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Best pickleball paddles for power in 2024 - top 5 picks

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Brandon Mackie

Updated on: Nov 17, 2023

The best pickleball paddles for power: the Bread & Butter Filth, the Selkirk Power Air Invikta, and the Six Zero Sapphire

As a self-proclaimed banger, I love talking about power paddles. There are so many hard-hitting options out there, so how do you pick the right one for you?

After testing over 30 paddles so far this year, I'm ready to share my thoughts on the best power paddles in 2024 to help you decide. You'll find my favorite overall power paddle, as well as my top budget choice, my top power paddle with spin, and more.

Best pickleball paddles at a glance

Best overall

Photo of the Bread & Butter Filth pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

1. Bread & Butter Filth

The stand-out choice among power paddles, this one not only looks unique, but it plays like no other. Fun, lively, and loaded up with spin—the Filth goes hard.

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Read my full review

Best runner-up

Photo of the Selkirk VANGUARD Power Air Invikta pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

2. Selkirk VANGUARD Power Air Invikta

Despite plenty of new competition, the Selkirk Power Air Invikta is still one of the best paddles for hard-hitters—especially advanced players.
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Best cheap

Photo of the Six Zero Sapphire pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

3. Six Zero Sapphire

The Six Zero Sapphire is a budget offering from one of my favorite brands. Great for intermediates, it's a powerful paddle made from premium carbon fiber.

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Best for spin

Photo of the CRBN-1X Power Series pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

4. CRBN-1X Power Series

The CRBN-1X is the most powerful of CRBN's highly-rated Power Series. This elongated paddle plays with crazy spin and power.

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Also great

Photo of the ProKennex Black Ace Pro pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

5. ProKennex Black Ace Pro

One for pure power players, the ProKennex Black Ace hits incredibly hard. With so much drive and pop in every shot, this is a lot of fun to play with.

Which paddle is best for you?

Before buying a 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 power paddles make the list:

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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 pickleball paddles for power in 2024

Read on to find out which is best for your game:

Best overall

1. Bread & Butter Filth

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The best power paddle of 2023
10/10

Power

8/10

Control

10/10

Spin

8/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You want awesome spin to match power:

    I scored this 10/10 for both power and spin.

  • You need an all-court power paddle:

    the Filth has more than enough control to boost your overall game.

  • You want something light but powerful:

    at 8 oz, this plays fast and is maneuverable for a thermoformed paddle.

Pass if:

  • You need more forgiveness:

    the sweet spot is medium-sized, so try the CRBN-1X instead for a more forgiving power paddle.

  • You're on a budget:

    the Six Zero Sapphire is my favorite affordable power paddle.

  • You don't want a thermoformed paddle:

    the Selkirk Power Air Invikta has almost as much power and isn't thermoformed.

Bread & Butter

Bread & Butter

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Paddle weight

8 oz

Paddle length

16 ½"

Paddle width

7 ⅜"

Handle length

5 ½"

Based on power alone, nothing hits like the Bread & Butter Filth. It's so aggressive and wild. Some people might find it too much, but if you're a banger like me, this paddle was made for you.
Who it's for
This paddle is made for bangers. If you like to hit hard and play with spin, you won't find a better paddle in my opinion. It also has enough control to suit any intermediate who likes to play an aggressive game, all the way up to pros at tournaments.
Features
This paddle is thermoformed and has a unibody construction with foam running from the walls into the handle to give it some added stability. The paddle face is T700 raw carbon fiber, which creates the high levels of spin.
Design and feel
The Bread & Butter Filth is one of the most standout paddles I've ever seen in pickleball. The face has a 60s-style hazy pattern and the grips come in bright colors.
While the paddle wasn't super plush-feeling, it's definitely not as stiff as most other thermoformed paddles. However, I do wish the grip wasn't so slippy in hot weather.
Performance
I wasn't sure what to expect with this paddle, but its power surprised me. I understood pretty quickly why it's called the Filth—it hits shots that are just plain filthy. That's because the spin is right up there to match the power.
Just know that you'll probably have a few mishits and flyers while you adjust to this paddle. I had it dialed in after a few sessions, though, and was hitting hard topspin serves and drives, backspin, and sidespin with ease.
Control is fairly good, but I do wish there was more forgiveness as the sweet spot isn't too big.
Value for money
If you're looking to spend under $200 for a power paddle, this is a bargain. For just $165, you're getting my favorite overall power paddle of 2023.
To learn more, check out my full Bread & Butter Filth review.
star icon
My verdict
The B&B Filth is even more powerful than the CRBN-1X, with spin to match the Legacy Pro, and 8/10 for control. When you factor in its excellent value, the Filth is the well-deserved winner of the top power paddle in 2023.

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Best runner-up

2. Selkirk VANGUARD Power Air Invikta

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A long-standing favorite of power players
10/10

Power

7/10

Control

10/10

Spin

6/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You're a banger:

    if you love to play with lots of spin and hard drive, this paddle was made for you.

  • You're an advanced player:

    players at level 4.0-5.0 won't worry so much about the lack of control.

  • You want something really aerodynamic:

    I managed to get a fast swing speed with this paddle's "air dynamic throat".

Pass if:

  • You're a beginner:

    you'll need something more forgiving, so try the Paddletek Bantam TS-5 (my top beginner paddle in 2023).

  • You need control:

    my soft game struggled with this. Try the CRBN-1X for a great blend of power and control.

  • You're on a budget:

    the next paddle on this list, the Six Zero Sapphire, is my favorite cheap power paddle at just $99.

Selkirk

Selkirk

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Paddle weight

7.7-8.1 oz

Paddle length

16 ½"

Paddle width

7 ⅜"

Handle length

5 ¼"

Sure, the Bread & Butter Filth topped my list thanks to it having more control and forgiveness for a better all-court game. However, the Power Air Invikta from Selkirk still has the best combination of power and spin of any paddle I tested this year.
There's a reason it's the paddle of choice for hard-hitting pros like Tyson McGuffin.
Who it's for
If you're a beginner or an early intermediate, I suggest avoiding this paddle. It doesn't have a lot of control or forgiveness. If you're an attacking player who plays with hard drives and serves, I think you'll love it. It suits players at levels 4.0 and up, all the way to the top pros.
Features
The standout feature is the "air dynamic throat" that helps the paddle cut through the air. It makes your swing speed fast and helps you generate a ton of power and spin. The edgeless face gives the Power Air Invikta a large playing surface too, helping its forgiveness slightly.
Design and feel
I really like how this paddle looks and feels. It has a unique design with the V-shaped throat. It also feels super premium and well-built while being quite light in your hands.
Performance
I'd put this right next to the Bread & Butter Filth as the most powerful paddle I've ever tested. It has spin to match, with the grit-covered face catching the ball and loading up crazy spin.
Forgiveness and control are lacking, though. It has a stiff feel and it took me a few sessions to get used to how poppy it is, especially on dinks in the kitchen and third shot drops.
Value for money
It's a big ask charging $250 for a paddle, but some players just love this one. So, if you're a high-level power player, this might be the perfect fit for you. Anyone else can probably skip it and try the Bread & Butter Filth ($165) instead.
To learn more, check out my full Selkirk VANGUARD Power Air Invikta review.
star icon
My verdict
If you like to play hard and fast, the Selkirk Power Air Invikta might be perfect for you. It's got the highest-level combo of power and spin I've ever tested. However, beginners beware—I think you need to be 4.0-5.0 to be successful with this paddle.

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Best cheap

3. Six Zero Sapphire

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A hard-hitting thermoformed power paddle for only $99
8/10

Power

7/10

Control

7/10

Spin

7/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You're on a budget:

    this is a ridiculously good-value power paddle at only $99.

  • You want a lightweight power paddle:

    the low swing weight helps to make this paddle maneuverable.

  • You want a cheap thermoformed paddle:

    this is the only thermoformed paddle under $100 (that I'm aware of).

Pass if:

  • You want a spin machine:

    spin is good, but it's nowhere near as high as the next paddle on this list, the CRBN-1X Power Series.

  • You're an advanced player:

    the Selkirk Power Air Invikta is more powerful and loaded up with spin, better for high-level players.

  • You're new to pickleball:

    fresh beginners will likely find this has too much pop. Try a control-focused beginner paddle like the PCKL Launch Series.

Selkirk

Selkirk

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Paddle weight

7.9-8 oz

Paddle length

16 ½"

Paddle width

7 ½"

Handle length

5 ⅗"

Most paddles under $100 are beginner-level and don't have much power or spin. When the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash came along, I had to completely rethink what could be done at such a low price. However, the PRISM Flash is more of a control paddle.
Next thing I know, Six Zero come out with the Sapphire—the best pickleball paddle for power under $100 I've ever seen.
Who it's for
This is a great intermediate paddle. If you're stepping up from beginner level and want to introduce power to your game without spending a lot of money, the Sapphire is an excellent paddle to consider.
Features
A thermoformed build and a Toray T700 carbon fiber face—these are premium features for such a cheap paddle.
While the gritty epoxy coating applied to the face gives it some spin, I know from experience the surface might wear down over time. Besides that, this paddle should last a long time.
Design and feel
This doesn't look or feel like a cheap paddle when you unbox it. It lives up to the very high standards Six Zero set with the Double Black Diamond Control. It's obviously not as plush as the DBD, but it feels like a quality, affordable version. It has the same light, fast feel.
Performance
I'm a huge fan of the Six Zero DBD Control (I even named it my overall favorite of the best pickleball paddles in 2023). The Sapphire plays like a cheaper version of that and even has similar levels of power.
I was able to hit hard putaways and drives with ease. While it doesn't have excellent spin or control, it has more than enough to round out your game.
Value for money
The Six Zero Sapphire is an extremely impressive thermoformed paddle that performs at a really high level while costing just $99. I'd even say it rivals the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash for the best paddle under $100.
If you want more control, go for the PRISM. If you want power, the Sapphire is a better option.
star icon
My verdict
I never thought I'd see a powerful thermoformed paddle for just $99. The future of pickleball is getting more and more exciting as new brands come up with ways to make cheap paddles that rival the most expensive. The Six Zero Sapphire is the latest, and I'd say it's the best affordable paddle for power players in 2023.

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Best for spin

4. CRBN-1X Power Series

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A heavy hitting spin machine
9/10

Power

8/10

Control

10/10

Spin

9/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You're a spin lover:

    this is one of the best spin paddles in all of pickleball.

  • You need power too:

    this is the most powerful offering in the CRBN Power Series family.

  • You want a forgiving paddle:

    a large sweet spot and minimal dead zones lead to plenty of forgiveness.

Pass if:

  • You want an aerodynamic paddle:

    I felt a bit of lag with this, so try the Selkirk Power Air Invikta instead.

  • You need a bigger sweet spot:

    the 1X's sweet spot is still large, but the CRBN-2X and 3X are even more forgiving.

  • You're on a budget:

    check out the Six Zero Sapphire, my top pick for cheap power paddles.

CRBN

CRBN

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Paddle weight

7.8-8.1 oz

Paddle length

16 ½"

Paddle width

7 ½"

Handle length

5 ½"

If you want a power paddle that has 10/10 spin, it's a tie between the Bread & Butter Filth and the CRBN Power Series paddles.
Since the Filth is my overall choice for power paddles, I've gone with the CRBN-1X as my top spin choice for power players. The 1X is more powerful than the 2X and 3X and gets the same great spin.
Who it's for
I think this most suits intermediates who are starting to advance toward that 4.0 level and want to play an attacking, aggressive game. It has tons of power and spin, as well as enough control to keep your game well-rounded.
Features
The most famous feature of CRBN paddles is the carbon fiber face, which generates great spin and won't wear down easily.
The Power Series paddles have a unibody construction with a foam-injected perimeter for extra stability. I like the responsive, muted feel and generous sweet spot of this paddle.
Design and feel
Even though it's a black carbon paddle like so many others, I personally like how simple the CRBN-1X looks. Since it's made with quality materials, it looks premium.
It feels solid in the hands, though slightly head-heavy compared to the 2X and 3X. This heaviness does translate to more power, though.
Performance
With how powerful and poppy the 1X is, balls just fly off its face. The spin is super-charged too, so I felt confident hitting deep serves, as well as low and hard third shot drives.
While it can be a little slow at the kitchen, it has enough control and accuracy to round out my game thanks to the large sweet spot. Since it's an elongated paddle, you get extra reach defending lobs and attacking volleys.
Value for money
While there are excellent cheaper options for aggressive players, like the Bread & Butter Filth and the Legacy Pro, I believe CRBN have earned their premium price tag.
CRBN paddles have been around longer than most, and I think their tech is simply a cut above competitors. So, if you prefer to go for a trusted brand, I think the $230 investment is justified.
To learn more, check out my full CRBN-1X Power Series review.
star icon
My verdict
Few power paddles give you a complete game quite like the CRBN-1X. It hits hard and has enough control to play all-court. However, my favorite part is the spin—you can hit hard topspin serves and drives that are hard to defend against. If you like to hit hard, this paddle's for you.

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Also great

5. ProKennex Black Ace Pro

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A paddle that's all about power
10/10

Power

7/10

Control

8/10

Spin

6/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You're a hard hitter:

    this is one of the most powerful paddles I've ever played with.

  • You want a lighter paddle:

    While most power paddles are 8.0 oz or higher, this is the rare one below 8.0 oz.

  • You're injury prone:

    this paddle minimizes vibrations to your hands and arms—great for players with tennis elbow.

Pass if:

  • You don't want to spend over $200:

    the Bread & Butter Filth has similar power but is 33% cheaper.

  • You need more spin:

    I found the spin lacking compared to paddles like the CRBN-1X.

  • Your game needs control:

    this paddle isn't great for control. Try the Bread & Butter Filth or CRBN-1X for a more complete paddle.

Paddle weight

7.95 oz

Paddle length

15 ⅘"

Paddle width

7 ⅗"

Handle length

5 ⅓"

I couldn't make a "best of" list of power paddles and not include the ProKennex Black Ace. It's one of the hardest-hitting paddles ever made—especially for a paddle on the lighter side.
The reason it didn't top any of the other categories is because this is a niche paddle. It's for a certain type of player only.
Who it's for
This is a paddle for heavy hitters who don't care as much about control. Beginners and most intermediates will struggle with it.
However, if you have a strong drive game, you'll love how much power the Black Ace has. It's also a great option for players who want to protect against injuries but still want to play with power.
Features
The most unique feature of ProKennex paddles is their "kinetic technology", which they claim absorbs shocks and vibration. This is supposed to help players who suffer from tennis elbow.
The Black Ace Pro has a cool bumper around the top of the paddle head too. This should hopefully reinforce the edges and make it a long-lasting paddle.
Design and feel
I'm on the fence about the big "Ace of Cards" symbol on the paddle face. Some people love it, some don't, but it certainly stands out.
What's more important is that this paddle feels incredibly stable and premium in my hand. The octagonal handle is one of the comfiest I've held, probably because ProKennex has a long history of making tennis rackets.
Performance
You're buying this paddle for its power, and you won't be let down on that front. The ball just wants to fly off this face. You'll need to watch out for flyers while you get used to it, but once you do, it'll hit harder than almost any other paddle on the market.
Unfortunately, you sacrifice control and forgiveness for all that pop. An even bigger letdown is the lack of spin. Most modern power paddles are loaded up with tons of spin, which stops the Black Ace Pro from being a truly exceptional paddle.
However, when taken as a pure power paddle, this one is hard to beat.
Value for money
I wish the Black Ace Pro were cheaper than $250. It's an elite power paddle, for sure, but it lacks the spin and control to round out your game. If it were $180 instead, I think it would appeal to a wider range of players.
That said, you won't find a more powerful paddle under 8.0 oz. So, if you're a hard-hitter who also wants a quick paddle, this one is worth the investment.
star icon
My verdict
I think you're either going to love or hate the ProKennex Black Ace. A lot of people will find it too poppy and unforgiving to handle. However, if you like to hit hard and prefer a lighter paddle, this is worth every penny and one to consider for your next investment.

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How to choose the best pickleball paddle for power

I tested over 30 pickleball paddles in 2023 and even more in 2024. While this list reflects my own honest opinions based on these testing sessions, I also made sure to consult plenty of other sources. I read reviews from both experts and customers to get a full perspective on what's available.

Brandon Mackie showing off the Bread & Butter Filth pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie showing off the Bread & Butter Filth pickleball paddle

Here are some of the things I think are important when picking a power paddle:

Paddle size / shape

Elongated paddles (those longer than 16" and less than 8" wide) are usually the most powerful. As you'll see from my list, 4 out of 5 paddles are 16.5" in length.

Shorter paddles tend to be more control-focused but there are exceptions. Some elongated paddles don't have the best power, while the ProKennex Black Ace is an example of a paddle shorter than 16" that packs a serious punch.

Paddle weight

You'd think that the heavier the paddle the more powerful it is, but that's not always true. Let's look at the rough weight categories for pickleball paddles:

  • Lightweight: 7.2 oz and under
  • Midweight: 7.3-8.3 oz
  • Heavyweight: 8.4 oz and over

The paddles on my power list average just over 8 oz in weight. In fact, they all fall in the midweight category. Lots of heavyweight paddles are powerful but tend to have a higher swing weight too, meaning it can be harder to swing fast (which generates power).

The paddles I found the most powerful are often ones that have enough heft but still allow you to swing hard to get lots of power.

Surface material

As you'll see from my list, most newer power paddles have a carbon fiber surface. The only one that isn't fully carbon is the Selkirk Power Air Invikta. That's one of the older paddles and even that is a blend of carbon fiber and fiberglass.

Carbon fiber helps to add spin but is also just a really strong and durable material, leading to reliable power.

You'll see fiberglass paddles out there too. This was more common before carbon fiber took over but it's still a solid, poppy material that can lead to really great power. Graphite paddles, meanwhile, are usually less powerful and more control-oriented.

Core thickness

This is one of the most important features in any paddle, so you'll often see it appearing prominently. Most paddles have a core thickness somewhere between 10 mm and 16 mm.

Usually, a thinner core means more power and pop. So, a 13 mm paddle should have more bang than a 16 mm paddle, which have a reputation for being control paddles.

That's not always the case, though, as the #1 on my list this year is the Bread & Butter Filth (a 16 mm paddle). That's why it's important to read reviews before you rush into buying a paddle.

Durability

Durability is always important. There's no point in having a powerful paddle that wears down quickly. Some paddles are known to start falling apart within months.

Make sure you're reading reviews and checking if the paddle you're about to buy is made from long-lasting materials. Durability is an important category in all of my reviews and something I factor in when making an overall assessment.

Price

The paddles on this list range from $99 up to $250. Mostly, you get what you pay for, and I've yet to see a real power paddle for under $90. The big surprise this year is the Six Zero Sapphire, my pick for the best budget power paddle. It packs a real punch at just $99.

The Selkirk Power Air Invikta and the ProKennex Black Ace cost $250, while the overall winner is the Bread & Butter Filth at just $165. So, although you often get what you pay for, it's not always the case.

Name brands, like Selkirk and ProKennex, also price at a premium, and you'll pay for that.

How to add more power to your shots

Once you've bought the right paddle, consider these tips to help you generate more power:

  • Posture: most of the power in your swing comes from your legs. For starters, try standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure you're standing tall with your chin up and chest out. As you swing, push your back foot forward, transferring the weight of your body to your front foot. This kind of hip rotation will put more force behind your shots.
  • Follow-through: make sure you're putting a lot of follow-through on your shots. Don't be afraid to take a big backswing too (but don't do this on your drops).
  • Spin: learning how to hit with topspin will give your shots more control. This allows you to swing harder and hit with more power.

Bottom line

We're really spoiled for choice in 2024, with so many new and exciting power paddles. Newer brands keep appearing, and established brands are putting out top-quality offerings with crazy power behind them.

My favorite power paddle this year is the Bread & Butter Filth. A newcomer to the scene, it's a game-changer for its combination of drive, spin, weighting, and control. I expect we'll see a lot of brands scrambling to make something as good next year at the $165 price point.

Here's a recap of my top 5 paddles for power players:

  1. Bread & Butter Filth - Best overall
  2. Selkirk Power Air Invikta - Best runner-up
  3. Six Zero Sapphire - Best cheap
  4. CRBN-1X Power Series - Best for spin
  5. ProKennex Black Ace - Also great

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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