With a world class, award winning background in Tennis, HEAD has taken the leap into Pickleball with an exciting line of paddles. They have two main lines of paddles - the Radical and the Xtreme lines. While they are different in shape, they share common components for cores and edge guards. Developed in partnership with USAPA National Champion & Gold Medalist Sarah Ansboury, these paddles perform as great as they look!
Learn More About HEAD Pickleball Racquets:
Yes, we called them Racquets (and some spell it Rackets). The reason is when tennis players search for pickleball paddles, they often replace the word "paddle" with the word "Racquets". In honor of HEAD's long history in tennis, and it's loyal brand following there, we decided to use that fun headline. In all seriousness, below is a very insightful Q&A interview we conducted with Ben Simons, Senior Business Manager at HEAD Sports. The questions were part of a sequence of written, telephone, and face to face discussions with the HEAD pickleball product team, and we are happy to share with you the results of what we captured during these discussions. As the category manager at HEAD, Ben shares his views on the paddles they developed, and how a tennis racquet company like HEAD pursued the development of these paddles.
- Why did HEAD come up with two different shapes of paddles?
Every player has their own style, swing speed and athletic ability. You can’t put out one type of product to meet the demands of so many diverse players, so we used the silo concept to help as many players as possible find a paddle that fits their style and makes the game more enjoyable for them.
- What makes HEAD paddles unique?
• Quality – We spent a lot of time and continue to work on making sure we put out a very high-quality product.
• Consistency – It was important to us that if you buy a HEAD paddle it’s always the same – the weight, balance, grip size, feel and shape.
• Extreme Control Shape – Our unique shape cuts away corners to create an aerodynamic design.
- HEAD is promoting its “Extreme Spin” textured finish on some paddles. How was this developed? Our “Extreme Spin” finish is a special process developed for pickleball in our factory. We’re also using a special cosmetic application based on our tennis know-how. It allows a more detailed and colorful design. This is why HEAD cosmetics are eye catching, clean and premium.
- Tell us about the two different face materials used on your paddles. The fiberglass face that’s used on the Pro, Pro L and Elite models is a little heavier than the graphite, which gives the paddle a bit more pop/power.
- HEAD paddles weigh in at 7.6 – 8.1 ounces, a bit heavier than many other companies. Is this a byproduct of research? Through playtesting we learned the majority of players’ preferred weights, and that’s what went into the final development of our paddle line. We also learned that many players don’t have the swing needed to play with an ultra-light paddle. They might think that’s what they need, but when they hit a well-balanced paddle with a little more weight to help them drive through the shot, they find they play much better.
- Does HEAD design their paddles to be head-weighted, grip-weighted, or balanced? Weight and balance are very important parameters. We have great knowledge of them from tennis, racquetball and squash. HEAD paddles are more or less balanced with a tendency toward more weight in the head. The balance of the Radical line is slightly higher than the Extreme. This supports the higher power level of the Radicals. The Extreme models are more control-oriented. We decreased the balance there to offer great control with a solid power level.
- Describe what a player should expect in terms of feel from the two different grip types – Comfort Grip vs. Ergo Grip?
They’re the same size and shape, but the Comfort Grip is softer and absorbs more paddle vibration because of the formulated EVA material in the handle. The Ergo Grip doesn’t have the EVA so it doesn’t have as soft of a feel.
- What is your approach to making “green” products and recycling waste material? We only use materials which fulfill environmental requirements. All materials are checked in the lab and PVC-free.