Top 5 Best Pickleball Paddles for Control 2018

In any sport, gear is key. It helps win matches and tournaments. The right gear can make all the difference between a winning team and a losing one. Gear is a generic term that encompasses all the things a player wears and uses while playing a sport. It includes clothes, footwear and playing tools like racquets and balls.

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In pickleball, there are different types of gear for different needs. For instance, there are paddles for power and there are paddles for control. Generally, a lighter racquet offers more control over shots but has less power, while a heavier racquet can hit more powerful shots but may lack control and precision.

List of Best Pickleball Paddles for Control 2018

Pickleball Paddles for ControlReviewPrice
#1 Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball PaddleRead ReviewCheck Price
#2 Upstreet Graphite Pickleball PaddleRead ReviewCheck Price
#3 Champion Graphite Pickleball PaddleRead ReviewCheck Price
#4 GAMMA Micron 2.0 Pickleball PaddlelRead ReviewCheck Price
#5 Pro-Lite Magnum Stealth Pickleball PaddleRead ReviewCheck Price

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Top 5 Best Pickleball Paddles for Control

If you are a pickleball player looking for a good racquet for control, look no further. In the following article, we have made a list of the top 5 best pickleball paddles for control. Here they are:

1. Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle

Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle

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  • Wide shape for a large sweet spot

The Onix Graphite Z5 pickleball paddle combines pure power with superior ball control. It is one of the best-selling racquets from the house of Onix. It has a wide body shape and is best suited for beginners. The wide shape of the paddle – it has a width of 8 inches – makes for a wider sweet spot and therefore it is more forgiving and allows room for errors which is what beginners need. It also offers more room to play swing shots without worrying about mistakes.

  • Graphite face for added pop

The Onix Garphite Z5 has a graphite face. The graphite face is made of lightweight material that offers a speed advantage. It also gives the racquet extra pop and maneuverability. The paddle does not absorb force from the ball when it makes contact with the paddle. This makes the ball ricochet off the paddle beautifully and enables the player to send it careening over the net without much effort.

  • Nomex Honeycomb core for superior control

The unique Nomex Honeycomb core is the reason behind the Graphite Z5s excellent control over shots. This material was used in the past to as a fireproof material for making helmets for firefighters. It is basically a tough cardboard-like material that has a honeycomb design. The core is dipped in resin and hence, is extremely hard, stable and durable. The honeycomb structure makes the paddle very lightweight and easy to control, pumping in enormous amounts of power into each stroke.

  • Clear feedback

The construction of the Z5 racquet is such that it gives clear tactile feedback. Players are able to sense which part of the paddle the ball made contact with. This information helps them understand what they are doing wrong and play more intelligently in future. Feedback helps diagnose mis-hits and eliminate them from your game.

  • Tennis handle

The Graphite Z5 has a tennis handle, making it a great choice of paddle for tennis players transitioning to pickleball.

  • Edge guard

The paddle has an edge guard for better paddle protection against damage from knocking against hard/sharp surfaces.

  • USAPA-approved

The Onix Graphite Z5 is a USAPA-approved pickleball paddle. This means it can be used in all USAPA/IFP-sanctioned tournaments.

  • The Onix Graphite Z5 is available in 8 attractive colors: Blue, green, orange, pink, purple, red, white and yellow.
  • It weighs 7.9 ounces, has a grip circumference of 4 1/8 inches and grip/handle length of 5 inches. It has a medium grip tack with perforated cushion grip. Length of paddle is 15.5 inches and paddle width is 8 1/8 inches. The edge guard overlaps the face of the racquet by 0.25 inches.
  • The Graphite Z5 can be used both as an outdoor and indoor racquet.
  • The paddle is designed by pickleball stalwart, Steve Wong who is also the owner of Onix Sports.

Pros:

  • Superior ball control
  • Extra powerful shots
  • Large sweet spot
  • Extra pop
  • Better tactile feedback
  • Tennis handle
  • Available in a wide range of color options

Cons:

  • Due to its lightweight built, shots may lack power.
  • The extra pop may sometime mess with your ball placement and maneuverability.
  • Due to more bounce caused by the extra pop, shots may be unpredictable and may land up in your opponent’s easy smashing zone.
  • The paddle is loud as it lacks noise-dampening technology.

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2. Upstreet Graphite Pickleball Paddle

Upstreet Graphite Pickleball Paddle

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  • Suitable for players of all skill levels

The Upstreet Graphite pickleball racquet is suitable for players of all levels from beginners to advanced professional athletes. It is a popular paddle used by male and female players of all ages, including children.

  • Graphite paddle face

The face of the Upstreet Graphite paddle is made of graphite which provides better widespread control over strokes and more consistency of shots. It offers a resilient paddle surface and makes for greater shot precision.

  • Polypropylene honeycomb composite core

The Upstreet Graphite has a Polypropylene honeycomb core with a special cellular design. It has a crisp feel when the ball hits the face of the paddle. This feel allows the players to gauge the hitting impact which is useful for playing dink shots, cross-court lobs and volleys. The racquet has 3 orientations for more uniformity and better mechanical performance. The special properties of the core are known to minimize vibrations and maximize control. This unique core also offers a larger sweet spot. Since it weighs only 8.6 ounces, it has better control. It is neither too light nor too heavy. It is just the right weight for controlling the ball well.

  • Micro-dry smooth grip

The Upstreet Graphite paddle has a smooth micro-dry grip with a stitched rib grip tape. There is a thick layer of foam for added softness. The grip tape is perforated and has tiny holes on it for faster sweat absorption so your grip remains dry and slip-free.

  • Edge guard

The Upstreet Graphite comes with a standard edge guard for protection against damage from chipping. The guard is durable and protects the paddle from accidental strikes against hard surfaces and the ground. There is also a protective ring around the neck of the paddle.

  • Attractive paddle graphics

The racquet comes in a variety of attractive color graphic designs like the New York skyline, a leafy pattern, etc. It also has single-color plain ones without any design except the Upstreet logo.

  • 12-month warranty

The paddle comes with 12-month manufacturer warranty against defects.

  • The length of the handle is 4.75 inches and the handle circumference is 4.25 inches. The paddle length is 15.75 inches and the paddle width is 7.75 inches. Grip size is 4.5 inches.
  • The package includes a smart neoprene paddle cover case for carrying the paddle around with care.

Pros:

  • Suitable for all levels of play
  • Optimum control due to Polypropylene honeycomb core
  • Sweat-absorbent perforated handle grip
  • Smart graphics
  • Includes paddle case

Cons:

  • Not USAPA-approved
  • Shots may lack power due to lightweight nature of the paddle.
  • 5 inch grip may be too big for shorter players with smaller grip size.
  • Since the paddle is not ultra-lightweight, it is not suited for players with elbow or shoulder pain.

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3. Champion Graphite Pickleball Paddle

Champion Graphite Pickleball Paddle

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  • In action since 1997

The Champion Graphite pickleball paddle has been one of the leading paicklball paddles since its launch in 1997. It is a good paddle for control and power. It is durable and provides a predictable shot consistency.

  • Extra-large size

The Champion Graphite has an extra-large paddle size and shape. This gives a wider range of surface for contact and a larger sweet spot. The paddle is good for learners as it is forgiving of mistakes and mis-hits. There is room for error which makes it an ideal pickleball racquet for new-comers to the sport. However, it can equally benefit players of intermediate and advanced levels too.

  • Graphite face

The racquet has a high-performance graphite face made with unified precision technology.  There are numerous micro dimples on the face that afford greater ball grip and spin. It also ensures higher precision of ball placement. The face has BOPP overlay.

  • Aramid Nomex Honeycomb Diamond core

This is the honeycomb core that brought about a sea change in the way pickleball paddles are made. It is lightweight, durable and packs power into every stroke. Its USP is unsurpassed ball control.

  • Lightweight

The paddle weighs only 7.6 ounces and therefore is perfect for ball control. Remember, the lighter a paddle, the better its control.

  • Edge guard

The Champion Graphite has a sturdy overlapping 0.25 inch edge guard to protect it against damage from accidentally striking rough surfaces.

  • Good feedback

The Champion Graphite has a solid feel. It lets players sense where exactly the ball made contact with the paddle. This tactile feedback is very essential for correcting mis-hits and improving one’s game.

  • USAPA-apporved

The racquet is USAPA-approved which means players can use it to participate in USAPA/IFP-sanctioned pickleball tournaments.

  • The full paddle length is 15.75 inches and paddle width is 8.25 inches. The handle length is 5 inches and the grip size is 4 1/8 inches. The honeycomb core is 3/8 inches thick.

Pros:

  • Large sweet spot due to extra large paddle size
  • Superior control and ball precision
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Slim overlapping edge guard for extra paddle protection
  • USAPA-approved

Cons:

  • Being lightweight, shots may lack sufficient power.
  • Slightly expensive for beginners.

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4. GAMMA Micron 2.0 Pickleball Paddle

GAMMA Classic 1.0 and New 2.0 Pickleball Paddles

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  • Lightweight for greater control

The Gamma Micron 2.0 is an excellent paddle for players who want unbeatable control. It weighs just 7.6 ounces making it an ideal paddle for ball control and consistent shot placement.

  • Good value for money

The Gamma Micron 2.0 is an affordable racquet. It is priced roughly around 50 USD, although the price may vary from seller to seller.

  • Fiberglass composite face

The Gamma Micron 2.0 racquet has a textured fiberglass composite hitting surface which is known for its responsiveness and durability. The surface is designed for giving maximum pop and bounce without absorbing too much force from the ball. It also gives the ball a good amount of spin and hence, is popular among players who play spin shots.

  • Aramid fiber honeycomb core

The Gamma Micron 2.0 has an Aramid fiber honeycomb core which provides unparalleled maneuverability and pace. It has good balance and allows players to play a steady game.

  • Slightly tapered face

A special feature of the Gamma Micron 2.0 is that it has a slightly tapered face. This aerodynamically designed paddle face reduces air resistance and increase control and precision.

  • Small handle

This is another unique feature of this racquet. Its handle or grip circumference is 4 inches which is considered small in pickleball. This type of slim handle offers more freedom of movement and a comfortable grip for players with small grip size.

  • Sweat-absorbent handle with contour grip

The handle has a contour grip. It is made with perforated sweat-absorbing ribbed material for slip-free and comfortable grip. The handle material allows your skin to breath and the grip does not feel clammy. The grip tact is medium. The cushioned handle surface offers more feedback.

  • Rubber bumper along the edge

The racquet has a close-fitting rubber bumper along the edge of the paddle face for added protection.

  • USAPA-approved

The Gamma Micron 2.0 fully meets the USAPA standards. Hence, it can be used for playing in tournaments sanctioned by USAPA/IFP.

  • The full paddle length is 15.75 inches and the paddle width is 7.75 inches. The grip length is 5 inches.
  • The paddle is black and yellow in color.

Pros:

  • Excellent control
  • Ideal for spin shots
  • Responsive paddle with optimum pop and bounce
  • Moisture-absorbing handle surface
  • Aerodynamic paddle face
  • Affordable
  • USAPA-approved

Cons:

  • Since the paddle weighs only 7.6 ounces, it cannot pack a lot of power into shots.
  • Available only in a blend of black and yellow. No other color options available.
  • Small grip size may not be suitable for taller players with large grip size.

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5.  Pro-Lite Magnum Stealth Pickleball Paddle

Pro-Lite Magnum Stealth Pickleball Paddle

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  • Endorsed by 6 time National Champion, Wes Gabrielsen

The Pro-Lite Magnum Graphite Stealth is one of the most widely used pickleball paddles. It is endorsed by 6 time national champion, Wes Gabrielsen. It is a dependable paddle and is designed for superior ball control and balance. It can be used both as an indoor and outdoor paddle.

  • Oversized paddle face

The Pro-Lite Magnum Graphite Stealth has an oversized hitting surface for wider area of contact. This provides a bigger sweet spot which means the racquet is a forgiving one. Beginners and even intermediate players can benefit greatly from this paddle due to its large sweet spot. New comers need more freedom to practice their shots. Therefore, a paddle that can give them a wider margin for error is always more preferable.

  • Carbon fiber graphite face for enhanced pop

The racquet’s hitting surface is made of carbon fiber graphite that is responsive and lightweight with an impressive pop. It affords greater control over the ball and enables players to play their strokes with more force and impact. The responsive nature of the hitting surface will send the ball flying over the net towards your opponent with optimum pace.

  • Nomex Honeycomb core for enhanced ball control

The Pro-Lite Magnum Graphite Stealth boasts a high-performance Nomex Honeycomb core. This gives the racquet excellent control over shots and better stroke precision. The core material is essentially a hard cardboard-like material that has a honeycomb design. It is dipped in resin to make it extra tough, stable and durable. The honeycomb structure further keeps the paddle lightweight and easy to control and maneuver.

  • Contoured grip for all grip types

The Pro-Lite Magnum Graphite Stealth has a versatile and comfortable grip. Its contoured shape supports all kinds of grip variations. So no matter how you hold your paddle, the Pro-Lite Magnum Graphite Stealth can accommodate your grip requirements.

  • Lightweight paddle

The paddle weighs approximately 7 ounces. This clearly puts it in the lightweight paddle category designed for control.

  • Tapered end cap

The racquet has a unique tapered end cap at the bottom of the handle for extra firm and slip-free grip.

  • USAPA-approved

The Pro-Lite Magnum Graphite Stealth satisfies all the USAPA specification and can be used to play in all USAPA and IFP approved tournaments.

  • Attractive newly designed graphics

The paddle face has a smart New Screen Printed graphics branded as the Stealth Design.

  • Available in many colors

The racquet is available in 8 color variants: red hot, blue slate, pink, orange, green, blue and plum crazy.

  • The full paddle length is 15.5 inches and the paddle width is 7.75 inches. The handle measures 5.25 inches in length which is slightly long and hence, offers greater comfort. The grip circumference is small measuring 4 1/8 inches.

Pros:

  • Super lightweight paddle for extra ball control
  • Graphite face for more pop and bounce
  • Responsive and balanced paddle with large sweet spot
  • Available in 7 color variants with smart graphics
  • Versatile contoured grip
  • USAPA-approved

Cons:

  • Shots may pack power and force due to extra lightweight nature of the paddle.
  • May not be suitable for advanced players who have an aggressive style of play.

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Conclusion:

To summarize, we can say that the best paddles for control are the ones that are lightweight and responsive. They are built for accuracy and consistency of ball placement. We recommend the above listed 5 best pickleball paddles for players who desire greater ball control.

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