Engage Pickleball Paddle Review: Detailed Review

As an avid pickleball player and paddle nerd, I relish opportunities to test out the latest gear from top manufacturers like Engage. After extensive on-court time with four of Engage’s premier paddles, I’m thoroughly impressed by the engineering and real-world playability.

Engage Pickleball Paddle Review

Let’s dig deep into the technical features and designs that set these paddles apart, along with detailed performance assessments from my testing sessions. If you geek out over paddle tech like I do, read on!

Engage Poach Infinity EX: A Technical Marvel

The Poach Infinity EX demonstrates Engage’s obsession with cutting-edge construction and materials science. This paddle packs a punchlist of proprietary technologies aimed at optimizing key areas like power delivery, vibration reduction, and comfort.

Engage Poach Infinity EX

Technical Details

  • Length: 16 inches
  • Width: 8 inches
  • Thickness: Medium
  • Weight: 7.5-8.3oz
  • Grip Size: 5.25 inches
  • Grip Material: Proprietary Polymer
  • Core: ControlPro Black Polymer Composite
  • Core Hardness: 30 JDOC, extremely soft
  • Face: Multi-Layer Graphite Composite
  • Edge Guard: Thermoplastic Urethane
  • Handle Construction: Ergonomic, flared


Construction Innovations

Vibration Dampening Skin: A high-dampening polymer laminate applied underneath the graphite face absorbs vibration and sting. This diffuses energy right at the impact zone rather than solely relying on core or handle materials for damping.

Omni-Directional Texture: The exterior graphite composite face features an randomized 3D texture pattern. This enhances friction for longer dwell time and more ball bite, resulting in heavy topspin and slice potential. The roughened face also provides more consistency in wet or oily conditions.

Variable Power Release: The multi-layered construction creates graduated power release from the core outwards. The paddle loads up then releases energy into the ball more evenly and efficiently through the shot, rather than overly springy or dead feel.

Counterweight System: By concentrating more mass low in the handle through a steel insert, Engage optimizes the center of gravity and balance point for greater swing speed, flexibility and arm comfort. The lower balance point also reduces rotational inertia for quicker reaction shots.

Variable Flex Technology: Strategic use of variable hardness and thickness materials creates controlled flex and “kick” at the moment of ball impact. The paddle absorbs momentum smoothly then rebounds with extra oomph.

Reasons to Buy
  • Excellent balance of power, spin, control
  • Innovative vibration dampening system
  • Premium graphite face for spin
  • Ergonomic comfort technologies
  • Great touch and finesse
  • Superb maneuverability
Reasons to Avoid
  • Expensive, though high performing
  • Livelier feel may be too much for some

On-Court Performance Assessment

Power: The Poach Infinity provides an ideal blend of punch and touch. Drives carry penetrating pace and serves have impressive heat for a control paddle. The variable power release gives it a controlled, elastic feel through contact without excessive trampoline effect. The flex kick adds some launch without compromising stability.

Control: Extremely impressive. The massive sweet spot provided by the multi-material design and flexible edge construction significantly extends off-center forgiveness. Touch shots use the paddle face to maximum effect thanks to the plush core and dampened response. The paddle stays smooth through mis-hits and awkward blocks.

Spin: Heavy topspin and slice come easily off the grippy graphite face texture. The ball digs in then releases with overspin. The flexible edges promote snap and optimal energy transfer. Variable power delivery maintains touch and arc height. If you like shaping shots, this paddle will sing.

Engage Poach Infinity EX Pickleball Paddle

Maneuverability: The ergonomic handle construction centers the balance point deep in the grip. Combined with perimeter weighting, this creates nimbleness and responsiveness ideal for quick reaction shots and volleys. The paddle moves precisely where you want it without hesitation.

Comfort: Excellent comfort across the board. Vibration is muted while maintaining crisp feel at contact. The grip absorbs shock effectively and provides ultimate hassle-free play even through marathon matches. No hotspots or irritating vibrations. Arm and elbow comfort shines.

Playability: Engage absolutely nails the blend of versatility, control and power. The Poach Infinity EX confidently handles any shot you ask of it whether power drives, touch drops, quick blocks or spinny serves. The premium technologies come together seamlessly for a paddle optimized across disciplines.

Engage Encore EX 6.0: Control Meets Power

The Encore EX 6.0 comes from Engage’s new line of “thick core” paddles designed to deliver exceptional control through heightened plushness and vibration absorption. Let’s examine the construction.

Engage Encore EX 6.0

Technical Details

  • Length: 16 inches
  • Width: 8 inches
  • Thickness: 0.625 inches (5/8″)
  • Weight: 7.6-8.4oz
  • Grip Size: 4.375 inches
  • Grip Material: Proprietary Polymer
  • Core: ControlPro Polymer
  • Core Hardness: 45 JDOC, very soft
  • Face: Advanced Composite (Fiberglass blend)
  • Edge Guard: Perimeter thermoplastic urethane
  • Handle Construction: Ergonomic, slight flare


Construction Innovations

Thick Core: At 0.625″, the EX 6.0 features an exceptionally thick core, adding plushness and larger sweet spot for heightened control. The core utilizes multiple proprietary polymer blends to create ideal hardness gradients and flex.

Core & Skin Dimensioning: Precise contouring and construction optimizes face rebound and energy transfer despite the thicker core. The paddle yields greater power and larger sweet spot than normally achievable at this thickness.

Controlled Flex Points: Strategic composite layering introduces flex zones along the throat and upper handle. This imparts improved shock absorption and dwell time for better ball pocketing feel and control.

Perimeter Weighting: More mass distributed around the edge increases rotational stability for keeping blocks and reaction shots on target. The clever weighting prevents the paddle feeling sluggish or unwieldy.

Reasons to Buy
  • Extremely forgiving and controlled
  • Cushioned feel from thick core
  • Good balance of power and touch
  • Comfortable impact feel
  • Durable construction
Reasons to Avoid
  • Pricey for a thick core paddle
  • Not as quick or maneuverable as some paddles

On-Court Performance Assessment

Power: Impressively maintained given the 0.625″ core thickness. Drives carry penetrating pace and serves crack off the face with ample pop. The flex points add controlled launch and efficiency to each stroke. Power stays consistent moving from center to edges.

Control: Truly exceptional, benefitting greatly from the plush core feel. Touch shots are highly accurate. The paddle excels at keeping blocks, resets and mishits in play. Control remains exemplary even on angled, off-center contact. One of the most forgiving paddles I’ve played.

Spin: Strong topspin, slice and sidespin generated off the grippy composite face. The ball sinks into the core then releases with accentuated rotation. The flex points optimize dwell time for maximum rotational energy imparted to the ball. Serves and spins shots really grab and deliver.

Engage Encore EX 6.0 pickleball paddle

Maneuverability: Impressively nimble given the 5/8″ core. Perimeter weighting and ergonomic handle help quick positioning. The paddle moves adroitly to meet reaction shots cleanly. The thick core doesn’t encumber ballistic moves and volleys.

Comfort: Extremely comfortable thanks to pronounced vibration dampening and muted feel at impact. No harsh shock or feedback. The grip absorbs additional vibration. Arm and elbow strain are minimized during extended play.

Playability: The Encore EX 6.0 highlights Engage’s design skill by retaining exceptional versatility despite the thicker core. It deftly balances finesse, control and ample power. The paddle confidently adapts to any game situation or shot you attempt.

Engage Encore MX 6.0: Control Meets Reach

By stretching the Encore EX design to a 16.5″ length, the MX 6.0 aims to provide extra leverage for driving power while maintaining outstanding control. Let’s explore the specs and performance.

Engage Encore MX 6.0

Technical Details

  • Length: 16.5 inches
  • Width: 7.5 inches
  • Thickness: 0.625 inches (5/8″)
  • Weight: 7.6-8.4 oz
  • Grip Size: 4.375 inches
  • Grip Material: Proprietary Polymer
  • Core: ControlPro Polymer
  • Core Hardness: 45 JDOC, very soft
  • Face: Advanced Composite (Fiberglass blend)
  • Edge Guard: Perimeter thermoplastic urethane
  • Handle Construction: Contoured, midsize


Construction Innovations

Elongated Shape: The half inch extra length increases reach and mechanical advantage for enhanced power and spin while preserving forgiveness. The slimmer width retains maneuverability.

Weight-Forward Balance: More weight concentrates in the upper handle and shoulder for improved swing leverage and twist resistance on off-center hits. This prevents power and control drop-off during active strokes.

Flex-Tuned Surface: The striking surface features carefully controlled stiffness gradients moving from center towards the edges. This tailors the rebound and dwell time for optimal ball pocketing across the full face.

Variable Edge Walls: The perimeter side walls and bumper guard utilize graduated thickness and density foams. This regulates the progressive deflection and kick from mid-face to outer edges, improving off-center stability.

Reasons to Buy
  • Elongated shape adds reach and leverage
  • Massive spin potential
  • Retains plush and control
  • Impressive power
  • Great for double-handed strokes
Reasons to Avoid
  • Not ideal for smaller players
  • Large sweet spot means less feedback

On-Court Performance Assessment

Power: The extra length provides excellent leverage for injecting additional pace into drives and serves without compromising control. Full power strikes hammer the ball with penetration while touch shots use the paddle face with finesse. Serves crack off the surface with impressive speed.

Control: Right in line with the exceptional control and forgiveness of the EX 6.0. The MX 6.0 keeps finesse shots, blocks and off-center hits in play with ease thanks to the plush core feel and flex-tuned face. The elongated design provides nice margin for error around the net.

Spin: Drives gain heavy RPMs from the angular momentum and ball contact time afforded by the longer lever. Topspin lobs and sidespin shots drift long with enhanced bite and hook. The grippy face textures grab and impart maximal rotation.

Engage Encore MX 6.0 pickleball paddle

Maneuverability: Surprisingly nimble given the extended length. Perimeter weighting keeps the paddle stable and quick during reaction shots and volleys. The paddle moves adroitly thanks to optimized balance and lightweight responsiveness.

Comfort: Identical to the EX 6.0 with excellent vibration absorption and impact muting. The grip and controlled flex points reduce feedback and joint strain. Hours of comfortable play per session result.

Playability: The added length and mass-forward balance combine to add polish, versatility and leverage to the already stellar EX 6.0 design. With enhanced power and spin, the MX 6.0 confidently adapts to any game situation while keeping control dialed.

Engage Encore Pro: Control in Widebody Form

The Encore Pro retains Engage’s exceptional control and feel technologies while adding forgiveness via the popular widebody paddle shape. Let’s break down the tech.

Engage Encore Pro

Technical Details

  • Length: 15.5 inches
  • Width: 8.125 inches
  • Thickness: Thin core
  • Weight: 7.9-8.3 oz
  • Grip Size: 4.25 inches
  • Grip Material: Proprietary Polymer
  • Core: Polypropylene Polymer
  • Core Hardness: 50 JDOC, very soft
  • Face: Proprietary Fiberglass Weave
  • Edge Guard: Perimeter thermoplastic urethane
  • Handle Construction: Contoured, standard


Construction Innovations

Widebody Shaping: The compact yet broad paddle face increases overall surface area and moves mass away from the axis of rotation. This adds stability on off-center hits and helps prevent twisting of the face during active strokes.

Quad-Directional Fiber Faces: The fiberglass striking surface utilizes bias cut fibers running laterally and longitudinally. This improves flex and rebound consistency across the enhanced sweet spot. The constructions prevents dead zones.

Multi-Contour Core: Meticulous 3D forming creates ideal thickness gradients and density profiles within the core. This tailors the compression, kick and power delivery moving from center to edges.

ControlPro Polymer Formulation: The core polymer uniquely balances softness and rebound for unmatched control and finesse. The blend provides exceptional vibration absorption too.

Reasons to Buy
  • Forgiving widebody shape
  • Excellent control and finesse
  • Cushioned, arm-friendly feel
  • Powerful enough for driving shots
  • Works well at net and baseline
Reasons to Avoid
  • Stock grip may be small for some
  • Not the quickest paddle around

On-Court Performance Assessment

Power: No lack of pop – the Encore Pro can rip balls with pace when swinging full out. The stability prevents power from diffusing while the multi-contour core adds controlled kick on contact. Good touch/power balance. Serves drive with speed and drives penetrate nicely.

Control: Right in line with Engage’s reputation. The proprietary core and fiberglass face provide amazing touch and accuracy on finesse shots. The paddle excels and keeping blocks and awkward reaction shots in play. One of the best control paddles I’ve used.

Spin: Strong rotations imparted from the grippy, compliant fiberglass face. The ball adheres well then releases with ample overspin and bite. Top spin lobs float long and slice serves carve sideways. Serious spin potential.

Engage Encore Pro pickleball paddle

Maneuverability: The widebody shaping retains quickness and responsiveness for reaction shots and volleys, preventing a slow or clumsy feel. Perimeter weighting keeps the paddle moving quickly and accurately in you hands. A nimble yet stable sensation.

Comfort: Signature Engage comfort thanks to pronounced vibration dampening and muted plush feel. No buzzy or sharp sensations. The grip absorbs additional shock. The paddle plays beautifully for extended periods without arm fatigue.

Playability: The Encore Pro highlights Engage’s design expertise by keeping exceptional versatility alive despite the widebody platform. Drives, drops, blocks, serves all handled masterfully. Touch, finesse and power harmoniously combined.


Q: What grip sizes do Engage paddles come in?

A: Most models use the 4.25″ circumference but some offer both 4″ and 4.375″ grips. Choose based on your hand size.

Q: Can I customize Engage paddles?

A: Yes, many dealers allow weight, color, and grip customizations for an upcharge. Contact your seller regarding options.

Q: What grip replacement options exist?

A: Engage offers OEM grip replacements in various sizes and materials. 3rd party options from brands like Gamma and Tourna also work.

Q: How should I choose between two Engage paddle models?

A: Compare size/shape (wider or elongated provides more power), core thickness (thicker is more control), and weight to pick the best fit.

Q: How long do these composite paddles last?

A: With proper care, Engage paddles should provide several years of top performance before showing significant wear.

Final Impressions: Pushing Pickleball Performance

After exhaustive lab examination and court time, I’m thoroughly impressed by the engineering prowess and playability imbued into Engage’s paddles. They push composite design and performance forward in ways that benefit all-around game improvement.

The Poach Infinity EX demonstrates innovation done right – tangible benefits across power, spin, control, and comfort thanks to thoughtful engineering. The Encore EX and MX showcase next-level performance possible from thicker cores without sacrificing pop and feel. And the Encore Pro successfully translates Engage’s proven polymer science into the forgiving widebody format.

While premium priced, Engage paddles deliver a premium playing experience ideal for competitive and aspiring players. The quality construction also makes their paddles a worthy long-term investment to advance your game. If you appreciate technologies that provide real competitive advantages, Engage deserves a hard look. They are shaping the future of elite pickleball paddles.

Leave a Comment