I have a new favorite paddle and it’s the Holbrook Power Pro E 16mm Pickleball Paddle. I was introduced to the Holbrook brand because my local tennis shop carried it. Not knowing too much about Holbrook, I dug a little deeper. The company is named after the Holbrook family and was founded by two brothers who get a little help from their father. The brand, based in Utah, in my opinion is not as well known as other esteemed brands such as Joola, Engage, and Selkirk but their goal seems to be melding great design with great tech. Their image, in my eyes, may be changing as the Holbrook Power Pro E 16mm paddle is a winner.
The length and width of 16.5″ to 7.5″ is pretty standard for an elongated paddle. Here, I superimposed my Joola Ben Johns Hyperion paddle over the Holbrook Power Pro E, and it’s almost an exact match. The Joola Hyperion Pro has a slightly thinner neck while the Holbrook is just a fraction longer. The Power Pro E at 7.7 – 8 ounces is on the lighter side.
The 5.25″ handle (4.25″ circumference) feels amazing. It has that sponginess and tackiness that I prefer. No issues getting two hands on the paddle if you have a two handed backhand.
The paddle I tested was their thickest offering at 16mm. They also make a 14mm version. The 16mm generally offers better control for harder hitters.
I’m a fan of raw carbon fiber paddles and the Holbrook Power Pro E uses T700 raw carbon fiber. The paddle surface feels like fine sandpaper to me. I do get the usual tiny plastic Pickleball pieces stuck on the paddle face after a few games (use the CRBN Eraser to clean that up). The paddle core is made of polypropylene and is foam injected on the sides of the paddle to both add perimeter weighting and forgiveness to off center hits. The core itself goes into the handle as one piece. This makes for a stronger and stiffer paddle as you do not have a separate handle fused to the paddle core in less expensive paddles.
Holbrook prides themselves on design and I have to say, I do like the black and white theme that they use. It has clean lines and text and minimal graphics. This paddle just oozes quality and is well made. The edge guard is tightly secured, the handle feels premium. Everything is tucked and nothing it out of place.
Going from the Joola Hyperion to the Holbrook Power Pro did not require any transition time for me. As I mentioned previously, it is a stiffer feeling paddle (but is easy on the arm). The spin is excellent and what I would have expected from a raw carbon fiber face. There were no issues getting my drives to bite and dip low, and I could pull off topspin lobs easily. The lighter weight did not negatively impact my baseline drives. In fact, I found the power to be surprisingly good – and acoustic-wise, you hear a very satisfying pop when you hit the sweet spot.
The lighter weight was certainly helpful at the net. The paddle is well balanced for those firefights at the net. Control on dinks are consistent and the paddle resets hard attacks and hits half volleys well. It is forgiving on off center hits. Feel-wise, the thick core 16mm paddle plays like a thinner paddle.
I enjoyed playing with the Holbrook Power Pro E 16mm so much that I ended up purchasing it from my local tennis shop. It plays like the more expensive Ben Johns Perseus paddle (which I’m also a fan of) so there is some value there. But the main reason was that the paddle fit my power and spin game and improved my hand speed at the net (vs my Joola Hyperion Pro paddle). It remains to be seen whether we see more Holbrook paddles being used on the Pickleball courts. Happy Pickling!
Side note: If you are wondering about the Holbrook Mav Pro which was their previous model to the Power Pro. I did test it out as well but cannot recommend it – mainly because it had a softer feeling to it, and I could not feel the paddle surface gripping the ball.