When it comes to the best pickleball paddle for control, you will find that the one that works best for you may not work as well for others. The right paddle will depend on several factors including your skill level, your playing style, and how heavy you like your paddles to be.
If you are a beginner to the sport of pickleball, you may not realize just how many paddles there are that are advertised as being for “better control”. Even as a pro, the number of options can be overwhelming.
That is why we have made this list of the five best pickleball paddles for control. All of these have been tried and tested and will be able to massively improve your game. Evey paddle will have a pros and cons list at the end, so you can easily see at a glance if it will work with your playing style.
At the bottom of this article, you will find the buyer's guide. Here, we will explain all the essential features you need to keep an eye out for when buying a pickleball paddle that has been designed especially with control in mind.
Let's get into the reviews!
OUR TOP PICK
Unsurprisingly given the name of this paddle, Selkirk's Amped pickleball paddles are intended to maximize power while preserving lightweight control on the court.
While this paddle is advertised as being lightweight, you won’t believe it until you hold it in your hand.
Weighing just over 7lbs, this super lightweight product ensures that your hands and wrists will not get sore after a long day of playing while also helping you to keep control during the game.
Selkirk replaced their usual paddle's surface with a new paddle core made of polypropylene polymer that is thicker and more versatile than their older ones. This surface can help you land precise shots with ease.
While the company is still in the process of patenting X5 Polypropylene Core, the Fiberflex Face, when combined with the Selkirk Core, helps with the paddle's overall performance.
The Unibody Design, which is the combination of a mixture of Selkirks most successful paddle products, considerably boosts the paddle's endurance.
This paddle may alleviate some of the difficulties that novice players may experience with other paddles that traditionally have a small sweet spot.
But what is a sweet spot? This is a small area on the paddle where it is the most responsive, and where you can make the most accurate shots from.
A smaller sweet spot means that aiming the paddle so that the ball hits it is much harder, but the Selkirk Amped has a much larger sweet spot than usual. Because it is more responsive, new players will feel more at ease with it.
If you play other racket sports such as table tennis or racquetball, then you will be happy to know that this paddle can be used in these sports too.
This has two benefits. Firstly, it means that you don’t have to go out and buy several paddles for different sports, therefore saving you a bit of time and money.
Secondly, it means that in all of these games you will be using a paddle designed for maximum control, which may give you the edge over your opponent.
- Can feel the ball when playing - this feel and responsiveness will mean that you will have much more control over the shot
- Large sweet spot - both novices and pros will appreciate this as it adds to the responsiveness of the paddle and allows more accurate shots to be made
- Vibration dampening - this paddle lowers the vibration that you would feel when the ball hits the paddle, making the shots you take feel smoother
- Comfortable hold- the rubber handle ensures that your hands don’t slip while you are making a shot while also ensuring that your hands do not hurt after holding it for a long time
- Possibly too lightweight - while weighing less has its advantages, people who are more heavy-handed with their shots may struggle to control their force and overcompensate for the too much
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Consider choosing a pickleball paddle from the Engage Pro range if you want a paddle with a texture that is sandpaper. But why would you want a paddle-like this you may be wondering?
Well, a paddle with this surface texture delivers greater vibration dampening for one, which is why paddles such as this are very popular in the sport.
The Control Pro II Core, which Engage has created and designated when used in conjunction with vibration control technology, eliminates the possibility that you will lose control of the ball in the game.
A sandpaper-like texture is also useful as it provides more grip between the surface of the paddle and the ball.
The last thing you want is the ball making contact with the paddle and then sliding away. With the Elite Pro paddle though, you will be offered maximum control when the ball touches the surface.
Engage has also calibrated the Elite Pro paddle to suit the noise requirements of the great majority of communities.
Beginners may not realize at first just how loud a game pickleball can be, and if you are playing around people, they may complain about the noise. This paddle dampens the noise from your shots as much as possible.
A great attachment that Engage has made for this paddle is the overgrip accessory. This can be added to the handle of the paddle if you wish to use it for tennis games, or if the handle, in general, is too small for you, as it adds more length.
- Lightweight but powerful - while some paddles substitute their power to be lighter, that is not the case here. You get the best of both worlds when you use the Elite Pro paddle
- Gives good spin - adding spin to your shots is a great way to get the edge on your opponent. This paddle can provide excellent spin to your shots
- Good for both soft and hard hits- as this paddle performs well in both of these hit staples, you can vary up your playing style and try out many different types of shots
- Possibly uncomfortable to hold - though this paddle has a rubber handle that provides grip, near the bottom is the Engage logo. This placement may make the handle a bit awkward or uncomfortable to grip
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A key benefit of the core material used in the Gamma Poly Core paddle is that it considerably enhances how the ball feels in the hand.
Pickleball players demand precise control, and the Sensa Poly Core technology, as it has been named, provides that precision.
With its honeycomb handle, which is cushioned and textured, you will have an easier time applying force to the paddle while maintaining a firm grasp on the handle.
Because of the increased length of the middle-area weight, as well as the increased speed with which the hand actions occur, the whole handling becomes significantly more accessible and easier to achieve.
Another benefit of the handle is that you have the option of buying the gel cushioning handle wrap from Gamma as an added accessory.
This accessory not only provides you extra comfort when holding the paddle but is also very useful if you suffer from sweaty hands while playing. It ensures that your hands will not slip in this instance.
The fact that it has a substantial influence on the kitchen line is acknowledged by the majority of players. In addition, the length makes up for the lack of reach on the other end.
The face material is fiberglass with a textured finish. Together with the graphite face, this texture will give you a gratifying snap when you play backhand strokes while remaining light and portable.
- Good balance- this feature is essential when you want to control the ball. If a paddle is unbalanced, then you may misjudge your shots or over/under compensating with the power. This will not be a problem here
- Good weight - weighing 7.6 pounds, this weight is perfect for executing swift and tight hand movements while also aiding in the handling
- Very strong and durable - no matter how hard you hit the ball with this paddle, or how fast and hard it is returned to you, this paddle will not bend and break under the pressure
- Comfortable to hold - the handle is textured and cushioned, which will provide you with a very good grip while also being comfortable to hold. With the added gel handle wrap accessory, you get an even better grip even with sweaty hands
- Gives a good “snap” - this is vital in any paddle, and it won’t let you down here
- The sweet spot is small - because of this, the paddle may not be suitable for beginners who struggle to find this spot when playing. Pros should have no issue though
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When it comes to choosing a paddle that is more focused on the baseline, look no further than this one. Onix Compensate paddles, like Gamma paddles, have a honeycomb core and a fiberglass front, but they are constructed entirely of carbon fiber.
If you have a good level of movement without sacrificing control, then you will love this paddle.
If you like more "pops" from the base, then Z5 is a good option to consider as well. Because it is composite, it is rather loud and packs a significant punch when used.
You will feel the power and control that this paddle provides in every shot you take. \If you love to smash every shot, then this is the right paddle for you.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that this paddle is very heavy. For those who have previously played tennis and prefer swinging large, heavy-handed racquets, you will be fine using this paddle.
If you are used to lighter paddles though, you may struggle to control your shots due to the weight of this product.
- Large sweet spot - the sweet spot is so large you can’t miss it, making this a good paddle for people who usually struggle to hit this area
- You can strike well with little effort - this paddle is so powerful you don’t even need to put that much weight or effort into your stikes as it does all the hard work for you
- Well made - the fiberglass materials used in this paddle, as well as the honeycomb design, ensures that the paddle is balanced, and gives you maximum control over your shots
- Possibly too heavy - people who are not used to using a heavy paddle, such as beginners or those of small size and stature, may struggle with the weight of this paddle
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Engage makes another appearance on this list, showing just how well their paddles are designed and constructed. The core of this paddle was made with Control Pro' Black' Technology and is possibly the best core out of any paddle on this list.
The surface of this paddle is constructed of six layers of fiberglass polymer, which is a composite material. Given the fact that most pickleball paddles are composed of a single or double layer of plastic, this changes the game when it comes to paddle construction.
By using 6 layers of fiberglass, you will be able to get more playability out of your paddle while also enhancing the responsiveness of your ball as soon as it contacts your paddle after being struck.
With the roughness in the texture that Engage Poach has retained, it is easier to spin the ball and accurately hit it to any area on either side of the court.
And last but not least, it contains the same vibration control technology like that featured in the Engage Elite, which helps make shots smoother, gives you good control, and keeps your shots accurate.
- Powerful - you will easily be able to make powerful shots with this paddle
- Very well balanced - you won’t have to worry about the paddle feeling wrong in our hands as it is balanced perfectly
- Good grip - the handle is soft and provides you with very good grip so it won't slip in your hands
- Possibly too heavy - if you only use lightweight paddles, the transition to this one may be difficult due to the increase in weight
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Here are the features that you need to consider when buying a pickleball paddle for control.
The most crucial factor to consider when choosing a paddle is its weight. Paddles for pickleball are generally between 6 and 14 ounces in weight. Most composite or graphite paddles are between six and nine ounces in weight.
When a paddle is lifted and swung on the court, its weight influences how it feels. If you do not have any pre-existing medical conditions, the weight of your paddle is entirely up to you and your level of fitness and comfort.
A heavier paddle aids in pushing the ball but gives you less control over it. Bear in mind, however, that the weight of the paddle increases arm fatigue and may result in elbow injury. On the other hand, an excessively light paddle may lack drive while improving ball control.
It is vital to play with a paddle that has the proper diameter for your hand. Using an extremely big paddle grip may cause the paddle to slip in your hand, resulting in elbow pain.
As a result, if choosing between two sizes, begin with the smaller. Smaller grips allow for more wrist mobility, which aids in ball spinning and enhances control.
Additionally, this wrist action leads to powerful serves and helps players who switch hands during play to do fast hand swaps.
A larger grip gives more stability and is less taxing on the arm, emphasizing the need of choosing the "perfect" size for your hand.
Competitive pickleball players typically customize their paddle grips by wrapping the paddle with an over-grip to their exact liking.
Almost all paddle handles measure between 4 and 4 1/2 inches in diameter. Similar to tennis grips, pickleball grips are separated into 1/8 inch increments.
Three materials are commonly used in paddle construction.
The least priced and most durable pickleball paddles are made of wood, but they are also the heaviest and least technologically complex.
They have lower selling costs due to their low production expenses. Wooden paddles are widely used by beginners in search of a low-cost pickleball paddle.
If you want to play pickleball regularly, we recommend upgrading to a composite or graphite paddle. Prices have fallen, and affordable paddles are now available.
Composite pickleball paddles have gained prominence in recent years. A composite paddle is frequently constructed with an outer shell of fiberglass or carbon fiber and an inner core of composite material. The cores are made of polymer or aluminum.
One of the advantages of composite paddles is their textured surface, which aids players in creating more spin on their shots. They are also far lighter than hardwood pickleball racquets, which makes them easier to hold.
If you're looking for a great paddle, you can get composite paddles at a range of price points. Numerous models are fairly priced and work well.
Pickleball paddles made of graphite are frequently the most expensive. Even a low-end graphite pickleball paddle will be more expensive than one made of composite material.
In addition to their lightweight, graphite paddles are known for their high levels of control. As a result, they are an ideal alternative if you want to make accurate strokes and keep control of your game.
When it comes to pickleball paddles, competitive players often go for graphite paddles. Although the graphite on these paddles is relatively thin, it is incredibly durable.
Graphite pickleball paddles typically weigh between six and nine ounces. As with the composite paddles, these will have a core.
Honeycomb cores made of aluminum, polymer, or Nomex are available. The graphite face on both sides of the pickleball paddle is a distinguishing feature of graphite paddles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Light Pickleball Paddle Better Than A Heavier One?
This all depends on your playing style. A heavier paddle will give your swings more power, but a lighter one will let your hand move swiftly and more freely. Try a few to see what works best for you.
What Is Better, A Graphite Or Fiberglass Paddle?
There is no real difference between these two paddles, though the professionals seem to prefer to use graphite paddles. Graphite is slightly lighter, but in the overall build and design of the paddles, there is little to no difference.
What’s The Difference Between Composite And Graphite Paddles?
Composite paddles are slightly heavier than their graphite alternatives, but they have a textured surface which makes them ideal for adding some spin to your shots.