Pickleball Central is one of the best online companies for pickleball gear. They give our Club members 5% off (enter CRSCOV at checkout) on anything you purchase and give our Club 5% in credit from your orders. We recently purchased Onix 2 balls (to replace the P7 balls on our courts) with our Club credit from members’ purchases the past two years.
Click on the link below to help pick the best possible paddle based on your style of play, your physical attributes and your experience level:
Penn 40 Ball Reviews
Pickleball Central offered the Penn 40 pickleball for our Club members to review. We have put these balls in regular Club play with our members who are different in skill ratings. Our Club provides the Onix Pure 2 ball as our standard on courts to our members (350+). Here are our observations having put these balls in play over the past two weeks.
1. The Penn 40 is a bright neon yellow colored ball which is very easy to see especially in early mornings and late afternoons. Since we are located in Oro Valley, Arizona, we begin play each morning shortly after sunrise due to heat of summer. The low sun angles and shadows create a tough condition in following the ball. The Penn 40 bright neon color is much easier to play with in these conditions.
2. The Penn 40 is marginally heavier than the Onix Pure 2 weighing 27 grams vs. 25 grams for the Onix ball. Both balls have 40 holes of the same size and identical hole pattern. The Penn does have its name printed into the ball whereas the Onix logo is just painted on.
3. The Penn 40 is a little noisier when hit compared to the Onix.
4. Other than color the Penn 40 and Onix Pure 2 look almost identical.
5. Both balls are very durable as we play in the sun at 3000+ feet elevation above sea level. They do not crack like other pickleballs.
6. The Penn 40 does not bounce as high as the Onix Pure 2 and therefore is more like a Dura 40 or TOP ball.
7. As these two balls age, the Penn 40 tends go dead (lose its bounce capability) days before the Onix ball.
8. The Penn 40 would be a good ball for clubs as it is very durable and cost effective.
We want to thank Pickleball Central for allowing us to evaluate this new ball. We appreciate the excellent service and products they provide. Our Club really values the 5% discount afforded to our members and Club
Pickleball Central has provided our club with paddles to test and review:
Topp Revive Graphite
Review by Jerry Tovatt
I played with the Revive paddle for 2.5 hours. I am a 3.0-3.5 player. I have been playing 3 years.I currently use a Selkirk Amped X 5 that weighs 8 oz. It is a little over 15.5 inches long and 8 inches wide, the handle is 43/8 long. I also use a Prolite Supernova that weighs 7.9 with added lead tape. It is approximately the same L and W as the Amped, the handle is 51/4.I did like the Revive. The longer handle medium grip gave me the wrist action I like with the Prolite and do not have with the Selkirk. I had not played with a 7.2 oz before and someone who likes a light paddle will certainly like the Revive. I like the power of my heavier paddles and so it took some time to adjust to the lighter Revive on ground strokes and slams. Where I noticed a distinct advantage was on returning low hard shots from opponents……I was able to do volley drop shots very well and it had very good control on over high angle shots. It did not have too much bounce off the face causing wild long shots. I prefer a larger face as I have with my other paddles, but I imagine with some continued use and hopefully better timing I would be become proficient with it. I think the price is right for this excellent paddle and would be a nice addition for someone who has trouble with heavier paddles or wants to change up for different opponents.
Review by Fred Lewis
The Revive paddle has a smaller face and it is lighter than those I have used in the past. (I currently play with a Selkirk 200 PXL but I have also used paddles ranging from the Fusion Hammer (heavy) to the Pro Lite Prem Carnot signature model (light). The Revive carries with it the expected trade offs: more control and less power than my standard. It is significantly different in both aspects so that it required some time to adjust my swing to the paddle, but with this understanding I would recommend it to players who prefer the “soft game” and enjoy more precise shot placement. At first, I had to consciously think about hitting the ball harder on shots of any distance. For someone known as a “banger” that was a surprise, but I was pleased that paddle allowed me to hit harder without having balls go out. This was true both with drives and overhead volleys. I also liked the longer handle and comfortable grip feel. At the net, I adjusted more quickly to the paddle. It gave me a feel that I could direct dink shots with more confidence and continue net rallies without having to look for a potential “kill” shot. While I determined that the Revive was not suited to my style of play, that is not a criticism of the paddle. The Revive should certainly work for players on the other side the banger/ soft game continuum to the point of assisting them to improve their games. Another plus is that the Reviive paddle is priced very reasonably. Our Club appreciates that Pickleball Central allows us to review new paddles and also gives us a discount on our purchases.
Review by Ed Peters
“This is my observations about the Topp Revive pickleball paddle. The first thing I noticed is that the handle is a little longer (5.5”) than my current paddle. This longer length along with the cross-sectional shape and the type of grip used by Topp is very comfortable and conformed to my hand making it easy to grip and control the paddle. Others that I have talked to also notice the improve handle/grip and found it to be comfortable. While using the paddle one significant difference that I noticed is that I got a lot more spin on the ball when I struck it with a slice hit. I have difficulty getting much spin on the ball with my current paddle but the Revive offers greater control while attempting to spin the ball and place it in a desired location. The paddle has a defined sweet spot in the center of the paddle that offers a lot of “pop” when the ball is properly hit in the center of the paddle. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to get the ball to the back line when hit in the sweet spot, but the power drops off fairly quickly as the strike spot moves towards the outside edge.
A player can obtain both control and power using the Revive but skill and knowing how to use the paddle is essential as no paddle will do all of the work. I was able to make strong smashes while also making drop shots and placing the ball on the targeted portion of the court, so I feel that the Revive is a good all-around paddle for the strong 3.5 player. It may also be a paddle that weaker players will enjoy, and which will allow weaker players to develop a wide range of shots as the paddle is definitely capable in all aspects of a pickleball match. Thanks go to Pickleball Central for allowing us to be able to review this paddle!
Review by Richard Kopp
The paddle felt very good in my hand immediately. I would call it a sure grip, with the right amount of padding around the handle, and enough friction with the tape to make me feel secure. At the same time, I could quickly change my hand grip (that is, slightly, as I wanted) to return the ball coming at me high or low, left or right. The sureness of the grip and the relatively lighter weight of the pad gave me feeling of maneuverability. I felt I had greater control in general, and most certainly when volleying near the service line. I could move the paddle quickly to return the ball. I felt that same sureness of grip getting set for an overhead smash. The weight of the paddle most certainly makes this paddle right for a player who wants to control his shots when dinking or hitting down the line. While this might be considered a “control” paddle, I also felt I had enough power on the service (not that I’m usually a power server) and enough power in returning a harder hit ball at the back line. Maybe this is because of the thickness of this paddle gave the that extra mass I needed. Another player on the court this morning wanted to try this paddle out for a while. When he played with it, he also liked the grip and the weight, and its maneuverability. This lighter paddle was good for him too.
Review by Kathy Foster
I have to admit, being an avid pickleball player for all of 4 years, it was tough to talk me into playing all of 1 hour with a new and different paddle than I was used to. Having said that, it didn’t take long for me to discover quite a few differences that gave me pause. First of all, it was so light! That polypropylene core made it seem like it was “floating through air with the greatest of ease,” (or was it “flying”?) Anyways, hanging on was a little challenging until I got the grasp of it and then things started heating up. I soon discovered that “lightness” makes you quicker on the dinky dinks, whereas not so good on the smashy-smashes. In addition, both my old and this new paddle were made in the USofA. That’s a good thing. REVIVE Handle length of 4.25” x 5.5” was slightly longer than I was used to, but caused no apparent problems. REVIVE paddle size of 15 5/8” x 7 ¾” was slightly smaller than my (dare I say, “Selkirk”), but kept me alert to stretching for those wayward balls. Serving pretty much even-steven by comparison, but I’ve never had much difficulty in that department. I do have to say, the graphite face color was definitely sexy (dark blue darth-vaderish), but probably more suited to a guy than any girly-girl. Does the REVIVE come in other colors? Something more vibrant perhaps? Thanks to Pickleball Central for providing me with this great opportunity to try another type of paddle where I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
Review by Nelson Brown
Here is my experience with the Topp REVIVE Graphite model paddle that I used for about two hours. This is a lightweight paddle only weighing 7.2 oz. It has a very comfortable leather handle that is slightly longer than most at 5.5”. The core is your standard half inch polypropylene like most paddles use now and in past years. The color was a mixture of purple words on a black background. The words looked like they were slightly raised compared to the black background and felt so to the touch. Made in the USA and USAPA Approved are visible at the base of the paddle just above the handle. The edge is made of a polished black looking rim around the paddle making the Revive a very beautiful item. I have been using a Selkirk Invikta paddle for the past 6 months so I will compare the two. When I first picked up the REVIVE, I liked that it had a very comfortable leather wrapped handle. The handle is 5.5” long so about one inch longer than my Invikta so it felt very comfortable to grip, even better than my Invikta. The REVIVE handle diameter is the same 4.25” as the Selkirk so they both fit nicely in my hand. The REVIVE paddle’s surface seems to be slicker to the touch compared to my Selkirk. The Selkirk uses a fiberglass surface compared to the graphite surface on the REVIVE. I feel like the fiberglass surface allows a little better capability to input spin on the ball. My Invikta is slightly heavier at 7.9 oz. so initially the REVIVE felt much quicker to move and had less power when volleying. After about 4 games I was beginning to get use to the REVIVE and the characteristics of the thinner polymer core. I was able to get good solid hits both off bounces and volleys. Serving was easy as well. The REVIVE is a solid lightweight paddle allowing both solid longball strikes as well as touch on dinks in the kitchen. Serving is easy as the paddle has an ample sweet spot. This paddle would be a great for players wanting good overall characteristics in both serving, volleying and dinking. The light weight would certainly help those wanting to minimize pickleball elbow if there is such a possible problem. Players wanting a longer comfortable handle would also find this a pleasure to play with. Overall, the more that I played with the Topp REVIVE paddle, the more I liked it and appreciated the control and confidence that it provides in most shots. This would be an excellent paddle for novice players who want to improve their game. This paddle retails for $99.99 online. Thanks go to Pickleball Central (http://www.pickleballcentral.com/) for letting us participate in their Club paddle review program. We appreciate the 5% discount our members get on their online purchases too!
Selkirk Amped Series “Invikta”
- Review by Maryanne London
Thank you Pickleball Central for allowing us to test the Selkirk paddle. I do not consider myself particularly knowledgeable about paddle assets, or a particularly accomplished player. But from just one of the regular pickleball players, these are my thoughts. I liked the weight of the paddle very much. It felt hefty enough and of a strength that I had confidence in playing with it. I have never played with this configuration before, and I did not feel it made much difference in my game. This paddle seems heavier than my Head. While I opted for the lighter Head when I purchased it, I do like the heavier feel of the Selkirk. I did not really notice that the elongated, narrowed paddle assisted or detracted from my shots, I did play well with it. Having small hands, I always opt for the smallest grip I can get, be this right or wrong. I would probably buy a Selkirk next time around, but would be interested in testing several different body styles. This is a solid paddle. I liked the grip. Whether it is the leather or the size, it worked well for me. One of the greatest assets of your paddle is that you will replace it if damaged. That would sway me greatly. I have purchased a Head paddle in the past year. While I have not looked at your additional paddles, I have to say that I am greatly influenced by color and design. The brighter the better. My final thought is that this paddle would be a great selection for a player at any level. As with any purchase, the opportunity to handle, play with, and fully experience the product is a great asset. I was also given that opportunity when I selected my Head racket. Thanks again for the opportunity to play with it.
- Review by Nelson Brown
I played with the new Selkirk Amped Series Invikta paddle for a little over one hour this morning. Having had at least three different models by Selkirk I must admit that I am a real fan of their paddles. Their lifetime warranty has saved me twice over the past few years as they sent me new replacement paddles when I broke one handle and the other had an end cap problem. So, they truly stand by their products guarantee. The new Invikta is in the Amped series which has their new 5/8” thick core. This thicker core allows you to better absorb the hard shots directly at you when you are on the “kitchen” line. It seems to me that the ball stays on the paddle surface for a fraction of a second longer than thinner core paddles. The skin surface is fiberglass and more flexible I believe. Plus, the polypropylene core withstands a beating like when your partner hits your paddle going for the shots down the middle. This particular Invikta weighs only 7.5 oz which is much lighter than my 8.1 oz S2 model. It also has a longer grip which I prefer. Grip is 4.25” which I find is a perfect size for me as I like to wear a glove to lessen wear and tear on the handle. I play for two to three hours just about every day. The longer Invikta paddle surface helps when you don’t have time to move and have to stretch to make the shot. With the longer surface I think that the sweet spot is more rectangular than the squarer shaped paddles. One of my friends tried this paddle before me and he thinks that it allows him to get more topspin on his serve. At 7.5 oz I feel that my hand speed is slightly quicker even though I do not have quite as much power as the heavier S2. One of the better players related that he thought that I routinely hit the ball too hard and consequently out of the court. Playing with the Invikta today even with the same stroke I believe that I hit fewer balls of outside the lines. Having come from a tennis background I had preferred the heavier paddle but now I am thinking that a lighter paddle is better for touch and control. Although this paddle does not have the mass/power of the heavier S2, I think that the Invikta will be my next paddle acquisition. This is a great paddle for advanced players or those who want to become better especially with better control and touch. Our Club really appreciates Pickleball Central letting us try new paddles as our members get a chance to use different types and styles which they might consider buying. With our discount that Pickleball Central gives to the members and to our Club and their great service, we are sold!
- Review by Bill Reimbold
I remember what I was doing when I first saw Invikta, on the day my life changed forever. It was 6:13 a.m. on a breezy, early September in Oro Valley. She was longer and leaner than my everyday paddle. But then there was nothing “everyday” about Invikta. She was new and fresh and smelled of leather and polymer. Her skin was smoother than my Paddletek. She was well-muscled with a thickness of 5/8”. I was overcome with desire to take her for a test spin. Our club Jefe was at first protective of Invikta, but finally agreed to let me try her out if I promised to keep her for no longer than one hour and to document my experience in a minimum of 250 words. I immediately accepted his terms. I took her in my hands and stepped eagerly onto the dance floor I used to call Court Number One. Her grip was smooth and assertive. It was obvious this was not her first tango. El Jefe tossed me a yellow ball. It was time to put her through the paces. I began with a gentle underhand stroke. The ball found Invikta’s sweet spot and sailed over the net in a high arc, directly into the path of one of the two giant testosterone cases we were facing. It was a short serve and it bounced too high. It was returned hard and wide to my right, seemingly out of reach. I swung hard and picked it up just off the bounce. It shot low over the net, down the line, spinning away from Igor’s back hand. The point was ours. Invikta proved an extra inch in length can make a huge difference in performance. Size is everything. Over the course of the next three games, all of which we won, she proved to be agile and nimble at the net with just enough heft to handle incoming thunder from the pituitary twins. By the end of the hour, I was a bit winded, but Invikta was ready to go on. She tipped the scales at about 7.5 ounces. When facing the Banger Boys, it may have been helpful had she been a little beefier; I understand she is available in a 8.5 ounce model, which would offer a bit more cushion against those big blows. Invikta is long, lean, strong, and nimble. She has that new car smell. She’s a winner. I will be placing my order for one just as soon as I put the final touches on our pre-nup agreement.
- Review by Jeff Milbourn
Iplayed with this new paddle this morning and really liked the response of this lightweight paddle. The paddle grip felt very comfortable in my hand with the handle length and diameter feeling just right. I am currently playing with an Engage Encore Pro composite paddle that weighs about 8.1 ounces so the new Invikta paddle seemed very light in comparison. The overall length of the Invikta paddle is 1 ¼ inches longer, but over half an inch narrower than my current paddle. In play, the lighter weight and longer paddle seemed to help my reaction time to some hot shots headed my way. My return shots also seemed to be generally lower and somewhat faster than with my current paddle. My favorite return is a quick poke at the ball with the paddle held horizontally and the Invikta seemed to handle that nicely. With service shots, the extra paddle length seemed to allow a lower trajectory and if you wanted to add a little spin the ball stays on the paddle long enough to allow that. When I found out from a fellow club member that Pickleball Central was going to let us try out a new Selkirk paddle I quickly got on the list of volunteers to give this paddle a test. Pickleball Central has always given our members great service and advice. This program of providing new paddles for the club to try out just confirms my faith in a company that truly serves its customer.
- Review by Bill Brown
I would like to thank Pickelball Central for allowing the members of the SCOV Pickelball Club to try out their new Amped Series Invikta paddle. I have owned 2 Selkirk paddles and currently play with a 20P XL, which I really like. One of the great things about owning a Selkirk paddle is they stand behind their product. The 20P XL that I now use is a replacement for my original paddle. The handle broke on my first Selkirk and they replaced it, no questioned asked. The past two days, I played about a dozen games with the new Invikta paddle. The paddle is noticeably lighter than my current Selkirk. The paddle is very light weight at only 7.5 oz and I believe that helps my reflexes. I had a little concern with the narrower face of the paddle, but knowing that it is narrower, I think I concentrate on tracking the ball better. Because the face is narrower, the paddle is longer. I am short, so the fact that the overall length of the paddle is longer, it is a big help to me. Now I can take some balls in the air at the kitchen line that I can’t with my shorter paddle. The core of the Amped Invikta is 5/8” and thicker than my 20P XL, which I think absorbs some of the shock when you are playing against bangers. I believe the overall balance of the Invikta is excellent. Thanks again for the opportunity to try this great product.
- Review by Jo Eaton
The Selkirk Amped Light Invikta paddle is something that will give many players a WOW first reaction. At least that was my first shout out on my first swing and impact. I am a 5’5”, 105 pound, 67 yrs. old woman who plays pickleball daily during the summer. I have been playing for about 3 years and chose as my first and only paddle a Paddletek Stratus due to the light weight. Given my body type I thought using a heavy paddle would be only a bad elbow, arm, shoulder issue waiting to happen. Early in my pickleball years I came across Pickleball Central website and did my paddle purchase through them. A free trial period – no questions asked – why anyone would choose another supplier? Pickleball Central has policies that cannot be beat. My first Invikta WOW moment came playing with our competitive club players. I was blown away with the manner the Invikta absorbed the shock of each impact. My Paddletek lets me know via vibrations in my hand and arm on each shot. After 3 hrs. of play my arm is toast. I played 3 hrs. with the Invikta and did not feel a thing. The greater depth of the Invikta had me fearing the weight concerns vs my paddle. Alas there was no sense of a weight or reaction in any shots. As a shorter person I the love the length of the paddle. And amazingly I was sure that it would mean a more restrictive sweet spot, but I did not notice any serious difference in any hits. I am not a banger and prefer to play a dink or softer placement game. This means I have limited thoughts on power. However, with an hour practice on our Tutor ball machine, I can say with confidence the Invikta does a terrific job with slices and control – either overhead or underhand. So many WOWs in a one-hour practice session! So now I am putting the Selkirk Amped Light Invikta on my “Dear Santa” wish list. And since my Santa spends a fortune on new golf clubs the Invikta is a cheap date. I have been thinking about a new paddle for some time. Many players in our club rave about Selkirk paddles and their unlimited warranty. Now having had the opportunity to give the Invikta a try I know it will be right for me. Pickleball Central is an amazing company. Should be a role model for anyone wanting to go into business. They know how to show true customer appreciation backed with incredible guarantees, unparalleled customer support and incredible support for Pickleball players and clubs throughout the US. I can highly recommend the Selkirk Amped Light Invikta. You deserve a new present and a great new paddleon the pickleball courts.
- Review by John McConnaughey
I’ve been pickling for about 3 years now. I probably play at the 3.5 to 4.0 level, but I have not actually been officially ranked.I was happy to try the Selkirk Amped Series Invikta paddle; this one is only 7.5 oz. and a little longer and more rectangular than the average paddle most people play with. I had been wanting to try one of these longer skinnier paddles for some time. Some of the better players back in Washougal, WA have switched to this longer paddle and really liked it.What I like most about this paddle is its light weight. My elbow and wrist are often sore by the end of a game using my current Paddletek paddle. Most likely damaged I guess from years of tennis and racquetball. I found the Selkirk paddle much easier on my aging joints.When held loosely the Invikta was particularly good at absorbing the energy of an opponent’s shot. The 5/8” core seems to absorb some of the kinetic energy from hard shots. That helps one to stand at the kitchen line and turn the opponent’s hard shot into a strategically placed drop shot. With my Paddletek, it was hard not to just pop those balls up into the air giving the opponent a perfect opportunity for a slam.The tradeoff is that it is harder to get the power out of the light weight paddle than with my old heavier paddle. I understand that the Invikta comes in a heavier weight too. But I thought the control was perhaps a little better with this lighter weighted paddle. I was able to deliver a decent slam with this paddle and power the ball to where I wanted it to go even with the light 7.5 oz. weight.I have decided to add this paddle to my Christmas wish list, mostly to stretch the life of my elbow more than improve my game. Thanks go to Pickleball Central for allowing us to review this new paddle! Our Club really appreciates all that Pickleball Central does for us and the game!
- Review by Art Wickersham
Iam a 3.0 rated pickle ball player, seventy-five years old man at 5’8”, 155 pounds. For the past three years I have been playing with an Onix paddle which cost $90. I play at least 3 times per week.This Selkirk Amped Series Invikta paddle is light at 7.5 oz. I understand that Selkirk also has this same model in heavier weights. I feel this lighter weight helps me have quicker paddle movement when at the kitchen line and more responsive to fast shots. The rectangular shape is not noticeable until you place it in the paddle rack and compare it to regular sized paddles. It has a fatter handle than my Onix paddle but still feels very comfortable. In a game of fast and hard drives, it absorbs hits and is easy to control returns. I think that the 5/8’ thick core makes the difference. The Invikta paddle face is about 3/4” longer than my current Onix model. The Invikta is light and easy to dink and return sharp cross court shots. The things I like most about this paddle is its control, its ability to absorb shock, and its light weight!This paddle will appeal to more experienced players who want more control and a less powerful game. Our Club has over 390+ members now and more people are choosing the Selkirk paddles for their quality and lifetime warranty. Several of our heavy hitters have had good experience with Selkirk honoring their guarantee with no questions asked. I would like to thank Pickleball Central for the opportunity to demo this paddle. Our Club has a healthy relationship with such a great equipment provider as Pickleball Central.
- Review by Kathy Foster
See Jane play. See Jane play with a new demo Pickleball Paddle. See Jane play with her new “demo” INVIKTA Amped X5 FIBERFLEX Lightweight Pickleball Paddle. Hit, hit, hit. Play, play, play. See Jane serve better with her new demo INVIKTA Amped X5 FIBERFLEX Lightweight Pickleball Paddle. See Jane play “better” and “more aggressively” with her new demo INVIKTA Amped X5 FIBERFLEX Lightweight Pickleball Paddle. See Jane “dink”. Dink, dink, dink. See Jane smile. See Jane win. See Jane thank Pickleball Central for providing her the demo INVIKTA Amped X5 FIBERFLEX Lightweight Pickleball Paddle that helped her win. See Jane recommend her new demo INVIKTA Amped X5 FIBERFLEX Lightweight Pickleball Paddle to friends. See Jane’s friends eager to try Jane’s demo INVIKTA Amped X5 FIBERFLEX Lightweight Pickleball Paddle. See everyone excited. Clap, clap, clap. The End. I’m not Jane, but this is how I felt demoing the INVIKTA Amped X5 FIBERFLEX Lightweight Pickleball Paddle. Recently back from a broken wrist (due to a pickleball accident – oops!), the only downfall was that the length made the paddle seem slightly heavier than the one I was currently using (the Selkirk Enrique Ruiz EPIC graphite 30PXL powercore Pickelball Paddle). It took just a little while to adjust to its added length and maneuver for those close body shots, but very soon it was effortless. I also found that initially I was striking the ball too hard, but after I settled down, it was great. For me, the grip size was perfect, and overall comfortable. Being a taller, 5’7” female, the paddle suited me, but might challenge a shorter or petit woman. I would highly recommend this paddle to friends (or rivals), as Selkirk upgrades and improves their high-quality products continuously. Did I tell you I am from Hayden, Idaho where the Selkirk Paddles are produced? Lovely bunch. See you on the courts!
- Review by Kristi Lewis
I used the Selkirk Amped Series Invikta Lightweight paddle for several games over the course of two evenings and found it to be quite a bit different from my regular paddle. It’s definitely a step up. The paddle is longer than most, and I am short (5’3”), so it increased my reach. I surprised my opponents by returning balls that they thought they had put beyond my reach. Although the paddle is thicker than most, the Invikta is light-weight (7.5 oz.), so it should be good for hours of play without undue strain on the muscles or joints. I found it to be especially helpful for placement of the ball on returns and made fewer unforced errors. Handles on longer paddles are generally shorter, but the Invikta handle is not — making it good for larger hands. I found the handle to be quite comfortable, even though I am accustomed to a shorter handle with a small/medium grip on my regular paddle. This paddle has a large sweet spot helpful for serves and returns. The Invikta may not be what a “power hitter” is looking for but is great for a game where strategic placement of the ball is more important. That said, it is not hard to hit the baseline with return shots, or to lob, once you are used to the feel of the paddle. I have been playing just over a year, and playing more often over the last few months. I am working on upping my game and becoming more consistent. I think I am ready to find out how a different (and better) paddle will affect my game. This could be the paddle for me. I am impressed with Pickleball Central’s policy of allowing players to try out their new paddles for 30 days to know for sure if a paddle is right for them. Our Club really appreciates Pickleball Central allowing us to demo and review this new product.
Review by Bob Regoli
I would like to thank Pickleball Central for providing me with the opportunity to try the new Engage Poach paddle, the weight of which was 8.0 ounces. Fortunately, I currently play with one of two high-end paddles, the Selkirk Pro S1G (7.3 oz.) & the Pro-Lite TITAN Black Diamond series (7.7 oz.), which gives me a good base of comparison. The Poach paddle was shaped similarly to all-other pickleball paddles (not elongated or tear drop), subtle graphics, had a moderately rough surface, and was best-suited for players wanting a heavier paddle that is somewhat top heavy.
Engage would like players to believe the Poach paddle “does it all,” meaning it is both a power paddle & a control/touch paddle. That is difficult to achieve. What I found was that “power-wise” (pop), the Poach played a lot like Pro-Lite TITAN. With it, I was better able to make quick, snap shots that had some power (particularly more so than with the Pro S1G.) The Poach is also good for players wanting to hit the ball hard as the ball comes off the paddle fast. As for “touch,” the Poach is not as friendly to the player as either the Titan or the S1G. Thus, the Poach may not be the best choice for the “dinking” player, but it does work extraordinarily well in volleys & for drop shots. I did like serving with the Poach, as my serves seemed to be landing deeper & with more top spin than I have with either the Titan or the SG1. I also thought the grip on the Poach would be a good fit for smaller hands. The handle length, at 5” is pretty standard, but, for my grip, I prefer the shorter length handle of the SG1.
I did like that the Poach had a quick, break-in period. I was immediately comfortable with it & confident in my ability to execute a variety of shots, dinks, serves, volley, & overheads as effectively as I normally am able. The paddle is ideal for intermediate & advanced players who like to play pickleball aggressively.
Review by Don Thompson
First, I would like to thank Pickleball Central Paddle for a chance to try this new “Engaged Pickleball Paddle”. I played two sets of three games with it.
The weight and balance was great for me to use and control. The grip was similar to my size of paddle.
I was able to serve with great control of ball and speed was still there. The first reaction was that it was a control paddle because of more sound and face surface. I was able to control speed with no problem from the defense side of game and confident enough to get very aggressive from offense.
I feel this paddle is a combination of all three components: speed, control, touch. The thing I like about this paddle was the confidence that I could control the speed of play with little effort and still be able to get aggressive with my own offensive shots.
Thanks again for Pickleball Central to put this paddle in my hands, so I could go on and win with confidence. See you on the court.
Review by Lola Schlapkohl
I would like to thank Pickleball Central for providing us the opportunity to demo the Engage Poach paddle. Coming from a strong tennis background, I switched to pickleball because of injuries to my legs and right arm. The weight of the Engage (8 oz) was just too hard on my arm and after an hour of play, I was ready to go back to my regular racquet. My arm pain is back so would not suggest the racquet to anyone that suffers from tennis elbow.
I loved how it responded at the net but for ground strokes and spin, it just didn’t give me the edge I needed to compete at a higher level of play. The Engage was great on overheads and the serve but as we all know that is a small portion of the game. The grip size was the same as my current racquet which works for me because I try to keep a loose grip to keep from straining the muscles in my arm.
For a player that can handle the weight, it would be a great racquet. I passed the racquet along to several men to play with and they immediately fell in love with it. Thus, I feel it would be a great racquet for the intermediate & advanced male player because of the weight and their greater arm strength.
Thank you again for the opportunity to try the Engage Poach and hopefully we can demo different racquets in the future. Always in the market for the newest and greatest.
Review by Gerda Timm
I tried out the Engage Poach Advantage paddle a few days ago. I am female, slim, 5’ 8” tall, have played the game for over 6 years and am probably at a 3.0 – 3.5 level. The first thing I noticed about the paddle was that the body was quite a bit larger than my current paddle, at least a half inch longer and a bit wider, which I figured was a good thing, more area on which to hit the ball. The grip was comfortable in my hand and I liked the light weight (8 oz).
While playing, I found the transition from my paddle to the Poach Advantage paddle to be effortless. It made a slightly different sound when hitting the ball but of course that didn’t really matter. I found the paddle to be easy to handle, was able to apply spin easily, and could direct the ball to various areas of the court. The paddle seemed to be quite ‘powerful’. By that I mean that by applying my normal pressure on a backhand shot, the ball sometimes would fly out of bounds. I admit there was a bit of wind at my back, but I really think the ball went further because of the harder hitting surface of the paddle. I don’t see this as a problem, just something to get used to. I would totally recommend the Poach Advantage paddle to an experienced player looking for a new paddle with great control and lots of power.
Review by Bob Newman
I played with the Engage Poach Advantage paddle today. In comparison to my own paddle, this paddle was slightly heavier, but it felt good in my hand. The paddle had a very solid feel when I hit the ball. It was not loud but did yield a firm “bip” when the ball was hit well, such as a deep return of serve.
I like the overall look of the paddle, and I did notice the slightly textured surface. I found that it was easier to spin the ball with this paddle vs. my current Paddletek Element paddle. I was able to hit good backspin, sidespin and topspin shots with the paddle. It took me a few minutes to adapt, because the topspin shots I hit normally with my Paddletek paddle were not clearing the net, due to the higher spin. I also noticed that this paddle was “hotter” than my paddle. When I hit the ball solidly, I was hitting it long when hit with the force I was used to. After I adjusted, I played pretty well with this paddle. I liked the fact that I did not have to swing as hard and could focus more on control and touch shots. I hit a couple of topspin forehands that dove right over the net, making then difficult to return. The grip felt good in my hand but was a bit small. That could be remedied with some grip wrap tape.
Overall, I liked the greater ability to spin the ball with this paddle. It is well -suited to players looking for more control and focused on position and touch shots. In general, I felt more confident in my shot-making with this paddle, due to the solid feel when striking the ball. I would like to thank Pickleball Central for providing the demo paddle for us to test.
Review by Judy Teiser
Thank you Pickleball Central for making it possible to try out the Engage Poach Advantage paddle. The paddle is made in the USA, which I like. It’s an opportunity to support American manufacturing.
I’m a casual player who plays once or twice a week. I’ve been using the Evo ll paddle for 2 1/2 years. As soon as I picked up the Engage Poach Advantage I liked the feel of the grip. It’s only a quarter of an inch less in circumference than the Evo ll but it clearly fits my hand better.
The Engage Poach Advantage paddle is a few ounces lighter than my Evo ll. Its weight was comfortable and did not feel heavy even after long continuous play. My partner, who gave it a quick try, felt the paddle was weighted more toward the handle and would better suit a player who liked that.
This paddle has a lot of power. It felt quite amazing to get that much power with not a lot of effort. It’s like being handed the reins of a prize polo pony after riding a docile trail horse.
The Engage Poach Advantage is also longer than my Evo ll. Being fairly short, I liked the extra reach it gave me on ground strokes and in overhead shots. It also has a larger hitting surface, which gave me more confidence with defensive shots at the kitchen. It saved me from a rapid return that would have caught me square in the face.
Even though the Engage Poach Advantage is larger than what I’m used to, it felt easy to handle and maneuver. I found the Engage Poach Advantage a lot of fun to play with. I would love to see what a competitive player could do with it.
Review by L. Nelson Brown
Here is my experience with the Pickleball Engage Poach Advantage Standard model paddle that I used for about two hours. I have been using a Selkirk Amped S2 paddle for the past 6 months so will compare the two. Both are similar in weight with the Selkirk at 8.2 ozs and the Engage Poach Advantage (Standard model) at 8.0 ozs. When I first picked up the Engage I liked that it felt about the same weight that I have been used to and it had a very comfortable leather wrapped handle. The Engage handle is a little longer than the Selkirk but I liked it as it just fit nice in my hand. The Engage paddle’s surface seemed to have a little more texture to it than my Selkirk and using our Club provided P-7 balls it allowed me to get more top spin on the ball while serving. I don’t normally use much spin other than while serving but one of our members used the Engage paddle and was able to impart lots of spin on the ball. So if you are looking for a paddle to use spin on the ball, this would be a good paddle for you. As far as power goes, I seem to be able to get more drive with the same effort using my Selkirk paddle, but the Engage did have good power with the long shots. The Engage paddle does have a different sound when you hit the ball hard, maybe this is because of the “Control Pro Black Technology” in the polymer core.
Overall, the more that I played with the Engage paddle, the more I liked it and appreciated the control and confidence that it provides in most shots. This would be an excellent paddle for more experienced players who want to improve their game. Thanks go to Pickleball Central for letting us participate in their Club paddle review program. We appreciate the 5% discount our members get on their online purchases too!
Review by Glen Morse
I recently played doubles with the Engage Poach Advantage pickleball paddle and immediately felt its power.
Being an 8 ounce paddle, it definitely had a lot of pop to end points quickly. I especially had good results with my volleys and smashes. Having more heft and power, a player should use control when dinking and lobbing. I was able to place serves deep to both forehand and backhand sides of the service box with good accuracy. On return of serve, I felt I could put good pace or spin on the ball to give my partner and me a good offensive position at the net.
The grip had a good relaxed feel for me and that is important when executing all shots. I thought this paddle had good ball striking qualities on the ground-strokes due to its quality composition. Down the line backhand and topspin forehand shots could be hit effectively with control.
In my opinion,, the Engage Poach Advantage is a good choice for any player who enjoys regular competition, tournament play or looking to raise the level of their game. I am a firm believer that quality equipment can help a person’s game providing he or she continues to evolve as a player.
Review by MJ McIsaac
I recently played with the Engage Poach Advantage Paddle and really liked it. I must say that I do not have a lot of experience with different paddles but I felt this paddle gave me far better control and with a definite increase in power. I was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly I adjusted to the increase in power. The 8OZ weight felt perfect to me as did the handle. I felt the entire paddle had a sweet spot. I believe my favorite part of it was the confidence and power I had in my ground strokes and it definitely helped my dink game. In volleys the ball bounced truly and went right where I wanted it to go. I also loved the way it felt on overhead smashes. I plan to purchase this paddle despite the high price because it is my birthday present! Thank you so much to pickleball central for allowing us to demo this paddle!
Review by Jerry Tovatt
I tested the Engage Poach Advantage standard weight for 4 hours total on March 20th and 21st. I have been playing Pickleball for 1.5 years. I currently use the Rally Graphite Power. I consider myself an intermediate player…self rated at 2.5 to 3.0.
I certainly found this paddle to have additional power when I was able to hit the sweet spot. It was especially helpful with lower faster serves. The grip was perfect for me with a good feel and control. I found my longer drop shots worked better for me than my current paddle. I am unsure whether my defensive volleys were improved by this paddle, as my inexperience at those shots prevented me from evaluating it properly. I gained the most improvement in my service. I don’t feel my time with this paddle enabled me to identify improvement with “dink” shots as I tend to try and hit too hard most of the time. I did not feel fatigue after using this weight paddle and did not feel I lost any “touch skill” compared to the Rally.
I am grateful for Pickleball Central for the opportunity to test drive this paddle. I will try some others hopefully before I purchase my second paddle from Pickleball Central.