5 Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players in 2023

16 Min Read

For intermediate Pickleball players, the quest for excellence on the court is an unending journey. Every swing, every rally, and every point is a step closer to mastery. But one critical factor often goes underestimated—the choice of your Pickleball paddle. It’s not just a piece of equipment; it’s an extension of your skills, a bridge to your victories, and a shield against your opponents’ onslaught.

Imagine this: you’re on the brink of victory, a point away from clinching the match, and suddenly your paddle fails you. It’s a scenario that every intermediate player dreads and it’s precisely why getting the right pickleball paddle matters.

In 2023, the world of Pickleball has evolved, offering various options tailored to your specific needs. But with so many choices, how do you find the perfect one? That’s where we come in. In this guide, we’ll unveil the 5 Best Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Players in 2023, helping you elevate your game, one swing at a time. Say goodbye to the frustration of subpar equipment and hello to your path to pickleball glory.

Top 5 Paddles to Advance Your Intermediate Pickleball Game

1. EYCI Pickleball Paddle Set

EYCI Pickleball Paddle Set

As a beginner pickleball player, I was excited to try this EYCI paddle set. I immediately noticed the paddle’s wide sweet spot area and textured fiberglass surface, which provided reasonable control and spin on my shots. The paddle felt lightweight yet solid, and the polypropylene honeycomb core cushioned the impact nicely. The ergonomic handle made the paddle very comfortable to grip without slipping.

I appreciated the overall maneuverability this paddle provided. The included indoor and outdoor pickleballs were high quality with durable plastic construction and smooth molding. The precisely drilled holes gave the balls great flight paths and stability even outdoors on windy days.

Overall, this is an excellent set for pickleball players of all levels. The paddles have held up well over many hours of play without any chipping or signs of wear. I’m very satisfied with the quality and performance for the affordable price.

Price: $59.99

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  • Polypropylene edge guard protects paddle from chips/cracks if dropped
  • Fiberglass surface provides good pop and is quieter than carbon fiber
  • The grippy handle prevents slipping during play
  • Lightweight paddle reduces arm fatigue
  • Mesh carrying case conveniently stores paddles and balls
  • Indoor balls have a soft feel with a long bounce
  • Outdoor balls perform well in the wind


  • Fiberglass surface less responsive than carbon fiber paddles
  • Shape may feel too large for players with smaller hands
  • Dead spot develops on edge over time with use
  • Paint chips over time
  • The case lacks padding to protect the paddle
  • Outdoor balls feel hard and may sting hands-on hard hits
  • Optional wrist lanyard not included


The EYCI pickleball paddle set is an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate players, given its quality construction, comfortable grip, maneuverability, and affordable price point. The paddles and balls withstand many hours of play with no sign of wear. While the paddle may develop a bit of a dead spot and the balls react differently, these are minor drawbacks for novice players. I recommend this set to anyone looking for their first or second pickleball paddle.

2. JOOLA Astro Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle

JOOLA Astro Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle

As an intermediate pickleball player looking to upgrade from my cheap beginner’s paddle, I tried the Joola Astro. Right away I noticed better control and pop on my shots thanks to the fiberglass surface and polymer honeycomb core. The paddle felt lightweight and balanced in my hands, making it easy to maneuver quickly. The grip fit my hand size well and provided a nice tacky feel that prevented slipping during intense volleys.

I was impressed by the blend of power and control this paddle provided – I could keep more balls in play with the forgiving sweet spot while still putting some zip on my shots. My strokes felt smoother, and I could tell my game was elevating with this higher-quality equipment. The Astro held up well over many games without any sign of wear. For players looking to take the next step in their progression, I’d highly recommend adding this versatile and comfortable paddle to your bag.

Price: $44.97

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  • Lightweight and balanced for quick maneuvering
  • The tacky grip prevents slipping during play
  • The polymer core provides control and pop
  • Fiberglass face blends power and control
  • Forgiving sweet spot keeps balls in play
  • Quality construction improves the game


  • The grip may be too large for smaller hands
  • Not as responsive as carbon fiber paddles
  • Graphics could scratch over time


The Joola Astro paddle provides excellent quality and performance improvements at a reasonable price point for intermediate players ready to upgrade their gear. The all-around playability, comfortable grip, and blend of control and power make this a great choice to take your pickleball game to the next level.

3. MADOG Pickleball Paddles

MADOG Pickleball Paddles

As an intermediate player looking to improve my game, I decided to try the MADOG pickleball paddle set. Right away I appreciated the comfortable contoured grip, allowing me to play for hours without hand fatigue. The fiberglass paddle face felt very responsive, providing a nice blend of control and power on my shots. I could feel the ball impact the sweet spot, and the lightweight design made it easy to maneuver quickly.

The included indoor and outdoor balls were decent quality and the carry bag was super convenient for transport. After several weeks of use, the paddle still looks brand new thanks to the edge guard protecting against scratches. While not as advanced as a graphite paddle, this affordable set has everything I need as a recreational player and has elevated my skills. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an all-in-one package to step up their fun on the court.

Price: $39.99

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  • Contoured grip enhances comfort
  • Fiberglass face blends control and power
  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Edge guard protects against wear
  • Carry bag stores paddles and balls
  • Good value for a complete set


  • The balls are decent but not top-quality
  • Graphics may scratch over time
  • Not as advanced as graphite paddles


The MADOG paddle set offers an affordable all-in-one solution for intermediate players seeking to improve their recreational game. The lightweight and responsive fiberglass paddle provides excellent playability and comfort. While not for competitive play, this set has great value given the included carry bag and balls. I recommend it to anyone looking to elevate their skills and have more fun on the court.

4. Franklin Sports Pickleball Paddle

Franklin Sports Pickleball Paddle

As a beginner pickleball player on a budget, I decided to try the Franklin Sports paddle set. Right out of the box, I could tell this wooden paddle was well-constructed with its seven-ply design and plastic edging for protection. The grip felt comfortable, with excellent padding that absorbed sweat during long games. While not as lightweight as composite paddles, it still provided decent maneuverability.

I was able to generate good power on my shots thanks to the large surface area. The set also included two outdoor balls that felt very durable on the court. After several weeks of recreational play, neither the paddles nor the balls show any signs of wear. While it doesn’t offer the same level of control and spin as advanced graphite paddles, this affordable wood set is perfect for new players who want quality gear without a considerable investment. I’d definitely recommend it to fellow beginners looking for solid performance on a budget.

Price: $34.98

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  • Sturdy 7-ply wooden construction
  • Comfortable padded grip absorbs sweat
  • Large surface generates good power
  • Plastic edging protects the paddle
  • Includes two durable outdoor balls
  • Quality set at a budget-friendly price


  • Heavier than composite paddles
  • It doesn’t offer as much control and spin
  • Not suitable for competitive play


The Franklin Sports paddle set is an excellent value for beginner recreational players. While it doesn’t have the advanced features of high-end paddles, the wooden construction provides good power and durability at an affordable price point. For new pickleballers on a budget looking for their first paddle, this set offers solid performance without a huge investment. I would recommend it as a quality starter option.

5. Onix V3 Pickleball Paddle

Onix V3 Pickleball Paddle

As an intermediate player looking to upgrade my beginner’s paddle, I tried the Onix V3. Right away, I was impressed by this paddle’s sleek, eye-catching appearance. The colorful graphics look sharp, and the lightweight composite construction provides excellent maneuverability on the court. I immediately noticed better control and pop on my shots thanks to the polymer honeycomb core and fiberglass face. The surface area feels enlarged compared to my previous paddle, resulting in a forgiving sweet spot that keeps more balls in play.

The contoured grip fits my hand comfortably without slipping. After several weeks of recreational play, this paddle still looks brand new and continues elevating my skills. While it may not match the spin and touch of advanced graphite paddles, the V3 offers an ideal blend of power, control, and aesthetics to take an intermediate player’s game to the next level.

Price: $28.88

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  • Eye-catching, colorful graphics
  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Polymer core increases control
  • Enlarged sweet spot keeps balls in play
  • The contoured grip provides comfort
  • Improves skills for intermediate players


  • Not as advanced as graphite paddles
  • Graphics could scratch over time
  • The grip may be small for larger hands


With its ideal mix of playability, performance, and visual appeal, the Onix V3 is an excellent mid-range paddle option for intermediate players looking to upgrade their game. While not for pros, it provides improved control, power, and forgiveness to take recreational play to the next level. I recommend this paddle for its quality construction and ability to elevate an intermediate player’s skills.

7 Crucial Factors to Consider While Choosing A Pickleball Paddles for Intermediate Player

  1. Look for a lightweight composite or fiberglass paddle between 7.0 – 8.2 oz. Heavier paddles can slow down strokes and cause fatigue over long matches. Composites like polymer or graphite are ideal for intermediate players with maneuverability, power, and control blends.
  2. Consider a slightly larger paddle head size – usually between 7.5 – 8.25 inches wide. The wider paddle face enlarges the sweet spot to provide more forgiveness on off-center hits. This allows intermediate players to keep more balls in play until they develop more consistent technique and accuracy.
  3. Pick paddles with a polymer or honeycomb core for better control, feel, and pop on shots. Polymer cores significantly increase power and reduce vibration. The honeycomb design also compresses on impact for a softer feel on touch shots. Advanced hearts give intermediates an edge.
  4. Select a textured or contour grip – many intermediate players prefer some grip texture vs a smooth handle. The grippy surface prevents the paddle from slipping during intense volleys or sweaty play. Contoured grips additionally mold to hand shape for superior comfort.
  5. Look for paddles offering more power and spin to take your shots to the next level. The extra power helps intermediates hit sharper drives and penetrating serve returns. Increased spin adds another dimension, allowing shape on dinks, drops, and lobs. Graphite faces, in particular, generate more spin.
  6. Test paddles first, if possible, before buying. Make sure it feels comfortable and balanced in your hand. The correct weight, grip size, thickness, and balance give you confidence in every stroke. Take a few practice swings to experience the maneuverability.
  7. Choose a flexible, responsive face material like graphite, fiberglass or composite polymer for touch shots. Intermediates working on control need a paddle face that transfers ball feel efficiently. Composites have some “give” while remaining durable over constant play.

Besides, you can go through our detailed guide on choosing a pickleball paddle, where we have discussed all the aspects thoroughly for a better idea.

Final Words

Whether you’re looking to build more power, add spin for control, or keep the ball in play longer, upgrading your paddle is a great way to elevate your intermediate game. While budget paddles are fine for beginners, using the right mid-range paddle explicitly designed to improve players can enhance performance.

The paddles we reviewed offer ideal combinations of swing speed, forgiveness, and touch to match an intermediate player’s developing skills. Consider your needs and playing style, then select a paddle that fits your game using our tips. With the perfect paddle in hand, you’ll gain confidence taking on more challenging shots and see actual technique improvements over time.

Our top picks provide excellent options to step up your play and handle anything intermediate opponents throw your way. Happy shopping, and keep building those pickleball skills! However, you can also look at our list of best Pickleball paddles overall for broader choices. 

By Richard
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