After the natural gas, the second biggest transition the US has witnessed in the last few years is the tennis players moving to pickleball. Of course, pickleball is exceptionally brilliant and comprises impressive gameplay except that the gears might be a real challenge, especially those tiny paddles! So, being a tennis player, what you need is the best pickleball paddles for tennis players that give you a tennis-like feel through their shape, size, and how it performs.
Though, the standard pickleball paddles, despite how incredibly built, won’t give you as much of an edge as the paddle with an elongated shape, larger handles, and more swinging ability. While here, we’re exactly getting you equipped with one of the paddles we tested on the basis of quality, playability, and the way their elongated shapes and size complement tennis game techniques. Our reviews here cover each and every aspect of the paddle, both negative and positive, so you can narrow down your choice wisely.
Top 5 Pickleball Paddle for Tennis Players in 2023:
Without any doubt, we think you certainly can’t get a paddle better than any of these. Reason? They simply have an exact paddle shape and construction as you need to improve your consistency and have a better stance at the same time.
- Paddletek Bantam Sabre Pro – Best For New Tennis Players
- Engage Pickleball Encore Mx 6.0 – Best Sweet Spot
- Engage Elite Pro Maverick – Best Control-Oriented Pickleball Paddle
- Amped X5 Invikta – Most Heavy-Duty Tennis Player Paddle
- Onix Graphite Z5 – Best Speedy Pickleball Paddle For Tennis Players
Paddletek Bantam Sabre Pro
Engage Pickleball Encore Mx 6.0
Engage Elite Pro Maverick
Amped X5 Invikta
Onix Graphite Z5
1. Paddletek Bantam Sabre Pro – Best for New Tennis Players
Paddletek Bantam Sabre Pro has recently kicked upstairs from the women’s arena to the men’s zone and young power hitters, for its unique “two-handed backhand” shots and the longest pickleball paddle handle ever to exist.
Size and shape:
The entire paddle length is 16.5 inches, but instead of the face, they’ve increased the handle length, making it more well-matched to the tennis rackets. The 6 1/4” inches elongated handles allow us to have more control over the paddle, whether we use it single-handed or use both hands.
In the double play, the Bantam Sabre Pro has always helped us have a powerful shake and bake strategy against our opponent, the elongated area allows us more powerful drive and a quick smash on the fifth shot.
The grips are available in two sizes, complementing players of all ages. The 13-16 y/o kids in our team opt for the 4 1/8″ without adding extra taping on the handle. While the other option is the standard size that measures 4 3/8″ which our senior players prefer.
Surface and core:
Wanna know what sets them apart from others other than just the enlarged shapes? The construction! Paddletek has introduced Advanced High-Grade Polymer Composite Honeycomb core in Bantam Sabre Pro–making the base of the paddle sturdy. It also contributes to the versatility and consistency when combined with the Velvet Textured Polycarbonate surface.
Not just that, the Smart Response Technology enhances the ball-biting ability of the paddle. Our players often report that they can play spin shots more beautifully and handle those overheads without losing the stance.
Weight and edge guard:
Although it’s a weighty paddle coming between 7.9 – 8.4 oz, it gives us a power boost on the court, when attacked with full-speed volleys and groundstrokes. Lastly, the 1/8″-edged shock guard protects this paddle from wear-outs.
2. Engage Pickleball Encore MX 6.0 – Best Sweet Spot
Engage Pickleball Encore MX 6.0 is a lighter version of the Head Ti S6 Tennis Racquet with quite similar power and feel.
Core and the Surface:
The Engage Pickleball Encore MX 6.0 comes with the ‘ControlPro’ Polymer core, sandwiched in a FiberTEK surface. Its fast deliveries and baseline back-to-back volleys elevated it to become the best pickleball paddle for championship plays. None of us compete with Robby, the aggressive on our team when he equips this paddle because it multiplies the power and speed too much that his shots often become unplayable. Despite the power and rigidity of the paddle, it doesn’t sacrifice the control compartment, thanks to the enlarged sweet spot and elongated handles.
The core in the paddle is structured with a wide-cell polymer honeycomb with extra thickness compared to the previous MX model, making it more consistent to hold and manage the ball better. It also increases the control factor. Onto that, the surface is made of fiber that further intensifies the power of the paddle. We’re a fan of hard drives and overhead smashes of this paddle. Plus, it doesn’t sound much, despite being made of fiber. It hardly has a <40 dBa in a noisy environment.
Shape and size:
It pretty much resembles the Sabre Pro, in height. Besides, the difference is the 7.5” wider shape and its generous sweet spot that gives you proper placement of your shots. If we need a control-oriented paddle with a great sweet spot, we’d definitely switch to the Encore MX 6.0 any day for its responsiveness, and the way it reacts to slower deliveries.
Among the two available weight options in this paddle, i.e. Lightweight for 7.6 – 7.9 oz. and Standard for 8.0 – 8.4 oz; we like the lightweight model. Though the weight range comes under mid-weight, however, the weight is mostly at the handle of the paddles, hence the paddle feels lightweight despite its theoretical measurement. Additionally, it also offers three colors: i.e. Red, Blue, and Purple, giving you more variety in your likes and dislikes, choosing what graphics and colors suit you the best.
3. Engage Elite Pro Maverick – Best Control-Oriented Pickleball Paddle
2018 saw the elongated pickleball paddle’s lineup next level improvisation that Engage elite pro maverick brought. Not only did it beat the records with such a HUGE paddle length, but introduced the concept of wider length while keeping it elongated. Several pro players have taken up their game to the next level, Jessie Irvine, Dekel Bar, and Jonny Andrews, to name a few.
Size and shape:
These paddles make the perfect tennis-pickleball paddle with its huge handle length of 6 inches. Plus the surface measures 10.5 inches, which overall results in a 16.5 paddle length. Apart from playing the overhead, this is perfect paddle for practicing dink rallies. The elongated shape and wider body make a well-balanced transition between dink and volley strokes.
The handle stays fit via its tackiness and sweat-resistant abilities, which contribute to comfortability for extended hours. Not just the length, but the paddle width amazed us. So far, it’s the only paddle after Engage Encore MX 6.0, having the widest body of 7.5 inches at this length. So any chance of a missed shot? CAN’T EXIST!
Besides the size, its delicate spin factor made them popular among tennis-pickleball players. The paddle showcases Engage’s most effective core material, which they call ControlPro ‘Black’ Polymer Core. We noticed that its thickness is cut down, making it slicker to return slice shots with smooth rotations. Besides, Cutting-Edge ‘Chemical Bond’ and Variable Release Flex Technology further add value to the power and finesse, making it bouncy and resilient.
“Maverick is a top-notch spin paddle with which I could finally beat up my rivals. Though, I was trying to get them down with my regular Gamma Atomic, which didn’t help me enough. Maverick’s reach and forgiveness helped me play overheads and volleys exceptionally better than ever before, plus I’m fond of the quality that I expect to last for a good 5-6 years, per my experience”.Says, Orson.
Weight and price:
There are two weight ranges available for the paddle. One is lightweight (7.5 – 7.8 oz), and the other one is mid-weight (7.9 – 8.3 oz). And what’s more? This one is the most affordable on the entire list, plus the perks it gives – simply make it the best pickleball paddle for tennis players.
4. Selkirk Amped X5 Invikta – Most Heavy-Duty Tennis Player Paddle
Invikta of the Selkirk Amped X5 series makes the perfect tennis player paddle–comes blended with power, control, and spin in great portions.
The surface showcases state-of-the-art technologies. The fiberglass surface took the flexibility and speed to the next level. These two characteristics of the surface are the reason why it is called the FiberFlex surface. It gives the ability to spin the ball using the more advanced ball-biting ability while keeping the alignment and position of your shot in complete control. We’ve played with them both in courts, and with machines, and in our opinion, it can handle the machined spins better than the human-made ones.
The X5 Core ensures durability and sturdiness. Its 3 times thicker PolyPropylene honeycomb core enhances the sturdiness of the paddle, plus makes it soft to give a great response to the ball.
Its sweet spot takes up 50% of the credit for making it recognizable through its average length, width, and handle. The core wider cells free up the space in the center, making it lethal to bounce a little higher. Its responsiveness and quick reaction with the ball is one of the reasons Tyson Mcguffin still can’t get over this paddle.
Well, lighter paddles sometimes become a headache for tennis players. at least for us. Luckily, this one addresses that well with its heavier weight range 7.8oz – 8.4oz giving a tennis-like feel with incredible power and touch. But you know, it’s 2023 and we can’t trust people’s tastes. Elena, our dear fellow, wanted something lighter and luckily this paddle with 7.4 oz average weight could address her needs. With these two ranges, we think it’s flexible enough to complement all your playing techniques, whether you play at a slow pace or need the heavier paddle for aggressive play.
5. ONIX Graphite Z5 – Best Speedy Pickleball Paddle for Tennis Players
Players coming from a tennis background constantly complain about the speed. Luckily, Onix Graphite Z5 has been successful in solving the issue by manufacturing this high-speed and super powerful paddle exclusively made for tennis players. It’s been the most-selling pickleball paddle in Nov 2021-April 2022.
Size and specs:
The paddle length measures 15.5 inches, having 5 inches for the handle length. These left the surface for 10.5 inches while keeping the handle solid and enlarged. Besides, the surface with a width of 8.125 makes a greater sweet spot. Though, the elongated and wide shape of the body makes it ideal for fast volleys and backhand shots. Onix Z5 is the widest pickleball paddle and perhaps the most consistent one we ever played with.
Surface and core:
Let’s come to the construction where the technologies work wonders. It has a Nomex core combined with a graphite material that results in an excellent blend of power, finesse, and control. Both the core and surface enhance the contact of the ball every time it gets in hit on the surface and as though you can have maximum sensitivity with it. We could spend a million dollars to have this sensitivity and feel that this thing provides–pure heaven.
Weight and affordability:
Along with that, the 7.5-8.2 oz weight range makes the paddle stand out. We’ll count it in the mid-weight while we’d rate control and power both by 9/10. Plus, it also provides us with forgiveness and consistency so that our shot hits where we intend the ball to be. Above all, it’s extremely budget-friendly, which is an attractive feature for those who are on a budget and looking for a versatile paddle to make the transition count.
Major factors that make a paddle worth having for tennis players:
Pickleball paddles come in various sizes and shapes, which gives us the benefit of going with the shape and size that resembles the tennis rackets; with close characteristics, if not similar. To make sure it does, these three factors are essential to look into, and that’ll be enough to guarantee what you’ll get is the best pickleball paddle for tennis players.
First, the handle! This is the component that plays a major role in making the racket best for a tennis player. In selecting the handle, the goal is to get the grip length as long as you can. For in a pickleball paddle, you should look at the paddles that have lengths not less than 5” and as though you can easily get one.
However, there also are newly manufactured rackets with 6” inches handles. They give you an extra edge on the court and are exactly like those handsome and tall tennis racquets. However, they are rare and often come at a higher price point.
When we speak about the surface, there are two things. One is the shape, and the other is the type. The ideal shape for a tennis-like pickleball paddle is the “elongated” since it gives an extra reach on the court. These are also heavier, which adds to the power as well.
The elongated paddles of pickleball also have variations, i.e. some have wider paddle bodies than the others, which slightly goes against the definition of “elongated”. Well, that doesn’t make them void for the intended use. In fact, that increases the value, as they’ll also get you more involved with the pickleball game while following your previous game techniques.
Unlike tennis racquets, pickleball paddles have smooth surfaces instead of strings. These surfaces are made of either fiberglass, graphite, or wood. Usually, the ball doesn’t stay on the paddle if you buy the paddle with a smooth surface because it’ll instantly deflect the ball.
However, there’s an innovation of textured surfaces that serves as the hack and pretty much performs the job nicely. With them, you can also hit impressive spins and have the ball stay on the paddle for a while before you place the shot.
Tennis paddles don’t have any core, but the pickleball paddle does. The core does in the pickleball paddles what strings do in the tennis racquet. So you need to get the core with the maximum flexibility and power it can provide.
Ideally, the polymer honeycomb core is what most of the players trust and go with. These are, by far, the best paddle cores available on the market. Although, Nomex cores have a great success associated with their name and game too, so you can also give them a try.
So what is the best pickleball paddle for tennis players?
Well, each of the paddles reviewed above has its own unique technologies, whether we test them for the surface, core, or even the shape. Every paddle lives up to the mark that it’s really difficult to decide “one” as the best pickleball paddle for tennis players.
However, if need a paddle with an excellent blend of power and control, with healthy durability then we guess, nothing is better than the Paddletek Bantam Sabre Pro. Though, it’s a bit tilted on the price side, making it less attractive for budget-minded players. However, in the long term, this paddle really is a good investment for both tournament level and casual play.
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