Pickleball Gear

Best carbon fiber pickleball paddles in 2024 - top 6 compared

picture of Brandon Mackie
Brandon Mackie

Updated on: Nov 3, 2023

The best carbon fiber pickleball paddles: the Six Zero DBD Control, the JOOLA Perseus, and the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash

If you want to improve your pickleball game overnight, my advice is to try a carbon fiber paddle. These are the current favorites in pickleball in 2024 because they offer better performance than any other technology.

With so many options on the market, it's hard to choose the right one. I got my hands on the best carbon fiber pickleball paddles from top brands like Six Zero, JOOLA, and CRBN to test them for myself and share my favorites.

Best pickleball paddles at a glance

Best overall

Photo of the Six Zero Double Black Diamond Control pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

1. Six Zero Double Black Diamond Control

The DBD Control paddle proved the best in my testing, delivering elite performance at an appealing price.
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Read my deep dive

Runner-up

Photo of the JOOLA Perseus pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

2. JOOLA Perseus

A great all-court paddle, the Perseus corrected many of the Hyperion's flaws, including being 0.5 oz lighter and quicker in my hands.
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Best cheap

Photo of the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

3. Vatic Pro PRISM Flash

The Vatic Pro PRISM Flash provides power and control that rivals $200 or higher paddles, making it one of the best deals I've seen in 2023.
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Best for power

Photo of the CRBN-1X Power Series pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

4. CRBN-1X Power Series

The CRBN-1X Power Series delivers power and great spin for experienced, offensive players.
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Best for control

Photo of the Vatic Pro Flash pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

5. Vatic Pro Flash

The Vatic Pro Flash offers the power benefits of thermoformed paddles with a soft, forgiving feel and an attractive price point.
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Best for spin

Photo of the Legacy Pro pickleball paddle

Our Rating:

6. Legacy Pro

The Legacy Pro offers great spin and all-around performance, making it a great upgrade option for spin junkies at intermediate to advanced level.
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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 carbon fiber 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 carbon fiber pickleball paddles in 2024

Let's deep dive into why I picked these as my favorites:

Best overall

1. Six Zero Double Black Diamond Control

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An elite carbon fiber paddle with excellent value for money
9/10

Power

9/10

Control

10/10

Spin

9/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You want a paddle that does it all:

    this paddle offers power and control—I gave it 9/10 for both.

  • You don't want to spend over $200 for a household name:

    this outshines even the best from JOOLA and Selkirk, proving you don't need to spend a fortune.

  • You want more spin in your game:

    I could load up topspin, sidespin, backspin—anything I needed, and this paddle never let me down.

  • You're a beginner:

    if you're just starting out, consider the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash, which offers more forgiveness.

  • You want maximum reach:

    the DBD is a hybrid shape. Try the CRBN-1X for an elongated paddle with great reach.

  • You struggle with control:

    the DBD hits hard with lots of pop, so try the Vatic Pro Flash for more control.

Six Zero

Six Zero

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Paddle Weight

8.1 oz

Paddle Length

16.3"

Paddle Width

7.5" to 7.7"

Handle Length

5.5" (mine measures 5.25")

Grip Circumference

4.25"

Paddle Face Material

Toray T700 raw carbon

Core Material

"Premium" honeycomb polymer

Core Thickness

16 mm

Sweet Spot

Medium

The Six Zero Black Diamond Control performed high on my tests in every performance category and I'm honestly struggling to find any major flaws in it. For the price, this paddle will elevate almost any intermediate player's game.
Who it's for
I'd recommend this to any intermediate players looking for their first carbon fiber paddle. It's also a great option for advanced players who want the spin and control that Gen 1 carbon fiber paddles provide but without their softness.
Features
As is common in Gen 2 carbon fiber paddles, the DBD Control has a thermoformed body. Thermoformed paddles give more power, but they are known for playing stiff and taking a while to adjust.
In my recent test of the Volair Mach 1 FORZA, for example, I felt that stiffness, but not with this paddle. The DBD Control had just a bit of that plush feel the JOOLA Hyperion was known for. It felt natural out of the box, though it's not an overly soft or plush paddle.
Design and feel
The CEO of Six Zero claims he spent 18 months designing every element of this paddle and I think it shows. Everything from the materials, the design, the aerodynamics, and the carbon fiber face feels super premium and thoughtfully designed.
Performance
Even though I'm more of a power player (and carbon fiber paddles tend to be more control-oriented), I could hit hard, deep shots consistently with the DBD Control. I could also generate impressive topspin serves, and put away points when I had even just a small window to work with.
It's not as powerful as a pure power paddle like the Selkirk Power Air Invikta or the ProKennex Black Ace. However, if you're mostly playing doubles and need a more balanced game with touch and control (which almost all intermediate players do), this paddle is a better bet.
Value for money
The DBD Control offers incredible value. This paddle outperforms just about all the top paddles from pickleball's most respected brands, including the JOOLA Perseus, the Selkirk Power Air Invikta, and the Gearbox CX14E Ultimate Power (all around the $250 mark).
star icon
My verdict
The DBD Control is the best overall carbon fiber pickleball paddle available. This paddle plays better than top paddles from JOOLA at a fraction of the price. The DBD has loads of power and spin, with enough control for an all-around game. It's my top pick of 2023—and can boost almost any intermediate's game.

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Runner-up

2. JOOLA Perseus

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The new signature Ben Johns paddle that exceeds its predecessor, the Hyperion
8/10

Power

10/10

Control

8/10

Spin

8/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You play in long sessions:

    I used this for over 3 hours at a time. Its light swing weight kept it comfortable.

  • You're a JOOLA or Ben Johns fan:

    as JOOLA's most advanced carbon paddle, the Perseus corrected the flaws of the Hyperion.

  • You enjoy hands battles at the kitchen:

    this paddle's low static and swing weight makes it great for fast kitchen exchanges.

Pass if:

  • You're on a budget:

    some cheaper thermoformed paddles play just as well, and even better for some play styles, like the Six Zero DBD.

  • You struggle popping up balls:

    try the Vatic Pro Flash for less pop and more control.

  • You're prone to mishits:

    I found the Perseus' sweet spot too small, so try the Six Zero DBD for a more generous sweet spot.

Pickleball Central

Pickleball Central

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Paddle Weight

8.0 oz

Paddle Length

16.5"

Paddle Width

7.5"

Handle Length

5.5"

Grip Circumference

4.25"

Paddle Face Material

Toray T700 raw carbon fiber with textured finish

Core Material

"Reactive" polypropylene honeycomb

Core Thickness

16 mm

Sweet Spot

Small

When the world #1 Ben Johns releases a new-and-improved paddle, you have to take note. Ben Johns started using the prototype of the Perseus at the end of 2022 and it became his new signature paddle in June 2023. It seems to work really well for him.
However, the Perseus is more than a marketing exercise. It packages together a suite of features that can be very useful to amateur players, too.
Who it's for
Intermediate to advanced players can all find something to like about the JOOLA Perseus. It's ideal for players who need help with control. In fact, it has the best control of any thermoformed paddle I tested in 2023.
Given the small sweet spot, you need to be at least 4.0 to get the best results with this paddle.
Features
The Perseus is thermoformed, which is designed to add power, and I found this to be true in testing. Its foam-injected edges are meant to add stability, and the honeycomb core was chosen to "maximize the consistency of the bounce," according to JOOLA.
While the foam injection definitely adds stability and control, the bounce off the paddle didn't feel consistent to me during play. Hitting closer to the edges gave me mishits.
That said, it is impressive that they managed to add the foam injection and carbon fiber in the perimeter and keep the weight at 8.0 oz.
Design and feel
This is the first "unibody" pickleball paddle released from JOOLA, meaning the face and handle are welded together. The JOOLA Hyperion, which preceded the Perseus, received a lot of criticism from players who found their handles were breaking off.
The fully encased design on the Perseus suggests JOOLA took that feedback to heart. Despite its stiffness, this paddle is fun to play with. The extra swing speed I managed to generate helped load up power and spin, even though this paddle isn't the best in that category.
Performance
You won't become a professional pickleball player with this paddle alone, but it certainly gives you all-court performance. Perseus made some very daunting tasks on the court feel much more accessible, like defending lobs, resetting hard shots, and surviving long dink rallies.
However, what it gains in control, it sacrifices in forgiveness. There will be a learning curve for anyone not used to carbon fiber paddles, as there's a smaller margin for error on shots.
Value for money
The Perseus is a great paddle, but its price is high compared to other great options. The DBD Control from Six Zero, which took the top spot, is a better-performing, similar paddle with a price that's significantly lower than Perseus's.
To learn more, check out my JOOLA Perseus pickleball paddle review.
star icon
My verdict
If you're a Ben Johns or JOOLA fan, I recommend this paddle. It has great control, solid power, and is much lighter than the previous Hyperion. Due to the small sweet spot, you need to be 4.0-5.0 to really like this paddle, but it's an awesome all-court performer in the right hands.

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Best cheap

3. Vatic Pro PRISM Flash

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A high-performance paddle for under $100
8/10

Power

10/10

Control

9/10

Spin

9/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You want to upgrade without spending a fortune:

    there are 100s of paddle options, but this one hits the sweet spot for price and performance.

  • You prefer control paddles:

    the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash offers plenty of power and spin, but it's also noticeably soft.

  • You want durability:

    the Toray T700 raw carbon fiber surface holds up well under extended play, making it a good "daily driver" paddle.

Pass if:

  • Your style of play is fast or aggressive:

    this paddle might not hit hard enough, so I'd recommend the CRBN-1X instead.

  • You have a two-handed backhand:

    the handle will likely be too short for you. You might prefer the JOOLA Perseus.

  • You get into lots of hands battles:

    the PRISM Flash is head heavy and can play a bit slow at the kitchen.

Vatic Pro

Vatic Pro

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Paddle Weight

7.7-7.9 oz (14 mm paddle) / 7.9-8.2 oz (16 mm paddle)

Paddle Length

16 ⅓"

Paddle Width

7 ⅔"

Handle Length

5 ⅓"

Grip Circumference

4 ⅛"

Paddle Face Material

Raw Toray T700 carbon

Core Material

Polymer honeycomb

Core Thickness

14 mm or 16 mm

Sweet Spot

Medium

I think the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash will satisfy many types of players who want a carbon fiber paddle but are hesitant to spend $200 or more. It's simply the best deal in all of pickleball right now.
Who it's for
This is a great option for anyone who's getting serious about the sport and wants something better than an entry-level paddle. It's a serious upgrade that will continue to serve you as you advance to higher levels.
The PRISM Flash is ideal for intermediate players or higher who want a raw carbon fiber paddle that offers a good amount of power and control. This paddle is not thermoformed, so it's a great option if you find thermoformed paddles too powerful.
Features
The Vatic Pro PRISM Flash offers many of the same features as the JOOLA Hyperion but for about half the price.
However, unlike the Hyperion, the PRISM Flash has a unibody design, meaning the handle and face are made from one continuous piece of carbon. This makes it stronger and avoids snapping at the handle.
Design and feel
The PRISM Flash feels sturdy and reliable, if a bit bland. Its simple, all-black design with minimal branding makes it sleek. It feels solid in the hand, but not heavy, and delivers a medium swing weight.
Performance
Often with carbon fiber paddles, you have to make a choice between paddles with pop (like the JOOLA Perseus) or soft paddles (like the Vatic Pro Flash). The PRISM Flash does a great job packaging up both.
The inconsistent sweet spot is the biggest issue I found separating this paddle from its more expensive comps, like the CRBN-1X and the Six Zero DBD Control.
Value for money
Few pickleball paddles on the market offer this much value for the price. The Vatic Pro PRISM Flash delivers power, control, and spin on par with paddles that are over twice as expensive. That makes it an unbeatable value.
It can suit a wide range of play styles, so I'm confident it'll serve you well if you decide to try it out. To learn more, check out my Vatic Pro PRISM Flash pickleball paddle review.
star icon
My verdict
If you're shopping for your first performance paddle, you can't really go wrong with the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash. This paddle scored between 8 and 10 on every performance metric, giving it almost unheard-of performance for the price. At under $100, it's one of the best deals in 2023.

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Best for power

4. CRBN-1X Power Series

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A blend of power and spin for offensive players
9/10

Power

8/10

Control

10/10

Spin

9/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You want more power:

    I loved this paddle on hard drives and putaways—perfect for an aggressive play style.

  • You want extra reach:

    I'd tie this with the JOOLA Perseus as the best performing elongated paddle in 2023.

  • You hit a two-handed backhand:

    the handle is a comfortable 5.5" long.

Pass if:

  • You're a beginner:

    I'd recommend the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash as a more forgiving entry option.

  • You prefer soft paddles:

    the ball flies off this face and can create pop-ups.

  • You're on a budget:

    at $229, this doesn't come cheap. Try the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash for a more affordable option.

CRBN

CRBN

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Pickleball Central

Pickleball Central

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Paddle Weight

7.8-8.1 oz

Paddle Length

16 ½"

Paddle Width

7 ½"

Handle Length

5 ½"

Grip Circumference

4 ¼"

Paddle Face Material

Carbon fiber

Core Material

Honeycomb polypropylene core

Core Thickness

14 mm or 16 mm

Sweet Spot

Large

CRBN promised that their new "X" power series would be their most powerful yet, and I can confirm they delivered. The elongated 1X is the most powerful of all their new models, which is why I made it my top pick for power players who like to play aggressive.
Who it's for
This is for intermediate and advanced players who use an aggressive, offensive style of play. The paddle is one of the best out there for spin, and you'll need it to keep balls from going out with the amount of power this paddle has. I sure did. For that reason, it's not beginner-friendly.
Features
The CRBN-1X has all the features that serious players want today: a carbon fiber face, a unibody design, and foam-injected edges. While this does make it stiff, it gives it a heavier feel and I found I could hit really hard with it as a result.
Design and feel
Visually, you can just tell CRBN paddles are top-notch. This paddle feels expensive and sturdy. It's head heavy, which takes some getting used to at the net.
Performance
What the heaviness of the CRBN-1X takes away in speed, it makes up for with power. The sweet spot is also generous, making for a reasonably forgiving paddle compared to other power paddles I've tested.
However, be prepared for plenty of pop with the CRBN-1X. Some players will love that—I didn't mind it personally—but others will find it too much.
Value for money
The CRBN-1X is expensive, but I'm convinced it's worth the premium price. I felt confident hitting hard third-shot drives and deep aggressive serves. Plus, the big sweet spot is very forgiving.
With the blend of power, control, and spin, I'd happily recommend this paddle to any player willing to make the investment. To learn more, check out my CRBN-1X Power Series pickleball paddle review.
star icon
My verdict
I play with the CRBN-1X every single week. If you're an aggressive player like me, you'll love how hard this paddle hits. It's the forgiving sweet spot, big spin, and responsive feel that really make this paddle worth the premium. I always recommend this to any rising intermediates who like to play aggressive.

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Best for control

5. Vatic Pro Flash

Loading...

An intermediate player's dream—great control, big spin, and enough power
7.5/10

Power

8/10

Control

9/10

Spin

10/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You want control:

    this is the softest thermoformed paddle I've played with to date—it was great for my touch shots.

  • Spin is important to you:

    whether it was simple drops or low topspin drops, I hardly ever missed with this paddle.

  • You can swing hard:

    there was almost no amount of swing I could put on a serve and have it go out.

Pass if:

  • You're prone to injury or fatigue:

    I had to swing pretty hard to get serves and drives to go as deep as I needed them. Try the Six Zero DBD instead.

  • You don't like stiff paddles:

    if the thermoformed feel isn't for you, I recommend the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash instead.

  • You're a pure power player:

    this is a soft paddle, so I'd have liked more pop and power at times. Try the CRBN-1X for more power.

Vatic Pro

Vatic Pro

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Paddle Weight

7.8-8.0 oz

Paddle Length

16.3"

Paddle Width

7.7"

Handle Length

5.3"

Grip Circumference

4.125"

Paddle Face Material

Raw TORAY T700 carbon fiber

Core Material

Optimized C7 Polymers and high-grade performance honeycomb

Core Thickness

14 mm or 16 mm

Sweet Spot

Large

On paper, the Vatic Pro Flash has all the specs of elite thermoformed paddles like the Bread & Butter Filth and even the JOOLA Perseus. I was skeptical of whether it would play well on the court, but having tested it myself, I'm really happy with its performance.
Who it's for
This is an excellent choice for intermediate players who prefer control paddles and don't want to pay a premium price.
While power was very slightly lacking, the combination of forgiveness, spin, and a great price point makes this paddle one of the best deals in pickleball.
Features
The Vatic Pro Flash's unibody design gives it power but also stiffness. It's also thermoformed, which delivers excellent control.
While I agree it does have decent power, it's not nearly as much as I've found in other thermoformed paddles like the Six Zero DBD Control and the Bread & Butter Filth.
Design and feel
This is a simple black paddle with a little pop of color, which I personally like. The Flash is all about providing performance at a good price. It's for players who don't want to pay for fancy designs and brand names.
Performance
I found the Vatic Pro Flash light and comfortable to play with. The only downside for me as a power player is that I had to swing hard to generate the amount of power I like to play with. This gets tiring after a while, so I can see it putting some players off.
Value for money
This paddle couldn't score higher for value—it's a high-end paddle at a competitive price ($139). The only deal that rivals it is the Flash's cousin paddle, the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash ($99).
star icon
My verdict
Don't let the price fool you—the Vatic Pro Flash is an elite paddle that performs on par with $200 or higher paddles like the JOOLA Perseus and CRBN-1X Power Series. I can see this paddle helping intermediate players win more games, thanks to its forgiving feel. If you're buying your first step-up paddle, I can't recommend this paddle enough.

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Best for spin

6. Legacy Pro

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A great all-around paddle with elite spin levels
7.5/10

Power

9/10

Control

10/10

Spin

9.5/10

Forgiveness

Buy if:

  • You play with a lot of spin:

    I've seen spin tests over 1,900 RPMs, putting it in the top 5% of paddles in 2023.

  • You're a tennis player:

    the huge topspin you can hit with the Legacy Pro will feel natural to you.

  • You need more control:

    I found this paddle had that muted, dampening feel of the CRBN-1X that helped take pace off the ball.

Pass if:

  • You're a power player:

    this paddle hit softer than I expected, so check out the CRBN-1X instead.

  • You need something quick in the hands:

    the Legacy Pro is a bit sluggish in fast kitchen exchanges. Try the JOOLA Perseus.

  • You want a control paddle:

    while this paddle has lots of control, the Vatic Pro Flash is better as a pure control paddle.

Legacy

Legacy

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Paddle Weight

8.0-8.4 oz

Paddle Length

16 ½"

Paddle Width

7 ½"

Handle Length

5.3"

Grip Circumference

4.125"

Paddle Face Material

Carbon fiber

Core Material

8 mm polymer honeycomb cells

Core Thickness

16 mm

Sweet Spot

Large

This paddle was recommended to me as a great spin paddle that's competitively priced, so I had to check it out. After testing it for two weeks on the courts, I'm calling this a great all-court paddle that's the best out there for spin. It's also a bargain at $150.
Who it's for
Given the price point, this paddle is a perfect upgrade paddle for a player coming out of the beginner phase having learned to hit more advanced shots, like drops, and is playing with more spin.
Anyone with a tennis background will also feel very comfortable playing with the Legacy Pro, thanks to the huge topspin you can get with it.
Features
Not only does the Legacy Pro have a Toray T700 carbon fiber surface, but it also features a unique weave pattern. This might be behind the massive spin it can generate.
The paddle is thermoformed, which adds stability and enlarges the sweet spot. While thermoforming also usually gives you more power, I found that the Legacy Pro didn't hit as hard as I expected.
Design and feel
The Legacy Pro has an elongated shape, which helped me put more power into it, as well as get that extra reach.
Aesthetically, it's a fairly simple black-and-white paddle. So, it's not the most exciting looking, but it's for players who care more about performance.
Performance
I was surprised to see this paddle play on the softer side, especially after hearing from others how hard this paddle hit. I felt the softness most on overhead smashes that just came off the face a little slow and gave my opponent the chance to reset and get back in the point.
You can still play a power game with this paddle—just know it will be easier with other paddles like the CRBN-1X.
Value for money
At $150, this is a great deal for a performance paddle that can compare to the JOOLA Perseus for $100 less. It's right up there with the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash and the Vatic Pro Flash in the "best value" category.
star icon
My verdict
The Legacy Pro is a really well-designed paddle. You can put the kind of spin on the ball where your opponents let a shot go, only to watch it dip right on the line. Along with its forgiving and responsive feel, I think this is an excellent all-court paddle at an unbeatable price.

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How to choose the best carbon fiber pickleball paddle

After sifting through 100s of carbon fiber paddles on websites like Pickleball Central and Amazon, I took note of which ones got the highest customer praise and tested them myself. I also paid close attention to what the top 4.5-5.0 players I know are using.

Ben Johns playing with the JOOLA Perseus pickleball paddle in the middle of a game

While all of the paddles I've listed are excellent, you should still consider these criteria when finding the right one for you:

Durability

No one wants to spend good money on a paddle that breaks after a few uses. Carbon fiber paddles are valued in part for their durability. For the greatest durability, choose one with a unibody design as it's less likely that the handle will break.

Power

Good players know that ball placement comes before power. If you're struggling to put balls where you want them, find your soft touch game, or stay in bounds, a carbon fiber control paddle would be a good fit for you.

I'd recommend players avoid the carbon fiber paddles described as "soft" or "control-oriented". The CRBN-1X Power Series is a great one to consider.

Lightweight paddles

These are mostly beginner paddles. The light weight is good if your only focus is your touch game, mastering dinks, and drop shots. However, these paddles are usually made from cheaper materials and lack the power that intermediate players need.

Spin

Mastering topspin is a skill required to advance in pickleball. While generating great serves and tricky returns can help any player, intermediate and recreational players may not be concerned with spin, and that's OK.

If spin is important to you, I'd suggest finding a paddle with a Toray T700 raw carbon fiber paddle face.

Control

All carbon fiber paddles land somewhere on the spectrum of being made for control or power. If you want the ability to take pace off the ball and hit precise spots on the court, a control paddle is best for you. These are softer and more appropriate for players still developing their game.

Forgiveness

Buying the paddle with the most cutting-edge features doesn't guarantee you will have a great experience playing with it.

Look for paddles with high forgiveness scores if you want a more user-friendly paddle you can enjoy from the get-go. Forgiving paddles have a larger sweet spot, which means fewer mishits—especially if you don't hit the ball in the center of the paddle.

Price

Paddles made with the newest materials and technology don't tend to be cheap. You can get a great carbon fiber paddle for under $150, or you can pay $250 or more.

As my list shows, smaller brands with less splashy paddles are offering good value. For this list, don't confuse less expensive for lower quality.

Bottom line

That's my roundup of the best carbon fiber pickleball paddles in 2024. There are truly great new paddles, but for me, the Six Zero DBD Control is the category leader.

To recap, here are my top six picks:

  1. Six Zero Double Black Diamond Control - Best overall
  2. JOOLA Perseus - Runner-up
  3. Vatic Pro PRISM Flash - Best cheap
  4. CRBN-1X Power Series - Best for power
  5. Vatic Pro Flash - Best for control
  6. Legacy Pro - Best for spin

Try them for yourself and see how they compare to the competition.

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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