The Ultimate Guide to the Best Lightweight Pickleball Paddles

best lightweight pickleball paddles

Pickleball, a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has become increasingly popular in recent years. Whether you’re an experienced player or new to the game, choosing the right pickleball paddle can significantly impact your performance on the court. Among the many options available, lightweight pickleball paddles have gained popularity for their ease of use and ability to enhance gameplay. This guide will explore the best lightweight pickleball paddles, covering key factors to consider, top picks, and how to select the perfect paddle for your style of play.

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Understanding Pickleball Paddle Weights

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to understand the weight categories of pickleball paddles. Paddles are generally classified into three main weights:

lightweight (under 7.3 ounces)

midweight (7.3 to 8.4 ounces)

heavyweight (8.5 ounces and above)

Lightweight paddles offer easier access to swift movements and greater control, which is why many players, especially those with joint issues or who prefer less stress on their wrists, opt for them.

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The Best Lightweight Pickleball Paddles: Key Factors to Consider

best lightweight pickleball paddles

When searching for the best lightweight pickleball paddles or a midweight paddle, several key factors come into play:

  • Core Material: The core affects the paddle’s weight and feel. Popular options include polypropylene honeycomb cores and aluminum cores, each offering different levels of ball control, power, and reaction time. 
  • Surface Material: From composite to carbon fiber, different materials can influence the paddle’s weight and performance. Carbon fiber paddles, for instance, are known for their lightweight design and superior performance.
  • Grip Size: The size of the paddle’s grip can impact your game, with smaller grips allowing for more wrist action and larger grips providing greater stability. Finding the perfect fit is key to your pickleball success. 
  • Edge Guard: An edge guard protects the paddle from damage but can add extra weight. Opt for paddles with reduced-weight edge guards for a lighter feel without compromising durability.

Top Picks for Best Lightweight Pickleball Paddles

Selkirk AMPED Omni Lightweight Pickleball Paddle: Known for its excellent maneuverability and larger sweet spot, this paddle is a top choice for players seeking lightweight options without sacrificing power.

Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddle | Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle with a Polypropylene X5 Core | Pickleball Rackets Made in The USA | 2021 Epic Lightweight Sapphire Blue |
  • 【 HANDCRAFTED IN THE USA 】 More than the premier Pickleball brand – we are Pickleball. Every Selkirk paddle is made with the finest materials and proprietary, leading-edge technology. We’re invested in creating and developing the best-performing Pickleball paddles to provide you with top-of-the-line equipment, fuelling your obsession with the sport you love, and giving you an edge in every match.
  • 【 FIBERGLASS PICKLEBALL PADDLE 】 Pioneering an entirely new technology, never before seen in the Pickleball industry. The AMPED paddle combines a state of the art FiberFlex Fiberglass face with a thicker Polypropylene X5 Core providing optimal ball cushioning. The sleek fiberglass surface generates unmatched ball spin, and defuses your opponents spin effortlessly and accurately.

Onix Z5 Pickleball Paddle: Featuring a graphite face and a nomex honeycomb core, the Onix Z5 offers a perfect balance between lightweight design and pop, making it a great option for players of all skill levels.

Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro: With its advanced technology, including a Smart Response Technology core, this paddle provides exceptional control and touch, ideal for players who value precision and soft play.

How to Choose the Perfect Lightweight Paddle

Choosing the right lightweight pickleball paddle ultimately depends on personal preference and style of play. Consider experimenting with different weights, grip sizes, and material compositions to find what best fits your needs. Always remember, the perfect paddle is one that feels comfortable in your hands and complements your game.

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What weight pickleball paddle does Ben Johns use?

Ben Johns, one of the top professional pickleball players, uses a paddle specifically designed to cater to his advanced skill level and style of play. As of my last update, Ben Johns endorses and uses the “Ben Johns Signature Pickleball Paddle” by Johns’ sponsor. This paddle is in the midweight range, typically weighing around 8.1 ounces. The exact model may evolve as technology and sponsorships change, but the weight class would remain in the midweight category to provide a perfect balance between power and control, suiting an aggressive style of play like that of Ben Johns.

Can I add weight to my pickleball paddle?

Yes, you can add weight to your pickleball paddle. Players may choose to do this to enhance the paddle’s balance, increase power in their shots, or alter the handling to better suit their style of play. Adding weight can be done by using lead tape, which is commonly applied to the edges or specific areas on the paddle’s face where a player wants to adjust the balance or feel. However, it’s important to do this carefully and incrementally to ensure the paddle remains comfortable to use and compliant with official regulations regarding paddle specifications.

What’s a better pickleball paddle: Selkirk vs. Onix

Determining which pickleball paddle is better depends on individual preferences, skill level, and style of play. Let’s consider two popular models for illustrative comparison: the Selkirk AMPED Omni Lightweight Pickleball Paddle and the Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle.

  • Selkirk AMPED Omni Lightweight Pickleball Paddle: This paddle is known for its larger sweet spot, excellent maneuverability, and lightweight design, making it ideal for players looking for speed and precision without added stress on the arm. It’s a great choice for those who value nuanced play and control.
  • Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle: The Onix Z5 offers a perfect balance between power and lightweight design. It features a graphite face for increased control and a nomex honeycomb core for pop, suitable for players of all skill levels who prefer a versatile paddle that performs well in various situations.

When comparing these two, the choice comes down to what aspects of play are most important to you. If you prioritize a large sweet spot and control, the Selkirk AMPED Omni might be the better option. If you’re looking for versatility and balance between power and control, the Onix Z5 Graphite could be the better choice. Ultimately, the best pickleball paddles are the ones that fit your unique needs and helps elevate your game.

Best Pickleball Paddle for New Players

Entering the world of pickleball can be an exciting adventure, and having the right equipment is crucial for a good start. One of the most important pieces of equipment for any player is their paddle. For new players, choosing a paddle that is forgiving, easy to handle, and can aid in developing skills is key. As such, let’s explore some of the factors that make a paddle ideal for new players and highlight a top pick to consider.

Key Considerations for New Players

When selecting a pickleball paddle, new players should look for features that will support their learning curve and enhance their enjoyment of the game:

  • Weight: Opt for a midweight paddle (around 7.3 to 8.4 ounces). This weight range provides a good balance between control and power, making its easier for beginners to get a feel for the ball without straining their arms.
  • Surface Area and Sweet Spot: A paddle with a large surface area and a generous sweet spot is more forgiving of off-center hits, helping beginners consistently make successful shots.
  • Grip Size: Make sure the paddle’s grip is comfortable in your hand. A grip that’s too big or too small can lead to fatigue and affect your ability to control the paddle. Generally, smaller grips offer more wrist action for spins, while larger grips provide more stability.
  • Material: Beginners should look for a paddle with a durable construction that can withstand the learning process. Composite or graphite paddles are great choices as they offer a good blend of power, control, and durability without being too expensive.

Top Pick For New Players: The Niupipo Pickleball Paddle

The Niupipo Pickleball Paddle stands out as an excellent option for new players. Here’s why:

  • Weight: It falls within the ideal midweight range, which is perfect for beginners looking to develop a balanced game.
  • Surface: The Niupipo paddle features a composite surface, which helps to increase the paddle’s durability and provides a good amount of power and control for new players.
  • Grip: The comfortable grip size suits most hands, easing the learning process and reducing fatigue during play.
  • Sweet Spot: This paddle boasts a large sweet spot, forgiving mishits that are common among beginners and helping to build confidence in their shots.
  • Price: Priced affordably, it presents great value for those just starting and not wanting to invest heavily in their first piece of equipment.
niupipo Pickleball Paddles, Lightweight Pickleball Rackets w/Fiberglass Surface, Pickleball Set of 4 Balls and 1 Pickleball Bag
  • USAPA Approve for Victory; niupipo pickleball rackets has passed USAPA testing and is approved for sanctioned tournament play; Widebody pickleball paddles shape with 4.72”grip length and 4.25” grip circumference; Pickleball rackets Face Dimensions: 10.71″ L x 7.80″ W x 0.43″ H Lightweight pickleball paddle 7.62-8oz; Niupipo pickleball rackets can withstand any challenges on the court; Having a high-quality Fiberglass pickleball paddles can completely transform your gamensform your game
  • More Power and Less Noise; The pickleball rackets is made of fiberglass face and Polypropylene-honeycomb composition for an ideal level of strength and stiffness with a surprisingly lightweight; Fiberglass face has more power than graphite face which can cushion each hit with supper pop; Polypropylene is softer and has larger honeycomb cells – this is a good material of pickleball paddles which holds up well; Because it’s a softer material it is quieter and has great power
  • Less Stress On Elbow and Shoulder; The pickleball rackets is noticeably lighter than most paddles, which allows for a longtime play without fatigue; It can also effectually reduce your elbow and shoulder stress while gaming; Edge protection is provided for ground hits; Low-profile edge guard protects the edges of pickleball paddles, yet slim enough to reduce mishits
  • Premium Grip, Perfect Handle Size; The pickleball paddles are comfortable to handle and works well while in gameplay; USAPA standard pro pickleball paddles are perforated, sweat absorbent, and cushioned, to allow for a better pickleball rackets grip
  • Comes With 1 Bag And 4 Balls; Every pickleball rackets is designed to be an awesome pickleball paddle for either a beginner or a professional player; Durable pickleball paddles, plenty of pickleballs, and a convenient carry bag provide everything you need for your group; This pickleball set will help you win any challenge; Having high-quality fiberglass pickleball paddles can completely transform your game


Lightweight pickleball paddles are a fantastic choice for players seeking agility, control, and less stress on the body during play. By understanding the key factors to consider and exploring the top picks, you can find the best lightweight pickleball paddles that not only improve your game but also bring greater enjoyment to your play sessions. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, the right lightweight paddle can significantly impact your pickleball experience.

Last update on 2024-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Tom Fitzgerald