Top 5 Pickleball Paddles for Spin

Top 5 Pickleball Paddles for Spin at Pickleball Central

Spin has become an important weapon in the game of pickleball. As players have developed the ability to produce more topspin, these types of shots are more common than ever. A player with a great cut shot often sees their opponents return the ball into the net, and the spin serve is used with equal efficacy.

The creation of spin always starts with the stroke. If a player does not have a topspin stroke, sandpaper-like texture won’t be any help. What a paddle can do is accentuate spin. The two ways this can happen are with friction and adhesion. 

Friction is when a rough surface makes contact with a pickleball, preferably a ball that has already gotten a bit scuffed from use. The friction of the paddle moving across the ball creates spin. This is similar to the grooves on a golf club creating spin when the ball is struck properly.

Adhesion is when the ball sticks to the surface of a paddle as the player moves through a complete swing. The paddle essentially grabs the ball and imparts spin. This is akin to a smooth drag race tire heating and sticking to smooth pavement.

If you’d like to make more use of spin, we’ve selected a group of paddles that are ideal for incorporating these two methods into your game:

Top 5 Paddles for Spin

(In no particular order!)

Electrum Pro

(Type: Friction) from Electrum Pickleball

The Electrum Pro was revered for its spin from day one thanks to the gritty Toray T700 carbon fiber used for the face. Its other benefits include the broad 8-1/2″ width which results in a large sweet spot and the fact Electrum only uses full polypropylene cells in the core, meaning it feels consistent across the entire surface.

Engage Pursuit

(Type: Friction) from Engage Pickleball

Engage’s Pursuit line is excellent for spin thanks to the proprietary omni-directional graphite used in their design. The material provides a long-lasting texture that doesn’t wear away so you can rely on enhanced spin even after many games. The Pursuit paddles also come in a variety of shapes so that you can select a model that best suits your play style.

Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16

(Type: Friction) from JOOLA Pickleball

The “CFS” in this paddle’s name refers to a “carbon friction surface” which uses Carbon-Flex5 material developed by JOOLA to improve power and spin. It’s currently #1 pro player Ben Johns’ paddle of choice, so you know it can reliably perform in the most demanding scenarios. It has many exciting features, but one of the best is the unique Hyperfoam Edge Wall which enhances stability and the sweet spot.

Diadem Icon

(Type: Adhesion) from Diadem Pickleball

Diadem was one of the first manufacturers to focus on the rarer adhesion style of surface using their proprietary “Spin RP” polyurethane coating which creates a tacky texture. Where many brands have focused on making paddles with thicker cores, the Icon features a slimmer design which is ideal for retaining speed and feel. It also has another rare but highly desirable quality: a replaceable edge guard.

Supernova Pro Hyperweave LX

(Type: Adhesion) from PROLITE Pickleball

This paddle is one that both figuratively and literally shines thanks to its triple-layered carbon fiber face interwoven with gold or silver fibers. While it doesn’t have the typical “scratchy” feel, you’ll still notice the enhanced spin it offers when following through on shots. The special Aero Channel edge guard reduces drag despite its thicker 0.55″ core that serves to dampen vibrations and improve control.

We know there are more paddles that impart spin with either friction or adhesion, what are your favorites? If you’ve tried and loved any of these models let us know about your experience, or if there’s another paddle that’s helped with spin, our visitors would love to hear about it in the comments.

Do you think spin can make or break a match against tough opponents?

CRBN: Carbon Fiber Paddles Developed by a Pickleball Player, for Pickleball Players!

Designed in California, CRBN Pickleball paddles have rapidly gained a strong reputation with many players both amateurs and pros. Founded in 2020, CRBN has already earned the endorsements of many top pro players, no small feat for such a young brand. These sleek, premium-quality, high-performance paddles are ideal for players who love to put spin on the ball.

We recently chatted with Garrett Gosselin, founder of CRBN Pickleball, to learn about his pickleball journey and CRBN paddles.

CRBN Pickleball Paddles now Available at Pickleball Central

How did you find yourself starting a pickleball company?

At the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, I was let go from my job. Lucky for me, I found pickleball. I quickly became obsessed, playing five hours a day, seven days a week. I progressed quickly and played in as many tournaments as I could. 

My doubles partner, Ryan, was the first to have the idea. After a match, he said something like, “We should make our own paddles. We can do better – we know exactly what we want and need.”

Three weeks later, prototypes arrived at my doorstep with the exact carbon fiber face and specs we wanted to take our game to the next level.

It was love at first…touch. We got them in our hands and were unbeatable on the challenge courts. I quickly sent a few off to get approved by USA Pickleball so we could use them in tournaments.

It was never my intention to make a business out of them! They were just for us, but quickly, everyone at our local courts decided they had to have a CRBN paddle too. They saw the combination of control and power we were able to generate, and the paddles looked sleek and cool.

Through all those requests was my “a-ha” moment where I realized I should make a business around these paddles. I partnered with an established entrepreneur in the pickleball industry and a childhood friend who is an engineer, and the rest is history.

We’ve been on a rocketship ever since, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be spending every hour of every day either working on my pickleball company or playing pickleball. We don’t pretend to be a massive company with flashy colors and gimmicky buzzwords. We’re still the same scrappy and agile company that started by tinkering on paddles to make them better. We love the game and the community surrounding pickleball, and look forward to providing the very best products for many years to come.

What is special about carbon fiber as a paddle’s face material vs. the other types of materials that are also commonly used?

We use the highest quality T-700 carbon fiber which is not the case for every paddle company out there. We use T-700 because it has unique properties which help our paddles have an immense amount of durability, power, spin, and control. T-700 has incredibly high tensile strength and durability, while also being malleable enough to flex upon contact to absorb energy and help generate spin. Our gritty T-700 surface outperforms fiberglass, graphite, and other paddle types in almost every category, and is the very best material for paddles bar none.

CRBN is USAPickleball Approved

How do CRBN paddles differ from other carbon fiber paddles that are available?

The term “carbon fiber” gets thrown around quite a bit by paddle companies. Many companies are using carbon fiber as a weave for structural integrity or as part of their core, but that’s a vastly different thing than what we’re doing with our paddles and our gritty surface. Also it’s important to understand that there are many different types of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber isn’t universally great. That’s why we specifically source the very best T-700 carbon fiber that gives us our paddles unparalleled control and spin. Combine that with the most durable internal paddle construction, and we’ve got a paddle that plays better and lasts longer than the competition. 

You have some great pros on your team, what do they love about the paddles?

We’ve been so fortunate to be able to put together one of the most competitive Pro Teams out there. Many of our athletes tried our paddles independently and actually approached us for sponsorships. Almost universally, they comment on the unique combination of control AND power. Usually you have to give up one or the other, but not with CRBN!

Pickleball Pro DJ Young
Pickleball Pro Erik Rosner
Pickleball Pro Yana

Can you talk us through the design and style of each paddle

The CRBN1 (elongated) is the first paddle we built. It was the paddle that I made specifically to suit my play style and most players out there. It features an elongated handle (perfect for two-handed backhands) and the extra length of the face feels great for driving the ball. Out of any paddle on the market, it’s the closest you can get to the feel of a tennis racket. This paddle comes in 13mm and 16mm core thicknesses. Generally speaking, 16mm provides a bit more control and the 13mm is ideal for those looking for more power and speed off the paddle.

CRBN-1 Carbon Fiber Elongated Paddle
CRBN-1 Carbon Fiber Elongated Paddle

The CRBN2 is our newest paddle and features a shorter handle and square face. It provides a wider sweet spot and has quickly become the go-to for many of our customers who prefer a wider hitting surface.

CRBN-2 Carbon Fiber Paddle
CRBN-2 Carbon Fiber Paddle

In terms of style, it has been our goal to keep a clean, subtle design. We don’t need loud colors and confusing marketing jargon. We want a sleek paddle where the performance does the talking.

Shop all CRBN

What’s next for CRBN?

We’ve got a lot of exciting new products in the pipeline! Two things we definitely have coming out this year are different colorways for our existing paddles and a premium pickleball backpack. The colorways will feature our same, recognizable carbon fiber face along with stylish color accents that really make them pop. The backpack is something we’re really proud of also. We custom built it from the ground up to include exactly what we would want as pickleball players on the court. Everything else I’ll have to keep under wraps for now. I don’t want to ruin the surprise!

CRBN paddles let your playing do the talking – for more spin, more core control, and more points. Try out a CRBN1 (elongated) or CRBN2 (traditional square) paddle and you will realize what many players have already…that CRBN Pickleball means business.

Shop CRBN Pickleball Paddles now at Pickleball Central

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.

BADDLE Pickleball is coming to Pickleball Central with a great new range of Paddles!

Baddle Pickleball Paddles launched during the COVID-19 pandemic and has made a mark with their colorful stylish graphics. Their new paddles offer options in graphite and fiberglass as well as an elongated shape and a smaller paddles thoughtfully designed for youth. Our recent Q&A with Baddle gives a glimpse into this fun new pickleball brand that you’re sure to be seeing more of out on the courts.

Baddle Pickleball Paddles

What inspired you to get into developing pickleball paddles?

Playing outdoor pickleball was a saving grace for us during a period of lock-down. We had always been casual players, but during the pandemic, we started playing more, which led to playing even more…. and so goes the obsession with the sport. Early into our obsession, we realized we wanted gear that made us look and feel good. We didn’t just want performance, and we didn’t just want unique style. We wanted both and couldn’t find it. So we set out to create a line of paddles with the best of both worlds. Today, our collection has grown into paddles, gear, apparel, and more – including the recent launch of our new Junior Pickleball Paddles.

Baddle Pickleball NEW at Pickleball Central

What is the difference between your paddles designed for adults and those made for kids?

Pickleball is such an inclusive sport and we’re seeing the highest growth of players in the younger age groups, so we thought, “let’s do a junior paddle!” Little did we know it would become a new obsession. We wanted to design a paddle specifically for kids aged 6-12 that makes them feel, look and play like the little pros they are.

Shop Junior Paddle

You might think you just scale down an adult paddle, and boom, you have yourself a youth paddle. But that’s actually not the way you want to do it. If you were to simply scale down the proportions of an adult paddle, you’d end up with an unbalanced, smaller sweet spot paddle. Instead, we found that elongating the surface of the paddle and narrowing and shortening the grip of the paddle led to a comparable paddle for kids. Essentially, our junior paddles mimic the balance, control and sweet spot of an adult paddle.

Baddle Pickleball Junior Paddle

What are the differences between the Lancer and the Echelon paddles?

It’s subtle, but there is one major difference. Essentially, fiberglass (what our Lancer surface is made from) offers more pop than graphite (what our Echelon surface is made from).

Shop Lancer Paddle

Shop Echelon Paddle

Note: this doesn’t translate to one being “better” than the other. It’s about playing style and skill level. Often, we recommend the Echelon to beginner and intermediate players, who may be looking to practice control and shot placement. And for higher level intermediate and advanced players, we recommend the Lancer paddle. This is because these players may be looking to enhance the power of their shots because they already feel extremely confident in their shot accuracy.

Lancer Paddle by Baddle Pickleball made with Fiberglass
Echelon Paddle by Baddle Pickleball made with Graphite

How do you come up with the cool designs for your paddle graphics?

We take pride in our designs and our creative team is constantly cooking up new patterns for paddles and apparel. They monitor design trends to find inspiration on what’s hot not only in pickleball and adjacent sports like tennis, but also in the broader fashion world. Our goal is to have other players coming up to our “Baddlers” on the court and asking them about their paddles because of how recognizable the graphics are.

Baddle Pickleball New to Pickleball Central

Why did you find it important to include an elongated shape in your paddle line-up?

Because it’s fun, easy to learn, and the most inclusive sport out there, we’re committed to getting as many people involved in pickleball as possible. So we’re always on the lookout to bring new designs and shapes into our offerings to help provide top-notch gear to any playing style.

Shop Ballista Elongated Paddle

Players who prefer an elongated paddle often have shorter reaches, so having even just a little more length on the paddle surface helps them cover a little more ground. Some players also prefer an elongated paddle for the more forgiving sweet spot. It’s perfect for players getting back into the game or for new picklers, too.

What’s next for Baddle?

We’ve been lucky enough to partner with other major brands, pros around the world, and tournament events, and we hope to keep growing the pickleball community by finding new ways to partner with different pickleballers – like Pickleball Central!

We’re also excited about some next generation apparel we have in the hopper. Stay tuned for more details there. We’re thrilled not only about new fabrics and designs, but also the overall style of our new line.

Shop all BADDLE Paddles

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.

Paddles the Pros Used at the 2021 National Championships

2021 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships presented by Pickleball Central

PickleballCentral was proud to be the presenting sponsor of the 2021 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Palm Springs. While this year has been another test of endurance when it comes to balancing safety with the return of more in-person events, we were inspired by the pickleball community’s resilience and drive to keep our sport going strong. In fact, looking at a breakdown of the stats surrounding this exciting event there were:

2,342 players

3,944 matches

87 USA Pickleball certified referees

172 brackets

Making this event the largest pickleball tournament in the history of the sport!

We’re grateful to everyone who participated or showed up to support the competitors as we continue to see the game rise in popularity. PickleballCentral was there for 10 days as the one-stop shop for all sorts of pickleball gear from your favorite brands. We had a shoe try-on center, paddle demo center, ball machines, bags and more! There was also plenty of amazing pro action, and we’re here to provide a recap of the paddles used by medal winners if you’d like to try them for yourself.

Leigh Waters with Paddletek

Paddletek Pheonix Genesis – Leigh Waters

Leigh Waters took gold in Womens Doubles with her 14-year-old superstar daughter, Anna Leigh. This pair has been Nationals gold champs two years in a row.

The Phoenix Genesis Composite Pickleball Paddle is a fairly speedy option that has trim weight (7.4 – 7.8 oz) and dimensions. In addition to its easy maneuvering, it provides “Torsion Vibration Control” which helps players accurately place shots even when hitting off-center and dampens vibrations through the grip for better consistency even in the midst of tough exchanges.

PRICE $89.99

Jennifer Dawson with ProKennex

ProKennex Ovation Flight – Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer was the only player at this year’s Nationals to win a Triple Crown (again!) – gold in all 3 events (Senior Singles, Doubles with Cammy McGregor and Mixed Doubles with Dayne Gingrich).

The ProKennex Kinetic Ovation Flight has a special core that uses tungsten fibers to reduce the amount of vibrations that reach the arm, minimizing shock from impact and helping to prevent injury. The innovative oval shape has great reactivity that’s all sweet spot, while the Air-O-Guard offers an edgeless design that eliminates mis-hits while protecting the paddle.

PRICE $189.95
Free Paddle Cover ($16.99 value)

Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova with ONIX

ONIX Evoke Premier – Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova

Partners Matt and Lucy won Silver in Mixed Doubles, adding another big win to their impressive record.

Matt and Lucy helped develop their signature paddle which is focused on reliable power and high-level precision. A light coating on the face softens the feel of impact while still ensuring a responsive touch. The Atomic13 Edge technology maintains a slim profile and also assists in dispersing shock while improving swing speed.

PRICE $149.99
3 Free ONIX Fuse Outdoor Balls ($9.99 value)

Dayne Gingrich with Electrum

Electrum Pro – Dayne Gingrich

Dayne won gold in Senior Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles with partners Dave Weinbach and Jennifer Dawson, finishing off a great year.

The Electrum Pro Graphite features a Toray T700 carbon fiber face which offers texture for spin and enhanced durability. Its broad surface creates a large sweet spot and the core only uses full cells, ensuring dependable feedback and power.

MSPR $169.99
SALE $139.99
Free Paddle Cover ($16.99 value)

Erik Lange with Head

HEAD Gravity – Erik Lange

Erik won bronze in Men’s Doubles with partner Wes Gabrielsen. He is a PPR teaching pro and works full time as a regional sales rep for HEAD.

The HEAD Gravity’s face features a hybrid blend of graphite and composite materials that combine for a perfect mix of control and power. It uses a thicker 14 mm polymer core that adds to stability and great touch. The large sweet spot and tri-axial pattern on the surface which contributes to spin make this a winner.

PRICE $154.95

Zane NavratilFranklin Ben Johns SignatureM Singles Silver
Lea JansenFranklin Ben Johns SignatureWD Silver
Catherine ParenteauPaddletek Tempest Reign ProWD Bronze
Jessie IrvineEngage Pursuit MXWD Bronze
Irina TereschenkoPaddletek Bantam EX-LWD Silver, W Singles Bronze
Jilliam BravermanPaddletek Sabre ProW Singles Silver
Paul OlinGAMMA RZRSr M Singles Silver
Scott FliegelmanBabolat RBEL TouchSr M Singles Bronze
Mattias JohanssonEngage Pursuit MXSr M Singles Gold
Mircea MorariuElectrum ProSr Mixed Bronze
Julie JohnsonEngage Encore 6.0Sr Mixed Bronze, Sr Women’s Singles Silver
Callan DawsonProKennex Pro Speed IIM D Silver
Jennifer DawsonProKennex Ovation FlightSr Mixed Gold, Sr WD Gold, Sr Women’s Singles Gold – triple crown!
Tyson McGuffinSelkirk VANGUARD Hybrid InviktaM D Gold, M Singles Gold, Mixed Bronze
Lucy KovalovaOnix Evoke PremierMixed Silver
Anna Leigh WatersPaddletek Bantam TS-5Mixed Bronze, WD Gold, W Singles Gold
Leigh WatersPaddletek – Phoenix GenesisWD Gold
Dave WeinbachPaddletek Tempest Wave ProSr M D Gold, Sr Mixed Silver
Scott MoorePaddletek Sabre ProSr M D Bronze
John SperlingSelkirk VANGUARD Invikta (Electrify)Sr M D Silver
Scott CrandallElectrumSr M D Bronze
Dayne GingrichElectrum ProSr M D Gold, Sr Mixed Gold
Cammy MacGregorSelkirk AMPED S2Sr WD Gold, Sr Women’s Singles Bronze
Nathalie BagbyPaddletek EX-L ProSr Women’s Silver
Riley NewmanGAMMA Signature ModelM D Gold, Mixed Gold
Wes GabrielsenSelkirk AMPED EpicM D Bronze
Kevin BoothGearbox CX14HSr M D Silver
Erik LangeHEAD GravityM D Bronze
Kris AndersonOnix Evoke PremierSr MD xxx
Complete list of Pro Medal Winners at Nationals 2021

View all Pro Paddles Here.

(Event stats from USAPickleball.)

Adidas Enters Pickleball With A New Line Of Paddles For Every Player

New Sport. Same Attitude.

For more than seventy years, adidas has excelled when it comes to leading innovation in sports. We are excited to announce that adidas has launched their first line of pickleball paddles in 2021! With growing recognition and excitement around pickleball, we are seeing some major brands take notice. This new line of paddles brings their spirit of performance to pickleball with 8 paddles for a range of all player types, from beginners to pros.

Adidas is using materials new to the sport to hit the ground running with some high-level performance paddles.

Let’s take a closer look:

adidas ADIPOWER Pickleball Paddles

ADIPOWER Range

Featuring 2 Paddles

  • New carbon aluminized face material for a unique feel 
  • Two shapes for different styles of play – ATTK and CTRL 
  • Adidas quality entering pickleball 

What happens when you combine the rigidity of carbon fiber with the softness of aluminum? You get the face of the ADIPOWER paddles. This gives the paddle a depth not seen in other paddles. From the soft game to the power game these paddles just feel and play a little different. There is very little feedback through the paddle and shots are consistent and controlled.   

ESSNOVA CARBON Range

Featuring 3 paddles

  • 3K carbon face provides great control on all models 
  • 2 shapes and 2 core densities provide a wide range of play characteristics 
  • Exciting technology enhances durability and play – structural reinforcement and Spin Blade technology 

The ESSNOVA CARBON finds a different way to combine power and control. The shape of the ESSNOVA ATTK is slightly elongated, adding more whip to your shots. The balanced ESSNOVA CTRL paddles come in two different core densities. The low density has more give, thus a little more pop off the face. The high density is more rigid, spreading out the sweet spot and adding another dimension of control.  

RX Range

Featuring 2 paddles

  • Consistent play and feel for these intermediate paddles 
  • Your choice of high density (control) or low density (power) cores  
  • Classic shape and weight range  

The RX44 and the RX20 are intermediate level paddles that perform. This series utilizes a fiberglass face to help those who want to keep their serves and returns deep. The RX44 has a high density core for to help temper the bounce of the fiberglass. The RX20 has a low density core to multiple the fiberglass effect. Both paddles are in the traditional shape. 

Drive Range

Featuring 1 paddle

  • Fiberglass face for pop 
  • Carbon-reinforced frame for durability 
  • Comfortable non slip grip 

The Drive is an entry level paddle that comes in a slightly smaller shape. There are many of the same technologies used in the higher end adidas paddles that make this paddle a winner at this price. It will provide enough power as you start your pickleball journey through the use of a fiberglass face and the low density core.   

You’ll find these paddles exclusively at PickleballCentral.

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.

Shop all adidas paddles.

OneShot Brings Together Value and Quality in Expanding Paddle Line

OneShot Pickleball is owned by two pickleball-obsessed families and has all the positive hallmarks of a smaller business: great customer care, passion for the sport and attention to quality. But they combine these attributes with a strong system for QA and a focus on making products accessible to players of all strokes.

OneShot Pickleball

Coming from tennis backgrounds and dedicated to welcoming a broad spectrum of players to pickleball, OneShot is an impressive, growing company that’s just released their line’s first graphite paddle (the ProShot) and offers the only youth-centered paddle using high quality materials (the JuniorShot).

Owners Oscar and John were able to take some time with us to provide more background on their company and we’re excited to share:

Why did you decide to enter the pickleball industry?

Our families met playing pickleball at Greenlake in Seattle almost 2 years ago. Oscar and John hit it off immediately with their style of play resembling tennis players. The families met soon after and it’s been non-stop fun playing and growing a business together with something all of us were passionate about. We thought it shouldn’t take a small fortune to buy multiple paddles for the game we loved. So we decided to create a paddle that was affordable for all styles of play and for all skill levels from beginners to pro players.

JuniorShot

JuniorShot

How did you come up with your paddles’ designs? 

We were all interested in finding a paddle that resembled a tennis racquet due to our backgrounds and the familiar shape and feel. There were one or two we thought came close, but we also wondered, “Why not create one ourselves?” So we developed a paddle that could benefit both tennis and pickleball players. We engineered a paddle with a slightly longer handle and elongated face to resemble what we thought a tennis racquet would look like in a pickleball paddle form.

What makes your paddles unique?

We use fiberglass faces and polymer core materials that are similar to our competitors, but we believed these should also be affordable for our customers. Performance-wise, we would say it’s the same or better than other paddles. We use a slightly heavier core but made it balanced through the middle, so while playing it feels light but also has enough weight to really power through a solid drive, volley or punishing groundstroke.

UltimateShot

UltimateShot

What should players expect when it comes to the feel of your products?

Overall, our paddles are known for having a solid “pop” and large sweet spots. We have various models that combine power and control to find the right balance for each player’s game. Our face roughness is also a huge factor that we developed to make sure we had the maximum roughness allowed by the USAPA. Our solid grip will provide each player better blocks, turning those into winning volleys and finesse shots dink after dink
.

ProShot

ProShot

Are there currently any pro players using your paddles?

We have who we believe are two young, up-and-coming pros in Michelle Lui and Lukas Crippen. Given more time to play at a higher level we believe these two will excel. Michelle likes the Powershot because she can rip her 2-handed backhand and Lukas likes the Ultimateshot for the soft feel of the finesse game, but if you give him an overhead, watch out!

Anything else you’d like to add to share?

We believe that the growth of the sport comes from our youth. Therefore, we designed the first playable paddles for kids in the market: the Juniorshot. We offer 2 options for this paddle 1) The U8; suggested for ages 2-7 years old and 2) The U12 (USAPA Approved); suggested for ages 7-11.

Last but not least, we are launching our first graphite paddle, the “Proshot.” We believe from the response we have received from our team that this is the paddle of choice for a lot of players. It is so well balanced and powered that in the right hands we believe will bring your game to the next level.

The New Generation of Paddletek

Since 2010, Paddletek has been one of pickleball’s industry leaders thanks to their breakthrough product innovation, high quality designs, versatile offerings and lifetime performance guarantee. You can find Paddletek in the hands of pro players in tournaments around the world.

As the sport has grown, so have they, and the company has now unveiled their new era of innovation. Paddletek has completely rebranded their offerings which not only include visual changes but material upgrades to their incredible line.

Paddletek Pros

We had a chance to interview Noah Kaplan, Paddletek’s VP of Sales & Marketing, and he shared some of the reasoning behind this new look and lineup of Paddletek’s products:

“To us, it’s more than just creating a new logo or developing a new paddle. This is about creating a strong brand identity that aligns with our core mission and values and will ultimately give our consumers the confidence they need to take their game to the next level.”

A Fresh Look

To start, you’ll notice every paddle has received a complete visual overhaul. All of Paddletek’s equipment now looks more uniform with clean black backgrounds intersected by eye-catching neon colors. Their appearance feels sleek and modern, expressing dedication to the game but with an energetic edge.

Paddletek’s Product Lines

Before this launch of Paddletek’s new lineup, they offered over 15 different paddle models spread out over a large number of different sub-brands.  As the company exploded in growth since their initial introduction in 2010, they created paddles for every type of player need. After almost 10 years of product innovation, the company decided it was time to reset the product line in a way that helped make it easier for players to select the best paddle for their needs.

The result? Every Paddletek paddle is now sorted into three corresponding product lines that address these areas and then offer further variation.

Catherine Parenteau with the new Tempest Wave Pro

Catherine Parenteau with the Tempest Wave Pro

The Tempest series improves accuracy and provides better control. Noah says this series “utilizes a specialized graphite core to absorb more energy from the ball, giving players more control.” There are two offerings in this line, the Tempest Wave II, and the Tempest Wave Pro.

The Bantam series is made to support power and performance. Paddletek believes these paddles “allow the ball to keep more if its own energy during a return, giving the player more put away options.” This line includes both Standard and Pro models of the famous TS-5 and Bantam EX-L, plus the Bantam Sabre.

The Phoenix series is the most user-friendly for all levels and offers a balance between control and power. Noah feels that the Phoenix line “represents the ‘just right’ category, where [Paddletek] starts from a design perspective and uses adaptations of earlier models that changed the sport.”

How to Choose Which Model Is Right For You?

When it came to organizing their equipment, Paddletek knew players can find it difficult to determine which piece of gear matches up with their needs. To help accommodate this process they’ve rated their paddles in three different categories based on user feedback: control, power and forgiveness.

Control relates to “touch” and allows you to better manipulate ball placement.

Power refers to how much strength the paddle adds to your shots and makes it easier to drive balls with more speed.

Forgiveness is connected to a paddle’s sweet spot, meaning you don’t have to hit dead center on the face to get the ball over the net.

If you’d like to see a full table breaking down the paddles within each of these lines for quick comparison, visit our Paddletek product page.

Scott More with the Bantam Sabre Pro

Scott More with the Bantam Sabre Pro

Visionary Design

In addition to making their paddles more simple to categorize, Paddletek has continued to boost their products’ performance at top level play.

All Pro models include Smart Response Technology (SRT) in their 9/16″ cores which increase the consistency of the sweet spot by evenly distributing the energy from the ball.

Noah says they have “introduced TVC (torsional vibration control) in several paddles, which means the paddle is less likely to twist in the player’s hand when the ball strikes off center. Our vibration dampening technology also reduces vibration and adds comfort at impact when force enters the player’s hand, arm and elbow.”

Leigh Waters with the Phoenix Genesis

Leigh Waters with the Phoenix Genesis

New Product Offerings

Updated appearance of the Tempest Wave II

Updated appearance of the Tempest Wave II

One much-beloved paddle that has been entirely done is the Tempest Wave, now known as the Tempest Wave II. The previous core has been upgraded and it now includes the aforementioned TVC tech so that players experience less interruption to their game.

The Phoenix line is also an entirely new series of paddles from the company as opposed to the updated iterations of their classic models. The Phoenix paddles are perfectly balanced when it comes to power and control, making them a great option for players who don’t want to focus on a single attribute and instead have the flexibility to adapt their play style as needed.

The Phoenix G6 is the entry level selection in the line, having vibration dampening properties and a standard polymer core. The Phoenix Genesis Pro is the next step up with both vibration dampening and TVC tech in addition to a high grade poly core. And finally, the Phoenix Genesis Pro has all of the previous qualities as well as Smart Response Technology and Paddletek’s most advanced core.

Anna Leigh with the Bantam TS-5

Anna Leigh with the Bantam TS-5

The Paddletek You Know, Even Better

For players who have been long-time Paddletek fans, this is your opportunity to show off what you can really do with skills forged in the competition and excellent equipment. For newcomers who are just now discovering them, there’s no better time to take advantage of PickleballCentral’s test drive policy to find your perfect match in the Paddletek family worry-free.

Irina Tereschenko with the Bantam EX-L

Irina Tereschenko with the Bantam EX-L

Check out Paddletek’s updated table of products and find new ways to transform your game, just like Paddletek has transformed their offerings.

Dave Weinbach with the Tempest Wave Pro

Dave Weinbach with the Tempest Wave Pro

Why You Should Try a Heavy Paddle Even If You’ve Dismissed Them Before

Heavy pickleball paddles are often presumed to fall under the sole domain of power players. You have more heft in your hand, so you can slam, smash and drive kill shots down the court all day.

This scenario is a reality for some players, but to shoehorn heavy paddles into such a niche role is a disservice to their versatility. You may even be missing out on the excellent benefits these paddles can provide if you’ve been presuming their weight is too much to handle.

Hilary Marold is one example of a pro player who bucks the stereotype of heavy paddles only being suitable for big and bulky athletes. She even believes that heavy paddles are particularly helpful to senior players, a demographic which is often advised to steer clear of anything that could strain their joints.

Hilary is known as the “Queen of the Courts” due to her extensive high-profile background in racquet sports. This includes multiple gold medals and hall of fame inductions within tennis, platform tennis, badminton, racquetball, pickleball and more, so it’s worth hearing her out!

In the video below you can listen to Hilary explain why she enjoys using the Paddletek Phoenix Ultra II, which weighs in at 10 – 10.5 oz.

Hilary explains that paradoxically, heavy paddles often stress the body less than lightweight options. Their larger mass provides more speed and pop with less work from the player.

In an extreme example, think of whether it would be easier to return a ball with a banana leaf or a baseball bat. While the leaf is obviously faster and easier to wield, the bat adds far more of its own power during acceleration rather than relying on a player to throw all of their strength behind it.

She notes that heavier paddles provide better defense since their weight defuses the power behind slams. The paddle won’t vibrate or churn as much in the hand, allowing for an easier response.

For those who play outdoors, a heavy paddle will also offer more support when counteracting wind during a difficult serve or return.

If you experience sore wrists or arms during play, we believe it’s at least worth trying a heavier option to see if it can alleviate some of the tension that can result from using a light paddle. You might be surprised by the results! (Remember our 30-day test drive policy allows you to try equipment worry-free.)

If you’ve tried heavy paddles before to no avail, be aware that a paddle’s weight distribution greatly effects how it feels in the hand. Paddles that are head-heavy, those which focus most of their weight near the top of the face, often feel right at home in the hands of former (and current) tennis players. However, they might feel draining and awkward to someone who doesn’t want to battle against gravity during games.

Thankfully, there are options on both ends of the spectrum whether you want to try a paddle with a balanced weight distribution or something more specialized. If you love your current paddle but think there might be something to the weight debate, you can also give lead tape a shot and cheaply add more strength to equipment you already own.

For those wanting to test something new, the following are great options in the heavy paddle category:

Paddles with a Balanced Feel

Phoenix Ultra II – Up to 10.6 oz
Z5 Composite – Up to 9.2 oz
Vertex – Up to 8.9 oz
Phoenix Pro PTK – Up to 8.8 oz
Bantam EX-L – Up to 8.8 oz
Bantam EX-L Pro – Up to 8.8 oz
Wilson Tour Pro – Up to 8.7 oz

Paddles with a Head-Heavy Feel

Maverick (Standard) – Up to 8.3 oz
Saber Pro – Up to 8.4 oz
Invikta X5 – Up to 8.4 oz
Engage Poach Extreme – Up to 8.3 oz
Head Radical XL (Red) – Up to 8.3 oz

Paddles that Allow You to Choose a Heavy Weight

Prince Pro Series – Up to 8.3 oz standard weight
Selkirk Amped Series – Up to 8.4 oz standard weight

What are your thoughts on heavier paddles, and do you feel they’ve helped improve your game? Which heavy paddle do you think has the best feel?

Onix Evoke Premier Provides High Power at a Low Weight, Reduces Impact Vibration

Manufacturers are always coming up with new ways to innovate with their offerings, but they typically do this by altering a single aspect of a paddle design. That’s why we were particularly excited when Zach Scheller of Escalade Sports told us that the Onix Evoke Premier hadn’t only improved one aspect of their paddles’ traits, but “almost every component [had] been redesigned—handle, edge guard, shape, etc.”

Onix Evoke Premier

Onix Evoke Premier, currently $149.99

Of course, quantity of change doesn’t always equate to quality, but Onix ensured the Evoke Premier would satisfy even the most talented of players by creating it in conjunction with pickleball national champions Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova. These two pros were looking for both put-away power during attacks and stability for volleys and defense.

To accomplish this, Onix developed a paddle that disperses shock and increases swing speed. The Evoke Premier improves power without leaving the medium weight range and uses its 16″ length to comfortably increase reach.

Zach gave us some insight into the specific design decisions that went into the Evoke Premier and why it’s a fantastic offering for players who want power, speed and touch:

“We did a lot of prototyping with Matt and Lucy, some of which had outside-the-box concepts. We also used some machine tests, such as a tennis swing weight machine, to find its swing weight (or power).

“Out of all the paddles we tested, no paddle had as much swing weight as the Evoke Premier did, which was basically a full ounce higher than its actual weight. This means an 8 ounce Premier would have the momentum and power of a traditional 9 ounce paddle.”

Capturing the strength of a heavy paddle at a standard weight is impressive enough, but Onix has included even more beneficial features in the Evoke Premier’s design. One example is the DF (density finish) face which inverts the finishing layer with a graphic.

“Most paddles have the graphic and then a finishing coat over it, which means the differences in color can make peaks and valleys from the graphic. The DF composite face not only creates a more consistent feel across the entire paddle, but it also decrease the amount of paint/coatings on the paddle face, itself.”

ONIX DF Composite Face

We were also interested in the Evoke Premier’s Atomic13 edge guard which is said to disperse shock and increase power. This was done by using a unique material (most paddles use PVC) and essentially shrinking the walls of the edge guard and increasing its weight. This led to a decrease in vibration from the walls of the guard while improving its strength.

Zach adds that it’s “almost like having lead tape around the perimeter of the paddle.”

ONIX Atomic 13 Edge Guard

When asked what type of player is best suited for the Evoke Premier, Zach responded:

“While this paddle has a pretty broad following, we definitely see players who play a faster, more powerful game gravitate towards it the most. However, we’ve even had some players who like the control game love the play at the net, especially on volleys.

“[Compared to the rest of our line] it’s obviously the most similar to the Evoke Pro, but players enjoy the Premier due to its higher put-away power and solid feel. Contrasted with our extreme control or touch paddles, like the Outbreak or Voyager Pro, it definitely has a different style and performance.”

If you’re after a paddle that will adapt to offensive and defensive plays, has a flexible shape and will perform at the highest levels of competition, the Onix Evoke Premier may be the paddle you’ve been waiting for. Check out the Evoke Premier at PickleballCentral to experience how much power you can get from this paddle despite its trim weight.

How Did Thick Core Paddles Become One of the Hottest Pickleball Trends?

Over the past several years paddles with thick cores have risen in popularity and versatility. With major manufacturers such as Selkirk, Paddletek, Prince, Onix and GAMMA all offering thick core options, there’s a reason players have turned to this style of paddle and found it improved their game.

Many of those reasons are explained on our Thick Core Paddle guide where you can hear from a number of paddle manufacturers regarding why they’ve ventured into the world of thick core paddles and how their construction has changed over time. This is definitely a style that’s here to stay and players of all levels should give them a test if they’re looking for something highly controlled and stable under pressure.

One of the first thick core paddles to hit the market was the Selkirk Amped Omni, which was created in conjunction with pro player Glen Peterson. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Glen about his initial thought process behind the design and what he believes this style’s greatest strengths are. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of thick core paddles, Glen explains them clearly:

“The idea of a thicker core appealed to my desire for a more stable paddle that generates more consistent shots across the surface. I hoped that a thicker paddle would be less likely to twist in my hand when the ball struck near the edge. Theoretically this made sense to me as a thicker core could have a lower modulus of elasticity. Practically, it just seemed the right direction the same way larger frame structures in other racquet sports improve performance.

“I cut a paddle out of a piece of 2 inch foam just to see what the thicker template felt like in my hands, and it felt great even though I couldn’t hit a ball. I then took two half inch cores and glued them together to create a usable paddle but with no edge guard. This 1 inch thick paddle was a breakthrough for me. Brian Ashworth hit with it and agreed. The challenge was creating a thicker paddle without dramatically increasing weight. Selkirk took on this challenge and made the Omni paddle with 5/8 inch thick core.  While an 1/8” thick seems small, it is a 25% increase in thickness.

“The key advantage is more consistent ball performance coming off a larger portion of the paddle surface. While it might seem a thicker core would generate more power or ball speed, the opposite seems true. I get more control, touch and consistency even when I miss-hit the ball. And I get all the power I need. Players like Ty McGuffin are able to generate amazing power even with the thicker core. Players who want tons of power with shorter strokes might prefer thinner paddles with smaller but dramatic sweet spots.

“Perhaps the only unexpected drawback to this type of paddle is that it’s harder to pick up a ball lying on the ground with the edge of the paddle since it’s thicker!

“I see paddles becoming even thicker with innovative core materials and improved paddle science. Additionally, I see ball development as being an important factor in paddle improvements. If balls become softer and less brittle, the paddles will change accordingly. Current top paddles are optimized for the Dura Fast 40 Ball which is preferred by most top players.”

Glen’s predictions have proven true so far, with manufacturer Prince introducing two new paddles featuring 9/16″ thick cores in 2018. The Prince Spectrum Pro and Response Pro have both proven popular and feature a unique oval-shaped design. The thick core makes these paddles very rigid and transfers energy evenly along the sides, top and bottom of the design. This effectively expands the sweet spot and lets players make use of space that would be “dead” in other paddles nearer to the edge guard.

Onix released their .625″ thick paddle, the Outbreak, in 2018 as well. It uses a carbon fiber face to create a soft feel that reduces vibration from impact, increasing stability and letting players maintain control over their shots. Paddletek’s Pro Series with 9/16″ cores was released later that year and included the Tempest Pro, which uses a graphite face. This combo is thought to create one of the best feeling paddles available, allowing players to hit against any area of their paddle’s surface without experiencing decreased responsiveness.

GAMMA was another major manufacturer which saw the strengths of thick cores and expanded the market in 2019. The Compass, Shard and Legend added more shape and weight variety to the mix and have shown the sweet spot can be broadened with this technology no matter the paddle’s shape or weight. With many top players enjoying these options and variety, there’s something that will satisfy everyone looking to try thick core paddles.

One of the only potential downsides players may want to be aware of when looking at these paddles is the fact that their handles tend to be more square-shaped and boxy due to the thicker construction. While several of the paddles mentioned above do come in small grip circumferences (4-1/8″), they generally have more of a structured feel to them.

Many players have found that they’re able to easily adapt to this shape after a few games with a thick core paddle, but this is something to be aware of when considering the various choices. Another option is to add an overgrip to these paddles for the purpose of softening up the more defined edges of the handle.

There are currently nineteen different paddles from six manufacturers collected on our Thick Core Paddles page, and with the way development is going, we expect this number will continue to grow. Learn more about all of these paddles here.