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5 Best Pickleball Paddles for Control – 2024

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5 Best Pickleball Paddles for Control – 2024
How We Tested

How do we measure control?  For power you can measure the speed of serves, drives, or overheads. For pop you can measure punch speed. For spin you can measure RPMs. For control we are looking at:

  • spin
  • twist weight
  • swing weight
  • sweet spot
  • shot placement
  • how consistent the ball comes off the face of the paddle
  • how the ball feels coming off the paddle

and many more factors.  So, what I’m saying is there is some objectivity in measuring control but at the end of the day control will be subjective because different people will prefer different things when thinking about control.  That is why I will explain why I like each of the top control paddles on this list and what I think might keep you from liking it.

I’m sure the question will also get asked about the Selkirk Luxx Control Air and why it isn’t on this list. I think it is a great control paddle but when you factor in the price and the paint grit wearing off way faster than the peel ply the paddles on this list use then it just doesn’t make since to recommend unless you truly are loyal to the Selkirk brand. 

Let’s jump into my picks for top control paddles.

Overview of Paddles

  1. Neonic Flow9.25/10
  2. Volair Mach 2 Forza 16mm9.25/10
  3. Vatic Prism Flash 16mm8.9/10
  4. GRUVN MUVN-16S 9.0/10
  5. Six Zero Double Black Diamond 16mm 9.0/10

Pickleball Paddle Reviews

Best Overall

Neonic Flow

9.25 Overall Score

Pros

  • Elite Spin
  • Unique Hybrid Mold
  • Good Pop for a Control Paddle
  • Decent Power for a Control Paddle

Cons

  • Lower Twist Weight than the Mach 2 Forza 16mm (can be noticeable on very fast drives)
Specs Name Value
Weight: 8.0-8.2oz
Dimensions: 16.25". x 7.4"
Handle Length: 5.5"
Grip Circumference: 4.125”
Surface: Toray T700 Carbon Fiber
Thickness: 16mm
Twist Weight: 6.5
Swing Weight: 115

Power

8.5

Pop

9.0

Spin

9.5

Control/Feel

10

The Neonic Flow tops my list because it offers the best shot placement for me out of all the paddles. 

All the other paddles on the list offer great shot placement as well but I felt I had the best touch and feel with the flow (the most subjective criteria but the most important when selecting a control paddle). It also has an amazing price for the quality of the paddle. 

The Flow brings a custom-molded hybrid shape that no other company has now, and I love this shape. I had the best dinks, drops, and drives with this paddle in terms of placement and spin combination of any other paddle I have played with.

It resets and blocks very well (the Forza does beat it in this area if you are looking for those two aspects specifically). The sweet spot is big, and off-center shots don’t feel as bad as other paddles. 

The 115 swing weight makes this paddle feel light in your hands and lets you generate enough pop in hand battles to be still happy.  The power is good, too, for a control paddle. 


Editor's Choice

Volair Mach 2 Forza 16mm

9.25 Overall Score

Pros

  • Low Swing Weight
  • Elite Spin
  • One of the Highest Twist Weights in the Game

Cons

  • Low pop
  • Lacks Reach
Specs Name Value
Weight: 8.1 oz
Dimensions: 15.875" x 8.125"
Handle Length: 5.5"
Grip Circumference: 4 1/8"
Surface: Raw T700 Carbon Fiber
Thickness: 16mm
Twist Weight: 6.99
Swing Weight: 108

Power

8.5

Pop

8.5

Spin

10

Control/Feel

10

It is interesting how differently the 14mm and 16mm Mach 2 Forzas perform, but I love the contrasting styles the two paddles offer.  The Mach 2 Forza 16mm is the ultimate control machine and if you want to lock down your control game with resets and blocks this is my top recommendation for those categories. 

The amount of control you get with this paddle combined with the elite spin is special. The high twist weight plays true to form and you will not have a problem blocking drives and resetting with this paddle. The sweet spot is wide and it stays stable in your hands under the highest speeds. 

The power is average so if you can supply your own this won’t be an issue.  Placing your drives, dinks, serves, rolls and speedups is a breeze with this paddle. The pop is the one area you will lack a little but it can be made up for with the low swing weight, huge sweet spot, stability and great spin the MF2 16mm offers.  


Best Value

Vatic Prism Flash 16mm

8.87 Overall Score

Pros

  • Great Price
  • Great Spin
  • Excellent Control

Cons

  • Lower Pop
  • Lower Power
Specs Name Value
Weight: 7.9 – 8.2oz
Dimensions: 16.3" x 7.7"
Handle Length: 5.3"
Grip Circumference: 4.125"
Surface: T700 Carbon Fiber
Thickness: 16mm
Twist Weight: 6.25
Swing Weight: 114

Power

8.0

Pop

8.0

Spin

9.5

Control

10

The Vatic Prism Flash is the paddle you want if you keep popping the ball up with your current paddle.  This is the softest paddle on the list and the cheapest paddle on the list. 

It also has the best stock grip and handle of the 5 paddles on the list. Yes, I love this paddle and I think if you just can’t seem to find the control and touch in your game then this is the paddle you should be getting. 

If you are still having trouble getting to the net because you can’t hit your drops, dig out balls from the transition zone and reset the ball then get this paddle now. 

You will sacrifice power and pop that you get from thermoformed paddles, but those things don’t matter if you struggle to make it to the net.  This paddle will give you the best opportunity to learn and get better. 

Check Out: Full Review of the Vatic Prism Flash

GRUVN MUVN-16S

9.0 Overall Score

Pros

  • Great Spin
  • Excellent Control
  • Low Swing Weight (Super fast in your hands)
  • Great Sweet Spot

Cons

  • Lacks Reach
Specs Name Value
Weight: 8.0 oz
Dimensions: 15.7" x 8.1"
Handle Length: 5.4”
Grip Circumference: 4.125”
Surface: T700 Raw Carbon Fiber
Thickness: 16mm
Twist Weight: 6.86
Swing Weight: 104

Power

8.5

Pop

9.0

Spin

9.0

Control

9.5

GRUVN nailed it with the 16s.  The 16S is the most unique control paddle on this list because of its shorter length, high twist weight, and low swing weight combination. 

If you feel like hand speed is holding you back or want to increase your biggest strength while maintaining elite control then you will want to check out the MUVN-16S. 

It is one of the shorter paddles around but that is how the low swing weight and high twist weight numbers are achieved. This does mean you have less paddle surface to hit with and it can take some getting used to.

Did you want more control without sacrificing your offensive game? Perfect, let’s talk about what the 16S can do for you. The 16S had good pop and power while maintaining that great control. The swing weight goes up just a little so you can still have the edge with fast hands. 

If you want the combination of stability, control, and fast hands this is the paddle for you. I think the MUVN-16S is the control paddle for you if you like to initiate hands battles with well placed speedups and tend to move around the court a lot but still need that paddle that can help you get to the Kitchen with great resets, blocks and digs.


Six Zero Double Black Diamond 16mm

9.0 Overall Score

Pros

  • Good swing weight for fast hands.
  • Big sweet spot and great control.
  • Great spin.
  • Good pop.
  • Hybrid shape feels good all around the court.

Cons

  • Average Power.
Specs Name Value
Weight: 8.1oz
Dimensions: 16.3” x 7.7"
Handle Length: 5.5”
Grip Circumference: 4.25”
Surface: T700 Raw Carbon Fiber
Thickness: 16mm
Twist Weight: 6.64
Swing Weight: 114

Power

8.5

Pop

9.0

Spin

9.0

Control

9.5

The Six Zero Double Black Diamond 16mm is in my best three overall paddles and it is a strong control paddle as well. This is a paddle I would recommend to anyone who wants a control paddle but still wants a paddle that they can consider a good all-court paddle that will help you grow your game no matter your play style. 

There is a reason it is a top seller and that is because it fits such a wide variety of people.  It feels fast in your hands, has enough power and pop to put the ball away, great spin, a high twist weight (width of the sweet spot) and overall great control. 

In my video review I said that it doesn’t do anything the best but it does everything well. So, if you want to have paddle that can just do everything then this is it.  I also like that Six Zero continues to come out with new designs for the Double Black Diamond which lets you stay with it as your main paddle but keep the look fresh.

Conclusion

I truly enjoy every paddle on this list, and I think each one might be the top paddle for your own personal game.  I’ve tried to outline the best aspects of each paddle and the drawbacks they have. I think some people feel the need to get a power paddle thinking that will improve their game if they can just hit the ball harder, but I’ve always found if you can’t place your shots, reset well, and get to the Kitchen then your game is best improved with a great control paddle.

 If you have any questions or want more input on selecting the best control paddle for you, then you can check out my video review on the best control paddles or drop a comment with your questions.  I will get back to you soon as I can.  

Written by:

Jacob Hoisington

Jacob discovered pickleball when he one day was biking past local courts and started a conversation with some players. He asked what they were playing and got invited to a beginner’s night where he got hooked on the game. As a long-time doubles’ tennis player, pickleball was a natural fit for Jacob. His first love of the game was trying different paddles as there were so many and ever since he has become obsessed with trying every paddle, he can get his hands on. Jacob appreciates that pickleball is accessible to anyone while still offering competition.

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