They don’t have regenerative brakes, don’t propel you from 0-60 mph in 3 seconds and don’t have 150,000 mile warranties, but Gearbox® pickleball paddles are a huge, innovative step beyond traditional paddles.
As you probably know, all other pickleball paddles are constructed like a sandwich. They have a polymer (plastic) honeycomb core, giving the paddle thickness and structure. That honeycomb core is sandwiched and glued between 2 hitting surfaces, made from fiberglass, graphite, polycarbonate or carbon fiber. A rubber edge guard is then wrapped and glued around the edge to protect the exposed surfaces and make the paddle rigid. Depending on the material used for the hitting surfaces and the thickness of the core, you get different mechanics from the paddle. Some paddles offer more control, some offer more power. Using carbon fiber for the hitting surface is the trend because of the stiffness and control it provides.
But pickleball paddles from Gearbox are completely different. The core is constructed using 32 ribs of carbon fiber, aligned from the handle to the tip of the paddle. The ribs are then encased in carbon fiber and molded together under extreme heat and pressure to form a pickleball paddle made from 100% carbon fiber.
These one-piece paddles have no need for an edge guard, eliminating mishits. Gearbox paddles will never delaminate or become unglued. And deadspots will not form on Gearbox paddles because the materials used will never breakdown like paddles with honeycomb cores.
Gearbox is also able to determine the mechanics of each paddle by using different formats of carbon fiber. Tows (bundles of carbon fiber filaments) are laid down at different angles, giving the materials a more flexible or more stiff property. This enables them to have control and power versions of each paddle.
And because Gearbox paddles are made from 100% carbon fiber, the paddles can remain relatively thin compared to honeycomb paddles and provide the same control. The stiffness of the carbon fiber resists deflection and deformation, providing the control and shot placement you need. The thinner paddles also allow you to have quicker hands at the net because there is less volume for you to move.
The grip circumference of a Geabox paddle is slighty smaller. Traditional paddles have a circumference of 4.25″ or larger. The Gearbox paddles have a grip circumference of 3.625″ or 3.9375″. This allows for greater wrist roll when you try to impart a spin on the ball from the gritty surface.
So is Gearbox the Tesla® of pickleball paddles? We think so.
Tesla was the first manufacture to develop a truly unique electric vehicle with many advantages over traditional automobiles. Now other automobile manufacturers are trying to catch up with Tesla.
Gearbox broke out of the box and developed a truly unique pickleball paddle with many advantages over traditional paddles. But the other paddle companies won’t be able to follow because Gearbox holds a utility and design patent on the Solid Span technology.
The video below is truly fascinating. It’s an interview with Rafael Filippini, the CEO of Gearbox. He discusses and shows how Gearbox paddles are made compared to how honeycomb paddles are made, using paddles that have been cut in half. It’s over an hour long, but it will answer any question you may have.