Welcome to our guide to the Best New Pickleball Paddles for 2018! If you’re relatively new to the game and are looking to upgrade your paddle and improve your game in 2018, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re a veteran to the game but tired of using an old paddle with dead spots and want the very best paddle for 2018, you’ve also come to the right spot. We’re excited to present to you all the research we’ve done and give you seven of the best options when it comes to both Graphite and Composite paddles this year. If you're looking for our quick answer, we recommend the Engage Poach Advantage because of it's ability to provide power and accuracy.
Before we go in-depth into our list of the best new pickleball paddles, let’s get a few things straight. First off, some of these paddles have been around for years (or more) but received substantial updates for 2018. Others, are brand spanking new and incorporate the very best and latest in paddle technology and paddle cores. Secondly, these paddles are going to vary in size, weight, materials and design. If you’re coming from the tennis court and are used to handling a tennis racquet, you’ll find a paddle that's right for you. If grip is important and you want a thicker handle that fits more comfortably in your hands, we’ve found a paddle for you. If you want the very best in pickleball paddle technology and want faster response times or improved spin, we’ve found many paddles on this list for you!
If you've found us, but are looking for the ideal starter paddle, something more for a beginner, check out our recent article The Best Pickleball Paddles for Beginners.
Lastly, we’ve compiled a list of what we feel are the seven best, most highly rated, best selling pickleball paddles for 2018! At the end of the day, this is our opinion. But we welcome your feedback in the comments section below if you feel we’ve left one out. Please let us know!
| || Engage Poach Advantage||Check Amazon|
| || Pro-Lite SuperNova||Check Amazon|
| || Pro-Lite Titan Pro||Check Amazon|
| Pro-Lite Rebel PowerSpin||Check Amazon|
| Onix Graphite Zen V2||Check Amazon|
| Pro-Lite CRUSH PowerSpin||Check Amazon|
| Pickleball Inc. Venom||Check Amazon|
| || The ARD HF100||Check Amazon|
The best of the best here is Engage’s brand new Poach Advantage. Engage has been a well known name in pickleball paddles for years now and was one of the first company’s to show that a graphite paddle can perform just as well as a composite paddle when it comes to putting english on the ball. The Poach Advantage represents the next level of Engage’s proprietary paddle tech that features an astounding six layers of composite fiberglass on it’s paddle face! No other paddle has ever featured a design that extensive! And it shows too! When you play with the Poach Advantage, the six layers of material expand the sweet spot beyond any paddle we’ve ever played with! The sweet spot benefits even more from the paddle’s giant, oversized face; the length is 16” and the width is 8”. For those new to paddle dimensions, these are large statistics meant to enlarge the hitting surface to the maximum allowable amount.
The Poach Advantage is a dream come true for any one looking to gain more control from their pickleball paddle! The one word that best describes the Poach Advantage is predictable. Your shot direction and control, even during dinking at the net will be more predictable. The six layers of high grade composite skin give you an exceptional level of spin and allow even novice players to manipulate the ball. The polymer core adds to the directional control factor by giving the paddle soft touch at the net for dinking. This is ideal for those looking to take their game to the next level and move up from a starter paddle. If you don’t believe a paddle can tangibly improve your game from your first paddle then you haven’t tried the Engage Poach Advantage yet....this one literally has the ability to make you better! It’s that good! It is by far and away, our top choice for the title of Best Pickleball Paddle for 2018!
Comes in deep black with sharp but subtle accent colors like: green, orange, red and blue
The SuperNova from Pro-Lite is the company’s second and most recent installment in the premium “Black Diamond” series they’ve begun releasing over the last year. The Black Diamond series represents the very best in paddle tech from Pro-Lite and are easily their best paddles to date The SuperNova is the most expensive paddle on our list but it’s jam packed with all the latest and greatest advancements in pickleball paddle technology. Consisting of a genuine 100% carbon fiber face, the SuperNova offers exceptional spin and finesse for a non-textured, non-composite paddle. It’s technically a graphite paddle but it’s 100% pure carbon fiber face is designed to softly hold the ball momentarily to add english to your shots. The face is actually absorbing the ball briefly, cushioning around it almost like a pillow, then releasing it ever so subtly. Pro-Lite claims the following:
“Heat, direction of the fibers, pressure, velocity and impact all affect ball control resulting in a superior user experience.”
Pretty high tech stuff, which give it arguably the best “grab” for any graphite paddle. The only other graphite paddle with this much grab is the Encore X from Engage featuring liquid graphite. It remains to be seen which one offers the best spin, but needless to say, they’re both in a class of their own. Inside Pro-Lite’s flagship paddle is a noise dampening and power enhancing QuadCore polymer core exclusive to Pro-Lite. The weight is slightly on the heavy side (7.7 - 8.2oz) but the paddle is perfectly balanced - ideal for advanced players. In fact, it was designed by Brazilian born Pro Player Simone Jardim. Simone had input on the design elements of this paddle and made sure the grip was long enough to accommodate players from Tennis backgrounds wanting to use a two-handed backhand shot. With a Pro’s input, it’s no wonder this paddle has already won 3 National Championships and is selling out everywhere it’s sold. If you’re serious about pickleball and can find a SuperNova in stock, you won’t be disappointed.
Video Source: Total Pickleball
The Titan Pro technically came out in 2016 but it’s poised to dominate in 2018, which is why it made our list. This and the SuperNova below are the very best Pro-Lite has to offer from a design perspective, showcasing the best high-grade materials to put it all together. The Titan is a graphite paddle with a unique carbon fiber face. This gives the paddle an extra smooth face allowing for fasting reaction times and quieter play. In fact, it’s arguably the quietest paddle on the market today (we call it the “silent assassin”). Typically, smoother faced paddles don’t perform as well when it comes to spin and control. But, the Titan Pro is an exception. The 100% carbon fiber face, although textureless, is soft enough to absorb the ball - allowing you to put english on the ball no problem. Inside the Titan boasts Pro-Lite’s strongest state of the art Polymer core ever, giving the paddle an unprecedented combination of power, touch and control. It’s also a beauty to look at! With its extra large sweet spot and low profile edge guard, this paddle has the look of a professional grade pickleball paddle. Personally, I love the all black look and low profile edge guard. This is an absolute beast of a paddle and is known for stopping hard shots and putting them right back into your opponent’s face! For anyone looking to take their game to the next level, this is without a doubt one of the best pickleball paddles for 2018!
Video Source: Total Pickleball
The Rebel PowerSpin from Pro-Lite is a composite paddle with a unique look and feel. Being a composite paddle, by default it’s going to be good for spin and putting english on the ball. However the Rebel takes that train of thought a step further by incorporating two unique features. One, it has a textured fiberglass hitting surface as part of its composite design (composite and fiberglass go hand in hand). The textured material allow the paddle to “catch” the ball and put exceptional spin on the ball. Pro-Lite calls this their “PowerSpin” technology, hence the name. The second unique feature and the reason why it made our list of Best New Pickleball Paddles for 2018 is it’s over-sized, extra long 16-inch hitting surface! We love this feature! Most paddles cap out somewhere in the 15 1/2 inch range. The Rebel PowerSpin’s 16” face makes a big difference and gives players a larger sweet spot to hit from. Perfect for players looking for consistent spin and control. The QuadCore Polymer core inside the paddle give it great touch and feel. The polymer core also gives it that “quiet pop” sound. With the extra long face, the paddle does weigh in on the heavy side - 7.7 to 8.1 oz. Despite it’s weight, it is not a paddle for power players. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Those looking for control and spin needn’t look anywhere else. This paddle is also endorsed by 6 Time National Champion Wes Gabrielson!
Video features original Zen model. Source: Onix Pickleball
The Onix Graphite Zen series has been around for a while but in 2017 we get the Zen V2 or “version 2.” The original Zen is still available but the V2 is worth a look and the extra price because of how light it is! The Zen V2 is the lightest paddle on our list (refer to the Onix website for official weight)! This featherweight of a paddle comes in at a svelte 6.6 to 6.9 oz, allowing for extended periods of play with less arm fatigue. At under 7 oz, Onix had developed a super light paddle with a unique combination of power, control and touch thanks to the aluminum core incorporated into it. Aluminum core paddles are known for their balance between touch, control and plow-through and the V2 is no exception. With an over-sized face (the width is extended slightly) and an extra large sweet spot, this is a very forgiving paddle. However, what players rave the most about is the grip! Onix has incorporated a tennis like grip that is perfect for those with larger hands! This one is going to be one of Onix's best new pickleball paddles for 2018, without a doubt.
Comes in three vibrant, youthful color schemes
The CRUSH PowerSpin is the second and newest installment in Pro-Lite's PowerSpin line of composite paddles. It's lighter than its big brother, the Rebel PowerSpin and takes advantage of Pro-Lite's trademark Magnum paddle shape. The original Magnum paddle has a long history and was one of the game's original composite paddles. So, the CRUSH comes from a proven lineage of paddle templates. It's also chalk full of new paddle tech. QuadCore, SPINtac, and MicroEdge are the high-end materials used. The QuadCore polymer core enables players to focus on touch and feel - perfect for more accurate finesse play at the net. Pro-Lite's state-of-the-art SPINtac fiberglass panels sandwhich the polymer core and are engineered with texture for players desiring big spin and quieter play. Finally, the MicroEdge guard extends the playing field on the face of the paddle, taking advantage of every square inch of the already highly successful wide body Magnum paddle shape. It should also be noted that the grip size on the CRUSH is on the smaller side. This is by design. The smaller grip and lighter paddle weight compliment each other perfectly and provide players faster reaction times at the net and better all-around control. Players with smaller hands will appreciate the small grip but love the wide body paddle face with it's extra large sweet spot. It'll feel like every shot hits the mark!
Video features older Venom model. Source: Pickleball Central
Being a composite paddle, the Venom weighs in slightly heavier than some of the graphite paddles on our list. But, with that extra weight comes more power. This paddle was designed by Pickleball Inc. to have what they call a “head heavy” feel. This means at impact, your going to be able to easily put more "oomph" behind your power shots. The composite surface boasts a beautifully designed fiber glass, textured face for spin, control and feel. The polymer core makes the paddle quiet and improves the paddle’s overall touch. What this paddle is know for however is it’s feel for players coming from a tennis background. If you’re coming from a tennis court to a pickleball court and want your pickleball paddle to feel as much like your tennis racquet as possible, then this paddle is a great option! In fact, the handle alone is going to remind you of your tennis days. It sports an extra long 5 ½ inch handle with a moisture control wrap. For those looking for a great new pickleball paddle for 2018, but one that is also budget priced, this is a great option!
ARD’s flagship paddle for beginners to intermediate players is the HF100. ARD is one of the new kids on the block of pickleball paddle manufacturers but despite being new to the game, they’ve put countless hours into this paddle’s design. In fact, they spend nearly three years designing, testing and tweaking the propriety “throat” design. Currently they’re the only paddle maker that uses a separate piece (the throat) to connect the paddle face to the handle/grip.
This additional design elements gives players greater stability across the paddle face and sweet spot. It also allows for great consistency and vibration control.
Inside this fiberglass composite paddle is an state of the art honeycomb polypropylene core for touch at the net. The HF100 provides newer players better ball grip and accuracy than ARD’s graphite option, the GF200. Power wise, it’s got oomph thanks to it’s 8.2-8.4 ounce specs. It’s easy to pick up and play with, gives novice players some intermediate level functionality, and provides good control and power. It’s our Budget friendly option and great choice for brand new players but who’ve got tennis experience.
As you can see, many of the best new paddles for 2018 are very good at putting english on the ball. For our complete list of the Best Pickleball Paddles for Spin, click here!
Did you move from the tennis court to the pickleball court? What paddle worked for you? Are you a beginner or experienced player who's recently upgraded paddles? if so, please let us know what paddle you're using and why you like it in the comments section below.
If you're interested in reading more about the best pickleball products, check out our recent post on the Best Pickleball Shoes for Men and Women!