Are Pickleball Paddles Worth the Money?

Pickleball has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the US, bringing new brands, materials, and styles of pickleball paddles. At first glance, it would seem that the smaller pickleball paddles should be cheaper than their badminton or tennis counterparts. But a quick google search reveals that high-end pickleball paddles can reach upwards of $200. Not to mention the pickleballs and other accessories. What makes them so expensive? Are pickleball paddles worth the money? Let’s find out. 

What Makes a Paddle Expensive?

Several elements influence the cost of a paddle, but it generally boils down to the materials, the technology, and the brand. High-quality pickleball paddles will be made from materials that provide a combination of power and control. They will reduce the vibration felt when the ball strikes the paddle while allowing you to return the ball with balance and control. 

Ultimately, whether or not the pickleball paddle is worth the money is up to you and your perception of the value the paddle offers. Regardless of how much it costs or the materials used, the best question is, “what feels good?” No matter how cutting-edge the technology or expensive the materials are, it’s likely not a good fit for you if it’s uncomfortable to use.

Determine the Best Fit

Multiple variables will influence the best fit for you, but there are two predominant ones to consider: weight and grip. Weight is perhaps the most crucial since it directly affects power and control. A paddle’s core almost entirely determines its weight. Paddles will range from around 6 ounces to 14 ounces. A light paddle (under 7.3 oz) will provide more control with less power. In contrast, a heavy paddle (over 8.5 oz) gives more power with less control. 

The paddle’s weight will also influence the amount of strain you feel in your arm. If you’re new to the game, starting with a medium weight between 7.3 and 8.5 ounces may be best while you figure out what feels good. 

The second most important factor is the grip, which includes the handle’s shape, size, and texture. A smaller grip allows for more spin and control, while a larger grip will increase your stability. However, if the grip is too large, you increase the risk of straining your elbow. If you’re unsure of your grip size, it’s generally better to choose a smaller grip since you can add overgrip tape to increase the size. While not a precise method, the simplest way to determine your grip size is by height.

  • Under 5’2” – use a 4” grip
  • Between 5’3” and 5’8” – use a 4⅛” to 4¼” grip
  • Over 5’9” – use a 4½“ grip

Entry-Grade Paddles

A conversation about whether a pickleball paddle is worth the money is typically centered around the core of the paddle. The core directly influences how much control and power the paddle delivers. A wood core is often used in beginner paddles and is highly durable and cost-efficient. However, wood doesn’t provide much in the way of spin or control. These paddles certainly serve a purpose, but they’re often best reserved for rec centers or high schools. We suggest selecting a mid-range paddle instead. 

Mid-Grade Paddles

Mid-grade pickleball paddles generally utilize a composite core consisting of aluminum, polymer composite, or Nomex, and its face will use either carbon fiber or fiberglass. An aluminum core provides excellent control and is extremely lightweight but lacks power. Polymer yields a beautiful balance between control and power. Nomex is incredibly strong and allows for maximum power, but it sacrifices control. 

High-End Paddles

The most expensive paddles are graphite paddles. These paddles are also made with composite cores but have graphite skin on both faces of the paddle. While graphite is thin and light, it is highly durable and delivers elite levels of touch and power. 


Is a pickleball paddle worth the money? Many would say yes, but having the most advanced technology and expensive material won’t make you a pro: skill, court-positioning, and strategy will. Find a paddle that feels good, practice, and enjoy the game! 

Experience Outdoor Living!

At Omni Outdoor Living, we make it our mission to help our customers make the most out of their outdoor experiences. We offer quality outdoor products focused on outdoor recreation, DIY projects, entertaining friends and family, or just relaxing outside! If you have any questions about your outdoor experience or our wide range of outdoor products, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Scroll to Top