Top 5 Pickleball Paddles for Control

Best Paddles for Control at PickleballCentral

Everyone is seeking a unicorn paddle that provides the ultimate in power and control. Unfortunately there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and the paddle which comes closest to achieving that goal will be different for each player.

For those who lean towards a desire for control—to either accentuate their strengths or overcome a weakness in their game—there are several qualities which can enhance accuracy. The top control elements are:

  • Graphite face
  • Rounded or widebody shape
  • Thick core
  • Vibration dampening capacity

These elements allow paddles to absorb more energy from the ball which enlarges the sweet spot and increases dwell time. These traits result in fewer mishits and more precision.

The Top 5 Paddles for Control (in no particular order)

Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro

Tempest Wave Pro by Paddletek

The Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro has exceptional touch thanks to its Smart Response Technology, which strengthens the sensitivity present in the original Tempest Wave model. It also has a larger sweet spot, making it capable of a wide variety of shots while maintaining considerable levels of pop when needed.

Selkirk VANGUARD 2.0 S2

Vanguard 2.0 S2 by Selkirk

The Selkirk VANGUARD 2.0 S2 has a generous core thickness at 5/8″. The design greatly reduces the amount of shock that travels up the arm and replaces it with a gentle feel. The Gen2 surface has been enhanced with Pro-Spin texture that allows for accurate placement.

ProXR Signature “The Wall” 16

The Wall by ProXR Pickleball

The ProXR Signature Wall lives up to its name, coming in at 16-1/2″ long. The majority of its length is dedicated to the face so players can take advantage of the surface area and support the paddle with a finger on the back of the face for more precision. Its angled handle helps naturally strengthen placement.

adidas ADIPOWER CTRL

ADIPOWER CTRL byt adidas Pickleball

The most important feature of the adidas ADIPOWER CTRL is its “carbon aluminized” face which combines a soft material over a harder one to produce just the right amount of touch, no matter where you are on the court. Its wide surface is useful for blocking, with a Spin Blade surface texture for slices.

Oneshot Pureshot Brian Ashworth Series

Oneshot Pureshot by Oneshot Pickleball

The Oneshot Pureshot has a slender edge guard that minimizes overlap on the face so you can get the most out of its large sweet spot. A thick 16 mm core provides great forgiveness in addition to dampening impact. Its quality carbon fiber face sits at the high edge of USAPA texture regulations for accurate placement.


Never underestimate the soft game when it comes to making or breaking a point! If you’re looking to improve your consistency and accuracy, these paddles will deliver. Have a favorite control-oriented paddle that’s not on our list? We’d be happy to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Meet the Pro: Daniel De La Rosa

Meet Pro Pickleball Player: Daniel De La Rosa

Thank you, dad! Pickleball player De La Rosa”s father introduced him to racquetball at the age of four and he quickly rose through the racquetball ranks to the top. Currently #1 in the world for both singles and doubles as a professional racquetball player, De La Rosa manages to play pickleball at a high level as well. A native of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, he currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona with his wife Michelle and their two children. Michelle is also a competitive racquetball player, having played on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour and on Team USA. We sat down with Daniel on the heels of launching his signature paddle with Paddle Candy to find out what brought him to pickleball, what his goals are and more.

How did you get started with pickleball? 

I start playing pickleball four or five years ago. When my wife was pregnant with our first baby, she wanted to keep playing sports but racquetball was a little too hard on her body so we started playing pickleball. A really good friend of ours helped us learn the rules and we quickly got hooked.

What paddle do you use and why?

I use the Vulcan V560 Control Paddle Candy Edition. It suits my playing style well because I’m more of a control player. I like the feel of the paddle; it’s easy for me to  control the resets and dinks. I also love the long handle, which gives me a bit more flex on my overhead shots.

Vulcan has combined the performance characteristics of one of their most popular paddles, the V560 Control, with the bold Sugar Skull design honoring De La Rosa’s Mexican heritage.

Do you have any goals for pickleball?

I want to be one of the best pickleball players on tour, and win some of the big events for sure.

Is it difficult to switch back and forth between the two sports? 

I’m still playing racquetball full time. It was a bit hard in the beginning moving from racquetball to pickleball because of the speed of my sport, but now I have found a way to combine both of the sports and make it a little easier. There are a few skills that translate from racquetball to pickleball such as footwork, moving up and back (for example to chase down lobs) and quick reactions. Racquetball is a very fast game just like pickleball when you are at the kitchen line.

What’s the pickleball scene like in Mexico? 

In Mexico I just play pickleball for fun with my family, but I am excited to play some big events in the future as the sport develops more there. Pickleball is growing a bit more in Mexico and some of my good friends are opening facilities with pickleball courts. I’m really happy for them.

You’re known for having some exciting trick shots and acrobatic moves. Do you practice those or does that just come naturally? 

I can’t share my secrets lol! I don’t practice those shots; maybe they come from my racquetball background or my mental attitude. Every time I hit a shot, in my mind I tell myself “don’t miss it”!

What are the top 3 things (besides your paddle) that must be in your pickleball bag?

My Jigsaw Electrolytes for sure, grips and extra pair of socks.

What is your most memorable moment in pickleball so far?

Playing on the MLP (Major League Pickleball) is an incredible memory for me, especially sharing the court with amazing teammates.

What are you doing when you are not playing pickleball?

I try hard to be a good father and husband, and grow my construction company. Also golfing has quickly become one of my greatest passions and I play as often as I can.

Daniel with his two kids

Learn more about De La Rosa’s paddle of choice, the Paddle Candy Daniel De La Rosa Signature Paddle and if you have any questions about this paddle or any other pickleball gear, our Customer Support representatives are happy to help. You can reach our team at info@pickleballcentral.com or call 888-993-5548.

TechTalk with Paddletek Pickleball

Paddletek at Pickleball Central

Paddletek has been a major force in pickleball since 2010, originally starting as a small family business. They pioneered many of the technologies that have gone on to become mainstays in pickleball manufacturing such as the honeycomb core, and their equipment can be found in many pros’ hands. Paddletek’s quality is undeniable and they have broad array of options to ensure that every player can find their perfect match in a paddle. In this interview we discuss the major benefits of each line they’ve released, what sort of qualities the pros appreciate and where they plan to innovate next.

What are some of the differences in your paddle series?   

Genesis: All-around playability. We consider the Genesis to be our Goldilocks in regards to the balance between power and control. Since the Genesis was our first honeycomb formula and the polymer honeycomb OG, its formula is widely used in the industry today. We consider it a balanced starting point for R&D. The Genesis line is priced so that beginners or budget-conscious players can play with confidence and with a championship-level paddle without breaking the bank. We also consider the Genesis line to be better for beginners to learn due to their balance.

Pheonix Genesis by Paddletek Pickleball

BANTAM Series: The Bantam series is for players who want more power in their game. The added power also means players that prefer light paddles (7.5 oz or less) have the option to compensate for the power lost by using the more responsive Bantam core. 

BANTAM TS-5 by Paddletek Pickleball

TEMPEST Series: For players who want touch and control. Made with unidirectional carbon fiber, the Tempest series offers game-changing accuracy and forgiveness. Great for beginners as well if the budget allows. 

What are pros looking for in paddles now? 

Spin. This seems to be the current trend across the board. In our experience, pros eventually want more power from their paddle. This is accomplished in three ways. 

1.  Weight:  A lot of pros add weight to their paddles for increased power. 

2.  Core responsiveness (pop). See Bantam Series

3. Shape: Longer paddles have more power in the sweet spot than shorter paddles, however the sweet spot size and the player’s margin for error is reduced. 

Why has the Bantam EX-L lasted so long as a pro paddle? 

The Bantam EX-L has been described as playing more like a stringed racquet than any other paddle. Pros who come from tennis recognize the feel and can control the power. A player who can control a power paddle has an advantage over those who cannot. 

BANTAM EX-L by Paddletek Pickleball

Can you talk about your pros and their paddles of choice?  

Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters with their Signature Paddletek Paddles
  • Catherine Parenteau (Tempest Reign Pro): Gives her lots of power, helps with reach and is super soft. Coming from a tennis background, it makes her feel like she is playing tennis on a pickleball court. 
  • Irina Tereschenko (Bantam EX-L): Gives her power, precision and response for the spins. She’s been playing with it from the beginning, so she calls it the OG paddle. 
  • Anna Leigh Waters (Bantam TS-5): Started using the TS-5 because she was younger and wanted a lighter paddle. Not only does it give you the soft game, but it can give you power which is what she’s known for. With the TS-5, she is able to RIP IT. 
  • Adam Stone (Tempest Wave II): Believes it is the premier touch and feel paddle on the market. Helps him with his defense, keeping the ball in play, resetting and setting his partner up. 
  • Leigh Waters (Phoenix Genesis): All-around playability paddle. Loves it for her aggressive playing style. She likes to drive and hit very hard, and the Genesis gives her that extra pop and controllable power, helping accelerate her game. 
  • Andrea Koop (Tempest Wave Pro): Helps with her blocks, resets and redirects up at the kitchen line. The Wave Pro helps her optimize the perfect balance of control and power. 

Can you talk about the innovative technologies used in these paddles? Smart Response Technology, for example?

Smart Response Technology is a formula that allows for the control of thicker paddles without a large drop in power. Thicker paddles have been popular lately, but a lack of power seems endemic in the category. SRT allows for the touch and forgiveness of thicker paddles without a large drop in power and without having to make the paddle very thick. It can be found in all Paddletek Pro models. 

What does the process of building a paddle look like?   

Controlled chaos. 

What is next for Paddletek?  

Spin that lasts, extreme vibration control and longer paddles with more options. 


We look forward to see what exciting new releases Paddletek will imagine next. Do you have a favorite paddle from their lineup? If you have any questions you’d like them to explore next time we talk, let us know in the comments.

TechTalk with Oneshot Pickleball: Introducing the Flipshot

Introducing the Flipshot by Oneshot Pickleball

Why choose between touch and power when you can have it all? After years of players having to select either a fiberglass or carbon fiber paddle, Oneshot is now offering both materials in a single design. Taking inspiration from table tennis paddles which often have dual surfaces, the Flipshot provides incredible versatility and different levels of responsiveness depending on which side of the face you use. This innovative style is fully approved by USA Pickleball and ready to offer new tricks with a flip of the wrist.

Read more to hear what Oneshot has to say about this paddle’s greatest benefits.

Can you tell us what is innovative and different about the Flipshot Paddle?

In this model we incorporated two completely different materials (fiberglass & carbon fiber) on each surface of the paddle in order to create a unique feel on each side. The blue side will feel much softer, consequently providing more control, while the red side will feel solid to provide more power. 

When did the idea strike for this paddle and why?

The idea started about a year ago when we were talking about how much we like our forehand or backhand more than the other. That’s where we had that lightbulb moment and considered incorporating two different surfaces within the same paddle to compensate for a weak backhand or forehand.

There have been few attempts by others at this type of technology in the past. Why do you think pickleball is ready for it now?

Now more than ever the sport has been attracting athletes from other paddle and racquet sports. These players have different styles and consequently need products that adapt to their needs, which makes perfect sense for us. 

What type of player will enjoy this paddle?

Any player that wants to mix it up and try something unique.

Which side would you advise players to use on their forehand or backhand?

That’s the fun part about this paddle: There is no right or wrong. Just use each side to compensate for a weakness or double up on a strength!

What’s next for Oneshot in terms of technology or innovations?

We will keep that a secret for now, but we can share that we have multiple initiatives going on that will take the industry by surprise. We have models launching as early as this year and as late as 2024.


Read more about the Flipshot’s specs to see if it might be the right match for you, and let us know if there are any other unusual paddle styles you might like to see in the future.

Minto US OPEN Medal-Winning Paddles 2022

With the dust still settling from the Minto US OPEN Championships, many picklers are eager to check out what gear the pros used to claim their victories. Owning the same paddles won’t immediately take someone from average to 4.0, but knowing your equipment has been tried and tested by some of the best players in the world does provide extra certainty that your skill development is on the right path. We’ve listed the Minto US OPEN winners and their paddles of choice here so you can determine which option might complement your play style.

Catherine Parenteau – Tempest Reign Pro from Paddletek

Catherine Parenteau at the 2022 Minto US OPEN with the Tempest Reign Pro Graphite Paddle from Paddletek

Catherine Parenteau’s winning streak continues with gold in Women’s Singles and Doubles with partner Lea Jansen. The Tempest Reign Pro’s elongated shape adds even greater reach to the control of Paddletek’s beloved Wave Pro thick core.

Simone Jardim – Prince Response Pro Composite from Prince

Simone Jardim at the 2022 Minto US OPEN with the Response Pro Composite Pickleball Paddle by Prince

Simone Jardim and partner Ben Johns won another gold in Mixed Doubles. The Prince Response Pro Composite paddle was the first paddle with a rounded shape, well known for its huge sweet spot.

Jennifer Dawson – ProKennex Ovation Flight by ProKennex

Jennifer Dawson at the 2022 Minto US OPEN with the Kinetic Ovation Flight Paddle by ProKennex

Jennifer Dawson dominates the Senior Pros with gold in Sr. Mixed Doubles with Dayne Gingrich and in Sr. Women’s Doubles with Cammy MacGregor. The ProKennex Kinetic Core Technology reduces vibration and impact to help prevent injury, and the innovative oval shape is all sweet spot.

Cammy MacGregor – Selkirk S2 AMPED by Selkirk Sport

Cammy MacGregor at the 2022 Minto US OPEN with the AMPED S2 X5 FiberFlex Paddle by Selkirk Sport

Cammy MacGregor and long time partner Jennifer Dawson won another gold in Senior Pro Doubles. With Selkirk’s largest sweet spot, the AMPED S2 combines a thicker core with softer face for a perfect combination of control and power.

Dave Weinbach – Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro by Paddletek

Dave Weinbach at the 2022 Minto US OPEN with the Tempest Wave Pro Graphite Paddle by Paddletek

Dave Weinbach (the “Badger”) and partner Dayne Gingrich won gold in Sr. Doubles. Paddletek’s Tempest Wave Pro delivers deliciously soft play with a thicker core for increased control and touch.

Collin Johns – Electrum Model E Graphite by Electrum

Collin Johns at the 2022 Minto US OPEN with the Electrum Model E Graphite Pickleball Paddle by Electrum

Collin Johns and brother Ben Johns won another gold in Men’s Doubles. The Electrum Model E combines the Electrum Pro’s premium raw carbon fiber face and textured finish with a longer shape for even more reach and power.

Dayne Gingrich – Electrum Pro Graphite by Electrum

Dayne Gingrich at the 2022 Minto US OPEN with the Electrum Pro Graphite Pickleball Paddle by Electrum

Dayne Gingrich had a great run, taking gold in Sr. Mixed Doubles with Jennifer Dawson and in Sr. Pro Doubles with Dave Weinbach. The Electrum Pro’s raw carbon fiber face, wide surface and textured finish make it a favorite for players who like to spin the ball.

Lea Jansen – Franklin Ben Johns Signature Model by Franklin

Lea Jansen at the 2022 Minto US OPEN with the Ben Johns Signature Pickleball Paddle by Franklin

Lea Jansen added to her recent wins taking gold in Women’s Doubles with partner Catherine Parenteau. Franklin’s Signature paddle features Max Grit technology for precise controlled play and plenty of spin.

Mattias Johansson – Engage Pursuit EX by Engage Pickleball

Mattias Johansson at the 2022 Minto US OPEN with the Pursuit EX Graphite Paddle by Engage

Mattias Johansson won gold in Sr. Pro Singles. The Engage Pursuit EX combines a powerful core with a high touch graphite face for excellent control.

Beth Bellamy – ProXR Advantage Blackout Series 16mm by ProXR

Beth Bellamy at the 2022 Minto US OPEN with the Advantage Blackout Series 16 Paddle by ProXR

Beth Bellamy won gold in Sr. Pro Singles. The ProXR Advantage Blackout Series 16 delivers forgiving touch and plenty of power with its composite face. The angled handle helps with spin and quicker reloads.

Ben Johns – JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16 Graphite by JOOLA

Ben Johns at the 2022 Minto US OPEN with the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16 Graphite Paddle by JOOLA Pickleball

Ben was the only player at this year’s US OPEN to win a triple crown (again) taking gold in all events: Singles, Doubles with brother Collin Johns, and Mixed Doubles with Simone Jardim. Ben’s new paddle, the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16 Graphite, combines control and responsiveness with extra length for easy court coverage and follow-through.

Have you tried any of the paddles above and found they made a big difference in your game? Let us know in the comments. We are always happy to help customers find out which style may suit them best, so feel free to give us a call if you need help making a selection.

Bruce Yeung Photographer and Videographer

Kudos to our Pickleball Central photographer Bruce Yeung for all these awesome US OPEN action photos. Give him a follow on Instagram and Facebook at @yeungphotography

What Kind of Tape Can You Put on Pickleball Paddles & Why Should You?

Get your paddle ready for action

You may have heard of “edge tape”, “lead tape” or “grip tape”, but if some of these terms or products have you confused, we’ve explained the differences and why players choose these different types of tape to customize their paddles.

How is Lead Tape Used?

Lead tape provides an easy and inexpensive way to add weight to your paddle and customize the balance point of your paddle so that it feels exactly how you want it. Adding weight can do three things: provide more power and swing speed, change the balance (making it more head heavy or handle heavy), and add stability.

Tourna Pickleball Lead Tape is a self-adhesive lead tape that comes in a 72” long x ¼” wide roll. To use it you simply remove the paper backing and apply the tape to the edge of your paddle. Lead tape is easy to remove, so you can easily experiment with different placement and amounts to create the weight, balance and stability that you prefer.

Tourna Pickleball Lead Tape

Our video demonstrates how to add lead tape to your paddle to achieve more power, change the balance, and increase stability.


Why Use Edge Tape?

Edge tape is used to provide extra protection to the outer edge of your paddle, to minimize scratches and maintain structural integrity. Placed along the paddle’s edge, edge tape can help extend the life of your paddle, without adding much extra weight.

If you use lead tape to add weight to your paddle, edge tape can also be used (instead of electrical tape) to cover and secure the lead tape.

Many players also enjoy using edge tape simply to customize the look of their paddles with different colors. Some might coordinate the same color of edge tape to match their grip color, or go for different colors to create an even more bold look.

PROLITE Edge Tape Armor comes in a choice of three colors:  black, red or white. Each 3-pack contains three strips that are 31.5” long and ½” wide, making an ideal size for most paddles that have a ½” core thickness.

PROLITE Sports Edge Tape Armor
PROLITE Sports Edge Tape Armor – More colors available at Pickleball Central

Gearbox Protective Bumper Tape 3-pack comes in black or white and two thickness options: 20mm or 30mm, so you can select the width that best fits your paddle’s core thickness.

Gearbox Protective Bumper Tape
Gearbox Protective Bumper Tape

ProKennex Training Tape has options designed specifically for both the ProSpeed and Ovation paddles, available in black.

ProKennex Training Tape
ProKennex Training Tape


What About Grips and Overgrips…Is That Tape Too?

Since some players refer to paddle grips and overgrips as “grip tape” this warrants clarification. Some people use these terms interchangeably, but there are differences it’s important to understand. Grips are designed to cover the core of your paddle and are made of thick materials, intended to entirely replace the grip your paddle game with.

Overgrips are designed to be put on top of your paddle’s grip. Overgrips are typically made of thinner material than grips, and are used to add extra tackiness, moisture absorption and comfort to your grip without adding much weight or changing it’s shape or size.

Customize your overgrip to stand out with your paddle

Grips and overgrips come in a wide assortment of styles and colors, adding another way to customize the feel of your paddle as well as it’s style and look.

A few of our best-selling grips and overgrips include:

PROLITE No-Slip Thin Grip – available in seven colors, provides superior handling with minimal padding.

GAMMA Honeycomb Cushion Pickleball Grip – perforated grip that helps wick moisture while providing a tacky feel, available in four colors.

HEAD Xtreme Soft Pickleball Over Grip – a thinner grip with a soft yet tacky feel, the large perforations provide optimal moisture absorption. Available in six colors.

In our video, pro player Glen Peterson demonstrates how to regrip a paddle and how to add an overgrip.

See all thirty of our grips and overgrips here.

TechTalk with Gearbox Pickleball: Technology-Forward Paddle Manufacturer

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

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

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

What are the paddles in this series?

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

CX14: Gearbox CX14E Pickleball Paddle, Gearbox CX14H Pickleball Paddle

Gearbox Pickleball Paddles CX14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the pros and cons of an elongated paddle? 

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

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

CX14 Elongated Pickleball Paddle by Gearbox Pickleball

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

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

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

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

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

TechTalk with HEAD Pickleball: New Radical Series

HEAD has revamped their popular Radical Pickleball Paddle series with thoughtfully designed new technology and graphics, for a line-up of four new models. Featuring HEAD’s new Extended Powercore technology and increased core thickness, the new Radical paddles serve up a deliciously generous sweet spot and increased control and touch, while still delivering massive power.

Like to put spin on the ball? Look no further! HEAD’s new SpinOn texture, found on the new Radical Tour and Radical Tour CO paddles, sets you up for more spin on every shot. Along with two grip size options and stylish new graphics, the new HEAD Radical paddles provide plenty to love.

We recently chatted with HEAD about their new Radical series – read on to learn more about this next generation of solid performers.

HEAD Pickleball Releases Four New Paddles in Their Radical Series

Can you go over each paddle in the new Radical Series?

We have four new models launching in April 2022:

Radical Tour
Formerly known as the Radical Tour GR, the Radical Tour features HEAD’s graphite hitting surface for a superior soft feel and increased control for the competitive player.

Technical Specs for the HEAD Radical Tour Paddle

Radical Tour CO
The Radical Tour CO is designed with a composite hitting surface, for increased power on passing shots and put-aways.

Technical Specs for the HEAD Radical Tour CO Paddle

Radical Pro

The Radical Pro is the ultimate power paddle, but still has all the comfort needed due to the Comfort Grip System’s vibration dampening.

Radical Elite

The Radical Elite provides a great value for the beginning/intermediate player, featuring HEAD’s Ergo Grip for enhanced feel upon impact.

Technical Specs for the HEAD Radical Elite Paddle

With the Radical Performance Paddles you have introduced new core technology. What was the goal of a thicker 15mm core?

We’ve added our Extended Powercore technology to all of our Radical Paddles, and increased the core thickness from 13mm to 15 mm. This has allowed us to increase the feel of the sweet spot and enhance control and touch, while still being able to deliver massive amounts of power.

You have also added SpinOn texture. How does the texture affect durability of the paddle?

Our new SpinOn texture allows for increased spin potential on all shots and is made to last the lifetime of the paddle itself, without wearing off.  Players adept at producing both topspin and underspin will find this particularly beneficial.  The SpinOn texture can be found in our new Radical Tour and Radical Tour CO paddles. 

You provide two options for grip circumference. What guidance can you give players to help them choose the right grip size?

Selecting the right grip size (circumference) for a paddle is very important. A grip that is too small can cause players to squeeze the handle too tightly, while too large a grip makes it difficult to maneuver between different shots. To ensure the right grip size, players can perform the Index Finger Test. For reference, pick up any paddle with an Eastern grip (holding the index knuckle on the third bevel in line with the paddle face). Then with the other hand, try to fit the index finger into the gap between the ring finger and palm. If there is extra space, size down; if there is not enough space, size up.

What’s new with HEAD footwear?

HEAD has three newly designed shoe lines for 2002 as well. Correct footwear is crucial for preventing injury, and provides a better playing experience. HEAD has designed great-looking new models of their three popular court shoe lines, providing a shoe type and fit for all player preferences.

Revolt Pro 4.0
Wider toe box, comfort fit, and highly durable.

2022 HEAD Men’s Revolt Pro 4.0

Shop Men’s Revolt Pro 4.0 – More Colors Available

2022 HEAD Women’s Revolt Pro 4.0

Shop Women’s Revolt Pro 4.0

Sprint Pro 3.5
Medium width, performance fit, and lightweight – stability with speed.

2022 HEAD Men’s Sprint Pro 3.5

Shop Men’s Sprint Pro 3.5 – More Colors Available

2022 HEAD Women’s Sprint Pro 3.5

Shop Women’s Sprint Pro 3.5 – More Colors Available

Revolt EVO 2.0
Widest fit, for the casual player seeking the most comfort (coming later in 2022).

Shop all HEAD Pickleball

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.

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.

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.