Best Pickleball Paddles For Control and Finesse | Complete Buyer’s Guide 2023

When you are just getting into pickleball, a lighter paddle is easier to play with. Check out best pickleball paddles for control via this guide.

When you are just getting into pickleball, a lighter paddle is easier to play with. It offers the best control. With better accuracy, you get to focus more on your form and play style.

However, the weight of the paddle is not the only feature to consider when you want optimal control over the ball.

Here is everything you need to know about finding the best lightweight pickleball paddle for control and the top paddles in this category.

How to Choose the Right Pickleball Paddle For Control

In the past, soft paddles always provided the most control while heavier paddles gave players a power boost. Thanks to newer technology, the latest paddles are designed for control and power.

If you want a paddle that provides the best touch, you need to look at the following details:

  • Weight
  • Dimensions
  • Core material
  • Surface material

Besides these details, the grip can affect your game. With a smaller grip size, you get more wrist action, which is needed for putting more spin on your swing and maintaining more control of the ball. A thicker grip size offers more stability for greater power but limits your finesse.

Typical Pickleball Paddle Weight Range

Weight remains an important factor in determining control and power. Paddle weights range between six ounces and 14 ounces. Seven ounces to eight ounces is the median weight. If the paddle is heavier, you can expect a little extra force for more powerful shots.

Pickleball Weight Ranges

Lightweight PaddlesUnder 7.3 oz
Mid-weight Paddles7.3 to 8.4 oz
Heavy Paddles8.5 oz and over

With a slightly lighter paddle, you do not benefit from the extra weight. While this can limit power, the core and surface materials also impact the power and paddle accuracy.

Average Pickleball Paddle Dimensions

The combined width and length of the paddle surface cannot exceed 24 inches and the length cannot exceed 17 inches. The typical paddle is about 15 inches or 16 inches long and eight or nine inches wide.

There are also elongated paddles, which are closer in shape to a tennis racquet. While the elongated paddles offer more reach, they also limit your overall control and accuracy. With the longer shape, the paddle also has a smaller sweet spot.

The sweet spot is the area on the paddle that offers the most spin control, power, and overall accuracy. Typically, paddles that are closer to the standard paddle dimensions have the largest sweet spot. However, the core and surface materials also affect performance.

New and Improved Core and Surface Materials

As mentioned, pickleball paddle companies are working on newer technologies to help provide the best of both worlds. They want to give players more control for finesse shots without taking away too much power.

New core and surface materials are found in several of the top pickleball paddles. Selkirk, Gamma Sports, Engage Pickleball, and ProLite all have paddles that offer a combination of good control and strength.

If you want a lightweight pickleball paddle, here are a few of the best options:

  • Selkirk AMPED X5 Paddles (7.2 ounces to 7.4 ounces)
  • Gamma Sports RZR Paddles (7.6 ounces)
  • Engage Pickleball Elite Pro Paddle (7.8 ounces)
  • ProLite Crush Powerspin with SPINTAC (7.1 ounces)
ProLiteCrush PowerspinSPINTAC7.1 oz
SelkirkAMPED Paddles (Epic , Maxima , Invikta, Omni , S2)

X5 Polypropylene Core

7.3 oz
Gamma SportsRZR Paddles

Sensa Poly Core

7.6 oz
EngageElite Pro PaddleLiquid graphite surface7.8 oz

All four options are lightweight and versatile. The Selkirk and Gamma Sports paddles use advanced core technology to deliver superior control while the Engage Pickleball and ProLite paddles include new surface technology.

AMPED X5 Polypropylene Core from Selkirk

Selkirk introduced their line of AMPED pickleball paddles in 2017. These paddles introduced the X5 core, which is a thick polypropylene core.

Selkirk Amped Epic Paddle
Selkirk Amped Epic Paddle
  • Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle
  • X5 Honeycomb core
  • USAPA Approved
  • Long handle with a large surface area
Selkirk Amped S2 Paddle
Selkirk Amped S2 Paddle
  • FiberFlex Paddle Face - Enhances Spin
  • Larger surface area on the face of the paddle
  • USAPA Approved
  • Vibration Control Technology & Torque Suppression
Selkirk Amped Omni Paddle
Selkirk Amped Omni Paddle
  • FiberFlex Paddle Face With Spin-Enhancing Surface
  • Elongated Paddle Face With Shortened Paddle Handle
  • EdgeSentry Edge Guard
  • X5 Core HoneyComb Core
Selkirk Amped Maxima Paddle
Selkirk Amped Maxima Paddle
  • Elongated Paddle Design - 17" long
  • FiberFlex Paddle Face
  • EdgeSentry Edge Guard
Selkirk Amped  Invikta Paddle
Selkirk Amped Invikta Paddle
  • FiberFlex Facing - Fiberglass Paddle Face Creates Epic Spin & Touch
  • Vibration Dampening
  • Torque Suppression
  • Elongated Paddle Design

The X5 core is fused with the FIBERFLEX face to increase the durability of the paddle. These smash ball paddles can be used for power shots yet they still offer the control needed for finesse shots.

In 2018, Selkirk released a lightweight version of each AMPED paddle. Whether you choose the AMPED Epic, S2, Omni, Maxima, or Invikta, you get the same X5 core and FIBERFLEX face in a slightly lighter package. These are the top option if you do not want to give up any power and still need better control.

Sensa Poly Core Technology from Gamma Sports

Gamma Sports created the Sensa Poly Core in 2018. It offers increased vibration dampening, which makes it easier to keep the paddle steady when taking a shot.

Gamma Poly Core
9.5/10Our Score
  • Features new Sensa Poly Core technology
  • Middleweight Paddle
  • Honeycomb Cushion Grip
  • Textured graphite face

The new, improved core is used in several Gamma Sports pickleball paddles including the updated Razor paddle, which is now called the RZR. With the RZR, you get a larger sweet spot due to the well-balanced dimensions and rounded edges.

Liquid Graphite Paddles from Engage Pickleball

The liquid graphite surface used on the latest Engage Pickleball paddles offers the most texture that you can get for USAPA-approved paddles. If you want a sandpaper paddle, the paddles from Engage Pickleball are the closest that you can get.

Engage Elite Pro
9.8/10Our Score
  • New skin technology called liquid graphite used
  • Standard Weight: 7.8 - 8.3 ounces
  • Light Weight: 7.5 - 7.8 ounces
  • USAPA Listed and Approved for Tournament Play

While a thick core creates better vibration dampening, adding texture to the surface also helps improve control. This new graphite surface is found on the popular Elite Pro pickleball paddle, which weighs 7.8 ounces.

Fiberglass SPINTAC Panels from ProLite

ProLite developed SPINTAC technology for control and accuracy. It is found on several of the newer ProLite paddles, including the ProLite Crush Powerspin Pickleball Paddle.

Prolite Crush Power Spin
9.5/10Our Score
  • Textured Fiberglass Surface
  • Durable SPINtac hitting surface
  • PROLITE SofTac 32 Cushion Grip

The texture of this new surface enhances the spin control and durability of the paddle. It is added on top of the QuadCore polymer honeycomb core used in the top-quality ProLite paddles.

The Crush Powerspin paddle comes in a variety of designs and weights. If you choose the “Snow” design, the paddle weighs just 7.1 ounces, making it one of the lightest pro-quality pickleball paddles available.

Conclusion: Less Weight Provides More Control

While many factors impact the force and control provided by a pickleball paddle, the weight of the paddle is still the most important detail.

If you want a high-quality paddle for control and accuracy, consider getting one of the paddles discussed.

Keep in mind that there are dozens of other paddles that can help improve your accuracy. However, the latest paddles from Selkirk, ProLite, Gamma Sports, and Engage Pickleball are made with durable materials that can hold up to intense pickleball action.

These paddles feature newer technologies that help deliver a better combination of power and finesse. You can get more accuracy without sacrificing too much power.

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