What Pickleball Paddle Do Pros Use

What Pickleball Paddle Do Pros Use

You just started playing pickleball and you’re hooked. It’s such a fun game, and you love how it combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong into one fast-paced sport. Now you’re starting to get more competitive with your game and you want to step it up. You’ve seen the pros playing with pickleball paddles that seem to give them an edge. They can slam the ball with power and spin, placing it precisely where they want.

You start wondering – what pickleball paddle do pros use? You want to get the inside scoop so you can upgrade your cheap beginner paddle to a pro-level one. Keep reading to find out the top pickleball paddle brands and models that the experts recommend for upping your game. With the right paddle, you’ll be volleying and spiking like a champ in no time.

Top Professional Pickleball Paddle Brands

Engage Pickleball

Engage Pickleball is one of the most popular brands used by pro players. Paddles like the Pursuit and Poach are constructed with a polymer core and carbon fiber face for power and control. The Poach is used by 5-time US Open champ Ben Johns, while the Pursuit is favored by Simone Jardim, the #1 female player in the world. With paddles starting at around $100, Engage offers pro-level performance at an affordable price.


Paddletek is an innovative brand known for paddles like the Bantam EX-L and the Tempest Wave Pro. The Bantam EX-L used by Riley Newman, the 2018 US Open champ, features a polymer core and carbon fiber face for added pop and accuracy. The Tempest Wave Pro, used by Anna Leigh Waters, incorporates a thicker core and carbon fiber face. Paddletek is on the higher end of the spectrum, with paddles ranging from $130 to $170.


Selkirk is one of the original paddle makers and produces some of the most popular pro models like the Amped and Epic. The Amped features a polymer core and fiberglass face, providing power and touch. The Epic has a thicker core and carbon fiber hitting the surface for added power. Top pros like Chris Edwards and Christine McGrath use Selkirk paddles, which range from $100 up to $200.

With a variety of brands, cores, and price points to choose from, you can find a pro-level paddle to elevate your game. Keep in mind factors like your skill level, playstyle, and budget to choose a paddle that matches your needs. While the pros use high-end paddles, you don’t need the most expensive gear to play like the champs. With practice, the right paddle can help take your game to the next level.

Paddles Used by Elite Pickleball Players

The pickleball paddle is one of the most critical pieces of equipment for any pickleball player. For pros, the pickleball paddle can make or break their performance. Many elite players have sponsorship deals with major paddle companies, but some prefer more customized options.

Selkirk Paddles

Selkirk is one of the leading paddle brands and sponsors many top players. Their Vanguard line is popular among pros like Simone Jardim and Riley Newman. The Vanguard features a polymer honeycomb core and fiberglass face for power and control. The elongated shape provides extra reach at the net.

Paddletek Paddles

Paddletek also sponsors several pro players who use their Bantam EX-L and Tempest Wave models. The Bantam EX-L has an aluminum honeycomb core for a solid, consistent feel, while the Tempest Wave has a polymer core for extra pop. Both offer a slightly larger sweet spot, which elite players demand.

Custom Paddles

Some pros get highly customized paddles made to their exact specifications. For example, the aptly named “CRUSHER” paddle used by Matt Wright features an extra-large surface area, thicker core, and reinforced edges for smashing power. Ben Johns also uses a custom pickleball paddle with a specialized grip and balance point tailored to his aggressive playing style.

While pro paddles offer some advantages, for recreational players the differences are minor. More important than the pickleball paddle itself is developing proper technique and an effective playing strategy. The paddle can enhance your skills but not replace them. Focus first on the fundamentals, and as your game improves, you can consider whether a “pro-level” paddle may give you an extra edge. But choose what feels right for you—not just what the pros are using.

Why Pros Choose These Pickleball Paddles

If you follow professional pickleball, you’ve probably noticed the paddles the pros use look a bit different than a standard recreational pickleball paddle.

Power and Control

Pro paddles are designed to provide maximum power and pinpoint control. Paddles like the Selkirk Amped and Paddletek Bantam EX-L provide a larger sweet spot and balanced weight distribution so pros can crush power shots and place dinks with precision.

Premium Materials

The pros demand the highest quality materials for consistency and durability. Paddles like the Engage Poach Extreme and Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro are made of aerospace-grade aluminum and high-performance composites like Aramid fibers and carbon fiber. These space-age materials reduce vibration and provide an ideal combination of power, control, and touch.


For the pros, one size does not fit all. Companies like Selkirk, Paddletek, and Engage offer customizable paddle options so pros can tailor the weight, grip size, and shape to their playing style and hand size. By customizing paddle specifications for their game, pros can maximize power, spin, and accuracy.

While the paddles the pros use are not for everyone, especially when you consider the premium price tags, understanding why they choose these high-performance paddles can help you evaluate what you need in your own paddle to take your game to the next level. Look for a paddle that provides an optimal blend of power, control, and touch for your playing style.

Consider the materials and how they influence the paddle’s performance. And if possible, try out different sizes and shapes to find one that feels balanced and comfortable in your hands. Your pickleball paddle is your most important piece of equipment, so take the time to find one that will help you play your best.

Features to Look for in a Pro-Level Paddle

When you’re ready to step up your game, you’ll want a paddle designed for competitive play. These pro-level paddles are crafted to give you more control, power, and spin. Here are some of the key features to consider:

Lightweight and balanced

Pro paddles are made of lightweight yet durable materials like carbon fiber composites to reduce weight while maintaining strength. A balanced, evenly-weighted paddle will give you better wrist control and less fatigue during long rallies. Many pros prefer a head-light paddle, meaning the handle is slightly heavier than the paddle head.

Textured hitting surface

The paddle face has a rough, textured surface to generate maximum spin. Many brands use a proprietary “spin surface” with a gritty, sandpaper-like finish. This allows pros to put wicked topspin or slice on the ball. The textured surface also provides more bite on the ball, so you can place precise dinks and drop shots.

Large sweet spot

A larger sweet spot means you have more margin for error on off-center hits. Pro paddles typically have an elongated teardrop shape with a larger surface area concentrated in the center and top half of the paddle face. This makes it easier to execute power shots, lobs, and angled shots even when you don’t hit the ball perfectly in the center.

Customizable options

Many pro paddles offer customizable options so you can tailor the pickleball paddle to your playing style. For example, you may be able to choose a grip size, grip shape, paddle length, and weight. Some brands even allow you to place weights in different areas of the paddle to adjust the balance and feel. Customization gives you an advantage by allowing you to optimize the paddle for your technique, wrist action, and swing speed.

With the right pro-level paddle matched to your playing attributes, you’ll gain confidence in your shots and be ready to compete at the highest level. When you have the same high-performance gear as the pros, you’ll play like one too!


So there you have it – the inside scoop on the pickleball paddles that the pros swear by. From Selkirk to Paddletek to Engage, it’s clear that composite materials and new techs like FiberFlex and PowerShot Polymer are dominating the pro tours. Just remember that paddle choice comes down to your personal play style and preferences too.

The right paddle for you might not be the one your favorite pro uses. Test out a variety of paddles to find the one with the perfect mix of power, control, and feel for your game. And don’t forget that consistent practice is more important than any piece of gear. Keep working on your skills and you’ll be rallying like the pros in no time, no matter what paddle you choose!


Q.1 What paddle does Julian Arnold use?

Ans. Julian Arnold uses the Onix Summit C1.

Q.2 How many pickleball paddles should I have?

Ans. Typically, one or two pickleball paddles are sufficient for most players.

Q.3 What Pickleball Paddle Do Pros Use?

Ans. Pros often use paddles from brands like Selkirk, Onix, and Paddletek, such as the Selkirk AMPED series or Onix Summit C1.

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