Gearbox Pro Paddles - The Future is Here and We’re Not Ready

Will Chaing
Will Chaing
November 7, 2023

Power, Precision, and Pop Like Never Before

Is $275 too much to pay for a pickleball paddle? Well, it might seem steep, but would you consider it if it's the best paddle on the market right now? In this article, we're diving deep into the Gearbox Pro paddle—a piece of equipment that's generating a lot of buzz in the pickleball world. We'll explore what sets it apart from other high-end paddles, its unique attributes, construction, power, control, touch, and spin. Let's find out if this paddle lives up to the hype.

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A Premium Investment

Before we get into the details, let's address the price tag. At $275, the Gearbox Pro paddle certainly commands a premium. Unfortunately, there are no discount codes available, but you can find a link in the description below to support the channel while making your purchase.

Gearbox has introduced its new Pro line, featuring four distinct models, all with elongated shapes and available in both power and control configurations. Notably, they've also introduced the Fusion model, which showcases a fresh shape for Gearbox paddles.

Unique Attributes

Now, let's delve into what sets the Gearbox Pro paddle apart. If you're wondering what justifies the extra cost compared to hundreds of other options on the market, it's a valid question. The first standout feature is the sound—or rather, the reduced noise. The Pro models offer a noticeably lower pitch compared to paddles made of materials like polypropylene, nomex, kevlar, or wood. This alone can be worth the additional investment, especially if you play in a noise-sensitive neighborhood.

The reduction in noise, especially in the Power models, is the first thing most people notice when they try these paddles. The Control models, while quieter than older paddles, don't quite reach the silence achieved by the Power models.

Exceptional Construction

Another reason you might not hesitate to invest in these paddles is their construction and technology. Gearbox constructs its paddles entirely from carbon fiber, from the core to the face and through the handles. These paddles are built to last, and Gearbox is perhaps the only company where the build quality alone justifies the full retail price.

Construction, Aesthetics, and Tech

Speaking of construction, let's discuss the aesthetics and technology behind these paddles. The build quality is unparalleled. When you hold a Gearbox Pro paddle, it feels substantial, and you can immediately sense that it's a premium product. To put it in perspective, consider the Engage Pursuit Pro, another $250+ paddle that performs well. The Gearbox Pro paddle outshines it in terms of build quality.

The Gearbox Pro Paddles retain the familiar shapes of elongated versions, with the new Fusion shape essentially being an elongated model with half an inch chopped off the top. This adjustment may not add width to the paddle face, but it doesn't detract from the appeal of the new Fusion shape.

A decal wraps around the edge of the paddle, helping to bond the raw carbon fiber face to the core. While it might not appeal to everyone, it's a feature that some may find looks less polished compared to Gearbox's previous edgeless offerings.

All paddles in the lineup are 14mm thick and incorporate an updated and improved version of Gearbox's Solid Span Core technology. This technology involves filaments running against the core at 180 degrees, creating a matrix or web that allows for a more isolated area of the paddle face to flex upon contact with the ball. This results in the paddle's signature pop and power. For more in-depth information about this technology, you can check out John Kew's detailed explanation.

Power and Pop

So, what does all this technology translate to in terms of performance? The Gearbox Pro paddle effectively cradles the ball and produces a strong trampoline-like effect when swung at higher speeds. However, the thin core still provides a satisfying pop on blocks and punch volleys. If you're willing to pay extra for both power and pop, then the Gearbox Pro paddle is for you. In fact, if you're considering this paddle, chances are you're a player who relishes power and seeks validation that it's as potent as reviewers claim.

The Power models, in particular, deliver unmatched speed and power compared to other paddles in their price range, and even across price ranges, among USAPA-approved paddles, of course. The power model is often affectionately referred to as the "delamborghini" by some, drawing a parallel to the power of delaminated paddles. However, unlike delaminated paddles, the Gearbox Pro paddles are unlikely to experience core corruption or crushing issues.

The Control model, while slightly quieter in terms of pop and power, doesn't fall far behind. Its performance is akin to the Selkirk Power Air, another $250+ paddle, but with superior touch similar to the CX14.

Control and Touch

Paddles with this level of power often come with trade-offs in control. However, the Gearbox Pro paddle manages to strike a balance. The responsive SST core is intuitive and, in fact, players who've tried it often express their intention to switch to it. Dinking, dropping, and resetting, while requiring a slight adjustment, are not particularly challenging. The feedback from the paddle is solid and firm, with a satisfying plush quality during ball contact. Unlike traditional honeycomb paddles, the Gearbox Pro paddle offers a more substantial feel.

Spin Potential

Spin potential is a complex attribute influenced by various factors. The Gearbox Pro paddles, particularly with their added raw carbon fiber face, excel in this department. Both the Control and Power models rank among the highest when it comes to generating spin. This is essential to control the type of pop and power that this paddle can deliver.


  • Paddle Face Finish: Toray T700 (Raw Carbon Fiber)
  • Core Material: Toray T-700 Carbon Fiber
  • Core Construction: Patented Carbon Fiber Chambers
  • Head Shape: E (Elongated)
  • Weight: 8.0 oz
  • Handle Circumference: 4” grip
  • Handle Length: 5-1/2"
  • Paddle Length: 16-1/2"
  • Head Length: 11"
  • Paddle Width: 7-3/8"
  • Paddle Thickness: 14mm
  • Grip: Gearbox Smooth Wrap - Black
  • Warranty: 1 year

USAPA Approved

The Final Verdict: Dope with a "But"

So, is the Gearbox Pro paddle dope or nope? It's undoubtedly dope, but there's a "but." Gearbox has a clear winner on its hands, ticking all the boxes for power, precision, and pop. You can expect to see more of these paddles on the courts, and if you're in the market for a new paddle and have the budget, you can hardly go wrong with any of the models in this lineup.

However, there's one minor gripe—some players might wish for a slightly wider Fusion shape. If we had to pick, the Elongated Control or Fusion Power models might be our favorites, but personal preferences may vary.

As these paddles increase the power game, there might be concerns about the direction pickleball is heading. Nevertheless, the Gearbox Pro paddle is a testament to the evolving technology and performance in the sport.

That wraps up our review of the Gearbox Pro paddle. Until next time, play better, peace!