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Paddle Reviews

Unveiling the Future: Babolat's Spring 2024 Pickleball Paddle Collection

by Alina Leontarakis on

Babolat is not messing around in the pickleball arena, folks. With a rap sheet that includes winning over professional players with their footwear — they've now escalated their game by signing pickleball pro Chris Haworth.

This news left us all wondering, "But what paddle is he playing with?" Babolat answered that burning question with the introduction of their Spring 2024 paddle collection: the STRKR+, BALLR+, and WZRD paddles.

Each paddle is designed for a specific type of player; they're not just your average paddles. Let's slice through the fluff and get down to the nitty-gritty of what makes these paddles tick — or should I say, smash?

Key Technology

Babolat’s latest pickleball paddles pack some serious tech that’s hard to ignore. The standout for me was their mono-molded Duratech unibody construction, a fancy way of saying these paddles are built to last through intense play.

The biaxial 3K Carbon face is another highlight, striking the perfect balance between flexibility for control and stiffness for power. It's exactly what you need for both aggressive smashes and subtle drops.

What really sets these paddles apart is the use of SMAC technology, an aerospace material used for vibration dampening. It effectively cuts down on unwanted vibrations, making each shot feel smoother and more controlled, enlarging the sweet spot for those critical shots.

The RPM Grit surface caught my attention too. It’s a game-changer for players like me who love adding spin to their shots. Lastly, the PF Handle with its clear edges and Babolat’s Syntec Pro grip makes the paddle feel like a natural extension of your hand, offering unmatched control and comfort.

STRKR+

Paddle Size 16.7" X 7.2"
Core Thickness 13mm
Paddle Weight 8.1 oz/230g
Handle Length 5.5"
Surface Biaxial 3K Woven Carbon with RPM Grit
Paddle Core Polypropylene Honeycomb
Price $219

After spending some quality time on the court with the STRKR+ paddle, I've gathered quite a few impressions worth sharing. First and foremost, this paddle unmistakably champions power play.

It's designed for the aggressive player who thrives on delivering powerful shots. The extended handle is a particular highlight for me, as it perfectly complements my preference for a two-handed backhand. The STRKR+ gave me plenty of leverage and flexibility for those powerful returns.

The grip on the STRKR+ deserves its own accolade. Dubbed the "Perfect Grip," it lives up to its name, sticking with me through every swing and feeling just right every time I gripped it. This isn't just exclusive to the STRKR+, but extends across the collection.

Weighing in at 8.1 oz and with a thickness of 13mm, the STRKR+ stands out for its lightweight yet robust construction, offering a swift response without sacrificing power. The paddle's elongated head and more rectangular shape enhances its reach, particularly beneficial for singles specialists where extending is key.

BALLR+

Paddle Size 16.2" X 7.6"
Core Thickness 16mm
Paddle Weight 8.3 oz/235g
Handle Length 5.5"
Surface Biaxial 3K Woven Carbon with RPM Grit
Paddle Core Polypropylene Honeycomb
Price $219

After taking the BALLR+ paddle through its paces, it's clear that it's a standout for players who prioritize a mix of control and spin in their game.

At 8.3 oz and a thickness of 16mm, this paddle leans towards control but surprises with its spin capability. It helped me get a solid feel in my hand, allowing me to really place shots where I wanted them to go.

The extended handle is a feature I particularly enjoy, offering extra grip space for my two-handed backhand, thus adding to the paddle's overall control and adaptability on the court.

The rounder badminton shape generously offers a larger sweet spot. This is the paddle for the all-rounder who plays a mean game and wants a paddle that can keep up with their versatility.

WZRD

Paddle Size 15.8" X 7.9"
Core Thickness 20mm
Paddle Weight 8.5 oz/230g
Handle Length 5"
Surface Biaxial 3K Woven Carbon with RPM Grit
Paddle Core Polypropylene Honeycomb
Price $219

Hitting the court with the WZRD paddle, it's like Babolat channeled some real magic into this one. It’s the heaviest and thickest of the bunch at 8.5 oz and 20mm, making it a fortress of control and power.

This is Chris Haworth's weapon of choice, likely because it's as defensive as it is offensive. It's perfect for the player who likes to keep things calculated and strategic.

Babolat Signs First Pickleball Athlete
French company Babolat announced Thursday on their Instagram account that professional pickleball player Chris Haworth has signed on as their first-ever pickleball athlete.

Despite being the shortest paddle in the lineup, its design ensures I don't lose out on reaching the ball. True, it might not offer the poppiest response – requiring a bit more effort behind each shot – but this actually plays to its strength.

The control it offers, allowing me to place the ball exactly where I want, more than compensates for the extra push needed. The unique shield-like shape not only looks cool but also boosted my confidence in returning every shot that came my way.

Dinks, resets, and even power shots feel more intuitive with the WZRD, making it a solid choice for players who value precision over raw power. It’s like having an extra layer of strategy in my hands.

Final Thoughts

Babolat's Spring 2024 paddle collection is a breath of fresh air in the pickleball space. Each paddle, with its distinct shape, size, and intended player type, showcases Babolat's dedication to innovation and player-specific design.

The STRKR+, BALLR+, and WZRD stand out not just for their performance, but also for their unique aesthetics. Retailing at $219 each, these paddles are an investment in elevating your game, and I highly recommend giving them a whirl to see which one aligns with your style of play.

In a sea of paddles, Babolat's latest offerings are sure to turn heads and deliver performance that lives up to the hype.

 

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