The Top Five Control Paddles in Pickleball

Written By Mike  |  Blog, Pickleball Paddle Lists  |  0 Comments

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The Top Five Control Paddles in Pickleball

The top five control paddles for pickleball range all across the board from different brands, different size, shapes and makes.

For this one I'm going to be doing my best to give you a super diversified list being that I know a lot of this actually comes from player preference.

While a control pickleball paddle definitely needs to be forgiving and soft, it doesn't necessarily need a specific shape, handle size or make (paddle generation).

That said, I do agree with the general rule of thumb being that a wider body paddle is more forgiving and therefore might have an advantage when discussing control paddles.

For that reason you will find three out of the five paddles on this list with the wide body shape, but they're surrounded by two hybrid shapes - one of which starts off our list at number one.

And, before I get too far ahead of myself, I should make mention to what I would generally think is obvious: a control paddle is a paddle that leans towards having more control of your ball placement, resets, soft game and overall touch and finesse.

The paddles below are a handful that are either categorized entirely in the control category, or lean towards control while giving a little extra oomph on the power size, which I purposely am including in this list to make sure there is something for every type of player.

If you want more pickleball paddle reviews you can jump over there and find some of my top paddles choices or even take our Perfect Paddle Quiz to be placed with the best paddle for you!

Top Five Pickleball Paddles for Under $100

Top Five Pickleball Paddles for Control

The Top Five Control Pickleball Paddles

Number One: Vatic Pro Prism Flash

The Best Of The Best

Vatic Pro Prism Flash


PRICE: $99 ($89 with code "TheSlice")

SHAPE: Hybrid

MATERIALS: Raw TORAY T700 Carbon Fiber with Polymer Core


LENGTH: Flash 16.3"

WIDTH: 7.5"

AVG. WEIGHT: Flash 7.7-8.2 OZ


THICKNESS: Flash 14/16MM

Coming in at number one among our best pickleball control paddles is our Vatic Pro Prism Flash.

This probably comes at no surprise to a lot of people who know about this paddle already - and it continues to be not only the best value among paddles, but one of the best overall paddles as well.

This paddle comes in at the top of my list for both the top ten pickleball paddles under $100 and the top ten pickleball paddles for beginners.

I can only speak highly of it, with Vatic Pro being one of my favorite companies due to the performance of their paddles at such an insanely good price point, and the Vatic Pro Prism Flash comes in with extremely high spin rankings and has the soft touch to match.

While I think wide body paddles generally have an advantage in terms of control, the hybrid design on this one feels great for all around play while still leaning towards control (which is going to be the case for the only other hybrid shape that makes it on our main list).

So if you're looking for the king of value that is great for all around play while leaning towards a control paddle - this one is a no brainer.

The Top Five Control Pickleball Paddles

Number Two: Joola Scorpeus

The Best Thermoformed Option

Joola Scorpeus


PRICE: $225-250

SHAPE: Wide Body

MATERIALS: Carbon Friction Surface with Reactive Honeycomb Core







Coming in at number two among our top pickleball control paddles is the fairly new Joola Scorpeus.

I don't specifically say the "Collin Johns" Joola Scorpeus, because, similar to the Vatic Pro Prism Flash, both the 14MM and 16MM are fantastic options depending on your play style.

You have players like Federico Staksrud opting to use the Anna Bright version of this paddle at 14MM, where he plays with it in both singles and doubles - giving the best of both worlds with the control and forgiving wide body face - and the extra power being generated from the 2MM less.

That said, I would say that the 16MM is generally going to be the best option for players who are looking for pure control paddles.

Another thing that needs to be mentioned about this paddle is the fact that it is one of only two thermoformed paddle on this list (Gen2 style thermoforming), so it will pack a good amount of power and pop regardless of whether you go with the 16MM or 14MM, which is why I generally recommend the 16MM as well.

 I don't have a discount code with Joola, but they do drop their prices sometimes on Amazon (for a while it was down closer to $220-225 after launch), so be on the lookout for that or grab this one at $250.

The Top Five Control Pickleball Paddles

Number Three: Ronbus R1 Nova

The Best Gen3 Paddle (Mix Of Control & Power)

Ronbus Nova Paddle Review

Ronbus r1 nova Specs:

PRICE: $180 ($160 with code "RCSLICE")

SHAPE: Hybrid

MATERIALS: Raw TORAY T700 Carbon Fiber  and Polypropylene Honeycomb Core


LENGTH: 16.5"

WIDTH: 7.5"

AVG. WEIGHT: 7.8 (+0r-.2)



Coming in at number three on our list of the top five control paddles in pickleball is a very new Ronbus R1 Nova.

This paddle is the first ever Gen3 paddle, which you can learn more about in my full review here (Ronbus R1 Nova Pickleball Paddle Review), that aims to not only last longer than the Gen2 thermoformed paddles that have dealt with delamination issues, but also find a happy mix of both control and power.

I personally think Ronbus did an incredible job at finding the sweet spot, and after adding some lead (which was recommended by other reviewers on YouTube like Chris Olson of Pickleball Studio and STS Pickleball) I loved it even more.

This one is in my main paddle rotation and, similar to the Vatic Pro Prism Flash, it's almost hard to consider it a control paddle being that it does everything so well - but because of that it comes in so highly among them.

You can get a $20 discount on the Nova with code RCSLICE, bringing this one right around the price of a handful of the great Gen2 paddles like the Six Zero Double Black Diamond and Volair Mach 1 Forza - but having a bit more touch and control, while only giving up a bit of power.

The Top Five Control Pickleball Paddles

Number Four: Hudef Apex Pro

Hudef Apex Pro

hudef apex pro Specs:

PRICE: Apex Pro: $89 ($75 with code "THESLICE")

SHAPE: Wide Body

MATERIALS: T700 Raw Carbon Fiber Face with Polypropylene Honeycomb Core


LENGTH: Apex 16.06"

WIDTH: Apex 7.9"

AVG. WEIGHT: 7.8-8.3 oz

GRIP LENGTH: Apex 4.9"


Next up at number three on our list is the Hudef Apex Pro with it's wide body and incredible value price point.

With code THESLICE this one comes all the way down to $75 so in terms of the best value control paddle on the market, this one comes in at number one if you're specifically looking for a wide body, short handle paddle (as opposed to Vatic Pro Prism's hybrid shape with longer handle).

This one also came in among our top paddles under $100 and the best for beginners as well, also similar the the Prism Flash, and also has some great stats on spin, while being extremely forgiving.

If you're looking for the best control paddle and don't necessarily need a ton of power (Joola Scorpeus and CRBN 2X provide a ton of power, Nova provides moderate power), then this one and the Prism Flash are your go-to options - and it simply comes down the paddle shape and handle size in terms of what you'll decide is best for you.

The Top Five Control Pickleball Paddles

Number Five: CRBN 2X or CRBN 2


CRBN 2 and 2X Specs:

PRICE: CRBN2X (Power Series) $229.99 ($202 with code "THESLICE") - CRBN2 (Control Series) $180 ($162 with code "THESLICE)

SHAPE: Wide Body (Both)

MATERIALS: T700 Toray Carbon Fiber Surface with Polymer Core

THERMOFORMED: 2X - Yes | 2 - No

LENGTH: 15.75"


AVG. WEIGHT: 7.8-8.1 oz



At number five on our list of the best control pickleball paddles we have both the CRBN 2X and CRBN 2.

I do want to make this extremely clear: the CRBN 2 is a much better pure control paddle than the CRBN 2X.

The CRBN2X is CRBN's power series, which is thermoformed and poppy, but the reason it is on this list is because of it's shape.

Both the 2 and 2X come in with the wide body face and short handle, giving them the advantage when it comes to control and forgiving feel on the court.

If you need a paddle that has a bunch of pop and you want to let the control come from the style of the paddle, then the CRBN2X might be good for you - but if you want a softer game with a lot of touch, then the CRBN2 is obviously going to be a better option.

To make that clear: only difference between these two paddles is the fact that the CRBN2X is thermoformed (and therefore much more poppy and powerful) and the CRBN2 is not.

With code THESLICE at checkout you'll get 10% off either one of these, and though they aren't the best value paddles on the market, they are some great options for certain players.

The Top Five Control Pickleball Paddles

The Top Ten Pickleball Paddles For Under $100 - Runner Ups (Other Great Options, In No Specific Order):

Hopefully you feel like this list gave you a ton of options when it comes to finding the best pickleball control paddle for you, especially with the addition of our runner up section.

The goal is to not only find the specific style of paddle that you gravitate towards, but also allow the specific style of paddle to fit your specific play style as well (it goes both ways).

I love Gen2 thermoformed paddles and feel like I can control them (minus a couple that are extremely poppy), where-as some people prefer to go with a non-thermoformed paddle for a softer feel.

You may have to feel it out a bit, but the good news is that a lot of these brands off a no-questions-asked 30 day trial on their paddles, so you'll be able to find the best one specifically for you.

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Top Five Control Paddles In Pickleball

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Owner and Creator of The Slice Pickleball and Superhero Jacked
Pickleball and Caffeine Addict, Bibliophile, Writer, Dog Dad

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