What Pickleball Paddles Are Pros Using?

Pickleball's popularity is skyrocketing in the United States, and as it does, the gear used by pro players gets more attention. The paddle choice is critical—it's not just about preference; it impacts how well a player does on the court. Pros like Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters pick their paddles carefully, matching their gear to their style of play and strategic needs.

Looking at the paddles used by these athletes, you can see a mix of advanced technology, their sponsorships, and personal preference. For anyone wanting to up their game or understand the finer points of pro play, knowing what paddles the top players use is very insightful. You might ask why they choose certain paddles and how their choices fit with pickleball's changing nature. We're here to take a closer look at what goes into a pro's choice of pickleball paddle.

As the sport grows, so does the technology in the paddles. The materials and design can affect power, control, and the sweet spot's size. For example, Ben Johns uses a paddle that complements his aggressive playstyle, while Anna Leigh Waters might choose a paddle that supports her quick reflexes and finesse.

When you're picking out a paddle for yourself, think about what you need. Do you want more power, or are you looking to control the ball better? Maybe you need a larger sweet spot to help with your accuracy. Take a page from the pros and choose a paddle that aligns with how you play.

It's not just about the paddle, though. Technique, training, and physical fitness are crucial. A great paddle can help, but it can't replace the hard work that goes into becoming a top player.

In summary, the pros choose their paddles with care, balancing their physical skills and playstyle with the latest advancements in pickleball technology. If you're serious about improving your game, consider your own playing style and what you want to achieve on the court, and then select a paddle that can help you reach those goals. Remember, the right equipment is a valuable ally in your journey to better play.

Ben Johns' Signature Paddle

The JOOLA Hyperion CFS 16mm, crafted for Ben Johns, stands as a top choice in pickleball paddles, tailored to support his championship play. Its design, with a longer shape, extends your reach on the court, and a standard grip thickness gives you a firm grasp during intense matches. Every aspect of this paddle, from its size to its 16 mm core, is optimized for a balance of strength and finesse, enabling you to hit with force while maintaining precision.

This paddle excels in producing impressive spin, making it a vital tool for players who, like Johns, rely on strategic placements to outplay their opponents. It's more than just a piece of equipment; it's a reflection of the dedication of a young athlete committed to mastering the sport.

When you're searching for a paddle that stands up to the rigors of professional play, the Hyperion CFS 16mm is an excellent choice. It's a product that showcases the fusion of innovation and player expertise, designed to up your game on the pickleball court.

Key Features:

  • Elongated shape to improve court coverage
  • Standard grip thickness for reliable handling
  • 16 mm core thickness for a powerful yet controlled game
  • Superior spin capabilities for strategic play

In your journey to improve your pickleball skills, consider the JOOLA Hyperion CFS 16mm as a worthy companion. It's a paddle that not only aligns with the needs of top-tier players but also inspires confidence and success in enthusiasts striving for their best performance.

Anna Leigh Waters' Preferred Choice

Anna Leigh Waters is making waves in the pickleball scene, and she does so with her trusted Paddletek Bantam ALW-C paddle. This paddle isn't just any piece of equipment; it's been crafted through a collaboration with Anna herself, ensuring it suits her energetic and powerful gameplay perfectly. Here's a breakdown of what makes this paddle a game-changer on the court:

Material: The paddle's PT-700 Raw Carbon Fiber Face isn't just for show. It gives players like Anna the ability to put a wicked spin on the ball and maintain control over their shots.

Design: It sticks to a standard shape, which might sound simple, but it's all about reliable performance. It means you can expect a consistent response from the paddle every time you hit the ball, whether you're playing a gentle drop shot or a hard drive.

Weight: It's light enough to move quickly, yet balanced, so you don't sacrifice power. This means you can react fast without feeling like you're swinging a feather or a brick.

Partnership: Anna didn't just put her name on this paddle; she put her experience into its design. The result is a paddle that's tailored to her aggressive and skillful play, allowing her to dominate the court.

Anna Leigh Waters' string of victories is proof that the right equipment, when matched with talent, can create an unstoppable force in sports. The Paddletek Bantam ALW-C is a testament to what happens when a player's insights are infused into their gear.

For anyone serious about upping their pickleball game, considering a paddle that's been through such a thorough design process is a smart move. And if it's good enough for a pro like Anna, it's likely to make a difference for recreational players too.

"Finding the right paddle can transform your game. It's like finding a dance partner that moves with you in perfect sync," Anna might say about her paddle choice. It's not just about the paddle's features; it's about how those features work with your own style of play.

Lucy Kovalova & Matt Wright's Selection

Lucy Kovalova and Matt Wright have carved out a reputation as formidable opponents in the mixed pro pickleball circuit, skillfully wielding the Onix Evoke Premier Heavyweight paddle. Renowned for its composite surface and durable poly core, this paddle boasts a substantial 8.4 oz weight, which empowers players like Kovalova and Wright to deliver forceful shots and maintain tight control—key elements for their assertive style of play. Yet, for those who prioritize swifter hand speed over power, this hefty paddle might not be the ideal choice.

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On the flip side, Anna Leigh Waters opts for the Paddletek Bantam ALW C, which strikes a harmonious balance between strength and finesse thanks to its PT-700 Raw Carbon Fiber face. Meanwhile, the JOOLA Hyperion CFS 16mm, carrying the prestige of the Ben Johns Signature, is crafted to enhance spin and force, with its 16 mm core standing out as a defining feature.

Each paddle caters to distinct player preferences, emphasizing aspects such as control, power, or spin. It's not just about having a paddle in hand; it's about finding the right match that complements your playing style and elevates your game.

Paddle Selection Tips:

For power players like Kovalova and Wright, a heavier paddle ensures their strikes have extra punch. Yet, if your game thrives on rapid movements and finesse, consider a lighter paddle that won't slow you down. Assess what you value most on the court—control, power, or spin—and let that guide your choice.

A Player's Perspective:

"Picking the right paddle is like finding the perfect dance partner. It needs to match your rhythm and enhance your strengths. For me, the Onix Evoke Premier has been a game-changer," says Lucy Kovalova.

Jessie Irvine's Paddle of Choice

Jessie Irvine has been making waves in the pickleball world, moving up the ranks with her exceptional skill and the right equipment. She has chosen the Engage Pursuit MX Middleweight paddle as her go-to tool on the court. This preference underlines a common discussion among players about which paddles offer the best mix of control and power.

The Engage Pursuit MX Middleweight paddle is known for its perfect blend of strength and precision, a characteristic that Irvine uses to her advantage during matches. To paint a clearer picture of her choice, let's look at how the Engage Pursuit MX compares to another popular model, the Paddletek Bantam ALW C.

Feature Engage Pursuit MX Paddletek Bantam ALW C
Core Thickness 1/2 inch Varies
Handle Length Longer Standard
Designed for Control & Power Performance
Preferred by Pro Jessie Irvine Anna Leigh Waters
Best for Power & Precision Versatility

The table shows us that Irvine's preference for the Engage Pursuit MX likely comes from its ability to deliver strong shots while maintaining good control over the ball.

Jessie Irvine's choice demonstrates that finding the right paddle is essential for players looking to excel in their game. The Engage Pursuit MX Middleweight, with its unique features that cater to both power hitters and those who play a strategic game, serves as an excellent example of gear that can make a difference in performance.

Popular Paddle Packages

For those keen on stepping up their pickleball game, the market is full of excellent paddle sets tailored to various skill levels and preferences. It's important to weigh up the advantages and drawbacks of each option to find the right fit for your needs.

  • Improve Your Performance: Select paddle sets that incorporate the newest advancements in design and materials to help you play better.
  • Value Deals: Purchase multiple paddles for less, which is a smart way to save money without compromising on quality.
  • Tailored Choices: Pick a set that aligns with your playstyle and personal preferences for an improved experience on the court.
  • Beginner-Friendly Kits: Ideal for newcomers or as thoughtful presents, these kits come with everything needed to get started.
  • Pro Player Recommendations: Trust in sets that come recommended or are used by seasoned pros, giving you confidence in your gear.

Make an informed choice to improve your pickleball experience with the right equipment.

In the current world of pickleball, staying up-to-date with new paddle technology can significantly impact your game. Those who play often may benefit from investing in a set that promises durability and advanced features. Meanwhile, newcomers might opt for beginner-friendly kits that offer a solid introduction to the sport without a hefty price tag. It's not just about having the right equipment; it's about finding gear that resonates with your approach to the game.

For example, a player with a power-focused style might look for a paddle set that offers paddles with a larger sweet spot and heavier weight, while a player who values control may prefer a lighter paddle with a textured surface for better ball grip. Specific product recommendations, such as the 'XYZ PowerPlay Bundle' for aggressive players, or the 'ABC Control Combo' for those seeking precision, can guide buyers toward the right purchase.

Remember, the best paddle set for you is the one that feels like an extension of your hand on the court. It should feel comfortable, suit your style, and help you enjoy the game to the fullest. Whether you're playing casually with friends or competing in tournaments, the right paddle can make a noticeable difference.

Custom Quote: "Pickleball isn't just a game; it's a passion that grows with every serve. Equip yourself wisely, and let your gear be the partner that never lets you down."

Additional Pro-Level Paddles

If you're looking to step up your game with a paddle that's a cut above the rest, you might want to check out these less talked about, but highly effective options. These paddles are not just run-of-the-mill; they've been crafted to meet the high standards of advanced players who demand precision, power, and a refined touch from their gear. Here's a rundown of some standout paddles that have caught the attention of serious players:

  • Gearbox Pro Power: Known for its elongated shape, this paddle is a hit among players who prefer an extended reach to dominate the court.
  • CRBN¹ 16MM: The carbon fiber face on this model is a game-changer, offering a unique blend of strength and lightweight performance.
  • Franklin Sweet Spot: Designed with training in mind, this paddle is perfect for those looking to sharpen their skills with a consistent hitting area.
  • Mystery Box 4 Pack: For those who love variety or can't decide on just one, this pack offers a range of options to suit different playing styles.
  • Six Zero Double Black: With a Control 16mm Core, this paddle is all about precision, allowing for accurate shots and tight control over the ball.
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Players who are serious about their performance choose these paddles for their exceptional quality. They know that having the right equipment can make a significant difference in their play.

Pro Tip: Don't just go by the specs; try out a paddle to see how it feels in your hand and how it complements your style of play.

And remember, the best paddle for you is the one that feels right when you're holding it and matches your playstyle on the court.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Professional Pickleball Players Influence Paddle Design and Innovation Within the Industry?

Professional pickleball players have a significant influence on the design and innovation of paddles within the industry. Their high level of play demands equipment that can keep up, leading to more customized and advanced paddles. These professional athletes are often involved in testing new materials and designs, providing feedback that shapes the development of new products. This collaboration results in paddles that not only serve the needs of top players but also appeal to recreational players who look to the pros for guidance on what equipment to use.

As the sport grows, manufacturers are keenly interested in the preferences and insights of these athletes. Their endorsements and use of specific paddles can sway public interest and boost sales. The pros might favor paddles with certain grip sizes, weights, or materials that offer better control, power, or durability, reflecting their intense playing conditions. These preferences can quickly become trends among amateur players who aspire to improve their own game.

The continuous interaction between professional players and paddle manufacturers is vital for the progression of the sport. As players push the limits of their skills, they need paddles that can respond to quick volleys and powerful smashes. The feedback from professionals drives innovation, leading to the creation of paddles with new technologies, such as advanced core materials or aerodynamic designs that can make a real difference in play.

In conclusion, the input from professional pickleball players is invaluable for paddle design and innovation. They play a key role in shaping the equipment that all players, regardless of their skill level, use to enjoy the game. As the sport of pickleball evolves, so too does the gear, with professionals at the forefront of this evolution, ensuring that paddles are not just tools of the game but instruments of progression.

Key takeaway: The collaboration between professional pickleball players and paddle manufacturers leads to high-performance paddles that influence the choices of players at all levels, driving the sport forward.

"Keep your eye on the ball and your paddle innovation-driven; the pros do, and so should we."

Are There Any Specific Training Paddles Used by Professionals That Differ From Their Match-Play Equipment?

Professional table tennis players often train with paddles that are different from the ones they use in tournaments. These special paddles are designed to improve certain aspects of their game. For example, a training paddle might be heavier to strengthen a player's arm muscles or might have a different rubber to practice controlling spins.

The idea is to get used to handling various play situations by adjusting to the different feel and response of the training paddle. When they switch back to their usual equipment for a match, the skills they've honed during training should feel easier to execute with their lighter, more familiar paddles.

A specific example is the use of weighted training paddles that help in building wrist strength and improving stroke speed. Players might also use paddles with larger or smaller surfaces to improve their accuracy and control.

For those interested in trying out a training paddle, the "Stiga Titan" is a popular option among professionals for its heavier weight and excellent control features. It's a solid choice for those looking to step up their game through focused training.

Training with the right equipment is key for professional athletes to stay ahead of the competition. While the paddles used in matches are fine-tuned for optimal performance, the variations used in training are invaluable for skill development.

Custom Quote: "The paddle you train with can be as important as the paddle you compete with. It's all about building the skills that give you the edge."

How Often Do Pro Pickleball Players Switch Paddles or Experiment With New Models Throughout a Season?

Professional pickleball players often update their paddles, responding to wear and tear or to align with updated rules. This keeps their gear in top shape for tournaments.

Why Pickleball Pros Might Change Paddles:

  • Wear and Tear: Regular play can wear down a paddle, affecting its performance.
  • New Technology: Manufacturers are always releasing new models that might offer better playability.
  • Rule Changes: The sport's governing bodies might update equipment regulations.
  • Personal Performance: A player might find a new paddle better suits their playing style.

The Impact of Paddle Changes:

A new paddle can make a significant difference in a player's game. The right paddle can improve control, power, and overall performance. Players may test several paddles during practice sessions to find the perfect match for their game.

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Choosing the Right Paddle:

Pro players look for paddles that provide the right balance of power and precision. They might consider factors like the paddle's weight, grip size, and materials. Recommendations from other players and coaches can also influence their choice.

In Their Own Words:

A pro player might say, "Finding the right paddle is like finding the perfect dance partner – it has to match your movements and style to help you perform your best."

What Is the Process for a Professional Player to Personally Endorse or Create a Signature Series Paddle?

Professional players often personalize and endorse paddles to suit their playing style and to promote their personal brand. They work with manufacturers to create signature series paddles that showcase their status in the sport.

To create a signature series paddle, a professional player typically follows these steps:

  1. Collaboration: The athlete partners with a paddle manufacturer that aligns with their values and style.
  2. Design Process: They work closely with the company's design team to create a paddle that meets their specifications, such as weight, grip size, and materials.
  3. Testing: The player tests the prototypes to ensure they meet performance standards.
  4. Marketing: Once the final design is approved, the player and the manufacturer develop a marketing strategy to promote the paddle. This often includes the player's active participation in advertising campaigns, social media promotion, and use of the paddle in competitions.
  5. Launch: The signature series paddle is launched to the public, often with fanfare at a major event or tournament.
  6. Feedback and Iteration: The player receives feedback from customers and may make further adjustments to the design in future iterations.

For instance, a well-known player might release a paddle with a unique color scheme that represents their personal brand, or they might have input on the paddle's shape and texture to improve grip and control.

Custom Quote: "When a professional player releases a signature series paddle, it's more than just a piece of equipment; it's a reflection of their dedication to the sport and a tool designed to bring out the best in their game."

Aside From the Paddle Specifications, What Other Factors Do Pros Consider When Choosing Their Equipment (E.G., Sponsorship Obligations, Personal Comfort, Brand Loyalty, Etc.)?

Professionals in the world of sports often weigh psychological factors and how well equipment can perform under different weather conditions when choosing their gear. They must also consider agreements with sponsors, their own comfort with the equipment, and loyalty to certain brands, all of which play a role in achieving their best performance no matter the environment or pressure of the game.

When selecting their equipment, athletes prioritize gear that aligns with their mental approach to the game. Confidence in their equipment can boost their focus and decision-making during crucial moments. Additionally, they look for gear that performs reliably whether it's hot, cold, or raining, so they're never at a disadvantage due to the elements.

Sponsorships do influence choices since professionals might have contracts that require them to use certain brands. However, comfort is paramount; if the gear doesn't feel right, it can throw off an athlete's game. Brand loyalty is another consideration. Some athletes have long-standing relationships with brands they trust and have used successfully over time.

For example, a tennis player may choose a racket from a brand they've played with since their junior days because they are familiar with the racket's weight and balance. This familiarity can contribute significantly to their confidence and performance on the court.

In summary, pros need to trust their gear implicitly. Their selection process is a blend of practical considerations, personal preferences, and professional obligations, all aimed at helping them perform at their best.

Custom Quote: "In the realm of professional sports, the right equipment is an athlete's silent partner – a crucial element that, when perfectly matched, becomes an extension of their will to win."


In the world of pickleball, the paddle is as crucial to a player as a baton is to a conductor. Each paddle is crafted to suit the playing style of the athlete wielding it. Take Ben Johns, for instance, who uses a paddle designed to give his shots extra spin. Then there's Anna Leigh Waters, whose choice of paddle adds power to her game, helping her dominate the court. These professional players select their paddles with care, knowing that the right equipment can help them control the game and outplay their opponents.

These paddles are not just equipment; they're a part of the player, influencing the game's outcome. Professionals choose paddles that work best for their strategy, whether that's delivering a powerful smash or a deceptive spin. The paddles they use become an integral part of their success, allowing them to execute their game plan effectively.

While the specific models pros use may change as new technology and sponsorships come into play, the impact of their choice remains significant in their performance. For recreational players looking to improve their game, it's worth looking at what the pros are using for inspiration. However, remember that a paddle is a personal choice, and what works for a pro may not be the best fit for everyone's style of play.

In essence, the right paddle can make a big difference in a player's game. While it's not the only factor in becoming a great pickleball player, it's an important one. When watching the pros play, pay attention to their paddles, and you might find some clues about their strategic preferences and strengths on the court.

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