Paddletek has been a leader in Pickleball Paddles for a long time and their paddles can be seen in the hands of many of today's top pros. The Tempest line is the favorite of Paddletek athlete Dave Weinbach. Catherine Parenteau. You can also find it on the medal podium in the hands of Catherine Parenteau. The Tempest Wave II is their intermediate offering in the Tempest line. This paddle has a textured graphite surface and a graphite polymer composite honeycomb core in a typical Pickleball Paddle shape. Paddletek describes this paddle as being ideal for the control and touch style of player. I have spent the last few weeks playing with this paddle to see if Paddletek has delivered the accurate touch they claim.
Tempest PolyCore technology shows Paddleteks continued development of new core materials. This high grade graphite polymer composite honeycomb enhances the feel and control that the paddle can offer. Using their new graphite face in conjunction with the leading edge of core materials adds up to one of the most advanced paddles on the market today.
Control - 5/5
When I think of a control paddle, my mind immediately jumps to the word ‘consistency’; being able to consistently put the ball where you want it on the court with the proper amount of spin and finesse. The Paddletek Tempest Wave II shines in this area of the game. The first thing that I noticed when I began playing with this paddle was the balance between power and touch. This made each shot feel predictable and comfortable. I was able to hit from the net to the baseline just as easily as I was able to take a wide dink to the Kitchen.
There is a large sweet spot on this paddle that noticeably limited my mishits. When I was taking volley shots at the net, this allowed me to be more controlled with my delivery and feel more comfortable going for the lines. I found that dinking and net play is where this paddle performed the best. Soft slices and lifts came off the paddle with ease and consistency.
Right out of the box, this paddle felt balanced in the hand and had an easy swing. It seemed to pass effortlessly through the air and even the first time I took it out on the court, it felt familiar. Many paddles take a few games to get used to but the Paddletek Tempest Wave II immediately felt comfortable.
Power - 3/5
This is not a power paddle and it does not pretend to be one. When the game called for an overhead smash shot, it was amazing how controlled even the power game was. I did find that I was missing some of the extra pace on my more powerful shots and put aways. Not to say that you can't get pace behind the ball with the Tempest Wave II, but you need to put in the extra power yourself, as the paddle is not generating it. Bangers from the baseline may find it lacking in the ability to put down the passing shots that they are used to.
The core material and texture on the face seem to absorb most of the energy that the ball brings into the paddle and delivers it with a more controlled pace. Players that like to transfer the energy of their opponents shots at the kitchen into a slower dinking battle will find that the lack of power pop may help their game. This is also a lighter paddle coming in at an average weight of 7.5 ounces. Having a lighter weight in the already control-oriented package limited the available power that this paddle added to my game.
Touch and Spin - 4/5
The graphite textured face provides a great foundation for spin and the touch game. The consistency of the pop from the paddle in the short game allowed me to keep the shots low and accurate. The paddle provides some feedback through the hand, but like many thick-cored paddles, the vibration is limited. Players who suffer from wrist or elbow injuries will appreciate this paddle for protecting their arm from unnecessary strain.
Right out of the box, you can feel the texture on the face and this is translated into the ability to put a lot of spin into the ball. I could feel that slice dinks and topspin baseline shots were enhanced by the grippy surface. This again shows how well this paddle shines in the control and accuracy game.
Longevity - 4/5
After about 50 games, I began to notice that the paddles surface was getting scuffed by the ball. This is a cosmetic issue only and has not affected the playability of the paddle. The construction of the paddle is excellent and I would guess that a consistent player would get a year of play from this paddle before they began to notice any degradation in the core or the consistency. The edge guard does a good job of protecting the paddle core but does show wear from being hit on the court throughout the play test.
Aesthetic - 5/5
Paddletek does a great job on the look of their paddles. The Tempest Wave II has unique imaging where each side of the paddle is different. I love the subtle look of the Paddletek P on the one side and the dotted wave on the other. This classic Paddletek design matches much of their current line up. Aesthetics are always subjective to the holder but they have done a great job with the look of this paddle.
Final Conclusion - 21/25
If your game is dominated by control and you pride yourself on the long accurate dinking battles, this is the paddle for you. Being able to consistently place the ball exactly where you want and wait for your opponents to make the mistakes is this paddle’s sweet spot. The feeling of balance makes this a great option for players that are looking to upgrade from their beginner paddle and want to find that intermediate level that will allow them to continue to improve their game.
I found that after only a few games playing with this paddle, it felt second nature and there was almost no adjustment time needed to get used to this paddle. It is a testament to the control that is available in how easily you can get the most out of the Tempest Wave II. Players from 3.0 to 4.0 will find that this paddle will help with their touch and control as they continue to improve. Power players may find the top end lacking and the soft feel of the paddle a detriment to their passing shots.
Specs - Pricing
The Paddletek Wave II retails at $129.99. This is a good price point for an intermediate paddle that will last you through at least a season and maybe two.
“A true player’s paddle, the Tempest Wave II offers you incredible control for strategic short games. The textured graphite surface makes it easy to place the ball exactly where you want it, and the graphite in the Tempest PolyCore dampens vibrations and reduces weight while still providing enough power for a put-away shot.”
Average Weight: 7.6 oz
Hitting Surface: Graphite
Grip Size: 4 1/4 in
Paddle Length: 15 7/8 in
Paddle Width: 8 in
Grip Length: 5 1/4 in