min read
August 1, 2023

Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players

Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players

Pickleball, a fast-growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, is becoming a favorite among people of all ages. As you transition from a beginner to an intermediate player, your equipment needs also evolve. The paddle you choose can significantly influence your gameplay, providing that much-needed edge on the court. This guide will help you identify the best pickleball paddles for intermediate players, all while improving your skills and enjoyment of the game.

So here's our top 5 picks for the Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players

1. Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddle $150

Selkirk Amped stands as a game-changer in the world of pickleball. Perfect for intermediate players, it masterfully balances power and control. The large sweet spot allows for precision play, even during high-stakes matches. While some players may find it slightly pricier than other options, its lightweight construction makes it a worthy investment for those looking to step up their game.

selkirk pickleball paddle

Weight: Approximately 7.9-8.3 oz (mid-weight model)

Material: FiberFlex Fiberglass face and X5 polypropylene core

Size: Approximately 15.75" length and 8" width

Grip size: Approximately 4.25"

Pros: Excellent balance between power and control; large sweet spot allows precision play.

Cons: Some players may find it slightly expensive; might be too lightweight for players who prefer a heavier paddle for power shots.

2. Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle $79

The Onix Z5 Graphite Paddle offers an impressive combination of power delivery and solid control. Its wide-body design and graphite face appeal to players who prefer a weightier feel without compromising on quick responses. While the heavier feel may not suit everyone, the Z5's exceptional performance makes it one of the top pickleball paddles for intermediate players.

onix pickleball paddle

Weight: Approximately 7.5-8.2 oz

Material: Graphite face and Nomex honeycomb core

Size: Approximately 15.5" length and 8.3" width

Grip size: Approximately 4.25"

Pros: Great power delivery and solid control; the wide-body design is loved by many players.

Cons: Some players may find it a bit heavier, which could slightly affect quick responses.

3. Paddletek Tempest Wave II Pickleball Paddle $129

Paddletek Tempest Wave II shines with its superb touch at the net and control, ideal for intermediate players seeking to enhance their defensive game. The quiet play design suits noise-sensitive environments. While it might not deliver the raw power some baseline hitters crave, its emphasis on control and touch play is second to none.

paddletek temptest

Weight: Approximately 7.4-7.8 oz

Material: Graphite face and Polymer honeycomb core

Size: Approximately 15.875" length and 8" width

Grip size: Approximately 4.25"

Pros: Praised for its touch at the net and control; the quiet play makes it suitable for noise-sensitive environments.

Cons: Some players may desire more power for baseline shots; design aesthetics may not appeal to everyone.

4. Gamma Sports 2.0 Pickleball Paddles $89.99

With a winning balance of power and control, Gamma Sports 2.0 excels for intermediate players. Its textured surface, perfect for imparting spin on the ball, adds a layer of strategy to your shots. Some players have pointed out durability issues, but these seem isolated incidents rather than the norm. If power and control are your top priorities, the Gamma Sports 2.0 paddle deserves your attention.

gamma sports pickleball paddle

Weight: Approximately 7.6 oz

Material: Textured composite face and Sensa Poly Core technology

Size: Approximately 15.6" length and 8.25" width

Grip size: Approximately 4.25"

Pros: Good balance of power and control; textured surface assists with spin shots.

Cons: There have been isolated reports of durability issues; players who are power-focused might prefer a different paddle.

5. Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddle $109.99

The Engage Encore Pro is known for its remarkable control and power, coupled with a larger sweet spot that aids precision shots. Though it’s on the pricier side, its consistent performance and premium feel make it a top choice for intermediate players. Those preferring a lightweight paddle might find it slightly hefty, but for most, the Encore Pro is the go-to for an elevated pickleball experience.

engage encore pickleball paddle

Weight: Approximately 7.9-8.3 oz

Material: Specialized 'ControlPro II' polymer core and proprietary 'ChemTEK' skin surface

Size: Approximately 15.5" length and 8.125" width

Grip size: Approximately 4.25"

Pros: Great control and power; larger sweet spot aids precision shots.

Cons: It is on the pricier side when compared with other options; weight could be an issue for players preferring a lightweight paddle.

How do you pick a pickleball paddle for an intermediate player?

Selecting the right pickleball paddle as an intermediate player is a crucial step in advancing your game. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Skill Level: As an intermediate player, you've already gained some experience on the court. You're familiar with the basics of the game and have started developing your style. Therefore, you should choose a paddle that complements your skill level and playing style. Some paddles are designed for more power, while others emphasize control or spin.

2. Material: Pickleball paddles come in a variety of materials, including wood, composite, and graphite. Wood paddles are typically heavier and less costly, but they may not offer the same level of performance as composite or graphite paddles. Composite paddles offer a good balance of control and power, making them a popular choice for intermediate players. Graphite paddles, on the other hand, are usually lightweight and offer excellent control, but they can be more expensive.

3. Weight: The weight of the paddle can significantly affect your game. Lighter paddles (6-7 ounces) provide better control and are easier on the arm, but they might lack power. Heavier paddles (8-9 ounces) offer more power but can lead to arm fatigue. As an intermediate player, you might want to try different weights to see which feels more comfortable and fits your playing style.

4. Grip Size: The grip size should match your hand size for maximum comfort and control. As a rule of thumb, if you're 5'2" or shorter, a grip size of 4" could be suitable. If you're between 5'3" and 5'8", a 4 1/4" grip might be ideal. For those taller than 5'9", a 4 1/2" grip could be perfect.

5. Price: Determine your budget before shopping for a paddle. As an intermediate player, investing in a slightly more expensive paddle might be worthwhile as the performance and durability often improve with price.

6. Reviews and Recommendations: Reading customer reviews and asking for recommendations can provide valuable insight into a paddle's performance. Keep in mind, though, that everyone has unique preferences, so what works for one player may not work for you.

Ultimately, the best way to choose a paddle is to try out a few different models and see which one feels the most comfortable in your hand and suits your playstyle. Make sure to keep practicing and experimenting as you progress in your pickleball journey.

What is the best intermediate pickleball paddle for men?

Take a look at our top 5 paddles a the top of the page. There’s no real difference in the paddle structure for men and women

Is there really a difference in pickleball paddles?

Yes, there is a significant difference in pickleball paddles which can greatly influence a player's game. The key differences lie in the paddle's material, weight, size, shape, grip size, and core type. Materials range from wood to composite and graphite, each offering unique performance characteristics. The weight of a paddle impacts both control and power, with lighter paddles providing more maneuverability and heavier ones delivering more power. The size and shape affect the paddle's sweet spot, reach, and ease of handling. The grip size should align with a player's hand size for comfort and effective play, while the core type, made from materials like aluminum, Nomex, or polymer, influences the balance of control and power. Some paddles even feature edge guards for increased durability. Ultimately, the choice of paddle depends on an individual's playing style and preference.

How do you pick a pickleball paddle for beginners?

Choosing a pickleball paddle for beginners involves considering several factors to ensure a comfortable, enjoyable initiation into the sport. Since beginners are still developing their technique, it's beneficial to start with a lighter paddle made from cost-effective, durable materials like wood or composite. A lighter paddle provides better control and maneuverability and puts less strain on the arm and wrist. Selecting a paddle with a larger surface area can also be advantageous as it provides a bigger sweet spot, making it easier to hit the ball. Lastly, the grip size should be comfortable and align with the beginner's hand size. Remember, while these guidelines provide a starting point, personal comfort and preference should be the ultimate deciding factor.