The sport of pickleball has exploded in popularity in recent years, with people of all ages flocking to courts across the country. As the sport grows, so does the paddle market, with many brands releasing new high-tech composites and designs aimed at boosting power and control.
Two of the most buzzed-about new pickleball paddles come from the upstart brand Vatic Pro. Their V7 Carbon Fiber and Prism Flash models caught my eye for their use of advanced materials and construction techniques. I took both paddles for an extensive on-court test drive to see if they live up to the hype in my Vatic Pro Pickleball Paddle Review.
Overview of Vatic Pro
Vatic Pro entered the paddle scene just a couple of years ago, but they’ve quickly made a name for themselves by focusing on high-end composites. According to the company, their goal is to create paddles with the “optimal intersection of Power, Grit, and Control.”
The brand only uses carbon fiber sourced from the renowned Japanese company Toray in their paddles. Most of their paddles feature a “unibody” design, with foam injected into the core to enhance the sweet spot and provide a more consistent feel across the surface. The company has found success so far, earning a strong customer following and sponsorship deals with several pro players.
I chose to test two of Vatic Pro’s most popular models that represent the overall evolution of their paddle technology in Vatic Pro Pickleball Paddle Review: the V7 Carbon Fiber and the newer Prism Flash.
V7 Carbon Fiber 16mm
The V7 Carbon Fiber paddle is built for control and power. The surface uses Toray T700 carbon fiber in a raw, unfinished weave that enhances spin and feel. The carbon wraps entirely around the paddle for increased pop and sustained tension.
With its 16mm core, the V7 is on the thinner side for a carbon fiber paddle, helping provide some extra touch on shots while still packing plenty of punch on drives and blocks. Foam injected into the walls expands the sweet spot area and rounded edge guards boost the paddle’s maneuverability.
Testing the V7 On Court
I took the V7 Carbon Fiber out for several rounds of pickleball, logging games with partners at various skill levels. Here were my impressions of how the paddle performed across key areas:
Power: As expected, the V7 brought some serious pop thanks to the carbon fiber construction. I was able to hit punchy serves and drive the ball deep with pace. The Vatic Pro Pickleball V7 responds crisply when you take a full swing, allowing you to be aggressive from anywhere on the court.
Control: For having such a lively feel, the V7 still provides sufficient control for keeping shots in play. The foam-filled core gives the paddle a plush sensation on contact to temper the power. Touch shots drop neatly in the kitchen and I could effectively change up spins. The balance between control and power was excellent.
Maneuverability: The rounded edges combined with the thinner core thickness make the V7 easy to wield. I had no issues getting the paddle in position quickly for reactive shots. The V7 almost feels like an extension of your hand. Volleys at the net were a breeze.
Touch: While the V7 grants you the power to hit forceful shots, it retains enough subtlety in its response to allow for finesse as well. Drop shots landed softly and I was able to hold back on power for placement shots. The multi-layer carbon damps vibration nicely for improved touch.
Consistency: Thanks to the expanded sweet spot from the foam injection, the Vatic Pro Pickleball Paddle V7 provides a consistent experience across the surface. Power and control remain steady even on mishits towards the edge. The paddle just feels very uniform regardless of where you make contact.
Durability: The T700 carbon fiber shows no signs of wear and tear after several outings. The paddle still looks and plays like new. The construction quality is outstanding. Vatic Pro offers a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty for defects and damage.
Comfort: The 5.3″ grip fit nicely in my hands and provides decent shock absorption. The grip length allows for a comfortable two-handed backhand. I experienced no arm fatigue even after long play sessions with the V7.
Looks: The shiny carbon fiber weave looks sleek and modern. The V7 garnered several compliments from other players. If you like flashy gear, the V7 delivers.
- Excellent pop and power from multilayer carbon fiber
- Good control for a powerful paddle
- Maneuverable and responsive
- Amazing touch on finesse shots
- Very durable construction
- Great looks and design
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Expensive, though justifies cost with performance
- Livelier feel may be too much power for some
- Not as forgiving as other paddles
The V7 Carbon Fiber 16mm lives up to its billing as a paddle that provides an excellent blend of power and control. The multiple layers of Toray carbon fiber imbue it with great touch and pop while the injected foam core enhances stability and consistency across the surface.
It’s easy to swing yet offers enough finesse for crafted shots. I’d recommend it for intermediate to advanced players seeking a responsive and versatile paddle. The quality craftsmanship also makes it a worthy investment. It’s not cheap, but delivers performance to match the price tag.
Vatic Pro Prism Flash
As the name suggests, the Prism Flash distinguishes itself through its unique manufacturing process. Rather than using high heat compression molding like most carbon fiber paddles, the Prism is cold-molded to create a different feel.
The Prism series aims to deliver a blend of power, control, and forgiveness suitable for all player levels. It shares the same Toray T700 carbon fiber face as the V7 but with a thicker core and foam-injected walls to enhance stability. This gives it a bit more pop while retaining control.
Testing the Prism Flash On Court
I put the Prism Flash through extensive on-court testing to see how the cold-molding process affects its playability. Here is how it stacked up:
Power: There’s no lack of pop with the Prism thanks to the carbon fiber face and thicker core. It provides plenty of speed and force on drives and blocks. The paddle feels very lively in your hands. The power level feels slightly toned-down from the V7 but still quite potent.
Control: The Prism grants slightly more control than I expected for such a powerful paddle. It has a forgiving sweet spot to keep shots in play, likely due to the foam-filled walls. The cold-molding gives the Prism a softer feel upon contact for better control.
Maneuverability: With its rounded edges and modest 7.7″ width, the Prism Flash handles nimbly. Changing direction for quick reaction shots was no trouble. The balance makes it easy to maneuver.
Touch: As with the V7, the multilayer carbon helps produce excellent touch on finesse shots. I was able to shape soft drop shots with ease. The cold-molding process seems to enhance the Prism’s buttery feel on delicate shots and at the net.
Consistency: Across the playing surface, the Prism Flash maintains its high level of playability. Power and control stay consistent thanks to the expanded sweet spot from the edge walls. No dead spots to speak of.
Durability: After a few weeks of play, the Prism still looks and feels new. The construction quality is rock solid and built to last. Based on materials alone, I’d expect a long usable life. Vatic Pro provides the same 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Comfort: The grip and weight felt comfortable even during marathon sessions. Vatic seemed to nail the grip size and length. My hands never fatigued and I felt in control.
Looks: The Prism features the same sleek carbon weave style as the V7. The bold black and silver color scheme looks modern and attractive.
- Impressive power from the carbon face
- Superb control from the cold-molded core
- Very forgiving and consistent across paddle face
- Excellent finesse and touch
- Durable and robust build quality
- Attractive, sleek aesthetics
- Designed for all skill levels
- Also expensive, though a top value
- Not as quick and maneuverable as other paddles
- Lacks the lively pop of the V7
The Prism Flash impresses me as an exceptionally well-rounded paddle. The cold-molding production gives it lively power tempered with buttery control. It possesses enough touch for finesse shots but can still hammer the ball when needed.
The thicker core adds stability and power while the foam-filled walls expand the sweet spot. It’s a paddle suitable for all play styles – you can play both offense and defense with aplomb. Players looking for a balanced carbon fiber option should have the Prism Flash high on their list.
Comparing the V7 and Prism Flash
The V7 and Prism Flash share some clear similarities, but the differences in their construction result in unique playing experiences.
Power: The V7’s thinner profile gives it a livelier, more explosive pop. The Prism compensates for its thicker core with the cold-molding process to still provide lively power. But the V7 takes the edge for pure speed and force.
Control: Thanks to its molded walls and foam core, the Prism Flash ekes out slightly more control. It has a softer, more dampened feel suited to keeping shots in play.
Consistency: The edge goes to the Prism here. Its thicker core and focused sweet spot give it the advantage in consistency across the face.
Ideal Player Level: With its blend of power and control, the V7 leans more towards intermediate and advanced players. The Prism Flash’s friendlier power level and excellent control work well for anyone from beginners to experienced players.
Both paddles are attractively constructed with premium Toray carbon fiber. You really can’t go wrong with either one – the choice comes down to personal preference. I’d recommend the V7 to players wanting more crisp pop and quickness, while the Prism better suits those prioritizing control and consistency.
You’ll improve your pickleball game with both paddles. Having tested them extensively, I can confirm Vatic Pro’s designs live up to expectations and justify their premium pricing.
Vatic Pro’s Technology and Innovation
A closer look at what sets Vatic Pro paddles apart from the competition:
Toray Carbon Fiber
The key to the performance of both the V7 and Prism Flash lies in Vatic’s use of Toray T700 carbon fiber. This high-modulus carbon shows up across many top-shelf paddle brands due to its excellent strength-to-weight ratios and vibration damping.
The T700 material consists of ultra-thin carbon fibers woven together using precision automated processes. This yields a material that’s both lightweight yet extremely rigid – perfect properties for pickleball paddles. Vatic Pro sources T700 directly from the manufacturer Toray to guarantee they’re getting the best quality carbon available.
In the V7 and Prism Flash paddles, the T700 carbon gets wrapped around the entire perimeter of the paddle in multiple layers. This edge-to-edge carbon increases the overall punch of shots while providing compelling aesthetics.
The bare, raw carbon fiber finish on the paddle faces further enhances the precise feel and control. The textured exposed weave gives the ball extra “bite” upon contact, resulting in amazing spin potential.
Rather than assembling paddles in pieces, Vatic Pro pioneered a unibody construction process that yields superior performance consistency across the paddle face.
They achieve this by wrapping the edges in carbon fiber then using precision molds to inject expanding foam into the core through small holes. The foam bonds with the inside of the frame to create a tightly integrated, gapless paddle body.
This unibody process expands the sweet spot significantly while dampening vibration and enhancing stability. By keeping wall stiffness uniform across the paddle, performance stays consistent whether you hit center court or along the edges.
Foam Injected Honeycomb Core
At the heart of the V7 and Prism paddles lies an aerospace-grade polymer honeycomb core that provides optimal flex and feedback. The honeycomb cell structure evenly distributes impact forces for great durability under continuous play.
Vatic Pro takes the core a step further by injecting expanding foam into the honeycomb gaps. The foam compresses and expands during play to produce extra vibration dampening for a buttery smooth feel on off-center hits.
The injected foam also allows Vatic to tune the paddle flex and sweet spot size. More foam means more dampening, less vibration, and an expanded sweet spot. It’s an elegant engineering solution.
Cold Molding (Prism Only)
While most carbon fiber paddles get molded using extreme heat and compression, Vatic Pro realized there was a better way. For their Prism series, Vatic Pro pioneered a cold molding process that doesn’t require high temperatures.
Rather than baking the paddle layers together, the Prism gets assembled by precision adhesive bonding aided by minimal heat. The lower temperatures help maintain the intrinsic feel and vibration dampening properties of the carbon fiber and foam layers.
The result is a paddle with exceptional control, finesse, and buttery smoothness that retains the lively power of carbon. Cold molding also enables Vatic to alter the flex profile and feel of the Prism models to better suit players at all levels.
Vatic Customization Options
Beyond their impressive technology, Vatic Pro paddles also come with outstanding customization potential. Buyers can choose color options for the paddle edge guards and upgrade to premium grips.
Even more impactful is Vatic’s custom weight tuning service. You can specify your preferred paddle weight down to 0.2oz increments. For a small upcharge, Vatic Pro will hand tune each paddle to match your ideal heft and balance. This custom spec process ensures you receive a paddle tailored specifically to your swing style and handling preferences.
A: Vatic Pro offers custom weight tuning, so you can get the V7 and Prism in your ideal weight range (approx. 7.5oz to 8.5oz).
A: Yes, Vatic provides several color options for the edge guard and offers upgraded grip styles and colors.
A: The V7 prioritizes power and quickness, so it suits more aggressive players. The Prism leans towards control and consistency for all-around play.
A: Vatic paddles are designed in California but manufactured in facilities across Asia. Quality control adherence is strict.
A: Retail pricing is around $219 for the V7 and $199 for the Prism Flash. Competitive for premium carbon fiber paddles.
Final Verdict: Paddles That Pack a Punch
After extensive testing, I can wholeheartedly recommend both the V7 Carbon Fiber and Prism Flash paddles for players seeking superior performance and quality construction. Vatic Pro clearly leans into premium materials and innovative manufacturing techniques.
The V7 Carbon Fiber 16mm stands out with its lively pop and excellent blend of power and control. The Prism Flash similarly impresses with its unique cold-molded build that grants exceptional touch and consistency across the face.
These paddles justify their premium pricing with outstanding playability you’ll appreciate every time you step on the court. If you play pickleball regularly and want to upgrade your gear, Vatic Pro needs to be on your radar. The V7 and Prism Flash represent the future of elite composite paddle design.