The 9 Best Pickleball Paddles Under $100

Share:

The 9 Best Pickleball Paddles Under $100

What is the Best Pickelball Paddle under $100?

Best Overall
Neonic Force Pickleball Paddle
9

The Neonic Force 16mm is a great thermoformed paddle at an amazing price point of $100.00. It has great balance in all aspects of game play, and I think this paddle would work for just about anyone. I was able to hit two-handed back hands easily with the 5.3” handle length and really enjoyed my time reviewing this paddle.

Some high-end pickleball paddles can get pretty expensive, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great, more affordable options for those of us (pickle) balling on a budget! 

The best thing is that once you have a paddle and a ball, you’re ready to play pickleball without spending more for a long time. Sure, there are plenty of extra gear and gadgets you can get, but at its core, pickleball only requires a paddle, a ball, and a few friends!

In this article, we’ll be looking at the seven incredible pickleball paddles under $100, as well as their pros and cons and other features that make them special. Let’s jump in!

Also Check Out: Best Overall Pickleball Paddles Of the Year!

8 Best Pickleball Paddles Under $100 – Reviews

#1. Neonic Force Pickleball Paddle

Neonic Force pickleball paddle in black
9
Neonic Pickleball Paddle
Power9
Pop8.5
Spin9.5
Control9

Specs:

  • Length: 16.5” 
  • Width: 7.5”
  • Face: Toray T700 raw carbon fiber
  • Handle length: 5.3”
  • Thickness: 16mm
  • Weight: 8.0-8.3 oz
  • Full Review of Neonic Force

This is a Gen 2 paddle meaning: Carbon Fiber, Unibody, Thermoformed, and Foam-injected edges. The Neonic Force was the first popular Gen 2 paddle for under $100 on the market. It actually started off at $120, but I wanted that title of “Gen 2 paddle under $100,” and it has paid off.

When I first got my hands on it, the paddles that I was in between were the Vatic Pro V7 and the Legacy Pro. They all have the same dimensions and specifications, but they all play differently from each other.

I appreciated this from the Force because I would categorize it as the softest and lightest swing weight of the three, but this made it consistent during hand battles at the net.  

Pros:

  • This paddle feels so fast in your hands due to the balanced weight
  • Great power and crazy spin
  • The combination of the handle length being just right, and the weight made for some of the fastest hands I have had while playing
  • At the price point of $129.00 and the 30-day money-back guarantee, this is one of the best deals on the market.

Cons:

  • I have not run into any cons on this paddle If you have any, feel free to comment.

#2. Spartus Gladius Centurion Paddle

8.6
Spartus Gladius Pickleball Paddle
Power8
Pop8.5
Spin9
Control9

Specs:

  • Length: 16.5”
  • Width: 7.5”
  • Thickness: 16mm
  • Handle length: 5.5”
  • Average weight: 8,0 oz
  • Face: Toray T700 raw carbon fiber
  • Weight:8.0 ounces

Get 10% Off at Spartus.com with code: ADND

Spartus began their journey with the Gladius, a Gen 1 raw carbon fiber paddle. A few months ago, they released the Ballista, a hybrid-shaped Gen 2 paddle with some unique features (a full review of that to be released soon).

Finally, just before the holidays, Spartus released their Gen 2 version of the Gladius, the Centurion. The Gladius Centurion has the same dimensions as the Gladius but with all the newer technology: unibody, thermoformed, foam-injected edges, the works. 

I found the Centurion to be a wonderful mix of Power, Control, Pop, and Maneuverability. The spin was in the top tier considering that raw carbon fiber paddles get the best spin on the market right now.

While using this paddle, I practiced with my two-handed backhand more than usual as the longer handle made it feel more natural. The power I generated from it felt almost as strong as my forehand drives.

Speaking of, the combination of power and spin from my drives, placing them just over the net caused opponents to pop the ball up frequently, allowing for easy put-away shots.

If the drives were easy to block, the softness of the paddle assisted in getting accurate and consistent fifth shot drops following the third shot drive. Resets, blocks, and hand battles felt stable to keep me in the point and dinks felt plush so I could place the ball accurately.

I prefer paddles on the softer side that still have power and those were the characteristics of this paddle. This helps blocks to not be launched out of bounds but drives to still have force behind them. 

Pros:

  • I really enjoyed using this paddle.
  • Felt comfortable in the hands, solid when making contact, great sweetspot, consistent, and just a wonderful all-around paddle.
  • Most importantly, it was very fun using this paddle.

Cons:

  • Blocks don’t come off the fastest, which can sometimes invite the opponents up to the NVZ after a drive.

#3. Vatic Pro Prism series

Vatic prism in black and purple
8.6
Vatic Prism Pickleball Paddle
Power8.5
Pop8.5
Spin8.5
Control9

Specs

  • Length: 16.3”
  • Width:7.7”
  • Face: RAW TORAY T700 Carbon Fiber with heat-compressed texturing
  • Handle Length: 5.3”
  • Thickness: 16 mm and 14mm
  • Weight 14mm: 7.7-7.9 oz
  • Weight 16mm: 7.9-8.2 oz
  • Full Review of the Vatic Prism

Get 10% Vaticpro.com with code: ADND10

Vatic Pro released the Prism line near the middle of the year and it was an absolute hit. I have seen them, especially the Prism Flash 16mm, in every video for “Best paddles under $100” since they hit the market.

The Flash 14mm followed shortly after the release of the Flash 16mm and the V7. As for the V7 and the newly released V7-LH, I will take a moment to discuss those.

The only difference between the V7 and the V7-LH is that LH stands for Longer Handle. The standard shape has a 5.3” handle while the LH boasts a 5.6” handle. This extra length really helps make it more comfortable to grip if you have larger hands or use a two-handed backhand.

As to why the Prism series is on my list, they are referred to as a Gen 1.5 paddle, meaning they have some, but not all characteristics of a Gen 2. In this case, they are Unibody, foam-injected edges, and raw carbon fiber surfaces, but they are not thermoformed.

This creates a paddle on the softer side, with an increased sweet spot, solid construction, and feedback from hitting the ball. If you are worried that the power decrease from the lack of thermoforming will make a huge difference, these paddles may not be for you.

However, as I have said, rule number one is to get the ball back over the net, and rule number two is to keep it in the court. The softness and control of this paddle really help you to stay on the point longer. Placement > Power. 

The V7 and V7-LH are wonderful all-court paddles. The biggest complaint about the V7 is the head-heaviness and high swing weight because of that. That is where the V7-LH came into play.

Vatic Pro brought some of the weight closer to the handle, bringing the swing weight down by a few points to lessen the strain on the joints. These paddles have a great-sized sweet spot, great power (especially for non-thermoformed), and outstanding control. 

Pros:

  • As mentioned, all of the paddles in the Prism lineup are exceptional in terms of control, some more than others.
  • These paddles are truly used by beginners up to some pros.

Cons

  • The V7, in particular, is the higher swing weight.
  • For all Prism paddles, deceased pop and power.
  • Trade off for being soft will always be a hit to these two characteristics. However, some people prefer less pop, making these an excellent choice.

#4. Friday Pickleball

8.6
Friday Pickleball Paddle
Power8.5
Pop8
Spin9
Control9

Specs:

  • Length: 16.5”
  • Width: 7.5”
  • Avg Weight: 8.3oz
  • Thickness: 16mm
  • Core: Polypropylene Honeycomb
  • Handle length: 5.5”
  • Handle circumference: 4.25”

Use code AllDriveNoDrop at checkout for 2 Paddles for $100

When I first saw the advertisements for this paddle, I will be honest, I overlooked it thinking “a cheap paddle trying to compete”. In a way, I was right, except for the use of ‘cheap’, because it is a well-made paddle for a low price.

I will start off by stating that I do not think the Friday paddles are spectacular in any specific category, but they are great all-around paddles. High spin from their sandblasted surface, that is actually proving to be more durable than other paddles that use the same application techniques, helps to shape the ball very well.

On top of that, the paddle is in the higher range for power, which was expected of a thermoformed paddle. In terms of control, I would definitely say this paddle is on the softer side.

So drinking, resets, and drops feel stable and consistent as the sweet spot feels in the same range for paddles with foam-injected edges.

With that being said, pop would not be these paddles’ forte. Being on the softer side, speed-ups and counters off of speed-ups were not blowing my mind.

On the flip side of this, speed-ups were well placed and helped lead to pop-ups, or if they were dodged, would still typically drop into the court. 

The only thing about the Friday paddles that are cheap is the cost to the customer. Great spin, power, and control all in one paddle, or should I say: 2 paddles, for $100. That is right, Friday Pickleball is selling their paddles at $60 a piece, or a bundle of 2 paddles for $100. 

Pros:

  • This paddle can be used in doubles or singles.
  • Long handle makes two-handed backhands feel more comfortable and stable.
  • Truly a paddle that beginners or more advanced players can use.
  • Again, 2 paddles for $100!

Cons:

  • Not incredibly poppy or powerful and a higher swingweight for the hybrid shape.
  • Applied texture face, though seems more durable than other applied texture paddles.

#5. XS XSPAK Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle

8.9
XS Xspak Pickleball Paddle
Power9
Pop8.5
Spin9
Control9

Specs

  • Length: 16.5″
  • Width: 7.4″
  • Face: T700 Raw Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Length: 5.5″
  • Thickness: 16mm
  • Weight Range: 7.9-8.1oz

The XS XSPAK is one of the top pickleball paddles under $100 by a long shot. It looks, feels, and plays identical to some of the best premium pickleball paddles on the market.

The face is T-700 Raw carbon fiber, like most Gen 2 paddles, which generates a massive amount of spin that gets better with time as the carbon fiber weaves start to fray.

If you’re looking for a durable paddle that you can use from a beginner level all the way to an advanced level without the need to switch, this is the perfect paddle for you.

It’s so well-balanced with a 16mm core to for buttery smooth dinks, and drops. and resets while still having enough weight to get some decent power on groundstrokes, and attacks.

The XS XSPAK has been getting a lot of hype in the pickleball community and I know why. It’s a great paddle for any player at an amazing price. If you want to learn more, here is the full review of the XS XSPAK.

Pros:

  • Well below $100 (use a $25 Amazon coupon) for a T700 Raw carbon fiber paddle.
  • The face produces incredible spin, and the shape, which is identical to CRBN, is perfect for two-handed backhands and maneuverability.
  • Great sweet spot, consistent, and just a wonderful all-around paddle.

Cons:

  • I couldn’t find any manufacturer’s warranty and would assume the customer service is hard to get ahold of.
  • It’s more common to get a paddle that was already used and has marks since it’s not a big manufacturer.

#6. Ronbus R series

8.3
Ronbus R Series Pickleball Paddle
Power8
Pop8
Spin8
Control9
  • Length: 16.5”
  • Width: 7.5”
  • Thickness:16mm
  • Handle Length:5.5”
  • Weight:7.8oz
  • Face:T700 Carbon Fiber

The only Gen 1 paddle(s) on this list! There is a reason that The R-series of the Ronbus paddles have also made so many lists for best-value paddles. One of these reasons is the high spin rate. Another reason is for the exceptional control from these paddles.

The R-series also comes in three different shapes to suit your needs. Need more power? Get the R3.16, the standard-shaped paddle. Hand speed? The isocentric-shaped R2.16 has a swing weight of 102. A combination of both?

The incredibly popular R1.16. With multiple options to choose from, decide if you want to accentuate your strengths or make up for one of your weaknesses.

The Ronbus R1.16 was one of the first paddles to record a spin rate over 2000 rpm which was unheard of then. Since then, it’s become something of a benchmark, but this does not take away from the high spin rate that these paddles produce.

Again, to reiterate, the control of these paddles is the best attribute in my opinion. All three models have smooth and consistent touch and feel with a large sweet spot. 

Some may point out that these paddles are actually $120, but considering that with any discount code, the R-series becomes $100, making them eligible for this list.

Pros:

  • Incredible control and spin!

Cons:

  • Decreased Power and Pop

Honorable Mentions

#7. Aiso Centric Pickleball Paddle

Specs:

  • Length: 16.5” 
  • Width: 7.3”
  • Thickness: 16mm 
  • Handle Length: 5.3”
  • Grip circumference: 4.125”
  • Swing weight: 120
  • Twist weight: 6.65

The Aiso Centric is a hybrid-shaped Gen 2 paddle that would immediately be recognized as a control-oriented paddle. A couple other noticeable characteristics being that while it is a hybrid shaped paddle, the swing weight is on the higher end.

A higher swing weight means that the paddle is harder to maneuver quickly at the net, however, this problem does not quite ring true as the paddle was still plenty quick during hand battles.

But with that, the twist weight is also on the higher end meaning that the sweet spot of this paddle is great! A higher swingweight also contributes to the power of the paddle – typically. Again, this paddle somewhat breaks the mold as the power is not what you would get from a Gen 2 paddle with high swing weight.

Pros:

  • Wonderful control, easily maneuverable and fast, and top-tier spin all combined in one paddle that can be utilized by beginners to advanced players.

Cons:

  • If you struggle with generating power on your own, this paddle will not be a huge game changer for you. 

#8. Hudef Mage Pro Pickleball Paddle

Specs:

  • Length: 16.50″
  • Width: 7.40″
  • Thickness: 16mm
  • Handle Length: 5.35″
  • Face: T700 raw carbon fiber
  • Weight: 8.0oz

A newly Released Hybrid paddle by Hudef, the Mage Pro is Thermoformed with foam-injected edges and has great pop, spin, and power. The Control aspect takes a little bit to dial in but once you do, it is a wonderful weapon.

If I could have a sixth slot, the Mage Pro would undoubtedly be in it. My biggest dilemma with including the Mage Pro on this list was that I think the Pop and Power may be a bit overwhelming for newer players and that the sweet spot was a little on the smaller side.

With a couple lead tape applications, this really broadened the sweet spot and helps with the control. I would highly recommend the use of lead tape with this paddle because it makes this great paddle so much better. When deciding which paddles should be on my list, I wanted to judge them off of the paddle in its stock form, with no added lead tape. 

#9. Honolulu Pickleball J2

The J2 should be on this list because it is currently (as of the day this roundup was written) listed as $99. However, after reaching out and speaking to the company, the price may eventually go back up to its normal listed price, which even after discount code will be over $100.

With that in mind, I did not want to include it on this roundup, but I would highly recommend this paddle at either its sale price of $99 or $145. The paddle is a hybrid-shaped paddle on the shorter side; 16.2” long and 7.8” wide. Low swingweight and high twist weight makes this a wonderful choice in control oriented paddles.

Being a Gen 2, this gives the paddle good power and pop as well. Truly a great paddle, the only real downsides would be the length of the paddle, for those that prefer more reach as well as this is not what I would consider a power paddle. Overall, a stellar paddle, but just will not always be at the $100 mark.

Conclusion:

You may be wondering which of the above listed paddles would be my number one recommendation. If so, after much consideration, I struggled to decide between the Neonic Force and the Spartus Gladius Centurion. For me it came down to one aspect: handle length. The Spartus Gladius Centurion has a 5.5” handle while the Neonic Force has a 5.3” handle. The longer handle feels more comfortable when doing two-handed backhand shots, helping me to be more consistent with them, and that is why I am giving it the Number One spot for my list.

Gone are the days that you need to spend over $200 for the same quality paddle that a pro uses. Now, even the 2nd generation of carbon fiber paddles are dipping below the $100 benchmark, making it much easier to put your hard-earned money elsewhere, say, towards a ball machine, towards court fees for an indoor facility, or whatever it may be. 

Written by:

Cody Heyer

One day, a friend challenged me to a game of Pickleball. My response “that old person game?!?” He laughed and a couple days later, a few “old people” completely crushed me. The competitive side of me couldn’t take it and since then I’ve been studying, drilling, playing, and thankfully winning. Then my attention went to world of paddles. So many to choose from, so how do I know which one is right for me? The answer was simple: try them all! That’s how my journey began and I don’t see it ending any time soon. Follow along with me as I discover the rapidly evolving world of Pickleball!

2 thoughts on “The 9 Best Pickleball Paddles Under $100”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ MORE

Scroll to Top