting place when looking for quiet paddles.
What is a sweet spot?
The sweet spot is the area on your pickleball paddle that sends the ball the furthest when coming into contact with the ball. To put it plainly, hitting the ball directly in the center of your paddle will provide you with the best shot possible.
Widebody paddles have larger sweet spots that make pickleball a little easier, which makes them great for beginners. Narrower paddles will have smaller sweet spots, which makes them better suited for intermediate and advanced players.
As we said, having the correct paddle is vital to your gameplay in pickleball. Although standard paddles are the most commonly chosen, a widebody paddle has plenty of upsides, as we covered above. All that’s left now is for you to choose the one that suits you best and get playing!