Interesting Paddles I Haven't Talked About Yet

I Took a Lesson to Fix My Horrible Counter Attacks

I recently took a lesson with one of our pros Amrik Donkena to help improve my counter attacks.

Currently I play around a 4.75 rating and my counters have always been my weakest skillset by a mile. Outside of the Jordan Briones camp, I haven’t done any formal coaching.

This was a great reminder that no matter your level, you can probably benefit from coaching. Thankfully I knew that Amrik was a top tier coach, so working with him was a pretty obvious choice. There’s a lot of “coaches” out there that aren’t very useful.

There were a number of things in this lesson that I haven’t heard many YouTube videos discuss, so if you’re looking to improve your counters, give the video a watch!

Some interesting paddles I haven’t talked about yet

It is really hard to cover every paddle that comes through my door, and often times this means I am slow to get to some of them or I miss them entirely. I wanted to share some thoughts below on a few paddles people have been asking me about.

Volair Forza Mach 2

Far right is the upcoming Pickleball Effect signature model.

The Volair Forza Mach 2 line is excellent for control. The 14mm probably plays a bit closer to all court, but it’s probably on the lower end of the all court spectrum. They look good, play great, and get excellent spin. I could do an entire video talking about standard shape paddles, because I think there’s a lot to love and more people should consider the shape.

The Forza Mach 2 deserves good attention. It’s a great paddle with very little to complain about.

Pickleball Effect also has a signature model releasing soon ish that looks excellent and the proceeds will go to a charity of his choice.

Code PBSTUDIO brings the price down to $162, buy it here

Spartus Apollo

This is another standard shape that really deserves to be talked about. I have only gotten one game with it, but I can tell this is a very value packed paddle.

With code PBSTUDIO it can be purchased for $117. Which is a VERY good price for just about any paddle, but when you have one that plays as nice as this, it really stands out as an exceptional value.

My brief impression is that this paddle is more stiff and packs more power than the Volair Forza Mach 2. As a 16mm, it felt like this shifted further up the all court category than the 14mm Volair Forza Mach 2 did.

The other advantage that it has over the Volair is that the swing weight is lower and twist weight is higher. Coming in with a 108 swing weight and 7.5 average twist weight.

Those are very impressive numbers and not something that I have seen many paddles have together.

At $117 with a discount code, it’s hard to imagine that this paddle wouldn’t be more than good enough for a lot of people. This one seems like a sleeper if you want a standard shape paddle with a bit more juice.


This might be the strangest market issue I have seen in the Pickleball industry to date. Proton has been nearly 100% out of stock from January until now (May). I ordered one myself and it came the other day, but that was only one of the two and many other customers still have not received their units.

I don’t think I have ever watched a company drop the ball more on inventory than Proton, especially for commanding a premium price tag of $280.

The unit I have right now is the Series One Type A Square 11mm.

The stats were very interesting from this paddle:

Swing weight: 118
Twist weight: 6.95
Static weight: 8.26oz

I have never in my life seen a 11mm paddle with this high of a swing weight or twist weight. Especially for a standard shape paddle which typically have low swing weights.

They’ve clearly put quite a bit of weight in the head to try and make the paddle more stable.

I only played two games with it, but my initial impression is that it doesn’t stand out as anything special, and I have a hard time imagining this paddle is worth $280.

The ONE reason that could make it worth $280 is their nanotac surface which is currently being claimed as the most durable high spinning surface in Pickleball. If the durability claims are true and the RPMs are really as high as John Kew has tested, that might be the one thing that makes this paddle worth the money. Since it is a gen 1 design, no core crushing and long lasting spin would be a pretty big perk.

However, on a recent PicklePod episode the owner of PIKKL has said that the Protons are testing at 4x the legal limit for friction and if that’s true and USAP decides to act on it, there’s a good chance the RPMs of this paddle plummet, in which case this paddle has very little to no market value at $280.

But in terms of other performance, it strikes me very similar as a gen 1 raw carbon fiber paddle. Softer, nothing flashy, just gets the job done.

I would say buy it here….but they have no stock.

🎙️ Latest podcast

If you missed it, This week we talk about early reports of the new gen 3 Joola’s core crushing (there’s been even more reports since posting this), we talk about the new PaddleTek TKO Bantam line, stretching, and a few other paddles