Pickleball paddles began to evolve when Arlen Paronto decided to employ the material used by Boeing to construct their aircrafts.   This ‘honeycomb’ design used in the construction of the aircraft was transposed by Arlen onto the pickleball paddle.  This paved the way for more technologically-advanced designs which we see in new pickleball paddles today.

2020 may not have been a great year for pickleball, considering the quarantine situation.   But, paddle manufacturers didn’t stop what they were doing.   Here are some of the new Pickleball paddles for the year 2020.

New Pickleball Paddles Summary

Prolite Illuminate

With the eye-catching graphic design on its face, it’s easy to see where this paddle got its name. The Prolite Illuminate is a paddle that will definitely draw some attention whenever it is on the court. Some of us love to stand out from the crowd, even when it’s during a Pickleball game. The Illuminate from Prolite can help with that.

Weight and Dimensions

The Illuminate comes at a weight range between 7.6 oz and 8.0 oz. The medium weight of this paddle allows for easy maneuverability on the court.  Plus it still offers enough momentum when you swing hard. As a result, the weight of the paddle offers expert ball control while maintaining enough power to put the ball away when necessary.

The Illuminate is 15.5” long with a width of 7¾”. This is just shy of the maximum length allowed by the USAPA for any paddle. And while the reach is a tad bit shorter than most other paddles, the tight design makes for a far more sensitive sweet spot that offers incredible responsiveness, especially for games where the player is focused on control.

Core and Surface

This new pickleball paddle comes with a polypropylene honeycomb core.  This happens to be a little more sensitive than the pure polymer cores. Polymer cores are quickly becoming the most popular material in paddles thanks to the fact that it dampens the sound of the ball, allowing players to meet noise restrictions. This core enhances the sensitivity of the paddle, giving you unmatched control and accuracy over the ball.

The face of the Illuminate is covered with a textured polycarbonate material that offers an insane amount of spin. This material also allows for great responsiveness and feel, allowing players to control the pace of the game. Coupled with the polypropylene core, this paddle offers a surface that helps to ‘retain’ the ball longer, allowing players to direct their shots as accurately as possible.

Grip

With a handle length of 5” and grip circumference of 4”, the Prolite Illuminate gives players ample room for quick wrist action, making it a lot easier to return shots both at the baseline and kitchen line.

The grip is covered with a tacky, contoured material, which is both breathable and comfortable, allowing you to play long hours without discomfort.

Power and Control

The weight of the paddle, combined with a polypropylene core and textured surface makes it ideal for players dedicated to ball control and placement. The responsiveness and feel offered by this paddle are truly remarkable and can help you take control of even the most intense games.

But while the paddle offers great ‘ball grab’ and spin, its core and lack of a head-heavy feel drastically reduce the power one can generate with it. This makes the paddle less powerful than most other paddles out there.

Engage Encore MX 6.0

One of the longer paddles out there in the pickleball market, the MX 6.0 from Engage lives up to the rich legacy of the Encore paddles. It’s a lot wider than most of Engage’s other paddles, offering unbelievable reach without getting you off-position. And all other Encore paddles, this reach is coupled with a feeling of solidity, giving you the strength and confidence to take even the most daring shots.

Weight and Dimensions

The MX 6.0 is a new pickleball paddle that comes in two weight ranges – a lightweight version weighing between 7.5 and 7.8 oz and a heavier one weighing between 7.9 oz and 8.3 oz. If you’re looking for a well-balanced paddle with enough power to put the ball away while offering you extreme control for accurate ball placement, look no further than the Encore MX 6.0 by Engage.

At a length of 16½” the MX 6.0 offer unimaginable reach to players of all shapes and sizes. To ensure that the paddle isn’t too difficult to handle, Engage decided to keep the width to a maximum of 7.5”. This helps to enlarge the sweet spot on the paddle while keeping the paddle face tight enough to make gameplay easy and enjoyable. This ensures a lot fewer off-center mishits.

Core and Surface

The Encore MX 6.0 has the signature thick ControlPro polymer core you can find on all Encore paddles. This core makes for an extremely reactive and responsive surface that gives players a superior feel during the game.

In most cases, when the core is too thick, it results in reduced power and a reduction in the sweet spot as well. Engage managed to combat this issue with their trademark ‘core and skin dimensioning’ technique. Using this technique, Engage combines the characteristics of its thick polymer core with the FiberTEK compression skin used on the surface. This compression skin offers a gritty surface allowing players to put an incredible amount of spin on the ball.

With the Core and Skin dimensioning process, Engage allows players to make full use of the responsiveness and feel offered by the thick polymer core without causing it to dampen the impact on the ball.

Grip

The MX 6.0 comes with a whopping 6” grip handle and a circumference of 4⅛. The long grip makes it easy to return shots without going off balance or falling out of position. It also allows players to play their favourite back-handed shots as and when required, giving you a lot more options to choose from during the game.

Power and Control

The Encore line of paddles was built keeping ball control, placement, responsiveness, and feel in mind. Engage focused exclusively on creating a paddle that responds impressively to even the slightest change or transference in pressure. And they succeeded!

The MX 6.0 is the culmination of Engage’s work on the Encore line of paddles and it offers never-before-seen ball control and placement. The textured FiberTEK skin also gives the paddle surface enough deflection to return powerful shots with ease. So while the MX 6.0 might not be too powerful, it still offers players enough room to play a semi-aggressive game.

Engage Encore 6.0

A paddle that’s favored by none other than world champion Brain Staub, the Encore 6.0 comes with a ‘scope’ printed on the surface, making you feel like you’re handling an actual weapon!

The Encore 6.0 is a new pickleball paddle that is built with a lower center of gravity, giving you an unmatched balance while opening up enough room for easy maneuverability.

Weight and Dimensions

The Encore 6.0 comes in two weight ranges. A lightweight version weighing between 7.5 oz and 7.8 oz and a standard model between 7.9 and 8.3 oz. If you’re looking to go pro, the standard model offers ample power backed up by the supreme ball control that only the Encore line of paddles is known for.

At a length of 15.5”, the Encore 6.0 may not be the longest paddle in the game. But the width of 8.125” makes the 6.0 the widest paddle in the game. This ergonomic design helps facilitate your shots better by expanding the size of the sweet spot. The wide face also lowers the center of gravity of this paddle, making it a lot more balanced and giving it a feel of solidity. So if you’re playing with the 6.0 you can reach for long shots without feeling like you’re going off balance or out of position.

Core and Surface

Like other Encore paddles, the 6.0 comes with a thick core made from polymer. This provides extreme responsiveness and feel and allows players to quickly respond to shots as accurately as possible. This ‘thick’ core is covered with a FiberTEK high-compression skin which makes up the face of the paddle. This skin allows the paddle to retain its ‘pop’ even with the thicker core.

The FiberTEK face is also textured and allows for superb ball grip and plenty of spin.

Grip

The 5” grip of the Encore 6.0 is adequate for players to play their favourite shots while retaining control of the game. The grip is long enough to give you room to ‘flick’ which greatly accentuates spins and makes all your dinks a lot smoother. This grip is covered with a perforated cushion for maximum comfort and control during gameplay.

Power and Control

In most thick paddles, the sweet spot is greatly reduced. Thanks to this, it can be difficult to transfer enough power into your shots.

Engage managed to solve this problem, however, by using their unique Core & Skin Dimensioning technique which binds together the properties of the thick polymer core with the FiberTEK face. This unique process, trademarked by Engage, gives the 6.0 enough pop to easily put the ball away while maintaining the extreme responsiveness and control offered by the paddle. So whether you’re playing someone aggressive or an opponent who’s trying to control the pace, you’ve always got the advantage.

Prokennex Ovation Touch

The Ovation Touch from Prokennex is a new pickleball paddle employing a whole new mode of paddle construction. The expanded sweet spot has been made deliberately so energy can be transferred quickly and efficiently, giving you a paddle that’s extremely sensitive and responsive to the changes in your gameplay.

Weight and Dimensions

The Pro Kennex Ovation Touch comes at a paddle weight of 7.7 to 8 oz. A medium-weight paddle allows for easy maneuverability while remaining heavy enough to transfer some real power into your shots.

At a length of 15.67” and a width of 7.6”, the Pro Kennex is made with the same dimensions as most paddles out there. However, the Ovation touch differs greatly due to the oval shape of its paddle face. This unique shape allows for a higher percentage of the paddle mass to lie on the center axis of the paddle, and enlarges the sweet spot, making off-center mishits practically impossible.

Core and Surface

While the paddle may look simple on the surface, there’s a lot of complexity going into its construction. For starters, Pro Kennex uses their new innovation in the creation of its core – the Opti-Cell Core designed to optimize ball feel and responsiveness. It’s made with a high-impact resistance polymer that allows the ball to sink deep enough but not so deep so as to reduce power.

And while most paddles use one or even two layers for the face, the Ovation Touch uses Pro Kennex’s special 7-layer complex carbon face on the surface of the paddle. This paddle surface has a special ‘spin-grab’ quality which helps the paddle ‘hold’ the ball longer, giving you unmatched control while also providing the opportunity to put some serious spin on the ball.

The Opti-Cell core along with the 7-layered skin makes for a highly responsive paddle giving you not just superior feel for the ball but for the game itself.

Grip

The Ovation Touch comes with a grip length of 4⅞” and a circumference of 3.875”. While this grip is neither long nor thick, it does offer ample room for wrist action and is perhaps one of the quickest paddles on the market. So if you have trouble returning those quick smashes, the Ovation Touch may be able to help.

And while shorter grips offer less room for mobility and wrist action, they also give you a more sturdy feel and a better understanding of the dimensions of the paddle. This can greatly enhance your reflex timing during the game.

Power and Control

The Ovation Touch was built with speed and maneuverability in mind. As such it does not offer a great deal of power compared to most other paddles.

However, what this paddle lacks in power it more than makes up for with its superior ball control and gritty surface. The Ovation Touch is perfect for those looking for an easy touch with superb responsiveness and the ability to put spin on the ball. So if you’re a player who enjoys controlling the pace of the game, the Ovation Touch might just be what you need.

Head Radical Tour CO

The Head Radical Tour is a new pickleball paddle that comes in two versions – one with a graphite surface and one with a composite surface. Both versions are extremely efficient and easy to maneuver, but preferences may differ based on your playing style.

While this paddle feels extremely gentle when you grip it, the sheer power it offers is actually quite astonishing.

Weight and Dimensions

This sleek, large-headed paddle comes at an average weight of 8.1 oz; just heavy enough to add that extra oomph to all your shots. This paddle mass coupled with the sleek design also helps to retain power throughout the game without letting your hand get fatigued from handling too much weight.

At a paddle length of 16”, the Head Radical Tour offers a fair bit of reach during gameplay, allowing you to really lunge for those wayward shots. This extra reach is fortified by the design of the paddle which happens to be wider near the top, giving you enough room to send the ball back easily.

A width of 7⅞” further enlarges the sweet spot of this paddle, drastically reducing your chances of making poor returns or mishits.

Core and Surface

Like most paddles built for control and ball placement, the Head Radical Tour comes with a polymer core. This core helps to reduce the impact felt by the ball, allowing you to accurately place and shoot the ball exactly where you want to on the court. The damped vibrations also help keep your hands away from fatigue during the game.

This paddle uses a composite face, which is well-known for its ability to retain the ball on the surface, giving players the advantage when it comes to spin and ball placement. Head also decided to go ahead and add an ‘extreme spin texture’ to the paddle face, making it a lot easier to play spin shots and leave your opponent guessing where the ball is headed next.

Grip

A grip of 5” allows smaller players to make full use of those two-handed backhand shots while still giving larger players enough room to work with a variety of techniques. The circumference of 4¼” isn’t too thick, and allows ample room for wrist action, helping you set up for spin shots easily.

Power and Control

The composite face of this paddle offers adequate deflection, allowing you to return powerful shots with ease. However, this paddle is built primarily for responsiveness, feel, and touch, and the gritty composite surface greatly heightens the ability of the paddle to put spin on the ball.

So while the Head Radical Tour (Composite) may not be such a powerful paddle, it guarantees unmatched ball control and accuracy, giving you the upper hand in any game.

Head Radical Tour GR

The Graphite version of the Head Radical Tour is almost identical to the composite version. However, it happens to be a little lighter, and the material used in its construction is quite different, giving this paddle its own individual characteristics, strengths, and playability.

Weight and Dimensions

At 7.9 oz, the Graphite version of the Head Radical Tour is only .2 oz lighter than the Composite version. But even 0.2 oz can make a huge difference when you’re in the heat of the game, and the lighter weight of this paddle makes it one of the quickest on the court! The lighter weight also allows you to quickly adjust to changes in the game dynamic without going off balance.

The length of 16” coupled with the lighter weight of the paddle simply adds to the speed and playability of the Head Radical Tour. Thanks to its extended reach and superb maneuverability, you’ll never have to worry about returning those troublesome shots at the kitchen line anymore.

The width of 7⅞” offers a fairly large surface area for ball contact. This width coupled with the fact that the paddle is tapered at the head makes for a paddle that can quickly convert power and responsiveness into real-time and help you play the best game you can play.

Core and Surface

The Radical Tour GR uses a polymer honeycomb core like most paddles today. This core helps to dampen the impact and improves ball sensitivity and control. Returning the ball is simply one part of the deal; deciding where to place the ball so it’s difficult for your opponent to play their shot is the real game. And the polymer honeycomb greatly helps with this.

This paddle uses a graphite and carbon face on the surface, to provide superior touch and feel to the ball. Graphite paddles are made primarily for their touch and ball responsiveness, and not for spin. However, the graphite-carbon face is textured as well, giving you the smooth responsiveness of graphite along with the ball grab and spin offered by most composite paddles.

Grip

A grip length of 5” provides ample space for quick wrist action and movement. This wrist action also enables you to put a bit of spin on the ball even though the Head Radical Graphite isn’t ideally a spin paddle.

The average grip size helps to greatly enhance ball control and reaction speed during the game. Head uses a special HydroSorb Pro grip which offers unmatched comfort to players using this paddle. Apart from comfort, this grip also helps to dampen vibrations from the ball, giving you more stability.

Power and Control

With a graphite face and polymer core, the Head Radical Tour GR is far from the ideal power paddle. However, these same materials make for a paddle that’s deadly when it comes to control and placement.

But that’s not all. The textured surface helps retain the ball and the graphite face improves touch, allowing you to actually feel the dynamic of the ball, so you can place it exactly where you want to.

So if you’re looking for control, feel, and a responsiveness that’s hard to match the Head Radical Tour GR is perfect.

Selkirk Vanguard

In the words of two-time national champion Tyson McGuffin himself, “Love the precision, love the feel, love the ability to direct the ball anywhere I want on a dime”. The Selkirk Vanguard is a new pickleball paddle that they are manufacturing right now. And already, pickleball players all over the world have ordered their editions of the Vanguard!

As of now, Selkirk is refusing to release any details about the Vanguard, and prefers to keep it on the down-low until the actual release date, which is on the 30th of June 2020.

Selkirk’s Claims

However, they did have a few things to say about the Vanguard.

For starters, Selkirk claims that the Vanguard will be the first in the pickleball world with new, never-before-seen technology. They claim that it’s a leader in a movement of new ideas. Selkirk also states that their latest paddle will be at the forefront in pickleball innovation and technology.

Selkirk also claims that the Vanguard is an extremely soft yet highly responsive paddle with the technology to generate enough reactive power to easily put the ball away.

For now, the only thing known about the material used in this paddle is the carbon fiber face. However, Selkirk ambiguously stated that the Vanguard uses ‘carbon fiber technology’, which may imply that this isn’t a regular ‘carbon-fiber’ surface found in most other paddles.

Guess we’ll just have to wait till the end of the month to find out!

Topp Pickleball Viper Graphite

The Viper Graphite Paddle from Topp Pickleball is one of the few premium paddles that would be great for players of all levels. The unique, ‘Viper’ graphic on the surface of the paddle can actually be quite intimidating to your opponents, expressing the desire to crush the competition.

And while Topp Pickleball is relatively new in the industry, you can bet the Viper is a paddle that’s up there with the other premium paddles of its time.

Weight and Dimensions

The Viper weighs between 7.65 and 8.0 oz with an average weight of 7.8 oz per paddle. This is an ideal weight for players looking to master those quick backhand shots and tricky returns from the baseline. The paddle weight also allows you to transfer a fair bit of power into your shots, giving you the upper hand during gameplay.

The balanced weight of this paddle is compounded by the unique design employed by Topp involving corners straightened out to a diamond-like shape. This ergonomic design maximizes the sweet spot on the paddle and gives players maximum ball responsiveness and control during the game.

At a height of 15¾,” the Viper offers plenty of reach to its handler without requiring them to step out of position. A width of 8” offers a wide surface which reduces the probability of off-center mishits drastically. This makes the Viper a deadly weapon to wield on the court.

Core and Surface

The Viper comes with a polypropylene core which helps to dampen the impact while giving you enough feel and ball grip to send the ball exactly where you want to. This core also allows for a fair amount of deflection, giving you the advantage to turn the tables on a more aggressive player.

Graphite is used to cover the face of the paddle, and combined with this core, it results in a paddle with an uncanny sense of touch. Graphite surfaces are primarily focused on touch and feel. But the polypropylene core gives this paddle the added advantage of ball responsiveness and retention, allowing you to send the ball exactly where you want to on the court.

Grip

Topp uses their special TOPP Cush Grip providing maximum comfort during your games. The grip has a length of 5” which allows for plenty of wrist action while ensuring a feeling of solidity, which in turn boosts control and confidence during a match.

The bottom of the paddle tapers gradually into the grip, giving players enough room to play their favourite two-handed shots if necessary. And while this would be possible in a few other paddles, the design of the Viper maximizes this possibility, giving you unmatched control throughout the game.

Power and Control

The polypropylene core is soft enough for great touch and responsiveness while the graphite face enhances the sensitivity of the paddle. However, Both polypropylene and graphite are unsuited for power play and the Viper does require a fair bit more power to wield.

But if you’re working on the finer skills of pickleball, the Viper is definitely one paddle that can help take your game to the next level.

Vulcan Paddle Candy Sugar Skull

With a catchy ‘Day of the Dead’ graphic visual on its face, the Candy Sugar Skull from Vulcan sporting goods is sure to set you apart on the court. This paddle was modeled on Vulcan’s famous V510, which happens to be one of the more popular pickleball paddles in the market.

Weight and Dimensions

The Sugar Candy Skull weighs between 7.7 and 8.1 oz, with an average weight of 7.9 oz; a medium weight range that allows for a mix of power, balance, and control. This weight range gives players the quick responsiveness required to play even the most intense games.

A paddle length of 15½” and a width of 7¾” offers a fairly large surface area. However, while this may seem small in comparison to most paddles, the tighter size creates a larger sweet spot on the surface, giving you more opportunities to return the ball with ease.

Core and Surface

The Candy Sugar Skull uses a polypropylene core, giving you extreme responsiveness and forgiveness on the ball. This core is also soft and dampens the impact by the ball, giving you time to respond to your opponent’s shots. It’s also a huge advantage if you’re playing in a community with strict noise restrictions.

The surface is covered with a special carbon fiber face which enhances the feel and allows you to put an ample amount of spin on the ball. Combined with the special polypropylene core, the Candy Sugar Skull offers a unique blend of pop, touch, and strength.

Grip

The 4¾” length offers ample room for quick shots while maintaining a feeling of solidity. However, two-handed shots can be quite tricky using this paddle, especially for larger players.

But the shorter grip size on Candy Sugar Skull helps players to actually ‘feel’ the dimensions of the paddle, giving them an acute awareness of the ends of the paddle and the safe zones.

Power and Control

The Candy Sugar Skull is designed to balance out the weight of the head and the handle, creating a steady paddle that can be maneuvered with ease. This also allows for players to put plenty of power into their shots, while retaining control, thanks to the polypropylene core. And while the paddle may not allow for a lot of spin, the combination fo power and control is enough to blow any opponent away.

Wilson Juice XL

If you’re a player who loves to lunge for even the most difficult shots, the Wilson Juice XL might just be what you need. With an extended face, this paddle was built so you can return even the trickiest volleys.

Weight and Dimensions

The Wilson XL is an extremely lightweight paddle weighing between 7.2 and 7.6 oz. This weight may not be ideal for power, but it’s so light that it’ll speed up your game.

This lightweight may seem like a drawback until you take a look at the height of the paddle. At a length of 17”, the Wilson XL is ready to reach for even the most far-off shots sent your way. However this paddle has been optimized for reach, and even the width is reduced to 6¾” to extend the sweet spot higher up on to the head.

So even if you aren’t able to generate enough power, the length and weight can help you set up all kinds of shots and return every volley without too much difficulty.

Core and Surface

A polypropylene honeycomb core gives this paddle great responsiveness and feel during impact. This is essential considering that the paddle is optimized for reach, and responsiveness can help return even the trickiest shots without too much trouble.

A fiberglass composite blend is used on the paddle face which enhances the responsiveness and adds ‘ball grip’ to give you heightened control. This face is also textured, giving you the opportunity to put a bit of spin on the ball.

Grip

The length of the paddle is counterbalanced by an average grip size of 5”. This grip size gives players a better hold on the paddle and an accurate understanding of the paddle’s weight. This grip comes with a special cushion aire perforated grip, which offers maximum comfort and breathability during games. Thanks to this special grip, you can play with the Wilson XL for hours before your arm starts to fatigue.

Power and Control

The Wilson XL is optimized for reach and has been constructed with material suited specifically for control. The polypropylene core optimizes responsiveness and the fiberglass composite face creates a surface that offers maximum forgiveness and ball feel while allowing for spin.

However, the Wilson XL is a lightweight paddle, and as such, isn’t suited for a more powerful style of play, which would require a head-heavy paddle.

Summary

And there you have it! Some of the newest pickleball paddles in the market today. All of these paddles come from premium paddle manufacturers that were simply waiting for the right time to roll out their latest innovations.

And if you’re deciding which paddle would be best for you, assess your style of play before picking one. If you’re a tennis player switching to pickleball, you may miss the pure power of a tennis racquet, so a more head heavy paddle would feel perfect. If you’re an amateur player, a paddle with more control can help you refine your skills.

Whatever your choice, every paddle on this list is worth an investment. So, assess your game, pick a paddle, and happy pickleball!

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