I understand the importance of having the right equipment to level up game and improve performance. I used to have a beginner paddle, but now I know it’s time to replace it with a better option that’s suitable for my skill level.
The problem is, there are so many options out there, it can be confusing to pick just one. That’s why I’ve been doing some research on the best pickleball paddles for intermediate players.
I found that many paddles are made with graphite material, which offers a good balance between control and power.
In this article, I’ll be sharing my findings and helping you pick the best pickleball paddle for your intermediate level.
My 2 Recommendations for Top Pickleball Paddles for Mid Level Players
Franklin Sports Pro
Head Extreme Tour
List of Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players
I can tell you that choosing the right paddle is crucial for intermediate players. Paddles are like tools, and it’s important to choose one that fits your style and skill level.
You want a paddle that is lightweight and maneuverable, with a good balance between control and power. Look for paddles with a medium-sized sweet spot, allowing for accurate shots and greater control.
Avoid paddles with a lot of surface roughness, as these can reduce ball speed and control. I recommend intermediate players go for composite paddles, as they offer a good combination of weight and control.
By using the right paddle, you will improve your shot placement, ball control, and overall performance, taking your game to the next level.
Franklin Sports Pro – Overall Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players
The Franklin Sports Pro is my first pickleball paddle for intermediate players and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed with its performance.
With its mid-range cost and quality, this paddle is perfect for players looking to upgrade their starter paddle.
The paddle weighs 8.18 ounces, which falls in the mid-weight range, making it a good option for players who are looking for a lighter paddle.
The shape of the paddle is slightly longer and thinner, which provides players with more reach and power, but is less forgiving. The handle of the paddle measures around 5.5 inches and is longer than most, making it ideal for two-handed backhand.
The substantial grit surface of the paddle quickly wears off with frequent play, but the bounce test shows it to be medium springy and medium/hard hardness, with a medium/large size sweet spot.
During playtesting, the paddle performed above average with good spin and control. However, it is not considered a high-powered paddle.
The rough feel of the handle can be fixed with an over grip, but it is not a forgiving paddle with a lot of pop. Touch game can be tough to dial in, but the cushion grip provides excellent grip even when sweating.
The white and gold color scheme is eye-catching and the build is exceptional and durable.
The paddle also has “MaxGrit Technology” for better control and feels quieter when making contact with the ball.
The sweet spot is above average in size and the grip length and tape compared to the Onyx Z5 is good, making it a good option for players transitioning from tennis to pickleball due to its longer, thinner handle.
However, the square/boxy grip may not be suitable for everyone and an over grip may need to be added due to lack of tackiness.
In terms of playing style, the paddle is good for offensive play with a fast and poppy face. However, it struggles with softer drop shots and reflective defense shots on the kitchen line.
It is ideal for smashers (power-shotters) with enough spin for decent topspin. It is not recommended for players who need pop in their paddle due to lack of strength, but is suitable for players with a strong swing for driving and net play.
Overall, the Franklin Sports Pro pickleball paddle is a good option for intermediate players who are looking to upgrade their starter paddle.
It offers good spin, control and grip, making it a good choice for players who are looking to make more drop shots and dinks. However, it may not be suitable for beginners as the texture affects control, and requires good arm speed/strength to master spin hits.
|Weight Range||7.5-8.0 ounces (13mm) 7.9-8.3 ounces (16mm)|
|Grip Circumference||4 1/4″ (medium)|
|Paddle Face||Fiberglass with MaxGrit|
|Core Material||Polypropylene Honeycomb|
|Core Thickness||13mm or 16mm|
Head Extreme Tour – Suitable for Mid Level Players with Control and Power
The paddle has a weight of 8.1 ounces, which is on the heavier side, but I added some lead tape to increase the weight.
This gave me the control and power I was looking for while playing. The paddle is 16 inches long and 7.87 inches wide, providing a perfect grip and balance.
The aerodynamic diamond shape allows for quick and efficient movement of the paddle, making it easier to play fast-paced games.
One of the things I love about this intermediate pickleball paddle is the carbon graphite playing surface. This surface provides additional control and power, making it easier to hit ground strokes with more pace and control.
The polymer core is made from Head’s proprietary optimized tubular construction, which enhances the power of the paddle. I noticed a noticeable increase in power compared to my previous paddle, the Extreme Tour.
Another aspect I appreciate about this best pickleball rackets for intermediate players is its design. The diamond shape with the corners shaved off to reduce weight makes it easier to play aggressive shots and dig out low balls.
The carbon graphite surface is great for playing at the net, providing control over faster volleys and dinks.
The Head Extreme Tour Pickleball Paddle is a great all-around choice for power and control. It is designed for a well-controlled playing surface, providing an elevated and more powerful playing experience.
The paddle is available at pickleballguys.ca and I highly recommend it to all intermediate players looking for a new paddle.
In conclusion, I am very satisfied with the Head Extreme Tour Pickleball Paddle. It has met all my expectations and has become a valuable addition to my pickleball gear.
The paddle provides power, control, and performance, making it an ideal choice for intermediate players.
|Weight Range||8.1 ounces|
|Grip Circumference||4 1/8″ (Small)|
|Paddle Width||7 7/8″|
|Core Material||SPC Polymer|
|Edge guard||1/8″ overlapping paddle face|
JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CGS – Improved Maneuverability & Comfort
I have been using JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CGS paddle for a few months now and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed with its performance.
One of the things I love about this best intermediate pickleball paddle is its Aero-Curve curved top. This design improves the paddle’s maneuverability and reduces drag, which gives me better control over the ball.
The CX-forged handle provides increased flex for more power and comfort, and the slightly elongated handle (5.5 inches) gives me better two-handed strokes and additional power and reach.
The contour grip also provides a more secure grip, which is important when playing intense games.
The carbon fiber surface of the paddle provides excellent spin control, which is crucial for me as an intermediate player. The paddle has a large sweet spot and feels comfortable and natural for control, which makes it easier for me to play the game.
The 16mm thickness helps to dampen shock and vibration, which is important for reducing hand fatigue during long games. The grip is large, comfortable, and well cushioned, but the white handle can get dirty from hand sweat, which can be a bit of an annoyance.
The paddle has a slightly different core and facing than the more expensive Hyperion CFS model, which makes it more suitable for players like me who are still improving their game.
The paddle is a bit heavy with a slight “top heavy” feel, which gives it good power and pop, but may not be suitable for everyone.
In conclusion, the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CGS paddle is an excellent option for intermediate players looking to improve their game.
It provides excellent control, power, forgiveness, and spin, which are all important factors for players at this level. The Aero-Curve design, CX-forged handle, and contour grip all add to the performance of the paddle.
However, it may not be suitable for everyone, as the thick grip may not be suitable for those with small to average sized hands, and the elongated paddle may not be suitable for taller or lanky players or beginners.
Overall, I would highly recommend this paddle to any intermediate player looking to take their game to the next level.
|Paddle Face||Carbon Grip|
|Core Material||Response Honeycomb|
Gearbox CX14E – Large Sweet Spot Paddle for Intermediate Players
The Gearbox CX14E pickleball paddle has the right balance between touch and power. This good intermediate pickleball paddle has a thin profile and a large sweet spot, making it the perfect choice for players like me who are looking to take their game to the next level.
One of the things I love about this paddle is its maneuverability, spin and power. The 5-1/2â€ handle length and 3-15/16â€ diameter fit perfectly in my hand and I was able to make quick and precise shots.
The light and fast blade design provides little shock absorption, but it gives me great control and helps me reach and return difficult shots.
However, this paddle requires finesse when playing at the kitchen line, but it is not a forgiving paddle. It’s precise and retains good power for serves and drives, which I appreciate.
Another thing I like about the Gearbox CX14E paddle is that it comes with a warranty, and after 6 months of use, I received a replacement from Gearbox for wear and tear.
This shows how confident they are in the quality of their product. However, I did have a minor issue with the packaging being wonky, but the paddle itself was in good condition.
I found the CX14E to be better for outdoor play, but not suitable for indoor play.
I recommend using protective tape for clay court play, and an edge guard to protect from scuffing on outdoor surfaces. The paddle has a lot of grip for spin and drift, which I found helpful in beating my wife.
In conclusion, I would give this best pickleball racket for intermediate players a 4-star rating. I only took off a star because the seller sent me the wrong handle size, but other than that, I love this paddle.
I am so impressed with its control and power, and the easy resets and spin, that I am buying a second paddle as a backup. I would highly recommend the Gearbox CX14E to any intermediate player looking to improve their game.
|Weight Range||7.8 – 8.5 ounces|
|Grip Circumference||3 5/8″ (small) or 3 15/16″ (small)|
|Grip Length||5 5/8″|
|Paddle Length||16 5/8″|
|Paddle Width||7 3/8″|
|Paddle Face||3K Woven Carbon Fiber|
|Core Material||T-700 Carbon Fiber|
|Core Thickness||14mm (0.55″)|
Rally Graphite Power 5.0 – Best for Shot Placements
I used Rally Graphite Power 5.0 paddle for the first time in several games and found it to be enjoyable to play with.
This best pickleball paddle set for intermediate players significantly enhanced my serve, but I still felt that there was room for improvement in terms of control, touch, and spin.
The paddle weighed 8.2 oz, which was slightly heavier than advertised, but still acceptable as a mid-weight paddle.
The touch for placement shots was good and the vibration reduction was excellent compared to my previous Nomex core paddle.
I have been using the paddle for 3 months now and I consider it to be a good starter paddle for intermediate players.
I was looking for a paddle with a small grip size, light, and powerful, and the Rally Graphite Power 5.0 met all my criteria.
It has improved my game, and I received positive feedback from other players on my performance. I chose this paddle specifically for dinking into the corners, as it has a good touch.
However, there were a few drawbacks with the paddle. The edge guard arrived slightly warped, but it was not a concern at the time.
But after 4-5 months, the edge guard became severely warped and affected my shots. Although I am happy with the overall quality of the paddle, the handle was too short, and it affected my play.
The square grip was initially uncomfortable, but I felt more control during play.
Despite its limitations, I am currently using this as my favorite paddle out of the 10+ I have tried.
I would recommend this paddle as a good starter paddle for someone who is new to pickleball and has played pickleball in the past.
|Weight Range||8.1-8.5 oz|
|Grip Circumference||Standard: 4 1/4″ Actual grip sizes may vary up to 1/8″|
|Grip Length||4 3/4″|
|Paddle Length||15 3/4”|
|Paddle Width||8 1/8”|
|Paddle Face||Graphite/Fiberglass Hybrid|
|Core Material||Carbon Black polymer honeycomb|
|Core Thickness||9/16″ (0.5625″)|
Engage Poach Infinity EX – 6 Layer Skin Provides More Control
The moment I got my hands on this Engage Poach Infinity EX paddle, I was immediately impressed by its advanced technology.
The soft core, the Engage Black Core, provides the right balance of control and power, allowing me to place my shots precisely and still maintain enough power to push my opponents back.
What I like most about this paddle is its 6-layer skin, which keeps the ball on the paddle for longer and gives me more control.
The omnidirectional friction is a great feature as well, providing control and spin without a rough surface. The friction is built into the skin and helps reduce vibrations, which is a great relief for my arm.
The handle of the paddle is also a great feature, providing extra support for the thin core. The counterweight feature makes it easier on my arm and reduces the chance of tennis elbow.
The variable flex technology makes the sweet spot larger, which is great for intermediate players like me who are still working on their consistency.
One of the things I love about this paddle is that it is balanced towards the bottom, which is perfect for fast hands at the net.
I no longer need to add weight to the bottom of my paddle, which is a great relief for me. The paddle provides power and control without having to choose between the two, which is perfect for my level of play.
The technology in the paddle is amazing and continues to progress, and I am excited to see what other cool features the manufacturers will come up with in the future.
The Poach Infinity is an overall great paddle with advanced technology that has become my “soul mate” on the court. The paddle provides a great feel and pop and has vibration dampening technology, making it an excellent choice for intermediate players like myself.
In conclusion, if you are an intermediate pickleball player looking for a paddle that provides the right balance of power and control, I would highly recommend the Engage Poach Infinity EX pickleball paddle.
The advanced technology and features make it a great choice for players looking to improve their skills and take their game to the next level.
|Variable Flex Technology||Yes|
|Vibration Dampening Technology||Yes|
Best Pickleball Paddle for Intermediate Players: A Comprehensive Guide
Intermediate players are looking to step up their game and find the right equipment to help them improve their performance.
The pickleball paddle is one of the most important pieces of equipment for any pickleball player, and choosing the right one can make all the difference.
Now, I will guide you through the key factors to consider when selecting the best pickleball paddle for intermediate players.
The material of the paddle is one of the most important factors to consider. The two main materials used for pickleball paddles are composite and wood.
Composite paddles are made from a combination of materials, such as graphite, fiberglass, and/or carbon fiber. These paddles are lightweight, durable, and provide a good balance of power and control.
Wooden paddles are a traditional option, and offer a more classic feel to the game. They are usually heavier and provide a more solid hit, but they can also be less durable over time.
The weight of the paddle is another key factor to consider. A heavier paddle will provide more power, but it will also be more difficult to control. On the other hand, a lighter paddle will be easier to control, but will not provide as much power.
Intermediate players should aim for a paddle weight between 7-8 ounces, as this will provide a good balance of power and control.
Shape and Size
The shape and size of the paddle will also have an impact on your game. A larger paddle will provide more surface area for hitting the ball, making it easier to control the ball. However, it will also be heavier and less maneuverable.
A smaller paddle will be more maneuverable, but will provide less surface area for hitting the ball, making it more difficult to control.
Intermediate players should aim for a paddle with a medium-sized head, around 8 inches wide and 15 inches long.
The grip of the paddle is also important. A good grip will allow you to control the paddle more effectively, and will also help to reduce hand fatigue.
The size of the grip will vary depending on the size of your hand, so it’s important to choose a paddle with a grip that feels comfortable to you.
How Do I Know If I’m An Intermediate Player in Pickleball?
If you’re unsure whether you’re an intermediate player or not, here are a few signs to look out for.
Ability to keep up with rallies: An intermediate player has a good understanding of the game and is able to keep up with the rallies. You’re able to return shots and make accurate shots of your own. This is an indication that you have a good level of fitness and endurance and that you’re getting comfortable with the game.
Basic Strokes: An intermediate player has developed basic strokes such as forehand and backhand shots. You’re able to hit shots with precision and control, and you’re starting to develop your own style of play.
Control of the Ball: As an intermediate player, you have improved your hand-eye coordination, and you have better control of the ball. This means that you’re able to make shots with more accuracy and consistency.
Scoring Points: An intermediate player knows how to score points and is beginning to strategize their plays. You’re starting to understand the importance of placing shots in specific areas of the court and you’re learning how to set up your opponent for a shot.
Unforced Errors: Intermediate players make a moderate number of unforced errors. This means that you’re not making many mistakes due to lack of skill or experience, but rather, you’re making errors because you’re taking more risks and trying to improve your game.
How Do I Know If I’m Ready To Move From Beginner To An Intermediate Paddle in Pickleball?
Are you ready to take your Pickleball game to the next level? If you’re an avid player and want to improve your skills, you might want to consider moving from a beginner paddle to an intermediate one. Here’s what you need to know to make the right choice.
Consistent Scoring Against Players with Beginner Paddles
One of the key indicators that it’s time to upgrade your paddle is if you’re consistently scoring points against players who use beginner paddles.
If you’re finding that you’re easily dominating your opponents, it might be time to move up to a paddle that offers more power and control.
With an intermediate paddle, you’ll be able to hit harder and more accurately, giving you the edge you need to maintain control of rallies.
Extra Effort to Keep the Ball in Play
If you’re struggling to keep the ball in play, it could be a sign that your beginner paddle is holding you back. An intermediate paddle will have more power and control, which will allow you to play with more confidence and consistency.
With a better paddle, you’ll be able to hit the ball more effectively and stay in control of the game.
Upgrade Your Paddle to Match Your Skills
One of the most important things to consider when moving from a beginner to an intermediate paddle is to upgrade your paddle to match your skills.
If you’re an advanced player, you don’t want to use a paddle that’s designed for beginners. An intermediate paddle will offer more control and power, giving you the edge you need to take your game to the next level.
Find the Right Intermediate Paddle for You
Once you’ve decided that you’re ready for an intermediate paddle, you’ll want to find the right one for your needs.
There are a variety of intermediate paddles on the market, each with different levels of control and power. You’ll want to try a few different paddles before making your final decision to make sure that you’re getting the right one for you.
Differences Between An Intermediate Paddle And A Beginner Paddle
Intermediate paddles are also designed with a more advanced player in mind, so they often feature more advanced technologies and innovations.
They often come with a more aerodynamic design, which can help you generate more speed and power in your shots.
Additionally, intermediate paddles typically have a larger surface area, which can help you make better contact with the ball and increase your accuracy.
In terms of weight, intermediate paddles are generally lighter than beginner paddles. This makes them easier to maneuver and reduces the stress on your arms and shoulders, especially if youâ€™re playing for long periods of time.
However, a lighter paddle also requires a higher level of skill and control, as you need to be able to handle the increased speed and power that comes with a lighter paddle.
When it comes to price, beginner paddles are typically less expensive than intermediate paddles. This is because they are made with lower-quality materials and are designed for less experienced players.
However, this does not mean that beginner paddles are of poor quality. They are still perfectly functional and suitable for those just starting out.
Benefits Of Playing With An Intermediate Paddle
Playing with an intermediate paddle can significantly improve your performance on the court. It is a perfect choice for players who are looking for a combination of power and control.
Whether you are an experienced player looking to up your game or a beginner looking to take the next step, an intermediate paddle can offer you numerous benefits. Here’s why:
Increased Control Over The Ball: An intermediate paddle provides the player with more control over the ball, enabling them to make precise shots and play more strategically.
This is particularly useful for players who are trying to develop their skills and fine-tune their technique.
The balanced combination of power and control offered by an intermediate paddle helps players maintain a consistent level of play and avoid costly mistakes.
Generate More Spin: Intermediate paddles often have a textured or perforated face, which helps players generate more spin on their shots. This added spin can help you deceive your opponent, making it difficult for them to anticipate where the ball will land.
Additionally, the added spin can also help you place your shots with greater precision, making it easier for you to keep the ball in play.
Improved Grip: The textured or perforated face on an intermediate paddle provides players with a better grip on the ball. This makes it easier for players to control the ball, and helps reduce the chance of errors, such as mis-hits.
The improved grip also allows players to put more power behind their shots, making it easier to finish points.
Increased Power: An intermediate paddle can help players put more power behind their shots. This added power can be particularly useful for players who are trying to take control of the game and maintain an aggressive playing style.
The added power can also help players finish points more quickly, giving them an advantage over their opponents.
Lightweight and Easy to Maneuver: Intermediate paddles are often lighter than beginner or professional paddles, making them easier to maneuver.
This makes it easier for players to make quick and accurate shots, and reduces the risk of fatigue during longer matches.
Cost-Effective Option: Another great benefit of playing with an intermediate paddle is that they’re usually less expensive than other options, making them an excellent value for the money. This means that players can invest in a high-quality paddle without breaking the bank.
Pickleball Tips for Intermediate Players
As an intermediate player, you have probably mastered the basic rules and techniques of the game and are now looking to take your skills to the next level. Here are some tips to help you improve your game and win more points.
Space Equals Time: Create More Room to Prepare
One of the key principles in pickleball is that space equals time. The more space you have on the court, the more time you have to prepare for your shot. So, try to move your opponent around the court and create more space for yourself to set up your shots.
Consistency is Key: Put One More Ball in the Court
Pickleball is a game of consistency. The player who can consistently put one more ball in the court than their opponents will win more points. So, focus on hitting the ball with good technique and keeping it in play.
Take Less Swing: Better Contact with the Ball
When you’re in trouble and don’t have enough time to set up your shot, take less of a swing. This will help you make better contact with the ball and keep it in play.
Don’t Fear the Drive: An Offensive Option
The drive is an offensive option that can help you steal time from your opponents. Don’t be afraid to use it, as it puts less pressure on the player hitting it.
Keep the Ball Low: Pressure Opponents to Make Mistakes
The name of the game in pickleball strategy is to keep the ball low. Whether it’s the third or fourth shot, hitting the ball low can put pressure on your opponents and force them to make mistakes.
Move Your Feet: Adjust Your Position to Hit the Ball
When returning serve, move your feet and adjust your position to get into the right spot to hit the ball. Always be ready to adjust your position on the court based on where the ball is going.
Be Patient: Wait for the Right Opportunity to Attack
Patience is a virtue in pickleball. Wait for the right opportunity to attack and avoid rushing into hitting the ball. Take a split second to ensure proper timing.
Cover the Court: Play as a Team in Doubles
In doubles, make sure to cover the court to avoid leaving open spots for your opponents. Communicate effectively with your partner to avoid making mistakes.
Practice Different Types of Shots: Have a Diverse Set of Options
Practice different types of shots to have a diverse set of options during a game. Use your body’s momentum to generate more power on your shots.
Anticipate Where the Ball is Going: Move in That Direction
Anticipate where the ball is going and move in that direction. Always be ready to adapt to different situations during a game.
Have Fun: Enjoy the Game of Pickleball
Last but not least, have fun and enjoy the game of pickleball. Keep a positive attitude and avoid getting frustrated during the game.
Summary of Best Pickleball Paddles for Median Players
Franklin Sports Pro
Head Extreme Tour
JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CGS
Rally Graphite Power 5.0
Engage Poach Infinity EX
In conclusion, the best pickleball paddles for intermediate players are those that offer a combination of reach, power, control, and maneuverability.
The Franklin Sports Pro, Head Extreme Tour, and JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CGS are all excellent options to consider.
The Franklin Sports Pro is ideal for players who prefer a two-handed backhand and offers good spin and control, while the Head Extreme Tour features an aerodynamic diamond shape for quick movement and a carbon graphite playing surface for additional control and power.
The JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CGS, with its Aero-Curve curved top, improves maneuverability and reduces drag for improved performance on the court. Ultimately, the best paddle for you will depend on your individual playing style and preferences, so it’s important to try out different options before making a final decision.
Hi, my name is Michael Stevenson and I’m a passionate pickleball player. I’ve been playing the game for many years and I’m pretty highly skilled at it. Pickleball is one of my favorite topics so naturally, I love to write about it.
Whether it’s tips for beginners, guides for experts, reviews of new paddles, or advanced playing techniques – if it relates to pickleball then I have something interesting to write about it. So if you’re looking for entertaining and informative information on the topic of pickleball, look no further than my written works!