The Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners

The Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners

Have you spoken to your local pickleball fanatic lately? I’m guessing you can’t go 2 minutes without them mentioning “pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the nation.” And it’s true! 4.8 million people played pickleball last year (2021), an increase of 14.8% from 2020.

With this meteoric rise, new players are looking to learn about the sport, and purchase a paddle. And we are here to help!

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Best Value Paddle for Beginners

Similar to the Power Air, but without the air dynamic throat, the SLK Omega Max is the power and spin paddle for the everyday player. This paddle uses much of the same technology we use in our high end paddles for generating power and spin, but at a more affordable price point for beginner players.

This is a great paddle for beginner players who want to experience a high performance paddle at an affordable cost.

$59.99

SLK Lattitude

Best Overall Pickleball Paddle for Beginners

Performance and Technology united with comfort, balance, and affordability at $59.99. The graphite face gives you the control and feel all up-and-coming players are looking for at an affordable price point.

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Best High Peformance Paddle for Beginners

The Amped Epic has the classic paddle shape and is a great high peformance paddle for beginners. The epic shape is a well balanced paddle and is the best all around paddle. With a FiberFlex surface you get excellent spin and enhanced control optimal for players looking to compete at a high level.

$49.99

SLK Neo Graphite

Most Affordable Pickleball Paddle for Beginners

With a traditional paddle shape, honeycomb core, and graphite surface, the Neo Graphite is a great choice for beginners. And it won’t break the bank at $49.99.


Bundle and save with the SLK paddle set at Costco

Selkirk has partnered with Costco to make Selkirk paddles available in over 300 Costco locations! Great for beginners, this paddle set gives you everything you need to get started in pickleball!

$99.99

Best Pickleball Paddle Set from Costco

Bundle and SAVE with this paddle set from COSTCO! Each set comes with 2 of our best selling beginner paddle, the SLK Latitude. Plus 3 balls, and a bag!

Sets are available at Costco locations nation wide or online!



What should you look for in a beginner pickleball paddle?

  1. Wide Body or “traditional” Paddle Face
  2. Honeycomb core (as opposed to wood)
  3. Affordable cost

We launched SLK Pickleball to service the next generation of pickleball players with entry-level paddles ranging from $49.99 to $140. While these paddles are considered beginner-level paddles, some of our sponsored players (CJ Klinger) have elected to use these paddles at the pro level!

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.

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 $49.99 to $140. 

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. 

What are the best pickleball paddles for beginners?

1. SLK Latitude: Performance and Technology united with comfort, balance, and affordability at $59.99. The graphite face gives you the control and feel all up-and-coming players are looking for. 

2. SLK Neo Graphite: With a traditional paddle shape, honeycomb core, and graphite surface, the Neo Graphite is a great choice for beginners. And it won’t break the bank at $49.99.

3. SLK Neo Atlas: This wide-body paddle also features a honeycomb core and graphite surface for ultimate control great for learning the soft game.

4. SLK EVO Hybrid Max: Developed to dominate the game, the C6-Flex Power Fiberglass Face provides the power and control you need on every play.

5. The SLK Omega is a perfect blend of high performance and affordability. The Omega was recently release (August 16, 2022) and 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.

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