The 7 Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players (3.5) 2023
Pickleball is fairly easy to learn and a fun way of staying physically active. However, choosing the perfect paddles that match your playing style and needs is not that easy with so many options in the market.
If you are getting better at your game or want to improve it, it’s essential to upgrade your paddles to an intermediate level. Whether you are indecisive about buying a paddle with more power or accuracy or want to know the best material for pickleball paddles, we’ve got you covered.
After thorough research, we list down the seven best pickleball paddles for intermediate players (3.5). To know their features, pros, and cons in-depth, keep reading.
Table of Contents
- Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players: Our Picks
- What to Look For in a Pickleball Paddle?
- The Bottom Line
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Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players: Our Picks
Choosing the right pickleball is the first step towards a better gaming experience. Here are the seven paddles we recommend to mid-level players.
1. XS XSPAK Pro 1.0 Pickleball Paddle (Lightweight)
XS XSPAK pickleball paddles are high-quality paddles and have a solid build. Players at any level can use these paddles, but they are popular mainly with intermediate players.
These graphite face paddles are lightly textured, so they give power and spin at the same time. With them, you get mobility and speed and can hit the ball with accuracy.
The polymer honeycomb core gives a quieter sound than wooden or aluminum paddles. The big honeycomb holes absorb the sound and let you enjoy your game without causing noise for others.
The XS XSPAK paddles have an 8 inches width and 15.6-inch length, an ideal size for most players. This size of paddle provides a generous sweet spot for more accurate and power shots.
For the intermediate players, who are familiar with lightweight paddles, 8-ounce is a perfect weight. Many elderly players and players with elbow or wrist injuries also find this weight perfect.
XSPAK mid-weight allows to play strong shots and balance the power and control.
Its handle is a 4.25-inch grip circumference. XS XSPAK uses a perforated texture that is sweat-resistant and provides comfort to the hand for long games. For the safety and longevity of paddle life, a 1/5 edge cover is used. For extra protection, this set comes in a high-quality portable bag.
In short, if you are thinking of moving on to the next level with your game, choosing XS XSPAK is a good idea.
- Comes with a protective cover
- Provides excellent pop and control
- Suitable for spin shots
- It is not a good option for power hits.
2. JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion Pickleball Paddle
JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion pickleball paddle is a USAPA-approved pickleball and a good choice for different skill-level players, especially intermediate players.
It features a 16 mm polypropylene honeycomb core, which is considered ideal for pickleball paddles. It allows the paddle to compress and absorb the shock. The honeycomb core makes the paddle lightweight and durable. The edge guard is there, but a few people reported that it become loose within some time. Although you can fix edge guard of a pickleball paddle, that’s not the ideal case scenario.
The ridged grip doesn’t let the sweat or wet weather affect your game and provides a non-slippery grip. The length of the grip is 5.5″, so it’s a great paddle for playing two-handed backhands. However, if you’ve small hands, you might not feel comfortable playing with this paddle.
Thanks to the carbon abrasion surface, the paddle doesn’t only offer spin, but also power. JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion paddle weighs around 8.3 oz, which is slightly heavier. So, this, in addition to the surface, makes this a great paddle for those who prefer power.
The paddle comes with a 120-day warranty and offers good bang for your buck.
- Offers better spin
- Suitable for players of various levels
- Smooth feel
- Slightly expensive
3. Vinsguir Graphite Pickleball Paddle
Vinsguir paddles are USAPA-approved. So, you can practice with them and participate in any competition. These paddles have many features that the users liked; however, the distinct, colorful and attractive design is the first thing that attracts people. The paint is indelible due to the UV paddle technology.
Its core is made of a Polymer honeycomb that is covered from both sides with carbon fiber sheets. Honeycomb is an ideal choice for paddles to give very moderate control and power to the players.
Graphite surface pickleball paddles are light in weight and stronger than other materials. They help players to get more accurate hits and better spin shots. This material gives your racket a long life.
The 7.8 oz paddle weight is perfect for people with speed and agility. They can swing their paddles and can play for a long time without getting tired. The weight is distributed between handle and paddle face with balance.
The handle is smooth and comfortable. Non-slippery 4.92 inches grip length 4.25 inches in circumference makes them an ultimate pick for players.
In short, If you can’t afford too much noise in your surroundings, these Vinsguir paddles are for you.
- The indoor ball is also included.
- The quality of the travel bag is good.
- Comfortable grip
- Great paddle for both casual and professional players
- Some people find it thin
4. Amazin’ Aces Classic Graphite Pickleball Paddle
Amazin’ Aces is the perfect pickleball set for beginner to intermediate players. It includes two paddles, four pickleball, and a carrying bag to keep everything safely in one place.
Its mid-weight design (8.2 oz) is perfect for intermediate players. It provides the ideal balance of control and power. Amazin’ Aces manufactured a hand-stitched grip for this set. This comfortable grip allows the players to compete in long matches and keep playing for hours without fatigue.
Amazin’ Aces graphite paddle has a high-performance Polymer core that makes these paddles the quietest. It is the best option for noise-restricted communities.
However, if you plan to play in tournaments, you should avoid this set as it isn’t USAPA approved.
Amazin’ Aces are soft and flexible paddles and provide a middle ground for players looking for power and control. With the graphite face and large sweet spot, you can have many successful hits. Edge guards will protect and increase the life span of your Amazin’ Aces pickleball.
Yet, if there is any problem with the paddle within the first year, you can get it fixed or replaced for free, thanks to its warranty.
- Its grip is hand-stitched and provides more comfort
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Very affordable price
- Impressive and very responsive customer service
- This graphite paddle is not USAPA approved
5. Rally PX Graphite Pickleball Paddle
Rally PX Graphite Pickleball Paddle is a perfect choice for beginners to advanced players. It is especially popular due to its lightweight and easy maneuvering. Weight ranges from 7.8 to 8 oz, which is ideal for all level players and prevents elbow or wrist injuries.
Unlike aluminum core, graphite face with Nomex core provides high dent resistance. As a result, it gives a nice pop to the ball and power to the player.
A wide graphite carbon face gives enough space for the player to get more hits and has a larger sweet spot. Even with an edge guard, there is less chance of missing the target and even while hitting off-center shots. It allows more control over the ball, placement, and spin.
It is solid yet soft and durable. Honeycomb composite polymer core provides a sweet spot and smooth surface.
Five inches long and 4.25 inches circumference cushioned handle, a perfect fit for the majority of people. The handle is smooth and absorbs sweat; therefore, you can play several matches.
- USAPA approved for tournaments
- Best suited for people with arthritis
- Available in different colors
- It is very lightweight.
- Not suitable for ‘green zone’ communities
- Very pronounced edge guard
6. ONIX Graphite Z5
Onix is one of the most popular pickleball paddles among beginners and intermediate players. It offers all the features you’d expect from a decent paddle without any bells and whistles. Resultantly, it comes at an affordable price.
Another reason Onix Z5 is popular is that it has a tennis-shaped handle, so it’s one of the best pickleball paddles for tennis players. It has a nomex honeycomb core and a wide body shape.
The graphite surface offers more speed and control, besides being lighter. But, it is a mid-weight paddle, ideal for tennis elbow. There are, however, issues with its durability. Likewise, the finishing is not ideal, but you can’t expect more from a paddle within this budget.
Onix has added an edge guard to the paddle that keeps it safe from rough game wear and tear. Thus, if you are thinking about upgrading your paddle, it will accompany you for a long time.
- Light to mid weight
- Very comfortable grip
- Graphite surface
- Some players find a handle length comparatively short
7. Head Extreme Tour Lite Pickleball Paddle
If you are looking for an ideal paddle to help you win your next challenge on the court, Head Extreme Tour Lite can be your ultimate choice. It is USAPA approved paddle and could be used in tournaments.
Though a bit pricey, Extreme Tour Lite offers a unique shape and better control. With this paddle, you can improve your page and place shots with precision.
Another advantage of this paddle is that, as the name suggests, it’s extremely lightweight (7.2 oz). And since the head weight is reduced, it feels even lighter when playing. So, maneuvering and swinging become easy, and it gives a very lightweight feel to players who play long rounds.
The grip offers a comfortable hold and most players are satisfied with it. However, Head Extreme Tour Lite is not suitable for those who like power. Since it’s a lighter paddle, you’ll need to use more force to add speed to the ball.
The surface is made of graphite, so again it means better control and spin. The ergo grip provides a comfortable feel and lets you play for hours.
Overall, Head Extreme Tour Lite is the perfect paddle if you’re a control player and prefer light weight paddles.
- Better control
- Diamond shape
- Less power
- A little pricey
What to Look For in a Pickleball Paddle?
If you are thinking about replacing your old paddles, this buying guide is for you. Here, we only discuss the features important especially for intermediate pickleball players. For a complete list of considerations, you can read our pickleball paddle buying guide.
Weight Of Paddle
The majority of pickleball players believe that weight is the most crucial factor when choosing a paddle. Mainly, paddle weight lies between 6 and 14 ounces. If the paddle is heavy, you can generate power but have less control over the ball. If you choose a light paddle, you need more energy and swing to hit the ball.
Therefore, the best choice for a person who has been playing for some time is a mid-weight paddle. It ranges from 7.3 to 8.3 ounces. These paddles will allow you agility, easy maneuvering, and better control of the ball.
Choose according to your physical condition. If you are suffering from any injury or lack upper body strength go with a mid-weight paddle. The heavy paddle can also cause wrist or elbow injury.
Power vs Control
At this point, you must have an idea of your strengths and weaknesses. Are you a power hitter or prefer to have complete control of your game? Whatever your style, choose your paddle accordingly.
If you play single and prefer to use powerful hits, the heavy-weight paddle is for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for control and accuracy, a lighter paddle will do. You will give more predictable shots with a big sweet spot, even when the ball is not hitting in the middle.
Grip Diameter And Handle Length
In most racket sports, it’s important to have a comfortable grip; thus, most players go for a smaller diameter grip. It allows a better-controlled game. A strong grip will provide stability but will tire you soon or can cause injury.
The grip size that fits your hand is best suited; however, If you are indecisive, go with a smaller grip. You can always add tape or over-grip to make it big.
Smaller handle length is for those with smaller hands or who put their finger on the paddle surface for better control and power hit.
As an intermediate pickleball player, you must be developing and learning new techniques. Therefore, knowing your goals and style is an important consideration.
The Bottom Line
We have provided the list of the seven best paddles for intermediate players. While selecting these paddles, we took into account not only the materials and features of the product but also the reviews of other users regarding the product. However, if you are still confused, we have shortlisted our top two paddle sets.
If the price is not an issue and you want a good balance of speed and power, Ben Johns Hyperion is the best option for you. It is a one-time investment. It is a strong and sturdy paddle; therefore, it can be your partner for a long time.
Rally PX Graphite is our second-best choice. It is available at a very reasonable price yet has as many features as the most expensive paddles in the market. It is USAPA approved. So if you decide to participate in a tournament one day, this paddle can accompany you in your games.
Whichever paddle set you choose to buy, make sure it is a perfect fit for you.
Is fiberglass or graphite pickleball paddle better?
Fiberglass paddles are heavier than graphite paddles. Therefore, fiberglass paddles offer more power hits without players putting much force behind them.
On the other hand, graphite paddles are finer and give better control. Both paddles are perfect. But the ultimate decision depends on individual preference.
A fiberglass face paddle will provide you with better control.
Graphite face paddles are lightweight, evenly spread the ball, strike on the surface area, and let you put the ball where you want
What is the best weight for a pickleball paddle?
Most experts prefer 7 to 8.5 ounces of pickleball weight if you don’t have any physical issues. However, weight is a subjective choice.
A too heavy paddle will exhaust you, and a too light will not provide enough power. Go with a mid-weight paddle if you can’t decide.
For choosing the ideal weight, you can check out our post on the best weight for pickleball paddle.
Do pickleball paddles wear out?
Yes, pickleball wears out. However, how fast depends on the material and structure of the paddle. Other variables are the number of players using it and how often and proper protection from harsh weather.
We’ve discussed whether pickleball paddles wear out or not in this post.