IF, AFTER READING THIS REVIEW, USE THE DISCOUNT CODE LUCKY10, TO GET $10 OFF THE PADDLE (AS WELL AS BACKPACKS).
Use this link: https://tmprsports.com?aff=170
I had a conversation with someone on Reddit about fiberglass vs. carbon paddles. He asked why would anyone by a fiberglass paddle when they could buy a carbon paddle. It turns out that there are lots of reasons. First, let me review the types of surfaces you may find on a paddle.
Fiberglass used to be the most common material but carbon fiber has taken over. Of the three common facing materials listed here, fiberglass offers the most power. You’ll see it called composite sometimes, so just know that composite is the same thing as fiberglass. Fiberglass is not as stiff as carbon fiber and graphite, so it acts as a sort of trampoline that takes the energy from the ball and transfers it right back. Because the material is not as stiff, it will also diminish the size of the sweet spot compared to carbon fiber and graphite.
Carbon fiber is known for having better feel than fiberglass, but a little less power. It is a very stiff and durable material. Because the material is so stiff, the energy of the ball at impact is spread throughout the entire face and into the handle. This gives you better feel and a larger sweet spot but will take some power away because less energy is transferred back to the ball.
Graphite is a type of carbon fiber that is a little more cost effective for brands but plays very similarly to a carbon fiber face. It is also known for having better feel than a fiberglass face and produces a similar amount of power as a carbon fiber face.
You’ll see some brands use a combination of the three materials above that will produce performance based on the characteristics of the materials mixed.
Power and Spin
So, if carbon is the way to go, no one makes fiberglass or graphite paddles any more, right? Wrong. Here are a few:
- JOOLA Journey Pickleball Paddle
- JOOLA Seneca FDS 14 Pickleball Paddle
- The JOOLA Solaire FAS 13MM
- The Head Radical Tour
- The Head Gravity
- Gamma 505
- Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro
- Engage The Encore EX 6.0
- Selkirk – dual carbon/fiberglass surface
When people talk about carbon paddles, they usually talk about spin. Now, I can put spin on the ball with any paddle, including wooden ones. How much spin and what kind of spin, however, is a different story. I got this table from The Pickleball University (I think).
So there a lot of factors that affect spin, not just the surface. Without numbers, it is hard to say if an elongated fiberglass paddle can impart as much spin as a standard carbon-faced paddle, but elongated paddles help impart spin.
What about power? The general consensus is that carbon paddles give you more power, but the manufacturers don’t really say that. Here is another table that is explanatory.
Note that, according to this table, an elongated, 13 mm, fiberglass paddle might provide the most power.
Anyway, I created a video that summarizes my reviews of the TMPR paddles. Note that the company sells a lot of different paddles with different shapes and surfaces, but I only tested a few.
The paddles are made in Michigan and, if you want, you can actually stop by their manufacturing facility and check it out. A friend of mine did just that and bought a paddle that did not meet the quality standards. It is safe to say that TMPR emphasizes quality assurance.
Here is the video of my summary review: