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0 comments / Posted on by Sara McInnes

Regulation Paddle Specifications
According to the governing bodies International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) and United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA) paddles must fit the requirements:
  • Paddle length 17 inches or less
  • Paddles must not exceed a total of 24 inches (length + width) including edge guard at the butt cap of the handle
  • Material must be rigid and non-compressible
  • Surface cannot have holes
  • No weight restrictions on a paddle
  • Paddle face cannot have rubber, sandpapers, anti-skid paint

For more information: Pages 6-9 in the 2020 USAPA & IFP Rulebook

Pro Tip: The roughness of a paddle face is tested using a “Starrett Roughness Tester” and cannot exceed 30 micrometers).


Proprietary Brand Technology


Engage: We carry Engage paddles with ControlPro II technology with liquid graphite or fiberglass paddle faces.

  • Engage Poach (6-Layer Fiberglass )
  • Elite Pro (Liquid Graphite)

Newly released technology “Core and Skin Dimensioning'', also described as 6.0 technology with the only thick core with large sweet spots for power and control. This technology is designed for the core and skin of the paddle face to work as one upon the impact of the ball. We
currently do not have these in-line products.

HEAD: Optimized Tubular Construction (OTC) is designed to cushion a shot providing more time for the player to place the ball. The HEAD brand appeals to racquet players transitioning into pickleball. Their sweet spot is designed to sit just above the middle of the paddle so that the
player can swing the paddle away from their body more confidently.

GAMMA: Has three generations of paddle technology currently on the market. The first being their Aramid series. Aramid is also known as Nomex and is a cardboard material dipped in resin. This makes for a very heavy, durable and powerful paddle but can be hard to control the ball.
Examples:

  • Neutron & Neutron 2.0
  • Phaser & Phaser 2.0

The next wave of paddles is the Sensa Polycore and instead of Aramid they use polymer honeycomb. These paddles are strong and absorb the impact of the ball well.
Examples:

  • Dart
  • Needle

The NeuCore series is the latest by GAMMA and has a 25% thicker and larger honeycomb cells to create a very soft and smooth impact with the ball. The new paddles have a generous sweet spot and put extra power behind each shot.
Examples:

  • Legend
  • Compass

Onix: Offers six various paddle core materials and three paddle face materials. Ribtec Core Trade and Fusion Core Trade technologies are both patent pending and Onix innovation. This company often works very closely with its pro’s in creating new paddles. They have also
partnered with TeXtreme and recently released the Onix Outbreak, a paddle which the face has woven in TexTreme technology.

Paddletek: This Michigan-based company has trademarked its ProPolyCore technology and guarantees a 5-year dead spot warranty for its customers. The technology they’ve built into their paddles leads to a sturdy and reliable line of paddles. In 2019 the company rebranded its logo and added the following technology to its equipment: Smart Response Technology, Torsional Vibration Control, and Grip Vibration Dampening.

ProKennex: A brand is well known by tennis players, Prokennex has integrated its famous Kinetic technology into their two paddles. The Kinetic Pro Speed is a classically shaped paddle with the Tungsten beads built into the frame of the paddle. Their new Ovation Speed is a very untraditional shape, it is oval, and designed for maximum maneuverability and speed. It’s Opti-Cell Core conforms to the unique oval shape, eliminating “dead spots”. Both paddles are finished with a seven-layer carbon face surface.

Selkirk: Has built the FiberFlex Fiberglass paddle face material and patent-pending X5 poly core. The X5 core is stronger, quieter and the careful assembly of the paddle diminishes any dead spots that often sit close to the edge guard of the paddle.

Regulation Ball Specifications

According to the governing bodies International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) and the United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA) balls must fit the requirements:

  • Ball must be between 2.87-2.97 inches in diameter
  • Weight of the ball must be between 0.78-0.935 ounces
  • The design of the ball must have a minimum of 26 holes and maximum of 40 holes
  • Balls must have the manufacturers name embossed on the surface
  • Tournament directors have the choice of ball for their tournament

For more information: Pages 5-6 https://www.usapa.org/docs/ifp/USAPA-Rulebook.pdf

Pro Tip: The USAPA website has a list of approved balls that are submitted by various companies.

Ball Technology
There are balls made for indoor and outdoor play. There are a few differences which you should know which is that indoor balls contain up to 26 larger holes and outdoor balls will have up to 40 smaller holes. The purpose of this is the smaller holes make for a sturdier ball as it flies through the wind. The outdoor ball will look and feel thicker than the indoor ball which is thinner and softer.

Franklin: The Franklin X-40 is an outdoor ball that has gained momentum over the past year or two. This ball is not as difficult to use as the Dura Fast 40 however it’s not as predictable as the Onix Outdoor Fuse. Franklin also sells the X-26 which is their indoor ball and is gaining
popularity due to its unique blue colour. Predictable and durable, the X-26 does not crack easily.

GAMMA: Indoor Photon which comes in neon green is a soft ball that is easier to play. Not as popular as Onix but a choice regardless. Recommended for recreational level players and new clubs.

HEAD/Penn: This outdoor ball (Penn 40) was created for the recreational level player in mind. It has a generous bounce and is easy to play with. A great option for clubs, clinics, and lessons. Good for the Lobster ball machine. The Penn 26 is their indoor version and the tournament
indoor and outdoor ball is expected to be released in 2020.

Onix: The first ball Onix released was the 530 and is now discontinued. The next ball was the Pure, however, this ball was extremely soft. The next-generation ball available both indoor and outdoor is the Onix Fuse in yellow, orange or neon green (green available for outdoor only).
Yellow Onix Fuse is the ball used in all major indoor tournaments.

Dura Fast Indoor: Same hard plastic material as outdoors but made for indoors. It’s an extremely fastball and because it’s still made with the hard plastic it’s not as safe as the other indoor options that we sell.

Dura Fast 40: Historically, this ball has been selected for all major outdoor U.S. tournaments. It’s a challenging ball to play with as it quickly misshapes and tends to “flutter” in the air. Onix recently acquired the Dura Fast 40.

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