We may earn a commission through affiliate links. Details

Selkirk VANGUARD Power Air Invikta Middleweight Paddle Review

The Invikta Power Air has all the looks, but looks aren’t everything…so does this thing play as good as it looks?

(Image credit: Kerry Pittenger)

Editor’s Note: New Selkirk release here.

This paddle packs some serious heat! Making accurate shots with the Power Air can be a challenge when hitting the ball softly because it is so responsive and sensitive. Great for the aggressive player that likes to hit drives, while also being able to generate plenty of spin. Selkirk recommends this for advanced players but I think that intermediate players could dial this in with some reps and practice. If you have a pretty solid soft game and want extra power, you will have a lot of fun with this paddle.

View at JustPaddles
Paddle Weight7.8 – 8.2 oz
Paddle Face MaterialQuadFlex 4 Layer Hybrid Face
Paddle Core MaterialSuperCore Polymer Honeycomb Core
Paddle ShapeElongated
Paddle Length16 1/2”
Paddle Width7 3/8″
Grip SizeStandard – 4 1/4″
Handle Length5 1/4”

First Look

When I first saw this paddle, I knew I had to try it. It has such a different look compared to most paddles you see on the market these days. It’s sleek, edgeless design would appear to have many advantages when it comes to the amount of speed you can generate with this paddle. Reminded me a bit of a Gearbox paddle at first look. As expected, I was able to generate much more speed than other paddles I’ve used. I typically play with 16mm thick paddles as I prefer control over power. With this paddle being only 13mm I was pretty pleased with the size of the sweet spot. Much bigger than it’s original project model, the Selkirk Project 002, however, a similar amount of power.

Build Quality

This paddle appears to be built to last. First off, Selkirk removed the edge guard from this paddle. The edge guard has always been known to be one of the weakest parts of the paddle, many times coming unglued which causes the core of the paddle to be exposed. I have also cracked a couple paddles in the past and it always seems to be near the edge guard. Down side of no edge guard means that the edges definitely can scratch easily so I’d recommend putting electrical tape around the edges more so to prevent those scratches even though they wouldn’t affect the play.

The surface texture on this lasts very long as well which keeps the spin of this paddle high, even after months of use. After over a month of continuous use, and a bit of paint chipping (as seen in the picture below), I noticed almost no change in the amount of spin I was able to generate! This is huge for the average consumer who is making their first higher level paddle purchase and wants to get the most use out of it. Other paddles can wear down and lose spin within the first couple months of play.

(Image credit: Dennis Rodriguez) 


The standard grip size of 4 1/4 felt very comfortable in my hand out of the box. I did wrap it once with over grip just to preserve the longevity of the original grip. I do not like grips that are too small as they cause you to have to grip the paddle too tight which in turn causes a lack of feel and control, not to mention can lead to tennis elbow. As you hit this paddle you will notice minimal compression as you make contact with the ball. As stated earlier, this is a “poppy” paddle designed for speed, power, and spin.

Think of it like this, playing with a 16mm paddle is like hitting a ball with a pillow (slightly exaggerated) in the sense that the ball will sink in a bit to the paddle before launching off it. Playing with a 13mm paddle built for power is like hitting a ball with a brick (again, slightly exaggerated) in the sense that the ball basically launches off the paddle right after it makes contact. The sweet spot on this was actually pretty nice for a power paddle. I only noticed issues when i would hit the ball near the four corners of the paddle, or near the “open throat design”, which is Selkirk’s fancier name for the hole at the bottom of the paddle.

Responsiveness & Power

As stated previously, this thing packs a serious punch when hit well. I had a top 300 ATP pro tennis player hit a few drives at me with this paddle and I was blown away with the amount of speed and spin. It honestly didn’t look real, the ball would whistle through the air at such a fast pace and then suddenly dip down, sometimes before I could even get a paddle on it. I have never missed a ball more than when he was hitting them at me with this paddle.

Soft Game

Okay okay…this is unfortunately where this paddle lacks the most. The ball comes off so hot with this paddle that it takes quite a bit of playing before you begin to even remotely get a feel for dinking, drop shots, blocks, and resets. I popped up more balls than I ever had using this paddle because I was not used to it. After a few hours of play and adding a bit of lead tape to the lower sides of the paddle, I eventually got a feel for it. I still have to be aware of my grip pressure on the paddle because it can pop up so easily if my grip pressure is too firm.


This paddle is definitely going in my bag for singles. My serves, drives, and speed ups were instantly more powerful on day one of using this paddle. As for doubles, which is what many of us really enjoy playing, this paddle just didn’t work for me. I really need a softer feeling paddle in doubles. As someone who enjoys dinking, this paddle was just too powerful for me to really dial in my soft game.

All in all if you are a player who wants to have a couple paddles in your bag, I’d definitely recommend adding this to your collection, however, if you are the player who wants to have one paddle that does a bit of everything, I’d consider something with a bit more touch like the Joola Vision.

Photo of author

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

10 thoughts on “Selkirk VANGUARD Power Air Invikta Middleweight Paddle Review”

  1. I haven’t played with this paddle yet, but, from what I hear, this is an accurate review. I’ve been thinking of buying a power paddle and Dennis’s review might’ve convinced me to go with Selkirk.

  2. Excellent review – thank you for all the details. I’ve been looking for a new paddle with more punch and power and better touch, and after reading this review I think I’ll have to give this Selkirk model a shot.

    • Hey Steve! I’m with you… I have been using the Joola Vision, which is really player friendly, but I want to see what I can do with the power air from the baseline.

  3. Excellent review – thank you for all the details. I’ve been looking for a new paddle with more power and better touch, and after reading this review I think I’ll give this Selkirk model a shot.

  4. Solid review, bullseye on control sacrifice for extra pop and spin. Parallels my experience taking 3 weeks to get used to it. Intermediate students tell me they love the power. To which I say “Be sure every stroke (from dink to drive) is definitive and follow thru exaggerated. This paddle does not forgive loosy goosy!”
    DP (Dr. Pickle or my initials, whichever ya like 😊)
    PPR Instructor
    USAP Ambassador

  5. I have purchased 3 of these paddles by now. They play really well for the first couple of weeks and then the grit starts flattening out very quickly. Not sure why your grit stayed good on yours but i have used 3 of these paddles now and none of them lasted. I am a 5.0 player and do like to drive quite a bit.

    • Hello Bernie,
      Seeing as you emphasize drives, it is understandable that your grit became worn quicker. However, one thing to keep in mind if the face does not feel as gritty, is that this does not always indicate that the spin will drastically decrease. If you’ve played with certain raw carbon paddles with a very tight weave, you’ll notice they feel quite smooth compared to others, yet their spin is very high (example is the Six Zero Double Black Diamond). That rough gritty feeling is not always an indicator of the amount of spin you will generate. Essentially with a higher swing weight or a hard surface the collision between the ball and the paddle face will be severe and in turn actually flattens the ball out more thus causing more spin as you move your arm in that upward or downward motion depending on a top spin or slice. A bit hard to explain so I hope I was able to make it understandable.


Leave a Comment