9 Engage Pickleball Paddles: The Complete Guide

Companies like Selkirk, Paddletek, and Prolite have designed and pioneered countless innovations in the game and continue to do so today! But there’s one paddle manufacturer that’s brought something completely new to the game and revolutionized the way paddles are made.  Engage Pickleball paddles are the result of the manufacturer being the ‘crazy scientist’ of paddle design and engineering.

Engage actually uses ‘Applied Physics’ in the design of every paddle, helping to optimize the sweet spot on the paddle and make the paddle feel like an extension of your arm. They’re also constantly playing with different combinations of materials and dimensions in order to optimize their paddle designs. They carry out these ‘experiments’ nearly every week, so it’s quite natural to expect frequent new innovations from Engage. You’ll also be surprised by how these experiments result in paddles with a unique mix of power, control, and spin that you won’t find anywhere else.

All of the paddles reviewed below come with a lifetime warranty against defects and a 5-year no dead spot guarantee.

Paddles from Engage

Sometimes it is difficult to understand the key difference between paddles.  So, I spent a long time studying Engage Pickleball paddles for this review.  I identified the best paddles for different playing styles.  Look for the column called “Category” in the summary chart below.  More details on each paddle are in the remainder of the post.

Encore Pro Composite:  Top Power in the Encore Line

This paddle, designed by the famed Robert Elliot himself, differentiates itself from the regular Encore Composite by offering a larger sweet spot and a lot more power.

Just like the Encore Composite, the Encore Pro comes with a specialized ‘roughness’ on the surface that reaches the maximum limits of regulation placed by the USAPA.

Power vs. Control

The Encore Pro is built with a lot more power than the rest of the Encore line. The combination of composite material with a polymer core and a heavier overall weight all contribute to the increased power in this paddle. Of course this power is still balanced out the Encore’s powerful emphasis on control.

Weight and Dimensions

The Encore Pro lies in a weight range between 7.8 and 8.4 oz, with an average weight of 8.1 oz. This makes for a heftier paddle which can really drive the ball during matches.

The Encore Pro comes with a length of 15¼” and a width of 8”, with the lower end of the paddle quite close to the grip. This allows for excellent maneuverability and enhances the feel of the ball during play.

Grip

The Encore Pro Composite comes with a medium-sized grip circumference of 4¼” and a length of 4¾”, giving players a more firm grip and a feeling of ‘solidity’ in the paddle, making it feel like an extension of your arm.

Core and Surface

Just like the Encore Composite, the Encore Pro comes with a polymer honeycomb core and a proprietary fiberglass surface.

Spin

Just like the other Encore paddles, the Pro Composite is built for ball control and spin, and the rough surface generates an enormous amount of topspin when playing shots. Most players who own this paddle claim that it’s the perfect paddle for pros to up their game and for beginners to quickly master the basic techniques.

Elite Pro Composite:  A Favorite of Pro Players

The ‘Elite Pro’ Composite has become famous ever since its debut in the 2017 US Open. The reason it got so famous? Nine players switched out their paddles just prior to the game to use this one. And all nine of them won! That has to be more than mere coincidence!

Of course, this paddle was created using direct input from the top players in the game. So it’s not surprising that it’s years ahead of its time in terms of feel, power, and playability.

Power vs. Control

With their scientific approach, Engage is able to craft paddles that offer a superb mix of both power and control. The Elite Pro Composite is testament to their ability to craft a quality paddle that offers players a variety of options. Whether you’re an aggressive, defensive, or more relaxed player, the Elite Pro Composite can really help up your game and take it to the next level.

Weight and Dimensions

The Elite Pro Composite comes in two models – a LITE model and the standard one. The lightweight one ranges between 7.5 and 7.8 oz; extremely lightweight and easy to handle as a result.

The standard models are anywhere between 7.9 and 8.3 oz. This makes them light enough for easy maneuverability, yet heavy enough to give you that extra added power.

Of course, regardless of the weight category, the Elite Pro Composite is perhaps one of the most (if not THE most) playable paddles to have been made in Pickleball. The 2017 U.S. Open is proof of how easy it is to adjust to this paddle, so if you’re worried about transitioning, don’t be; this paddle will fit your playing style just fine.

The 16-inch length of the paddle also improves your overall reach, making it easier to catch stray balls and enlarging the sweet spot.

Grip

A grip length of 5 inches allows a variety of hand sizes to grip the racket comfortably. For most hands, the grip even allows for plenty of free space, making the paddle a lot more comfortable to play with and enhancing maneuverability.

The grip comes with a circumference of 4 ¼“ which is the ideal size, allowing players to experience a unique mix of power, comfort, and control. It’s thick enough for a firm group and yet narrow enough for your palm to move about freely while gripping the paddle.

Finally, the Elite Pro Composite comes with a perforated-cushion grip which provides superior comfort and breathability. This not only reduces fatigue in your arms but also helps you retain a solid grip throughout the game.

Core and Surface

The Elite Pro Composite is a delight for those of you who love graphite paddles. In this design, Engage uses a chemically-bonded skin on the face of the paddle that they’ve termed ‘liquid graphite’, thanks to its superior touch and feel. This skin is optimized to pass even the most stringent noise-level requirements.

This paddle uses Engage’s patented ‘Control Pro’ polymer core, which comes with vibration control technology. This helps to reduce fatigue in the arm and improve feel for the ball, allowing you to play high-quality shots, even over long periods of time.

Spin

Paddles with graphite surfaces tend to be less suited for spin due to the smoothness, which limits the ability of the paddle to grip the ball. However, the ‘liquid graphite’ surface on this paddle is a little rougher than most other graphite surfaces. And while it may not offer too much spin, there’s still enough for you to work with.

Most customers who have purchased this paddle swear by its excellent quality and superior feel. While it is in the league of premium paddles, it still comes at a fair, competitive price. And, considering that nine top players won championships using it for the first time, there isn’t really much you can say about the drawbacks of using this paddle.

Poach Advantage:  Maximizes Power and Control

Engage claims that the Poach Advantage happens to be the most technologically-advanced paddle in the market with some of the most unimaginable paddle-making techniques used in its development.

Power vs. Control

It’s difficult to fathom how much control the Advantage has to offer. With it’s 6-layer skin design, the Poach Advantage offers perhaps the softest feel in the paddle market coupled with a longer retention of the ball on the paddle surface.

Unlike regular paddles, however, which are classified as ‘power’ or ‘control’ paddles, the Poach Advantage is designed with Engage’s patented ‘Variable Release Technology’. This allows the paddle to respond differently under different kinds of swings. This way, you’re able to pack maximum power into a shot while at the same time exerting a soft touch and total control when needed.

Weight and Dimensions

The standard weight range of the Advantage is between 7.9 and 8.3 oz, which gives you that added power. A length of 16”offers extended reach to players, while a width of 8” enlarges the sweet spot, giving you better feel for the ball.

Grip

A perforated cushion grip provides unmatched comfort and a grip length of 5 inches and a circumference of 4¼ inches allows for maximum wrist action.

Core and Surface

While most paddles have only 1-2 layers of skin, the Poach Advantage has 6 layers of skin that is as thick as the 1-2 layers used on most paddles. This 6-layered compressed skin is also designed using a pattern which produces optimal ball responsiveness and feel.

Unlike regular polymer honeycomb cores, which tend to be white, the Poach Advantage makes use of a black core. This is a result of changing the chemical attributes of the polymer core to create what Engage calls ‘the most advanced core in pickleball.

This specialized core was made to work with the skin to create what Engage calls the Variable Release Technology. This allows the paddle to behave differently when swung at different speeds. The paddle can hold the ball longer, producing greater control when swung slowly, and allows for maximum power/deflection when swung fast.

Spin

The Poach advantage employs a unique ‘unidirectional’ texture, which gives players who play a lot of topspin and backspin shots an exceptional amount of room to ‘work’ the ball. The paddle also allows players to ‘hold’ the ball longer, generating more spin and allowing for accurate placement.

Most players love using this paddle, irrespective of their playing style. However, Engage’s customers agree that players should invest in this paddle only after developing an understanding of the game, in order to truly appreciate it.

Encore 6.0: Newest Technology and Great for Control

The Encore 6.0 is the favorite paddle of none other than world champ Brian Staub. It comes in a sleek, wide design with a ‘scope’ printed on the surface, which sort of makes you feel like you’re playing with an actual weapon.

The Encore 6.0 has a lower center of gravity, allowing for increased maneuverability and an overall better feel on the ball. Let’s take a look at some of its specs.

Power vs. Control

The thick core on the Encore 6.0 is built for superior control and feel, offering players a greater chance of controlling the game. In most paddles, however, a thicker core translates to reduced power and a smaller sweet spot.

Engage fixed this issue with their trademark ‘Core and Skin Dimensioning’ process. This allows the Encore 6.0 to generate enough power to put the ball away while still maintaining the feel and control offered by thicker paddles.

Weight and Dimensions

The Encore 6.0 comes in two weight ranges. A LITE model weighing between 7.5 and 7.8 oz and a standard one weighing between 7.9 and 8.3 oz. The standard model of course generates greater power, however the LITE model still retains adequate power even with the lighter feel.

The Encore 6.0 is a little shorter than the Elite Pro and has a length of 15.5”. The width of the paddle, however, stretches upto 8.125”, making the Encore 6.0 the broadest paddle in the game. This helps to add stability to your game, thanks to the wide surface area combined with a lower center of gravity.

Grip

With a 5” grip length and a regular-seized circumference, the grip on this paddle is quite similar to most of the other paddles from Engage. The high tack, cushioned grip ensures maximum comfort during play and provides better control over the paddle.

Core and Surface

As mentioned earlier, the Encore 6.0 is the only ‘thick core’ paddle; a design which offers unmatched control and adequate power to put the ball away. The ½” thickness of the paddle is made up of a polymer core covered with a FiberTEK high compression skin that makes up the face of the paddle.

This core comes with vibration control technology like most premium paddles from Engage. The face of the Encore 6.0, made from FiberTEK, greatly enhances the feel of the paddle during a rally and makes it a lot easier to put some spin on the ball.

Spin

The Encore 6.0 is great for players focusing on mobility and spin more than power. The FiberTEK compression skin greatly amplifies spin while the Core and Skin Dimensioning process gives the paddle enough power and control to handle the ball during such maneuvers.

Most customers report playing much better ground strokes after they got themselves an Encore 6.0. Players find it hard to compare the Encore line to other paddles due to the lower center of gravity and skin surface which provides unmatched control, feel, and spin.

Encore EX 6.0: Newest Technology and Great for Reach

The Encore EX 6.0 is perfect for players looking for all-round consistency during their games. It’s another in the Encore line with Core and Skin Dimensioning technology which results in the only thick core paddle with a large sweet spot and sufficient power.

The Encore EX 6.0 is similar to other Encore paddles, with an emphasis on control and ball placement.

Power vs. Control

The EX 6.0 has managed to capture the delicate balance of power and control just like the other Encore paddles. The EX, however, is a little longer than the other Encore paddles at 16 inches and allows for greater reach and amplified power, while retaining the unmatched control provided by the Encore line.

Weight and Dimensions

The LITE version averages at 7.6 oz while the standard model has an average weight of 8 ounces. This makes the EX 6.0 slightly heavier than the other Encore paddles, adding more power to the paddle.

The EX 6.0 has a paddle length of 16” and a width of 8”, which makes it ideal for players looking for a paddle with extended reach while maintaining superb feel and playability.

Grip

The standard grip length on the Encore EX 6.0 is roughly 5” which gives players enough room to work with. A grip circumference of roughly 4.5” allows ample wrist action during shots, allowing you to control ball placement with an unimaginable level of accuracy.

You also get two grip options with this paddle – a thin, ultra performance grip, or a thicker ultra perforated cushion grip.

Core and Surface

Of course, the EX 6.0 comes with Engage’s signature ControlPro polymer core with vibration control technology, like the rest of the Encore line of paddles. The face is covered with the patented FiberTEK compression skin to give you that grittiness and feel that you won’t find in other paddles.

This creates a surface that’s able to easily return powerful shots while allowing players to accurately position their returns, even at fast speeds.

Spin

The Encore EX 6.0, with its FiberTek skin and core and skin dimensioning, is a paddle that gives players ample opportunity to put a lot of topspin into their shots. This gives you the advantage during a game against aggressive players as the FiberTEK skin is optimized for deflecting powerful shots, while the rough surface helps to keep the ball on the paddle for a longer period of time, giving you more control over the return.

Most customers agree that this paddle comes with a lot of pop and can really take their game to the next level.

Some customers have even compared the Encore EX 6.0 to the Elite Pro Composite and found that the EX 6.0, which is designed for control, grants more power than the Elite Pro.

Encore Composite:  Perfect Balance Of Power, Spin & Control

When Engage first came out with the Encore Composite, it was captioned ‘the paddle others aspire to be’. And there’s a lot of truth to that thanks to the design.

The USAPA sets guidelines on the highest amount of deflection and roughness allowed in a paddle. The Encore Composite hits the limits on both, which allows players to appropriately send back even the most powerful shots and to give you maximum control over where the ball is placed.

Power vs. Control

The Encore Composite is designed for control and ball placement and offers a surface that maximizes feel and allows for greater accuracy. The Encore even goes a step further by offering a face that extends the amount of time the ball stays on the paddle surface. This gives you the soft feel you need to command the game.

The Encore Composite does not, however, offer great power. But to combat this the paddle maximizes deflection, allowing you to use your opponent’s power against them.

Weight and Dimensions

The Encore Composite comes at a mid weight range between 7.3 and 7.9 oz, with the average weight usually at 7.4 oz. The average weight of this paddle makes it a lot easier to maneuver and gives you the better mobility for making difficult shots.

The Encore Composite is similar to the Encore 6.0 with a paddle length of 15.5 inches and a width of 8.125 inches. This creates a larger surface area with a lower center of gravity, making for highly stable shots.

Grip

The grip on this paddle is a little shorter than most, with a length of 4.75 inches. It comes with a medium grip circumference and a perforated cushion grip for comfort. The shorter grip may impede some players with larger palms, but for those who can grip the paddle comfortably, get ready to experience feel and control like never before!

Core and Surface

The polymer honeycomb core of the Encore Composite ensures that this paddle meets noise-level requirements in even the most stringent communities. This core comes with Engage’s patented ControlPro technology that provides excellent vibration control and amplifies the feel of the ball.

The face of the paddle is made using a specialized proprietary fiberglass. This material has been combined with the polymer honeycomb core in such a way as to meet the maximum limit on deflection and roughness set by the USAPA. This results in a paddle that allows you an enhanced feel on the ball, maximizing spin.

Spin

The Encore Composite is a paddle that’s maximized for spin while also giving players superior control and ball placement. This makes for a dangerous combination on the court.

The  allows you to generate enough momentum behind a shot and the gritty surface can generate enough spin to make the ball come down really fast. This paddle allows you to play shots that may seem like they’re going long, but instead come down quickly, making it difficult for your opponent to return.

The only drawback customers find with this paddle is the length of the grip, which can be too short for some hands. However, the other Encore paddles offer the same advantages and come with lengthier grips for players with larger palms.

Poach Extreme: The Encore Pickleball Paddle With the Most Power

Marcin Rozpedski, one of the best-known blade-style paddle users recently switched to the Poach Extreme, and he hasn’t looked back ever since! In fact, there’s even a Poach Extreme available in a Marcin Rozpedski design, like the one he uses.

Power vs. Control

The Variable Release Technology employed by the Poach line of paddles makes the Extreme perfect for players of all types. The Extreme however, comes with a much longer reach than most other paddles, granting you the opportunity to work with its power in many more ways.

The 6-layered skin comes with a unidirectional texture that allows superior feel and control of the ball, giving you the advantage when it comes to ball placement.

Weight and Dimensions

The Poach Extreme comes in two weight ranges; a LITE version between 7.5 and 7.8 oz and a standard model between 7.9 and 8.3 oz. Of course, this paddle is a little heavier than most other paddles, but the excellent maneuverability makes up for the weight and simply adds to the amount of power you can possibly generate during a shot.

A 17-inch long paddle surface extends the reach of any player, not matter how small, while a 7” width focuses the sweet spot and allows for greater stability even when the ball hits the upper parts of the paddle.

Grip

The Poach Extreme comes with a grip length of 5 inches and a circumference of 4¼ inches giving players enough room to maneuver the paddle easily. The Extreme also comes with an ultra perforated style cushion grip which reduces fatigue on the wrists and arms and allows for a more pleasant playing experience throughout.

Core and Surface

The Poach Extreme comes with Engage’s ControlPro ‘Black’ technology with a black polymer core that fuses with the 6-layered skin surface to create the Variable Release Technology.

While most paddle surfaces are made of 1 or 2 layers of skin, the Poach Extreme comes with a 6-layered fiberglass composite surface with unidirectional texture. This core combined with the surface results in a paddle that’s like no other in terms of power and feel.

Spin

The Poach Extreme is longer than most paddles, and this extended reach combined with Variable Release Technology gives players a lot of room for backspin and topspin.

The texture on the surface is unidirectional allowing players to generate incredible spin on the ball and place it exactly where they need to.

This spin is deadly thanks to the Variable Release skin which allows players to exert as much power that they would like to even while putting such incredible spin on the ball.

The Poach Extreme can take a little used to, considering the added weight and extra reach. But most players adjust just fine within the first 2 or 3 games, after which the added weight and reach simply propel their game to the next level.

Poach Icon:  Best Engage Pickleball Paddle for Control

Pro player Corrine Carr used the Poach Icon when she won the gold medal in the doubles category during the US Open. It also happens to be one of the favorite paddles of Brian Staub, one of the top pickleball players in the world.

And while the Poach Icon doesn’t come with the signature ‘target’ sticker like the other Poach and Encore paddles, you can bet it still offers unmatched accuracy.

Power vs. Control

The patented Variable Release Technology is imbued into the Poach Icon and allows for players to play a wide variety of shots. Of course, the textured surface and design of the paddle prioritizes control and spin over power. However, with the release technology built into the paddle, the Poach Icon also gives players a fair amount of power behind their shots when swung quickly.

Weight and Dimensions

The Poach Icon comes in a standard weight range between 7.5 and 8.3 oz. However, Engage is designing a lighter version with an average range of 7.5 and 7.8 oz. Both these ranges are slightly heavier than most other paddles, but their stability and power make the extra weight totally worth it.

This paddle comes in the standard paddle size of 16 inches by 8 inches, offering a regular-sized surface area to return balls during the game.

Grip

The Poach Icon comes with a medium grip circumference of 4¼” and a standard grip length of 5 inches, both of which perfectly complement the standard size of the paddle.

The grip is also cushioned to allow for maximum comfort and gives you that extra endurance for tournaments and games that go long.

Core and Surface

Just like the other Poach paddles, the Icon comes with the ControlPro Black polymer core with Vibrations Control Technology. This specialized core combines with the patented 6-layer skin surface, creating a paddle that’s extremely sensitive to the force of your swing. This enhanced sensitivity to the speed of your shots has been called Variable Release Technology and allows players to play a wide range and combination of shots.

However, unlike the rest of the Poach paddles, the Icon comes with the special ‘chemically-bonded’, liquid graphite skin surface you’ll find on the Elite Pro paddle. This makes for the perfect combination of a soft feel while retaining a hard-hitting surface that allows for more powerful shots while maintaining superb control.

Spin

Just like the other Poach paddles, the Icon offers unmatched feel, spin, and ball placement, and players with a knack for spin can really take their skills to the next level with this paddle. The unidirectional textured surface allows for greater spin while the Variable Release Technology gives players a softer touch, allowing the ball to stay longer on the paddle before it is returned. This offers a combination of spin, ball placement, and power like never before.

However, customers claim that the Poach Advantage offers a lot more power than the Icon, and those with a more aggressive playing style should pick the Advantage over the Icon. But if you’re looking for a softer touch and better ball control, few paddles can compare to the Poach Icon.

Dedicated To The Sport

While Engage envisions creating the best paddles pickleball players have ever used, their mission is to contribute to the growth of Pickleball and ensure that more people start playing the sport.

They invest 5% of all their profits into setting up pickleball facilities in schools and hosting events like junior tournaments to help spread awareness about pickleball. Engage also donates paddles to various communities in an attempt to get more people interested in the game.

Premium Engage Pickleball Paddles

These are the finest paddles ever created by Engage, and most of these paddles (if not all) definitely come under the category of the finest paddles in the world. With the most advanced technology in the market, Engage has really taken the Pickleball world by storm and is literally redefining and pushing the boundaries of the game.

As the game of Pickleball continues to grow and evolve, Engage is constantly looking for the next innovation that will help players push themselves to the limit. And these aren’t quick, trendy technologies that are quickly dropped in favor of better advancements. Most of the paddle technologies invented by Engage eventually become the norm in Pickleball paddles, while Engage continues to refine the existing designs and innovate new technologies.

There is little room for doubt when it comes to choosing pickleball paddles. And whether you’re a beginner or a pro, Engage has a paddle that will take your skills to the next level and give you a whole new understanding of the game of Pickleball.

 

 

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