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Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro-C 14.3mm Paddle Review: My In-depth Thoughts

Verdict
If you’re an intermediate pickleball player looking to enhance your finesse game and enjoy mixing up your serves, the Paddletek Tempest Wave is worth considering. This paddle offers excellent control for precise shots and effective dinking at the kitchen line. Its raw carbon fiber face ensures reliable ball placement, though it may not satisfy those seeking maximum power in their shots. I think it’s ideal for players who prefer strategy over power, given the comfort and balance. Potential buyers should note its narrow grip could become slippery during play if you have medium to large hands, particularly in warmer climates like in Florida where I am. Overall, if you prioritize control, finesse, and enjoy experimenting with different serve techniques like the screwball, the Tempest Wave could be a good addition to your pickleball gear arsenal.

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SpecsDescription
Paddle Weight7.8-8.2 ounces 
Paddle Face MaterialUnidirectional raw carbon fiber 
Paddle Core MaterialThe core is composed of an advanced high grade polymer with composite honeycomb. 
Paddle ShapeMore of a square shape than rectangle
Paddle Length15 and 7/8”
Paddle Width8”
Grip SizeThe grip circumference is 4 and 1/4” 
Handle Length5 and 1/4” 

First Look

Paddletek paddles have always been on my radar to try out since I started playing. I have only been playing pickleball for a year or so, but I feel like I have good knowledge of the game and the products that come along with it.

If you enjoy utilizing a screwball serve as a player, you’ll have fun with this one. The grip circumference is narrower compared to other paddles I’ve used before. I noticed this became a slight issue as my grip started to get sweaty towards the end of the session, which is understandable given the hot 95°F weather here in Tallahassee, FL at 8 p.m. I have been able to use this paddle in multiple games spanning a total of about 3.5 hours so far. As of now, it has been a great paddle for my skill level. 

Background Research

Paddletek, a family-owned business dedicated solely to pickleball since 2010, stands apart in an industry flooded with brands chasing profit rather than passion. They do a great job of offering paddles for every skill level and budget, with multiple price points to choose from.

The Tempest Wave model is geared towards the advanced players, as indicated by its price point, which sits just below Paddletek’s top-of-the-line Bantam series paddle.

FYI, Paddletek supports Anna Leigh Waters, who, if you’re not familiar, attracts more attention to the sport than anyone else, according to viewership numbers. Often likened to the Serena Williams of pickleball, Anna Leigh Waters currently leads the PPA tour with 9400 points, compared to Catherine Parenteau in second place with 5500 points.

Anna Leigh Waters & Catherine Parenteau (Picture Kerry Pittenger)

My Experience

I am no pickleball pro by any means, but I do believe this paddle has helped improve my game. With the paddle’s raw carbon fiber face, you are able to control the ball very well and place it exactly where you want it. Control is one of the main selling points for this paddle on Paddletek’s website.

This paddle is also very effective when dinking in the kitchen. Since the face is softer, I’ve found that it’s easier to barely skim the pickleball over the net, making it harder for your opponents to return. This is great because paddles with excessive pop can lead to higher, easier-to-smash returns when dinking on your side of the court.

Power Game Performance

This leads into one problem I have with the paddle. The power game performance just isn’t that great. Power obviously is not the key to pickleball, but when your opponent leaves a ball at eye level on the return, I want there to be smoke coming off the ball when I hit it back. But I should admit, this paddle was designed specifically for control, not power. With this paddle, strategic ball placement often proves more effective than attempting to smash every shot.

Screwball Serve

When using a screwball serve, you can achieve a significant 12 inches of curve on the ball, making it challenging for your opponent to return, especially when it curves towards their backhand.

Comfort and Grip

Overall, this paddle offers good comfort. Its balance is phenomenal, and the weight is not overbearing. During long play sessions, I never felt like the paddle was too heavy or put strain on my arm. However, as mentioned earlier, my hand tends to sweat a lot, so towards the end of play, I occasionally felt like I might lose the paddle if I swung too hard. This sensation could be related to the smaller circumference of the handle compared to some other paddles I’ve used. I probably need to add an over-grip.

Durability

As far as durability goes, I hope this paddle will maintain its structure for a long time. The craftsmanship seems superb, and the components appear to be high quality. I’ve heard good things, but time will tell how it holds up in the long run. The only noticeable wear on the paddle is scuff marks on the edge guard, which is common with paddles from any company. There are no noticeable changes to the face or the grip of the paddle which are still in good condition.

Conclusion

So far the paddle has exceeded my expectations and I do not foresee anything that would change my mind. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or have thoughts on any of the new carbon paddles from Paddletek.

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