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Prodrive Pickleball Paddle Review

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By Jacob Jackson

Prodrive, the leading brand in pickleball paddles, is known for their commitment to innovation and quality craftsmanship. Whether you’re an elite competitor or just starting out, Prodrive offers a diverse range of paddles to suit players of all skill levels. In this in-depth review, we’ll take a close look at some of their standout paddles: the Ghost, Carbon, Drive White, Select Florida, and Drive Jr.

Prodrive Ghost: A Top-Tier Carbon Fiber Paddle

The flagship of the Prodrive lineup, the Ghost paddle is built for competitive players who demand the very best. With its curved aerodynamic shape and 16mm Kevlar core, the Ghost provides elite-level performance through unmatched power, control, and feel.

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Design & Construction

The Ghost has a distinctive curved profile designed to cut through the air with less drag, resulting in greater swing speed and ball action. Its unibody construction with thermoformed edges ensures durability and offers a consistent sweet spot across the face.

  • Superb touch and power
  • Aerodynamic curved shape
  • Quick, agile maneuverability
  • Excellent control from carbon fiber
  • Tuned for competitive play
  • High-end pricing puts it out of reach for some
  • Curved shape takes adjustment from traditional paddles

Performance & Feel

Thanks to its carbon hitting surface and Kevlar core, the Ghost offers exceptional precision and power. It provides unmatched stability and touch on shots throughout the court. The curved shape creates a larger sweet spot and added pop. The Ghost feels extremely quick through the air yet solid on contact, making it ideal for competitive players seeking an elite paddle.

Prodrive Carbon: Excellent Control and Power

The Prodrive Carbon paddle offers advanced construction and quality at a more affordable price point. With its 3-layer core and carbon fiber face, it delivers impressive precision, power, and feel. It’s the perfect step-up for intermediate players looking for more performance.

Design & Construction

The Carbon utilizes a 3-layer core composition for added strength and reduced vibration. A Kevlar honeycomb inner core provides rigidity, while polypropylene honeycomb on either side adds further stability. The surface is made of raw carbon fiber for optimal touch and control. Thermoformed edges increase durability across the face.

  • Quality power and feel at lower cost
  • Great touch from carbon fiber
  • Nice balance of control and stability
  • Reduced vibration from multi-layer core
  • Thermoformed edges increase durability
  • Not as premium feeling as the Ghost
  • Slightly heavier than other carbon options
  • Three-layer core results in a thicker profile
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Performance & Feel

Thanks to its multi-layer core and carbon face, the Carbon offers top-notch performance beyond its price. The paddle provides great touch on finesse shots and plenty of power on drives and smashes. Despite the added weight, it remains maneuverable and well-balanced. The Carbon is an impressive value for intermediate and advanced players.

Prodrive Drive White: Ideal Control and Power Blend

The Prodrive Drive White model provides versatile performance and quality at a reasonable cost. With its 3-layer core and graphite face, it offers a balanced mix of power, control, and smooth feel suitable for various skill levels.

Design & Construction

Similar to the Carbon, the Drive White utilizes a 3-layer honeycomb core configuration with a Kevlar center. This improves stability and dampens vibration. The surface features a grit paint coating over durable graphite for added grip and spin potential. Thermoforming ensures consistent performance across the hitting area.

  • Quality construction with graphite face
  • Nice mix of power, control, and feel
  • Reduced vibration from honeycomb core
  • Good value paddle under $100
  • Ideal for intermediate players
  • Composite surface doesn’t match carbon fiber feel
  • Not as powerful or spin-friendly as carbon
  • Graphics are a bit plain

Performance & Feel

The Drive White delivers steady performance across all shot types, thanks to its blended core and graphite face. It offers good pop on drives, control for touch shots, and the ability to generate spin. With its well-balanced weight, the paddle feels great in your hands. It’s a versatile option at an affordable price.

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Prodrive Select Florida: Agility and Spin for Competitors

The Prodrive Select Florida paddle is designed for tournament-level play, providing elite precision, spin, and quickness. Its flex-curve shape, 16mm core, and carbon fiber face equip it with high-end performance attributes to compete at the top level.

Design & Construction

The Select Florida features a specialized flex-curve profile with curved edges to reduce drag and increase swing speed. The 16mm polypropylene core optimizes rigidity for enhanced ball control. Its T700 grade carbon fiber surface provides optimal touch and feel, while a grit paint pattern maximizes ball grab and spin. The Select Florida paddle has an agile yet controlled feel.

  • Tour-ready performance attributes
  • Flex-curve profile for quickness
  • Impressive control and finesse
  • Maximal spin from grit pattern
  • Superb for competitive play
  • Very expensive for recreational players
  • Stiff feel requires refined technique
  • Flex-curve shape has a learning curve
  • Lacks versatility outside competitive play
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Performance & Feel

The Select Florida paddle delivers exceptional quickness and finesse, thanks to its responsive carbon hitting surface and rigid honeycomb core. The flex-curve head shape requires less movement for lightning-quick returns. With superb directional control and stability, the paddle excels at keeping balls deep through a blend of speed, spin, and precision. It’s the perfect choice for competitive players seeking a maneuverable, high-performance paddle.

Prodrive Drive Jr: Ideal for Young Beginners

The Prodrive Drive Jr paddle is specifically designed for young players between the ages of 5 and 12 who are just learning the game. With its compact size, lightweight feel, and quality construction, it allows youngsters to build skills with excellent equipment.

Design & Construction

Weighing just 7 ounces, the Drive Jr is significantly lighter than regulation paddles, making it easy for young players to handle. Its smaller size, with a length of 13.78″ and width of 7.36″, fits comfortably in a child’s grip and swing range. The surface uses a carbon fiber hitting area for durability, while the Kevlar honeycomb core provides rigidity and vibration dampening. The shorter grip with a circumference of 3 15/16″ is ideal for small hands.

  • Specifically sized for kids 5-12 years old
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Compact size improves targeting
  • Quality carbon fiber and Kevlar construction
  • Versatile training tool for all ages
  • Smaller size limits playability for adults
  • Shorter grip not ideal for larger hands
  • Younger kids may lack strength for solid hits
  • Less durable than regulation models
  • Minimal graphics and style elements

Performance & Feel

The Drive Jr’s lightweight design allows young players to maneuver it smoothly while building coordination. The smaller sweet spot improves accuracy as kids refine their technique. The carbon fiber and Kevlar construction provide a solid, consistent feel even for off-center hits. While designed for kids, the Drive Jr can also help adults and teens develop precision targeting and handling skills. It introduces beginners to quality equipment in a fun, accessible package.

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FAQs

What paddle is best suited for beginner players?

The Drive White is the best Prodrive option for beginners. Its forgiving design, medium weight, and affordable price provide an accessible introduction to help develop skills.

Which Prodrive paddle gives the most power and drive on shots?

The Carbon is built to deliver maximum power, thanks to its advanced materials and thicker core. The rigid carbon face transfers serious energy into driving shots.

What paddle offers the most control and touch for finesse shots?

The Ghost is engineered for control and feel, optimizing spin, shot shaping, and touch with its responsive polymer core and carbon fiber construction.

How do I know which Prodrive paddle is right for my game?

It’s best to demo different Prodrive paddles to find the right fit. Consider your skill level, playing style, stroke mechanics, and priorities like power or control. Prodrive offers paddles suited for various needs.

Where can I try out and purchase Prodrive paddles?

Prodrive paddles are available at most pickleball specialty retailers. Many facilities also allow demoing different models before purchasing.

How do I know if a Prodrive paddle needs to be replaced?

With regular use, Prodrive paddles can last 1-2 years or more. Signs of needing replacement include cracks, large chips, excess warping, or a decline in pop and control.

The Verdict

Prodrive consistently delivers top-quality paddles for players of all levels and budgets. The Ghost and Select Florida are perfect for competitors seeking high performance, while the Carbon and Drive paddles offer a great balance of control and power at more affordable prices. The Drive Jr is an excellent choice for young beginners looking to develop their skills. Overall, Prodrive’s diverse paddle selection has options suitable for nearly any player’s needs and playing style.

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