Best Pickleball Paddles for 3.5 Players In 2023

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best pickleball paddles specifically designed for 3.5 players in 2023.

As a dedicated player of the game, we know that choosing the right paddle can make all the difference in your performance and enjoyment on the court. With so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to sift through the various features and benefits of each paddle.

In this article, we have done the research for you and compiled a list of the top-rated pickleball paddles for 3.5 players in 2023. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, our guide will provide valuable insights and recommendations to help you find the perfect paddle to enhance your game.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choosing the right pickleball paddle is crucial for improving your performance on the court
  • There are various factors to consider when selecting a paddle, such as weight, grip, and materials
  • In this article, we will provide expert reviews and user testimonials for the best pickleball paddles specifically designed for 3.5 players in 2023
  • Our guide will also offer tips for improving your game as a 3.5 player and guidance on how to maintain and care for your paddle

Understanding Pickleball Paddle Selection Criteria

When shopping for pickleball paddles, it’s important to consider various factors that can affect your performance on the court. Here are some criteria to keep in mind:


The weight of your paddle can impact your swing speed, control, and overall comfort during gameplay. Lighter paddles are generally more maneuverable and easier on the arm, but they may sacrifice power and stability. Heavier paddles can provide more power and control, but they require more effort to swing and can cause fatigue over time. Consider your personal preferences and playing style when selecting a weight range that works best for you.

Grip Size

The grip size of your paddle can influence your hand comfort, control, and accuracy. A grip that is too small can lead to increased strain on the hand muscles, resulting in discomfort and lower accuracy. A grip that is too large can cause hand slippage and decreased control. It is recommended to measure your hand size and refer to the grip size chart to ensure you select the appropriate grip size.

Core Material

The core material affects the paddle’s overall performance and durability. Polymer cores are commonly used as they offer a balance between control and power. Aluminum cores provide more power but may sacrifice control. Nomex cores are known for their durability but can be less forgiving on off-center hits. Pick the material that suits your playing style and level of experience.

Surface Material

The surface material can affect the paddle’s spin, control, and durability. Graphite paddles are a popular choice for intermediate and advanced players, as they offer a good balance between power and control. Composite paddles offer a softer feel and excellent control but with less power. Wood paddles are typically the cheapest option, but they offer limited control and durability. Find the surface material that suits your playing style and budget.

Top Performance Best Pickleball Paddles for 3.5 Players

If you’re a 3.5 player looking for the top performance pickleball paddle, you’ll want to consider the following options.

PaddleWeightMaterialGrip SizePrice
Engage Encore Pro7.8-8.3 ozCarbon Fiber4.25″Check Price
Onix Evoke Premier7.8-8.2 ozGraphite Face, Nomex Core4.25″Check Price
Best Pickleball Paddles for 3.5 Players In 2023

Engage Encore Pro:Designed for power and control, the Engage Encore Pro features a unique skin with a rough texture that provides extra spin on the ball. Its carbon fiber construction offers extra durability and strength for long-lasting play. The paddle’s weight range allows for customizability and its grip size caters to players who prefer a larger handle.

Best Pickleball Paddles for 3.5 Players In 2023

Onix Evoke Premier:Known for its exceptional touch and feel, the Onix Evoke Premier has a graphite face and Nomex core, resulting in a lightweight and responsive design. The paddle’s oversized sweet spot and precision craftsmanship provide players with superior control and accuracy. Its affordable price point makes it a fan favorite among 3.5 players.

Engage Encore Pro vs. Onix Evoke Premier

Both the Engage Encore Pro and Onix Evoke Premier are excellent choices for 3.5 players, but they have some differences worth considering. The Engage Encore Pro offers more power and spin, whereas the Onix Evoke Premier provides better touch and control. Which one you choose ultimately depends on your playing style and preferences.

  • If you prefer a rougher texture for extra spin on the ball, choose the Engage Encore Pro.
  • If you value touch and feel, go for the Onix Evoke Premier.
  • If cost is a factor, the Onix Evoke Premier is the more budget-friendly option.

Whether you choose the Engage Encore Pro or the Onix Evoke Premier, both of these top performance pickleball paddles will give you the edge you need to take your game to the next level.

Best Value Pickleball Paddles for 3.5 Players

While performance is paramount, the cost of a pickleball paddle is also an important factor to consider. Fortunately, there are several paddles that offer excellent value without sacrificing quality. Here are our top picks for the best value pickleball paddles for 3.5 players:

Onix Graphite Z5$89.997.5 – 8.2 ozCushion gripGraphite face, Nomex core
Amazin’ Aces Signature$59.997.6 – 8.2 ozCushion grip, perforatedGraphite face, polymer core

The Onix Graphite Z5is a popular choice among many 3.5 players for its exceptional performance and reasonable price point. Its graphite face and Nomex core provide ample power and control, while the cushion grip ensures a comfortable hold throughout gameplay.

Read more: Best Pickleball Portable Net: Top Choices & Expert Reviews

Best Control Pickleball Paddle: Top Choices for Precision Play

Another top pick at a lower price point isAmazin’ Aces Signature. This paddle boasts a graphite face and polymer core, delivering consistent performance and durability. Its cushion grip with perforations allows for a firm hold, even during intense rallies.

“I was skeptical about the Amazin’ Aces Signature due to its lower price point, but it has exceeded my expectations on the court. It’s well-balanced and has a solid feel, especially for volleys and dinks.” – John, 3.5 player

When it comes to value, these paddles offer the best balance of performance and affordability for 3.5 players. With their premium materials and design, they are sure to enhance your gameplay and provide hours of fun on the court.

Expert Reviews of the Best Pickleball Paddles for 3.5 Players

Choosing the right pickleball paddle can be a daunting task, especially for players with a skill level of 3.5. To help make the decision easier, we’ve gathered expert reviews from seasoned players and coaches who have tested various pickleball paddles on the court. Based on their feedback, we’ve compiled a list of the top pickleball paddles for 3.5 players. Here are their recommendations:

PaddleFeaturesExpert Rating
Babolat RPM BlastCarbon fiber face, honeycomb core, lightweight, grip size options9/10
Engage EncoreComposite face, polypropylene core, reactive surface technology, cushioned grip8.5/10
ProKennex OvationGraphite face, polymer core, shock-absorbing technology, comfortable grip9.5/10

“The Babolat RPM Blast provides a great balance of power and control, with a comfortable grip that allows for a smooth swing. It’s especially ideal for players who prefer a lightweight paddle.”

“The Engage Encore is a solid choice for players who want a paddle that can deliver a lot of spin with minimal effort. The reactive surface technology gives you better control over the ball, while the cushioned grip reduces vibration on impact.”

“The ProKennex Ovation is an excellent all-around paddle that offers plenty of power and precision. Its shock-absorbing technology helps reduce the risk of injury, and the comfortable grip makes it easy to hold for long periods.”

These expert recommendations provide a starting point for players looking for a new pickleball paddle. However, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone has different preferences when it comes to paddles. Some players may prefer a heavier paddle for more power, while others may prefer a lighter paddle for better maneuverability. Be sure to test out several paddles before making a final decision.

User Reviews and Testimonials for Pickleball Paddles

To get a better understanding of how these pickleball paddles perform in real-world situations, we’ve gathered reviews and testimonials from 3.5 players who have used them. Here are some of their experiences and thoughts:

“The Selkirk Prime S2 is an incredible paddle. It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver, but still provides a lot of power. The sweet spot is huge, so even mishits feel pretty good. Overall, I highly recommend this paddle to any 3.5 player looking for a good mix of control and power.”

– Sarah G.

“I recently switched to the Gamma Legend paddle and have been really happy with it. It has a great grip and the weight distribution feels just right. It’s also helped me add some more spin to my shots, which has given me a bit of an edge on the court.”

– Jake H.

“I’ve been using the Prince Response Pro for a few months now and love it. It’s a very well-rounded paddle that performs great in all areas. It has a good mix of power and control, and the weight feels just right. Definitely worth considering if you’re a 3.5 player.”

– Mark T.

These are just a few examples of the positive experiences 3.5 players have had with these paddles. Of course, everyone’s preferences and play styles are different, so it’s important to try out a few paddles before making a final decision.

Tips for Improving Your Pickleball Game as a 3.5 Player

As a 3.5 player, you have honed your pickleball skills and are always looking for ways to improve your game. Here are some tips and strategies to help you take your game to the next level:

1. Focus on Footwork

Footwork is essential to your game, allowing you to move around the court with ease and speed. Practice your footwork through drills that focus on lateral movement, quick changes of direction, and explosive starts and stops. This will not only improve your agility but also enhance your shot selection.

2. Work on Your Serve

The serve is one of the most important shots in pickleball, setting the tone for the rest of the point. A strong, accurate serve can give you an advantage in the game. Practice your serves by working on consistency, placement, and speed. Experiment with different types of serves, including the drive serve, lob serve, and spin serve.

3. Improve Your Soft Game

The soft game, including dinks and drops, is a crucial aspect of pickleball, especially at the 3.5 level. Work on your touch and finesse by practicing your soft shots. Focus on hitting the ball with proper technique, using a gentle flick of the wrist and minimizing your backswing. This will allow you to place the ball precisely where you want it, forcing your opponents to make difficult shots.

4. Develop a Strategy

Pickleball is not just about hitting the ball back and forth. A successful game requires a well-planned strategy. Think about the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents and adjust your game accordingly. Use a variety of shots, including lobs, drives, and drops, to keep your opponents guessing. Communicate with your partner, develop a game plan, and be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice

The key to improving your game is practice. Find a partner or group of players to practice with regularly. Work on different aspects of your game, including serves, returns, volleys, and strategy. Play as much as possible, both in recreational games and competitive matches. The more you practice, the better you will become.

Remember, improving your pickleball game takes time and effort. Be patient, stay positive, and have fun!

Maintenance and Care for Pickleball Paddles

Proper maintenance and care of your pickleball paddle can increase its longevity and performance. Here are some tips to keep your paddle in top shape:

  • Store your paddle in a protective case when not in use to prevent damage from sunlight, extreme temperatures, or accidental drops.
  • Clean your paddle regularly with a damp cloth and mild soap to remove dirt, sweat, and oils that can affect its surface and grip.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners, solvents, or chemicals that can damage the paddle’s surface or core.
  • Check the grip regularly for wear and tear, and replace it if necessary to ensure a comfortable and secure hold.
  • Inspect the paddle’s edge and face for chips, cracks, or warping that can affect its performance. If you notice any damage, consider replacing the paddle or having it professionally repaired.

By following these simple maintenance and care tips, you can enjoy your pickleball paddle for many matches to come.


Choosing the right pickleball paddle can make all the difference in your game, especially if you’re a 3.5 player. By considering the important factors such as weight, grip, and materials, you can narrow down your options and select a paddle that fits your needs and preferences.

Based on our research, we have highlighted the top performance paddles, best value options, and expert recommendations for 3.5 players. We have also provided user reviews and testimonials to give you a better understanding of how these paddles perform in real game situations.

To further enhance your pickleball game, we have provided tips and strategies for 3.5 players to improve their skills, as well as guidance on how to properly maintain and care for your paddle to ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

Overall, investing in the best pickleball paddle for a 3.5 player can greatly improve your game and overall enjoyment of the sport. We hope that our article has provided valuable insights and information to guide you in your paddle selection process.


Q: How do I choose the right weight for a pickleball paddle?

A: The weight of a pickleball paddle is a personal preference, but as a 3.5 player, it is generally recommended to choose a paddle in the range of 7.5 to 8.5 ounces. This weight range offers a good balance of power and control for players at this skill level.

Q: What grip size should I look for in a pickleball paddle?

A: The grip size of a pickleball paddle is important for comfort and control. For most players, a grip size of 4 ¼ inches is standard and suitable. However, it is recommended to try different grip sizes to find the one that feels most comfortable in your hand.

Q: What materials are commonly used in pickleball paddles?

A: Pickleball paddles are typically made using materials such as graphite, fiberglass, and composite materials. Each material offers different characteristics in terms of power, control, and durability. It is important to consider your playing style and preferences when choosing the material of your paddle.

Q: Can I use a pickleball paddle for other racquet sports?

A: While pickleball paddles are specifically designed for pickleball, some players may choose to use them for other racquet sports such as paddle tennis or platform tennis. However, it is important to note that the paddle’s performance may vary depending on the sport, so it is recommended to use a paddle specifically designed for the sport you are playing.

Q: How often should I replace my pickleball paddle?

A: The lifespan of a pickleball paddle depends on various factors such as frequency of use, playing style, and maintenance. On average, a well-maintained paddle can last at least 1-2 years. However, if you notice any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or loss of performance, it may be time to consider replacing your paddle.

What weight should I look for in a pickleball paddle?

The weight of the paddle is a personal preference, and it’s recommended to choose a weight that feels comfortable and balanced in your hand. Generally, paddles range from 6 to 14 ounces. For 3.5 players, a weight of 7.5-9 ounces is a good starting point.

What grip size is suitable for me?

The grip size of the paddle is another personal preference, and it’s crucial to choose the right grip size to avoid discomfort and ensure control. The grip sizes generally range from 4 to 4.5 inches. To determine the right grip size, measure the distance between the crease of your palm and the tip of your ring finger. Any measurement from 4 to 4.5 inches is suitable for most players.

What’s the difference between a composite and graphite paddle?

Composite paddles are made from a blend of materials, such as fiberglass and polymer, while graphite paddles are made from carbon fiber. Generally, composite paddles are heavier and offer more control, while graphite paddles are lighter and offer more power.

What is the sweet spot on a pickleball paddle?

The sweet spot is the optimal area of the paddle where you can make the strongest and most accurate shots. It’s located in the center of the paddle and varies in size and shape depending on the paddle’s design and materials.

Can I use a tennis racket instead of a pickleball paddle?

No, it’s not recommended to use a tennis racket instead of a pickleball paddle. Tennis rackets are heavier, larger, and have a smaller sweet spot. Pickleball paddles are specifically designed for the pickleball game, providing better control, power, and accuracy.

How often should I replace my pickleball paddle?

The lifespan of a pickleball paddle depends on several factors, such as the materials, use, and maintenance. It’s recommended to replace your paddle when you notice signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, dents, or frayed edges. Generally, a well-maintained pickleball paddle can last for several years.

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