Many high-level players use these paddles despite their lower price than many higher-tier paddles available. Pickleball paddles are much more affordable today than they used to be due to technological advancements, making it easier for new and experienced players to afford excellent paddles.
Played with a pickleball paddle, or a racquet, pickleball is a sport that involves hitting the ball with a racquet. In order to enjoy a better service and return experience throughout the game, you must have the best pickleball paddle in your hand. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of the best pickleball paddle under $100. In this article, we’ll be looking at the seven best pickleball paddles under $100, as well as their pros and cons and other features that make them special.
#1.ONIX Graphite Z5 Graphite Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddles
- Wide face and large sweet spot
- Great power for a lightweight paddle
- A gritty texture is great for spin
- Good feel and consistency
- Handle can be uncomfortable.
- Loud paddle
- Handle wrap is known to unravel
The Z5 comes with a lightly textured surface that is ideal for spin shots and cut shots alike. One thing we love about this paddle is how power just seems to flow naturally through the Z5 when swinging it. The design of the handle could be a bit better as it tends to give some players blisters, and the tape wrap has been known to unravel. But if you invest in a good overgrip to cover the handle, it’s a tough paddle to beat.
One thing about the Onix Z5 that bothers some players is the loud sound that it makes when striking the ball. Its core is harder and doesn’t absorb much energy, which results in a louder-than-normal noise level – but the harder core is also, in part, what gives it such great power for a lightweight paddle.The Onix Z5 is one of the best pickleball paddles under $100. Its quality-to-price ratio is hard to beat, and it’s durable, too, so you’ll have a good paddle for years to come. It’s an excellent option for beginner and intermediate players looking to buy a quality mid-level paddle at an affordable price.
2.HEAD Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle
- Excellent power
- Lots of control
- Textured surface provides plenty of spin
- Comfortable grip
- It may be a bit heavy for smaller players
- Weight can vary
You’ll be able to snap ground strokes and volleys off the fiberglass paddle face while at the same time absorbing hard shots from your opponents and returning controlled shots. It’s the ideal paddle for the intermediate player.The polymer honeycomb core and 8.1-ounce weight absorb just about any shot your opponents send over the net.
The fiberglass face and polymer core combine to provide lots of power and its textured surface imparts plenty of spin. The paddle’s thickness and weight translate into great stability and a really soft touch, perfect for dinks and cross-court drop shots.The paddle is fairly wide, and the sweet spot extends well towards the outside of the paddle. This all but eliminates miss-hit balls and inspires confidence when reaching for shots.
The octagonal handle is well-padded and provides a comfortable grip, even when your hands become sweaty. It has a fairly classic, clean look with 3 color options.
3.Paddletek Bantam TS-5
- Good power for a lightweight paddle
- Good control paddle
- Quiet paddle
- Ideal for players with joint issues
- Slim core has great pop
- Thicker edge guard
- Grip tape can come loose
It boasts a soft core, slim body, and a silk-screened matte fiberglass face, which makes it perfect for players focused on the control game. It’s also approved as a “quiet paddle” for sound regulations.
The TS-5 has a fairly long handle and a shorter overall paddle length. It has a clever weight distribution, where it feels good for power shots despite its ultra-light weight. This is a great paddle for anyone who has joint or wrist issues, as it puts much less stress on your body while still producing similar power to heavier paddles.
This is the actual pickleball paddle that 6 time US open gold medalist Anna Leigh Waters uses. She had full control and was able to tailor this paddle for extreme performance.The Bantam TS-5 comes with an edge guard that is a little thicker than many paddles. And the grip tape is known to come loose after heavy use, but that being said, the grip does feel good in your hand.
4.Paddletek “New Era Bantam EX-L
- Excellent control
- Provide plenty of power
- Great spin characteristics
- Not a vibration dampening paddle
- A bit heavy for some smaller players
The advanced technology built into the Paddletek Bantam EX-L polymer core makes the paddle extremely responsive, with a great balance between power and control. Ground shots and serves can be played with ease, requiring little extra effort.
Dinks and drop shots pop easily over the net with accuracy and control, which is unexpected given the amount of power one can develop off the paddle. The paddle plays incredibly well around the non-volley zone, being easy to wield with none of the awkwardness you may associate with a larger, heavier paddle.
5.Head Gravity SH Pickleball Paddle
- Comfortable grip
- Good pop
- Large sweet spot
- Produces killer spins
- Good shock absorption
- Surface paint wears away quickly
- The widebody is handle balanced which may feel off to some players.
It can stand toe to toe in comparison to most paddles out there, though, which can easily make it worth the price tag. It has a surface that’s made with a mixture of composite and graphite materials and has a tri-axial pattern that helps add killer spin to any shot.
The paddle’s thick, low-density core offers great touch and shock absorption while maintaining a highly reactive surface. One of the best things about this paddle is its massive sweet spot. It’s a slightly wider paddle than most, which helps create a bigger sweet spot, but the magic is in the unique core design!Although this paddle has a quality surface, it’s well-known that the paint on its face wears away quickly – this doesn’t affect its performance, but it can be frustrating as it makes the paddle look old even when it has plenty of life left.
6.GAMMA Sports 2.0 Pickleball Paddle
- Excellent spin and control
- Flush-fit bumper (fewer mishits)
- Strong and durable
- Lacks power
- A bit light for stronger players
The textured face imparts excellent spin characteristics, with many players commenting on the improvements they’ve noticed in their ability to put lots of spin on both their ground strokes and slice.The paddle is biased towards control rather than power and it achieves this goal superbly. The responsive core absorbs your opponent’s power shots and gives you plenty of feel, especially when you are placing shots around the non-volley zone.
When playing ground shots from the baseline, you can hit the ball with as much power as you want, secure in the knowledge that with the top spin it imparts, the ball will land accurately where you want it to.If that is the case, you may want to try one of the other paddles we’ve reviewed that is aimed more at the power game.In the final analysis, though, this paddle is very good value for money and can elevate your game with plenty of ball control.
7.SLK Evo Hybrid & Soft Pickleball Paddles
- Good power and pop
- Large sweet spot
- Soft touch for control shots
- Low-profile edge guards
- Versatile paddle
- Grip has some durability issues
- Shorter handle can feel awkward to some people
This thing is a super versatile paddle! Whereas it may not be the top performer in any category, it performs above average in almost every area.This paddle has a big sweet spot that sends balls flying with a nice pop on good connections. The thick polymer core gives it a soft touch on the ball, while the carbon fiber surface keeps it snappy and precise.
The shorter handle can feel awkward and uncomfortable to players who are used to longer handles, and the grip wrap has been known to unravel and have some durability issues.This paddle is ideal for power shots, snappy placements, and control. It’s not the best in any category, but it’s a solid “jack of all trades” that could suit most gameplay styles.
8.JOOLA Essentials Performance Pickleball Paddle
- Good control paddle
- Sizable sweet spot
- Great maneuverability
- Nice snap on the ball
- Great pop
- I found it hard to generate spin
The Joola Essentials pickleball paddle is a slightly smaller-than-average midweight paddle that has a unique perforated grip, excellent pop, and a generous sweet spot. Its smaller size gives it extra maneuverability on the court, while its weight still allows for a firm control game and authoritative power shots.
It has a multi-layered fiberglass face that gives a nice snap to the ball, but is limited with its spin capabilities. This paddle has a particularly nice feel, which makes it really shine in the control game. The handle on this paddle is exceptionally comfortable! It has a soft pillowy feel, but its tackiness and perforated design still allow for a firm connection.It has been known to have some durability issues, but it should still last a good while for most players.
Pickleball Paddle Buying Guide Under $100
If you’re looking for a pickleball bat that won’t break the budget, there are plenty of good options for under $100. Here’s a buying guide to help you make an informed decision:
- Weight: Pickleball bats can weigh anywhere from 6 to 14 ounces. Which weight you choose will depend on your playing style and preferences. If you are new to the sport, you may want to start with a lighter bat (around 7 to 8 ounces) for more control and maneuverability. More experienced players may prefer a heavier paddle for more power and stability.
- Grip: Look for a paddle with a comfortable grip. A good grip reduces hand fatigue and improves control of the paddle. Paddle grips are usually made of rubber, plastic or leather. Rubber grips are the most common and affordable.
- The material: pickleball paddles are made from a variety of materials including wood, composite and graphite. Wood bats are affordable, but heavy and less durable. Composite paddles offer a good balance between price and performance and feature good power, control and durability. Graphite paddles are lightweight and offer excellent performance, but are more expensive.
- Brand: There are many brands that make pickleball paddles, and some are better known than others. It is important to research the brand and read reviews to ensure you are getting a quality product. Some popular brands that offer affordable options are Onix, PickleballCentral, and Engage.
- Shape: Pickleball bats come in a variety of shapes, including oval, teardrop and rectangular. Which shape you choose depends on your playing style and preferences. Oval paddles offer a larger sweet spot and more control, while teardrop and rectangular paddles offer more power.
- Price: As mentioned earlier, there are many good pickleball racquets available for under $100. Don’t be tempted to choose the cheapest option, as it may not offer the quality and durability you need. Look for a paddle that offers a good balance between performance, durability and affordability.
When buying a pickleball paddle under $100, consider your playing style, weight, grip, material, brand, shape and price. Do your research and read reviews to find a bat that fits your needs and budget. Have fun playing!
Pickleball Paddle Under $100 advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of a Pickleball Paddle Under $100:
- Affordability: The most obvious advantage of a paddle under $100 is that it is affordable. You can enjoy playing pickleball without breaking the bank.
- Accessibility: A low price point makes the game more accessible to new players who may not want to invest a lot of money upfront.
- Variety: There are many options available for under $100, which means you can choose a paddle that suits your playing style and preferences.
- Lightweight: Many cheaper paddles are made with lightweight materials, making them easy to handle and maneuver on the court.
Disadvantages of a Pickleball Paddle Under $100:
- Durability: Cheaper paddles may not be as durable as more expensive models. They may wear out more quickly or break with heavy use.
- Quality: Some cheaper paddles may not have the same level of quality as more expensive paddles. This can affect the feel and performance of the paddle on the court.
- Limited Features: Some cheaper paddles may not have the same advanced features as more expensive models, such as shock absorption technology or edge guards.
- Inconsistent Performance: Cheaper paddles may not provide the same level of consistency in performance as more expensive paddles. This can affect your ability to develop your skills and enjoy the game to its fullest.
Pickleball Paddle Under $100 Frequently Asked Questions
What is a pickleball paddle?
A pickleball paddle is a paddle used to play pickleball, a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. The paddle is used to hit a small plastic ball over a net.
What should I look for in a pickleball paddle?
When shopping for a pickleball paddle under $100, look for a lightweight paddle with a comfortable grip that fits your hand size. The paddle should also have a large sweet spot for optimal ball control and power.
What materials are pickleball paddles made of?
Pickleball paddles can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, composite materials (such as fiberglass and carbon fiber), and aluminum.
How long do pickleball paddles last?
The lifespan of a pickleball paddle depends on how frequently it is used and how well it is maintained. With proper care, a paddle can last for several years.
Can I use a tennis or badminton racket to play pickleball?
While it is possible to use a tennis or badminton racket to play pickleball, it is not recommended. Pickleball paddles are specifically designed for the sport, with a different shape and size than tennis and badminton rackets.
Can I play with a broken or damaged pickleball paddle?
No, playing with a broken or damaged pickleball paddle can be dangerous and may also damage the court or the ball. It is recommended to replace a damaged paddle as soon as possible.
How do I care for my pickleball paddle?
To care for your pickleball paddle, clean it with a damp cloth after each use and store it in a dry place. Avoid exposing the paddle to extreme temperatures or leaving it in direct sunlight for extended periods of time. If the paddle has a grip, consider replacing it periodically to maintain optimal grip performance.