I recently reviewed the Hudef Viva Pro Gen 1 paddle (https://theadventurousboomer.blog/review-of-the-hudef-pro-paddles/) and just tested the Viva Pro Gen 2 paddle.
Remember back in the early days of pickleball the edge on your paddle often began to peel away from the face? It was a common problem. My first paddle was a Z5 and the edge peeled away in about two months.
This is not going to happen with Gen 1 or Gen 2 paddles.
So, let me get into a bit of technology, and explain Gen 2 technology. Both Gen 1 and Gen 2 are thermoforming technologies. I have gone into detail about thermoforming in other blog posts, but will not do so here. There are a number of aspects of thermoforming that classify it as Gen 2. Hudef uses particular molds that are designed to create smooth edges. The tight fit of the edge guard is, in my opinion, a testament to the smoothness of the edge.
The other is something called FDM Technology. FDM technology is the process of making physical objects by building up successive layers of material. FDM is the most commonly used 3D printing process, also known as FFF (fused filament fabrication) and it allows a company to products in hours or days instead of weeks or months using quick design changes in CAD.
So, all Gen 1 and Gen 2 paddles are 3D printed. Hudef is not going to give away any trade secrets but, having experience in this field, my opinion is that the company is using FDM.
|Viva Pro||Viva Pro Gen 2|
|Face: T700 raw carbon fiber |
Thermoformed edges injected with foam
Weight: 7.8-8.3 OZ
Core Material: Polypropylene Honeycomb
Thickness: 0.55″(14mm)/0.63″(16mm) Grip
Length: 5.5″ (great for two-handed backhands) Grip Circumference: 4 1/8″
|Face: T700 raw carbon fiber|
Thermoformed edges and Unibody Construction
Core Material: Polypropylene HoneycombFoam injected throughout edges and down through the handle
One-piece molded handle for touch and feel
Strengthened core for the additional power
Grip Circumference: 4 1/8″
So, what are the benefits of Gen 2? First, thermoforming uses heat treatment to seal the paddle in such a way that if the edge guard were to break off, the paddle is not ruined. Second, Gen 2 paddles use injected foam to add to perimeter weighting, thereby enhancing the “sweet spot.” Finally, all Gen 2 paddles have unibody construction.
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the Viva Pro and the Viva Pro Gen 2 paddles.
Notice the emphasis on strength and durability with the Gen 2 paddle.
The big question, however, is how does the Gen 2 perform in comparison to the Gen 1 Viva Pro?
The Gen 2 paddle has a bit more power than the Gen 1, allowing me to get my serves deeper and faster with the same amount of effort. The Gen 2 feels softer when I am serving and hitting ground strokes, and I attribute that to the foam-infused handle as well as an extra plate in the core.
The Gen 2 has a softer, more solid feel than the Gen 1. This is, in my opinion, because of two factors: the Gen 2 has foam down in the handle, and the Gen 2 utilizes unibody construction, thereby reducing vibration. The Gen 2 also seems to be weighted more in the handle, making the paddle seem lighter than it is (both weighed the same).
What is the bottom line?
If you are an advanced player with a lot of control, and who can generate a lot of power on your own, then the $30 difference in the paddle cost for the Gen 2 is definitely worth it.
If you are beginner to advanced player who needs a paddle that can help with power, but who also needs to work on control, then I recommend the Viva Pro Gen 1.
If any paddle in this review captures your attention, go to https://hudefsport.com and use the code “Greg” at checkout for a discount.