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Your Favorite Pickleball Pro Plays With What Paddle? (June 2023)

What paddles do the top pros use? This edition will highlight five top players you may recognize, and which paddle they play with. Read on...

[Read: Women's and Men's Pickleball Style Guide - Summer 2023]

With a wide range of shapes, sizes, and brands, it can be tough for newer avid players to know where to begin when choosing a paddle!

There are so many paddles to choose from, and it's confusing. And for most players, they can't figure out the difference just by "looking around."

For quick picks, view limited time paddle deals on Amazon and Pickleball Central today.

Pro-Level Pickleball Paddles

A fair place to begin is: What paddles do you pros use? After all, they compete at the highest level, and would not play with a paddle unless it had the highest standards.

The paddles used by the best players in the world have been carefully chosen.

Whether you are a beginner about to purchase your first paddle, or an experienced player looking to upgrade, this list will help simplify the process for you.

We will give you a better glimpse into the paddle market, paddle features, and describe which paddles may or may not work for your play style.

So, let's take a closer look at the paddles of some top pro players, and see what we can learn about the most crucial equipment in our exciting and fast-paced sport.

Pickleball Pros Paddles of Choice:

Ben Johns

Paddle: JOOLA Perseus

Ben Johns is an absolute beast on the pickleball court, showcasing jaw-dropping skills and a powerful, imposing playing style. He wins just about everything.

He's considered widely as the best men's player of all time, racking up championship titles on most Sunday's during PPA events.

Johns previously played with the Hyperion, which he helped craft with pickleball newcomer (but sports powerhouse) JOOLA. He recently switched to the newly-released Perseus. Read our review of the Perseus.

joola perseus pickleball paddle

Anna Leigh Waters

Paddle: Paddletek Bantam EX-L Pro

Anna Leigh Waters is a force to be reckoned with in women's pickleball.

She's got an impressive shot repertoire including a killer two-handed backhand, all of which makes her a tough competitor and undoubtedly the best female player in the world.

ALW plays with the Bantam, a paddle that has really withstood the test of time and has been around for nearly a decade. It's not the newest, hottest paddle, but it's proven to be deadly.

paddletek bantam pickleball paddle

JW Johnson

Paddle: Franklin Carbon STK

JW Johnson is one of the most calm and collected players on tour, known for effortless power including a devastating backhand flick attack.

He is a crusher in both singles and doubles and is a fixture on Championship Sunday's in APP and now PPA events. He is known for hitting flicks and spin shots out of nowhere.

JWJ plays with the Franklin STK, a gritty and elongated model put out by Franklin, a highly trusted brand. This paddle is an aggressive paddle for players who want reach and pop. Read our previous review of the Franklin STK.

franklin stk pickleball paddle

Parris Todd

Paddle: Selkirk SLK Halo

Parris Todd is an up-and-coming star in professional pickleball, turning heads with his exceptional talent and unwavering determination.

She has found success in both singles and doubles and is one of the most buzzing new stars of the sport in 2023. She was recently on Good Morning America!

Todd plays with the SLK Halo, one of the best value pro paddles on the entire market. It is one of the more balanced pro-grade paddles, an equal combo of power and control. Read our full review of the SLK Halo.

slk halo selkirk pickleball paddle

Tyson McGuffin

Paddle: Selkirk Power Air Invikta

Tyson McGuffin is a powerhouse in the world of pro pickleball, known for his aggressive playing style, athleticism, and sheer dominance, especially in singles.

He boasts many championships in all formats and has one of the most elite track records of any player. He also has a killer mullet and is one of the most entertaining guys on tour.

Tyson plays with the Power Air Invikta, an elongated and thin-core paddle with a hole in the throat of the paddle, optimizing wind resistance and allowing for extremely powerful swings.

selkirk vanguard power air paddle

Pro Pickleball Player Paddles FAQ

Do pro pickleball players customize their paddles?

Yes, many players customize their paddles to suit play style or augment strengths.

They might adjust the grip size by adding an overgrip, making it thicker, add extra protective tape around the edges, or modify the weight on the sides.

How often do pro pickleball players change paddles?

The frequency of paddle swapping varies among pro players.

Some may stick with a paddle or two for an entire season or longer, while others may swap for a new one every tournament or two.

As a recreational player, you probably want to switch paddles every 6-12 months, depending on how often you play.

Why is paddle weight important to pro players?

Paddle weight is crucial for pro players as it impacts their swing speed, hand speed, and overall control.

Some players prefer a lighter paddle for faster reactions and agility, but now most are leaning towards a heavier paddle to generate more effortless power and stability.

Check out our previous guide on weight tape.

Bottom Line

While using a pro player's paddle won't make you a pro on its own, looking at what paddles the pros use may give us a glimpse as to which ones do perform at the highest levels.

These five players above are some of the top pros in the entire game, and would not settle for anything less than the best. Consider giving any of the above paddles a whirl if any of the pros above have a game or play style that resonates with you.

You may very well find your next Forever Paddle.

View all pro paddle deals on Amazon and Pickleball Central today.

When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. It does not affect the price at all. PaddlePal is completely viewer-supported and we will not present a product unless we have researched the market to provide accurate, informed recommendations.


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