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 edgeguard an the butt cap of 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 https://www.usapa.org/docs/ifp/USAPA-Rulebook.pdf
Pro Tip: The roughness of a paddle face is tested using a “Starrett Roughness Tester” and
cannot exceed 30 micrometers).
Proprietary Brand Technology
Engage: Engage paddles have ControlPro II Core Technology. Engage's paddles feature liquid graphite or
fiberglass hitting surfaces to give players a balance of power and control with different feel to suit their game.
Examples of Engage paddles:
- Engage Poach: Control Pro II Core Technology with a 6-Layer Fiberglass hitting surface.
- Engage Elite Pro: Control Pro II Core Technology with a Liquid Graphite hitting surafce.
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.
- 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.
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.
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 an Onix innovation.
This company often works very closely with their 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 their ProPolyCore technology and
guarantees a 5 year deadspot 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 their logo
and added the following technology to their equipment: Smart Response Technology, Torsional
Vibration Control, and Grip Vibration Dampening.
ProKennex: A brand well known by tennis players, Prokennex has integrated their 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.
According to the governing bodies International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) and 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
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 for 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
GAMMA: Indoor Photon which comes in neon green is a soft ball that is easier to play. Recommended for recreational level players and new
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 machines.
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 fast ball 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.