Gearbox has long been a respected maker of premier racquetball racquets and paddles for other racquet sports. The most recent addition to their racquet line is pickleball paddles, which have enjoyed a huge surge in popularity among players. Gearbox has been creating revolutionary technologies in the world of pickleball paddles. Here’s the scoop on Gearbox and their best lineup of pickleball paddles.
About Gearbox Sports
Gearbox Sports was founded in 2007 by a professional racquetball player named Rafael Filippini. Gearbox came together with the vision to build a business that focused on excellence in technology-based sporting equipment – the type of patented cutting-edge technologies that racquet sports players could actually feel when they play. At the same time as wanting to create a technology-forward approach to sports gear, it was also important to the founder that the business be built while implementing a grass-root model.
Today, 15 years later, Gearbox has moved forward with its line of racquetball, paddleball, and squash gear and has proudly expanded its line to include cutting-edge, professional-level pickleball paddles that are accessible to players of all skill levels.
- About Gearbox Sports
- Notable Features of Gearbox Paddles
- Best Gearbox Pickleball Paddles
- Gearbox Demo Program
- Try Gearbox Pickleball Paddles for Yourself
Why should you consider making your next pickleball paddle a Gearbox paddle? Let’s talk about what makes Gearbox paddles special and why players love them.
Notable Features of Gearbox Paddles
Gearbox sports offers a great selection of pickleball paddles, with each model offering its own unique features and technologies. While each paddle is different, there are some core features that are true for the entire brand of Gearbox pickleball paddles. Here’s a brief rundown of a few features that make Gearbox paddles stand out from the rest.
Edgeless Paddle Design
Many, if not most, pickleball paddles currently on the market are fitted with something called an edge guard. If you’re unfamiliar with edge guards, they’re essentially a fitted plastic border that’s attached to the edges of the paddle face. The edge guard’s job is to protect the structural integrity of your pickleball paddle, keeping everything intact and preventing damage and breakage.
The disadvantage to having a plastic edge guard on your pickleball paddle is that it can interfere with hitting the ball, sending the ball off course from your intended target. This happens when you strike the ball against the guard rather than the paddle face. Gearbox’s edgeless paddles completely eliminate this concern. Still, that leaves the question of the durability of edgeless paddles. Gearbox has answered that concern with a single-piece construction design.
Single Piece Construction
Gearbox pickleball paddles are known for their single-piece construction. With most pickleball paddles, the construction process includes using multiple layers – such as a Nomex or honeycomb poly core at the center, and then an additional layer of carbon fiber (or another type of material) for the paddle face. These are all great paddle materials, but the issue is that without plastic guards around the edges to hold everything together, these layers can separate, causing breakage and reducing the lifespan of your paddle.
Gearbox has stepped up to change this with its single-piece durable construction. The solid span construction design provides a more durable paddle, even without the guards around the edges. Gearbox pioneered its patented solid span technology core, making them truly unique in the marketplace and giving its paddles impressive durability.
An additional benefit of this type of construction is that it reduces “dead spots” on the paddle surface while offering a larger, more consistent sweet spot.
Massive Sweet Spot
Speaking of sweet spots, you’re going to find a massive sweet spot on almost any Gearbox paddle. Their paddle width is on the generous side, to begin with, which offers a larger hitting surface area. The paddle width combined with the lack of an edge guard gives a Gearbox pickleball paddle a sweet spot that’s larger than most.
Carbon Fiber Construction
Another standout feature of Gearbox pickleball paddles is that they’re all constructed with a carbon fiber edgeless frame. There are multiple types of materials that are used to construct pickleball paddles, and most other paddles use a combination of these materials. Gearbox uses a type of solid construction paddle technology that focuses on carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber is considered one of the premier materials for pickleball paddles. It’s extremely durable and offers a superior hitting surface. With evenly distributed weight throughout, this also creates a really nicely balanced paddle.
In comparison to some other paddles currently on the market, Gearbox paddles are priced a bit higher than average, with $100-$150 being normal for Gearbox, while other brands tend to run more in the $50-$90 range. The carbon fiber construction is one of the reasons that a Gearbox paddle costs more. Carbon fiber is more costly to produce, but it’s also more durable and powerful. You may pay a bit more for a Gearbox pickleball paddle, but you’re also not going to need to replace it anytime soon.
Gearbox is USAPA Approved
Gearbox paddles meet all the required paddle specifications of the USAPA. This means that if you decide to play in a USAPA-sanctioned tournament, your Gearbox paddle is cleared to go with you. There are many pickleball paddles on the market that meet the USAPA requirements, but not all are specifically USAPA-approved.
You might think that all pickleball paddles would meet these requirements, but there are plenty of paddles, usually on the cheaper end, that are designed specifically to be more affordable and accessible to purely recreational players that just want a simple paddle to have some fun with. Gearbox has made sure that its paddles meet official guidelines so that it’s never even a question that your paddles are appropriate for tournament play.
Gearbox knows that a high-quality pickleball paddle is an investment, which is why they’re one of a handful of pickleball racquet companies that offer a comprehensive warranty on their products. With Gearbox, your new paddle is completely covered for an entire year from the time you purchase it.
Best Gearbox Pickleball Paddles
Gearbox GX5 Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle – Control Series
The Gearbox GX5 Carbon Fiber Paddle is perfect for players that want something a bit heavier than a lightweight paddle but don’t want to sacrifice control of the ball. The GX5 weighs in at 7.8 oz, with a length of 15 ⅞ inches (including the paddle head length). The GX5 is swift and focused as it slices through the air, enabling you to hit the perfect shot.
The GX5 is among Gearbox’s original bestselling paddles. This is a quiet paddle with a soft, comfortable grip that reduces wrist and elbow stress. It’s designed with solid-span technology, and the GX5 series offers two different paddles – one for control and one for power. If you like the look and feel of the GX5 series but prefer a more elongated head for extended reach, the GX6 series is an absolute powerhouse.
Gearbox CX14E Pickleball Paddle
The Gearbox CX14E is like a quiet, comfortable beast on the pickleball court. It’s smooth, it’s comfortable, but it also packs an insane amount of power behind each stroke. This paddle features a combination of an elongated shape and 14mm thickness for excellent stability, reach and control. The elongated shape also generates maximum spin compared to other paddles. Plus, the lack of a honeycomb core means no dead spots and great contact with the ball every time.
For those of you that prefer the feel of a polypropylene honeycomb core, the feel of this paddle isn’t going to let you down. The ribbed core structure offers all the same stability but better.
Gearbox CX11E Pickleball Paddle – Power Series
The GX11E control paddle is a great mid-weight paddle that offers the strength and power of a heavier paddle but still is lightweight enough to move swiftly through the air and allow you to control contact with the ball and how it is delivered to your opponent.
The GX11E paddle offers an elongated head for reach, max spin, and precision, thanks to the Hyperbite Spin Technology. In addition to the elongated paddle head, it also features an elongated handle length, which is great for catching those tough shots, especially when playing singles. This handle length is also really great for players who are inclined to make two-handed shots.
The CX11 series also features a Power paddle designed for max velocity with each strike. There’s also the CX11 Quad Control series that features a larger sweet spot and is ideal for making softer, more finessed shots with ease.
Gearbox CX14H Pickleball Paddle
We really like the Gearbox CX14H paddle for more experienced players who are looking to add more finesse to their gameplay. This paddle features a unique combination of a longer handle length and a shorter, more square-shaped paddle face. The longer paddle handle makes this racquet handle different than other paddles with the same shape or paddle length. The CX14H also offers a smooth, incredibly soft feel that seems almost effortless, plus it offers perfect vibration control. If you’re ready to level up your style and strategy, the CX14H paddle is one to try!
Gearbox CP7 Pickleball Paddle
The CP7 series is a bit different from the other Gearbox paddles. The CP7 paddles are designed with a molded poly honeycomb core, which is a contrast to the other Gearbox paddles that are designed with advanced rib and chamber technology rather than honeycomb cores. This is a great entry paddle to introduce yourself to the Gearbox brand, and it’s also a great paddle for hardcore honeycomb enthusiasts.
The face is a combination of carbon fiber and glass fiber for durability and control. While this paddle is a bit different from other Gearbox paddle designs, it is missing nothing in terms of quality and precision.
Gearbox Demo Program
What if you just can’t decide which paddle from Gearbox is the best for your style of play? Sometimes the smallest differences in paddle width, paddle length, paddle thickness, and grip size can completely change how a paddle feels and plays once it’s in your hand. Gearbox wants to relieve the stress of that decision by offering a generous demo program.
With the Gearbox Demo Program, you can choose up to four of their paddles to demo for an entire week – but you don’t have to commit to four. If you’re deciding between two paddles, you can choose to just demo those (but it’s fun to try a couple of extras just in case).
There’s no cost to demo the paddles for seven days, so all you have to pay is the $20 shipping fee, which covers both the shipping to get the paddles to you and the return shipping label that’s also provided.
If you find the paddle of your dreams, you can go ahead and purchase a new paddle from the Gearbox website. The demo paddles that they send you aren’t actually for sale since they’ve more than likely been used by other customers for demo purposes and, therefore, would void the Gearbox’s one-year warranty.
Where are Gearbox pickleball paddles made?
Gearbox Sports is based in California. However, it appears that not all of their paddles are made in the USA.
How long do Gearbox paddles last?
With regular weekly play, a typical paddle will last around six to twelve months. Gearbox paddles last much longer, thanks to the carbon fiber construction and single-piece design. Gearbox comes with a full one-year warranty, but chances are your paddle will last four to five years, if not longer.
What type of paddles is best for pickleball?
The best type of paddle is one that fits your hand perfectly and has features that are aligned with how you play pickleball. You want to consider features such as paddle head length, rib and chamber structure, weight, handle length, grip size, and material. A carbon fiber paddle is durable and will put a decent amount of power behind each strike, but you may prefer a paddle that is lighter or heavier, depending on your strengths and weaknesses in the game.
What pickleball ball paddles do the pros use in 2022?
Most pros use a pickleball paddle that is made of carbon fiber or composite materials. As far as which brand of the paddle the pros use, well, they all use something different! Also, take into consideration that a lot of professional pickleball players have sponsorships with brands ( a big contributor to how pros make their money), so they’re going to play with the paddle brand that they have a contract with.
Try Gearbox Pickleball Paddles for Yourself
Gearbox paddles are quickly gaining a huge fan following in the world of pickleball. Everything from the perfect, comfortable grip size and elongated shapes for more spin to their unique solid span core and hyper bite spin technology make Gearbox a serious contender for the title of best pickleball paddle. Take advantage of their demo program and try Gearbox for yourself today.