Selkirk Sport - We Are Pickleball


The best pickleball paddles for beginners

By Stephen Bass

on Aug 26, 2022

The best pickleball paddles for beginners

With Pickleball's meteoric rise in popularity, new players are looking to learn about the sport, and purchase a paddle. And we are here to help!

How Do I Choose a Beginner Pickleball Paddle?

Beginner players should start with a paddle with a large sweet spot, a paddle that has a thick core (easy to control), and an affordable paddle with a great warranty and/or hassle free return policy.

How do I know what size pickleball paddle I need?

For a beginer, a traditional pickleball paddle shape with a thick (~16mm) core is the best option. Traditional paddle shapes provide a larger sweet spot, making it easier for beginners to make consistent contact with the ball. Similarly, a thick core creates a less responsive, more predictable paddle. This results in slower ball speeds and a higher degree of control, helping beginners develop their technique and accuracy. As they refine their skills, these features enable novices to enjoy the game more fully and build confidence.

What paddle is best to stop popping up the ball?

Pop-ups are caused by an inability to control the ball resulting in hitting the ball too high. A thicker core is going to make it easier to control the ball and therefore preventing pop-ups. Of course, practicing and drilling are the best ways to prevent pop-ups, and luckily Selkirk TV has more than a few videos on the subject.

Is there really a difference in pickleball paddles?

Yes, there are numerous differences in paddles including the types of materials used, shape, weight, and grip size, which can all impact a players performance on the court.

What is the difference in a beginner and advanced pickleball paddle?

Beginner pickleball paddles should be durable, consistent, and have large sweetspot to improve control. Advanced (or high performance) pickleball paddles generate a higher degree of power and spin.

Selkirk is determined to find the right paddle for you, and we want you to be confident in your purchase, which is why we provide a limited lifetime warranty on all of our high performance paddles, as well as a limited 1 year warranty on our SLK line of paddles.

What is a pickleball racket?

A pickleball racket is the same thing as a pickleball paddle. But the correct term is "pickleball paddle" and there is technically no such things as a pickleball racket. Although Pickleball Paddles and Tennis Rackets share similarities, they are completely different!

3 pickleball paddles in a line on the court

What should I pay for a beginner-level pickleball paddle?  

We designed the SLK Paddles to provide more affordable options for beginners, while still delivering a consistent and durable paddle. These paddles range from $69.99 to $140. 

If you just want the bottom line, most affordable paddle, we would recomend the SLK Latitude 2.0 at $70. This paddle is durable, easy to control, has a comfortable grip, and has a large sweetspot. And you can shop with confidence know this paddle comes with a 1 year limited warranty.

We completely understand if new players do not want to spend a large amount of money when just starting out in pickleball. Players at the pro level play with paddles ranging from $150 to $250 on average, but beginners should not have to pay that for their very first paddle. 

If you are all in on pickleball and want to go ahead with a high-performance paddle, our Amped and Vanguard, and Power Air lines offer advanced technology for beginner to advanced players.

Why should a beginner paddle have a wide body or a “traditional” shape?

When starting out, a “traditional” paddle face maximizes the sweet spot which is ideal for beginners. The larger the sweet spot, the easier it is to know where your shot will land, which allows you to make consistent shots. This minimizes your mishits so you can stay in the point longer!

There are several other great shapes with different advantages on the court. Elongated Paddles are a popular option, especially among tennis players. But the “classic” shape serves as a great all-around paddle for beginners.

If you are all in on pickleball and want to go ahead with a high-performance paddle, our Amped and Vanguard lines offer advanced technology for beginner to advanced players.

Why should a beginner paddle have a honeycomb core?

The core of the paddle refers to what is inside the paddle. A honeycomb core is simply honeycomb-shaped cells that can be made of polymer, aluminum, nomex, or a variety of other materials.

The honeycomb core contributes to a larger sweet spot for consistent speed, and it “absorbs” the ball allowing you to better control your shots.

Wooden paddles make it difficult to control the ball. Many of the popular wooden paddles on the market have a small paddle face making it difficult to strike the ball on the sweet spot.

pickleball paddles

What are the best pickleball paddles for beginners?

1. SLK Latitude 2.0: Performance and Technology united with comfort, balance, and affordability at $69.99. The graphite face gives you the control and feel all up-and-coming players are looking for. 

2. SLK EVO 2.0 Paddle: With Unmatched Performance at an Unbeatable Price, the SLK EVO 2.0 Paddles are the best paddle you will find at $100. These paddles were built to give beginners the feel of a high performance paddle at an affordable price point.

3. The SLK Omega is a perfect blend of high performance and affordability. The Omega uses advanced technology never before used in paddles. We utilize much of that technology in our high end paddles (Power Air Labs 003 Paddle) but wanted to provide an option for beginner players. At $140, this paddle is easily the most bang for your buck! And The Pickleball Studio agrees:

Can I get a high performance or “advanced” paddle as a beginner?

Absolutely! If you are still a beginner, but you are all in on pickleball, our high-performance paddles will give you the features to make advanced shots as you grow your skillset. We provide a lifetime warranty on these paddles to remove as much of the risk of purchasing a new Pickleball Paddle as possible.

Here’s our top suggestions for beginners looking for a high performance paddle:

1. Amped Epic: This “best all around” paddle has the perfect blend of power and control. It has great balance and a perfectly proportioned hitting area with the increased sweet spot from our Polypropylene X5 Core™ and FiberFlex™ Fiberglass hitting surface. Retails at $150.

2. Amped S2: With a shorter handle than the Epic, the S2 has a larger surface area on the face of the paddle The S2 has the largest sweet spot on the market and retails at $150.

3. SLK Omega: Yes, we JUST mentioned it above in the SLK Line. But it qualifies as a “high performance” paddle as well! This paddle focuses on power and spin so you can better control the court! Retails at $140.

Selkirk Sport provides a range of paddles designed for different playing styles. Use our paddle comparison tool to find the best paddle for you, whether you're looking for power, control, or spin.

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