HEAD has been a fixture in the sports community since the 1940s. The company got its start producing skis, which was our first introduction to HEAD’s “honeycomb” technology. In 1969, HEAD announced its first tennis racket.
Having manufactured products for most sports including tennis, squash, racquetball, swimming, skiing, and even snorkeling, it only made sense that HEAD would try their hand at pickleball. They offer a variety of pickleball equipment, including grips, bags, and court shoes. HEAD’s most popular products, however, are its three series of pickleball paddles.
HEAD’s elite tennis background gave them a competitive edge in manufacturing pickleball paddles. When it comes to quality and price, there’s no better value on the market. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at HEAD’s pickleball paddle lines, review the differences, and give you our top picks.
A Breakdown of HEAD’s Pickleball Paddle Series
HEAD’s offers a variety of pickleball paddles. Each is geared towards a specific style of play and player preferences. Because there are subtle differences in each paddle, determining the best fit for you can be challenging. Before we dive into our favorite paddles, we wanted to give a breakdown of its three major paddle lines and the subtle differences between each.
When shopping HEAD pickleball paddles, you will choose between the Gravity Series, Extreme Series, and the Radical Series. (In an effort to promote “fun in the sun,” the company also partnered with Margaritaville for its Margaritaville Series.) All paddles are made of fiberglass, with the exception of the Tour models, which are made of graphite.
Before we get into the differences between each series, let’s look at what they each have in common:
- Same basic dimensions of 16” long by 7 ⅞” wide
- Same grip length of 5” and circumference of 4 ¼”
- Polymer honeycomb core, often referred to as “Optimized Tubular Construction” or OTC
- Same thin edge guard that overlaps the ridge of the paddle face
- Average weight is between 7.8 and 8.2 ounces (except for the Extreme Tour)
- Made in China
HEAD Gravity Series
Combining elements of both graphite and composite paddles, the Gravity series is HEAD’s crown jewel. The line’s innovative hybrid design offers players a sturdy, stable surface. Whether you’re going in for a third shot drop or a deep passing shot, you’ll have the power and control you need to get the job done. The Gravity Series is available in three forms: the SH (short handle), the LH (long handle), and the Standard.
HEAD Extreme Series
When it comes to the HEAD Extreme series, it’s all about control. This series is unique due to its diamond cutter shape. Its distinctive shape, combined with the Extreme’s lightweight design, makes it the perfect paddle for hard-to-reach ground strokes and controlled precision at the net. 2016 US Open Pickleball Champion Sarah Ansboury prefers this series for its weight and maneuverability.
HEAD Radical Series
Designed with the power player in mind, the Radical series was designed for speed. This series features a one-piece graphite construction with a polymer core. Its graphite paddle face allows for quick response times, without sacrificing power. It’s the perfect paddle for net players, particularly those looking to put more spin in their shots.
1. HEAD Extreme Lite Pickleball Paddle Offers Excellent Power, Control, and Spin, While Still Retaining its Lightweight Design.
The HEAD Extreme Lite is one of the best lightweight paddles on the market today. What the Extreme Lite lacks in weight, it makes up for in the design. This paddle’s diamond-shaped face, polymer core, graphite face, and lighter proportions provide the perfect combination of power and control.
The HEAD Extreme Lite also features a rough paddle face, also known as the “Extreme Spin Texture.” This innovative grip delivers even more control, so you can spin from anywhere on the court.
2. HEAD Extreme Tour Pickleball Paddle is the Best Choice for Advanced Players or Those Looking to Play More Competitively.
Endorsed by Pickleball Champion Sarah Ansboury, the HEAD Extreme Tour paddle is the perfect paddle for competitive play. Its features include spin texture on the paddle’s face, an ergonomic grip, and innovative stabilizing technology that reduces vibrations from powerful hits.
The Extreme Tour paddle’s core features HEAD’s Optimized Tubular Construction (OTC) and is made of honeycomb propylene. This unique combination evenly distributes the paddle’s weight, so you react with speed and control. Its diamond-shaped face allows you to get closer to the court for ground shots.
3. HEAD Radical Pro Pickleball Paddle Offers Players a Solid Balance of Power and Comfort With Their Racket Selection
If you prefer a heavier paddle that offers a balance between comfort and power, the Radical Pro is a great option. Its fiberglass face and spin technology help control the strength and direction of your spins, so you can deliver a more powerful punch. The Radical Pro also features HEAD’s OTC and Comfort Grip system, further adding to the comfort and control of this big-hitting paddle.
4. HEAD Extreme Elite Pickleball Paddle is Great for Beginners Looking to Get Started and Have Fun With Pickleball
If you’re just getting started in pickleball or are more of a recreational player, you’ll want to check out the Extreme Elite paddle by HEAD. With fewer features, this paddle has a slightly lower price tag than some other designs.
Despite the Extreme Elite’s affordable price, it still features the technology that put HEAD on the map in the pickleball community. Made from honeycomb polymer and HEAD’s OTC, the paddle’s core is optimized for performance. With the Extreme Elite, you won’t have to sacrifice performance for comfort. Its grip is made from ergonomic foam, for a soft, yet controlled grip.
5. HEAD Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle Offers Experienced Players Greater Amounts of Power for Their Playing
With the Radical Elite by HEAD, you can pack in hours of powerful play. One of the greatest features of the Radical Elite is its extended power core. This added thickness is what helps deliver more power in every strike.
Like the Extreme Elite, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort for power with the Radical Elite. Its soft, ergonomic foam grip allows for hours of play without slippage or wrist pain.
6. HEAD Gravity Pickleball Paddle Is One of the More Forgiving Paddle Choices as it Boasts the Biggest Sweetspot Among the Paddle Choices HEAD Offers
Available in three forms (SH, LH, and Standard), the Gravity paddle by HEAD is a lightweight graphite paddle. This paddle is loaded with HEAD’s advanced technology for a powerful performance.
The Gravity’s features include the Sweetspot Power Core, Hybrid Hitting Surface, Extreme 3D Spin, Handle Stabilizer, and Comfort Grip. The result is a more balanced play, with better spins, increased control, and more precise shot placement.
7. HEAD Extreme Pro Pickleball Paddle Gives Even the Hardest Hitters a Paddle They’ll Feel Confident Using
Next on our list of best HEAD pickleball paddles is the Extreme Pro paddle. With more paddle weight than the Extreme Tour, the Extreme Pro delivers a more powerful hit, particularly from the back of the court. The added power comes from its fiberglass paddle face and slightly higher weight.
If you’re concerned about injury or fatigue, you needn’t be. Despite its added weight, the Extreme Pro provides maximum comfort through HEAD’S ergonomic foam grip. Its foam grip, combined with a composite face polymer core allows for great spin, quick response time, and powerful, controlled shots.
8. HEAD Radical Tour Pickleball Paddle Gives Players a Pro Advantage with an Improved Sweet Spot and Graphite Face
The Radical Tour is a heavier paddle that’s strategically shaped to give you a bigger sweet spot. Its larger sweet spot, combined with a graphite face, offers the perfect combination of control and power in every shot.
Between its ergonomic grip and thick hitting surface with Extreme Spin, you’ll find more comfort and control. If you’re looking for a paddle that offers control over ball placement and delivers that satisfying “pop” after contact with the ball, look no further than the Radical Tour.
9. HEAD Radical Tour CO Pickleball Paddle is a Middleweight Paddle with a Champion Level Design, Featuring Improved Power and Control
The Radical Tour CO provides all the benefits of HEAD’s paddle technology. What sets this middleweight graphite paddle apart from the rest is HEAD’s new Control Stabilizer Technology. This innovative tech, combined with the paddle’s composite hitting surface and Comfort Grip System help cut down on the vibration after a hard hit. The result is added stability and comfort,
10. HEAD Extreme Tour Lite Pickleball Paddle Offers Players the Ultimate in Control and Finesse.
The Extreme Tour Lite is the lightest paddle in the Extreme Tour line. Its diamond-shaped face delivers more control over every shot, particularly those ground hits. The Extreme Tour Lite has a slightly lighter head, carbon graphite hitting surface, and a honeycomb polymer core. This, combined with HEAD’s spin technology and ergo comfort grip, helps improve swing speed and reaction time, without the risk of fatigue or injury.
Pick Up on Pickleball
Whether new to the sport, or an old pro, pickleball represents a *new and exciting activity for a wide range of players. Fast-paced, team oriented, and growing in popularity, pickleball may be showing up in your city next. Read more about the history of this exciting sport here.
When looking for quality equipment for playing pickleball, look no further than the HEAD company. With decades of experience in a variety of racket or paddle-based sports, HEAD continues to be a leader in sports equipment.
Talk to other players or consult the professionals at your local sports shops to determine which HEAD pickleball paddles are right for you, and get in the game!