JOOLA Enters Pickleball With a Bang and Partners With the World’s #1 Ranked Player: Ben Johns!

The first pickleball paddles were actually intended for table tennis, and now the industry is joined by a company with years of expertise in this influential sport: JOOLA. Starting off with a bang, JOOLA is releasing a series of paddles in partnership with #1 Men’s Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles player Ben Johns. The lineup is full of exciting technology with textured, spin-tastic surfaces, in addition to two types of polymer cores catered to either control or power-centric play styles. You can even get your hands on the paddle Ben Johns uses himself which comes with a unique foam-injected core to greatly increase stability and shock dampening qualities. We sat down with JOOLA to learn more about their company, the team, and their launch into pickleball!

Ben Johns joins JOOLA Pickleball and launches new signature paddles

Why did JOOLA decide to enter the pickleball world?

When table tennis clubs temporarily closed during the pandemic, the team at JOOLA decided to try out pickleball. It was initially just out of curiosity and to get some exercise outdoors. The team was instantly hooked! JOOLA brings 70 years of expertise in table tennis equipment research and innovation. Further research into pickleball allowed JOOLA to quickly find similarities in paddle construction and apply its innovation and technology to pickleball. JOOLA wants to be at the forefront of driving additional global growth and developing the next generation of equipment. 

JOOLA Pickleball launches 8 New Paddles with Pickleball Central

You have had tremendous success in Ping Pong, what have you learned there that you think will transfer to pickleball?

Our company has table tennis players from all levels of the sport, from beginners to Olympians. This gives us a wide perspective to understand our customer base to reach the grassroots players, home recreational players, and players on the high-performance track. We are taking a similar approach towards pickleball where we have immersed ourselves into playing the sport, consuming the great content the pro tours are putting out there, and meeting all the great people along the way. We truly are connecting to the entire pickleball world and building a connection with all the great people no matter where in their pickleball journey they are at.

Can you talk about each paddle in this launch?

We have a wide variety of paddles for every pickleball player from the beginner to the advanced competitor. Each paddle series in the JOOLA lineup offers a unique head shape, purposely designed to appeal to players with various playing styles. A common element throughout the entire JOOLA line is the Sure-Grip technology, which is a perforated anti-slip ridge grip that reduces moisture and helps increase shock absorption. Balance and performance are a key focus throughout the entire line.

Solaire Series – The Solaire series offers two paddles that are quite different in performance but with the same performance shape that creates a strong combination of power and feel. The Solaire FAS 13 offers a Fiberglass Abrasion Surface for more direct power and the Solaire CFS 14 is designed with the Carbon Friction Surface for maximizing spin, with a well-balanced amount of power and control. The Carbon Forged handle and HyperFoam Technology is incorporated within the Solaire CFS 14, making it a true game changer.

JOOLA Solaire FAS 13 Composite Paddle
JOOLA Solaire CFS 14 Composite Paddle

Vision Series – A lighter, more aggressive, elongated paddle shape with tremendous control, feel, and spin. If spin is a critical element to your game, JOOLA’s Carbon Grip Surface will help you maximize your shot potential. Comes in a 14mm and 16mm core.

JOOLA Vision CGS 14 Graphite Paddle and JOOLA Vision CGS 16 Graphite Paddle

Radius Series – Bringing JOOLA’s heritage to pickleball with a table tennis inspired shape offering the largest edge to edge sweet spot. This paddle incorporates the Carbon Grip Surface for exceptional spin and the rounded paddle head offers an incredible amount of control. This paddle was designed to offer tremendous touch, making it ideal for dinking, blocking, or hitting controlled shots. (Coming soon)

JOOLA Radius CGS 16 Graphite Paddle

Ben Johns Hyperion SeriesThree unique paddles make up this series. The Ben Johns Hyperion CAS 13.5 offers a thinner core for more power and the Ben Johns Hyperion CAS 16 is designed for more control. Both of these models come with the Carbon Abrasion Surface with a sand-blasted textured surface for more spin. JOOLA’s innovative Hybrid-Ply technology creates a paddle that takes advantage of carbon and fiberglass characteristics when you want to hit soft or hard.

JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CAS 13.5 Graphite Paddle
JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CAS 16 Graphite Paddle

The Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16 is our most advanced paddle specially designed and engineered to perform at the highest levels in all categories of control, power, and spin with an unmatched consistency anywhere you hit the ball on the face of the paddle. The Carbon Forged handle and HyperFoam Technology is incorporated within the Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16, making it a true game changer.

JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16 Graphite Paddle

Shop all JOOLA Paddles

Your paddles have unique shape – the Solaire, Vision and Hyperion with the rounded top and the Radius is very round – what advantage does this give to the playability of your paddles?

The Aero-curve technology is a head curvature design, inspired by many other paddle/racket sports to reduce drag and allow the player to maximize their swing speed, which leads to more power. This rounded design allows players to get to their shots faster and place trust in their own abilities to meet the ball timely and improve their game.

The Solaire CFS and the Ben John’s Hyperion CFS both have the HyperFoam Edge tech. What is it and what affect does it have on the paddle?

The HyperFoam Edge Technology is another innovation from JOOLA to improve the overall performance, stability, and consistency in a paddle. In most polymer honeycomb cores, the edges or the perimeter of the paddle, where it is cut to shape, becomes weaker, often leading to the ball not bouncing off as well or feels “dead”. JOOLA has solved this problem by inserting a specialized foam that expands and fills the honeycomb cells around the perimeter of the paddle leading to a consistent edge to edge performance and an enhanced sweet spot.

Ben Johns and his New Paddle with JOOLA Pickleball

You have a Carbon Abrasion Surface, a Carbon Grip Surface and a Carbon Friction Surface, how do they differ?

JOOLA Pickleball Paddle Surface Technology explained

The Carbon Abrasion Surface utilizes a multi-step, sand-blasting process, creating a unique, textured surface for increased spin.

The Carbon Grip Surface technology utilizes a durable, long-lasting Carbon Flex3 textured surface that grips the ball to create more spin on every serve, drive, and dink. The natural state of the carbon material, along with JOOLA’s specialized manufacturing process helps generate more spin. 

The Carbon Friction Surface technology utilities the next generation of materials to generate maximum spin performance. A more advanced, durable, longer lasting Carbon-Flex5 textured surface, harnesses raw power while also creating an unparalleled spin rotation on the ball and a very crisp feel on the shots that matter the most.

Which do you feel provides the most spin?

Spin generation certainly begins from the surface material, but it also is a factor of the composition of the paddle. Carbon material allows for more flex in the surface which increases dwell time. That increased surface dwell time when the ball hits the surface allows for our paddles to generate more spin than other similar paddles on the market.  The Carbon Grip Surface and Carbon Friction Surface technology paddles generate the most spin within the JOOLA lineup.

What type of player do you think will enjoy these paddles?

With 12 meticulously crafted and unique paddles at launch, whether you are a new player just getting into pickleball for the first time or a seasoned rec player playing multiple times a week or you are playing at the highest pro level at national tournaments, there is a paddle within the JOOLA assortment we feel would be best for you! New technology and innovation has been incorporated into each of our paddle designs for the sole purpose of helping players play their best game. A new era of next generation equipment is here!

Shop all JOOLA Paddles

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

The leadership team at JOOLA has completely fallen in love with pickleball playing 4-5 days a week, sometimes even playing before work, during lunch, and after work in a single day. We have truly become addicted to this amazing sport like many pickleball players do, and that is because this sport can be so much fun at whatever level you are starting at. JOOLA has always been a market leader and innovator in table tennis, and with our global footprint we hope to use our reach to help spread the pickleball craze worldwide! Come say hi to any of our team, we’ll be visiting communities and events nationwide!

We are thrilled to welcome JOOLA to the pickleball world and excited to see what they continue to do in this space. 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.

Pickleball Becomes Washington States Official Sport

The bill was signed by Gov. Inslee on March 28th at the original Pickleball Court in Bainbridge, WA

Pickleball is a home-grown Washington State creation. No other place on the planet has the deep-rooted connection to pickleball that we here in Washington enjoy.  Washington will someday be known as the birthplace of Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Pickleball. Tourists will travel to Bainbridge Island to see the first pickleball court and visit the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum’s pickleball exhibit. On Monday March 28th,  Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed a declaration making pickleball the official sport of Washington State! 

Gov. Inslee signs the bill making Pickleball the official sport of Washington State

You may already know the pickleball origin story:  In a backyard on Bainbridge Island,  three friends (Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum) invented the game during the summer of 1965.

Pickleball in the early 70’s on one of the original courts in Washington

They made up rules and introduced the game to neighbors.  At the close of summer, the game jumped the Puget Sound to Seattle.  From there it spread south to Tacoma and east to Spokane. Snowbirds brought it to Arizona and Southern California. It took over 55 years but pickleball is now the fastest growing sport on the planet with millions of players around the world.  The International Federation of Pickleball has 68 member countries and growing!  Campaigns are underway to make pickleball an Olympic sport.  

But, do you know:

  • The first pickleball paddles, balls, and net systems were invented in Washington State.
    Barney McCallum, one of the game’s inventors, used his jigsaw to cut the first plywood paddles. As demand grew, he incorporated and created the first pickleball company, Pickleball Inc.  Barney was an entrepreneur and built McCallum Envelope Company. He knew how to manufacture and sell products.  Barney designated a small section of his Ballard warehouse for Pickleball Inc.’s inventory of paddles and balls, and began shipping products to pickleball customers.  At first whiffle balls were used to play pickleball, but they broke easily and had a short life span, so Barney invented the “Dura Pickleball,” a durable ball that is still a leading pickleball.  As interest and demand grew, consumers sought pickleball nets. Barney invented the first pickleball nets and first portable net systems.
An early addition of a pickleball paddle
  • The world’s  1st  pickleball company was in Washington State – Pickleball Inc.
  • The world’s  2nd pickleball company, Ultra-Lite Paddle Company, subsequently called ProLite Sports, was in Washington State and founded by Arlen Paranto.
  • The world’s  3rd pickleball company, Pickleball Stuff, was in Washington State and founded by Fran and Barney Myer.
  • The world’s 4th pickleball company, S-Type Sports (later sold to ONIX Sports), was in Washington State and founded by Steve Wong.
  • The world’s first pickleball tournaments were in Washington State.
  • The world’s  first “National” tournament was in Washington State.
  • The world’s first pickleball corporate sponsors, Vlasic Foods and Budweiser Beer, were for events in Washington State.  
  • The world’s first pickleball governing body, The United States Amateur Pickleball Association (USAPA), was launched in Washington State.  Sid Williams was the founder and first president.  
  • The world’s first pickleball rule sheets/booklets were created in Washington State by Washingtonians.  
  • The world’s first pickleball school PE program was launched in Washington State.
  • The world’s first composite pickleball paddle was invented in Washington State by Arlen Paranto.
    Arlen and his son Steve Paranto were frustrated by the heavy weight of wood paddles so wanted to come up with new paddle technology. Arlen purchased panels from the Boeing Surplus Store in Kent and began experimenting. The composite paddles he crafted out of those Boeing panels is essentially the same technology used in most composite pickleball paddles today – a honeycomb core sandwiched between layers of fiberglass or graphite/carbon fiber.
Arlen and Steve Paranto with a PROLITE Paddle
PickleballCentral.com Headquarters in Kent, WA

We are delighted and proud to have been a part of this effort. Special thanks to the unstoppable Kate Van Gent for leading the charge to make pickleball Washington’s official sport. Congratulations to all the Washington State pickleball players who voiced their passion.  Way to go Washington! 

TechTalk with ProXR Pickleball and Their Game-Changing Handle Technology

ProXR have established themselves as innovators in other sports like the NHL and MLB, and they are bringing the same creativity and technology to the sport of pickleball with the first ergonomically designed handles to give you more spin, greater control and quicker reloads on every shot. The angled handle keeps your hand in the proper grip and finger placement, leading to more powerful shots. ProXR Pickleball launched 3 paddles in 2021: Signature, Tour and Advantage, sold exclusively at PickleballCentral.

The first ergonomically designed pickleball paddle

ProXR has performed well in other sports; how did the knowledge learned in baseball and hockey translate to pickleball?

The knowledge we gained while designing products for our other sports gave us great insight into how to approach the design process for pickleball. We were able to use the experience and feedback gained in those sports, as well as the advice and feedback of many high level pickleball players, to create revolutionary technology for the sport of pickleball!

With over fifteen years of research and development in technology for both baseball and hockey, we have gained extensive knowledge about the connection between an athlete’s hands and their bat and/or stick. When we began studying the relationship between pickleball players’ hand and wrist movement with their paddles, we quickly saw many similarities to baseball and hockey.

The most important take-away we gained from the research was the need to design a handle that is extremely versatile so a player can make all types of shots. In pickleball, not all shots are made the same way. A player needs a handle that is equally beneficial for serves, groundstrokes and dinks. We have designed a handle that is advantageous to players in all three of these critical areas.

Shop ProXR Pickleball Paddles

Can you tell us about the tests you put the paddle through?

We believe in the importance of getting as much feedback as possible from professional and amatuer players alike. In our manufacturing facility, we created over one hundred prototypes of different faces, cores, shapes, sizes and weights. We then put our different paddles into the hands of players and listened carefully to all of their feedback. Through many rounds of revisions based on this feedback, we were able to design three very different, high-performing paddles, each with distinct features and benefits. Once we compiled the feedback and settled on designs, we submitted them to USA Pickleball to ensure that they are legal for tournament and recreational play. USA Pickball certified them all.

While we are happy with our current offerings, we never feel like we are over the finish line. We are dedicated to creating the perfect paddle for every type of player, which is why you will see some exciting new product launches coming in the next few months!

ProXR Signature Paddle

Is there anything that surprised you about how the technology performs in pickleball?

When we entered the pickleball market, we suspected that those who have enjoyed our ergonomic handles in other sports would be immediately attracted to our pickleball paddles. It was incredible how quickly the rest of the pickleball community recognized the advantages of our technology and became excited to try our new designs.

Even more exciting was the enthusiasm surrounding innovation in general within the pickle community. Our goal is to always lead through innovation; being part of a market that recognizes and values innovation is awesome.

We believe that an absolutely critical part of innovation is open and honest feedback from the community. We have received a lot of input so far and will continue to create a comfortable environment in which players can share their feedback and ideas for continued improvement.

ProXR Tour Pickleball Paddle

Can you talk us through the three models you have currently and what types of players would like them?

We currently offer three paddle models- Advantage, Tour and Signature. There are unique features and benefits to each one. All three have our patented ergonomic handle design and a polypropylene honeycomb core interior.

Advantage – Our Advantage paddle is manufactured using a fiberglass face, which is what many of the professionals use. When fiberglass makes contact with the ball, it releases energy, giving you more POWER when you hit it perfectly on the sweet spot. Shop Advantage Paddle!

Tour – Our Tour paddle is manufactured with a carbon fiber face, which is great for TOUCH and CONTROL players. Unlike glass fiber, carbon fiber absorbs energy, giving you maximum control over your shots and a larger sweet spot. Shop Tour Paddle!

Signature – Our Signature paddle was designed to be a ‘best of both worlds’ solution for players who want both power and control. We found that by cutting our carbon fiber into strips and weaving it together, players get the advantage of the huge sweet spot from the carbon fiber, while also being able to generate power thanks to the strength of the weave. We proudly believe this paddle, with our handle technology, is the best performing paddle in the market today. Shop Signature Paddle!

ProXR Pickleball Paddles

What is next for ProXR in Pickleball?

Without giving away too many secrets, ProXR is poised to have a HUGE year in 2022!

Now that we’ve seen success with our first-generation models, we are excited to continue expanding and refining our product offerings. We will be releasing new paddles to more precisely fit each and every player interested in improving their game with pickleball’s most innovative technology.

ProXR Pickleball is not just a “handle” company – we are an innovation and technology company. We did not set out to just improve your grip on your paddle; we set out to change the way you play pickleball. The handle is just the beginning!

We understand that as an innovation and technology company we will have eager early adopters who will quickly support our new innovations.  We also know that others will want to take some time to try them before becoming comfortable with our paddle designs.

In our first six months of business we have been very fortunate to gain many fans of our pickleball technology with an unexpected number of players adopting our new paddles.  We have also run into a handful of skeptics along the way. We appreciate everyone’s feedback and understand that sometimes new technology can be unsettling to some.

Much like Apple, Tesla, Uber, Grubhub, and other disruptive concepts, it might take some time to fully appreciate the benefits of our innovations. But similar to those game-changing technologies, once you become comfortable with them, it will be hard to imagine a life without them!

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 ProXR Paddles

6 Pickleball New Year’s Resolutions You Can Do In 2022

Pickleball Resolutions from 2022

With the turn of the new year it is always nice to have some things to look forward to. Maybe you’re looking to level up your game this year, spend more time with family and friends, stay active and focus on health in a FUN way, or challenge yourself. Whether you’re newly introduced to pickleball or have been playing much longer, we have some ideas for everyone.

Resolution #1: Commit to Practice!

In 2021 we saw lots of great pickleball gear aimed for practice. The best way to become a better player is often the simplest. Whether it’s playing a practice game or drilling specific skills, you always have the ability to improve through hard work and dedication. Of course, certain training aids can make the process easier as well.

Ball Machines: The two pickleball machines we carry, the Tutor and Lobster, allow you to practice more easily without a partner by sending lobs, spin shots and dinks your way.

Pickleballs: GAMMA released a Two-Tone Outdoor Training Pickleball that helps to show how the ball is spinning so you can practice both receiving and doling out spin shots.

GAMMA Pickleball Two Tone Training Outdoor Balls

The Pickleball Eye Coach helps you improve ball strike placement, visual focus and foot positioning.

Pickleball Eye Coach
Pickleball Training Tools

Resolution #2: Attend a Pickleball Festival

Pickle Palooza is a one-of-a-kind event that offers all the thrills of a tournament without the stress of competition. Located in Mesa, AZ, this fun annual event runs from March 4-6 this year at Bell Bank Park. There will be court exhibitions and interviews with the pros, skill-based open play, paddle demos, one-on-one instruction, and entertainment. It’s the perfect excuse for players to share in some pickleball-centric fun, and with enjoyable activities in the surrounding area (such as the Phoenix zoo, art museum and botanical gardens), you can make a great vacation out of it.

Resolution #3: Upgrade your Paddle

We have seen several major innovations in paddle technology in 2021 with some new heavy hitters joining the scene. If you’ve been playing with the same paddle for a while it might be time to experiment with others. Here are a few that we suggest looking into:

Aeroshot Paddles from Oneshot Pickleball – Oneshot released two new paddles with their innovative new Airflow Technology to create vents in the sides of the paddle for reduced drag and increased hand speed.

Aeroshot Paddles from Oneshot Pickleball

The Warrior Paddle from Diadem – The thickest paddle on the market, this 19mm core paddle has the softest touch ever, with a highly gritty surface that enhances spin shots, and plenty of power.

Warrior Paddle from Diadem

New line of Paddles from ProXR – ProXR Pickleball recently launched their first line of pickleball paddles with their unique, patented, ergonomically designed handles that improve reload speed and exit velocity.

ProXR Pickleball

New line of Paddles from adidas – This heavy hitter in the sports market entered pickleball with a range of new paddles to suit all skill levels and play preferences.

adidas Pickleball

VANGUARD 2.0 from Selkirk – Selkirk’s VANGUARD Hybrid 2.0 series feature their new Pro-Spin Texture for more spin than ever before and their new Gen2 durable surface.

CX11 and CX14 Paddles from Gearbox – The all-new CX-11 and CX-14 paddles from Gearbox bring years of innovation in paddle design to a whole new level, with a shape and core thickness for every player.

Learn about our FREE 30-Day Paddle Test Drive: Our 100% Happy Return Policy!

Resolution #4: Introduce a friend of family member to Pickleball

We all can agree that the reason we fell in love with Pickleball in the first place is because it is FUN! This sport is growing at a rapid pace and we are excited to see what the future holds. Who are you going to invite on this wild ride with us in 2022? It can be a friend, family member, coworker or neighbor but we all know once they get the feel for it they wont want to put it down! This might seem like the “easiest” resolution of them all but it is certainly one of the most important to help flourish our Pickleball Community!

Resolution #5: Play in a tournament 

Competition isn’t for everyone, but even if you’re a fairly laid-back player, participating in a tournament can be a great way to strengthen your abilities, make new friends and take part in the greater pickleball community. Tournaments are the perfect excuse to knuckle down on training and come out the other side knowing you played your best. There are also a number of exciting new tours taking place this year that will serve to bring pickleball to an even broader audience, so taking part in one of them will truly have you becoming part of the sport’s history!

A few exciting upcoming tournaments that we recommend include:

  1. Atlantic City Open
  2. PPA Indoor National Championships
  3. APP Punta Gorda
  4. PPA Red Rock
  5. APP Delray Beach

Resolution #6: Improve your grip in more ways than one

Sometimes you might want a little extra tack to improve your hold on your paddle, or need to replace a grip that had worn down over time. Other players who get particularly sweaty hands appreciate the benefits that highly absorbent grips provide. Fortunately it’s quite easy to switch your grip (see how here) or layer an overgrip on top of your grip to provide better feel. Grips also provide a great opportunity to add a little flair to your paddle with fun colors and designs.

Pickleball Paddle Grips

Alternately, if you want to keep your handle as-is but learn new ways to improve how you hold your paddle, you may want to experiment with different (hand) grip techniques to see how they affect your ability to make different shots. You can explore various ways to hold your paddle by watching this video with Glen Peterson.

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.)

PROLITE Sports: The company that changed Pickleball

We recently chatted with Neil Friedenberg of PROLITE Sports Pickleball about PROLITE’s past and present. The first company to begin making paddles out of modern non-wood materials, PROLITE revolutionized paddle technology and continues to be an industry leader developing innovative paddles for players of all types.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball
Owner and President of PROLITE Sports; Neil Friedenerg

Can you tell us about the history of the PROLITE company?

The PROLITE company was originally founded by Arlen and Steve Paranto. Arlen was a Boeing engineer and his son, Steve Paranto, was an avid tennis player and physical education teacher who took up pickleball in its early days. Steve was famously known for analyzing the weight ratio of a tennis racquet compared to a tennis ball and then analyzing the wood pickleball paddles available in the beginning compared to the weight of a pickleball Using this ratio, they determined that wood paddles were way too heavy, and that the honeycomb panels at Arlen could obtain at Boeing would work well to create a lighter paddle.

Their resulting paddle technology innovation revolutionized the equipment and the game. The feel of the new lighter paddles was exceptional, and led to the importance of dinking, more strategy, and longer rallies.  With this new technology, Arlen and Steve Paranto created PROLITE Sports in 1984 – at the time, Ultra Paddle Company. Both Arlen and Steve have been inducted into the Pickleball Hall of Fame due to their significant contributions to the growth of the sport.

Today PROLITE Sports Pickleball is well known as the legacy brand of pickleball. Nearly forty years old, PROLITE was not only the first company to transform the paddle industry, we also introduced woven carbon fiber paddles to the pickleball market. PROLITE’s most important distinguishing characteristic is our philosophy. We believe that what makes the sport of pickleball special and has led to its increasing worldwide popularity and attention are the everyday recreational players…the 99%ers! That is what PROLITE is all about.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball History
Steve and Arlen Paranto playing Pickleball at their lake house
PROLITE Sports Pickleball Arlen Paranto
Arlen Paranto (inductee of Pickleball Hall Of Fame) and founder of PROLITE Sports

What are the most popular paddles in your lineup? 

The most popular paddles are our Black Diamond Series, which includes the Supernova Pro, Rebel Pro, Titan Pro, Large Titan Edition, and Cypher Pro. These are woven carbon fiber models in a variety of shapes to perfectly fit any player’s sports background. The Black Diamond Series is very unique. Before it came out, most other paddles developed for imparting spin typically emphasized texture and roughness of the paddle face. We approached things a bit differently, focusing on dwell time on the paddle, creating absorption of the ball, and enhancing the ability to maneuver the ball where you want, especially at slower speeds (for example rolling dinks at your opponent’s feet or hitting aggressive, angled dinks creating that next put-away).

Many people are surprised because the surface of the Black Diamond Series paddles appears to be smooth, but much more is going on. Carbon fibers begin to fray over time. Imagine looking under the microscope and seeing these little fibers raised above the surface of the paddle. Those fibers work to grab the ball, which causes friction and can create more spin.  It really is amazing.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball Black Diamond Series Paddles
PROLITE Sports Black Diamond Series Pickleball Paddles

How did your dad get the nickname “Yoda”?

My dad Mark Friedenberg (author of the book Winning Pickleball) was inducted into the Pickleball Hall of Fame a few years ago.  It was well deserved just for the fact that he saw how beneficial this game was to people’s lives so he started introducing the sport into new communities. He was also a skilled player and began competing and putting the time into getting better. “Yoda” came about when he was playing one day against some much younger competition and they sarcastically called him “Grandpa”. Then he cleaned their clocks and the name Yoda caught on.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball, Mark Friedenberg and Neil Friedenberg
Mark (Yoda), Neil (Owner and President of PROLITE) and Erick Friedenberg

If Pickleball had walk in songs like Baseball does, what would be your song?
I can’t help but think of how Ken Griffey Jr. walked up to the plate at the Kingdome when I was young. He had the Hip-Hop Hooray beat by Naughty by Nature. Rage Against the Machine gets me pretty pumped up. No Shelter is a great song, so I would have to say No Shelter by Rage Against the Machine – it gets me ultra-focused and the heart pumping.

What’s next for PROLITE?

We’re on the brink of some exciting brand-new technology yet to be implemented in paddles. We also see the influx of new players coming into the sport and our goal is always to ensure that players of all levels have a specific PROLITE paddle to swing that fits their individual performance needs. PROLITE is dedicated to the sport of pickleball and the everyday player, and our customers will always continue to be our focus.

Explore PROLITE’s paddle lineup and learn more here.

Oneshot Launches New Pickleball Paddles Designed With Aero Flow Technology

Oneshot Pickleball is family owned and operated

Two families bonding over a game of pickleball, having fun with a little friendly competition, and it didn’t take long before they were hooked! Most of us can relate to a story like this – a family member, a friend, neighbor or maybe colleague introduced us to the world of pickleball and it didn’t take long before we were hitting them up to play again.

Their passion for pickleball translated into a desire to create their own pickleball paddles and that is how Oneshot Pickleball was formed. The Lui and Montes Family set out to design a unique yet simple series of paddles for youth up to pro, and have succeeded and even excelled.

Introducing Aero Flow Technology

The newest launch is one of their most exciting to date! On 9/29/21 Oneshot launched 2 paddles with Aero Flow technology, introducing the first commercially available paddles with an aerodynamic component.

The two paddles launched with this technology are the Proshot Graphite Paddle and the Powershot Composite Paddle.

The face of these two paddles has four curved cut-outs on each side. Tested in a Belgium lab, this design was shown to reduce the drag on the paddle by 2%. That may not sound like a lot, but is actually a huge decrease in aerodynamic drag reduction!

When we spoke with Oscar Montes, co-owner of Oneshot, we asked him what he sees as the biggest benefit to the Areo Flow Technology. He said, “the most significant benefit is less drag which translates into faster swings, therefore more power and control. Another benefit that relates to the drag factor is more player stamina; having to swing repeatedly with less effort could have a serious impact on long days of play.”

When asked how long they’d been working on this unique paddle design, Oscar said it started in a garage in 2019. “We drew some prototype sketches on paper and a few weeks later used basic power tools to make a few physical prototypes. Later, we proceeded into the data collection stage which included running our new paddles through wind tunnels and analyzing the results.” 

Which Oneshot paddle is right for you?

When deciding which paddle is the best fit for your game Oscar says, “the Proshot is usually selected by players looking for control and a good feel for the ball at the kitchen line. The Powershot caters to those looking for more power and that might have some racquet sport background.”

Whichever paddle you choose, you will definitely stand out on the pickleball courts! For the team at Oneshot, “paddle color matters to us as much as design; we put a lot of time and effort into each of our paddles to make sure we are offering a clean and modern look. The new Aero paddles reflect a mix of our favorite colors.”

You’ll find these paddles in PickleballCentral’s Oneshot category.

Bonus question from our conversation with the founders of Oneshot:

Other than your paddle, what’s your one piece of gear you can’t live without?

• The Montes family: Definitely a diaper bag; we travel everywhere with our 2 kids!

• The Lui family: Snacks…we like to eat!

What is your answer to that question?

If you’re not sure which paddle would be best for you or want to know more, call us at 1-888-854-0163. Nothing makes us happier than helping you find a paddle that fits your game. You can purchase with confidence, knowing you have a 30-day test drive to make sure it works on the courts – that’s where it counts.

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.

The Kalins Grow Pickleball in SE Florida

  Boynton Beach Pickleball Club

Do you love pickleball and want to see it grow in your community? Harriet Berks Kalin and her husband Josh Kalin have been very successful in their efforts to grow a pickleball community.  In just eight months, they have inspired 100 people to start playing pickleball in SE Florida!

Harriet and Josh live in Delray, Florida, about 40 minutes north of Ft. Lauderdale. After they retired, they moved to Florida from the northeastern United States.  At first, retirement simply meant no longer working. On a visit to The Villages in central Florida they were introduced to pickleball. They fell in love with the game and started a new chapter of their lives as Pickleball Ambassadors for the USA Pickleball Association.

The Kalins purchased their own portable net system and began looking for places to set the net up and play pickleball. Harriet enrolled others to help her contact community centers and parks and recreation centers all over SE Florida! Harriet offered pickleball demonstrations an clinics.  She told program directors how wonderful pickleball is and how easy it is to set up a pickleball court using a portable net system and some temporary court lines.

Harriet got a great response!

More and more courts were created and more and more people began to show up for pickleball!

The Boca Raton parks department painted permanent pickleball court lines on a basketball court to make it multi use. Palm Beach County Rec Department will be painting 6 permanet pickleball courts at Caloosa Park inside the hockey rinks at Boynton Beach, Florida. Delray Beach is considering adding even more courts.

The Kalins know that pickleball is a social sport. As more people play pickleball, more people love the game and share it with their friends.  New players are showing up at pickleball courts in Jupiter, Delray and Palm Beach, Florida.

The Kalins believe that, “Once you become addicted to pickleball, you want everyone to play.”  The trick to growing pickleball is to get people to see and play the game.

Josh and Harriet have some tips for getting pickleball going in your community:

  1. Ambassador – Join the USA Pickleball Association and become a Pickleball Ambassador.
  2. Local Media – contact your local newspaper or TV station and invite them to do a story on pickleball.
  3. Network – talk to everyone about pickleball. There is great value in good old fashion word of mouth.
  4. Polite – Always be polite when you approach a new community about pickleball. Ask permission to give a demonstration or start a pickleball group.
  5. Tennis – Contact tennis clubs and groups about pickleball. Offer to do a demonstration for their members. Several pickleball courts can fit on a tennis court. There is a great opportunity for these clubs to benefit from reaching out to the pickleball community and increase the usage of their facilities. Many people who no longer play tennis are very interested in pickleball. Pickleball can be a way for tennis organizations to expand their offerings.
  6. Portable Net System is KEY – a portable net system was crucial to the Kalin’s success. They learned that the most important pickleball player is the one who owns the portable net system!