Whether you’re a tennis enthusiast contemplating the leap into pickleball or have already taken the plunge, we’ve got just what you need.
Our article breaks down the 12 best pickleball paddles for tennis players like yourself.
Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned pro with years of experience under your belt or a complete beginner just dipping your toes into the pickleball waters, these paddles are expertly crafted to ensure your transition is as seamless and enjoyable as possible.
Optimal Pickleball Paddle Features for Tennis Players
Transitioning from the familiar world of tennis to the exciting realm of pickleball involves more than just adjusting your game. It also requires finding the perfect equipment that seamlessly merges your tennis prowess with the dynamics of pickleball.
In this section, we delve into the specifics of pickleball paddle preferences for tennis players, exploring the key attributes that make for a winning combination.
Tennis players often find comfort in a longer handle, reminiscent of their tennis rackets. This familiarity provides a sense of ease when transitioning to pickleball.
Longer handles offer extra grip space, facilitating the transition of your swing and making it easier to manoeuvre the paddle during rallies.
Tennis players are accustomed to wielding heavier rackets, which contribute to their powerful shots and control on the tennis court. Similarly, when transitioning to pickleball, many tennis players gravitate towards paddles with a bit more weight.
The added weight translates into a sense of control and stability, allowing you to confidently adapt your tennis techniques to the nuances of pickleball.
The elongated shape of a pickleball paddle offers a bridge between the shorter design of traditional pickleball paddles and the more elongated form of tennis rackets.
For tennis players accustomed to extended reach and versatility, this paddle shape can prove advantageous, particularly when engaging in volleys near the net.
High Spin Capability
Tennis players often employ spin techniques to control the trajectory of the ball. Pickleball paddles with high spin capability align with this tennis sensibility, enabling you to put a subtle spin on the ball and enhance your shot variety.
For tennis players stepping into pickleball, having a paddle that accommodates spin can be a valuable asset in maintaining your unique playing style.
Best Pickleball Paddles for Tennis Players
Here are some of the best pickleball paddle options that seamlessly cater to your tennis background and transition you into the pickleball realm. These paddles are tailored to elevate your game, providing the ideal blend of power, control and finesse.
1. Franklin Pickleball Paddle – Signature Carbon STK™
If you’re a tennis player looking to conquer the world of pickleball, the Franklin Signature Carbon STK™ is your perfect companion. This meticulously crafted paddle is strategically designed to cater to tennis players transitioning to pickleball, offering a seamless blend of familiarity and enhanced performance.
What truly sets the Signature Carbon STK™ apart is its revolutionary Carbon STK™ carbon fibre surface layer. Tailored to cater to tennis players’ preference for spin and control, this carbon fibre surface introduces a natural texture that significantly increases traction on the pickleball.
This translates to finesse shots and spin techniques that tennis players are familiar with, without sacrificing the power and pop essential for any winning game.
2. Franklin Pickleball Paddle – Signature Pro Series Fiberglass | MaxGrit™
The Franklin Signature Pro Series Fiberglass | MaxGrit™ encapsulates the perfect blend of familiarity and innovation.
At its core lies the revolutionary MaxGrit™ textured surface technology. Tailored for tennis players, this advancement maximises spin potential and minimises vibration, ensuring unmatched control and precision on the court.
Approved by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), the MaxGrit™ surface material enhances ball traction, amplifying your spin rate for exceptional control during every shot.
3. Franklin Pickleball Paddle – Centre Carbon Fiber | MaxGrit™
Anchored by the groundbreaking MaxGrit™ textured surface technology, the Franklin Centre Carbon Fiber | MaxGrit™ has been meticulously crafted to amplify spin potential and reduce vibration, ensuring unrivalled control and precision on the court.
The paddle boasts a 13mm polypropylene core and carbon fibre surface layer, striking a balance between durability and performance. Tennis players will find solace in the carbon fibre’s enhanced sweet spot, providing consistent, effortless contact for superior control.
The polypropylene core complements this with its robustness and shot-making ease, ensuring tennis players feel at home on the pickleball court.
4. Gearbox Pickleball Paddle – CX11E Elongated | Control
The Gearbox CX11E Elongated | Control introduces an elongated design, providing more manoeuvrability and spin potential through its narrower head. Ideal for those seeking additional reach, the CX11E is also a favourite among singles players. Its longer handle accommodates a two-handed shot, allowing tennis players to incorporate their familiar techniques seamlessly.
The paddle features a paddle face finish composed of 3K Woven Carbon Fiber Ribbed Core, bolstered by Toray T-700 Carbon Fibre material. The patented Carbon Fiber Chambers construction further enhances its performance.
Balanced at 220.86 grams, the CX11E Control paddle provides a comfortable grip with handle circumferences available in both 9.21 cm and 10.0 cm. The 14.29 cm handle length accommodates tennis players accustomed to two-handed shots, creating a seamless transition.
5. Gearbox Pickleball Paddle – CX14 Elongated
Boasting a stable yet soft touch, the Gearbox CX14 Elongated shape employs a robust 14mm thickness profile, making it the perfect transition paddle for players accustomed to the feel of thicker honeycomb paddles. Designed with Gearbox’s cutting-edge SST Technology, the CX14 Elongated offers a seamless shift from a less performing thick honeycomb paddle to the realm of Gearbox innovation.
The elongated design of the CX14 brings a new level of versatility to the court. With added length, this paddle provides increased reach, while its narrower head contributes to generating enhanced spin.
This paddle is a true asset for players who value stability alongside the freedom to experiment with their shots. The longer handle also caters to those who are proficient in two-handed shots, ensuring a seamless adaptation.
6. Gearbox Pickleball Paddle – CX14 Elongated | Ultimate Power
The CX14 Ultimate Power Collection is a gateway to unparalleled power and fearless gameplay. This groundbreaking line of meticulously crafted paddles, enhanced with new Power Band Technology, embodies Gearbox’s unwavering commitment to innovation.
With a 3K Woven Carbon Fiber Ribbed paddle face finish and fortified Toray T-700 Carbon Fibre core material, the CX14 Ultimate Power Collection showcases unparalleled strength and performance.
Featuring an elongated head shape for an enhanced sweet spot and improved touch, the Edgeless Frame design now includes additional reinforcement, stability, and power, ensuring a victorious performance. This collection stands as the preferred choice of professional players such as Joey Farias and Frank Anthony Davis, epitomising the pinnacle of innovation and design.
Balanced at 241 grams, the CX14 Ultimate Power Collection paddle provides comfortable grip options with handle circumferences available in both 9.21 cm and 10.0 cm. The 14.29 cm handle length accommodates those skilled in two-handed shots, ensuring a seamless transition during intense rallies.
7. Oneshot Pickleball Paddle – Aero Powershot
The Oneshot Aero Powershot paddle is a game-changer that’s been designed to deliver excellence. USAPA tested and approved, this paddle features the innovative Airflow Technology, taking your game to new heights with added power and agility.
Crafted with an elongated graphite paddle, the Oneshot Powershot incorporates Airflow Technology through four vents on its sides. This revolutionary feature enhances aerodynamics and can reduce drag by up to 2%. The result is a paddle that moves effortlessly through the air, offering you quicker response times and increased acceleration.
Your gameplay will experience an unprecedented speed boost, catering perfectly to tennis players accustomed to dynamic play.
8. Oneshot Pickeball Paddle – Katanashot XL
Featuring an extended handle, the Oneshot Katanashot XL is a pickleball paddle that’s tailor-made to supercharge two-handed backhand shots, delivering unparalleled power and control.
Engineered for competitive players seeking a combination of power and control, the Katanashot XL is a game-changer. Its high-quality construction allows for spin-oriented gameplay, making it an ideal choice for tennis players who want to transition smoothly to pickleball while maintaining their aggressive style.
9. Oneshot Pickleball Paddle – Flipshot (Dual-Faced)
Oneshot’s Flipshot (Dual-Faced) pickleball paddle stands out as the first of its kind, offering dual-textured faces on both sides. While one side boasts fibreglass for power, the opposite side features carbon fibre for control.
Designed to meet the stringent standards of the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), the Flipshot paddle features a 14.3mm inner polymer core, translating the optimal amount of power from the fibreglass side and delivering a precise control feel from the carbon fibre side.
This balanced design ensures that tennis players transitioning to pickleball experience seamless gameplay and an unparalleled advantage on the court.
10. TMPR Pickleball Paddle – Ascend LX: High Performance
The Ascend LX Pickleball Paddle redefines the game for tennis players venturing into pickleball. Tailored to those with a background in tennis or racquetball, this paddle’s Ascend shape is a nod to aerodynamics and precision.
Designed to offer rapid movement and enhanced spin manipulation, the Ascend shape caters to players seeking a seamless transition from tennis. For those who wield a two-handed backhand, the paddle’s extra handle length delivers the advantage you’ve been looking for. This addition enhances manoeuvrability and control, enabling precise execution of shots.
11. TMPR Pickleball Paddle – Oculus LX: Indigo Ice Edition
The TMPR Oculus LX Indigo Ice Edition is paddle inspired from a fusion of tennis racquet and table tennis paddle inspiration.
Crafted with a design that mirrors tennis equipment, the Oculus LX offers a pleasing lateral weight balance. This unique balance caters to players who desire to infuse their shots with an extra twist of spin, mimicking the strategic moves from tennis and table tennis.
Featuring the Luxe Core™, the Oculus LX brings a harmonious blend of control and power to every play. This core technology ensures consistent performance, making it an ideal choice for players ranging from beginner to advanced skill levels.
12. TMPR Pickleball Paddle – Rave LX: High Performance
Engineered for players seeking that extra reach, the Rave LX offers an advantage that’s invaluable on the court. The rounded sides of the paddle provide a harmonious balance, reducing drag and offering a more controlled feel compared to other elongated paddles.
The Luxe Core™ featured in the Rave LX adds an element of cushioning to your shots, elevating both consistency and control. This core technology ensures a versatile playing experience, offering power when needed while maintaining precision and finesse.
With a 12.7 cm handle length and an octagonal-shaped 10.8 cm circumference, the Rave LX offers a comfortable grip, perfect for tennis players making their mark in the world of pickleball. The inclusion of TMPR vibration dampening technology further enhances your playing experience, minimizing unwanted vibrations.
Tips For Tennis Players Transitioning To Pickleball
Transitioning from tennis to pickleball is more than just understanding new rules, it’s also about using your tennis skills in a new way.
In this section, we share tips designed for tennis players new to pickleball. These will guide you as you make the switch, helping your tennis abilities shine as you embrace pickleball.
Adjust Your Pickleball Grip
As you embark on your pickleball adventure, take a moment to acquaint yourself with the nuances of your new paddle. While the size and shape may differ from your tennis racket, it’s the grip that often requires the most immediate adjustment.
Pickleball paddles demand a slightly different grip due to their shorter handle, so experiment to find a comfortable hold that complements your playing style.
Read our article on the 4 Types of Pickleball Grips And When To Use Them to find the best type of grip for your playing style.
Master The Underhand Serve
Transitioning from the tennis serve to the pickleball serve requires a strategic shift. In pickleball, the serve is underhand, necessitating a different approach to placement and power.
Focus on precision and consistency, utilising your tennis experience to control ball placement and effectively initiate each point.
Adapt Your Footwork
While your tennis footwork skills will certainly prove beneficial in pickleball, slight adaptations are key to performing well. The smaller pickleball court demands quick lateral movements and the ability to maintain a well-balanced stance during swift exchanges.
Use your tennis agility as a foundation, and refine your footwork to match the pace and dynamics of pickleball rallies.
Excel At Net Play
Tennis players often have a knack for excelling at net play, a skill that translates seamlessly to pickleball. This area of the court offers ample opportunities for you to shine. Put your volleying skills to good use by intercepting shots and applying pressure on opponents at the net.
Your transition to pickleball will be even smoother as you capitalise on your existing expertise in net play, making it a valuable asset on the pickleball court.
FAQs About Best Pickleball Paddles for Tennis Players
While not exclusively designed for tennis players, certain pickleball paddles are tailored to resonate with their tennis background. These paddles incorporate features that align with tennis players' preferences, making the transition to pickleball smoother.
Yes, your tennis serve skills can be valuable in pickleball. While the serve technique differs – being underhand in pickleball – your precision and control from tennis can help you place your serves effectively and initiate points strategically.
Balancing power and control depends on your playing style. Heavier paddles may offer more power, while slightly lighter ones can enhance control. Consider your strengths and preferences when making your choice.