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PIKKL Vantage Pro 16mm Paddle Review: My In-Depth Thoughts

(Picture Kip Lacey)

Verdict
The Vantage Pro is one of the two paddle entries from PIKKL and the weapon of choice of rising professional Gabe Tardio. It is available in two versions: 16 mm and 14 mm. The Vantage Pro is Generation 2 thermoformed, which allows for plenty of power and a large, forgiving sweet spot. Spin is easily accessible with the Multi-weave Raw Carbon Fiber Face, as the Vantage Pro is soft enough to provide plenty of dwell time with a plush feel. As an all-court paddle, the Vantage Pro will be a choice for many types of players as it does almost everything well. This paddle will attract a variety of levels from beginner to professional and can easily be modified to fit even the most exacting player. The Vantage Pro is a really good paddle at an affordable price.


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SpecsDescription
Paddle Weight8.4 oz
Thickness16mm
Paddle Face MaterialMultiweave Raw  Carbon Fiber
Paddle Core MaterialPolypropylene Hex-Core Honeycomb
Paddle ShapeElongated
Paddle Length16 1/4” 
Paddle Width7 1/2”
Grip Size4 1/4”
Handle Length5.35”

First Look

As I said, the Vantage Pro is one of the two paddle entries from startup PIKKL. The Vantage Pro is constructed of a polypropylene core in two thicknesses, 16 mm and 14 mm. The Vantage Pro is Gen 2 thermoformed with a unibody structure, PUR-Cell urethane foam perimeter injected, and high-pressure fused layers to provide consistency and control, supposedly boosting paddle performance. PIKKL also includes Pro-Grip technology. An integrated EVA foam base for dynamic cushioning under a diamond-textured grip tape. The Vantage Pro, as tested, came in with a weight of 8.4 ounces. 

My Experience

Consistency/Accuracy

The PIKKL Vantage Pro is accurate and consistent. No matter the shot, whether a dink, drive, third, serve, or return, you can swing away with confidence that your shot will land where you intended. Players can trust the Vantage Pro will consistently place the ball where intended with proper form.

Power

The PIKKL Vantage Pro averaged an impressive serving speed of 49.6mph (expected range 48-50). Because of this above-average power, the Vantage Pro offers easy depth on serves and returns. 

Spin

As expected, spin is another area where the new PIKKL Vantage Pro comes through. There is plenty of dwell time and the soft feel of the Multi-weave Raw Carbon Fiber Face really grabs the ball and spins it effectively. You can hit topspin dinks and drives no problem.

Defense to Offense

The Vantage Pro does very well at the factory weight of 8.4 ounces. The ball is easily reset from the transitional area along with drops or drives from the baseline. Once you make it to the non-volley zone attacks and fast hands are accessible and the paddle is user friendly.

Feedback/Feel

The feedback and feel are comfortable with the Vantage Pro. There is a soft, plush sensation and excellent dwell time on centered shots. The EVA foam base under the diamond-textured grip effectively dampens any vibration from off-center hits. 

Sweet Spot

The Vantage Pro’s sweet spot is large and easily accessible. When the ball misses the sweet spot, shots will not suffer too much. The hybrid shape of 16 ¼ x 7 ½ inches, along with Gen 2 thermoforming allow all but the extreme areas of the face to be controllable and consistent. 

Looks/Design

The looks are nice and clean, nothing flamboyant, which I like. One can choose from five different Vantage Pro frame colors; Black, red, bright green, pink and blue.

Additional Thoughts

The PIKKL Vantage Pro is a very good paddle! Unsurprisingly, pro’s such as Gabe Tardio and Tyra Hurricane Black have chosen to join PIKKL and are excelling at a high level. Another interesting offer from PIKKL is “skins” that can be peeled and stuck on the surface of the Vantage Pro and Hurricane Pro to regain the surface integrity lost due to months of play. Dennis talks in more detail about these here. These are USAPA approved and are an exciting new development, allowing the paddle to play like new for several months! I am excited to see the future of the PIKKL brand.

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About Kip

Kip, founder of Famous By Friday Pickleball, is an ex-college tennis player with a background in baseball and golf. His pickleball journey began in 2018, leading to his certification as a Professional Pickleball Registry Coach by 2020. An avid player and tournament organizer, Kip has evolved from a beginner to a skilled coach. His interactions with pickleball professionals have greatly influenced his coaching style. With deep knowledge of pickleball equipment, Kip expertly assists website readers with insightful product reviews. kip@pickleballportal.com

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