Best Pickleball Paddles for Control

Hey there, pickleball enthusiasts! If you’re all about mastering the art of control on the court, you’re in the right place. Today, we’re diving into the world of pickleball paddles that are tailor-made for players who love the finesse of dinking, blocking, resetting, and dropping. With a sea of options out there, I’ve done the legwork to bring you the top 5 paddles that shine in control, catering to various performance levels, price points, and shapes. So, let’s get right to it and find that perfect paddle for your game!

 #1 Discover the Vatic Pro Prism: Excellence in Paddle Sports

When it comes to mastering control in pickleball, the Vatic Pro Prism rises to the occasion, distinguishing itself as the top choice for players who value precision and mastery in their game. This paddle combines innovative design with practical functionality, setting a new standard in paddle sports.

Unrivaled Control and Precision

The key to the Pro Prism’s success in control lies in its exceptional spin capabilities, boasting over 1900 RPM. This high spin rate allows for more precise and controlled shots, giving players an edge in placing the ball exactly where they want it. Additionally, the choice between the v7 and the Flash shapes caters to different aspects of control. The v7’s slightly heavier weight aids in delivering power and steadiness in each stroke, while the Flash, being lighter and quicker, offers agility and swift responses, crucial for control in fast-paced exchanges.

A Paddle for Every Play Style

The versatility of the Vatic Pro Prism is its crowning glory. Whether you’re a player who thrives on quick, agile plays or one who prefers deliberate, powerful strokes, this paddle has a configuration to suit your style. It’s not just about providing options; it’s about enhancing your innate play style. The Pro Prism adapts to you, making every game an opportunity to showcase your skill and control with unparalleled precision.


  • Exceptional value for the price, offering superior performance at a cost-effective rate.
  • Availability of two different shapes, catering to diverse player preferences.
  • High Spin for Precision:  excels with over 1900 RPM spin, enhancing control and shot accuracy


  • The warranty is limited to just three months.
  • The grip may wear out more quickly than expected.
  • Some players may find the paddle’s weight distribution not to their liking.

#2 Selkirk Labs Project 003: A Premium Pick for Control Enthusiasts

In the realm of pickleball paddles, the Selkirk Labs Project 003 confidently claims the second spot. It’s not just another paddle on the market; it’s a testament to what happens when innovation meets control.


A Control Lover’s Dream

The 003 is more than just a piece of sports equipment. It’s a control paddle that offers a satisfying and unique playing experience. Its design and build quality make it one of the best options for players who prioritize control in their game.

The Price of Premium

Admittedly, the 003 comes with a hefty price tag of $333. This positions it as a luxury option, significantly higher than many others on this list. It’s an investment meant for those where budget isn’t a constraint. If you’re more price-sensitive, other paddles in this review might suit you better.

Customization for Enhanced Play

A unique aspect of the 003 is the recommended addition of lead tape. Adding this tape from the throat up into the sides significantly enhances the paddle’s stability and expands the sweet spot. This customization unlocks the paddle’s full potential, transforming the playing experience.

Speed and Agility

Besides its stellar control, the 003 stands out for its agility. The 003 Epic and Invikta models boast incredibly low swing weights of 98 and 105, respectively. This feature ensures that the paddle is fast and responsive in hand, a crucial factor for quick reflexes during the game.


  • Exceptionally low swing weight, especially the Invikta at 105.
  • Good spin capabilities, with 1800 RPM.
  • Edgeless design for a sleek look and feel.
  • Offers multiple shape options to suit various playstyles.


  • Requires lead tape for optimal performance.
  • High price point, significantly more expensive than other options in this list.

#3 Joola Scorpeus 16mm: A Powerhouse of Control and Speed

Continuing our journey through the best pickleball paddles for control, we land at the impressive Joola Scorpeus, which comfortably takes the third spot.


Design Meets Functionality

The Scorpeus isn’t just any paddle; it’s a 16×8 marvel that brings two crucial benefits to your game. Firstly, its lower swing weight translates into exceptional speed in hand, crucial for quick and responsive plays. Secondly, the large sweet spot is a dream for players who prioritize control. Together, these features create a paddle that’s not only efficient but also enjoyable to use.

A Paddle Worthy of Champions

It’s no accident that the Scorpeus is Collin Johns’ signature paddle. Johns, renowned as one of the best right-sided players in the world, is a master of resets. His preference for this paddle underscores its capability in delivering top-notch control and precision.

A Little Detail Worth Noting

While the Scorpeus is advertised with a 5.25” handle, this measurement is slightly misleading. The handle is actually closer to 5.5” if you wrap the grip up to its full usable space, akin to the Perseus. This subtle difference could be significant if you have a preference for handle length.


  • Excellent for blocking and resetting, making it a go-to choice for defensive strategies.
  • Rapid responsiveness, ensuring speed and agility in hand.
  • Provides a very solid and reassuring feel during play.


  • Quality control from Joola can be inconsistent.
  • The price point is on the higher side, which might be a consideration for some players.

#4 Hudef Apex Pro: The Affordable Control Master

As we delve further into the world of pickleball paddles, the Hudef Apex Pro emerges as a noteworthy contender, claiming the fourth spot on our list.

Balancing Speed and Stability

The Hudef Apex Pro is a standout with its gen 1 raw carbon fiber build. This material choice contributes to the paddle’s low swing weight, making it exceptionally fast and responsive in hand. But speed isn’t its only forte; the Apex Pro also boasts a high twist weight, ensuring remarkable stability during play.

Spin and Affordability Combined

With an impressive spin of 1800 RPM, the Apex Pro shines in its ability to provide excellent control and precision. But perhaps its most compelling feature is the price tag – an accessible $89. This makes the Apex Pro an attractive option for those seeking high performance without a hefty investment.

Simplicity and Efficiency

The Apex Pro doesn’t rely on flashy technology to make its mark. Instead, it excels in its simplicity and efficiency. If you’re in search of a standard-shaped paddle that excels in control, the Apex Pro is a top choice, especially considering its budget-friendly price. It represents a no-frills approach to quality pickleball equipment.


  • Swift and agile in hand, enhancing quick plays.
  • High stability, offering a consistent playing experience.
  • Excellent price point, providing great value for money.
  • Impressive 1800 RPM spin, aiding in control and precision.
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty, adding to its value.


  • The handle may feel somewhat cheap to some players, which could affect the overall perception of quality.

#5 Selkirk Vanguard 2.0: The Reliable Control Specialist

Moving to the fifth spot in our exploration of pickleball paddles, we find the Selkirk Vanguard 2.0 line, a choice that redefines the balance between control, durability, and customer service.

Durability and Warranty: The Vanguard Edge

What sets the Vanguard 2.0 apart is its exceptional durability and the lifetime warranty offered by Selkirk, known for having one of the most generous warranty policies in Pickleball. These features make the Vanguard 2.0 a reliable investment for players who value long-term use and assurance.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Despite its strengths, the Vanguard line faces challenges, particularly in spin performance. With a spin rate of around 1150 RPM, it lags behind many modern paddles in this aspect. Additionally, its $200 price tag makes the price-to-performance ratio a bit less appealing compared to others on this list.

Control Over Spin

However, for players who prioritize control over spin, the Vanguard 2.0 shines. Many high-level players, especially those who do not rely heavily on spin, appreciate the control this paddle offers. Its ability to cater to precise and controlled playstyles keeps it relevant and respected in the pickleball community.

Shape Options for Every Player

The variety in shape options within the Vanguard line, including the S2, Epic, Invikta, Omni, Mach 6, and Maxima, ensures that every player can find a paddle that suits their specific needs and preferences.

A Balanced View

The Selkirk Vanguard 2.0 line may not be the top choice for players seeking high spin, but its strengths in control, durability, and warranty make it a solid option for many. It’s a paddle that prioritizes long-term reliability and precise control, making it a worthy consideration for the right player.


  • Excellent control, ideal for precision-focused players.
  • Lifetime warranty, adding a layer of trust and reliability.
  • Good durability, ensuring a long-lasting playing experience.


  • Lower spin rate (1150 RPM) compared to other paddles.
  • Handle may feel less premium to some users.
  • Price-to-performance ratio is not as high as others in 2023.


As we bring this guide to a close, it’s clear that the Vatic Pro Prism isn’t just another paddle – it’s a revolution in pickleball gear. Offering an unmatched blend of affordability, performance, and versatility, it stands out as the ultimate choice for players who demand excellence in control and spin. This paddle isn’t just about improving your game; it’s about transforming it.

Whether you’re a veteran of the court or just beginning your pickleball journey, the Pro Prism adapts to your style, enhancing every play. But don’t just take my word for it – experience the difference yourself and see how it elevates your game to new heights.

Remember, the right paddle is more than just equipment; it’s your partner on the court. Choose the Pro Prism, and you’re choosing a path to greater skill, enjoyment, and maybe even a few more victories. Share this discovery with your pickleball friends and let’s spread the excitement. Here’s to making every game your best game with the Vatic Pro Prism!