As an intermediate pickleball player, you’ve mastered the basics and are ready to up your game. The right paddle can make a big difference in your performance and enjoyment of the sport.
However, with so many options on the market, determining the best pickleball paddles for intermediate players can be challenging. We’ve done the research to find highly-rated paddles designed for control, power, and spin so you can focus on improving your skills.
Whether you prefer a lightweight paddle for quickness at the net or a heavier paddle for more powerful serves and returns, you’ll find options for your playing style and budget here.
Our 2023 reviews cover details on materials, grip, weight, and other specs so you can choose a paddle that matches your needs as an advancing player. With the right equipment in hand, you’ll be dominating at the net and acing your serves in no time.
What Makes a Good Pickleball Paddle for Intermediate Players
For intermediate players looking to improve their game, the right paddle can make a big difference. When choosing a pickleball paddle, consider the following factors:
Weight and Balance
A mid-weight paddle, between 7 to 8 ounces, provides good power and control for intermediates. Lighter paddles may lack power, while heavier paddles can be difficult to maneuver. A paddle evenly balanced between the handle and the head will give you the most control.
Choose a grip size that fits your hand comfortably. If the grip is too large or too small, it will be difficult to hit accurately and with power. For most intermediates, a grip between 4 1/4 inches and 4 3/8 inches works well.
Paddle Face and Core Materials
Composite paddles with a polymer honeycomb core and graphite or fiberglass face provide power and versatility at an affordable price.
Paddles with aluminum or magnesium cores are very durable but may lack touch. Wood paddles give a great feel but little power. Avoid paddles with rough, textured faces which can grab the ball, reducing accuracy.
A larger sweet spot means more consistent, accurate shots when you hit off-center. Paddles sized for intermediates typically have a sweet spot 6 inches or larger. Larger paddle faces, around 8 inches, also make it easier to place spin on the ball.
With the right weight and balance, properly sized grip, versatile yet powerful materials, and a generous sweet spot, an intermediate paddle can elevate your game and help build skills for the transition to advanced play.
Compare specs and read reviews to find the paddle that suits your needs and budget. With practice, you’ll be dominating the court in no time!
Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players in 2023
If you’re looking to upgrade your paddle as an intermediate player, composite paddles are a great option. Composite paddles combine materials like carbon fiber, fiberglass, and graphite to produce a lightweight yet durable paddle.
Here are some of the best composite pickleball paddles for intermediate players to consider in 2023:
1: Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddle
The Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddle is a popular, high-quality option. Its aerospace-grade aluminum honeycomb core and carbon fiber face provide power and control.
The paddle weighs between 7.4 to 7.8 ounces, ideal for intermediate players. The elongated handle and polypropylene edge guard increase playability and durability. With a variety of grip sizes available, you’re sure to find one that suits you.
2: Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro Pickleball Paddle
For superior ball control, the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro Pickleball Paddle is an excellent choice. Its carbon fiber face, Nomex honeycomb core, and fiberglass backing create a responsive, lightweight feel.
The paddle’s elongated handle and comfort grip allow for solid shot placement. Weighing in at 7.9 ounces, the Tempest Wave provides enough power for intermediate players while maintaining exceptional touch.
3: Gamma Sports 2.0 Pickleball Paddle
If power and spin are priorities, consider the Gamma Sports 2.0 Pickleball Paddle. The graphite face and polymer core generate substantial pop and bite on the ball. An edgeless design provides an oversized sweet spot and the textured grip offers extra traction.
Although on the heavier side at 8.3 ounces, the Gamma 2.0 is a formidable paddle for dominant intermediate players seeking an aggressive style of play.
Read More: Best Beginner Pickleball Paddles Under $100
With the variety of high-performance yet affordable composite paddles available, intermediate players have many excellent options to elevate their game in 2023. Choosing a paddle that suits your personal playing style and strengths will help take you to the next level.
4: Selkirk Amped Invikta
The Selkirk Amped Invikta is a premium graphite paddle engineered for intermediate to advanced players looking to take their game to the next level. At 7.4 ounces, the paddle accelerates quickly for speedy reaction shots while still maintaining adequate power.
The elongated teardrop shape, oversized grip, and X5 polypropylene core generate tremendous ball control, large sweet spot, and softened impact. The high-grade graphite face delivers a blend of touch, spin, and power, enabling players to hit a variety of shots with accuracy.
Although higher priced, the Selkirk Amped Invicta provides a professional playing experience for dedicated intermediate players seeking a competitive advantage.
Choosing the Right Pickleball Paddle Grip for Your Game
When choosing a pickleball paddle grip, it’s important to consider your playing style and hand size. The grip refers to the handle of the paddle and directly impacts how you hold and maneuver it. For intermediate players, there are a few factors to keep in mind:
The grip circumference refers to the diameter of the handle. Larger grips, around 4 to 4 1/4 inches in diameter, typically suit players with bigger hands. Medium grips of 3 7/8 to 4 inches are ideal for average-sized hands.
Smaller grips of 3 3/4 inches or less are best for players with small hands. It’s best to choose a grip size that allows you to comfortably hold the paddle while still gripping it firmly. An incorrectly sized grip can lead to loss of control, discomfort, and even injury.
The two most common grip shapes are oval and rectangular. Oval grips tend to be slightly thicker in the middle, suiting players who choke up on the handle.
Rectangular grips have an even thickness and are preferred by players who hold the handle further down. For intermediate players, either shape can work well, so choose based on your personal comfort and playing style.
Grip material impacts factors like texture, tackiness, and vibration dampening. Common materials include polypropylene, vinyl, and silicone. Polypropylene and vinyl grips are hard, durable, and budget-friendly but can feel slippery. Silicone grips provide more tackiness and help reduce vibration.
Tacky grips give you a better feel for ball control and placement. Vibration dampening reduces shock to the hand and wrist on impact. For intermediate players looking to improve control and comfort, a tacky silicone grip is an excellent choice.
Following these guidelines will help you determine the ideal pickleball paddle grip for your hand size, playing style, and skill level.
The right grip can make a world of difference in your performance and enjoyment of the game. With some experimenting, you’ll find a grip that gives you maximum control, power, and precision.
How to Find the Best Pickleball Paddle for Your Playing Style
To find a paddle that suits your playing style, there are a few factors to consider:
The weight of a paddle affects power and control. Heavier paddles (8.5 oz+) generate more power but less control, while lighter paddles (under 8 oz) provide more control but less power. For intermediate players, a midweight paddle around 8.2-8.5 oz offers a good balance of power and control.
Paddle grip size
Select a grip size that feels comfortable and allows you to keep a firm hold during play without straining your hand or wrist. The most common grip sizes for recreational players are 4 1/4 inches and 4 3/8 inches in circumference.
If possible, try different sizes to determine your best fit. An improperly sized grip can lead to loss of control, reduced power, and injury.
Paddle surface material
The surface material affects how the ball bounces and spins off the paddle face. Composite paddles with a textured graphite face provide more spin and control. Aluminum paddles generate more power but less spin.
Polymer paddles offer durability at an affordable price but typically have less power and control. For intermediate players looking to develop spin and touch shots, a composite or graphite paddle is a good choice.
Paddle shapes like teardrop (broadest at the top and tapered at the handle) and elongated (rectangular) provide a larger sweet spot for more forgiving shots, while rounded shapes yield more control. Elongated and teardrop paddles are recommended for intermediate players.
Determining the right combination of weight, grip size, surface, and shape for your playing style may take some experimentation. But with the guidelines above, you can narrow down your options and choose a high-quality paddle designed for intermediate recreational players.
With so many options on the market, finding the right pickleball paddle for your skill level and playing style can be challenging. The paddles reviewed here offer a range of features, weights, and price points suitable for intermediate players looking to improve their game.
As you advance to become an advanced player, you’ll want a paddle that provides more power and control. For now, focus on developing consistency and technique with a thoughtfully designed, mid-weight paddle. Keep practicing your dinks, drives, and drop shots.
Before you know it, you’ll be ready to graduate to a high-performance paddle and take your game to the next level. The key is sticking with it – keep playing, learning, and having fun. Pickleball is a sport for life.
Pickleball Lover & Enthusiast. Sharing my love for the game on my website. Come join me for all the pickleball fun & get your paddle on!
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