Joseph works as an editor in one of the magazines dedicated to video games. Here, at RecRoomPick, he’s given the opportunity to enjoy the reverse of the medal – the no less engaging world of offline games.
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Last updated: March 25, 2021
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If you want to improve your pickleball game, the right paddle is crucial. Unfortunately, not all of the top-rated paddles are as good as described. Many paddles fail to deliver on the superb performance claims in their marketing campaigns.
Paddletek is one of the most well-regarded brands in the industry. In our quest to discover the best Paddletek pickleball paddle, we looked at the material and weight of each paddle. We also examined the dimensions and shape, which can not only impact comfort, but also performance. Finally, we checked the grip length and circumference. We considered all of these factors to help you to decide which is the best Paddletek pickleball paddle for you.
The Paddletek Tempest Wave II is a great first choice paddle for those that need touch and control on court and want good value for money. We’ve made this our editor’s choice for this list because this is a fantastic paddle for strategic players that need precision and speed. However, this paddle is also a good upgrade from an entry level paddle for casual players that want to take things to the next level.
The Tempest Wave II features a textured graphite surface that helps you to place that ball wherever you want it. The surface is also designed to dampen vibrations which is astonishing when you feel the modest weight of less than 7.8oz. This paddle has a wide face of 8” which gives you a lot of space on the face to get a great connection with the ball. This will be useful when you’re playing winning shots around the net.
The Paddletek Tempest series paddles feature the same “Ultra Cushion High Tack Performance Grip” that you get on the Bantam series. If you’re familiar with paddles in that range you will already know how cool and comfortable they feel on your palms. The Tempest Wave II is also available in a Pro variant which adds the Tempest SRT Core.
What we liked: The textured graphite surface.
What could be better: It does have a premium price tag.
The Paddletek Element is another popular medium weight paddle made with ProPolyCore material and an enamel finish. The Element is well priced, it’s a quality paddle for either a novice or an advanced player and that’s why we’ve made it our upgrade pick. If you like maneuverability over sheer power you will enjoy playing with this paddle. Despite the rather modest price you still get the comfort and speed that you expect from a Paddletek product.
The playing surface is large and the weight is minimal making this paddle feel extremely agile. Around the net you can react quickly and the ultra-cushion contour grip feels comfortable and reliable. Another aspect is the balance which will suit more agile players perfectly. This is a very affordable paddle considering the features but there are a few drawbacks worth mentioning.
The paddle edging has a fair amount of lip up around the edges which some players may find distracting. the facing material is pretty thin, this doesn’t affect striking the ball, but you won’t always get that satisfying “pop” when you hit the ball solidly. These minor issues aside it’s hard to not recommend the Element given the affordable price and the otherwise excellent feature set.
The Paddletek Bantam EX-L Pro may be a little heavier than the other paddles on our list but you do get a lot of power in return. No matter how clever the technology becomes a heavier paddle will always generate more power in the hands of a skilled player. There are two different Bantam paddle models, they are: the EX-L Pro and the TS-5 (we will cover the Bantam TS-5 in more detail later).
The Bantam EX-L Pro has a polymer core and surface that give you the extra weight that power players want. In comparison, the Bantam TS-5 weighs less (7.2-7.5oz approx) which makes it a better fit for new players or those that like a light paddle. Despite the weight differences it’s worth noting that both the EX-L Pro and the TS-5 have vibration dampening technology found in the ProPolyCore2 materials. This reduces noise significantly even when playing with the heavier EX-L Pro!
It’s fair to say that the Bantam EX-L Pro paddle isn’t designed for a beginner. Paddletek has designed the Bantam series of intermediate to advanced players. If you’re looking to move up to a full-size paddle and you want more power the EX-L Pro may be just what you’re looking for.
The Paddletek Phoenix Genesis Pro is a fantastic all-round paddle that provides some balance between control and power. The playing surface is forgiving and this will improve any player’s game. This paddle has the same “Textured Fiberglass Epoxy Hybrid” face that you find on the Bantam TS-5. This gives you excellent power and control but the weight is kept low due to the “Polymer Honeycomb Core”. If you’re looking to improve your overall game this is an excellent paddle for intermediate to advanced players.
The Phoenix Genesis Pro is a high-performance paddle that offers the player a competitive edge over their opponent. The relatively light weight of 7.4-7.8oz makes it maneuverable and fast when playing. This is the Pro variant, like those found on the TS-5 Pro and EX-L Pro, these Pro models all feature the same “SRT PolyPro Core”.
All of these features make the Phoenix Genesis Pro a great paddle that sits between the Bantam and Tempest series models. This isn’t a great paddle for a total beginner, but it would suit a player that’s trying to define their playing style.
We’ve mentioned the Bantam TS-5 elsewhere in this article because it’s the lighter variant of the EX-L. However, it is important to understand that this is an excellent paddle that can deliver plenty of power, speed, control and maneuverability in the right hands. The icing on the cake is that this paddle is very affordable and that’s why we’ve made it our best value pick.
It would be easy to describe the TS-5 as a paddle for players that like the EX-L but find it a little heavy. But, many players can attest to the performance features of this paddle on court and you can get similar spin control to its larger sibling. The paddle surface is made with the same Bantam Textured Fiberglass Epoxy Hybrid and High-Grade Polymer Honeycomb Composite Core materials that pack a considerable punch on court.
The TS-5 has the exact same dimensions as the EX-L at 15 5/8″ long and a 7 3/4″ paddle face. This gives the paddle a nicely balanced feel with a large sweet spot to strike the ball. Despite the price you still get the Ultra Cushion High Tack Performance Grip found on the EX-L. Overall, this is a great pickleball paddle that really stands out from the competition and it’s a perfect pick for a new player.
What we liked: Great spin control.
What could be better: The handle is a little short.
Things to Consider
With so many pickleball paddles on the market, it can be tricky to determine which one is best for you. So, here we’ve compiled a buying guide with features to look for and answers to some common questions to help you to make a purchase decision.
Why choose Paddletek pickleball paddles?
Paddleteck have been making pickleball paddles since 2010 and in a decade they have become one of the premier manufacturers for these products. If you’re looking at a new pickleball paddle and you’re thinking about choosing a Paddletek product check out what other players say. There are many players on the pro circuit and your local court that use Paddletek paddles for a good reason.
How to choose the best pickleball paddle
Paddletek have three different lines that make up their entire range of paddles. These paddle lines include: Phoenix, Tempest and Bantam. Here we’ll explore the features to assess to help you decide which one is best for you.
One of the most important factors when you choose a new pickleball paddle is the weight. A paddle will usually range from 6-14 oz but a better graphite or composite model will sit in the 6-9 oz range. The weight of the paddle will have a dramatic effect on how it feels when you swing it around on the court. If you don’t have any pre-existing injuries you can choose your paddle entirely on your fitness levels, the comfort and your personal playing style. But, it’s important to understand that although a heavier paddle delivers more power to drive the ball it will cause fatigue faster. This can lead to wrist and elbow strains that will impact your game. However, if you have an existing injury or you want to use a lighter paddle you won’t have as much power but you will have more ball control.
Paddle height, width, and shape
The paddle shape also affects how it will feel as you’re playing. There are many styles and materials used to make various paddles in the Paddletek lines. Some paddles will feel great for some players and others won’t like the feel at all. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that affect the feel to help you make a better purchasing decision.
Grip height and circumference
The paddle you choose must have the correct grip circumference to suit your hand size. If the paddle grip is too large the paddle may slip in your hand leading to missed shots and elbow problems. So, if you’re trying to choose between two different paddles always try the smallest size first. This is because the smaller grip gives the player better wrist action that you will need for a more powerful serve and a faster hand change for players that like to switch hands when playing.
If you go with a larger grip you will notice that the paddle feels more stable and there will be less strain on your arm. As you can see, finding that sweet spot with a paddle grip can make a real difference to how you play. The best pìckleball plates use customized grips using an overgrip to wrap their paddles to meet very specific preferences.
Most paddle grip sizes are in the 4”-4½” circumference range. Much like a tennis racket you will find that a pickleball grip will differ in ⅛” increments. The common grip sizes are: 4”, 4⅛”, 4¼” and 4½” circumference.
Surface and core materials
A fiberglass paddle will typically weigh more than an equivalent size graphite paddle. For this reason, a graphite paddle is considered by many players to be capable of generating more power. But, a graphite paddle is often considered to have more control. Paddles made from both materials are light and strong but the feel is what really matters. There isn’t much information comparing how a ball comes off each material type and it’s more important to focus on your own playing style and choose accordingly.
Most composite paddles such as the Paddletek Element have an edge guard. This is used to cover an open honeycomb interior and maintain the paddle integrity. If the edge guard is not overlapping the paddle could de-laminate and at that point it’s pretty much ruined for playing. Essentially, the paddle face will peel away from the interior and this cannot be repaired.
Paddletek stands behind every paddle they make with a limited lifetime performance guarantee to guard against any manufacturer defects. This is equally true for the affordable Paddletek Bantam TS-5 and the more expensive Paddletek Tempest Wave II. Every customer must activate their paddle coverage by registering their new paddle within 14 days at the paddletek.com website. This guarantee can only be applied to the original buyer and it cannot be transferred to another person after the paddle has been registered.
Paddletek is certainly one of the top brands favored by the pros.
Wrapping It Up
As you can see Paddletek has a superb line of pickleball paddles. From the Bantam EX-L Pro, that provides experienced players with the extra weight to deliver additional power, yet has vibration dampening technology to the Paddletek Element that is well priced for either advanced or novice players and offers comfort and maneuverability.
However the stand out as the best Paddletek pickleball paddle has to be our Editor’s choice, the Tempest Wave II. This impressive paddle is a fantastic paddle for the strategic player looking for speed and precision. With its graphite surface, you can ensure the ball is placed where you want it, while the cushion performance grip ensures that you can feel comfortable even if your game runs over an hour.