I started playing pickleball about four years ago, and the first question I asked myself was, ‘What are the best pickleball paddles for women?’. I had never played before, and when watching others play, I saw a lot of different pickleball paddles being used. I was curious to know if they made a pickleball paddle for women.
Questions I Asked Myself:
Do I need a lighter paddle?
Not necessarily. It depends on what you want to achieve in your game. Lighter paddles are easier to maneuver and for fast play, especially at the net.
They also give you better ball control. Midweight to heavy paddles are better for your power game (think drives). So it depends on what you are looking for in your game.
Does my playing style have an impact?
Absolutely. If you are a power player, then a heavier paddle may be for you. If you are a control player, then a lighter paddle may be best.
Is there really a ‘best’ paddle for women?
There is the best paddle for you.
I don’t think there is a ‘best’ pickleball paddle for women. However, there are features that you should know that do make a difference in performance.
Let’s get started.
Featured Image Credit: PPA
What Is the Importance Of Paddle Weight?
When choosing a pickleball paddle, some basic considerations are important. The best pickleball paddles all offer various options in each of these features. These include material (core & paddle surface), shape, weight, and grip size. What you do choose will also be a factor of your playing style.
Pickleball Paddle weights range between 7 ounces and 13 ounces. Lightweight paddles usually run between 7-7.3 ounces, while a mid-weight paddle ranges between 7.3-8.3 ounces, and a heavier paddle can range from 8.3-13 ounces. Heavy paddles do have an advantage in delivering power.
|Lightweight (7-7.3 ounces)||Best for agility and control||Good for spin||Good for touch shots||Best for doubles|
|Midweight (7.3-8.3 ounces)||Good balance of power and control||Good for all-around play||Good for volleys||Versatile|
|Heavyweight (8.3-10 ounces)||Best for power||Good for blocking||Less forgiving on mis-hits||Not as good for doubles|
|Extra Heavy (10-13 ounces)||Maximum power||Not as good for spin or control||Very unforgiving on mis-hits||Not recommended for beginners|
Lighter paddles are usually the best pickleball paddles for faster play and control for ball placement. A lighter paddle gives you great hand speed at the net when volleying and improves your response time.
Lighter paddles can also reduce fatigue when holding a paddle throughout long periods of play.
So a lightweight paddle does have its advantages. But thinking a lightweight pickleball paddle for women is best would not be correct.
Heavier pickleball paddles are generally for those wanting to amp up their power game. The best in this category will provide good power shots even if you physically are not powerful.
Paddles can be either mid-weight to heavy-weight based on the weight as noted above.
I have benefited from this and found that the best pickleball paddle for me, from a weight standpoint, has been a mid-weight paddle.
So the best pickleball paddle for women in this category depends on what you want to achieve–fast hands (agility) or more power and your playing style.
What Is The Difference Between Graphite and Composite Paddles?
Material technology is one of the 31 emerging technologies driving advancements in pickleball paddle technology. What are the basics?
The core material significantly impacts the power of the pickleball paddle.
Polymer: is the softest and quietest of all materials, offering excellent power with less noise. You see this used in heavier paddles.
Nomex: cores are made by dipping a honeycomb framework into polymer resin, creating a hard, durable, and powerful paddle. It is great for creating lightweight paddles.
Aluminum: cores offer a nice blend of power and control but are usually lighter and less powerful than Nomex cores.
|Polymer||– Softest and quietest material|
– Excellent power with less noise
|Nomex||– Hard, durable, and powerful material|
– Created by dipping a honeycomb framework into a resin
|Aluminum||– Offers a blend of power and control|
– Usually light but less powerful than Nomex
The surface texture and material impact the spin capabilities of the paddle. A rougher surface gives you more spin on your spin shots.
Graphite: Graphite is a very strong and lightweight material often used to construct high-performance paddles. Graphite Paddles provide a good balance of power and control and are also very durable
Composite: A composite paddle often has a rougher texture and is therefore favored for spin generation. Also referred to as fiberglass.
Carbon fiber: is another material used for the surface of spin-centric paddles due to its high friction properties. Many light paddles use carbon fiber, generally lighter than a graphite paddle.
|Graphite||– Very strong and lightweight material|
– Provides good balance of power & control
– Very Durable
|Composite||– Often has a rougher texture|
– referred to as fiberglass
|Favored for spin generation|
|Carbon fiber||– Used for the surface of spin-centric paddles|
– High friction properties
lighter than graphite
What Grip Size Should I Get? Smallest?
A pickleball paddle can come in a variety of grip sizes and lengths. Getting the right length for you is about fit and comfort. The grip circumference is key when choosing your paddle.
Larger grip circumference sizes are good if you have larger hands. It provides a much better grip. If you have smaller hands, you will want to look for a paddle with a smaller grip circumference.
There is no difference in grip size between pickleball paddles for women and men. It depends on your hand size.
The length of the grip also makes a difference. The longer the grip length, the easier to execute two–handed backhand shots. My paddle’s grip length is shorter, and it is more difficult to properly position my hands as I use a two-handed backhand more often.
Grip size can also impact your fit when holding the paddle. You want it to be tight enough to maintain good control during shots.
|Grip Size||Circumference (inches)||Benefits|
|Small||4.0 – 4.25||Ideal for players with smaller hands or who prefer a lighter grip. Provides greater control and feel for the paddle.|
|Standard||4.25 – 4.5||Most common grip size, suitable for a wide range of hand sizes. Offers a balance of comfort and control.|
|Large||4.5 – 5.0||Recommended for players with larger hands or who prefer a firmer grip. Provides more power and stability.|
Paddles come in a variety of shapes. The table below shows you the spec ranges. As far as shapes, there are generally three shapes standard, wide body, and elongated. Many of the best pickleball paddles come in both shapes.
- This is the most common shape of a pickleball paddle. It offers a good balance of power, control, and maneuverability.
- This shape provides more reach and power but may sacrifice some control. They have a smaller sweet spot and tend to have more of a dead spot at the end of the paddle.
- This shape provides a larger sweet spot, which can be helpful for players who are looking for more forgiveness.
- They provide better control than elongated shapes.
|Shape||Length (inches)||Width (inches)||Total Length + Width (inches)|
|Standard||15.75 – 16.5||7.5 – 8.25||24|
|Elongated||16.5 – 17||7 – 7.5||24|
|Widebody||16 – 16.5||8.25 – 8.5||24|
|Control||15.5 – 16||7.75 – 8||24|
Best Lightweight Pickleball Paddles for Women
ProKennex Pro Speed 2
ProKennex Pro Speed II is a great lightweight paddle. It excels at shock absorption but also gives you exceptional touch, feel, and unbeatable performance in the kitchen.
The paddle face of the Pro Speed II is crafted with a state-of-the-art 7-layer coating composite. This enhances spin grab and gives you the power to put some serious spin on the ball.
Its thin polypropylene honeycomb core handles even the most intense hits while minimizing noise.
What sets the Pro Speed II apart is its edgeless design (no edge guard). It showcases a replaceable Air-O-Guard bumper system, ensuring lightning-fast agility on the court, allowing you to react swiftly to any shot, and giving you a competitive edge.
This women’s pickleball paddle offers an excellent power and spin package.
ONIX Evoke Premier Lightweight Paddle
The Onix Evoke Premier is one of the best control paddles on the court and a top choice for those who prefer lightweight paddles.
It has a raw carbon fiber face that delivers exceptional control. Its 14 mm core is designed to give you that power when you need it.
The Evoke Premier Pro Raw Control has a non-slip comfort grip, with a grip size measuring 4 1/8” in circumference. This ensures a controlled feel as you move around the court.
Its standard paddle shape, measuring 16” in length, has a slightly longer-than-standard handle at 5.35”. This additional reach is an advantage at the net and when defending shots toward the backline.
With its one-piece construction, its core is stable throughout its entire face, ensuring consistency and durability. The textured face of the paddle gives you exceptional bite and grip on the pickleball.
The Crbn 1X is a perfect power paddle. It has a raw T700 carbon fiber face and a honeycomb polypropylene core. It’s the perfect combination of strength and performance.
The CRBN¹ X features a unibody design that stiffens the handle, resulting in a more responsive and powerful paddle. The foam-injected walls give you a larger sweet spot, improving gameplay stability.
The 14 mm core is designed to retain the touch required for precise third-shot drops and dinks at the kitchen line. Perfect if you are looking for power and finesse.
With an elongated shape measuring 16 1/2” and an extended handle at 5 1/2”, it offers exceptional reach and control. The standard grip at 4 1/4” provides a familiar and comfortable feel. At the same time, the ergonomic design ensures a more natural extension of your hand
Best Midweight Pickleball Paddles For women
Joola Solaire CFS Swift Midweight
This is a midweight paddle with a large sweet spot that is designed for players who want a combination of power and control. The Solaire CFS 14mm has a polymer honeycomb core and a fiberglass face. It is available in a variety of colors and grip sizes.
Here are some of the features of the Joola Solaire CFS 14mm paddle:
Midweight: The Solaire CFS 14mm is a lightweight paddle, which helps with speed and maneuverability.
Large sweet spot: The Solaire CFS 14mm has a large sweet spot, which means that you can hit the ball with more power and accuracy even if you don’t make perfect contact.
Polymer core: The polymer core provides a good balance of power and control.
Fiberglass face: The fiberglass face provides a lot of power and durability
Selkirk Amped 2
The Selkirk Amped pickleball paddle boasts the largest surface area in the Selkirk line-up.
With a slightly shorter handle and slightly elongated paddle dimensions, the S2 allows you to dominate the court in every aspect of the game.
Selkirk claims it features the biggest sweet spot in the pickleball industry. This massive surface area enhances power and provides exceptional control, ensuring that every shot is consistent and precise.
It has a polypropylene honeycomb core giving it lightweight power.
If you’re a die-hard pickleball enthusiast who doesn’t mind a slightly shorter handle, the S2 paddle could be the perfect choice for you.
Best Intermediate Pickleball Paddle for Women
Wilson Echo Carbon
The Wilson Echo Carbon is great for serious pickleball players who want a tournament performance level. But don’t let this fool you. This is a great intermediate paddle.
It is made with a woven layer of carbon fiber across the face for lightweight power. It has a standard shape with an extended handle for those two-handed backhands. It features:
The classic shape creates a mix of power, control, and feel, perfect for singles and doubles.
PolyCore–X (polymer honeycomb core) dampens vibrations for a superior feel on every stroke.
Carbon Fiber Face construction blends lightweight power, superior control, and an enhanced feel.
Stop Shock Dampening Bumper Guard extends the life of your paddle by protecting against abrasions.
Extended handle with angled throat for easier two-handed backhand grip
Best Pickleball Paddle For Women – Beginner
The ONIX Z5 is one of the most popular pickleball paddles on the market.
This paddle has a graphite face and a Nomex core. This gives the pickleball paddle a great feel on the ball.
It delivers a very good spin and a noticeable ‘pop‘ off the paddle face. Its middleweight design gives it an easy swing and provides both power and speed.
The wide body shape provides superior control and makes this paddle a great paddle for players at all levels. This is a super entry to intermediate-level paddle. This was the first paddle I got when I got serious about playing.
How Do The Paddles Compare?
Table 1 provides the specifications of each paddle, including the weight range, face material, core material, power level, control level, and feel.
All these paddles are excellent choices for power and control. They provide a balance of each. The feel of the paddle is a personal preference and one you will need to experiment with.
Table 2 provides an overview of what level of player each of the paddles is suited for. Choosing a paddle that matches your level can help improve your game.
Table 1: Paddle Specifications
|Paddle||Weight Range (ounces)||Face Material||Core Material||Power Level||Control Level||Feel|
|ProKennex Pro Speed 2||7.5 – 8.0||Composite||Polypropylene||High||High||Balanced|
|Onix Evoke Premier Lightweight||7.3 – 7.8||Composite||Polymer||High||High||Soft|
|CRBN 1X||7.8 – 8.3||Carbon Fiber||Polymer||High||High||Firm|
|JOOLA Solaire CFS Swift||8.0 – 8.5||Composite||Polypropylene||High||High||Balanced|
|Selkirk Amped 2||7.5 – 8.0||FiberFlex||Polypropylene||High||High||Soft|
|Wilson Echo Carbon||7.8 – 8.3||Carbon Fiber||Polymer||High||High||Firm|
|Onix Z5||7.8 – 8.3||Graphite||Nomex Honeycomb||High||High||Firm|
Table 2: Paddle Player Levels
|ProKennex Pro Speed 2||Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced|
|Onix Evoke Premier Lightweight||Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced|
|CRBN 1X||Intermediate, Advanced|
|JOOLA Solaire CFS Swift||Intermediate, Advanced|
|Selkirk Amped 2||Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced|
|Wilson Echo Carbon||Intermediate, Advanced|
|Onix Z5||Intermediate, Advanced|
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know what grip size is best for you?
Measure the distance from the bottom lateral crease (the middle of the three) up to the tip of your ring finger. This measurement will be between 4 and 5 inches and should be the perfect circumference for your pickleball grip (Selkirk)
How do you know what level of pickleball player you are?
There is a guide published by the USAPA, the body that establishes the official rules for pickleball that you should use to gauge your level. There is also an app called DUPR that will give you a rating (Pros use it), and you are officially ranked in your first tournament.
What weight paddle do most women use?
Women’s pickleball paddles come in a variety of weights. Many prefer a lightweight paddle of 7.2-7.5 ounces. Mid-weight paddles are an excellent option used by those who don’t have a natural power game.
What Paddles Do the Women Pros Use?*
- Jennifer Dawson (Senior Pro) – ProKennex Pro Speed 2
- Cammy MacGregor – Selkirk Amped 2
- Kris Anderson – Onix Evoke Premier
- Lucy Kovalova – Onix Evoke Premier
- Anna Bright – Joola Solaire CFS Swift
What pickleball paddle does Anna Leigh Waters use?
What pickleball paddle does Tyson McGuffin use?
How do I improve my pickleball game quickly?
One of the best ways to improve your game quickly is to drill. Drills are essential to improving your gameplay. There are great drills that you can do at home, as a solo player, and with a friend or partner.
There are also great training aids that you can use. If you are really serious, a portable net, line markers, and a portable ball machine will let you take your game anywhere from your driveway, street, or parking lot to a tennis court.
*All these paddles are available on Amazon