Experience what you never have before, ever, in pickleball
Key Features/Benefits of this Technology:
- Durability: Trust your Gear. Play with Unmatched Durability
- No Delamination, No Honeycomb Core, No Soft Spots, No Edge
- Carbon Fiber Structure, High Strength/Low Weight (Using Aerospace Composites)
- Single Piece Molded Construction, Handle Included, Which Is NOT At All Vulnerable Like With Most All Other Paddles
- USAPA Approved
With Solid Span Technlology, you never have to worry about glue/laminate failing over time due to extreme temperatures (sitting in the trunk of your car on a hot summer day, or on a below freezing winter day). You don't have to worry about dead spots due to delamination or failure of the honeycomb plastic/polymer. You really don't have to worry about colliding paddles when your partner poaches, aside from potential cosmetic flaws. You'll never have to worry about the handle failing because the SST paddles are 1 entire piece which includes the handle. The SST is not solid carbon fiber, there are channels of void to keep the paddle light, but the these paddles are by far the sturdiest built paddles on the market. Watch the videos below and learn more about SST!
Learn more from Rafael Filipini (Gearbox's Mastermind) about Patented SST (Solid Span Technology) in these video clips. Rafael shows the internals of paddles, how they are made, what they look like under the skin, and how SST differs from the traditional honeycomb paddles that everyone else manufactures. He gets a little technical but coming from a structural engineering background, what he is saying is completely accurate. There's a ton of intelligence built into these paddles based on volumes of analytics and actual firsthand use/experience. The videos below are from 2 different interviews and so there is a lot of repetition but also each has unique concepts discussed, so I'm posting both in most cases. They will help open your eyes to the BRILLIANCE in the engineering design and manufacture that is found in this technology. I highly recommend that you increase the playback speed to 1.5 or greater, it's still understandable but you'll get through them much quicker.
These next videos talk about the some of the benefits of this design in the edgeless consideration, durability and spin characteristics due to the slimness of the design and not due to the texture of the skin of the paddle. Being more agile with less resistance is what facilitates spin compared to the much thicker honeycomb paddles. The 2nd video is kind of repetitive, but pretty short. He gets a little more aggressive in the 2nd video on his demonstration of beating the paddles together to convey the durability aspect of these indestructible paddles.
These next videos talk about the interchangeability of these paddles. For example, the handle is easily converted from a 3 5/8 circumference to a 3 15/16 circumference. You may initially like the smaller skinnier grip and after a while decide or discover that you do better with a larger thicker grip. The handle design is very flexible that way. Also, he explains the different options of power vs. control and heavy vs light and that you may want the same design but different characteristics/playability for different conditions, such as: singles vs. doubles, indoor vs. outdoor, wind vs. calm. For example, you may want a heavier paddle for windy conditions or for singles where most of the play is at the back court instead of at the kitchen. This of course would mean that you'd want two separate paddles, say a blue GX5 Power 8.5 when hitting into the wind but then switching to the green GX5 Power 7.8 when the wind is at your back. The idea is that they'd feel similar, that your stroke would not need to change much if even at all. In the last/3rd video (which is short), he talks about tennis players using different string tensions for different altitudes and how you could accomplish the same by altering paddle selection (assuming you're playing tournaments in different altitudes). He also talks about acoustics of the old vs. new Gearbox paddles and he talks about the warranty, that you'll likely never care about (need).
These next videos again go into more technical depth about characteristics like Control vs. Power vs. Weight. They can hopefully give you an idea of where to begin, what might match your style of play most. If you're a control player, you may want a control paddle. Another consideration, perhaps rather than match your style of play, you want to counter your style of play. If you're typically a power player and hit everything hard, perhaps you want a lighter control paddle to help you adapt to a more control style game. There is a good chance that you already know how to generate power with your swing, so a softer touch paddle would help you develop a control game. Perhaps you see everyone around you spanking the crap out of a ball and you never seem to be able to, so you may elect to wield the heavy power (blue) GX5 or GX6. Whatever your motivation, these videos will hopefully help you start thinking about your game and what type of paddle would be best for you. Maybe you don't want just one paddle, maybe you want to have options, which is what happened to me and explains how/why I decided to become a reseller :)
Gearbox DOES make honeycomb paddles, and it is Rafael's claim that they are far superior to any other honeycomb paddle on the market and for a far lower price. The CP7 is an enlongated honeycomb paddle with a 5" (longer) handle, identical in shape to the Gearbox SST GX6 (also to the Selkirk Invikta), but is substantially lower in price than those paddles. There is also a GH7+ which is shaped more like your traditional asymmetrical squarish wide body paddle, and is their most affordable paddle they offer. There is also an older GH7L which is older, and is enlongated but has quite a short handle. It follows more the shape of a blade style paddle such as the GAMMA needle or pin, also similar to the Selkirk Maxima or Omni. Hear what Rafael has to say about his honeycomb paddles compared to the rest of the industry. Please be aware that these honeycomb offerings are admittedly inferior to their sibling SST paddles and are strictly intended to reach a lower cost/income demographic. That said, I saw 4.5 rated player Yulia Lin playing with the blue 8.5 CP7 Gearbox honeycomb paddle at the Legends Woodbridge Spring Fling Tournament on 4/11/21 (<-------------------------------see left) :)
If you're curious to know more about Rafael and what his interests are and what drove him to come up with this SST design, you can watch these videos on the history of Gearbox. Rafael is an avid former racquetball player and now pickleball player, and he is an Engineer. He has pursued his passions, and as an Engineer is always looking for ways to improve things that need improving. I wanted him to look at manufacturing pickleballs because there is a HUGE need for a good pickleball ball. The DURA Fast 40 is a great ball but breaks WAY too easily. The Franklin X40 is a little more durable, not quite as lively, but often they are out of round and bounce wonky-like. We need a ball like the Dura Fast 40 that lasts much much longer. People will pay more for a ball that has good response but that is durable. Rafael initially said he does not think there is money to be made in that market, claiming that these companies are already putting out great products. I however respectfully disagree! Update as of 4/6/21, Gearbox will be making/selling balls. I have tried them and they are GREAT. They are a little lighter I think, seem to move more in the wind (which is the down side), but on non-windy days they play like the Dura Fast 40 and so far to me they seem to be more durable. I have played with the Gearbox ball several times and have yet to break one. In all fairness, I have not subjected it to cold temperatures (yet). If this ball proves to be more durable than the Franklin X-40, it will be my new "go-to" ball. Thanks Gearbox/Rafael!!!