If you love trying out new pickleball equipment as much as we do, you’ll have to check out the following list of new pickleball paddles that just hit the market within the last year.
Whether you’re new to pickleball or a seasoned player looking to upgrade – you’ll want to check out the list below of some of the best pickleball paddles for 2021.
2021 is the fifth year we’ve been publishing this list and we continue to update this page whenever any new paddles are released by the major pickleball paddle brands we track. You can scroll down if you want to see past paddle releases from 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Using the newest lightweight and durable materials, for both the internal paddle core and the hitting surface, manufacturers continue to push the limits of what new paddles can offer.
This research and development by major brands is a great trend for everyone who loves pickleball since we now have more quality paddles to choose from in 2021 than ever before but the one problem is that with so many choices – it gets really confusing. That’s the main reason we started this list, and continue to update it frequently, to give players a short(er) list of paddles to consider.
Here are some top picks:
As more and more people find out what pickleball is, it continues to be the fastest-growing sport in the US (and now other parts of the world), pickleball brands continue to add models to their existing paddle lines.
The growing demand has also attracted other athletic gear brands and several racket sports brands are also crossing over to the sport. This trend has added even more paddles to the market.
Gearbox Sports, primarily a racquetball and paddleball brand and known for quality protective sports eyewear now also specialized in a sub-niche of paddles called “Edgeless” named for the lack of an edge guard in favor of more hitting surface on the paddle face.
The problem now is that the task of picking out the best paddle has gotten very confusing – there are almost too many to pick from.
A big part of the decision is personal preference but there are many other factors to consider (weight, grip size, playing style, budget, skill level, etc).
If you’re new to pickleball or haven’t bought a paddle in a while, check out our detailed pickleball paddle buyers guide before purchasing your next paddle.
Pickleball equipment has come a long way since the days of just heavy wooden paddles.
2020 gave birth to some of the best paddles yet and we are looking forward to what the rest of 2021 (and beyond) will bring.
Newest Paddles: 2021 Releases
PROLITE recently launched the Illuminate 2.0 I-Series Paddle. This traditional widebody is built with a Polypropylene Honeycomb core covered in textured Poly-Carbonate carbon Fiber paddle face giving it extra texture for adding spin and great feeel on the ball. This medium weight Length: 15 1/2″ | Width: 7 3/4″ | Weight range: 7.6-8.0 oz. | Grip circumference 5” | Handle Circumference 4”
Selkirk SLK Atlas Graphite Paddle
This new widebody from Selkirk is great for control freaks. This paddle is from Selkirk the well-respected premium brand known for making its paddles in Idaho. This new affordable SLK series is the brand’s new budget offering, while the paddle is still designed in the USA they’ve moved manufacturing for this one to Asia and pass the savings as this one comes in at about half the price of their premium AMPed line.
SLK by Selkirk NEO
The affordable NEO recreation paddle set is back. We’d recommended an earlier version of the NEO as a top starter pick a few years and Selkirk is now back with the SLK. Sold as a set of two paddles along with a carrying case and four balls it’s a perfect choice for beginners.
Paddle Weight Range: 6.9 – 7.5 oz. | Grip Circumference: 4.25” | Grip: Handle Length: 5.25” Paddle Length: 15.67 Paddle Width: 7.875”. USAPA TESTED & APPROVED
Gamma Hellbender Pickleball Paddle: This new entry by Gamma is designed with an oversized sweet spot, according to the company it has the largest sweet spot of any paddle in their current lineup. NeuCore Polypropylene inside, textured graphite face and honeycomb 4 1/8″ cushion grip.
As we reported below last year Gamma introduced their new “NeuCore Technology”. They’ve since added the new “Jester” to the lineup. The new Jester paddle weighs in at 7.5 ounces and has a graphite face. Gamma also added a new color option to the Needle paddle using a Purple and Yellow combo which I love (having grown up as a MN Vikings fan).
New Wilson paddles include the Juice and the Juice XL elongated version.
We are seeing more and more collaborations between pro pickleball players and paddle brands.
Franklin Sports recently released their Max Grit™ technology for adding texture to the surface and in April partnered with Ben Johns and Christine Mcgrath, each player having their own paddle, the CM Signature paddle (Christine Mcgrath) as well as a Ben Johns paddle.
Franklin also released a line of NFL Team Licensed Pickleball Paddles, starting with Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Seattle Seahawks. You can see all 9 versions here on Amazon.
This is the first time we’ve seen paddles licensed by professional sports teams, although last year we did see the launch of Gamma’s Collegiate Twister Line that features paddles with major US college logos. There seems to be a demand for this kind of paddle from sports fans and alumni so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more licensing agreements in the near future.
Onix released the Evoke Premier which is being used and promoted by pros Lucy Kovalova and Matt Wright (both National and US Open Champions). The brands also released the Onix Outbreak which features the new TeXtreme® – a layer of woven carbon fiber fabrics that increase strength without adding weight. The goal is to give players better control over their shots.
In May 2019, Gamma introduced their new “NeuCore Technology”. While this core uses similar materials as the brand’s Sensa Poly Core, the new LEGEND, SHARD, and COMPASS paddles have the new core that is 25% thicker and made with larger cell openings. The Compass is an elongated paddle, very simar to the Gamma Needle but uses the new thicker core.
Paul Olin, a Gold medal winner at the 2019 Tournament of Champions, can be seen on the courts playing with this paddle. You can check out all three of these paddles here on Amazon.
Paddletek introduced the Tempest Wave Pro, a newer improved version of its already very popular Tempest Wave. This new paddle includes the brand’s new Smart Response Technology, designed to give more maneuverability than the previous paddle as well as a large and consistent sweet spot and better balance. The Pro version is available in large and small grip sizes.
Paddletek also released the Tangent Pro paddle that also uses the Smart Response Technology and is available in two different two grip sizes (large or small) and weight ranges.
Wilson released its Profile Team paddle with a poly core, fiberglass surface, a heavier paddle weighing 8.3-8.5 oz.
The 2017 Minto US Open Pickleball Championships in Naples, FL was an opportunity for many companies to launch new products for the pickleball industry. With the increased mainstream exposure of the sport, including live national TV coverage on CBS Sports, many pickleball manufacturers used the Open to launch their new 2017 paddles – including several new paddles from Paddletek, Onix, Prolite and Gamma Sports.
The 2018 Open which took place in Naples, FL from April 21-28, 2018 was another great opportunity to see the best new paddles that the Pros were playing with. Of course, the tournament is the main attraction but it’s always fun to see what new gear will come out for pickleball players.
January usually gets off to a slow start since there is usually a lull of new products after the holiday season but 2018 started off with a bang with several new paddles and has companies have continued to launch new paddles which we continue to add below. Throughout 2018, we’ve continued to add all the new paddles that have been released from major brands, see details below.
ProLite announced the launch of their newest pickleball paddle, the unique looking “Cypher”, the latest addition to their Black Diamond Series (joining the Titan Pro and the Supernova paddles).
See detailed reviews of both of these paddles here on our ProLite brand overview page.
With this new shape, ProLite has somewhat created a category of their own, an elongated paddle with a teardrop head shape.
Both thy Cypher and its sibling the Chrome measure 16⅝ x 715/16 and both are designed with a sweet spot that, as per ProLite, comes further down the paddle than most long paddles. This design maximizes the optimal hitting area on the head of the paddle, unlike some other long “blade” style paddles that have a very narrow sweet spot focused at the end of the paddle face.
The Chrome paddle is still relatively new on the market, but readers that have purchased it and play with it regularly have reported back that they like the unique shape and confirmed the effectiveness of the paddle’s elongated sweet spot. With the Cypher, this new addition to the ProLite line-up takes the same features as the Chrome, with the added benefit of the carbon fiber paddle face of the Black Diamond Series – which gives it a decent “bite” despite its smooth and glossy surface.
March of ’18 was another exciting month in the pickleball world with press releases from two paddle manufacturers: ProLite and Amazin’ Aces.
On the same day, Amazin’ Aces announced the introduction of their new “Signature” paddle.
After testing out the Signature paddle we chose it as our top budget pick on our list of top graphite pickleball paddles.
The paddle weighs an average of 8.1 ounces and is constructed with a polymer core and graphite paddle face.
The paddle is USAPA approved with the seal right on the paddle face and the company offers a one-year warranty.
The “Signature” comes in several configurations, including individual paddles and a neoprene paddle cover as well as sets of two paddles (with 4 balls and a convenient cinch sack). The paddle comes in four different designs: Honeycomb Blue, Tropic Green (with floral pattern), Electric Pink and Slate Gray.
If you aren’t familiar with Amazin’ Aces, you can read up on the company here.
Needle: The Newest Elongated Pickleball Paddle by Gamma Sports
Gamma Sports just announced the release of the brand new Needle pickleball paddle, this is the company’s first entry into the elongated or “blade” style paddle category.
The Needle features Gamma’s Sensa Poly Core, the same core used in their other new paddles: the Twister, Mirage, and Razor (renamed RZR).
The Needle weights in at 7.6 ounces, has a 4 ⅛ ” grip size a4.25-inch handle that is wrapped with GAMMA’s premium Honeycomb Cushion Grip.
Soon after the Needle, Gamma introduced another very similar looking elongated paddle, the Gamma Pin.
Prokennex: “Kinetic Energy” For Tennis Elbow
Prokennex has been manufacturing racquet sports equipment since it was founded in 1978 in Taiwan. Primarily known for tennis rackets as well as squash, badminton and racquetball gloves and other equipment. In 2018, ProKennex presented their first pickleball paddle and have been active on social media marketing their new product, the Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro Speed Pickleball Paddle.
The major breakthrough, according to the company, is the claim this is the first paddle specifically designed to minimize vibrations. If the paddle does what it’s designed to do, it would be a major breakthrough for people suffering from tennis elbow (or “pickleball elbow”) as some players call it.
The patented “Kinetic Energy technology” used in the Pro Speed has been tested by the Sports Dynamics and Technology Laboratory at M.I.T. by Rudrapatna V. Ramnath, Ph.D. Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This same technology has been used on their tennis rackets, see explanation here on their website.
I have not had a chance to test ou the Kinetic Pro yet for myself but first impressions have been positive from people I’ve spoken to and some testimonials claim that the paddle is already helping them with their elbow pain, time will tell if this paddle really is part of the solution to tennis elbow (for me its so far the solution has been using a good elbow brace and exercises with Theraband Flexbar) but I’m interested in trying out this paddle to see if it helps.
Prince Pickleball Paddles: A Completely New Paddle Shape
The brand name will be familiar to any tennis player crossing over to the sport. One of the great things about having manufacturers from other racket sports entering the arena is their totally different take on paddle shape and design. As we saw with the ProLite Chome and Cypher (which look a lot like a modern racketball racket), the Prince paddles have a round shape more similar to a Paddleball or Pádel paddle that we have not seen from any other brand.
Being a tennis company at its roots it makes sense, if you look at price rackets, a lot of them have the large oversized oval shape. This is a welcomed change for many players, the paddle has a very large sweet spot and is very forgiving. Prince partnered with Paddletek to fabricate the new paddles, so if you are not familiar with Paddletek you can read more about them here. It’s a well-respected company that makes all of their paddles in the US and are known for quality.
Wilson and Engage: A New Pickleball Paddle Partnership
On March 07, 2018, Engage Pickleball announced an exclusive partnership with Wilson Sporting Goods. While Wilson already has a couple of paddles on the market, under this new agreement Engage will manufacture the new Wilson paddles in the same plants where Engage makes their own paddles.
Engage will also continue to produce its own line of pickleball paddles.
We’re curious to see how this partnership will play out and what new paddles they will be launching under the Wilson/Engage agreement. Stay tuned, we’ll update this page once we hear more.
Pickleball-X : New Paddles
Charge: The core is what’s getting the most attention on this paddle as it’s made of polymethacrylimide (PMI) which is a lightweight foam normally used in the airline industry. The face on the Charge is made of fiberglass.
The Charge paddle by Franklin is on the high end of the Pickleball-X product line. Up until now, most Franklin paddles have been entry-level to mid-range prices but it looks like with the introduction of the Charge paddle they are making an entry into the higher-end paddles.
Only time will tell if this innovative use of PMI foam in the Charge makes it worth the cost.
Vibe: this paddle sells at a more affordable price point but also uses a traditional honeycomb Polypropylene core rather than the new PMI foam core that Franklin introduced on the Charge. The Vibe paddle weighs in right around seven and a half ounces and looks like a decent mid-range paddle. The graphics of the fiberglass face are unique and will probably appeal to many.
According to the USAPA list of approved paddles (link will open PDF) as of Nov. 1st, 2018 were showing both the Charge and Vibe as approved for tournament play which is a plus for any players who play competitive pickleball.
Onix: New Paddles
Onix announced the launch of two new paddles in February 2018:
Onix Summit C1: This is a new take on the original elongated Onix Summit, the main difference is the new C1 has a textured composite paddle face (compared to the graphite original Summit). The paddle features a shorter tennis table style handle and the longer playing surface you see on similar “long” or “blade” paddles.
Onix Vertex: This new paddle from Onix comes in what they are calling a “blocker” style shape- it’s more squared off with a short handle. Both the Vertex and the new Summit C1 are finished with a composite face.
Onix Voyager Pro: This is the pro version of the previously released Voyager paddle. With this new voyager model, Onix managed to make the paddle thicker while maintaining the same weight (7.8-8.2 oz.) as the original Voyager.
See our reviews of other Onix Pickleball Paddles including the original Voyager.
Gamma: New Paddles
Gamma Twister: At just under 7 and a half ounces and featuring a small 4″ grip, this poly core composite paddle offers another good option for an entry-level paddle for Onix fans. The textured composite face is designed to give a good feel and increase your ability to put spin on the ball. It’s the lightest Gamma paddle with their Sensa PolyCore, it’s made in the USA and approved for tournament play.
On March 5th, 2018: Gamma Pickleball announced it will release a new elongated “blade-style” paddle to its Poly Core line. The new paddle named “Needle” will be launched on March 15, 2018. It uses Gamma’s Sensa Poly Core technology and be the company’s first entry into the elongated pickleball paddle category. The popularity of this style continues to grow and most major manufacturers have one or more long paddles in their line-ups. The paddle was approved by the USAPA in Feb.
In the same press release, the company also announced that the “Razor” paddle will change names and will now be known as the GAMMA® RZR pickleball paddle. The name makes reference to the parent company’s RZR tennis racket. The paddle’s specifications will remain the same: a 7.6 oz poly core with a small (4.125″) grip and textured graphite hitting surface.
Engage: New Paddles
This new paddle from Engage Pickleball uses a proprietary 6-layer “skin”.
What makes this unique is that while most manufacturers of composite paddles use one or two layers, Engage has managed to create a 6 layer skin with the same thickness as other paddles in the industry that use only 1-2.
The Poach Advantage also has a specially designed vertical texture that runs from top to bottom of the paddle and is designed to add more touch, feel (think finesse and control). We’ve included the Poach Advantage as one of the best control paddles to consider.
Its also designed to be a quiet paddle for communities with noise restrictions.
The Poach Advantage also comes in an elongated model called the Engage Poach Extreme.
The ‘Blade’ style 17″ x 7″ version features the same type of construction as the paddle mentioned above and also uses the 6-layer Fiberglass Polymer and Engage’s Control Pro ‘Black’ Technology, their proprietary poly core.
In early November (at the 2018 Margaritaville Pickleball National Championships at Indian Wells) Engage presented the new Poach Icon paddle (which starts shipping from Nov 16th). The Icon blends the core technology of the Poach Advantage with the ‘chemically bonded’ skin used on other paddles such as the Elite Pro. If you’re interested in reading more, we’ve talked about these new paddles on our Engage brand overview and paddle comparison page.
Selkirk AMPED Paddle Line Expanded
As we reported last year, Selkirk released their new AMPED paddle line using a new patent-pending paddle core technology they call the X5. Since its release, there has been quite a bit of buzz around the chunky X5 core.
The unibody core is noticeably thicker than standard pickleball paddles which gives it a unique feel.
We’ve done a full review of the Selkirk Amped Paddles HERE along with a guide to help decide which of the new paddles would be best for you.
Many consumers commented that the Selkirk AMPED line on average we on the heavy side of the spectrum. While this extra weight is welcomed by power hitters, it was not necessarily a huge draw for players looking for a more control-oriented game, someone with tennis elbow, or generally any players looking for lightweight paddles.
The good news is there are new options for payers who want a new X5 core but are looking for lighter paddles as the company has introduced two new versions to AMPED line.
Coming down from the 8+ oz range, the new mid-weight paddles range from 7.8-8.3 ounces and the lightweight versions average 7.3-7.7 oz.
The paddle faces on the AMPED line are finished in “FiberFlex” Fiberglass and are completely bonded to the core material making for a solid, durable paddle.
With these new additions to the AMPED line, Selkirk now offers three separate weight classes all using the same X5 core. The paddle technology was included in several paddle models: Selkirk Epic, Selkirk Maxima, Selkirk S2, and the Selkirk Omni. These new weight classes really round out the AMPED line with choices for all playing styles.
January 2018: Jan 23rd, 2018 was a busy day in the pickleball market. Both Selkirk and ProLite published press releases announcing the launch of new versions of their existing paddles designs.
ProLite Rebel PowerSpin Gets A New Look
ProLite made news in 2016 by introducing the Rebel PowerSpin paddle, specifically designed for optimal ball spin with its proprietary PowerSpin™ textured surface. This paddle landed here on our list of best paddles for spin.
In 2018 they introduced a new version of the Rebel with the same exact features and specifications just with new graphics.
The look of the Rebel PowerSpin was definitely unique with bright colorful graphics. This remake of the original paddle has more discrete colors designed to appeal to players who are not looking for a spin paddle without drawing a lot of attention on the pickleball court. Whereas some paddles shout out your arrival on the court, your opponents won’t see you coming with this one – think of it as your silent weapon.
ProLite Magnum Graphite Stealth Paddle Gets New Graphics
The Magnum Graphite Stealth by ProLite also recently got a facelift with new screen printed graphics. This popular paddle still offers the “pop” that players like off its graphite face and it maintains the same specifications as the original Magnum GS with its lightweight wide-body construction but the large printed word “Magnum” has been replaced with more subtle color accents on the upper half of the hitting surface and the company logo across the main part of the paddle.
The new version comes in three color styles, as usual ProLite came up with some pretty creative names for the pickleball paddles: Red Hot, Blue Slate and Plum Crazy. National Champion, Wes Gabrielsen can be seen competing with the Magnum Stealth.
Head Pickleball Paddles
It was major news when Head announced they were entering the pickleball market in 2017 with a whole line of paddles.
The move by a major tennis brand like Head, following Wilson’s lead (they launched into pickleball a few years ago), is a strong testament to the growth of the sport.
The Head Radical Tour paddle seems to be getting the most attention so far with its “Extreme Spin”textured paddle face and premium grip.
We gave a brief overview of the new paddles last year but finally were able to test them out and give you a full review of Head pickleball paddles here.
TOPP: New Paddles
Topp XJ 900: this is the new offering from TOPP. This Poly core paddle is designed with a traditional wide-body shape. The paddle averages between 7.6 and 8.2 ounces and are finished with a composite paddle face. The 5″ handles are wrapped with a medium-sized comfortable CushGrip. This paddle is USAPA approved and made in the USA by Topp Pickleball Inc.
2018 Other pickleball paddle news…
- Paddletek has been named the Official Paddle of the 2018 Minto US Open and also announced a new selection of paddle covers on the way.
- Gamma Grips were named the Official Pickleball Paddle Grip Provider for the 2018 open.
Pickleball Paddles: 2017 Releases
**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews; you can also click the links above to read customer reviews on Amazon.
Paddletek: New Paddles 2017 Reviews
Paddletek launched three new paddles at the US 2017 Pickleball Open, including a new elongated paddle body and a paddle designed just for kids- so it looks like the R&D team at Paddletek has definitely been pretty busy! Here is a quick review of each of the new paddles.
Paddletek Phoenix Lte Paddle
The Phoenix Lte™, the newest offering from Paddletek, is a lighter weight paddle with an average weight between 7.0 – 7.3 oz (light to mid-weight).
The core made of Polymer with what Paddletek calls a “vibration dampening technology”.
This is very welcomed news for those players who suffer from “Pickleball Elbow” since racket vibration is one of the most common complaints from tennis elbow sufferers and many have longed for similar technology to be introduced in pickleball paddles.
Paddletek Phoenix Lte meets all USAPA Tournament guidelines and is the lowest priced Paddletek paddle approved for sanctioned tournament play (based on MSRP at the time of publishing this article).
The light to medium weight, large playing surface and generous sweet spot along with its price point make it a good paddle for beginners looking for a solid tournament approved paddle.
Other features of the Paddletek Phoenix Lte
- Weight: 7.0 – 7.3 oz
- Grip Circumference: 4.5”
- Length 15.75”: Width 8”: Handle: 4.5”
- Sold in Red and Blue
The paddle comes with a One Year Limited Warranty and is made in the USA.
Paddletek Horizon™ Paddle Review
This other new offering from Paddletek in 2017, the Paddletek Horizon, is a blade-style elongated paddle. Although based on the shape it looks like it would be heavy, it actually only weighs an average of 7.2 to 7.4 oz.
This paddle reminds me of a lot of the Glen Peterson Signature Graphite Paddle from Selkirk. The Paddletek Horizon™ comes in at a very similar weight and price but is actually 3/4 inch longer than the Selkirk giving it an even longer reach.
It is also a close cousin to the existing Paddletek Helo, another elongated 17″ paddle from Paddletek.
We would call these elongated “blade style” paddles a specialty paddle. **If you are a beginner that has never used this style of paddle.
and are looking to buy your first pickleball paddle we recommend you first consider a “standard” traditionally shaped paddle. If you are considering buying this type as your first paddle, it’s a good idea to demo a paddle or borrow one and trying it out for an hour before making your purchasing decision.
However, if you are in the market for an elongated blade-style paddle then this new Horizon Paddle from Paddletek would definitely be on the shortlist of possible choices. The paddle measures a full 17″ which are the maximum allowed by the USAPA. The sweet spot extends throughout the paddle body for even touch and feels across the whole paddle face.
Based on the weight and features of the paddle, it’s a nice option for anyone that already looking for the extra reach at the net. If you can adjust to the paddle length, this can be a great “poaching” tool to dominate at the net!
Other features of the Paddletek Horizon™
- Weight: 7.2 to 7.4 oz.
- Length 17”: Width 7”: Handle: 4.5”
- Grip Circumference: 4.5”
The Paddletek Horizon™ is sold in orange, blue, green and pink.
The Horizon™ comes with a Paddletek Lifetime Limited Warranty and is made in the USA.
A Pickleball Paddle for Kids!
Paddletek Ranger™ Paddle Review
This new Ranger paddle from Paddletek is the first youth paddle on the market designed for pickleball players 12 years and younger. *
We are excited about this new paddle!
The fact that a major player in the pickleball market has launched a kid’s pickleball paddle shows there is a growing demand among younger players. We hope to see other manufacturers coming out with youth pickleball equipment as the game takes on popularity.
This children’s pickleball paddle should be a welcomed option for parents looking to buy their young players a paddle made to fit them.
The main benefits of this paddle for children are the smaller grip size (4″Grip Circumference), lightweight (average weight 6.5 to 6.9 oz) and large sweet spot.
Other features of thePaddletek Ranger™
- Extra-large playing surface with balanced weight distribution
- Honeycomb Poly-Core construction with vinyl face
- Ultra Cushion Contour grip
The Ranger paddle comes with a One Year Limited Warranty and is made in the USA.
* You may have already seen the Selkirk 200P Mini Pickleball Paddle (Riley’s Paddle) but we would consider that paddle more of a novelty item or toy whereas the Paddletek Ranger is a real pickleball paddle designed for young pickleball players.
Please note the Ranger is NOT USAPA approved for tournament play so if your young player is looking to compete this is not the right paddle for you. Instead, we recommend you buy a lightweight adult paddle with a small grip that is USAPA approved. We’ve done a ton of research and come up with a shortlist of the best paddles that meet those 3 criteria:
See the list here: Best Junior Pickleball Paddles for Kids.
Will we see a USAPA approved paddle specifically designed for kids? We hope one of the pickleball companies will step up to the challenge and come up with a solution as we start to see more kids 12 years and under wanting to compete in local pickleball tournaments.
ProLite: New Paddles 2017 Reviews
ProLite Chrome N-R-G
The Chrome N-G-R is the newest paddle offering by Pro-Lite. This is an unorthodox-looking paddle, a first in class I would say. There are plenty of elongated or blade style paddles on the market but the Chrome by ProLite really is an original shape. Although it hints at the tear-drop shape we have seen in other paddles, including Prolite’s earlier”Dink Black & Blue” but this takes the concept to a whole new level it surely doesn’t look like any of the other “long” paddles I’ve seen.
Right away when I first saw the Chrome, the paddle shape immediately reminded me of the trend we are seeing in pro-level racquetball rackets with an extended teardrop shape- or inverted egg shape as some people say– like this racket by Wilson.
So apart from the striking appearance to this new model, is there more to this shape? Pro-Lite claims that by using every available inch of space and paddle dimensions permitted by the USAPA for sanctioned tournament play they’ve created a paddle that hits harder than others while the long shape allows the control player at the net to maximize feel as the ball stays on the paddle face slightly longer.
According to ProLite, the paddle shape also maximizes the sweet spot even more than other blade-style paddles.
Under the hood is a QuadCore™ polymer honeycomb core covered in a gel-coated, triple-layer fiberglass paddle face. Grip Size is 4 1/4″. The paddle length is 16 5/8″ with a width: 7 5/16″ and weighs an average of 7.6 – 8.0 oz.
If you want some point of reference- to compare to another elongated paddle- the Paddletek Horizon which we reviewed above is slightly longer at 17″ but slightly narrower at 7 inches wide, this makes sense if you look at the paddle shape.
ProLite achieves the tear-drop by making it slightly shorter but a little wider. As far as weight the Chrome is about a half-ounce heavier than the Horizon (7.4 vs 7.8 max weight range of the two paddles).
This is definitely a differentiator in the “long” category so if you are comparing elongated paddles this is one to put on your shortlist. It will be interesting to see what new paddles we see in 2018, I’m curious to see if other pickleball equipment companies follow ProLite’s lead on this new paddle shape. If racquetball technology is any indicator, we may be seeing more of this style paddle in the near future.
The ProLite SuperNova™ paddle was designed based on specifications from Brazilian born ProLite Pro and Women’s National Champion, Simone Jardim. The paddle features a 100% carbon fiber surface for great touch and spin.
A power-hitters dream, this paddle is specifically designed for tennis players transitioning to pickleball.
The SuperNova™ is slightly heavier than the average pickleball paddle and balanced similarly to a tennis racquet. Made of the same material as the Titan Pro, another paddle in the ProLite Black Diamond paddle series (see review above). This product line is the high-end of Pro-lite paddles and these are often seen in the hands of medal winners at national events.
The high-quality carbon fiber facing on the paddle maximizes the feel factor needed for a pro-level touch game. This level of finesse and quality materials in a paddle comes at a cost, as you say “you get what you pay for“… this is no cheapo.
The SuperNova is a top-rated paddle but also comes at the cost I’d expect for this pro paddle -it is priced at the top end of the market. This is a paddle to put on your pickleball holiday gift list!
Other features of the SuperNova™ paddle:
- Weight 7.7 – 8.2 ounces
- Grip circumference 4 1/8″ – length 5 1/4″
- Limited lifetime warranty. Made in the U.S.A.
- 5-year no dead spot warranty
- USAPA tested and approved
ProLite Crush Paddle
The CRUSH PowerSpin with SPINtac™
ProLite’s newest paddle is a powerhouse of a paddle, constructed of QuadCore™ polymer honeycomb, sandwiched between two sheets of ProLite’s new, durable, SPINtac™ fiberglass panels.
The Crush is one of the first pickleball paddles designed to optimize ball spin.
ProLite’s proprietary SPINtac™ fiberglass surface is designed for ultimate spin control.
Other features of the ProLite Crush Paddle:
- Approved as a quiet, “Green-Zone” paddle for noise restricted communities.
- Weight 7.4-7.8 ounces
- Length: 15 1/4″ – Width: 7 7/8”
- Grip circumference 4 1/8″ – length 5 1/2″
- USAPA Tested and Approved
- Limited lifetime warranty
- 5-year no dead spot warranty
The Crush paddle comes in three very unique designs:
CRUSH Surf: emulates an ocean wave curl in deep, dark blue waves and red grip.
CRUSH Skate: turquoise grunge version of the ProLite ball and bolt. It comes with a tangerine No-Slip Thin Grip.
CRUSH Snow: antiqued holographic looking eagle wing.Pink, greens and blue tones. The “Crush” name is highlighted in turquoise, the paddle comes with a lime green paddle grip.
Onix: New Paddles 2017 Reviews
ONIX Evoke Pro Paddle Review
The Evoke Pro is the newer version of the original Evoke paddle by Onix
Unlike previous models of the Evoke which featured a teardrop-shaped paddle face, this newer version has a wide body and tennis shaped paddle handle and grip.
The paddle was created by Onix based on design collaboration from members of “Team Onix” (the company’s sponsored professional players) with recommended specifications and touch and spin needed for a Pro player.
Here are the detailed specifications of the Evoke Pro:
- Core: Polypropylene
- Face: Composite
- Grip Size: 4 ¼”
- Handle Length: 5”
- Handle Shape: Tennis
- Paddle Shape: Wide Body
- Paddle Weight: 7.5 – 7.9 oz.
Gamma: New Paddles 2017 Reviews
Gamma Sports launched all-new versions of their pickleball paddles in 2017.
The “2.0 version” paddle of Gamma’s paddle line introduces new and improved versions of each of the following paddles: Micron 2.0, Fusion 2.0, Phaser 2.0, Atomic 2.0, Neutron 2.0 and Voltage 2.0.
We reviewed the new line of Gamma Sports Pickleball Paddles on our Gamma Brand page (drop down from Brands/Gamma)
Selkirk: New Paddles 2017 Reviews
Selkirk just recently released a whole new AMPED paddle line, with a full-body transformation of their existing Epic, Omni, Maxima and new S2 paddles. The whole goal of this new product line is to create a paddle that amplifies (thus the “Amped”) both POWER AND CONTROL.
Rather than creating paddles specifically for either a power hitter or touch player, these Selkirk AMPED paddles are made to maximize both features – without sacrificing the other. This has been the major shortcoming of many pickleball paddles in the past as many players feel they are either missing power with a touch paddle or lack some finesse with a “power paddle”.
To achieve this goal, Selkirk has come up with a patent-pending material called “X5” polypropylene core which is thicker and softer (for touch) than other materials.
In mid-August 2017 Selkirk launched its new composite. The Latitude Widebody composite paddle. Power meets control in this wide-bodied, polymer cored composite paddle. Weighing in at 6.9-7.5 oz, this lightweight paddle is a nice fit for beginner to advanced players looking for an overall balanced paddle.
Who is the Latitude paddle for? The small 4 1/8″ grip combined with its lightweight will appeal to players needing a smaller grip size and quick maneuverability. Intermediate players looking for a good control paddle would be a good match for this paddle. It’s also competitively priced for a quality composite paddle with these specs.
As usual, Selkirk delivers in the style department. These are good looking paddles with the graphics on this vinyl paddle face. It comes in a wide range of (very interesting sounding) colors including Lemon Blueberry, Lakeside Lime, Raspberry Orange, Red Force & Blue Force.
2017 New USAPA Approved Paddles
-New paddles recently approved by the USAPA for competitive play:
–Swift 2.0 Graphite Pickleball Paddle by Aero Paddles: This paddle is unique in that it currently the only using aerospace-grade carbon fiber scraps (rCF), a material originally design for aircraft construction. This paddle core is made of harvested Balsa wood (Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council – FSC ) that Aero calls its Ultra-Silent EcoCore™. The paddle weight ranges from 7-7.7 ounces with a 4.25 grip and is made by Aero in Port Angeles, Washington, USA. The 2.0 uses a thicker face than its predecessor (the original Swift paddle). The USAPA certification label is right on the face of the paddle.
AKISANA – P2 Pickleball Paddle: This 8.2+ ounce paddle is made of a DuPont™ Nomex® core with a carbon fiber face. The paddle is sold by Play Pickleball Today which also sells the P3 paddle (although the P3 paddle has NOT been approved for tournament play- at least at the time of writing this.
The following paddles all made by Baseline Racquet Sports were approved: Beast, Cosmo, Fury and the Intimidator paddle. The company is based in Malvern, PA and is a manufacturer and distributor of racket sports equipment for pickleball as well as tennis, platform tennis and ping pong.
Duck Paddles (formerly known as Pickleball Pros). Both the Feather and the Ranger paddles were approved in early 2017. The Ranger paddle weighs 220 grams (7.76 oz) and has a large grip size, its 4.75” circumference is unusual for a pickleball paddle, as we usually see 4.5 as the max. This extra girth will appeal to players with large hands.
Engage Pickleball got three new paddles approved to add to their already long list of sanctioned paddles. In 2017 the following paddles received approval for sanctioned play: Elite Pro, Mystic and the Poach Advantage.
Several Gamma Sports pickleball paddles passed approval this year including their 2.0 line (Atomic 2.0, Micron 2.0, Neutron 2.0, Phaser 2.0 and Voltage 2.0) the Fusion 2.0 had already added to the list in late 2016. In addition, the new Mirage, Razer and Twister paddles also received the seal of approval allowing them in sanctioned tourney play.
As we’ve mentioned on this page, Head introduced a whole new line of paddles in 2017 and all of them (including the Xtreme and Radical models) have been approved.
Hudef Sports introduced their first paddle in 2017, the Hudef XL1.1 which was approved late in the year. This is a 7.5 oz paddle with a graphite hitting surface.
The USAPA added two paddles by Inspired Pickleball to the approved list, accepting both the Excel and the Focus paddles.
The Diadora Katana was approved late in the year. This adds to two other existing paddles on the list by Intersport North America (INA). The Diadora Match, however, did NOT pass the approval process. Diadora paddles are sold mainly in Canada and can be found online or in SportChek stores across Canada.
Another Canadian company, Manta World Sport, saw both their Cobra and Cobra Lite paddles pass the test.
Monarch Pickleball -The Monarch Dragon Slayer Pickleball Paddle was also approved for USAPA in November. The Dragon Slayer is an 8-ounce composite paddle with Polypropylene Core and fiberglass face and sold thru DICK’S Sporting Goods and is one of half a dozen Monarch paddles that are now approved. The King Graphite & Mercenary Graphite paddles were also approved in 2017.
Onix Sports got passing marks on a few of their new paddles, including the Phantom 2 Composite, Stryker 4 Composite & Graphite models as well as the Summit C1 elongated composite paddle and the new Voyager Pro paddle.
The new Sabre GS, Helo, Horizon and Phoenix LTE by Paddletek were all put on the list as well.
Pickleball-X by Franklin Sports cranked out several paddles in 2017 that made the passing grade including their Blue Challenger and Blue Volt, Viper Carbon 2.0, and multiple paddles in their “X” lineup: X-1000, the X-Caliber, X-Charge and X-Vibe.
Pickle-Ball Inc. submitted a few paddles that passed approval including the Champion Graphite Series II, Champion LT, and the Venom 2 paddle.
Pickleball Central, maker of Rally Paddles sought and received approval on the new Rally Graphite 2.0, Rally NX Graphite and the new Rally Tyro 2 Pro.
ProLite the Crush paddle, Supernova, and Titan Pro Black Diamond Series paddle were approved mid-year, the Chrome N-R-G which we previously introduced on this page was approved in late October.
Selkirk Sports added several paddles to their already long list of approved, including paddles from their AMPED and AMPED Lite series: Epic Amped and Epic Amped Lite), Maxima Amped and Maxima Amped Lite as well as both versions of the Omni and S2 paddles. Their new Latitude paddle was also approved.
Whippersnapper received approval on both the Whippersnapper KLX-P and Whippersnapper PTX-EL paddles.
Lastly, “Your Pickleball Place” (the company formerly known as Solid Wing Sales, LLC) got approval on their Quiet Sting Blade and Quiet Sting Max pickleball paddles.
Amazin’ Aces 2017 Paddle Reviews
Amazin’ Aces upped their game in 2017 by launching two new paddles in their new “Pro Series” paddle line. The “Amazin’ Aces ‘EMERALD’ Pickleball Paddle and the Amazin’ Aces ‘CAMBRIA’ Pickleball Composite Racket.
Both paddles are Made In The USA and are USAPA Approved. They both feature a Polymer Core with Polycarbonate paddle face and cushioned paddle grip by Gamma Sports.
We’ve just updated our Amazin Aces review page to include the new paddles.
Head enters pickleball paddle market
Head, a major player in the tennis industry, also launched a whole new product line just recently with pickleball champion Sarah Ansboury as the ambassador and professional face of the new pickleball brand.
This is a huge move in the pickleball market, along with Wilson that already sells pickleball paddles, this shows pickleball is growing and the demand is sufficient enough for tennis industry-leading companies like Head to create whole new product lines in another racket sport. We are testing out the new Head Pickleball Paddles and will update the site with a new article as soon as possible. In the meantime, here is a preview of the new Head paddles.
Head paddles are broken down into two classes: Xtreme and Radical. The Xtreme is marketed as primarily a control paddle with its lighter weight and thinner core and the Radical with its larger sweet spot and a thicker core is designed to deliver max power.
When it comes down to the actual specifications, Head paddles are very similar. They have the same dimensions, the same five-inch handle, and the same 4.25 grip circumference. They all the same edge guard and weight between 7.8-8.2 except for the lighter Xtreme Tour. There are some noticeable differences though.
The Head Tour paddles, both the Xtreme and Radical have a graphite face whereas all the others are constructed with a fiberglass hitting surface. The other main difference is the grip unless you go with the Elite models that have the Softtac Ergo grip, the others feature the Hydrosorb Pro pickleball grip (what they call their “Comfort grip).
We hope you enjoyed getting this update on newly launched pickleball paddles. With the increase in new pickleball paddles hitting the market, we will plan to update our site more often to keep you up to date with newly launched pickleball paddles and other gear as soon as it hits the market…and looking forward to seeing what there is to come in 2019 and beyond!