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Selkirk SLK Halo Power XL Paddle Review: Exquisite Control and Power

This paddle is a match made in Heaven for players who want the perfect blend of control and power. Hmm…could that be why Selkirk named it the “Halo”?

The SLK Halo Power XL by Selkirk
(Image credit: Dennis Rodriguez)
Verdict
Selkirk is known for their exceptional customer service and attention to detail. Being Selkirk’s first line of Raw Carbon paddles, the SLK Halo Power XL did not disappoint! I would recommend the Halo Power XL to higher level beginners up to the pro level. Three of my students were so impressed with the control and power they experienced while using the Halo Power XL that it is now their primary paddle. There’s a reason the Halo series sells out quicker than almost any paddle on the market today. If you prefer the extra pop and power, yet want minimal sacrifice in control, the Halo Power XL is absolutely a must have.

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SpecsDescription
Paddle Weight7.5- 8.0 oz
Paddle Face MaterialT700 Raw Carbon Fiber
Paddle Core MaterialRev-Core Power Polymer Core
Paddle ShapeElongated
Paddle Length13mm
Paddle Width16 2/5”
Grip SizeThin – 4”
Handle LengthLong – 5 3/4”

First Look

To my surprise, Selkirk uses high quality packaging even with the SLK line of paddles that are considered Selkirk’s cost effective and lower end line. This just goes to show how important attention to detail is to Selkirk. If I’m being honest, the Halo series is one of the best looking paddles I’ve seen. Sleek and detail oriented. I personally love the tan colored low profile edge guard and SLK faux leather grip that Selkirk chose for the Halo series. Being only 4” thick, however, the grip on the Halo Power felt a bit small in my hand. This is a personal preference and was easily fixed with the addition of some over grips. The grit on the face of the Halo XL felt decent but nothing to write home about. I will say, at $139, I feel this price point is more than reasonable for a paddle of this caliber. Based on first look, the Halo Power XL gave me every indication that it could comfortably go head to head with those steeper priced Raw Carbon paddles we see in other brands. It’s the quality we’ve come to expect from Selkirk at an affordable price point. You can find a similar story about the evo series that is maybe one grade below the Halo series, but $40 dollars cheaper.

Build Quality

In your hands, the Halo Power XL feels extremely well balanced. Selkirk states that the edge guard is built with “edgesentry technology”, which they claim provides the Halo with a low-profile, lightweight, durable edge guard for a well-balanced and solid feel. I will say, when comparing the edge guard to some of my other paddles, it’s quality really does feel unmatched. In fact, after using this paddle for almost four months, the edge guard shows almost no signs of wear. I have tested quite a few other paddles where the edge guard began to separate from the face of the paddle within just a couple months or less.

Textured surface on the slk power halo paddle
(Image credit: JustPaddles)

If there was any constructive feedback to improve this paddle, it would be to increase the grit. The Halo Power XL was producing spin rates between 1400-1450 RPM on average. I tend to put quite a bit of topspin on my ground strokes and serves and the best I was able to get was just under 1500 RPM. This number is not bad, however, when compared to some of the other T700 Raw Carbon paddles that are producing upwards of 1600 RPM, it could use a bit more spin. Other than that, it’s hard to have any complaints about the Halo Power. They spared no cost in the design and materials used. How they can afford to sell this paddle at such a reasonable price point, I really don’t know. I absolutely love the elongated shape and the long 5.7” handle. The sweet spot was also quite impressive and larger than I would have expected. I would say the only “dead” spots on the face were towards the top two corners.

Feel

Feel is incredibly important to me when working with a paddle. I can almost immediately tell whether I am going to enjoy playing with a paddle as soon as I get it in my hands. After adding a couple of Selkirk overgrips to the handle, The Halo Power XL felt, dare I say, was perfect. However, just because a paddle feels perfect does not mean that it will perform perfectly. My paddle weighed in at 7.9 oz after applying my overgrip. While swinging the paddle, I immediately noticed how easy it was to maneuver. This is essential for those quick speed ups and flicks. Being able to generate paddle head speed leads to better spin potential, stronger drives, and overall faster hands.

Longer handled paddles can sometimes feel head heavy due to your hand being further away from the head of the paddle. With the Halo Power XL, I did not feel this was an issue at all. In fact I felt as if my flicks and hands battles were better than they had ever been. The extra pop that the 13mm Power XL gave me was something I’ve definitely been missing in my game. I typically use a 16mm paddle as I tend to have a more control focused preference, however, as I’ve continued to play higher level players, the need for that extra pop and speed at the non volley zone has become more and more apparent.

I’ve experimented with “poppier” power paddles in the past but I haven’t quite found one that sacrificed minimal control…until now. The Halo Power provides a surprising amount of power AND control! I felt minimal differences in the control aspect when comparing it to their 16mm Halo Control version, yet quite a big difference in power. I also had some of my beginner students compare the two and again, I noticed minimal differences in their control when using the 16mm Control XL over the 13mm Power XL. I did have one student say that he felt he had less pop ups when using the Halo Control, which makes sense due to the thicker core. For a slightly more advanced player, control should be of no issue when using the Halo Power, yet you will reap the benefits of its pop and power.

Responsiveness & Power

The Halo Power XL is the first 13mm paddle that has truly given me the confidence in both its power and control. It is not as poppy off the face as many of the 13mm and 14mm paddles I’ve reviewed in the past, which I find to be a benefit because it allows for control when desired and power when required. Because of this, I feel that it is a desirable paddle for both singles and doubles play.

The response off the face during my blocks and counters felt strong and firm when using the Halo Power. I really like how the added pop allows me to focus less on taking a big swing to generate power and more on making sure I am hitting the sweet spot. This allows for less mishits and more consistency overall. I find that I tend to take a bit more of a backswing when using 16mm control oriented paddles and, while this may give me a bit more power, I begin to sacrifice consistency.

If you tend to be the more aggressive player on your team, you enjoy speeding up the ball and playing with a bit more pace, the Halo Power is definitely a paddle to consider. It is worth noting that if you want to generate even more power with the Halo, say you come from a Vatic Pro or an Engage, I would recommend experimenting with lead tape. This can significantly add more power although at the expense of some control.

Soft Game

I was very impressed with the soft game of the Halo Power. I expected significant differences in comparison to the Halo Control, but this was not the case. My wife is a 4.0+ player and actually uses the Halo Control XL as her primary paddle. While testing this paddle, she also felt minimal differences in her drops, resets, and dinks. She is now considering transitioning to the Power series of the Halo. This is a game changer for those players that want the added pace of a power paddle with the feel of a control paddle.

I personally loved how easy it was to drop the ball from basically anywhere on the court. This really adds to my confidence during a match, which in turn adds to more success on the court. Drops, resets, and dinks were executed with simplicity, yet when a shot required a bit more aggression or pace, the added power felt like such an advantage.

Overall

When it comes down to it, we all want the most power possible without the sacrifice of ANY control. The Halo Power XL has come extremely close to reaching that almost impossible feet. I am positive that this paddle would benefit players of all skill levels. The Halo Power is a paddle that you can grow into and feel confident in using as your game continues to improve. While this paddle may not have the most spin on the market, I believe Selkirk has made a quality paddle that addresses the control issues we see with most “power” paddles. As this is their first Raw Carbon paddle, seems like this is just the beginning and they are 100% headed in the right direction. The Halo series has my vote!

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Hey guys, my name’s Dennis. I’m a full-time Firefighter and “part-time” Pickleball Instructor who honestly loves coaching, teaching, and competing in sports. I played baseball & tennis throughout highschool and college and fell in love with pickleball. My goal with Pickleball Portal is to give you the most honest and reliable info on everything related to pickleball gear and equipment! I want to arm you with the knowledge to feel confident in your paddle choice by giving thorough reviews and comparisons through my hands on testing. Also hoping to share some tips and tricks with you to help your game and continue the growth of this awesome sport! dennis@pickleballportal.com

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