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.

Is It Possible to Play Competitively with a Wood Paddle?

Wood paddles are usually synonymous with “beginner paddles” in the pickleball community due to their low cost, heavy weight and supposed lack of finesse. But ask Jeremy Rosenstein’s opinion and you’ll hear a different story!

Jeremy works as a sports videographer for the NBA, WNBA and Big Ten Athletics. He’s taken his wood paddle from practice to tournament play many times, and despite receiving funny looks from the competition, no one doubts his paddle’s viability once he’s standing on the winners’ podium. He’s an advocate of player skill determining the outcome of matches rather than the quality of one’s gear, but he also believes that the power and defensive capabilities of wood paddles deserve more attention.

Jeremy Rosenstein

Jeremy Rosenstein

Listen to Jeremy’s story and let us know if you change your opinion on wood paddles:

My name is Jeremy Rosenstein and I’m known as “The Guy with the Wooden Paddle” at every tournament I attend. Competitive players comment and make fun of the fact that I use the wooden Swinger paddle to the best of its ability. They all ask questions and have the same doubts, wondering why I’d use a “cheap beginner’s paddle.” What they don’t know is that I started playing with this precise, well-crafted paddle from the very beginning of my pickleball journey and have never wanted to trade it out!

My choice in paddle shows that this sport is not about using something that will give you a crazy power advantage, but that you can make the most out of your own talents and footwork. For me, that means using a paddle that is fundamentally sound and solid on any outdoor/indoor surface. I have hundreds of photos at tournaments and round robins where I’ve won with my Swinger paddle and no one can believe that I come out victorious with a basic, blue-collar paddle.

I hope my experiences can promote this paddle and put it on the map for other players. It’s gone up against the most powerful composite paddles with their honeycomb cores and outshone them. I learned how to hit hard consistently while also harnessing its finesse capabilities for angled volleys and deadening dinks. This paddle isn’t only suitable for schools and clubs looking to get something at a great price, but for recreational/tourney players as well.

Jeremy Rosenstein

Some players believe the best paddles are those with all the bells and whistles which cost a pretty penny, but since 2014 I’ve been playing with the same durable Swinger. It’s stood the test of time and you know the ball will come off the face consistently. It provides stellar slice and spin variety shots. There’s no edge guard to cause mis-hits. The paddle has a simple design with a wrist strap that provides security and a comfortable grip you can rely on even in the midst of sweaty, steamy indoor and outdoor tourney conditions.

It has won me so many trophies, medals, positive recognition and accolades. People can’t help but talk about “the guy with the wooden paddle” at tournaments all over the midwest and beyond. They see for themselves how the Swinger brings shot-making ability and reliability to my game—and it could do the same for theirs with hardly any money out of pocket.

I hope my experiences shine the light on wood paddles, especially the Swinger, and their viability for players of all levels.

Jeremy Rosenstein

The Ten Best Paddles You May Not Know About

With so many paddles on the market it can be tough keeping up with it all. Fortunately, we have people to do that for you. We’ve asked our staff to come up with paddles that may not be grabbing all the headlines but still provide top quality benefits.

Here are the ten best paddles you may not know about (in no particular order):

Paddletek Tangent Pro

1. Paddletek Tangent Pro

The brand you know; the paddle you may not. The Tangent Pro evokes feelings of the original Element with its style. It’s a great all court paddle, having a traditional face size with slightly rounded corners and a 9/16″ core. The shape and thicker core widens the sweet spot and provides more mass for power. From baseline to kitchen play, the Tangent offers top shelf Paddletek quality.

What our customers say:

I love this paddle
I had been playing with the same paddle since I started years ago, it was a lightweight Prolite. The first time I used this paddle I could feel a big difference, it really took my play to the next level. The only con is that the handle is short, so the best fit is for players who have fairly small hands.

Stan in Alabaster, AL

Kinetic Ovation Speed

2. ProKennex Kinetic Ovation Speed

The Ovation from ProKennex is one of the newest paddles on the market and stands out with its unique oval shape. It’s a streamlined design that makes the paddle swing with less resistance, adding credence to the “Speed” in the paddle name. As an edgeless paddle, players experience fewer miss-hits. The Tungsten Bead technology in the paddle helps it absorb energy and prevent vibration from moving up your arm. You’ll be amazed by the feel and the power you get from the Ovation.

What our customers say:

Great Paddle and Amazing Customer Service
Changed my game and worth every penny. The paddle has better control with a larger sweet spot. It has really improved my touch at the net without sacrificing power from the baseline. PickleballCentral’s service is always geared towards the customer first and with excellent shipping its a no-brainer.

John in Rancho Mirage, CA

ProLite Surface NRG

3. ProLite Surface NRG

ProLite has built a loyal following with the Titan, SuperNova and Cypher. These are paddles known for their ability to grab the ball and impart spin, but they’re not known as power paddles. With the Surface NRG, that changes. This paddle maintains the spin and shot shaping ability of the other ProLite performance paddles while providing a little more pop. It’s another innovative offering from one of the original paddle companies.

What our customers say:

Light & Well-Balanced with Plenty of Pop & Spin
I was using a Selkirk Amped S2, which I liked, but was looking for a little more spin, control and pop on my serves. The Prolite Surface NRG matched the Selkirk in terms of power and pop but I did find I got a little more spin, control and touch/feel when using the NRG. The NRG has a slightly longer handle which allows more wrist action on serves and spins. My drop shots are better and more consistent with the NRG – one of the benefits of good feel & touch. Lastly, I really like the weight distribution on the Prolite Surface NRG. I highly recommend this paddle… unless you’re on the other side of the net from me. Then, choose another paddle please!

David in Marietta, GA

Gamma Legend

4. Gamma Legend

Here’s another new paddle on the market. Gamma is now offering their top performance paddles (Needle, Mirage and RZR) with a thicker core (Compass, Legend and Shard). What we like about the Legend is that it’s a composite paddle that plays like graphite. The NeuCore Poly Core is 9/16” thick. The energy of the shot is spread throughout the paddle giving it the control characteristics of a graphite paddle while maintaining the pop of fiberglass. It’s a fun paddle to use.

What our customers say:

Legend paddle is awesome
I’ve only played a couple of days with this Legend and it feels better than my other paddles already. It does soften the sound a tiny bit and seems to help with blocking shots. I’m still a beginner at this game, but I really like this paddle.

Rob in CO

HEAD Radical XL Graphite

5. HEAD Radical XL

Head paddles are known for their playability characteristics that mirror the tennis industry, making them very comfortable for people switching from tennis to pickleball. The Radical XL has all that and then some. The grip feels very comfortable and familiar while the sweet spot sits higher on the paddle. The extra bonus the XL offers with the blade shape is additional power. Its combination of a higher sweet spot and a longer shape increases the torque, hence the exit speed of the ball. It’s radical how science affects pickleball!

What our customers say:

Blue Radical 7.5oz
Received my paddle and got to play about 5 games today. Great feel playing. I love it. Great touch and power. I can drop shot or drive one home.

Jim in Shickshinny, PA

Rally Graphite Power 5.0

PBC Rally Graphite Power 5.0

This is another entry into the category of thicker core paddles, and it comes at a great price point. The Rally Graphite Power has gone through several iterations, all of which have been quite popular. This paddle should be the most popular yet. The 5.0 plays softer than its predecessors. Even though it gives up some of the trademark power associated with the name, the increase in feel and control make this a legitimate full court paddle.

What our customers say (as the 5.0 is so new, this is a review of the previous 2.0):

I was using a lighter paddle and had to bang the ball pretty had to get some velocity on it. Now, using this paddle that weighs approx. 7.9 ounces, my power game has improved. At the net just hold it up at the right angle and with minimal effort you can place the ball where you want with a simple wrist shot. Learning to hit top spin shots has taken a bit more time… overall my game is improving. Great paddle for arthritic hands – at least my hands anyway!

Bernard

Engage Trident

7. Engage Trident

Here’s another paddle from a big-name brand that is flying under the radar. The Trident focuses on control, feel and spin. However, coming from Engage you know there will be some pop. The Trident plays very soft and with the GripTek face you get a little extra spin on your cuts and top spin shots. We also think the Trident is one of the best-looking paddles from Engage. Looking good and playing good is a nice combo.

What our customers say:

Trident
Well, I took a chance on a brand new paddle with no reviews except PickleballCentral’s own pro… kind of like the dealer telling you how great your new car will be. I’m a 3.5 player and initially I didn’t see any real difference between the Trident and my old generic paddle. It took a couple of games to recognize that I was consistently hitting much better dinks! The surface is supposedly as rough as the rules allow (which isn’t very) but I have noticed a little more spin on the ball. The pro review said the paddle was “soft” and it wasn’t a term I understood until I hit with it. Love my new Trident and highly recommend it.

Randy in Kansas City, MO

TOPP Reacher Graphite

8. TOPP Reacher Graphite

The second blade on our list is the Reacher Graphite from TOPP. It combines the additional power you get with the blade shape with a graphite face to increase control. Graphite spreads the energy out over the entire paddle face and give you a more predictable shot time and time again. The additional reach (pun intended) that you get with this paddle doesn’t hurt either. This paddle was designed by Steve Wong, proving that the original paddle makers still have game.

What our customers say:

This paddle is excellent because it has great control and reach as well as a quieter sound when it hits the ball.

Rodney in Bellefontaine, OH

Onix Outbreak

9. Onix Outbreak

When it comes to softness, the Outbreak from Onix may provide the softest feel of any paddle out there. The thick core and the TeXtreme Technology combine for a paddle that plays like butter – in the very best way. From short hops to dinks and blocks, the ball just feels good coming off this paddle. When a performance ball and an Outbreak meet the result is pure magic. The paddle comes in at 7.8 to 8.2 oz which gives it the mass needed to provide some pop to go with the gentle feel.

What our customers say:

Outbreak paddle
I didn’t play a whole lot of tennis growing up but ping pong was my game, very fast paced. This paddle offers so much control and deep play at the kitchen line. My returns are more consistently low over the net and in play. Large sweet spot with no dead spots. Great paddle

JDubs in FL

Wilson Energy Pro

10. Wilson Energy Pro

Oftentimes people equate an entry level price point with a lower performing paddle. That is not the case with the Energy Pro. The Energy Pro sits in the sweet spot for weight at 7.5 – 7.8 oz. With a polymer core and fiberglass face you will feel comfortable hitting shots from anywhere on the court. It’s nice to know you don’t have to break the bank to get a paddle that will help you improve your game. Wilson is showing they’re determined to make their mark in the pickleball scene.

What our customers say:

New Paddle
Nice paddle, service was great, order came fast and in good condition. I would purchase other products from PickleballCentral. You have a great selection of items to choose from, so many that it was hard for me to make a decision, but your information on each item was a great help. I am 80 years old and having a great time playing pickleball. Hard for my old bones sometimes but it keeps me moving. Have some good games every so often even against the younger people. Your Youtube videos are great and have a lot of information.

Mike in Mount Pleasant, SC

What Paddles Did the Pros Use at the 2019 US Open?

The paddle may not make player, and changing your gear won’t turn into a pro overnight… but using high quality equipment can improve your game in short order.

If you’re curious what the top athletes at this year’s US Open used to win their medals, read on! Click the paddle names to read more about them and see their technical specs on PickleballCentral.com.

The prices listed are the standard retail prices as of publishing and may be different in our store.

Yates Tereschenko Bantam EX-L

Paddletek Bantam EX-L – $97.99

Pros:
Kyle Yates – Mixed & Men’s Doubles
Irina Tereschenko – Women’s Doubles
Description: 
A long-time favorite among polymer core paddles, the Bantam EX-L has a high amount of power that’s balanced by its ability to accurately place shots.

 

Dawson Ovation

ProKennex Ovation – $159.99

Pro:
Jennifer Dawson – Women’s Sr. Singles
Description:
The unique oval shape and edge-less design widens the sweet spot while Kinetic Energy core technology reduces vibration.

Jardim Reponse Pro

Prince Response Pro – $127.99

Pro:
Simone Jardim – Women’s Singles & Mixed Doubles
Description: 
A circular shape allows for great touch regardless of where pickleballs hit this paddle. The longer handle is suitable for 2-handed backhands

Weinbach Waddell Tempest Wave

Paddletek Tempest Wave – $127.99

Pros:
Dave Weinbach & Barry Waddell – Men’s Doubles
Description: 
This premier Paddletek paddle has a quick-acting graphite face which contributes to maximum touch and response.

Moore Sabre Pro

Paddletek Sabre Pro – $137.99

Pro:
Scott Moore – Men’s Sr. Singles
Description:
Designed in conjunction with Scott, this paddle has the longest handle on the market (6-1/4″) for supreme reach and backhands.

Moore Tempest Pro US OPEN

Paddletek Tempest Pro US OPEN – $167.99

Pro:
Scott Moore – Mixed Sr. Doubles
Description:
Paddletek’s popular Tempest but with a thicker core. This one comes with a beautiful, limited edition design made specifically for the 2019 US OPEN.

Kovalova Premier

Onix Evoke Premier

Pro:
Lucy Kovalova – Women’s Doubles
Description: 
Not yet available. Onix’s new signature paddle was designed for pros Lucy Kovalova and Matt Wright. Coming this summer.

Anderson Summit

Onix Summit C1 – $89.99

Pro:
Kris Anderson – Mixed Sr. Doubles
Description:
An elongated shape offers great reach and control. The composite surface adds exceptional spin to place your shots.

McGuffin Invikta

Selkirk AMPED Invikta – $149.99

Pro:
Tyson McGuffin – Men’s Singles
Description:
Designed with Tyson to allow impressive for reach and leverage thanks to both the handle and face. A great choice for high power play.

MacGregor S2

Selkirk AMPED S2 – $149.99

Pro:
Cammy MacGregor – Women’s Sr. Doubles
Description:
Broad face provides a large sweet spot and blocking power. Multiple grip and weight options allow players to choose the best option for their needs.

Johns Franklin

Franklin Signature Paddle

Pro:
Ben Johns – Men’s Pro Doubles
Description:
Designed with Ben, Franklin’s new pro signature model paddle will be available soon!

Engage Adds More Power to “Blade” Design with Control Pro Black Core in the Poach Extreme

In January we announced that Engage was releasing the Poach Advantage, a paddle that introduced several pioneering features such as its 6-layered face and black polymer core (dubbed “Control Pro Black”), which helped the paddle react to pickleballs differently depending on the speed of play.

Engage is now bringing its newest creation to the world of pickleball: the Poach Extreme. This paddle has the same qualities as the Poach Advantage but uses them in conjunction with the long 17″ design of the Blade. The result is a piece of equipment that allows players to drive balls past their opponents with minimal effort, all without losing the versatility that the lengthier face provides.

Its unidirectional texture meets USAPA guidelines yet makes it simple to send balls down unexpected paths, especially when paired with its versatile reach. And the Poach Extreme looks better than ever thanks to an updated design that features clean color blocks and a sleek targeting reticle.

The standout option in this line is the Marcin Rozpedski Signature look, showing the US Open champion’s name in the center. Engage shares that “Marcin, one of the best known Blade users, switched to the Poach Extreme and never looked back!”

As many players have noted, longer-faced paddles have become something of a trend, but it’s far more than a passing fad. Pro players across the board have found that the amount of court coverage and power they can get from these designs is incomparable, and now that they’ve been combined with Engage’s high-end technology, they’re more noticeable than ever.

The interview below is worth a listen for any players who have been reluctant to get on board with extended reach paddles (or those who want to know how to get the most out of their equipment). In it, the owner of the Pickleball Paddle Reviews channel on Youtube, Jack Bandel, interviews pro player Matthew Blom.

It’s an interesting talk that has Matthew explaining how he became one of, if not “the” first player to popularize Blade-style paddles. Back then, the first widely available extended reach paddles were produced by Brian Jensen of POP Paddles, but now many manufacturers have caught on and players are eager to find the style which allows them the most aggressive behavior without losing control.

Find out why Matthew had his first POP paddle taken away from him by a tournament director and why he now enjoys the Poach Advantage even more than the Blade! If you think you may not be prepared for a longer paddle, he also has some helpful words regarding the pickleball skills you need to master to use these types of paddles.

 

 

Interested in feeling the difference the Poach Extreme can make to your game? Try it out via PickleballCentral to enjoy our 30-day return policy!

Is Your Paddle Texture Standing Between You and Tournaments?

In May of 2016 the USAPA announced that paddle textures would be regulated so that players couldn’t impart as much spin in their hits (at least, not without proper technique). This caused several paddle manufacturers to either remake their offerings or maintain their current designs with the understanding that players wouldn’t be able to use those paddles in USAPA-sanctioned tournaments.

The amended rules state:

2.E.2. Surface. The paddle hitting surface shall not contain holes, indentations, rough texturing, tape, or any objects or features that allow a player to impart additional spin on the ball. Paddle roughness is determined using a Starrett SR 100 Surface Roughness Tester. The allowable limits for roughness shall be no greater than 30 micrometers (µm) on the Rz reading (average maximum height, peak to valley), and no greater than 40 micrometers on the Rt reading (maximum height, peak to valley)…

While recreational players went unaffected, there was also a sizable group of picklers frustrated to learn the paddles they’d been playing with would no longer be viable in competitive play.

Spinning

Using spin as a technique can totally change your game (Credit: Melissa O’Donohue)

Spin is still a high-level strategy used to this day, but it’s more difficult to pull off and less extreme in execution without highly textured paddles, which “grip” pickleballs and send them twisted back across the net. When the USAPA made the motion to regulate texture, it was in the hopes of maintaining pickleball’s accessible nature and ensuring an playing field, so no one would be able to perform these techniques more easily than their opponents.

For newer players that weren’t competing at the time these changes went into effect this may seem like a non-issue, but it’s still an important topic that we see come up fairly often. Some beginners go into pickleball “blind” and buy whatever paddle they enjoy playing with or are recommended, but if and when they eventually look at entering tournaments, they may be surprised to find out the paddle they’ve been using isn’t allowed.

As such, if players think they eventually might want to delve into competitive play and don’t want to change paddles down the road (which is another feasible option), we highly recommend asking our representatives if the paddle they’re buying is “USAPA-approved.”

You can also check this information for yourself by visiting the USAPA website, highlighting the “Rules & Referees” heading, and looking at the “Approved Paddle List.”

Although the USAPA has limited the amount of texture on paddles, this doesn’t mean all paddles are entirely smooth. Our customer service team is always happy to help people decide which option may be best for them, so if you’re looking to get a bit of an edge when it comes to working on spin, we can help!

Lipen Chang, one of our customers, recently reached out to us because he found himself in a situation similar to that described above. He had purchased 6(!) paddles from our Amazon store but discovered that an upcoming tournament wouldn’t allow him to use his paddle due to texture regulations. We were able to replace his paddle with another option… after which, Lipen (and his partner) went on to win gold in the tournament!

Lipen Chang

Lipen Chang and his gold medal!

It just goes to show that even if you’re currently using a non USAPA-approved paddle, it’s more about the player than the gear! Of course, getting the right paddle matters when it comes to complementing your skill and getting into tournaments, so don’t hesitate to try different things until you find the perfect option.

You can always give us a call at (888)-854-0163 if you’d like to find out if your current paddle is USAPA-approved, what textured paddles we recommend and how to stay up-to-date on the newest paddle innovations. Best of luck on the courts!

Introducing the ProKennex Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle

Introducing the ProKennex Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle,
the First Paddle Designed To Prevent Arm Injuries

As the sport of pickleball grows, the number of players suffering from “pickleball elbow” and related arm injuries is also on the rise. We hear from many players looking for equipment that will help alleviate and prevent injuries to the arm. Finally, there is a paddle designed specifically to do just that, the Kinetic Pro Speed pickleball paddle just introduced by ProKennex Pickleball.

Kinetic Energy System

A leading science and design company well known in the tennis and racquetball worlds for their innovative injury-prevention product designs, ProKennex has been immersed in racquet sports since the 1970s. Their Kinetic Energy technology was thoughtfully developed specifically to prevent arm and elbow injuries. Utilizing a highly sensitive timing system with internal tungsten-filled chambers that reduce vibration and focus energy more efficiently, the ProKennex Kinetic Energy technology protects players from harmful impact forces and creates the most efficient energy transfer from paddle to ball.  The micro-tungsten beads are embedded in the paddle’s perimeter, absorbing impact vibration before it has a chance to travel from the paddle up your arm and into the soft tissues in your joints.

Steve Dawson, USAPA Nationals and US OPEN medalist, attributes the ProKennex Kinetic Energy system to saving his tennis career over 30 years ago, enabling him to become a Big 8 Collegiate champion, and successfully play and coach full time since graduating college.  As a young adult, Steve developed almost career ending elbow injuries, and after a switch to the ProKennex Kinetic racquets, he restarted his career, going on to a set of great collegiate championship performances, and a long, professional teaching career.  He swears by the technology, and is a living testament to its effectiveness.

Reduced Shock and Vibration

An independent study conducted by MIT Labs found that the ProKennex Kinetic Energy system delivers impressive improvement in shock reduction and dampening characteristics, creating a 43% reduction in vibration and a 20% reduction in shock, which the team at ProKennex believes can result in less damage to the arm. Shock and vibration are greatly reduced within the paddle, before traveling up your arm.

Preferred By Pros

Jennifer Dawson, 2018 USOPEN

Jennifer Dawson, 2018 US OPEN 4X Medalist with the Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle

Pickleball Pros Jennifer Dawson, Steve Dawson and their son Callan Dawson have partnered with ProKennex to develop the Kinetic Pro Speed paddle, and all three of these powerhouse pickleball players now play exclusively with the Pro Speed.

At last month’s 2018 US OPEN Pickleball Championships, Jennifer won Gold in the Women’s Senior Pro Doubles and Silver in Women’s Senior Pro Singles playing with the Kinetic Pro Speed. Steve, a long time “survivor” of tennis elbow through his 35+ years of playing and coaching high-level tennis and pickleball, appreciates the same injury-reduction benefits of the ProKennex Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle that caused him to select the ProKennex Kinetic Energy technology as his preferred tennis racquet design.

Fast and Maneuverable with Exceptional Shot Performance

Engineered for maximum maneuverability with wind-resistant edgeless construction and thin core technology, the Kinetic Pro Speed paddle is lightning fast, nimble and responsive. The unparalleled tip speed improves quickness and reflex enhancement. The Kinetic Energy shock absorbing system helps players experience greater touch, feel and control, improving confidence and success at the net.

What Do Our Pro Testers Think?

Our staff has tested the paddle extensively here on the courts at Pickleball Central, and in many ways this paddle defies traditional categorizations.  It is without question the highest performance edgeless paddle we’ve ever tested, with a large, consistent sweet spot.  Most edgeless paddles we’ve tested don’t provide good shot feel the closer you get to the edge, but the Pro Speed maintains a solid feel out towards the edge similar to paddles that use a traditional edge guard.  We theorize that its integrated carbon fiber flush fit perimeter (which is super durable) gives the paddle stability at the edges that many prior edgeless paddles lack.

Jennifer Dawson with her ProKennex Pro Speed Paddle

Jennifer Dawson with her  Kinetic Pro Speed Paddle

It features a unique core and face build-up combining 7 layers of polymer, carbon fiber, and hybrid composites for a paddle that delivers tons of power with a large consistent playing sweet spot.  Weighing in at around 8.0 ounces, the paddle itself does a lot of the work, reducing the swing energy you need to use to power a ball over the net.  In warm, or outdoor windy conditions, or in situations with a softer playing ball (like the Onix), this paddle excels at giving you power without needing to swing super hard. It does this without giving up a soft touch – in fact, the feel of the ball on the paddle is unique because you feel less vibration in the paddle, and as such the sound and hand feel is less “noisy”, with a more confidence inspiring “solid” feel.

Don’t wait to be injured, prevent it before it happens with the Kinetic Pro Speed, the revolutionary new pickleball paddle that leverages nearly thirty years of injury-prevention design expertise. Learn more about the Kinetic Pro Speed on our website.