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PCKL Power Series Review: Welcome to Spin City

by Adam Forziati on

When we shop for new pickleball paddles, especially the first or second time we upgrade, part of our expectations typically center around the "aha!" moment where we expect to feel something altogether better than what we're used to using.

We seek out a magical feeling, one where we suddenly feel aspects of our game improve because of the shiny new hardware.

While it is unlikely that your game will improve dramatically just because you bought a new paddle, it is admittedly still fun when you realize what one paddle can help you do particularly well compared to others.

I experienced that kind of realization when I started playing with the PCKL Power Series paddle.

This carbon-faced, rough-grit, honeycomb core paddle felt swift and maneuverable in the hand, but gave me an added boost to my overall power.

Most impressively, I found the spin I could achieve on forehands and serves to be greater than that of any paddle I've used previously.

More on that below.

PCKL Power Series details

  • Weight: 7.9 oz
  • Swing Weight: 99
  • Paddle Dimensions: 16 x 8 inches
  • Core Thickness: 10 mm
  • Handle Length: 5.0 inches
  • Grip Circumference: 4.25 inches

My experience with it

My primary serve is a semi-Tyson McGuffin style serve (ugh, I feel cocky even saying that).

What that actually means is that I tend to hit powerfully, with a small swing angle and a contact point right below my waist – it's a perfectly legal serve, but sometimes, it looks illegal.

The result is a ball that sails somewhat high over the net, takes a sharp angle downward towards the baseline (ideally), and then bounces aggressively high.

If it usually looks illegal coming off my paddle, it certainly FELT illegal the first time I hit one with the Power Series.

Everything I described above did happen – it just happened with a LOT more spin than I'm used to generating. The spin was so great that the ball took an upward arc and a sharper, sudden dip down, throwing my opponent off guard.

I was playing with my colleague, a newbie who is rapidly improving, but she couldn't return it. The ball sailed out of her reach after landing just before the baseline. When we caught up with the ball, we noticed it was still spinning like a top where it rested on the ground.

Mind you, I don't think players around the 4.0 level and above will have the same problem my opponent did. But they may still be surprised as I was when my usually-fine serve turns out to be an ultra-deep, challenging one to return.

The PCKL Power Series paddle generates tons of spin

Paddle requires some touch

I noticed similar spin and power benefits at the net. There, the lightweight, maneuverable Power Series benefitted me and my small wrists by generating all the action I'd normally have to compensate for with more powerful punches.

Frankly, I do think players must utilize a self-controlled approach with this paddle at the net, especially if they're stronger than me and can typically generate plenty of power.

You'll want to practice your punches and focus on letting the paddle do some of the work for you.

You remember those old infomercials about sharp knives? "Let the weight of the knife do the cutting for you!"?

In this case, you should let the paddle's grippy surface handle the power and spin. You just focus on accuracy and keeping your wrist straight where it should be.

Who is this paddle for?

The most obvious takeaway I have for the Power Series is that it is a marvelous paddle for those who incorporate lots of spin in their game.

Also, those for whom serves are a key strategy – or just something they enjoy tinkering with – will want to try this out.

Of course, those who prefer the minimal feel of thinner paddles will appreciate the feel of the Power Series (as compared to, say, PCKL's Pro Series, which feels much thicker and more cushioned).

Its handle is a Goldilocks-ratio of not too thick, not too thin; not too long, not too short.

A question we expect some of you might have: is this a good paddle for former tennis players?

Read Next: Best Pickleball Paddles for Tennis Players

It's difficult to answer that broadly, and the answer will depend on how well you've transitioned between the two sports.

Personally, I'm tempted to say this is a better paddle for ping pong players, and I have a couple of reasons for that:

  • It feels more like a ping pong paddle than many other types of pickleball paddles, with a thinner, lighter feel
  • Those who really get into ping pong know that spin is a crucial element of the game, so they're likely used to utilizing it in more of their shots, even if they switch to pickleball

You can buy the PCKL Power Series here (use code DINK15 to save 15% off at checkout), or pick it up on Amazon.

Adam Forziati has been a primarily recreational player since 2018 but hopes to enter the competitive arena this year. He channels his natural curiosity and passion for pickleball when writing content for The Dink's website and newsletter.

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