Pickleball Paddles under 100 dollars? If you’re a pickleball enthusiast, you understand the importance of a good paddle. It’s your primary tool on the court and should complement your playing style, experience level, and budget.
This guide aims to help you find the perfect pickleball paddle for under 100 dollars without sacrificing quality or performance.
High-end pickleball paddles can sometimes cost a pretty penny. But don’t worry. There are plenty of affordable, high-quality options for those of us pickleballing on a budget.
The best thing about pickleball is that once you have a paddle and a ball, you’re set to play for a long time without having to spend anything more. Sure, you can get plenty of extra gear and gadgets, but at its core, pickleball requires just a paddle, a ball, and a few friends!
Pickleball Paddle 101: Getting to Know the Game Gear
A pickleball paddle is a player’s best friend. It’s the extension of your arm, your weapon of choice, and your shield in the court. With over 4.8 million people playing the sport, understanding your paddle choices is key.
While the game’s rules are relatively simple, selecting the right paddle may feel overwhelming due to the variety of available materials, weights, and shapes.
Understanding these aspects will help you make an informed choice based on your skill level, playing style, and personal preference.
How do I know what size pickleball paddle I need?
The size and shape of your paddle play an important role in your gameplay. I have developed a table to take you through each one. As you consider one of our pickleball paddles under 100 dollars, it would be good to keep these in mind.
|Standard||16 inches long by 8 inches wide||Good balance of reach, power, and control||Ideal for beginners and intermediate players||May not be as forgiving for players with smaller hands|
|Elongated||Longer than 16 inches and narrower than 8 inches||Provides more reach and power||Good for singles players and players with a strong forehand||Less control than a standard paddle|
|Widebody||Shorter than 16 inches and wider than 8 inches||Provides more forgiveness and control||Good for beginners and players with smaller hands||Less reach and power than a standard paddle|
|Hybrid||A combination of the standard, elongated, and widebody shapes||Offers a variety of features and benefits||Can be a good choice for players of all levels||May not be as specialized as a paddle with a specific shape|
Ultimately, the best pickleball paddle shape for you will depend on your individual playing style and preferences. If you are a beginner, it is a good idea to start with a standard paddle. As you improve, you can experiment with different shapes to find one that suits you best. There are great options in paddles under 100 dollars, for sure. My first ‘real’ paddle was $89.
Some additional things you might want to consider when choosing your pickleball paddle shape:
- Your playing style: If you are a power player, you may want to choose an elongated paddle. If you are a control player, you may want to choose a standard or widebody paddle.
- Your hand size: If you have smaller hands, you may want to choose a widebody paddle. If you have larger hands, you may be able to use any shape.
- Your budget: Paddle shapes can vary in price. If you are on a budget, you may want to choose a standard paddle.
Is there really a difference in pickleball paddles?
There are major differences between pickleball paddles. There are countless specs, features, and technologies that all create differences from one paddle to the next. Some of these you’ll notice right away.
These include the material, shape, and weight of the paddle. Others are not so obvious, like how they are manufactured or the core materials and structure used.
Paddles under 100 dollars and paddles over 100 dollars will have differences in each of these areas. That doesn’t mean you need an expensive paddle. There are excellent paddles under 100 dollars that will give you a competitive level of performance.
Summary of Face Materials
|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
Summary of Core Materials
|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
Both the face and core materials contribute to the paddles’ overall weight. Each of the materials brings its own unique capabilities to the paddle performance, as you can see in the above tables. Combined, they contribute to the paddles’ overall weight.
The Balancing Act: Finding the Perfect Paddle for You
Choosing a pickleball paddle is all about finding the right balance between power and control, weight and maneuverability, price and durability. There are excellent paddles for those looking for a paddle under $100 that balance all these attributes.
Why Is Paddle Weight Important?
Lighter-weight paddles increase agility and control. This means fast hands at the net and placing your shots accurately.
Heavier paddles provide more power. These are excellent for players that like to drive the ball.
Our recommendations for Paddles Under $100 will include great options to fit your playing style, whether you are just starting out or are an advanced player.
|Lightweight (7-7.3 ounces)||Best for agility and control||Good for spin||Good for touch shots||Beginner|
|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||Singles|
|Extra Heavy (10-13 ounces)||Maximum power||Not as good for spin or control||Very unforgiving on mis-hits||Advanced|
Whether you’re a beginner seeking a good entry point or an intermediate player aiming to upgrade your gear, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll explore eight top-notch pickleball paddles under 100 dollars, each with its unique strengths and trade-offs to suit different players.
The 8 Best Pickleball Paddles Under 100 Dollars
Without further ado, let’s explore our top picks for the best pickleball paddles under 100 dollars. We’ll delve into their pros, cons, and standout features, helping you find the perfect paddle to up your game without breaking the bank.
1. XS XSPAK Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle: Power and Precision
The XS XSPAK Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle is a fantastic choice for a pickleball paddle under 100 dollars.
Its comfortable grip provides a perfectly cushioned hold, while the extra-large sweet spot and high-quality surface material offer a solid and predictable pop when hitting the ball.
Despite its excellent surface, some users report that the paint tends to wear off quickly. However, this does not affect its performance, making it a reliable option for consistent mid-weight paddle seekers.
2. Joola Essentials: Sweet Spot, Control, and Comfort
Next on our list is the Joola Essentials pickleball paddle. Known for its unique perforated grip and excellent pop, this slightly smaller-than-average midweight paddle offers a generous sweet spot and good control on the court.
Despite its limited spin capabilities, its multi-layered fiberglass face gives a nice snap to the ball, enhancing your control game.
Although it has some durability issues, the Joola Essentials still makes a great entry point for players wanting to start with a competitive paddle without splurging. It is a great option if you are looking for a pickleball paddle under 100 dollars.
3. Onix Z5 – Mystery Pick with Top Features
Our third pick is the Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle, a popular choice in the pickleball community known for its all-around consistency, quality, and feel.
This is a super pickleball paddle under $100. The wider-than-average face provides a large sweet spot, while the lightly textured surface is ideal for spin shots and cut shots alike.
Although the handle could be improved to prevent blisters and unraveling of the tape wrap, the Onix Z5 stands out for its natural flow of power when swinging, making it a tough paddle to beat.
4. Head Gravity Paddle – The Budget-friendly Beauty
The fourth paddle on our list is the Head Gravity Pickleball Paddle. Priced just under 100 dollars, this paddle boasts a composite and graphite mixture surface and a tri-axial pattern that adds killer spin to any shot.
Despite its thicker size, which may feel a bit clunky to some players, the Head Gravity features a massive sweet spot and a unique core design, offering great touch, shock absorption, and a highly reactive surface.
5. Selkirk SLK Evo Control Max – A Durable Delight
Moving on, the Selkirk SLK Evo Control Max Paddle is a reliable and durable choice. While it starts off a bit rigid and stiff, this paddle becomes more comfortable and controllable as it breaks in.
Despite its lack of manufacturer warranty, its forgiving sweet paddle face and robust build make it a worthwhile investment that gets better with age. Another one to consider if you are looking for a paddle under 100 dollars.
6. Paddletek Bantam TS-5 – Light as a Feather, Strong as a Rock
The Paddletek Bantam TS-5 Paddle is a high-performing, lightweight option that is quick and perfect for players with joint issues. With a soft core, slim body, and matte fiberglass face, this paddle excels in the control game.
Despite its ultra-lightweight, it feels powerful due to its smart weight distribution. However, keep in mind that the edge guard is thicker than many paddles, and the grip tape might come loose after heavy use.
7. Vatic Pro Prism Flash – The Perfect Balance of Weight and Handling
The seventh paddle on our list is the Vatic Pro Prism Flash. Priced at $99.99, it is a unibody, foam-injected paddle offering excellent features for a paddle under 100 dollars
Although it’s a bit stiffer with more pop compared to other paddles in its class, it provides better durability and higher levels of spin, making it a preferred choice for many players.
8 . Gearbox GH7 Plus – The Dark Horse in the Race
Finally, we have the Gearbox GH7 Plus Middleweight Composite Pickleball Paddle is one of the top-tier elongated paddles in its class.
The Gearbox GH7 Plus Middleweight Composite Pickleball Paddle features an elongated head for an extended reach and added maneuverability, perfect for players transitioning from racquet sports (tennis and racquetball).
The Gearbox GH7 Plus Middleweight Composite Pickleball Paddle includes Hyper Bite Spin Technology that will give you an extra edge against your opponent at the net while still giving you the power spin shots from the backline.
The Gearbox GH7 Plus Middleweight Composite Pickleball Paddle will also offer a traditional Gearbox feel, a nice soft sound, and impressive durability, with an eye-catching design to stand out on any court.
Summary of Features and Pricing For Our 8 Paddles
|Feature||XS XSPAK||JOOLA Essentials||Onix Z5||Head Gravity||Selkirk SLK Evo Control Max||PaddleTek Banta TS-5||Vatic Pro Prism||Gearbox GH7 Plus|
|Face Material||Carbon Fiber||Fiberglass||Graphite||Graphene||Graphite||Graphite||Graphene||Graphene|
|Core Material||Polypropylene Honeycomb||Response Honeycomb||Nomex honeycomb||EVA foam||EVA foam||EVA foam||EVA foam||EVA foam|
|Grip Size||Medium (4 1/4″)||Ridge (4.75″ length, 4″ circumference)||Medium (4 1/4″)||Medium (4 1/4″)||Medium (4 1/4″)||Medium (4 1/4″)||Medium (4 1/4″)||Medium (4 1/4″)|
|Pros||Good combination of control and power||Well-balanced combination of control and power||Excellent touch and ball control||Good combination of power and feel||Excellent touch and ball control||Good combination of power and feel||Excellent touch and ball control||Good combination of power and feel|
|Cons||May not be as durable as some other paddles||May not be as good for advanced players as some other paddles||Not as powerful as some other paddles||May not be as durable as some other paddles||May not be as good for beginners as some other paddles||May not be as durable as some other paddles||May not be as good for beginners as some other paddles||May not be as durable as some other paddles|
|Recommended Skill Level||Intermediate to advanced||Beginner to intermediate||Beginner to advanced||Intermediate||Intermediate||Intermediate||Intermediate||Intermediate|
As you can see, there are plenty of high-quality, budget-friendly pickleball paddles under $100 available on the market.
From power to precision, maneuverability, to control, these paddles cater to a variety of playstyles and skill levels.
However, remember that the best paddle is the one that feels right in your hands and fits your playing style. So, don’t be afraid to test out a few options before deciding on your perfect pickleball partner.
Summing Up: Top Pickleball Paddles Under 100 Dollars That Won’t Break the Bank.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, picking a good pickleball paddle doesn’t have to put a dent in your wallet.
The eight paddles we’ve outlined here all are paddles under 100 dollars and offer a great balance of quality, performance, and affordability.
We hope this guide helps you make an informed decision and find a paddle that not only improves your game but also increases your love for this fantastic sport!
The Last Word: Your Dream Paddle Awaits!
Choosing a pickleball paddle can seem overwhelming, with so many options available. However, armed with the knowledge from this guide, you’re now ready to find your perfect pickleball paddle.
Remember, the right paddle can significantly enhance your gameplay, comfort, and overall enjoyment of the sport. So take your time, consider your options, and make the choice that feels right for you. Happy pickling!