It's crazy to think that pickleball didn't exist before 1965 and yet now millions of people around the world can't imagine life without it. We're proud to be a part of this great sport's short history. We began raising the bar on pickleball paddles in 2010, and since then, we've helped elevate the performance of players at all experience levels, from driveway dinking to the US Open finals.
And while the skill levels may be different between a pro and a driveway champion, both rely on Paddletek to take their game to the next level.
We've played an active role in pushing the boundaries of what meaningful innovation means for paddles - many times pioneering a technology that becomes so commonly used, you may think it's just a commodity. Need proof? Look no further than a polymer honeycomb core.
Our reputation for quality and technology that pushes the sport forward is part of the reasons pros choose Paddletek year in and year out, and we'd like to show you why that continues to be the case.
This post will show you which Paddletek paddles the pros are using and why. Since paddles are as unique as the person holding them, you'll see the wide range of our paddle lineup and how specific features complement each player's strengths and minimize any weaknesses. Ultimately revealing why they've chosen a specific paddle.
We hope that you'll find common ground with some of the pros we'll discuss, and as we share why they've picked a specific Paddletek paddle, you'll be able to take some of that thinking and apply it to your own game.
So let's get started and go through each series and model, and show you a few of the many pros that rely on Paddletek for enhanced performance, and what they're looking for out of their paddles.
3 Standout Features Found in Specific Paddles Across All Series
There are many reasons to love Paddletek paddles, but when it comes to features, the following three continue the Paddletek tradition of raising the bar. We're of course referencing Smart Response Technology, Torsion Vibration Control, and Grip Vibration Dampening.
What is Smart Response Technology?
Smart Response Technology is a pickleball paddle innovation from Paddletek that provides a thicker paddle to improve control without losing any power. Typically, thicker paddles will offer greater control but less power, and vice versa, so this performance innovation has been game-changing.
Called SRT for short, you can find this improved control and power in all of the Paddletek Pro series paddles. The 9/16" cores create a more even distribution of energy every time the ball hits the paddle, which improves the famed sweet spot of the paddles. The full product crescendos into a more forgiving and consistent weapon on the courts. Think of SRT as having your cake and eating it too.
What is Torsion Vibration Control?
Torsion Vibration Control (also referred to as TVC) is a technology used in a number of Paddletek paddles that helps enhance the feel of all shots. This is most helpful for shots off-center or outside of the sweet spot, as it auto-corrects and assists with forgiveness, and improves consistency.
The name derives from when a player hits the ball off center, and that force twists the paddle in their hands - that torsion is mitigated with TVC, and the outcome is hitting the ball closer to the way you'd intended, even when it's not the cleanest shot.
What is Grip Vibration Dampening?
Grip Vibration Dampening is just what you might expect with a name like that - it's a special grip that minimizes vibration at impact when you strike the ball. Not to mention it remains one of the most comfortable grips on the market. Less vibration means less stress on your hand, wrist, arm, and elbow.
This is particularly helpful for dealing with one of the 5 most common pickleball injuries - the dreaded pickleball elbow. You can find the Grip Vibration Dampening technology in all models of the Phoenix series of paddles as well as the Tempest Wave II (and original Wave).
Tempest Series - Control and Touch
The Tempest series is built for any player that values a higher degree of touch, accuracy, and precision with each shot. Geared towards the strategic player, it was crafted with tremendous thought - all models within the series live up to their reputation of control and touch.
Several factors make this series ideal for touch and control, but none is more important than the use of carbon fiber, which is the building block material in the series core as well as its surface. This material absorbs a massive amount of energy
While you'll hear the touch of this paddle spoken about widely, it's also known for being incredibly forgiving. This is the result of several design decisions, including the carbon fiber core, but the byproduct of it all is a large sweet spot found on all models of the Tempest paddles. This is what makes each Tempest paddle so forgiving.
Touch and forgiveness are two sides of the same paddle, so to speak. So to truly embrace a paddle with high touch, it has to create a higher forgiveness rating - pros and amateurs alike need to be able to get consistency on each shot, even when they aren't able to make contact with the ball exactly where they intended to.
The Tempest Series is built around three models, with two additional subtypes, making the entire series total 5 paddles. While every one of them lives up to the hype for control and touch, each has a unique flavor. Here's your cheat sheet for what each model brings to the table.
Tempest Reign Pro - Added Power
The Tempest Reign Pro is an elongated carbon fiber paddle that is sure to add some heat to every shot you take. The extra reach and a higher sweet spot help you get over each shot and add some extra emphasis every time. Its thick carbon fiber core is built with SRT, which adds control without sacrificing power.
Tempest Wave Pro & Badger Edition - Amazing Balance
Forget about compromises - the Tempest Wave Pro (including the Badger Edition) has it all. While the Tempest series is truly a masterclass in control and touch, the Tempest Wave Pro is famous for owning the soft game but flexing into power as needed.
Many of those who try it will talk about its sweet spot - it's extremely large and consistent. This is another reason players consider it one of the most forgiving paddles available on the market.
Ask anyone who plays with the Tempest Wave Pro and they'll vouch for this being the best-balanced paddle in pickleball, which is important to many facets of the game, especially as it relates to hand speed and maneuverability.
Tempest Wave II & Original Tempest Wave - Soft Game
The Wave II and its predecessor are famous for giving players control of each shot and are perfect for establishing dominance at the kitchen line. The Wave II embodies touch and accuracy, from its carbon fiber face to its carbon fiber core, this paddle works harder than others to enhance soft shots. Amongst its notable features, you'll find Wave II's Torsion Vibration Control and Grip Vibration Dampening is adept at absorbing energy where you need it.
Pros Playing With Tempest Paddles
Andrea Koop - Tempest Wave Pro
Aside from the balance of power and control, Andrea appreciates how the Wave pro helps her have quicker hands - from blocks to resets, this paddle is a great fit into her style of play.
Dave Weinbach - Tempest Wave Pro "Badger Edition"
Well of course Dave "The Badger" Weinbach is going to use his namesake paddle, but the winningest player in pickleball keeps his superlative alive based on the accuracy, forgiveness, and power of the Wave Pro and its Badger version. Dave's choice of the Wave Pro is a testament to the paddle's consistency.
Adam Stone - Tempest Wave II
Adam is a control freak, in the pickleball sense of the term. That's why his use of the Wave II certifies this paddle as the touch-and-feel paddle on the market, helping him block, reset, and set up.
Bantam Series - Power and Performance
The next time you hear the word "pop" - think Bantam. This power-hungry series is built to give anyone holding its paddles tons of power, but not an unwieldy amount. It does all this while remaining relatively light to comparable paddles. Players love this because they can move quickly and not face the same arm fatigue a heavier paddle might cause.
So while this is certainly a heavy-hitter in the power department, it doesn't mean it's the heaviest paddle out there, nor that it accomplishes this power at the price of control. The series is filled with a wide variety of models that offer something for any type of player looking for more power on their shots. This includes a regular and pro version of the Bantam EX-L and TS-5, as well as the Bantam Sabre Pro.
Here's what you should know about each model of the paddle in the Bantam series:
Bantam EX-L Pro - King of "Pop"
The EX-L Pro utilizes SRT to punch up the power and control. In terms of weight, it's not like holding a feather, but certainly lighter than you'd expect based on the power you'll create at contact. This often surprises players.
Bantam EX-L - Power Generalist
Falling toward the lighter end of paddle weights, the EX-L still brings power, but also shines brightly with touch thanks to several design decisions, including the use of TVC. The head of the paddle does a tremendous job of maximizing real estate for each shot and providing a great balance of weight along the perimeter of the edge guard. This paddle has a fulfilling swing weight, tough to describe, but gives that feeling of running a hot knife through butter. This is why you've seen the EX-L in so winners' podiums throughout the years.
Bantam Sabre Pro - Power and Reach
The shape of this paddle is the source of its strength. Created with Scott Moore, this paddle was designed to accompany singles players. It maximizes paddle length, using an extra-long handle - this lets players add more power to their shots and reach the unreachable.
This is why singles players love it, it's like going into a singles match with a partner. And of course, since it's a "Pro" line of paddles, the Bantam Sabre Pro includes SRT - remember, that's the Paddletek core innovation that lets players get the best of power and control worlds.
Bantam TS-5 Pro - Power and Forgiveness
Imagine the EX-L Pro in all its speed and power glory, then cut some ounces, and there you'll find the TS-5 Pro. Players love this paddle for its pop and wildly large sweet spot, making it one of the most forgiving paddles available today.
Bantam TS-5 & Anna Leigh Waters Edition - Lightweight Meets Power
Ounce for ounce, this featherweight yolks all possible power available in this weight class. Using TVC, this paddle offers an amazing feel plus an increased range of movement - yet still has power. Dink or drive, this is a versatile paddle solution for anyone looking into lighter paddles.
Pros Playing With Bantam Paddles
Rick Witsken - Bantam EX-L Pro
Rick chooses the EX-L Pro because of its diverse range of power and control. From flat and fast shots to those that grip in and dive hard, the EX-L Pro is his go-to for getting extra strength on his shots.
Irina Tereschenko - Bantam EX-L
How's this for endorsement - Irina's been playing with the EX-L since day one. True to the Bantam's reputation for power, the EX-L delivers on this promise, but Irina also loves how precise she can be with each shot using the EX-L.
Combined, the power, pop, and accuracy of the EX-L are why Irina's chosen to use this model of Bantam for so long.
Kyle Yates - Bantam EX-L
Kyle's trophy room is certainly impressive thanks to quite a few US Open and Nationals titles - but equally remarkable are Kyle's hits.
The subject of much discussion, Kyle's power can reach explosive levels when needed, yet even at comet-like speeds, his hits maintain the same control you'd only expect of a dink.
Knowing this, it's no surprise Kyle is one of the greatest advocates of the Bantam EX-L.
Scott Moore - Bantam Sabre Pro
Scott's a tour de force - seriously - he's the proud owner of the title "six-time triple crown champion." Compounded to the impressive nature of this accomplishment is that he's achieved all this in less than ten years, as this timeframe marked the moment he started playing pickleball competitively after 30+ years entrenched in tennis.
Scott's tennis background and ability to dominate courts in singles are why Paddletek partnered with him to design a paddle built for those experiences, which is how the Bantam Sabre Pro came to be.
The extra-long grip and paddle length make him feel at an advantage every match.
Anna Leigh Waters - Bantam TS-5
Even though the paddle is light, it's profoundly versatile when it comes to touch and power, this is the main reason Anna Leigh Waters picked up TS-5 at a younger age.
Adept at the soft game, but playing with power outside its weight class, Anna Leigh Waters loved how the TS-5 let her "Rip It" - so much so that the world began to understand the unique brand of power that Anna Leigh Waters is now famous for.
This ultimately led to Anna creating her very own edition of the Bantam TS-5 - capturing the style and performance that she encompasses.
Phoenix Series - All-Around Playability
Paddletek’s Phoenix series of paddles are designed with all-around playability in mind. The standout model from this series, the Genesis paddle, offers the perfect balance between power and control.
This paddle changed pickleball when it first released a polymer honeycomb years ago, which is now ubiquitous with competitive paddles. P
The Phoenix series of paddles consists of three primary models - the Genesis Pro, Genesis, and the G6. Let's have a look at what makes each model tick.
Phoenix Genesis Pro - Tech-Driven Sweet Spot
Behind the Genesis Pro is a solid list of technologies that help it reach new performance heights. Smart Response Technology and Torsion Vibration Control hit that perfect balance of control and power, with an amazing feel to boot.
The head of the paddle is beautifully weighted along its perimeter, beefing up the size and consistency of its sweet spot.
And for good measure, the Genesis Pro also has Grip Vibration Dampening, meaning your joints absorb less of the hits. So if you're looking for a paddle that's as forgiving as they come, but gets amazing grades in all attributes, the Genesis Pro is your go-to.
Phoenix Genesis & Leigh Waters Edition - Speed, Power, Control
Players love the Genesis thanks to its lighter weight without subtraction in any playability attributes. It's a light paddle that's great for quick hands at the net, offers the touch you'd expect, and can lean into the power you wouldn't expect at this weight class.
This paddle is great for all levels of play. New players love it because it offers a great balance when they may not know their strengths and weaknesses in playing style. Yet pros love it too because of its versatility without sacrifice - which is why Leigh Waters swears by it and endorses it as well.
Phoenix G6 - Truly Sweet Spot
Like all Phoenix series paddles, the G6 will be powerful or controlling when you need it to be. But this model has a graphite core that helps mitigate vibration at impact.
The ridiculously large sweet spot in the G6 allows it to forgive shots that aren't perfectly met.
Pros Playing With Bantam Paddles
Leigh Waters - Phoenix Genesis
No matter where you face Leigh on the court, you'll find that she's a master of drives and dinks. She needs a paddle that's as flexible as her game, going between power and touch without a fuss. Not only that, but Leigh needs a lighter paddle that doesn't restrict hand speed or cause her to miss at the net. The light weight of the Genesis and its beautiful balance between power and control offer the perfect flexibility that Leigh Waters demands of a paddle.
As you can imagine, Liegh's a big fan of Genesis, and she's proud to endorse it to the point that she's put her name on the Leigh Waters Edition.
Paddletek Has Something for Everyone
While we've only scratched the surface of the pros and upcoming pros who choose Paddletek, the truth is that any player can appreciate the performance and feel of these paddles.
Whether you need a paddle for all-around play like Leigh does, or if you're a player with a strong tennis background like Scott - Paddletek has something for everyone.
Each paddle was purposefully designed for certain occasions, and in some cases, those occasions are for all-around playability.
But for players who know their specific outages or just want to enhance their strengths, we hope this guide to how and why the pros choose specific Paddletek paddles gives you an idea of what you may benefit from the most.