6 Best Small Grip Pickleball Paddles 2024 Personally Tested

Are you in the market for a new pickleball paddle? If so, you may wonder if a small grip paddle is a right choice. In this blog post, I’ll look at the pros and cons of using a small grip paddle, and I’ll also recommend some of our favorite paddles that fit this description. Keep reading to learn more!

If you’re looking for a best pickleball paddle for small hands, I really recommend the Gonex. I’ve played with a lot of different ones, and this is my top pick. It’s small and really comfortable to grip, which makes it easy to play with.

And the graphitic carbon fiber face gives you excellent accuracy. But what I really like about it is the durability. I’ve had other best pickleball paddles for small hands, that have started to wear down quickly, but this one has held up well. And the non-slip handles are great too. All in all, I think it’s a great paddle, and I really recommend it.

Best Small Grip Pickleball Paddles

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List Of Best Small Grip Pickleball Paddles

I prepared a list of the best small grip pickleball paddles after considering important factors like high-quality materials, maneuverability, comfortable grip, grip size, and paddle length.

I believe these are the important factors one must consider before finalizing their purchase. I hope my list helps narrow down the options and leads to an informed decision.

01. Gonex – Overall Best Small Grip Pickleball Paddle


Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight and well balanced
  • Wide shape for the easier ball hitting
  • Edge guard to prevent mis-hits
  • The small grip is comfortable and non-slip
  • Cushioned grip for extra comfort

Reasons to Avoid

  • The paddle may be too light for some players
  • Some may find the graphics too subtle

Initial Impressions

I had seen a lot of good things about the Gonex Pickleball Paddle, so I was excited to try it out. I wasn’t disappointed! The paddle is lightweight and well balanced, making it easy to control. The wide shape makes it easier to hit the ball, and the edge guard helps to prevent mis-hits.

Comfortable Grip

The small grip is comfortable and non-slip, and the cushioned grip makes it even more comfortable to hold. I would highly recommend this paddle to anyone looking for a high-quality, USAPA-approved pickleball paddle.

The Gonex Pickleball Paddle is a great choice for beginners looking for a durable and accurate paddle. The polymer honeycomb construction provides excellent hitting power, while the graphite surface ensures amazing shot placement.

Perfect for Intense Games

The 4.3″ grip circumference is perfect for sweaty hands, and the sweat-absorbent grip ensures a comfortable grip even during intense games.

The 7.9-ounce weight is just right for those who want to achieve amazing speed and power without sacrificing accuracy. Overall, the Gonex Pickleball Paddle is an excellent choice for beginners who are looking for a durable and accurate paddle.

Expert’s Opinion

I recently had the chance to try out the Gonex Pickleball Paddle, and I have to say I was impressed. I enjoyed the feeling of hitting with this paddle – I had more power and control than I’m used to, and I felt I could place my shots more precisely.

The handle was padded, which I didn’t love, but the overall design is very beautiful. This would be a great choice for anyone looking for a good pickleball paddle. The only downside is that the graphics are too subtle for my taste.

02. Niupipo Max-07 – Affordable Small Grip Paddle for Beginners

Reasons to Buy

  • Made with high-quality materials
  • USAPA approved
  • Ultra cushion grip for comfortable play
  • Perfect for players of all skill levels
  • Lightweight and easy to handle

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not for Professional

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the Niupipo Max-07 Pickleball Paddle. The Max-07 has a polypropylene honeycomb core, making for durable hitting and very controlled hits. I was also impressed by the fiberglass face, which allows for more balanced shots.

Lightweight Advantage

The paddle is also lighter than wooden paddles, which is a definite plus. Overall, this is an excellent paddle for beginners and mid-level players.

This USAPA-approved paddle is made with top-of-the-line materials, so you can rest assured that it will stand up to the elements. The ultra cushion grip provides a comfortable grip that won’t slip, even when your hands get sweaty.

Suitable Design for All Skill Levels

And the 4.25-inch circumference is just right for players of all skill levels. Plus, the thin edge guard protects the paddle from damage if you drop it. So if you’re looking for a paddle that’s easy to play and easy to handle, the Niupipo Max-07 is a perfect choice.

Expert’s Opinion

I liked the Niupipo Max-07 Pickleball Paddle. I was able to hold the handle well, and I felt like I had very good control of the paddle. I also like the feeling of the paddle.

It feels sturdy but lightweight, and I was able to get a little spin on the ball. The grip is also very good. Overall, I think this is a great paddle, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a starter pickleball paddle.

03. GRM Gonex – Best Small Grip Paddle Racket for All Skill Level Players

Reasons to Buy

  • USAPA approved
  • Excellent power and control
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Comfortable grip
  • Sweat absorbent

Reasons to Avoid

  • The Surface is Bit Smooth

The GRM Gonex Pickleball Paddle is a great choice for players of all skill levels. It is USAPA approved, and its graphite face provides excellent power and control. The advanced honeycomb cell technology gives the paddle extra stiffness and strength, making it perfect for aggressive players.

Comfortable Grip and Precise Swings

The sweat-absorbent grip is comfortable and easy to hold, even during long games. And the 4.9-inch handle allows for quick and precise swings. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, the GRM Gonex Pickleball Paddle is a great choice.

Stylish Design and Convenient Carrying Bag

I like the simple design of the GRM Gonex Pickleball Paddle. I love the carrying bag that comes with it too. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about how well this paddle would absorb power shots, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The engaging core helps to hit with power, and the balanced play is great for those who want to control their game. Lightweight and easy to carry, this paddle is a great choice for those who are looking for a high-quality pickleball paddle. I haven’t tried it indoors yet, but I’m sure it will be just as good.

04. Gamma Mirage – Best for Small Hands

Reasons to Buy

  • Large sweet spot
  • Polymer core provides control and power
  • Nice grip and feel
  • Good ball control
  • Firm volleys

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not for no two-handed backhand shots

The first thing I noticed about the Gamma Mirage Pickleball Paddle is that it’s larger than the average head. The sweet spot is also a bit larger, which is great for power shots.

Core and Grip

The Polymer core provides control and power, and it’s nice to hold. The only downside is that it’s not for no two handed backhand shots. But other than that, it has a nice “pop.” Overall, I really do like the grip and feel of this paddle.

I feel confident hitting with the gamma mirage. I can maneuver the paddle easily to hit the ball where I want it to go. I also appreciate the feel of the ball when I hit it with this paddle. I often play pickleball with friends, and I find that I have good control over my shots with this paddle. I also enjoy the firm volleys that I can produce with this paddle.

Precision and Control

I find that I can place the ball exactly where I want it to go when I am playing with this paddle. We often have long rallies when we are playing, and I find that this paddle helps me keep the rallies going. I would recommend this paddle to anyone looking for a good all-around paddle.

05. Engage Encore EX 6.0 Pickleball paddle

Reasons to Buy

  • Perfect size for small hands
  • Large sweet spot
  • Good control
  • Lightweight option available

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not Any Serious Drawbacks

The Engage Encore EX 6.0 Pickleball paddle is my favorite because it’s the perfect size for my grip and provides great power and spin. The sweet spot is also in the perfect spot for my hitting style. I didn’t have to adjust my grip when I started playing with this paddle.

Outstanding Control and Feel

The control is amazing, and I can direct the ball exactly where I want it to go. It also has a great weight and feel to it. I would highly recommend this paddle to anyone looking for a great all-around pickleball paddle.

The Encore EX 6.0 Pickleball Paddle is one of the best paddles on the market for a number of reasons. First, it comes in two different weights – standard and lightweight – so you can choose the one that best suits your game.

Large Sweet Spot and Quality Craftsmanship

Second, it has a large sweet spot, which means you’ll enjoy more power and accuracy when you hit the ball. And finally, it’s backed by a company with a reputation for quality craftsmanship. So if you’re looking for a paddle to help you take your game to the next level, the Encore EX 6.0 is a perfect choice.

Expert’s Opinion

I decided to try the Engage Encore EX 6.0 Pickleball paddle after my old paddle finally gave out on me. In my own experience, I have found that reasonably priced paddles usually don’t perform as well as more expensive ones, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

It feels good in the hand, and I was able to make some really good volleys with it. I also appreciated the fact that it has good control. All in all, I’m very happy with my purchase and would recommend this paddle to anyone looking for a good, all-around option.

06. Gamma NeuCore Typhoon Pickleball Paddle

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight paddle with great performance
  • NeuCore Technology provides 25% thicker large-cell construction for increased responsiveness and feel.
  • Fiberglass surface offers excellent traction and control
  • Wide top is ideal for generating power and spin

Reasons to Avoid

  • Some people may find the 4 1/2″ grip to be too short.

The Gamma NeuCore Typhoon Pickleball Paddle is a great choice for players who are looking for a lightweight paddle with enhanced performance. The NeuCore Technology provides 25% thicker large-cell construction for increased responsiveness and feel, while the fiberglass surface offers excellent traction and control.

Power and Spin with the Wide Top

The paddle’s wide top is also ideal for generating power and spin. If you’re looking for a paddle that can help you take your game to the next level, the Gamma NeuCore Typhoon is a great option.

Designed for Small Hands and Comfort

This paddle is specifically designed for players with small hands and a petite grip circumference. The 4 1/2″ long handle provides plenty of room for a comfortable grip, while the additional cushioning ensures a firm grip even when your hands are sweating.

And speaking of sweat, the base grip’s perforated design helps to keep your hand dry even during intense games.

Expert’s Opinion

Recently, I decided to upgrade my paddle, and I selected the Gamma NeuCore Typhoon. I’m really happy with my choice; it has a great core and a large sweet spot, which I like even more.

This paddle makes me feel a little more confident in my serves and dinks. In my play tests, I found that I had more pace and movement on my shots, and I was able to be more aggressive. I also found that I could transition more easily from backhand to forehand.

Overall, I’m very happy with the Gamma NeuCore Typhoon, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new paddle with a small grip

Does grip size matter in pickleball?

When people are playing pickleball, they often don’t think about the size of their grip. They just pick up a paddle and start hitting the ball. But the truth is, grip size can make a big difference in your game.

If your grip is too small, you’ll have less control over the paddle and the ball. You might find yourself spraying the ball all over the place.

On the other hand, if your grip is too large, you won’t be able to generate as much power. So what’s the perfect grip size? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to that question. It really depends on your individual playing style and preferences.

The best way to find out is to experiment with different sizes until you find one that feels comfortable and gives you the results you want.

Choosing the Right Small Grip Paddle: A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide

First off, why even bother with a small grip? Well, if you find regular-sized grips make your hand feel like you’re trying to grip a watermelon, a small grip can feel like a breath of fresh air. It allows for better control, less strain, and a more natural feel for some players.

The Size Matters, But So Does the Weight

When it comes to small grip paddles, size isn’t everything. You’ve got to consider the weight too. If you’re all about control, a slightly heavier paddle might be your jam.

On the flip side, if you’re after speed and maneuverability, go for a lighter option. It’s a bit of trial and error, but trust me, you’ll feel the difference.

The Core of the Matter

The core of your paddle matters. There are usually two main options: polymer and Nomex. Polymer cores are softer, which means more control, but they can be a tad heavier.

Nomex cores are a bit harder, offering power without the added weight. I’ve tried both, and for a small grip, a polymer core works wonders.

The Face is Your Interface

The paddle’s face – that’s where the ball meets the paddle. You’ll find graphite, composite, and even hybrid faces out there.

Graphite offers a great balance of control and power. Composites can be durable and offer decent pop. Hybrids? Well, they’re a mix of both worlds. Go for what feels right in your hand.

That Grip Better be Comfy

Since you’re opting for a small grip, make sure it’s comfortable. Some pickleball paddles with small grips come with cushioned grips, and let me tell you, it makes a difference.

It’s like trading in your old sneakers for a pair of memory foam ones – your hand will thank you.

It’s Got to Have Some Pop

Pop, or the rebound effect, is essential. You want a paddle that gives your shots that extra oomph. Test out a few paddles, see which one gives your shots that sweet, satisfying pop, and you’re on the right track.

The Price Tag Reality Check

Now, let’s talk budget. You don’t need to break the bank for a solid small grip paddle. There are plenty of quality options out there that won’t leave you eating instant noodles for a month. Just remember, it’s about finding the best value for your pickleball buck.

Test Drive, if You Can

If possible, get your hands on a few paddles before making the final call. Sometimes, what looks good on paper might not feel right in your hand. A test swing or two can make all the difference.

How do you make a pickleball paddle grip smaller?

One of the great things about pickleball is that it’s a game that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy. But one of the game’s challenges is that the paddle grips can sometimes be too large for smaller hands.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t despair – there are a few things you can do to make your grip smaller.

One option is to simply wrap some tape around the grip until it feels comfortable in your hand. You can also try using a lighter grip tape, providing more cushioning and making the grip easier to hold.

Another option is to purchase a new paddle grip that is specifically designed for smaller hands. These grips are usually made from softer materials, which make them more comfortable to hold.

Whichever method you choose, making your pickleball paddle grip smaller is a simple process that will help you enjoy the game even more.

Is a thicker pickleball paddle better?

There’s a lot of debate in the pickleball world about what size paddle is best. Some players prefer a thinner paddle for more control, while others prefer a thicker paddle for more power. So, which is the right choice for you?

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. If you’re starting, you might want to try a thicker paddle to get a feel for the game.

Once you’ve developed your skills, you can experiment with different sizes to see what works best for you.

There are pros and cons to thin and thick paddles, so it’s important to find the right balance for your playing style. With a little trial and error, you’ll surely find the perfect paddle for your game.

The Pros and Cons of Small Grip Paddles: Is It the Right Choice for You?

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of small grip pickleball paddles with my personal insights..

The Pros:

  1. More Maneuverability: Small grip paddles are like the sports cars of pickleball. They’re sleek and nimble. With a smaller grip, you get more control and maneuverability. It’s like an extension of your hand, allowing for quick reactions and precise shots.
  2. Perfect for Small Hands: If you’ve got petite hands, a small grip paddle can be a game-saver. It just feels right in your hand, and you won’t have to over-grip, preventing hand fatigue.
  3. Faster Wrist Action: With a small grip, your wrist action is on point. You can whip those spins and angles with ease. It’s a game-changer for those wicked spin shots.
  4. Better for Tennis Converts: If you’re transitioning from tennis to pickleball, small grip paddles might feel more familiar. The grip size is closer to what you’re used to on the tennis court.
  5. Speed and Reaction Time: Small grip paddles are all about speed. If you’re a net ninja and rely on lightning-fast reactions, a smaller grip could be your best friend.

The Cons:

  1. Less Power: Smaller grips typically mean less power. If you’re the type who loves smashing those power shots, you might find it challenging to generate the same oomph with a small grip.
  2. Bigger Hand Woes: If you’ve got larger hands, using a small grip paddle can be uncomfortable. Your fingers might wrap around the handle, leading to discomfort and fatigue.
  3. Limited Shock Absorption: Small grip paddles might not absorb shock as effectively as their larger counterparts. If you’re prone to tennis elbow or arm discomfort, it could be a concern.
  4. Reduced Stability: Smaller grips can lead to less stability on off-center hits. Mishits happen, and with a small grip, those can be less forgiving.
  5. Tough Transition: If you’re switching from a larger grip to a small one, expect a learning curve. It might take a while to adjust to the change in feel and control.

Personal Insights:

So, what’s my take on small grip paddles? Well, it’s all about your style and what feels right. I’ve used both small and regular grips, and I’ve got to say, small grip paddles are a blast when you’re looking for speed and precision. But if power is your game, you might miss the heft and leverage of a larger grip.

In the end, it’s a personal call. If you’re curious, give a small grip paddle a try. See how it feels and whether it suits your playing style. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and find what works best for you.

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Tyson Moore
Tyson Moore
Hello, my name is Tyson Moore and I am a professional pickleball player. After many years of playing the game, I have started to do some depth research and testing related to pickleball. I have also interviewed many experts in the field. You can check my latest findings on my blog. I hope you find my information helpful. Thanks for reading!