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TechTalk with Gearbox Pickleball: Technology-Forward Paddle Manufacturer

Gearbox has always been about innovating the best sports equipment for players of all levels, and they did just that with their launch of the CX Series.

Founded in California by Rafael Filippini, a professional racquetball player with over 25 years in the composites industry, Gearbox brought together a unique combination of skills to create some of the most technologically advanced sporting equipment available today.

Now almost fifteen years old, Gearbox continues to be synonymous with excellence and durability. We sat down with their team to ask about their new paddles, the tech and innovation involved in creating them and more.

What are the paddles in this series?

CX11: Gearbox CX11E Control Pickleball Paddle, Gearbox CX11E Power Pickleball Paddle, Gearbox CX11Q Control Pickleball Paddle, Gearbox CX11Q Power Pickleball Paddle

CX14: Gearbox CX14E Pickleball Paddle, Gearbox CX14H Pickleball Paddle

Gearbox Pickleball Paddles CX14

Your GX and CX paddles feature Solid Span Technology for the core. Can you explain what SST is? 

SST is an advanced patented technology invented by Gearbox engineers. This technology uses a proprietary molding process using high strength carbon fiber materials to form a ribbed cored, one-piece paddle construction. SST has introduced the only patented ribbed core paddle in all pickleball.

Your paddles have a Power and a Control model. The paddles are the same shape and same weights. How do you create Power vs. Control in your different paddles?

Gearbox can create a Power versus Control option by differing the way our Solid Span Technology is applied to a paddle and modifying the paddle’s lay-up in the sweet spot area.

The Control option is designed to absorb energy from the ball on impact, rebounding off the face slightly slower. The Power option is designed to return energy to the ball, rebounding the ball slightly faster off the face.

With the CX14 you have the Elongated and the Hyper shape. With the CX11 you have the Elongated and the Quad shape. What is the difference between the Quad and the Hyper shapes?  

The Hyper shaped head when compared directly to the Quad shaped head is slightly shorter in length. Both head shapes are the same width.

The Hyper shape is only offered in Gearbox’s 14mm thick profile option and is combined with a longer handle length. The smaller Hyper head helps our thicker paddle feel quick and maneuverable despite its thicker profile. The Hyper shape is also a softer hitting paddle when compared to the Quad 11mm profile paddles.  The longer handle found in this shape helps to accommodate a two-handed shot.

The Quad shape is only offered in Gearbox’s thinner 11mm profile paddles and is combined with a standard handle length. The 11mm profile combined with the Quad shape head provides more maneuverability and quickness when compared to the Hyper shape. This shape also offers a standard handle length, which some payers prefer.

What are the pros and cons of an elongated paddle? 

The advantages of the elongated shape are that it provides more reach, it’s slightly narrower making it easier to roll, and it has a longer handle length for those that like a two-handed shot or like to drive the ball hard.

As for cons, some players may find that the overall longer length of the paddle makes it slightly less maneuverable with left to right motion. 

CX14 Elongated Pickleball Paddle by Gearbox Pickleball

Gearbox paddles have a smooth face, yet players say they get great spin. How do the Gearbox paddles achieve spin?

Gearbox has gone beyond texture to generate spin.  Most of our spin is generated with our patented SST core.  Our core’s ribbed structure cups and bites the ball on impact.  Gearbox adds some texture to the paddle surface, but overall, it took a more systemic approach to spin, focusing on the paddle’s structure, design, and lay-up along with texture. This entire system is what we call our Hyper-Bite Spin Technology.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about Gearbox?

At Gearbox, innovation is more than what we do, it is who we are. Gearbox has a technology-first approach to paddle development. Our vision is that every level of pickleball player experiences first-hand the meaningful effect of Gearbox paddle technology on both their performance and enjoyment of pickleball.

The team at Gearbox continues to create high quality pickleball equipment meeting the highest standards every time. We look forward to seeing what they come out with next while enjoying their latest versions now! Still not sure which one you should get or want to know more about a certain paddle? Call us at 1-888-854-0163. Nothing makes us happier than helping you find a paddle that fits your game. Buy with confidence, knowing you have a 30-day test drive to make sure it works on the courts – where it counts.

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