Pickleball Gear

Best lightweight pickleball paddles - top 5 compared

picture of Brandon Mackie
Brandon Mackie

Updated on: Mar 28, 2024

Best lightweight pickleball paddles: the Engage Pursuit Pro EX LITE, the SLK Latitude 2.0, and the Engage Pursuit Pro MX 6.0 LITE

Looking for a lightweight paddle to complement your game? Maybe you're a beginner, or just like to be fast on the courts. You might want a lightweight paddle because you value control over power—though they're becoming more powerful with new tech releases.

After playing with over 85 paddles in the last year, I've picked my favorite lightweight ones (generally 7.5 oz and under). I've broken them into categories to appeal to almost any player.

Check out my list of the best lightweight pickleball paddles in 2024:

Best lightweight pickleball paddles at a glance

Best overall

Photo of the Engage Pursuit Pro EX LITE pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

1. Engage Pursuit Pro EX LITE

The 7.5-oz Engage Pursuit Pro EX LITE has top-tier spin, solid power, and great control. It's an all-court gem for players who like lightweight paddles.
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Read my deep dive

Best cheap

Our Rating:

2. SLK Latitude 2.0

Selkirk's SLK Latitude 2.0 is a forgiving control paddle for beginners. Made by one of pickleball's top names, it outperforms other cheap beginner paddles.
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Best for power

Our Rating:

3. Engage Pursuit Pro MX 6.0 LITE

This elongated version of the EX LITE has slightly less control and forgiveness, but more power. It has the same great spin too.
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Best for control

Photo of the Paddletek Bantam ALW-C pickleball paddle (front and back)

Our Rating:

4. Paddletek Bantam ALW-C

The Paddletek Bantam ALW-C 14.3 lets you play like Anna Leigh Waters—fast and with great control. I call this forgiving paddle the Rolls Royce of beginner paddles.
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Best for spin

Our Rating:

5. ProKennex Kinetic Pro Flight

The ProKennex Kinetic Pro Flight is a lightweight paddle for players prone to injuries. Because it has excellent spin and power, you don't have to swing hard.
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Which paddle is best for you?

Before choosing a pickleball paddle, it's important to make sure it fits your game. That’s why I created a 30-second quiz that recommends the best paddles for your play style and budget.

Give it a try and see if any of these top paddles make the list:

Find the perfect paddle

Find the perfect paddle

I’ve personally tested over 80 paddles. Take the quiz to see which ones fit your game best.

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The best lightweight pickleball paddles in 2024

Why should you trust Pickleheads? I spend hours testing every product I recommend. Only the cream of the crop makes it onto my lists, so you can be sure you're buying the best. Learn more about how I test and review products.

Read on for my in-depth reviews of these paddles:

Best overall

1. Engage Pursuit Pro EX LITE

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The best all-court lightweight paddle in 2024
8/10

Power

9/10

Control

10/10

Spin

9/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You love spin:

    I'm impressed with the 10/10 spin this paddle generates.

  • You want to be quick yet powerful:

    this paddle moves fast but doesn't sacrifice too much power.

  • You want a forgiving, standard-shaped paddle:

    with this paddle's 8" wide face, you get a large sweet spot and lots of control and forgiveness.

Pass if:

  • You prefer thermoformed paddles:

    this isn't thermoformed, so a paddle like the JOOLA Scorpeus might suit you better.

  • You need more reach:

    try the MX 6.0 LITE on this list—the elongated version of this paddle.

  • You're on a budget:

    the SLK Latitude 2.0 on this list is my favorite cheap lightweight paddle.

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Paddle Weight

7.5-7.8 oz

Paddle Length

16"

Paddle Width

8"

Handle Length

5"

Grip Circumference

4.25"

Paddle Face Material

Toray T700 raw carbon fiber

Core Material

Polymer honeycomb

Core Thickness

12.7 mm (0.5")

Sweet Spot

Large

Of all the lightweight paddles I've tested, none has the combination of spin, power, and control that the Pursuit Pro EX LITE from Engage has. It's the best all-round lightweight paddle in my opinion, clocking in at 7.5 oz.
Who it suits
This suits the player who likes to play a fast game with lots of spin but still wants plenty of control and forgiveness and enough power too.
Just note that it's a standard shape (16" x 8"). If you're looking for an elongated paddle, check out the MX LITE below.
Features
You'll find lots of confusing marketing terms accompanying this paddle but thankfully the features here really do work. The Toray T700 carbon fiber is super textured and gets great spin.
The "Vortex Barrier Edge Technology" apparently helps with weight distribution and reducing vibrations—both felt great to me. The edge guard is good and strong, and the 12.7 mm "Control Pro Black Polymer Core" takes pace off the ball well.
Design and feel
This almost feels like a thermoformed paddle, and I was surprised it wasn't. It has that firm, stiff feel to an extent, which is good for pop. But it's not as stiff as a thermoformed paddle so will suit players who want less stiffness without sacrificing power.
Performance
Because this is not thermoformed it has a softer feel while still having good power. The spin is really good, and I felt I could play aggressively and put the ball away whenever I had an opening.
Defensively, it's great on dinks, blocks, and resets. It has a large sweet spot thanks to the 8" wide face. It's stable and forgiving. I'd call this a top all-court paddle.
Value for money
This will set you back $260, which is a lot. It's more expensive than the JOOLA Perseus and Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta (both $250). However, it does hit a target audience that those paddles don't satisfy—players who want a high-performance lightweight paddle. At 7.5 oz, the LITE model is way lighter than those 8 oz paddles.
star icon
My verdict
If you're a player who likes lighter paddles but needs one that gives a high performance, this is a great option for you. It suits advancing intermediates all the way up to pros. It's got elite levels of spin, control, and forgiveness while still hitting hard.

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Best cheap

2. SLK Latitude 2.0

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A superior beginner paddle
5/10

Power

8/10

Control

7/10

Spin

9/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You're a beginner:

    this is a brilliant paddle to get started in pickleball, it plays better than almost every beginner paddle I've tested

  • You're on a budget:

    at just $70 this is a bargain, performing way better than most paddles at this range.

  • You want a little spin in your game:

    the textured graphite face gets good spin for a beginner paddle.

Pass if:

  • You need power:

    this is strictly a control paddle, so try the Six Zero Sapphire if you want an affordable power paddle.

  • You play with two-handed backhands:

    try a paddle with a longer handle like the Bison Summit.

  • You're upgrading to intermediate level:

    check out our best intermediate pickleball paddles to help you step up.

Selkirk

Selkirk

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Paddle Weight

7.5-8 oz

Paddle Length

15.5"

Paddle Width

8.25"

Handle Length

5.25"

Grip Circumference

4.25"

Paddle Face Material

Graphite

Core Material

Thicker Rev-Core + Polymer

Core Thickness

13 mm (0.51")

Sweet Spot

Large

If you're just starting out and not ready to spend up for a paddle, this is my top pick for you.
I honestly couldn't think of a better value lightweight paddle. The quality of Selkirk's paddles is undeniable, so you can rest assured you're getting not only a solid performer, but a paddle that will stand the test of time.
Who it suits
This paddle is purely for beginners. Its large sweet spot, wide face, and short handle all suit newcomers to the sport. But because it's made by Selkirk, it stands out from cheap Amazon paddles. This one is going to help you win more games and gain confidence early on.
Features
The 8 ¼" wide face has a touch more room than usual, giving you more playing surface to connect with the ball. The G4 graphite face has Selkirk's "SpinFlex" texture added to it, which gives you a nice touch of spin and control. The trademark "Rev-Core" core takes nice pace off the ball and gives the paddle a stable and consistent feel.
Design and feel
I really like the cool designs, making it look classier than most beginner paddles. The 5 ¼" handle is comfortable for beginners, who don't need a longer grip yet.
Performance
I found the sweet spot nice and large, making mishits few and far between. I felt I could really rely on this paddle to be consistent, which will give you confidence if you're a beginner.
It's solid on resets, which is better than most newcomer paddles. You also get a nice bit of spin from the textured face. The light weight makes it really maneuverable and fast in hand battles, meaning you can start working on your speed and agility.
Value for money
At $70 this is a great value. You can spend that much on an Amazon brand and get nowhere near this level of reliability, durability, and performance.
star icon
My verdict
The Selkirk SLK Latitude 2.0 is a high-performing beginner paddle. It's my favorite cheap lightweight paddle because it's made with superior technology, and comes from one of my favorite brands. For $70, you get a taste of a top-tier performance paddle.

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Best for power

3. Engage Pursuit Pro MX 6.0 LITE

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An elongated, lightweight power paddle with awesome spin
9/10

Power

8/10

Control

10/10

Spin

8/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You're a big spin player:

    I could generate big topspin with this paddle.

  • You want a lightweight performance elongated paddle:

    at 7.7 oz, this is a lot lighter than most powerful elongated paddles.

  • You want an all-court paddle:

    spin and power are backed by really good control and forgiveness.

Pass if:

  • You want to focus on your touch game:

    the standard-shaped EX LITE, top of this list, is a more forgiving, control-oriented alternative.

  • You don't want to spend $260:

    the Bread & Butter Filth is an elongated performance power paddle for just $165.

  • You want a thermoformed paddle:

    these Engage paddles are not thermoformed, so check out the Ronbus R1 PULSAR.

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Paddle Weight

7.7-8 oz

Paddle Length

16.5"

Paddle Width

7.5"

Handle Length

5.75"

Grip Circumference

4.37"

Paddle Face Material

Toray T700 raw carbon fiber

Core Material

Polymer composite

Core Thickness

15.87 mm (0.62")

Sweet Spot

Medium-Large

Lightweight doesn't mean a paddle can't have power. If you're a banger who just prefers lighter paddles, I like this for you.
I'm a big fan of the new Engage Pursuit Pro paddles. It was close between this one, the MX, and the one I picked as my overall favorite, the EX. I just found the EX more stable and forgiving, making it more of a control paddle and a better all-court paddle. The MX has more power, making it a top choice if you like to hit hard.
Note: I bent the rules a little here, picking a 7.7-oz paddle because those extra 0.2 oz give this mega power while still being so light that it's way below most power paddles that are 8+ oz.
Who it suits
This is ideal if you want the reach and power of an elongated paddle, but the speed of a lightweight paddle. It's for advancing intermediates to pro-level players who like to play a fast, aggressive game.
Features
Surprisingly with these paddles, the thicker core models actually have more power. This 6.0 version is basically their 16 mm version (it's just shy of 16 mm thick). Whatever it's doing, it gives the ball good pop.
Like the EX models, the super-textured Toray T700 carbon fiber face gets you 10-out-of-10 spin. In the MX models you'll find something called "Variable Release Technology" which apparently controls the paddle's flex depending on how fast or slow you swing.
Design and feel
I was very surprised to find these paddles are not thermoformed, as they have that solid, poppy, stiff feel. But the more I played with it, the more I felt a touch more softness than you get with a thermoformed paddle. It offers a great compromise between control and power.
Performance
The elongated MX models have more power than the standard-shaped EX ones. I was surprised to find the thicker core version, the MX 6.0, to have the most power. It's great on putaways and drives. Spin is great, just like all the paddles in this series.
Control and forgiveness, while less than the EX, are still good for a powerful paddle so you won't lose much by way of dinks, blocks, and resets. You'll be able to play a strong all-court game with this paddle.
Value for money
At $260 these are expensive paddles, among the priciest on the market. They're right above JOOLA and Selkirk paddles. However, Engage has found a niche in the market by making elite performance paddles that are much lighter than their 8+ oz competitors. So, if you're an advancing player who likes to play with a fast paddle, this could be worth your investment.
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My verdict
If you want lightness and power combined, check out the Engage Pursuit Pro MX 6.0. It's elongated, powerful, and has top-tier spin. At 7.7 oz, it feels much lighter than JOOLA and Selkirk paddles.

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Best for control

4. Paddletek Bantam ALW-C

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A lightweight control paddle used by Anna Leigh Waters
7/10

Power

9/10

Control

8/10

Spin

9/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You want the best beginner paddle:

    this is the most advanced beginner paddle I've played with (though it is pricey)

  • You want a lightweight control paddle:

    the ALW-C is fast in hand battles, and really boosts your touch game.

  • You can spend over $200:

    at $230 this is very expensive for what I'd call a beginner paddle.

Pass if:

  • You're on a budget:

    the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash is a top rival to this, for just $100.

  • You need more power:

    this doesn't pretend to be a power paddle, so check out something like the Bread & Butter Filth.

  • You're upgrading from beginner level:

    check out the JOOLA Perseus, a similar paddle that suits intermediates and advanced players more.

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Paddle Weight

7.5-7.8 oz

Paddle Length

15 ⅝"

Paddle Width

7 ¾"

Handle Length

5"

Grip Circumference

4" or 4 ¼" (12.7 mm paddle); 4 ⅛" or 4 ⅜" (14.3 mm paddle)

Paddle Face Material

PT-700 raw carbon fiber

Core Material

Polymer honeycomb core

Core Thickness

12.7 mm (0.5") or 14.3 mm (0.56")

Sweet Spot

Large

If you're focused on your touch game, you can't go wrong with the ALW-C. And even if you're just an Anna Leigh-Waters fan, you'll feel at home with this paddle.
The Bantam ALW-C 14.3 weighs 7.5 oz. Its biggest attribute is its excellent control. This is one of the few paddles I've tested that made touch shots easy. For that reason, I've picked it as my top lightweight control paddle.
Who it suits
Despite this being the endorsed paddle of World #1 Anna Leigh Waters, I think this mostly suits beginners. Some intermediates might like it, but I think it lacks the power and spin to take your game to a higher level. But, if you're a newbie with a budget you're going to like this beast of a beginner paddle.
Features
The PT-700 "unidirectional" raw carbon fiber face is a first for Paddletek, and adds extra spin. The light, 7.5 oz weight is a trademark feature of Paddletek paddles. The edge guard makes this a sturdy, long-lasting paddle.
Design and feel
If you're a fan of ALW, you'll like the logo on this paddle face. In the hands, it has a feather-light feel which helped me to be faster in hand battles. I was a little disappointed with the quality of the grip for the price. I'd definitely put some overgrip on this if keeping it.
Performance
This paddle is fast, and helped my defense and control game. Drops, dinks, and resets all felt natural and consistent. The sweet spot is nice and large, which will reduce mishits if you're a beginner. I found way more spin with this model than with the older Bantam TS-5, thanks to the new carbon face. One thing you won't find is much power, but this paddle isn't made for hard hitters.
Value for money
As this plays like a beginner paddle, most people will be put off by the $230 price tag. I get that, and I'd recommend reading my best paddles for beginners list for more choices. However, if you have the money, and want to play like ALW, or you want the most premium of beginner paddles, this is worth it for you.
star icon
My verdict
The Paddletek Bantam ALW-C 14.3 won't suit everyone, but if you're a beginner with a budget check it out. You'll get speed, control, forgiveness and enough spin and power to start advancing in pickleball.

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Best for spin

5. ProKennex Kinetic Pro Flight

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A lightweight gem that won't tire you out
7.5/10

Power

7/10

Control

9/10

Spin

7/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You play with power and spin:

    I could play an aggressive game with spin and plenty of pop.

  • You're coming from tennis:

    ProKennex brings their experience making tennis rackets to their pickleball paddles.

  • You're prone to injury:

    ProKennex paddles are designed to prevent arm and elbow injuries.

Pass if:

  • Your focus is control:

    try a paddle that suits your touch game like the Paddletek Bantam ALW-C above.

  • You're a beginner:

    this will have too much power and spin so check out number 2 on this list, the SLK Latitude 2.0.

  • You play with two-handed backhands:

    the short 5" handle won't suit you, but the Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy with its extra-long handle might.

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Paddle Weight

7.4 oz

Paddle Length

15.43"

Paddle Width

7.6"

Handle Length

5"

Grip Circumference

4"

Paddle Face Material

Carbon with Diamond Frost surface texture

Core Material

Poly honeycomb

Core Thickness

11 mm (0.43")

Sweet Spot

Small-medium

I recommend this paddle to anyone looking for light paddles because of injuries.
When it comes to lightweight paddles, a lot of the time you have to swing hard to generate spin. Not with the ProKennex Kinetic Pro Flight. This paddle face just grabs the ball and puts topspin on it with minimal effort.
Who it suits
This is ideal if you who want a light paddle but don't want to swing hard for power and spin. ProKennex designs their paddles with injury-prone players in mind. You won't get easily tired swinging this, as power and spin come naturally. It won't suit beginners, though, because it sacrifices control and forgiveness.
Features
The thin 11 mm core gets great power. The paddle face is an interesting carbon with "diamond frost" texture, which is epoxy I think. Whatever it is, it generates really good spin.
ProKennex pride themselves on their "arm-saving technology" too. They claim their kinetic design reduces vibrations by 43%, making their paddles great for players who are prone to injuries like tennis elbow.
Design and feel
The shape of this paddle is a bit funny. It's short and a bit narrow, making it smaller than most standard-shaped paddles. That said, it's super aerodynamic and feels fast and light in the hands.
I did notice good stability with no real shocks to speak of. The way this moves and spins reminds me a bit of a tennis racket. However, the handle is short at 5", so no two-handed backhands, which doesn't bother me personally.
Performance
I found top-tier levels of spin with this paddle. It hits crazy topspin and just about any spin on all shots effortlessly. Power was the next best thing. The thin core pops the ball off and keeps you quick and agile alongside the low swing weight. Just note that you will be sacrificing control and forgiveness here. This is definitely not designed for your touch game.
Value for money
At $200, this is the same price as the Gearbox CX14E. You can get better value paddles like the Six Zero DBD ($180) and the Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy ($150), but the ProKennex is worth it if you're injury prone. If you want to just focus on spin and power, too, this is a great option for you.
star icon
My verdict
A unique paddle that feels different, this paddle is a great pick if you're coming to lightweight paddles for injury prevention. It can generate big power and spin without a high swing speed, so you're less likely to tire out or get injured.

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How I choose the best lightweight pickleball paddles

When making this list, I wanted to offer variety within the lightweight category, to give players who prefer lighter paddles some options. Here are some of the things I looked for when picking my top lightweight paddles:

  • Weight: you'll find a lot of variation when it comes to the term "lightweight". For example, Total Pickleball classifies it as any paddle under 7.75 oz while Pickleball Lobby goes as high as 8 oz. For my list, I went even lower, sticking as close to 7.5 oz as I could, but I did include the 7.7-oz Engage Pursuit Pro MX 6.0 LITE as I feel it's a lightweight power paddle.
  • Features: I look at all the paddles' features to see what makes them stand out. Does the surface get good spin, is it built using advanced materials, does it have any aerodynamic qualities?
  • Design and feel: some people care about looks so I of course consider the design, but the feel is more important to me. You can tell a lot from how a paddle feels in your hands and a cheaply made paddle is obvious compared to a well-made one.
  • Performance: this is clearly the most important category, and I make sure to rigorously test each paddle I review to make sure you're getting my honest opinion. I score every paddle in my deep dives on power, control, spin, and forgiveness. Weighting, durability, grip, and aerodynamics are also considered as part of my overall verdict.
  • Value for money: some people might argue this is the more important category for any paddle. It's really important to me when choosing my top paddles. A paddle has to justify its price. There would be no point in me recommending a $50 paddle to you if it was terrible on the courts. Likewise, I will only recommend a $200+ paddle if I think it's worth the cost for certain players.

Bottom line

Like any sport, there are lots of trends in pickleball. Not long ago it seemed that everyone wanted a heavyweight paddle. Now it seems more and more players want a top-quality lighter paddle. That means the big brands are scrambling to put out lightweight paddles and makes it an exciting time to buy a lighter paddle as more and more great offerings are becoming available.

From high-performing beginner paddles that cost just $70 to an elite $260 choice for more advanced players, you'll find a lightweight paddle for any player in my list.

Here's a recap of my 5 favorite lightweight pickleball paddles this year:

  1. Engage Pursuit Pro EX LITE – Best overall
  2. SLK Latitude 2.0 - Best cheap
  3. Engage Pursuit Pro MX 6.0 LITE - Best for power
  4. Paddletek Bantam ALW-C - Best for control
  5. ProKennex Kinetic Pro Flight - Best for spin

FAQs

About the author
Brandon Mackie
Brandon is an avid writer and co-founder of Pickleheads™. Once a competitive tennis player, Brandon can now be found these days honing his dinks on pickleball courts near Phoenix, Arizona.
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