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What paddle do I use? A paddle review

More and more often, I’ve been asked about the paddle I use.  What is it?  Why do I use it?  With that in mind, I thought I would talk about my paddle choice, what it does for me and my game, and a little about the brand.

The paddle I have used for the past year and a half is the Tantrum GXT made by TMPR Sports.  TMPR Sports originated in 2018 and is a small, but growing paddle company out of Niles, Michigan.  It is owned by Doug and Diana Clark along with their son Taylor.  I can’t say enough good things about the Clark family; their friendliness, their commitment to quality, and their hands-on customer service.  Like all start-ups, TMPR Sports had a few quality/production blips in the beginning, such as bubbling of the fascia on one of their models, but were quick to correct the problems with both their affected customers, as well as with the production of future inventory.

TMPR Sports started with two models.  The Tantrum V and the Tantrum GXT.  I won a Tantrum V in a raffle, and had planned to give it away because I was hooked on another brand.  Instead, I tried it out and was immediately impressed with the power and control it provided.  I liked it and began playing with it regularly!

TMPR Tantrum GXT – $110         Click image to go to TMPR Sports

A few months later I tried the Tantrum GXT and was wowed by the soft feel of the ball on its graphite enhanced face.  Quickly, I found that although it didn’t offer as much power as the V, I was hitting fewer balls out, and dinking more consistently.  With more control of my dinks, I was able to move my opponent and created openings that I could hit through without a lot of power.  I began winning more games, and having more success in tournaments, which proved to me that soft was the way to go!  I was sold on the Tantrum GXT.

The Tantrum GXT is a medium weight paddle which is perfect for me as my preferred weight is 7.5.  The handle is 4.25”, which is slightly smaller than I was used to, but it allows more wrist and paddle movement which is especially useful when I want to add spin to my shots.  I always feel a smaller handle is better, as you can always build it up with an overwrap if necessary.  Of course, be sure that the grip fits your hand size, or you could invite pickleball elbow.

I spend part of the year in a community in Florida which has very strict rules regarding paddle/ball noise.  Any paddle used in this community must be pre-tested and meet specific sound restrictions.  A bonus of the GXT is that it passed the sound test with flying colors.   Well over 100 paddles are on the allowable list and the GXT is one of the top 20 quietest paddles.

This is me at the 2019 Nationals tournament at Indian Wells! On my way to winning a silver medal in mixed doubles!

TMPR Sports added more models, the Ascend and the Oculus XT in 2019, and rumor has it they have another model, a quieter paddle coming out in 2020!

After I began using TMPR Sports paddles, I reached out to the Clark’s to see if I could become a TMPR dealer.  I was already selling another popular brand, and added TMPR to my offerings.  To see and read about all the TMPR Sports paddle models, click here or on the image above to go directly to their website.  For a limited time, you will receive a free gift with any paddle purchase when using this link.

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4 thoughts on “What paddle do I use? A paddle review”

  1. As you know, we are all different, I too tried the Tantrum and could not get any power or touch with it, the very next paddle I picked up, the Engage Maverick extended handled, was just perfect. It provides me with just enough power and reach, so my grade on your paddle would be very different and I will stick with the Engage product.


    1. Don, thanks for your comment! I assume you tried the Tantrum GXT….as you said you couldn’t get power from it. The other two Tantrums, the V and the T3 are the more power paddles with the T3 having both power and touch.
      But you hit the nail on the head. Picking a paddle is all about how it feels in your hand, not how it feels in mine!


  2. Betsy,

    I really enjoyed the latest post about paddles. I, too, am spending the winter in Florida near St. Pete Beach. My condo complex has pickleball available and I’m enjoying the play with a great group of residents. We are hearing rumors that some of the residents are starting to complain about our noise. If you could share your details/rules/experiences with your complex association, I would greatly appreciate it.


    John Knapp 419-704-2185


    Liked by 1 person

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