5 Best Pickleball Paddles for Advanced Players

Reviewed by Brenton Barker
Last updated:
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Best Pickleball Paddles for Advanced Players

In the quest for pickleball glory, advanced players of 2023 face the age-old riddle: Does amazing play spawn from the paddle, or does the paddle birth the expert play? While we can’t unravel this cosmic enigma, we can confidently say that in today’s fiercely competitive scene, a top-tier paddle like our top pick—JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus CFS 16mm Textured Carbon Fiber Control Paddle—is essential for anyone looking to up their game. As pickleball has evolved into one of the fastest-growing sports in North America, the demand for paddles that offer a dynamic combo of power, control, and spin has skyrocketed. That’s why we’ve assessed dozens of paddles and narrowed them down to the 11 best, tailored for pro-level play in 2023.

Picking the right paddle isn’t just about smashing the ball; it’s an art form. Your choice depends on various factors like weight, grip, and even weather conditions. With this comprehensive guide, we’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation. We’ve looked at design, materials, weight, balance, and performance to bring you paddles that have won the stamp of approval from 5.0-level pros. From paddles optimized for touch and finesse to those that pack a punch with maximum energy return, we’ve got you covered. So read on, because a better paddle just might be your ticket to better play!


Best Overall Pickleball Paddle for Advanced Players

JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus 16mm Middleweight Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle

JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus 16 Pickleball Paddle

Looking for one of the best pickleball paddles for advanced players? Look no further! The JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus 16mm Middleweight Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle is our top pick for best overall paddle in this category. Designed in collaboration with the world’s number one pickleball player, Ben Johns, this paddle is engineered for top-tier performance. Whether you’re playing on a center court or at your local rec center, this paddle delivers. It features a “charged” carbon surface technology for that extra oomph in your shots, while maintaining a connective feel to keep your shots on target. The special shape design of the paddle enlarges the sweet spot, offering optimal forgiveness—making it a versatile weapon for advanced players seeking both power and control.

Not only does the Perseus paddle boast a thick 16mm core for enhanced power, but it also features an elongated 16 1/2” shape, giving players an all-court advantage. This makes every shot reachable, especially for former tennis players aiming to become pickleball pros. Wrapped in JOOLA’s tacky Sure Grip, the long handle provides extra swing speed on drives and overheads. Its Reactive Honeycomb Polymer core uses innovative technology, including a honeycomb design and injected hyperfoam, to provide a blend of power and control. Plus, the paddle comes with a 6-month warranty, offering peace of mind for those hard-hitting players out there.

Bottom Line

So if you’re an advanced player who wants to fall in love with every shot, the JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus paddle is the ace up your sleeve!

Features

  • Weight: 8.0 oz
  • Paddle surface material: Charged Carbon Surface Technology
  • Paddle core material: Honeycomb Polypropylene
  • Core thickness: 16mm
  • Grip size: 4 1/4″
  • Handle length: 5 1/2″
  • Paddle length: 16 1/2″
  • Paddle width: 7 1;2″

Benefits

Pros

  • Charged Carbon Surface Technology: This innovative feature strengthens the paddle and provides a crisp feel with increased energy return.
  • Fully Encased in Carbon for Durability: The carbon fiber construction gives this paddle extreme strength.
  • Sweet Spot Optimized Shape: The specially engineered shape creates a large sweet spot for added accuracy and control.
  • Feel-Tec Pure Grip: We appreciated the tacky handle with its sweat-absorbing qualities.

Cons

  • Balance Shift from Hyperion Model: as it feels more head-heavy.
  • We came across a few comments that mentioned the headguards coming away from the paddle, leading to poor feel and performance.
  • While this paddle is packed with features and improvements, it’s not the most budget-friendly option

FAQ’s: JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus

How does the Perseus paddle compare to other JOOLA paddles?

Compared to other JOOLA paddles, the Perseus stands out due to its charged carbon surface technology and fully encased carbon construction. This gives it a unique combination of power, control, and durability. When put it to the test, we noticed a significant difference in terms of feel and energy return compared to other JOOLA paddles.

What makes the Perseus suitable for professional players like Ben Johns?

The Perseus paddle is designed with input from Ben Johns, the world’s number one pickleball player. It offers aggressive, offensive players every technological advantage over their opponents. Furthermore, the power and control provided by the charged carbon surface technology and optimized sweet spot allow professional players like Ben Johns to perform at the highest level.

What are the main features of the JOOLA Perseus 14mm paddle?

The key features of the JOOLA Perseus 14mm paddle include:
Charged Carbon Surface Technology
Fully Encased Carbon Fiber Construction
Optimized Sweet Spot Shape
Feel-Tec Pure Grip
Collaboration with World #1 Pickleball Player Ben Johns
These characteristics contribute to improved power, increased feel, enhanced sweet spot, and added accuracy and contro

How does the JOOLA Perseus differ from the JOOLA Hyperion?

While both the Perseus and Hyperion are high-quality paddles, the Perseus offers the charged carbon surface technology and a more optimized sweet spot shape. This results in a more reactive paddle with better power, control, and feel. Users who have previously enjoyed the Hyperion tend to notice a noticeable difference when switching to the Perseus paddle.

What are the differences between the Perseus 14mm and 16mm paddles?

The primary difference between the Perseus 14mm and 16mm paddles lies in the thickness of the paddle. The 16mm version is slightly thicker, resulting in added power and stability. Choosing between the two depends on personal preference and play style. Some may find the extra power from the 16mm beneficial, while others might prefer the slightly lighter and more maneuverable 14mm version.

How does the Perseus compare to the JOOLA Scorpius?

While both the Perseus and Scorpius are designed for high-performance play, the Perseus stands out due to its charged carbon surface technology and fully encased carbon construction. This gives the paddle improved power, feel, and durability. Furthermore, it has been crafted with input from Ben Johns, giving it the edge in terms of professional-level performance. On the other hand, the Scorpius is a solid choice for competitive players but does not offer the same level of innovation and performance as the Perseus.



Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Pickleball Paddles for Advanced Players

Navigating through pickleball paddles may seem like a piece of cake for the unseasoned, but for advanced players, it’s not just a paddle—it’s an extension of your arm. Here’s what to ponder while selecting your next high-performance pickleball paddle.

Weight

If you’re an advanced player, you’re probably ready to juggle both speed and power like a pro tennis player on a double espresso. Look for paddles weighing 7.5 to 9 ounces. This offers a balanced combo of agility and wallop that’ll serve you right—literally.

Paddle Surface Material

Graphite This isn’t just a cat chasing a laser; it’s a cheetah on the hunt. Ideal for those fast-reflex net plays. Carbon Fiber Think of it as the sports car in a world of sedans. Adds power without the extra pounds. Fiberglass Flexible yet unforgiving, it’s like a seasoned acrobat making that perfect landing. TeXtreme Carbon Light as a feather, strong as an ox, and smooth as jazz. This is next-level material for the ultra-competitive.

Paddle Core Material

Polypropylene Advanced players might find the extra touch and control quite a treat for those spin shots. Nomex Hard as nails and fast as a hare—ideal for those who like to dominate with power. Aluminum For the players who’ve mastered the art of touch and placement over power. Kevlar Yes, it’s as tough as it sounds. Perfect for those who want a paddle that can take a beating.

Sweet Spot

Your paddle’s sweet spot isn’t just a bullseye; it’s the sniper’s target. Advanced paddles often have a specialized, elongated sweet spot designed for precision shots.

Grip Size

Grip is crucial. Opt for a thicker grip if you’re gunning for a more wrist-heavy, spin-oriented game. On the flip side, a thinner grip offers better control and finesse.

Handle Length

For the pros, handle length translates to paddle leverage. A longer handle provides more torque, giving you that extra oomph for aggressive plays.

Paddle Length

For the advanced, paddle length becomes a strategic choice. A longer paddle offers more reach for defensive plays, while a shorter one gives greater maneuverability for quick volleys.

Cost

Advanced paddles can run from $150 to $300. Think of it as the difference between a solid mountain bike and a Tour de France road bike. The investment can elevate your game from great to legendary.

And there you have it! Advanced players, may this guide be your North Star in the galaxy of pickleball paddle options. Choose wisely and dominate that court!


Best Pickleball Paddles for Advanced Players:

Gearbox CX14E Ultimate Power Elongated Pickleball Paddle

Gearbox CX14E Ultimate Heavyweight Elongated Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle

The Gearbox CX14E Ultimate Power Elongated Paddle is a game-changer, especially when it comes to the best pickleball paddles for advanced players. Combining Gearbox’s Solid Span Technology (SST) core with an upgraded 3K woven carbon fiber face, this paddle delivers exceptional power and stability. Its elongated shape (16-5/8″ long by 7-3/8″ wide) and midweight 8.5 oz. mass provide advanced players the perfect balance for powerful two-handed backhands, angled dinks, and overhead shots. Additionally, the paddle comes equipped with Hyper-Bite 2.0 Technology, giving players the ability to impart unprecedented spin on the ball, making it an ideal tool for those looking to elevate their game.

What sets this paddle apart is the newly introduced Power Band Technology, which creates a “trampoline effect” on the paddle face for effortless power. This technology detaches and suspends the patented SST core rib structure from the paddle’s perimeter, providing a plush yet powerful feel. The CX14E is also engineered to minimize impact vibrations and torque, resulting in a paddle that’s not only powerful but also impressively quiet and durable. Endorsed by pros like Joey Farias and Jeff Warnick, it’s clear this paddle is designed for players who are serious about advancing their pickleball skills.

Bottom Line

This paddle’s design focuses on enhancing power, control, and spin, making it a top choice for players aiming to up their game.

Features

  • Weight: 8.5 oz
  • Paddle surface material: 3K Woven Carbon Fiber
  • Paddle core material: T-700 Carbon Fiber
  • Core thickness: 14mm
  • Grip size: 3 5/8″
  • Handle length: 5 5/8″
  • Paddle length: 16 5/8″
  • Paddle width: 7 5/8″

Benefits

Pros

  • Engineered to minimize vibrations
  • Precise control over angled dinks and longer reach on the court.
  • Exceptional Spin Control

Cons

  • Some players reported this paddle sacrificed power for spin

Selkirk Amped S2 Pickleball Paddle

Selkirk Amped S2 Middleweight Pickleball Paddle

Looking for one of the best pickleball paddles for advanced players? Look no further than the Selkirk Amped S2 Middleweight Composite Pickleball Paddle. Made in the USA, this paddle offers a unique blend of both power and control that sets it apart from the competition. The S2 features a distinctive shape with a slightly shorter handle than the traditional Epic shape, which allows for a larger face. This engineering feat results in the largest sweet spot in the pickleball industry, according to Selkirk. The paddle is part of Selkirk’s Amped series, designed to amplify both power and control thanks to its FiberFlex Fiberglass face and revolutionary X5 polypropylene core.

What makes the S2 truly special is its versatility. Whether you’re dominating from the backline or finessing in the kitchen, this paddle is an all-court wonder. The Amped S2 is the brainchild of US Open Silver Medalist Tony Tollenaar, ensuring it has the chops for high-level play. Selkirk hasn’t just stopped at performance; they’ve also focused on aesthetics and durability.

Bottom Line

With newly updated graphics and a revamped edge guard adhesion process, this paddle is not only visually striking but also built to last. For advanced players, the Selkirk Amped S2 is more than just a paddle; it’s a game-changer.

Features

  • Weight: 7.9 – 8.4 oz
  • Paddle surface material: FiberFlex Composite
  • Paddle core material: X5 Core polyproylene Honeycomb
  • Core thickness: 16mm
  • Grip size: 4 1/4″
  • Handle length: 4 1/2″
  • Paddle length: 15 3/4″
  • Paddle width: 8″

Benefits

Pros

  • Experience the largest sweet spot in the pickleball industry for unparalleled consistency.
  • From the backline to the kitchen, you will be impressed.
  • Built to last with a revamped edge guard adhesion process.

Cons

  • Some players felt the grip was too small.

Diadem Warrior V2 Pickleball Paddle

Diadem Warrior V2 Pickleball Paddle

If you’re looking for one of the best pickleball paddles for advanced players, look no further than the Diadem Warrior V2 Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle. This upgraded iteration of the Warrior V1 boasts a 19mm thick core with three distinct honeycomb layers. These layers feature a rubberized Nomex core that dampens vibrations, sandwiched between two honeycomb layers to enhance the paddle’s large sweet spot and touch. This complex core structure gives you that extra “pop” and feedback, making it a game-changing tool for advanced players.

Another highlight is the Etched Carbon Fiber paddle face, designed for those precise spinning cut shots and serves. Its middle-heavyweight feel offers greater maneuverability and quicker reload time, especially near the non-volley zone. Paired with the Taper-Tech molded handle that encourages a two-handed backhand, this paddle is the epitome of technological advancement in the pickleball world. Whether you’re smashing overhead slams or going for subtle drop shots, the Diadem Warrior V2 sets you up for success with its exceptional feel and versatile capabilities.

Bottom Line

The paddle’s construction and shape, endorsed by professional players, make it ideal for those seeking to elevate their game.

Features

  • Weight: 8.25 oz
  • Paddle surface material: Carbon Fiber with Grip Paint Surface
  • Paddle core material: 3X – L core with Polyproylene Honeycomb
  • Core thickness: 19mm
  • Grip size: 4 1/8″
  • Handle length: 5.3″
  • Paddle length: 16 2/5″
  • Paddle width: 7 2/5″

Benefits

Pros

  • Thick core that adds incredible “pop” to your game!
  • Etched Carbon Fiber face can create ridiculous spin
  • Middle-heavyweight feel, gives you more maneuverability without sacrificing power.

Cons

  • Some players reported that the grip size was too thin.

Gamma Hellbender

GAMMA Hellbender Graphite Pickleball Paddle

If you’re an advanced player in the market for top-tier gear, the GAMMA Hellbender Graphite Pickleball Paddle is bound to catch your eye. This paddle showcases an elongated face that boosts your follow-through and adds oomph to your swing. What sets it apart is its NeuCore technology, making the paddle 25% thicker than previous GAMMA models, which results in reduced vibrations and a remarkably soft touch. The textured graphite face isn’t just for show; it helps add spin to your shots, making it a lot easier to land those tricky hits.

The GAMMA Hellbender finds a sweet balance in weight, tipping the scales at an average of 7.6 oz. This medium weight leaning towards the lighter end is your ticket to swift rallies and quick wrist action. With its cushioned, honeycomb-style handle and tacky grip, say goodbye to slip-ups and hello to precision.

Bottom line

For advanced players, the Hellbender serves as a fantastic tool that combines a sensitive touch with balanced power, elevating your dynamic play to new heights.

Features

  • Weight: 7.6 oz
  • Paddle surface material: Textured Graphite
  • Paddle core material: NeuCore Polypropylene
  • Core thickness: 16mm
  • Grip size: 4 1/8″
  • Handle length: 4 1/2″
  • Paddle length: 16 1/8″
  • Paddle width: 7 5/8″

Benefits

Pros

  • The elongated face maximizes the sweet spot.
  • NeuCore technology reduces vibrations, giving you a softer touch and more control.
  • Perfect balance of power and speed.

Cons

  • Some players reported the sweet spot was smaller than advertised.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know when it’s time to replace your pickleball paddle?

If you start to notice your paddle’s surface is smooth like a baby’s bottom instead of having its usual grippy texture, it’s probably time for a new one. Cracks or dead spots also mean it’s “out with the old, in with the new!

Is pickleball a solid investment?

Is Pickleball a Solid Investment?: In terms of fun and fitness, it’s a home run—or should I say, a “smash hit!” But if you’re thinking of investing in pickleball gear or courts, it’s a growing market, so you might just hit the jackpot as many professional athletes are on board with buying teams!

How much should an advanced player be prepared to pay for a pickleball paddle?

A pro-level paddle can cost you anywhere from $150 to $300. In pickleball, you get what you pay for, so consider it an investment in your awesomeness.

Who is the highest paid pickleball player?

Pickleball recently documented the Pro Prize Money Winnings for the top 20 pickleball pros. They list Ben Johns at the top of the pack winning over $115k.


Bottom Line

Pickleball isn’t just a game; it’s a symphony where each player is both the conductor and the first violin. Your paddle? Well, it’s your baton and your bow, setting the tempo and nuance of every move you make on the court. So, want to be the maestro of your own pickleball universe? Look no further than our top pick—JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus CFS 16mm Textured Carbon Fiber Control Paddle. It’s got everything an advanced player could wish for: power, control, and a generous sweet spot that forgives your occasional off-notes.

But don’t stop there! To be a true court virtuoso, you’ll need more than just top-tier gear. You’ll need strategy. So go ahead and check out our article on the 11 Strategic Rules on How to Score Pickleball Efficiently. It’s like the sheet music to your pickleball concerto, guiding you note-by-note to victory. So snag that JOOLA paddle and dive into our strategic guide—you’re just a few reads and swings away from pickleball greatness.

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Author

Ken Kochman is the founder and chief editor at mypickleballauthority.com. His aim? Very simple. Cut through all the hype and misleading advertisements so you can make the best decision for your pickleball needs based on your level of play.