I’ve tested and compared the best paddles from brands that are well-known for carbon fiber paddles, including Crbn, Legacy, Vatic, and Gearbox to help you pick the right one for you. 

I’ve found the Vatic Pro Prism Flash to be the best carbon fiber pickleball paddle overall. 

It is all-rounded, made of premium carbon fiber, and is extremely affordable.

But it is not perfect for everyone. That’s why I’ve included 9 other carbon fiber paddles that are the best you can find on the market. 

In the last part of the article, I’ve included everyone you need to know when buying a carbon fiber paddle, including:

  • How to identify paddles that use high-quality carbon fiber
  • How to avoid paddles that will delaminate

Now let’s take a look at my top picks. 

Best Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle of 2023

The best carbon fiber pickleball paddles are:

  • Vatic Pro Prism Flash
  • CRBN 2x power series
  • SixZero Double Black Diamond
  • Legacy Pro Pickleball Paddle
  • Ronbus R1.16
  • Gearbox CX14 Ultimate Power pickleball paddle
  • JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS Swift Pickleball Paddle
  • Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro v3
  • Diadem Warrior Edge pickleball paddle
  • Ace Spade pickleball paddle

Vatic Pro Prism Flash

If you have tried other Vatic paddles like the V7, It was a great paddle, but you might find it too heavy and hard to handle. 

The good news is, that Vatic has come up with a solution: the Prism-Flash paddle. This paddle is lighter and more balanced than paddles like V7 and Hyperion, but it still has the same features that make it a great control paddle. 

I have been playing with the Vatic Prism-Flash paddle for a few weeks now and I love it. It’s a great paddle for players who want more control and spin in their game. It’s lighter and more balanced than the Vatic Prism-V7, which I found too heavy and hard to handle.

The Prism-Flash has a high-quality carbon fiber face that gives it a nice feel and sound. It also has a unique design that makes it stand out from other paddles.

The Prism-Flash is not a power paddle, but it has enough power for me. I can still hit deep shots and put away points when I need to. I prefer to play a more finesse game, and this paddle helps me do that. I can hit accurate resets and drops, and generate impressive spin on my serves and volleys.

The paddle has a generous sweet spot, so I can hit the ball anywhere on it and still get a good result.

I was impressed by how well I could hit my resets and drops with these paddles. They were very consistent and accurate, even when I was trying them for the first time.

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • High-quality carbon fiber face
  • Great for control and spin
  • Light and agile

Cons:

  • Lack of power

Specs

  • Average Weight 16mm: 8.1oz
  • Average Weight 14mm – 7.8
  • Grip Circumference: 4 1/8″ (Small)
  • Handle Length: 5.3″
  • Paddle Length: 16.3″
  • Paddle Width: 8″
  • Paddle Face: Raw TORAY T700 Carbon Fiber
  • Core Material: Optimized C7 Polymers and high-grade performance honeycomb
  • Core Thickness: 14mm or 16mm

Price

$99.99 on Amazon or Vatic’s website

CRBN 2x power series

Do you want a powerful paddle that can make your game more exciting? Then you should check out the CRBN 2X Power Series. It’s better than the CRBN 1X Power Series, which was already awesome. The CRBN 2X is made of one piece of carbon fiber, so it’s super strong and stable.

The CRBN 2X is for players who like to attack and dominate. It has more power and spin than the JOOLA Hyperion CFS 16. The ball will drop down fast and catch your opponent off guard. You can also hit winners more often with this paddle.

The CRBN 2X is lighter and easier to control than the CRBN 1X. It also has a bigger sweet spot, so you can hit the ball better and more accurately. It’s great for blocking or countering hard shots.

The only downside of the CRBN 2X is that it’s not very fast or flexible. It has a square shape and a heavy head, which can slow you down. It also has a short handle, which can make it hard to change grips or angles. It’s not for players who need speed or finesse.

The CRBN 2X is also not for beginners or soft players. It has a hard feel, which can make it hard to adjust or control. You might pop the ball up too much. You need to be good to play with this paddle.

So, the CRBN 2X is a great paddle for players who want to unleash their power and spin. It’s for players who want to hit hard and fast and make their opponents sweat. It’s for players who are ready for a challenge. 

If that sounds like you, then you should try the CRBN 2X. You’ll love it.

Pros

  • Excellent power and spin
  • High-quality carbon fiber face
  • Big sweet spot
  • Unibody design that makes it durable and stable
  • Great for blocking or countering drives and speed-ups

Cons

  • Short handle, which makes it hard to switch grips or angles
  • Stiff feel, which can make it hard to adjust or control for beginners or soft players

Specs

  • Average Weight: 8.0oz
  • Grip Circumference: 4 1/8″ (Small)
  • Handle Length: 5″
  • Paddle Length: 15.75″
  • Paddle Width: 8″
  • Paddle Face: Raw T700 Carbon Fiber
  • Core Material: Polypropylene Honeycomb (foam injected edges)
  • Core Thickness: 14mm or 16mm

Price

$229.99 on Pickleball Central or Crbn’s website

SixZero Double Black Diamond

You can do anything with the SixZero Double Black Diamond paddle. It’s super strong, spinny, and easy to control. It feels awesome and smooth, and you can hit the ball anywhere on it. It’s longer than most paddles. It’s tough and well-built, with a cool face material. It’s not too pricey, but it can beat any fancy paddle out there.

The Double Black Diamond is not for newbies or soft paddle lovers. You need some time to get used to how hard and fast it hits, and the shape is different from other paddles. The handle is shorter than it looks, and the paddle is a bit heavy on the top. The cover is also thin and doesn’t protect it much.

The Double Black Diamond is best for players who want a paddle that can do everything. It’s fun and flexible, and it gets better the more you use it. If you want a paddle that works for any shot, but has more power, you should try the Double Black Diamond.

Pros

  • It has a lot of power, spin, and control for a thermoformed paddle.
  • It feels solid and crisp and has a generous sweet spot.
  • It has a hybrid-elongated shape that gives you extra reach without sacrificing forgiveness.
  • It’s durable and well-made, with a special composite face material.

Cons

  • While softer than other unibody thermoformed paddles, it’s still stiffer and not as plush as a typical raw carbon fiber paddle.
  • It requires some time to learn. It takes time to get used to the pop and power of this paddle, and the hybrid shape also requires some adjustment.
  • The handle feels shorter than advertised, and the paddle is slightly head-heavy.
  • The paddle cover is thin and not very protective.

Specs

  • Average Weight: 8.1 oz
  • Grip Circumference: 4.25″
  • Handle Length: 5.5″
  • Paddle Length: 16.3″
  • Paddle Width: 7.5 – 7.7″
  • Paddle Face: Toray T700K Raw Carbon Fiber
  • Core Material: Polymer
  • Core Thickness: 16 mm

Price

$180 on SixZero’s website

Legacy Pro Pickleball Paddle

If you want a paddle that can hit hard, spin the ball, and last long, you should check out the Legacy Pro. It’s made with some cool stuff like thermoforming, injected foam, and carbon fiber that make it strong and solid. It feels great when you hit the ball, and it can curve the ball like crazy. It also doesn’t vibrate much, which is good for your elbow.

Read my full Legacy Pro Review article.

The paddle has a short handle that works well for two-handed backhands but may not fit big hands. The paddle also gets dirty from the ball dust, but you can clean it with a CRBN eraser or something like that. The paddle may get some scratches or marks from the ball, but they don’t affect how it plays.

The paddle is perfect for singles players and players who have good control and want more power and spin. One reviewer said it’s a singles player’s dream paddle. But some players may need some time to get used to it and may miss some easy shots. The paddle works best for players who have soft hands and let the paddle do the work.

The Legacy Pro pickleball paddle is awesome if you are looking for a new paddle that can do it all. It has a unique feel and texture that you may love or hate, but you won’t know until you try it. The Legacy Pro is worth a shot if you want to play like a pro.

Pros

  • Has a lot of power and spin 
  • A plush and controllable feel that varies depending on how hard the paddle is hit.
  • High-quality carbon fiber that is durable and strong
  • Solid and has little vibration
  • Has a large sweet spot and excellent edge performance

Cons

  • The paddle’s handle length is 5.3″, which is slightly shorter than some other paddles
  • Collects a lot of ball dust and marks
  • May be difficult to adjust to for some players, especially those who are used to paddles where they have to swing more or have firmer hands.

Specs

  • Average Weight: 8.2oz
  • Grip Circumference: 4.125″
  • Handle Length: 5.3″
  • Paddle Length: 16 1/2″
  • Paddle Width: 7 1/2″
  • Paddle Face: Toray T700 Raw Carbon Fiber
  • Core Material: Polymer
  • Core Thickness: 16 mm

Price

$150 on Legacy Pickleball’s website

Ronbus R1.16

The R1 Nova is a unique thermoformed paddle that offers a crisp, soft feeling that’s easier to control but still has some power from the baseline. 

It’s a really nice paddle that feels soft and smooth in your hand. It’s also easy to spin the ball and move it around the court with this paddle. I had a lot of fun playing the soft game and taking the pace off the ball with this paddle.

It also has a high spin rating and a low swing weight, which makes it fast and agile. 

But it’s not perfect just like every other pickleball paddle. The lower forgiveness rating and the smaller sweet spot of the paddle made it less stable and consistent. 

It doesn’t have a lot of forgiveness, which means you have to hit the ball just right, or else you’ll miss or mishit it.

The pros and cons of the R1 Nova paddle based on the text are:

Pros

  • Easy to control 
  • High spin rating and low swing weight make it fast and agile.
  • It is easier to absorb pace and connect with the paddle
  • High-quality carbon fiber face

Cons

  • A smaller sweet spot makes it less stable and consistent
  • Not as durable or versatile as a typical thermoformed paddle
  • May not suit players who prefer a more stable and poppy paddle

Specs

  • Average Weight: 8.0 oz
  • Grip Circumference: 4.25″
  • Handle Length: 5.5″
  • Paddle Length: 16.5″
  • Paddle Width: 7.5″
  • Paddle Face: Raw Toray T700 Carbon Fiber
  • Core Material: Polypropylene Honeycomb
  • Core Thickness: 16mm

Price

$120 on Amazon or Ronbus’s website

Gearbox CX14 Ultimate Power pickleball paddle

Are you ready to unleash your inner beast on the pickleball court? If so, you might want to check out the CX ultimate power paddle from Gearbox. This paddle is not for the faint of heart. It’s a beast of a paddle that can smash the ball like no other.

 It has two models: H and E, with different shapes and weights. The H model has a standard shape that is balanced and maneuverable, while the E model is elongated, heavier, and more potent.

One thing you’ll notice about the CX ultimate power paddle is the texture on the face. It’s slightly rough and gritty, which gives you more spin and control of your shots. It also makes the paddle feel more lively and responsive when you hit the ball. You’ll love the sound and feel of this paddle.

The CX ultimate power paddle also has good control, especially on soft shots and drops. The paddle has a classic Gearbox feel, which is a bit springier and harder than polymer paddles. Some people like this feel while others think it’s too stiff or bouncy. It’s a matter of personal preference. 

The CX ultimate power paddle is one of the most powerful paddles on the market, but it also has decent control and touch. However, if you’re looking for a softer, sweeter, and lighter paddle, this might not be the best choice for you. The CX ultimate power paddle is for those who want to dominate the court with brute force and skill.

Pros

  • 100% Power
  • Excellent spin with the new texture on the face
  • Good control on soft shots and drops
  • Excellent durability, except for the possible grit wear-off
  • Crazy speed-up potential

Cons

  • The extra money used to upgrade might not be worth it for some people
  • It’s head-heavy and it might not work for everyone
  • Slightly springier and harder feel than polymer paddles

Specs

  • Average Weight: 8.5 oz
  • Grip Circumference: 3 15/16″ (Standard Grip)
  • Handle Length: 5 5/8″
  • Paddle Length: 16 5/8″
  • Paddle Width: 7 3/8″
  • Paddle Face: 3K Woven Carbon Fiber
  • Core Material: T-700 Carbon Fiber
  • Core Thickness: 14mm

Price

$249.99 on Amazon, or Gearbox’s website

JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS Swift Pickleball Paddle

The JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS Swift Pickleball Paddle is a lighter version of the original Hyperion CFS 16mm paddle, but it loses some feel, power, and control. It is easier to handle and has good spin, but it feels more firm and stiff. It performs well compared to other 16mm elongated paddles, but there are other paddles that might offer better value and quality. The Joola Vision CGS 16 is a similar paddle that has a softer feel and more control. The Hyperion CFS 14mm is a thinner paddle that reduces the head weight issue of the original without sacrificing much of its features.

Pros

  • Lighter and easier to handle than the original Hyperion CFS 16mm paddle
  • Good spin and decent power compared to other 16mm elongated paddles
  • Carbon friction surface allows a longer grip on the ball and enhances the placement of drives, dinks, and serves

Cons

  • Loses some of the plush feel, and pop 
  • Feels firmer and stiffer and harder to control than the original model
  • Lacks the forgiveness and stability 
  • There are concerns about whether the surface will maintain its spin with prolonged use

Specs

  • Average Weight: 7.9 oz
  • Grip Circumference: 4.25″
  • Handle Length: 5.5″
  • Paddle Length: 16.5″
  • Paddle Width: 7.5″
  • Paddle Face: Carbon Friction Surface
  • Core Material: Honeycomb Polymer Core
  • Core Thickness: 16mm

Price

$219.95 on Amazon or Joolas’s website

Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro v3

The Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro v3 is a high-end paddle that offers excellent control, touch, and forgiveness. It is suitable for players who value precision and strategy over brute force. 

The paddle has a polymer honeycomb core with Smart Response Technology, which provides a consistent and responsive feel. The carbon fiber face, or Iced Carbon as PaddleTek calls it, has a fine grit that allows for good spin and durability. 

The handle is oval-shaped and comes in two grip sizes. The paddle weighs between 7.6 and 8.0 oz, which is in the mid-weight range. The paddle has a balanced weight distribution and a low swing weight, which makes it easy to maneuver and flexible to use. 

The only minor drawbacks of the paddle are the butt cap design, which some users found uncomfortable, and the power level, which some users found lacking. However, these are subjective preferences that may not affect everyone.

Overall, the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro v3 is a great paddle that will appeal to players who like to play with finesse and accuracy. 

Pros

  • Excellent control, touch, and forgiveness
  • Good spin and durability
  • Easy to maneuver and flexible to use

Cons

  • The butt cap design may be uncomfortable for some users
  • Lack of power

Specs

Here are the specifications for the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro v3 paddle:

  • Average Weight: 7.6 – 8.0 oz
  • Grip Circumference: 4 3/8″ (Standard Grip)
  • Handle Length: 5 1/4″
  • Paddle Length: 15.875″
  • Paddle Width: 8″
  • Paddle Face: ICED Carbon Fiber with Perma-Spin Technology
  • Core Material: Honeycomb Polymer Core
  • Core Thickness: 14.3 mm

Price

$209.99 on Paddletek’s website

Diadem Warrior Edge pickleball paddle

If you are looking for a paddle that can generate a lot of spin without sacrificing power, you might want to check out the Diadem Warrior Edge. This paddle has a remarkable consistency across its surface, not just in the sweet spot. 

The Warrior Edge allows for a lot of spin without needing to hit hard, saving energy for tougher plays.

 It also has less vibration upon hard contact with pickleballs, even compared to other carbon paddles. It handles differently than popular carbon fiber paddles but still generates plenty of spins. 

The ball stays on the paddle face for quite a long time upon contact. This can affect your reset shots, which were initially less consistent due to the increased dwell time compared to harder, thinner paddles. Depending on your playing style and experience with different types of paddles, there may be a need for adjustment when playing at the NVZ line with the Warrior Edge.

It has surprising power for attacking, more than the original Warrior. It is well-balanced and easy to handle, making it easy to accelerate through the ball. The soft game performance is good in most cases but drops from the baseline were less consistent. The paddle enhances offensive ability with its combination of spin, speed, and decent pop.

Despite being a midweight paddle at 8 oz, it moves easily in the hands and feels stable at impact. Its elongated shape is beneficial at the net for picking more balls out of the air to attack or dink. The soft game was polarizing, with routine dinks, blocks, and drops from the midcourt performing well, but thirds or defense from the baseline were less consistent.

Overall, the Diadem Warrior Edge is a great choice for players who want to add more spin and control to their game, while still having enough power to finish points. It may take some time to get used to its unique feel and dwell time, but once you do, you will enjoy its versatility and performance.

Pros

  • High spin rating, allowing for more aggressive play.
  • Surprising power for attacking
  • Well well-balanced and easy to handle, making it easy to accelerate through the ball.
  • Good performance in soft games 
  • Despite being a midweight paddle at 8 oz, it moves easily in the hands and feels stable at impact.
  • Its elongated shape is beneficial at the net for picking more balls out of the air to attack or dink.

Cons

  • Drops from the baseline were less consistent.
  • The ball jumps off the face pretty quickly which takes away some feel from the paddle and makes those shots less consistent.

Specs

  • Average Weight: 8.0 oz
  • Grip Circumference: 4 1/8″
  • Handle Length: 5″
  • Paddle Length: 16.4″
  • Paddle Width: 7.5″
  • Paddle Face: Etched Carbon Fiber
  • Core Material: Polypropylene Honeycomb
  • Core Thickness: 16mm

Price

$149.95 on Amazon, Pickleball Central and Diadem’s website

Ace Spade pickleball paddle

The Ace Spade pickleball paddle is a luxury paddle that offers power and spin, as well as comfort and style. It comes in a classy package with a sleeve to protect it. It has a smooth surface for great spin, a long handle and a special shape for better dinks and side hits, and a thick body for easy resetting. 

It is ideal for players who like to hit hard and fast from the baseline, and who can use spin to surprise their opponents. It is easy to get used to and can improve your game a lot. But it is not for everyone. Some players might not like the smooth surface, the long handle, or the shape. And some players might find it too expensive, as it is a high-end paddle. The Ace Spade paddle is not a cheap paddle, but it is worth it if you want to play like a pro. It is a paddle that I highly recommend to anyone who wants luxury and performance.

Pros

  • Awesome luxury packaging and design
  • Smooth surface for crazy spin
  • Long handle and shape for better dinks and side hits
  • Thick enough for easy resetting
  • Powerful for hard drives and smashes
  • Amazing spin for topspin and slice shots

Cons

  • Some people might not like the smooth surface because it makes the ball spin too much
  • The long handle and shape might take some time to adjust to and affect your game
  • The price might be too high for some people

Specs

Here are the specifications for the Ace Spade pickleball paddle:

  • Average Weight: 7.5 – 7.8 oz
  • Grip Circumference: 4.33″
  • Handle Length: 5.5″
  • Paddle Length: 16.5″
  • Paddle Width: 7.5″
  • Paddle Face: Toray T700 Carbon Fiber
  • Core Material: Polypropylene
  • Core Thickness: 16 mm

Price

$199.99 on Amazon or Ace Pickleball’s website

How to choose a carbon fiber pickleball paddle

To choose the best carbon fiber pickleball paddle, you have to consider the weight, grip, size, etc. just like choosing any other paddle. I have written a comprehensive pickleball paddle guide that you can read to know more about.

Here we are focusing on something more specific to carbon fiber paddles. 

We’ll talk about issues like delamination, carbon fiber grading, and how to choose a paddle that is made of high-quality raw carbon fiber

What is Toray T700 carbon fiber?

source Toray

Toray carbon fiber is a type of high-performance carbon fiber produced by Toray Industries, a Japanese company that is one of the leading manufacturers of carbon fiber in the world. 

T700 is a grade of the strength of the carbon fiber. There are T300, T800 and many more.

Toray T700 carbon fiber is probably the best you can get for pickleball paddles right now in the market. 

It is known for its high strength, high modulus, and high toughness, which make it ideal for applications that require high performance and durability. 

With that said, there are other premium carbon fiber manufacturers that produce high-quality, including:

  • Hexcel: A US-based company that produces HexTow carbon fiber, which is used in aerospace, automotive, and industrial applications
  • Mitsubishi: A Japanese company that produces Pyrofil carbon fiber, which is used in sports, medical, and energy applications

What paddles use toray carbon fiber?

Many paddles on my best carbon fiber pickleball paddle list use toray carbon fiber. This includes:

  • Vatic Pro Prism Flash 
  • CRBN 2X Power Series 
  • Legacy Pro 
  • Vatic Pro v7 16mm
  • SixZero Double Black Diamond 
  • Ronbus R1.16 
  • Gearbox CX14 Pickleball Paddle
  • Ace Spade Pickleball Paddle

If you ever wonder whether a paddle uses toray carbon fiber, you can check their spec. Most company that uses it will market it. If they don’t explicitly state the manufacturing company and the grading T700, then chances are to use cheaper carbon fiber. 

What are thermoformed paddles?

Thermoformed paddles are paddles that use a single piece of material to form the face and the edge guard of the paddle. They are different from other paddles that use separate pieces of material for the face and the edge guard and glue them together. Thermoformed paddles offer some benefits over other paddles, such as:

  • More durability and strength as there is no glue or seam that can weaken or crack over time.
  • More aerodynamics and maneuverability as there is no edge guard that can create drag or interfere with the swing.
  • More hitting surface and sweet spot as there is no edge guard that can reduce the effective area of the face.

But, there’s a problem with thermoformed paddles which is delamination. You can read more about it in this What is Pickleball Paddle Delamination article.

In short, your paddles break faster than usual because of a flaw in the thermoformed paddle design. The problem is many popular carbon fiber paddles are thermoformed. 

The official claim is that the delamination issue is fixed completely in the latest paddles, but it is hard to say 100%.

For the pickleball paddles that I recommend on this list, none of them have been reported with his issue. If any of them does, I’ll remove it from the list. 

The best way to prevent buying a delaminating paddle is to always check the customer reviews before buying to see if anyone reports this problem. 

What is the difference between a 3K and 12K carbon fiber paddle?

A 3K and a 12K carbon fiber paddle are different in terms of the weave pattern and flexibility. The number K indicates the number of filaments in each two of the carbon fibers, which affects the weave pattern and appearance of the material. 

A 3K carbon fiber is stiffer and harder than a 12K carbon fiber, which means it can deliver more power and precision, but also less comfort and forgiveness. A 12K carbon fiber is softer and more flexible than a 3K carbon fiber, which means it can provide more ball release and elasticity, but also less speed and control.

What is the difference between T700 and 3K carbon fiber?

T700 and 3K are different indicators of carbon fiber properties. T700 refers to the type of carbon fiber produced by Toray Industries. 3K means that there are 3000 filaments in each tow, which results in a fine and tight weave. 

A carbon fiber sheet can be made of T700 carbon fiber with a 3K weave. The performance and characteristics of the carbon fiber sheet depend on both the type and the weave of the carbon fiber used.

Is fiberglass or carbon fiber better for pickleball?

Carbon fiber is generally better than fiberglass in terms of quality and, thus also more pricy. However, this varies according to your preference. 

Fiberglass paddles are more affordable, and durable than carbon fiber paddles. They have a smooth surface that allows for more ball release and elasticity. However, they are also less rigid and less responsive than carbon fiber paddles. 

Carbon fiber paddles are more expensive, lightweight, and stronger than fiberglass paddles. They have a grainy textured surface that enhances control and spin. They are also more responsive and offer more feedback to the player. However, they are also more fragile, less comfortable, and less forgiving than fiberglass paddles. 

If you know which paddle material is right for you, you can check out my Best Pickleball Paddle Material article. 

Wrap Up

To recap, Vatic Pro Prism Flash is my top recommendation because it’s high-quality, performs well in most situations, and is very affordable. 

And if you prefer a power paddle, you can consider the CRBN 2X Power Series. Or you might like SixZero Double Black Diamond more if you like control paddles that don’t sacrifice spin and power. If you’re an intermediate-level player who wants to level up your game, other than picking up a great carbon fiber paddle, my Top Tips for Intermediate Players article can also help you.

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