The 6 Best Graphite Pickleball Paddles

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The 6 Best Graphite Pickleball Paddles

When it comes time to purchase a new pickleball paddle, an important feature to consider is the material of the paddle. There are plenty of options available, from graphite pickleball paddles to polymer, fiberglass, and even wood. But today, we’ll be focusing on the topic of graphite paddles.

Graphite pickleball paddles are known for their light weight and durability – they are some of the most popular paddles in the world of pickleball, and although they tend to be one of the most expensive options, they are sure to last a long time.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the six best graphite pickleball paddles, as well as discussing who should use them, their pros and cons, and other helpful tips regarding graphite paddles. 

Helpful Resources:

Best Graphite Pickleball Paddles – Comparisons

ImageProductSpecsPrice
Editor’s ChoiceHEAD Radical TourWeight: 7.9ozGrip Size: 3-7/8″Handle Length: 5”Paddle Length: 16″Paddle Width: 7 7/8″Paddle Face: Graphite/CarbonCore Material: Polymer  Amazon ($89.95)Pickleball Central ($149.95)
Best for PowerONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball PaddleWeight: 7.9oz Grip Size: 4 ¼” Handle Length: 5″Paddle Length: 15 ½”Paddle Width: 8 ⅛”Core Material: Nomex honeycombAmazon ($89.99)Pickleball Central ($89.99)
Best For ControlPaddletek Tempest WaveWeight Range: 7.4 – 7.8 ouncesGrip Size: 4 1/4″Grip Tack: mediumGrip Length: 5 1/4″Paddle Length: 15 7/8″Paddle Width: 8″Paddle Face: Textured graphiteCore Material: Polymer honeycombAmazon ($129.19)Pickleball Central ($129.99)
Best ElongatedGamma CompassWeight Range: 7.5 – 7.8 ozGrip Size: 4 1/8”Handle Length: 4 3/4″Paddle Length: 16 5/8”Paddle Width: 7 1/8″Core Material: NeuCore Poly CoreAmazon ($159.99)Pickleball Central ($159.99)
Best For SpinGAMMA Voltage Pickleball PaddleWeight Range: 7.6-7.8ozGrip Size: 4 ¼”Handle Length: 5 1/4”Paddle Length: 15 3/8”Paddle Width: 8 1/8”Paddle Face: GraphiteCore Material: Nomex HoneycombAmazon ($59.99)
Best Valueniupipo Pickleball PaddleWeight Range: 8ozGrip Size: 4 ¼”Handle Length: 4 ¾”Paddle Length: 15 ⅜”Paddle Width: 7.8”Paddle Face: GraphiteCore Material: Polypropylene Honeycomb CoreAmazon ($31.99)

Choosing the Best Graphite Paddle – Buyer’s Guide 

A graphite pickleball paddle is any paddle with a graphite face material. The core material can vary from paddle to paddle but will often contain polymer, nomex, or aluminum. Graphite paddles are popular with pro players as they are incredibly lightweight, quick, and consistent on the ball.

Check out: The Best Pickleball Paddles Of the year

In order to choose the best paddle for your needs, you should consider a few key factors; the quality, durability, grip, weight, price, and overall feel of a paddle will come into play when picking out which paddle to purchase. There are plenty of great paddles out there, but the most important thing is to find one that is comfortable and compliments your style of play the best. 

Graphite Paddle Pros and Cons

As a material, graphite is often described as being soft but rigid. It’s harder than most paddle face materials and is usually applied as an ultra-thin layer on top of the paddle’s core. These characteristics give the paddle a great snap when contacting the ball. Pickleballs tend to react to graphite paddles quicker, giving players higher precision on the court.

Graphite paddles can be incredibly lightweight, causing them to feel smooth and agile in hand. Many players describe playing with a graphite paddle as having an extension of their hand. It can provide an excellent feel and allow for greater accuracy on touch shots and quicker movements toward the ball. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Snappy reaction to the ball
  • Durable
  • Highly maneuverable
  • Excellent feel
  • Ideal for soft touch shots

While a graphite paddle’s lightweight attributes may be a benefit to many players, some find the lack of weight to negatively impact the power behind their swings. A lighter-weight paddle can feel as if it lacks balance, especially if a player is used to heavier paddles.

Since graphite-faced paddles are quite a bit harder than other alternatives, balls will jump off of a graphite paddle faster. Meaning that it can prove more difficult to manipulate spins as easily as you could with a softer face material.

Cons:

  • Lack of weight can affect power
  • Balance can feel foreign to some players
  • Can be more difficult to generate spin

Graphite Paddle vs. Other Face Materials

We’ve listed some quick pros and cons; now let’s take a closer look at how graphite paddles stack up against the competition. 

Weight

Graphite paddles are consistently some of the lightest paddles on the market today. Although you can still purchase midweight and heavy-weight graphite paddles, graphite surfaces can be made lighter than any composite or fiberglass-faced paddles. 

Spin

When considering spin capabilities, composite paddles have an edge on graphite. Many fiberglass paddles come with a textured surface that allows for maximum spin on the ball. Graphite paddles have excellent touch and snap but tend to lack the traction on the ball that fiberglass paddles boast.  

Power and Control

When it comes down to graphite vs. composite paddles, consider whether you’re a control player or a power hitter. Graphite pickleball paddles can provide higher control and touch on the ball, while many composite materials allow you to add more power to your shots.

Durability

Graphite paddles typically have higher durability than composite paddles. However, durability depends on many other factors beyond the face material. What makes up a paddle’s core, handle, and edge guard can also significantly impact a paddle’s durability.

Who Should Use a Graphite Pickleball Paddle?

A graphite pickleball paddle is ideal for players who want to feel unencumbered by a weighty paddle. The characteristics that make up a graphite paddle will allow quicker movements on the court and better snap on the ball. They are excellent paddles for players who focus on touch shots and dinks.

Although it can be more difficult to generate power with a lightweight graphite paddle, they can absolutely still match the power of composite paddles – it just requires a different kind of swing. A graphite paddle can supply more jump to the ball, and when given the right snappy connection, the ball can still fly.

A good graphite paddle should fit into any player’s game, but we do recommend that players who are looking for a paddle that can supply maximum spin should go with a composite-faced option.

Top 6 Graphite Pickleball Paddles – Reviews  

There’s a lot to be said about the benefits of graphite paddles; after all, there’s a reason they’re so popular. But we all know why you’re here… You want some actual recommendations! So here are some of the top graphite pickleball paddles you can find today. 

Head Radical Tour – Editor’s Choice

Amazon

Pickleball Central

The Head Radical Tour is a favorite amongst pro players. It boasts a textured graphite surface that is perfect for control shots and considerable spin. Its sweet spot is consistent and predictable, and it has a lot of power too. This paddle is made with extremely high-quality materials. As soon as you pick it up, it feels like gold – like you’re holding Thor’s hammer – a weightless and powerful weapon. 

The Radical Tour paddle has a great feel and balance, which makes it quick to maneuver and react to a variety of shots. The Radical Tour is ideal for players seeking a lightweight paddle that boasts high control and can perform well on power shots. 

The weight distribution on this paddle can tend to make the paddle feel too light, so it can prove frustrating to players trying to get weight behind their swing. That being said, it can still generate just as much power as any other paddle; you just need to figure out the swing mechanics required. 

In the end, if you’re willing to pay a bit more for a paddle, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Pros

  • Quality feel
  • Consistent sweet spot
  • Light-feeling balance and very maneuverable
  • Great feel for control shots

Cons

  • Higher-end price tag
  • Can feel too light for power swings and overhead smashes

Onix Z5 – Best Power Graphite Paddle

Onix z5 graphite pickleball paddle in grey

Amazon

Pickleball central

The Onix Z5 graphite paddle is an extremely popular paddle throughout the pickleball community. You’ll see this thing on just about every court! Its popularity is largely due to its all-around consistency, quality, and its friendly price point. It’s super well-balanced and has a solid feel in your hand too. The Z5 has a wider-than-average face which gives it a huge sweet spot!

The Z5’s lightly textured surface is a bit more friendly to spin shots than comparable graphite paddles on the market. One thing we love is how power seems to naturally flow through the Z5 when swinging it. 

The handle design could be a bit better as it does tend to give some players blisters, and the overwrapping tape has been known to unravel. But if you put a good overgrip on this sucker, it’s a tough paddle to beat. 

Another common complaint about the Z5 is the loud sound it makes when striking the ball. Its core doesn’t absorb much energy, which results in a louder-than-average paddle – but this is also, in part, what gives it such great power for a graphite paddle.

Overall, the Z5 is well beyond average and sits at a terrific price considering its quality. It’s an excellent option for beginner and intermediate players looking to purchase a graphite paddle.

Pros

  • Well-balanced
  • Wide face and large sweet spot
  • Lots of power for a graphite paddle
  • Good for spin

Cons

  • The handle can be uncomfortable and
  • has some durability issues with grip
  • Loud paddle

Paddletek Tempest Wave II – Best Paddle for Control

Paddleteck tempest Wave in black

Amazon

Pickleball Central

The Tempest Wave II Graphite Pickleball Paddle was designed to help players read the game and maintain control of the ball with its gentle, muted feel on impact. Its soft polymer core helps reduce vibrations and absorbs energy, allowing players to move and control the ball on their terms.

The Tempest Wave II has a textured surface that improves ball placement and cooperates well with every type of spin shot. This paddle boasts a slightly elongated grip length and is great for players that need extra reach. The grip is comfortable and provides a strong connection to the paddle.

Due to the soft control-centered design, the Tempest Wave II doesn’t have much pop when hitting the ball, and it can definitely lack power on aggressive swings. It’s also not one of the most durable paddles out there; it’s been known to develop a rattle and delaminate after several months of heavy use. 

Overall, this is a solid selection for players who want a paddle that is designed for smooth, controlled gameplay. And although it has been known to have some durability issues, it is a quality paddle that performs well on the court.

Pros

  • Softcore absorbs impact and reduces vibrations
  • Deal for control shots and feel
  • Good spin for a graphite paddle
  • Quality feel
  • Long and comfortable handle

Cons

  • Not a lot of pop when hitting the ball
  • Durability issues on grip and edge guard

GAMMA Compass – Best Elongated Graphite Paddle

Amazon

Pickleball Central

The GAMMA Compass pickleball paddle has an elongated design that gives players added reach, allowing more defensive coverage on the court. This paddle has a good feel and gives a nice snap on the ball. Elongated paddles typically sacrifice a good deal of sweet spot coverage, but the Compass’s design allows it to maintain a sizable sweet spot.

The Compass is a good choice for anyone who is looking for a strong connection to the paddle, consistent shape, and subtle edge guards on an elongated paddle. The thin graphite surface gives this baby a really nice pop on the ball, which helps the ball to react quickly to your movements with the paddle. 

This paddle can tend to feel a bit clunky and difficult to maneuver for less experienced players.

Pros

  • Long reach
  • Big sweet spot for an elongated paddle
  • Unintrusive edge guards

Cons

  • Can feel clunky to some players
  • More top-heavy balance than most graphite paddles

GAMMA Voltage 2.0 – Best Graphite Paddle for Spin

Amazon

The second version of the GAMMA Voltage series, this graphite paddle is a strong competitor in the budget to mid-price-range market. The Voltage 2.0 texture was reworked to improve on spin capacity and control. This paddle has a consistent pop that is great for precise hits and lob shots alike. 

The Voltage 2.0 graphite paddle comes complete with flush edge guards and a predictable sweet spot, so you can feel confident when hitting even the toughest of shots. The unique texture on this paddle’s face makes it ideal for spin shots. So for those of us who incorporate a lot of cuts and spins into our gameplay, this paddle is awesome! 


The Voltage 2.0 is lightweight and almost effortless to move; it’s an excellent paddle for consistent control, spin, and speed. However, it does seem to lack power. So for anyone looking for a paddle that carries through the ball well for maximum “crush-it” power, look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Great for spin
  • Unintrusive edge guards
  • Consistent pop and feel
  • Lightweight 

Cons

  • Short length
  • Lacks power

Niupipo MX-06 – Best Budget Graphite Paddle

Amazon

The MX-06 is a terrific budget graphite pickleball paddle! It has an unusually comfortable grip that just feels right in your hand, and it has the perfect amount of tackiness to give you a solid hold while still letting you switch grips on the fly.

It has a nice weight behind it and a good balance; this paddle feels like it’s ready to crush some overhead smashes. While its lightly textured surface gives some options for both spin and control shots, it’s definitely smoother than most paddles, which makes it tough to put a lot of spin on the ball. 

The MX-06 does have pretty thick edge guards, which can sometimes get in the way. But overall, this is a fantastic budget option for a quality graphite paddle. It has enough weight for power players but enough balance and snap for versatile gameplay.

Pros

  • Comfortable grip
  • Best budget graphite paddle
  • Versatile
  • Good weight distribution 

Cons

  • Thick edge guards
  • Not ideal for spin shots

FAQs

What Is a Graphite Pickleball Paddle?

A graphite pickleball paddle is a paddle that has a graphite face. They are generally lighter than paddles made from other materials. Graphite paddles give the ball a little extra snap but can struggle to add as much spin as a composite paddle would.

Is a Graphite Paddle Best For Pickleball?

The best paddle for each player depends entirely on that player’s gameplay and skill set. Graphite paddles are extremely popular among professional pickleball players, and they are certainly an excellent choice for a good all-around paddle. A graphite paddle may be the best option for you if you want a paddle that is light, quick, and snappy.

Why is There an Edge Guard on Graphite Paddles?

The protective edge guard shields the core material from damage and maintains the paddle’s integrity. Without an edge guard, most paddles would be at risk of peeling apart or delaminating.

Conclusion

Graphite pickleball paddles are among the highest quality and best-performing paddles you can buy, and many of them are within a relatively affordable price range too. If you’ve decided that a graphite pickleball paddle is right for you, you’re sure to find a good option in the list above.
It’s important to note that not all graphite pickleball paddles are of equal quality. Many of the best and top-priced paddles available have a graphite face, but there are also a lot of cheaper graphite paddles that may be less durable and have lower performance. Before purchasing any paddle, make sure to do your research and read reviews so that you know exactly what you’re getting.

Written by:

All Drive No Drop Team

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