Before I review this paddle, I will let you know that, if you are interested, you can purchase one with a 15% discount by going to this link: https://www.bodyhelix.com/?ref=Yf_7tRXqqls4Fe
BODY HELIX COMPANY
When I heard about the Helix X-1 paddle, I assumed that the company, Body Helix, was just another company jumping on the pickleball bandwagon by introducing a paddle. After researching the company, I realize that is not the case.
Fred Robinson, the founder of the company, was inducted into the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in 2020. Fred is a 76-time World and U.S. medalist tennis champion. He is also a U.S. National Grand Slam title holder in both singles and doubles and is an eight-time Atlanta Senior Invitational Pro Tournament Singles Champion. From what I read about him, he started the company to offer compression products for serious outfits. One such compression product is the Adjustable Shoulder Helix, something I would have bought had I known about it after having rotator cuff surgery.
How about his pickleball skills. In May of this year, he took silver in singles at the PPA Tour Atlanta Open Men’s Singles Skill/Age Groups 4.0/4.5:70+ age group (my kind of guy). So, it’s safe to say that he knows something about pickleball.
- Paddle Weight: ~8.20 ounces (Mine was 8.15 ounces)
- Grip Size: 4.25 inches
- Handle Length: 5.25 inches (Excellent for two-handed backhands)
- Paddle Length: 16.5 inches
- Paddle Width: 7.5 inches
- Balance: 245 mm
This is from the company web site:
- Thermoformed, and Unibody construction
- T700 Toray Japanese Raw Carbon
- Five-Layer paddle with 2 layers of Toray Carbon, 2 layers of proprietary non-woven fabric and one layer of large cell PP (honeycomb).
- TPU edge guard
So, this sounds like every other paddle, right? I discovered a couple of important differences, though.
The paddle comes with a cover (similar to other paddles), a cleaner (they call it and eraser), an overwrap, and a set of weights.
It is the set of weights that is of most interest to me. If you want to add weight to your paddle, your options have been lead tape (I have not had good success with that) or a proprietary system like that of Master Athletics. The weights provided by Body Helix weigh .1 gram each (according to my scale). I added three of them to my paddle, using my own scheme, not one suggested by the company. I added the weights for two reasons: to see if they would stay on, and to determine the effect of the weights.
Here is how I added them.
So, I made my paddle top heavy to a certain degree. How did the weights perform? I discuss this below.
Below are the results of my testing.
The paddle worked very well, up there with the Six Zero Double Black Diamond, CRBN, etc. The weights I added didn’t affect dinking negatively and, if anything, allowed me to ease up a bit on my shots
I rely more on spin than power with my serves, and I generated a lot of spin with the paddle. I think the addition of weights at the top of the paddle helped, in particular, with my top spin.
Again, I was able to generate both power and spin on my shots. I like to hit underspin serve returns and I was able to keep the ball low. Because of the handle length, using a two-handed backhand on ground strokes, as well as dinks (and the occasional backhanded overhead) was quite easy.
This is where I found a big difference in the paddle. I played about two hours of skinny singles and, as normally happens, got into quite a few “firefights.” The X-1 was incredible. I was able to direct the ball where I wanted it to go while at the same time generating power. I was both surprised and pleased at how well it worked.
I don’t normally review grips, but I found the grip on the X-1 to be very soft and comfortable.
I recommend this paddle to both experienced pickleball players who want to customize their paddles, as well as beginners. It is an excellent all-around paddle.
The price is $160, in line with most other paddles. However, the company offers a bundle of the paddle and 10 pickleballs for $165. This means you are getting 10 pickleballs for $5! Now that is a great deal.
Again, if after reading this review you are interested in the paddle, or any of the other products offered by the company, if you are interested, you can purchase the products with a 15% discount by going to this link: https://www.bodyhelix.com/?ref=Yf_7tRXqqls4Fe