Best Pickleball Paddles In 2019

If you love trying out new pickleball equipment as much as we do, you’ll have to check out the following list of new pickleball paddles that just hit the market within the last year.

Whether you’re new to pickleball or a seasoned player looking to upgrade – you’ll want to check out the list below of some of the best pickleball paddles for 2019.

2019 is the third year we’ve been publishing this list and we continue to update this page whenever any new paddles are released by the major pickleball paddle brands we track. You can scroll down if you want to see past paddle releases from 2018 and 2017.

Using the newest lightweight and durable materials, for both the internal paddle core and hitting surface, manufacturers continue to push the limits of what new paddles can offer.

Selkirk’s new X5 core, the new Gamma Sensa Poly Core and ProLite’s Black Diamond Series with its carbon fiber face are just a few of the exciting advances we’ve seen.

This research and development by major brands is a great trend for everyone who loves pickleball since we now have more quality paddles to choose from in 2018 than ever before but the one problem is that with so many choices – it gets really confusing. That’s the main reasons we started this list, and continue to update it frequently, to give players a short(er) list of paddles to consider.

Here are some top picks:

As more and more people find out what pickleball is, it continues to be the fastest growing sport in the US (and now other parts of the world), pickleball brands continue to add models to their existing paddle lines.

The growing demand has also attracted other athletic gear brands and several racket sports brands are also crossing over to the sport. This trend has added even more paddles to the market.

In 2018, we’ve seen Wilson and Head add new paddles to their existing product lines and more recently Prince and Prokennex introduced pickleball paddles to their brand offerings.

Gearbox Sports, primarily a racquetball and paddleball brand and known for quality protective sports eyewear now also specialized in a sub-niche of paddles called “Edgeless” named for the lack of an edge guard in favor of more hitting surface on the paddle face.

The problem now is that the task of picking out the best paddle has gotten very confusing – there are almost too many to pick from.

A big part of the decision is personal preference but there are many other factors to consider (weight, grip size, playing style, budget, skill level, etc).

If you’re new to pickleball or haven’t bought a paddle in a while, check out our detailed pickleball paddle buyers guidebefore purchasing your next paddle.

Pickleball equipment has come a long way since the days of just heavy wooden paddles.

2017 and 2018 gave birth to some of the best paddles yet and we are looking forward to what 2019 (and beyond) will bring.

The 2017 Minto US Open Pickleball Championships in Naples, FL was an opportunity for many companies to launch new products for the pickleball industry.  With the increased mainstream exposure of the sport, including live national TV coverage on CBS Sports, many pickleball manufacturers used the Open to launch their new 2017 paddles – including several new paddles from Paddletek, Onix, Prolite and Gamma Sports

The 2018 Open which took place in Naples, FL from April 21-28, 2018 was another great opportunity to see the best new paddles that the Pros were playing with. Of course, the tournament is the main attraction but it’s always fun to see what new gear will come out for pickleball players.

January usually gets off to a slow start since there is usually a lull of new products after the holiday season but 2018 started off with a bang with several new paddles and has companies have continued to launch new paddles which we continue to add below. Throughout 2018, we’ve continued to add all the new paddles that have been released from major brands, see details below.


Newest Paddles: 2018 Releases

November 2018

Prolite Cypher paddle
Cypher Paddle. Image Credit: ProLite Pickleball Paddles

ProLite announced the launch of their newest pickleball paddle, the unique looking “Cypher”, the latest addition to their Black Diamond Series (joining the Titan Pro and the Supernova paddles).

The Cypher paddle stands out in the crowd with its original looking shape, although it essentially a twin of the company’s Chrome N-R-G paddle that they released in 2017.

See detailed reviews of both of these paddles here on our ProLite brand overview page.

With this new shape, ProLite has somewhat created a category of their own, an elongated paddle with a teardrop head shape.

Both thy Cypher and its sibling the Chrome measure 16⅝ x 715/16 and both are designed with a sweet spot that, as per ProLite, comes further down the paddle than most long paddles. This design maximizes the optimal hitting area on the head of the paddle, unlike some other long “blade” style paddles that have a very narrow sweet spot focused at the end of the paddle face.

The Chrome paddle is still relatively new on the market, but readers that have purchased it and play with it regularly have reported back that they like the unique shape and confirmed the effectiveness of the paddle’s elongated sweet spot. With the Cypher, this new addition to the ProLite line-up takes the same features as the Chrome, with the added benefit of the carbon fiber paddle face of the Black Diamond Series – which gives it decent “bite” despite its smooth and glossy surface.

March of ’18 was another exciting month in the pickleball world with press releases from two paddle manufacturers: ProLite and Amazin’ Aces. 


signature pickleball paddle
“Signature” Pickleball Paddle. Image Source: Amazin’ Aces 2018

On the same day, Amazin’ Aces announced the introduction of their new “Signature” paddle. 

After testing out the Signature paddle we chose it as our top budget pick on our list of top graphite pickleball paddles.

The paddle weighs an average of 8.1 ounces and is constructed with a polymer core and graphite paddle face.

The paddle is USAPA approved with the seal right on the paddle face and the company offers a one-year warranty.

The “Signature” comes in several configurations, including individual paddles and a neoprene paddle cover as well as sets of two paddles (with 4 balls and a convenient cinch sack). The paddle comes in four different designs: Honeycomb Blue, Tropic Green (with floral pattern), Electric Pink and Slate Gray.

If you aren’t familiar with Amazin’ Aces, you can read up on the company here.


Needle: The Newest Elongated Pickleball Paddle by Gamma Sports

New paddle: Needle by Gamma
Needle Paddle. Image Source: Gamma Sports 2018

Gamma Sports just announced the release of the brand new Needle pickleball paddle, this is the company’s first entry into the elongated or “blade” style paddle category.

The Needle features Gamma’s Sensa Poly Core, the same core used in their other new paddles: the Twister, Mirage, and Razor (renamed RZR).

The Needle weights in at 7.6 ounces, has a 4 ⅛ ” grip size a4.25-inch handle that is wrapped with GAMMA’s premium Honeycomb Cushion Grip.

Soon after the Needle, Gamma introduced another very similar looking elongated paddle, the Gamma Pin.

Considering an ELONGATED paddle? Click here to see our full overview of the top elongated pickleball paddles on the market.


Prokennex: “Kinetic Energy” For Tennis Elbow

Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle (Raspberry)
Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro

Prokennex has been manufacturing racquet sports equipment since it was founded in 1978 in Taiwan. Primarily known for tennis rackets as well as squash, badminton and racquetball gloves and other equipment. In 2018, Prokennex presented their first pickleball paddle and have been active on social media marketing their new product, the Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle

The major breakthrough, according to the company, is the claim this is the first paddle specifically designed to minimize vibrations. If the paddle does what it’s designed to do, it would be a major breakthrough for people suffering from tennis elbow (or “pickleball elbow”) as some players call it.

The patented “Kinetic Energy technology” used in the Pro Speed has been tested by the Sports Dynamics and Technology Laboratory at M.I.T. by Rudrapatna V. Ramnath, Ph.D. Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  This same technology has been used on their tennis rackets, see explanation here on their website.

I have not had a chance to test ou the Kinetic Pro yet for myself but first impressions have been positive from people I’ve spoken to and some testimonials claim that the paddle is already helping them with their elbow pain, time will tell if this paddle really is part of the solution to tennis elbow (for me its so far the solution has been using a good elbow brace and exercises with Theraband Flexbar) but I’m interested in trying out this paddle to see if it helps.

Prince Pickleball Paddles: A Completely New Paddle Shape

Prince Spectrum Pro Pickleball Paddle | Red | 4 3/8" Large Grip | Light WeightPrince took to the pickleball court in 2018 with the launch of two paddles: the Prince Spectrum Pro & Prince Response Pro

The brand name will be familiar to any tennis player crossing over to the sport. One of the great things about having manufacturers from other racket sports entering the arena is their totally different take on paddle shape and design. As we saw with the ProLite Chome and Cypher (which look a lot like a modern racketball racket), the Prince paddles have a round shape more similar to a Paddleball or Pádel paddle that we have not seen from any other brand.

Being a tennis company at its roots it makes sense, if you look at price rackets, a lot of them have the large oversized oval shape. This is a welcomed change for many players, the paddle has a very large sweet spot and is very forgiving. Prince partnered with Paddletek to fabricate the new paddles, so if you are not familiar with Paddletek you can read more about them here. It’s a well-respected company that makes all of their paddles in the US and are known for quality.

Wilson and Engage: A New Pickleball Paddle Partnership

New Wilson Paddles by Engage
Image Source: Engage Pickleball 2018

On March 07, 2018, Engage Pickleball announced an exclusive partnership with Wilson Sporting Goods. While Wilson already has a couple paddles on the market, under this new agreement Engage will manufacture the new Wilson paddles in the same plants where Engage makes their own paddles.

Engage will also continue to produce its own line of pickleball paddles.

We’re curious to see how this partnership will play out and what new paddles they will be launching under the Wilson/Engage agreement. Stay tuned, we’ll update this page once we hear more.


Pickleball-X : New Paddles

Pickleball-X (Franklin Sports) released two new paddles: The Pickleball-X Charge paddle and the Vibe paddle.

Vibe and Charge Paddles By Franklin Pickleball-X (Image Source: Instagram)

Charge:  The core is what’s getting the most attention on this paddle as its made of polymethacrylimide (PMI) which is a lightweight foam normally used in the airline industry. The face on the Charge is made of fiberglass.

The Charge paddle by Franklin is on the high end of the Pickleball-X product line.  Up until now most of Franklin paddles have been entry-level to mid-range prices but it looks like with the introduction of the Charge paddle they are making an entry into the higher end paddles.

Only time will tell if this innovative use of PMI foam in the Charge makes it worth the cost.

Vibe: this paddle sells at a more affordable price point but also uses a traditional honeycomb Polypropylene core rather than the new PMI foam core that Franklin introduced on the Charge. The Vibe paddle weighs in right around seven and a half ounces and looks like a decent mid-range paddle. The graphics of the fiberglass face are unique and will probably appeal to many.

According to the USAPA list of approved paddles (link will open PDF) as of Nov. 1st, 2018 were showing both the Charge and Vibe as approved for tournament play which is a plus for any players who play competitive pickleball.

Onix: New Paddles

Onix announced the launch of two new paddles in February 2018:

Onix Summit C1
Onix Summit C1 Elongated Paddle

Onix Summit C1: This is a new take on the original elongated Onix Summit, the main difference is the new C1 has a textured composite paddle face (compared to the graphite original Summit). The paddle features a shorter tennis table style handle and the longer playing surface you see on similar “long” or “blade” paddles.

Onix Vertex: This new paddle from Onix comes in what they are calling a “blocker” style shape- it’s more squared off with a short handle. Both the Vertex and the new Summit C1 are finished with a composite face.

Onix Voyager Pro: This is the pro version of the previously released Voyager paddle. With this new voyager model, Onix managed to make the paddle thicker while maintaining the same weight (7.8-8.2 oz.) as the original Voyager.

See our reviews of other Onix Pickleball Paddles including the original Voyager.

Gamma: New Paddles

Gamma Twister:  At just under 7 and a half ounces and featuring a small 4″ grip, this poly core composite paddle offers another good option for an entry level paddle for Onix fans. The textured composite face is designed to give good feel and increase your ability to put spin on the ball. It’s the lightest Gamma paddle with their Sensa PolyCore, it’s made in the USA and approved for tournament play.

On March 5th, 2018:  Gamma Pickleball announced it will release a new elongated “blade-style” paddle to its Poly Core line.  The new paddle named “Needle” will be launched on March 15, 2018. It uses Gamma’s Sensa Poly Core technology and be the company’s first entry into the elongated pickleball paddle category.  The popularity of this style continues to grow and most major manufacturers have one or more long paddles in their line-ups.  The paddle was approved by the USAPA in Feb.

In the same press release, the company also announced that the “Razor” paddle will change names and will now be known as the GAMMA® RZR pickleball paddle. The name makes reference to the parent company’s RZR tennis racket.  The paddle’s specifications will remain the same: a 7.6 oz poly core with small (4.125″) grip and textured graphite hitting surface.

Engage: New Paddles

Engage Poach Advantage Black Edition Pickleball Paddle
Engage Poach Advantage

Engage Poach Advantage:

This new paddle from Engage Pickleball uses a proprietary 6-layer “skin”.

What makes this unique is that while most manufacturers of composite paddles use one or two layers, Engage has managed to create a 6 layer skin with the same thickness as other paddles in the industry that use only 1-2.

The Poach Advantage also has a specially designed vertical texture that runs from top to bottom of the paddle and is designed to add more touch, feel (think finesse and control). We’ve included the Poach Advantage as one of the best control paddles to consider. 

Its also designed to be a quiet paddle for communities with noise restrictions.

The Poach Advantage also comes in an elongated model called the Engage Poach Extreme. 

The ‘Blade’ style 17″ x 7″ version features the same type of construction as the paddle mentioned above and also uses the  6-layer Fiberglass Polymer and Engage’s Control Pro ‘Black’ Technology, their proprietary poly core.

In early November (at the 2018 Margaritaville Pickleball National Championships at Indian Wells)  Engage presented the new Poach Icon paddle (which starts shipping from Nov 16th). The Icon blends the core technology of the Poach Advantage with the ‘chemically bonded’ skin used on other paddles such as the Elite Pro.  If you’re interested in reading more, we’ve talked about these new paddles on our Engage brand overview and paddle comparison page.


Selkirk AMPED Paddle Line Expanded

Selkirk paddle reviews
New Selkirk AMPED Paddles 2017. Source Selkirk Sports

As we reported last year, Selkirk released their new AMPED paddle line using a new patent-pending paddle core technology they call the X5. Since its release,  there has been quite a bit of buzz around the chunky X5 core.

The unibody core is noticeably thicker than standard pickleball paddles which gives it a unique feel.   

We’ve done a full review of the Selkirk Amped Paddles HERE along with a guide to help decide which of the new paddles would be best for you. 

Many consumers commented that the Selkirk AMPED line on average we on the heavy side of the spectrum.  While this extra weight is welcomed by power hitters, it was not necessarily a huge draw for players looking for a more control oriented game, someone with tennis elbow, or generally any players looking for lightweight paddles.

The good news is there are new options for payers who want new X5 core but are looking for lighter paddles as the company has introduced two new versions to AMPED line.

Coming down from the 8+ oz range, the new mid-weight paddles range from 7.8-8.3 ounces and the lightweight versionsaverage 7.3-7.7 oz.

The paddle faces on the AMPED line are finished in “FiberFlex” Fiberglass and are completely bonded to the core material making for a solid, durable paddle.   

With these new additions to the AMPED line, Selkirk now offers three separate weight classes all using the same X5 core. The paddle technology was included in several paddle models: Selkirk Epic, Selkirk Maxima, Selkirk S2 and the Selkirk Omni. These new weight classes really round out the AMPED line with choices for all playing styles.

January 2018: Jan 23rd, 2018 was a busy day in the pickleball market. Both Selkirk and ProLite published press releasesannouncing the launch of new versions of their existing paddles designs.


ProLite Rebel PowerSpin Gets A New Look

Pro-Lite Rebel PowerSpin Composite Pickleball Paddle (Prince Purple / Blondie Yellow)ProLite made news in 2016 by introducing the Rebel PowerSpin paddle, specifically designed for optimal ball spin with its proprietary PowerSpin™ textured surface. This paddle landed here on our list of best paddles for spin.

In 2018 they introduced a new version of the Rebel with the same exact features and specifications just with new graphics. 

The look of the Rebel PowerSpin was definitely unique with bright colorful graphics. This remake of the original paddle has more discrete colors designed to appeal to players who are not looking for a spin paddle without drawing a lot of attention on the pickleball court. Whereas some paddles shout out your arrival on the court, your opponents won’t see you coming with this one – think of it as your silent weapon.

ProLite Magnum Graphite Stealth Paddle Gets New Graphics

The Magnum Graphite Stealth by ProLite also recently got a facelift with new screen printed graphics. This popular paddle still offers the “pop” that players like off its graphite face and it maintains the same specifications as the original Magnum GS with its lightweight wide body construction but the large printed word “Magnum” has been replaced with more subtle color accents on the upper half of the hitting surface and the company logo across the main part of the paddle.

The new version comes in three color styles, as usual ProLite came up with some pretty creative names for the pickleball paddles:  Red Hot, Blue Slate and Plum Crazy.  National Champion, Wes Gabrielsen can be seen competing with the Magnum Stealth.

Head Pickleball Paddles

It was major news when Head announced they were entering the pickleball market in 2017 with a whole line of paddles.

The move by a major tennis brand like Head, following Wilson’s lead (they launched into pickleball a few years ago), is a strong testament to the growth of the sport.

The Head Radical Tour paddle seems to be getting the most attention so far with its “Extreme Spin”textured paddle face and premium grip.

We gave a brief overview of the new paddles last year but finally were able to test them out and give you a full review of Head pickleball paddles here.

TOPP: New Paddles

Topp XJ 900: this is the new offering from TOPP. This Poly core paddle is designed with a traditional wide-body shape. The paddle averages between 7.6 and 8.2 ounces and are finished with composite paddle face.  The 5″ handles is wrapped with a medium sized comfortable CushGrip. This paddle is USAPA approved and made in the USA by Topp Pickleball Inc.

 

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