Is this paddle TOO LEGIT TO QUIT?!
It just possibly might!
It didn’t take long for me to get excited about the new Engage “Elite Pro” Maverick paddle, the new signature paddle of Ben Johns and his nearly invincible singles game. Before I get into how it plays though, let me list out some of the paddle’s highlights from Engage’s website:
- More power and ability to keep the ball in at these higher speeds by creating more spin and flex in the paddle. We call it ‘Variable Release Flex Technology’.
- Additional spin by extending the Elite Pro grip from 5 inches to 6 inches. This creates more torque (hence more power and spin to keep the ball in). Not too mention the added benefit to two handed players.
- More reach by extending the length of the paddle to 16.5 inches (0.5 inches longer to put the paddle right between lengthwise of standard 16-inch length paddles and the Blade style 17-inch paddles).
- The largest sweet spot and blocking ability by reducing the Elite Pro width only 1/4 inches from each side which created more solidity.
So what does all this talk mean in the real world? Well hear our the thoughts from Gideon, Don Fyfe, and myself:
- Super consistent feel across the entire face of the paddle. ~Matt
- An easy paddle for anybody to start playing with, consistent and solid. ~Gideon
- Easy power all day long. ~Don Fyfe
- Super solid paddle, the paddle blocks more consistently and with higher quality than any previous paddle I’ve tried. ~Matt
What you’ll notice across the board is consistency and power in all of our assessments. For myself, I noticed how little effort I had to put into my swing to get a nice driving return. When I put the paddle in Don’s hand, his serves transformed from dangerous to devastating. And Gideon just loved the paddle across the board, he loved playing with the trifecta of power, consistency, and spin.
Now, none of us pulled out our old two-handed backhands with the paddle, but there is definitely a lot more room on the handle to start bringing it back. And the perfectly blended shape between a standard-shaped paddle and a longish blade paddle makes the paddle extremely easy to convert to from either direction. Gideon has been playing with a blade, Don has been playing with a square wide-body paddle, and I’ve been playing with a teardrop-shaped blade—and all of us picked up the Maverick with ease!
Oh, and why did I allude to hammer time at the start of the post? No, I’m not an MC Hammer fan, it’s just my take on the new Maverick. Everything I’ve hit with the paddle has been solid. The Maverick just seems to want to drive the ball wherever I want to place it. And the only time the ball came of the paddle softly was when I wanted it to because with it super consistency it’s also very easy to dink with.
So with all that said, I’d sum the paddle up with a strong personal recommendation, it’s just too fun to hit with….
Are you interested in taking the Engage Maverick for a test drive? Then you have two option: find me at one of the local courts, or take a 30-day test drive by purchasing the paddle here. And remember, if you do decide to purchase on PickleballCentral, be sure to use our club’s code to get a 5% discount, CRTahoe. Finally, a big thank you goes to Pickleball Central for sending us the paddle to review.