Gearbox Pickleball Paddles & Equipment Reviews 2018

Gearbox Edgeless PaddlesGearbox pickleball paddles are made by a California based company that was founded by professional racquetball player Rafael Filippini.  As an expert in composite materials, with over 25 years experience in the industry, Flippini holds several patents for the use of composites in racquet technology.  His skill as a pro racquetball player and extensive knowledge in the field of composites led to the birth of Gearbox

Although early on the company concentrated primarily on racquetball racquets and equipment, it has since broadened it’s scope to include other racquet sports, including pickleball. The San Diego based company expanded their lineup in 2015 by launching a series of paddleball and pickleball paddles. The G11 Gearbox paddle seems to be the one getting the most attention on the courts.

This brand of paddles are noticeably different – all Gearbox pickleball paddles are edgeless.

Gearbox Pickleball Paddle Reviews


Gearbox Paddle Specifications

Edgeless:  All of the paddles made by Gearbox are edgeless. While some other brands offer some paddles without a plastic edge guard, Gearbox’s entire product line is.

USAPA Approved: All Gearbox pickleball paddles are approved for tournament play (link will open PDF of approved paddles)

Single Piece Construction: One of the main complaints about edgeless paddles is that the layers of material tend to separate over time due to repeated shock from hitting the ball and the edge from getting banged up. Gearbox claims to have solved that problem with this unibody construction

Carbon fiber: The single piece of carbon fiber provides an even playing surface. These paddles have no honeycomb core like you find in most pickleball paddles. This make for a more uniform surface and according to the company- no dead spots.

1 Year Warranty:  All of Gearbox’s paddles have a one year warranty covering defects. ​

Gearbox Paddle Lines

  • Original Gearbox Paddle: You have to give credit to Gearbox for making their names easy to understand. Some other companies have names that are hard to remember or decipher. Not these!  They are named: Seven, Eight and Nine. Very logical, since the only thing different between them is the weight (7 oz, 8 oz and 9 oz).
  • G2 Gearbox Paddle: Single piece paddle design using a molded poly honeycomb core and carbon fiber and glass fiber. The construction process uses high heat  and pressure to mold the solid paddle.
  • G7 Gearbox Paddle: the older sibling to the G2. Same shape, size and weight but with the upgraded core vs. the honeycomb core of the previous model.
  • G11 Gearbox Paddle: the flagship paddle that seems to be making the most waves. Solid span construction, 7.8 ounces and designed for touch.

Gearbox Original Paddles: Seven, Eight and Nine:

Gearbox Seven Pickleball Paddle (3-5/8 Inch)
Gearbox Seven Paddle

As we mentioned, the paddle technology and specifications on these three paddles is basically identical with just the weight being the only differentiation

From a player standpoint it makes it easy and practical to compare since the only buying consideration between them is your preferred weight class. At seven, eight and nine ounces, Gearbox provides and option for all playing styes.

An added feature is that the paddles each come in two versions for different grip sizes: 3⅝ or 3 15/16,  so you need to make sure you select the best one for your hand size when you purchase one of these paddles.  This is an innovative idea from Gearbox and something we wish more paddle brands offered.

For example here is the Gearbox Eight Pickleball Paddle with a 3-5/8 Inch grip and the same paddle with the 3-15/16 inch grip.

Compared to most paddles on the market, the seven ounce would be considered lightweight whereas nine is definitely on the heavy side. While the “Nine” may appeal to power hitters and tennis players crossing over into pickleball at nine ounces, it’s pretty heavy for your average player so the “Seven” and “Eight” are more likely candidates for most players.

Specifications:

  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Core: Patent Pending Solid Span Technology
  • Weight: 7 oz, 8 oz or 9 oz
  • Grip Size: Two choices 3⅝ or 3 15/16
  • Handle Length: 5½ in
  • Paddle Length: 15⅞ in
  • Paddle Head Width: 8in
  • Paddle Head Length: 10⅜ in

Gearbox G2 Pickleball Paddle Review

Gearbox G2-Blue Pickleball Paddle Many of the new pickleball paddles on the market have enhanced texture making them easier for spin, so side by side it’s not clear this would outperform newer touch paddles that have more “bite”.​

G2 Paddle Specifications:

  • Material: Carbon, Glass and Epoxy
  • Core:  Honeycomb Poly Core
  • Weight:  7.8 oz
  • Grip Size: 3 ⅞”
  • Handle Length: 5″
  • Paddle Length: 15 15/16”
  • Paddle Head Width: 8″
  • Paddle Head Length: 10 15/16”

Gearbox G7 Pickleball Paddle Review

G7 Paddle While the G2 has the honeycomb polymer core, the G7 is built with Gearbox’s Patent Pending proprietary core which they call “Solid Span” technology.

The core is made up of hand laid layers of composite materials using rib and chamber structure at the core of the paddle​. The end result is a single molded structure: the face, core and paddle frame are all one piece. This core is really what sets Gearbox apart from its peers and what makes their paddles unique. 

Due to the single piece construction the company claims the paddles overcome the shortcomings of other paddles  and bypass the weakness that layered laminate materials face on other paddles that don’t use a edge guard.

G7 Paddle Specifications:

  • Material: Carbon, Glass and Epoxy
  • Core: Patent Pending Solid Span Technology
  • Weight: 7.8 oz
  • Grip Size: 3 ⅞”
  • Handle Length: 5″
  • Paddle Length: 15 15/16”
  • Paddle Head Width: 8in
  • Paddle Head Length: 10 15/16”

Gearbox G11 Pickleball Paddle Review

G11 Paddle Specifications:

G11 Paddle The G11 seems to be the Gearbox paddle that’s been getting the most attention on the courts, at least it’s the one we see the most.  Users we’ve spoken to seem to like the single piece construction and some claim to feel less vibration coming down through the paddle.

For players that are frustrated with frequent mis-hits or lost points from hitting a paddle edge guard, the wide open paddle face with no interfering rim is an attractive feature. Also the feel of the paddle is solid and wide hitting area is a plus with large sweet spot across most of the paddle face.

While the company claims that the solid construction of the paddle elimnated the need for a protective edge, when looking at a paddle that’s gotten a fair amount of use one can see some signs of visual damage around the paddle edge.

Click here to read verified reviews of the G11 from customers on Amazon.

This is understandably based on the fact that there is no bumper. From the paddles we have seen the damage was cosmetic rather than actual structural damage that would negatively impact play.

  • Material: Carbon, Glass Fiber
  • Core: Patent Pending Solid Span Technology
  • Weight: 7.8 oz
  • Grip Size: 3 ⅞”
  • Handle Length: 5″
  • Paddle Length: 15 15/16”
  • Paddle Head Width: 8in
  • Paddle Head Length: 10 15/16”

Time will only tell if this technology can hold up to repeated abuse that pickleball paddles take on the court, but the theory behind it makes sense- without the honeycomb core which over time can break down and cause dead-spots,  it would seem logical that these paddle bodies with solid core could without this problem.

The Gearbox  also makes other accessories for racket sports protective, for example their eyewear made it to the top of our list for best pickleball protective eyewear and they also make gloves for racquetball and other racket sports. 

Gearbox celebrated it’s 10th anniversary in 2017. Gearbox brings a unique perspective to the pickleball paddle industry. The brand’s roots  in racquetball and their founder’s highly specialized expertise in composite technology continue to revolutionize the equipment and push the edge of paddle tech.

6 thoughts on “Gearbox Pickleball Paddles & Equipment Reviews 2018

  1. I am a 2 year pickleball player.
    I have played racquetball for over 35 years. I love the gearbox racket. I’ve used one for over 7 years now
    I am 54 years old and have been playing pickleball every day.
    I would love to try a demo paddle out , the G11 , if I could.
    I am playing at a level 4.5 at the moment.

    • Hi Ezra,
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
      While we’ve got a page dedicated to Gearbox, like their equipment and have reviewed several of their pickleball paddles, we don’t have a formal relationship with the company.
      It would probably be best to contact the company directly to see if they can provide you with a demo paddle.
      I know on their website, they do mention a specific email address to contact them for Sponsorship opportunities: (team at gearboxsports dot com).
      Good luck and congrats on reading a 4.5 skill level!
      -Matt

  2. I played tennis in junior high and high school and then racquetball in grad school and for a few years afterward. I started playing pickleball about five years ago and discovered the Gearbox Seven about a year ago. I love its light weight, small grip, and the spin I can put on the ball. I’m 5’2” with small hands, but I hit the ball fairly hard. When it’s time to replace my paddle, should I stick with the Seven or is there another Gearbox paddle that I should consider?

    • Hi Marilynn,
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
      If you like weight and feel of the Seven, you might want to take a look at the new Seven Pro that Gearbox just released as part of their Pro Collection.
      It’s like the original Seven but with quieter sounding core, a little softer feel and surface that Gearbox is calling “Hyper Bite Spin Technology” which suppose to help you put more spin on the ball.
      The price is actually the same as the original 7.

      As far as other paddles, I really don’t see other option that matches what you like about the Seven. There is another new paddle called the GH7, but don’t be confused by the name. The 7 refers to their “H7” core, not the weight- it actually weights 8 oz.
      I hope that helps. If you try out the new paddle let us know how it works out for you. Thanks-

    • Hi Dameon,
      According to Gearbox, all of the G11 models (regardless of color) weigh in at 7.8 OZ.
      I don’t see any mention of varying weight based on color.

      However, most paddles manufacturers also give a weight range (within a few tenths of an ounce) since there can be slight differences between individual paddles even of the same model.
      Lite Green- I actually haven’t seen a Green G11 but maybe I missed it, I know the new GX5 comes in green.

      I hope that helps, you may want to contact Gearbox directly if you still need clarification.
      Thanks-Matt

Leave a Comment