PickleballCentral Expert's Corner:
Reviews of the Babolat RNGD Pickleball Paddles by Pickleball Central Staff:
"Reading the materials included with the paddle, the RNGD (a rif on the word renegade) paddles are constructed with an approximately 1/2" poly core with a fiberglass face. The first thing you notice about the paddle is its unique design - the yellow edgeguard and edgy modern graphics make it stand out from the crowd. Babolat has an incredible reputation in other racquet sports (especially tennis), so its no surprise that the ergonomics of the grip are fantastic. The grip shape, and the quality of the grip material are wonderful.
Our play testing included both the Touch version and Power version of the RNGD. The two differences between the versions are weight, and graphics. The lighter Touch version weighed 7.7 ounces and features a white grip with red and light grey graphics. The Power version weighed 8.1 ounces, and features a black grip with red and black graphics.
Both weight ranges of the RNGD played solid and predictably, with obvious differences in power on ground strokes and blocking for the heavier Power model. The paddles have a slightly head biased balance, but the lighter Touch model for this tester provided a bit more hand speed and control in dinks and drops.
Both paddles are incredibly well contrstructed. Words like "solid" and "comfortable" were used by other play testers in our group. Our play group included a variety of tournament players ranging in skill from 3.5 to 5.0. The testers (including this writer) felt it played like you'd want and expect a fiberglass paddle to play. More focussed power in the sweet spot than its stablemate (the Graphite faced REBL), with good ball feel and the ability to strike solid vollies, drives, and passing shots. Dinks and drops were predictable.
The consensus on this paddle was that this paddle is an impressive initial offering from Babolat, with this RNGD version perfect for someone wanting to play a bit more of a power game."
Edward, Product Marketing (4.0 Player)
"Babolat kept it simple in the introduction to the game, and I mean that in the best way. They didn’t try to reinvent the wheel, they put out two very good paddles with different play characteristics. The RBEL has a graphite skinned face, and the RNGD (the focus of this review) has a Fiberglass Face. I liked the pop I got from the RNGD. You can feel the ball jump off the face when you go for an overhead or a passing shot. There are two versions of the RNGD Touch (lighter) and Power (heavier). With the power that the paddle delivers with its core and face, I found I played better with the Touch (a 7.7 ounce test unit). I felt more control with this version, able to keep shots in the court. If you are looking for a total power paddle to bang away and intimidate, then the Power version will be the better choice. Our Power test version was super solid, and weighed 8.1 ounces.
Either way, with the RNGD, you get a great value. A paddle with a predictable sweet spot that won’t surprise you with mishits from the center of the paddle, and a traditional shape that means it will feel comfortable to you the first time you pick it up. The style of the Babolat paddles will set them apart. The yellow edge guard and strong graphics will be an immediate tell that you are playing with a winner, you are playing with Babolat.
John, Sales Team (4.0 Player)