Babolat Pickleball Paddle Review: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re in the market for a new pickleball paddle, you may have come across Babolat’s line of premium paddles. As one of the most well-known tennis racquet brands in the world, Babolat entered the pickleball scene in 2019 with its innovative MNSTR series.

In this in-depth Babolat pickleball paddle review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Babolat’s pickleball paddle models including the MNSTR Power, MNSTR Touch, and the Babolat 2021 paddle lineup. You’ll get details on paddle specs, key features and technologies, performance for different play styles, pros and cons, and final recommendations on who each Babolat paddle is best suited for.

Best Babolat Pickleball Paddles

Babolat currently offers four main pickleball paddle models:

  • MNSTR Power – Babolat’s power pickleball paddle designed for spin and speed. Ideal for aggressive players.
  • MNSTR Touch – Control-focused paddle in the MNSTR line optimized for touch shots. Great for finesse play.
  • Babolat 2021 Pickleball Paddles – Babolat’s newer 2021 paddle lineup including the Rebel, Renegade, and XPLR models. Offer different blend of control and power.
  • Babolat Accessories – Babolat also offers pickleball paddle bags, paddle grips, and edge guard tape accessories.

Within the MNSTR line, the Power and Touch models share many of the same technologies and materials in their construction. The main difference comes down to the surface roughness and grip size which makes the Power optimized for power and spin, while the Touch promotes better control and touch shots.

Both MNSTR paddles feature Babolat’s high-end technologies like a polymer honeycomb core, carbon fiber faces, and EVA foam comfort grips. They offer a premium playing experience suitable for intermediate, advanced, and professional level players.

Babolat’s newer 2021 pickleball paddle models like the Rebel, Renegade, and XPLR dial in different specs to cater to various play styles and preferences. For example, the Rebel focuses more on power and forgiveness, while the Renegade emphasizes spin and control.

Babolat Pickleball Paddle Specs and Features

Construction and Materials

Babolat uses high-quality materials and innovative technologies to optimize the performance capabilities of their paddles. Here are some of the key specs and features:

Polymer Honeycomb Core – Babolat pickleball paddles use an aerospace-grade polymer honeycomb core called Core Carbo Flex Technology. The honeycomb design maximizes power and stability for solid, consistent shots without compromising touch and feel.

Carbon Fiber Faces – Constructed using 100% premium carbon fiber for an ideal blend of touch, power, and high tensile strength. Provides great pop and ball control on shots.

Thickness – Both MNSTR paddles are medium thick at 0.80 inches. The 2021 Babolat paddles range from 0.77 to 0.80 inches thick.

Grip – Babolat uses comfortable EVA foam grips on all models. The MNSTR line offers a slim profile grip in 4 1/8″ or 4 1/4″ options. 2021 Babolat grips are 4 1/4″ standard.

Weight – Weights range from 7.5 oz to 8.1 oz, providing a nice lightweight feel and quick handling.

Edge Guard – Perimeter edge guard protection helps minimize chip damage from hits off the playing surface.

Unique technologies – Babolat uses technologies like Diamond Carbon Face Hardening to increase ball spin and speed retention over time. The Elliptic Carbon Fiber pattern is molded to optimize flex and stability.

Playing Styles Suited For

With the blend of power, spin, control, and forgiveness built into Babolat’s paddles, they work well for various playing styles and levels.

Aggressive attack – The Power MNSTR and 2021 Rebel excel for aggressive shot makers and spin-focused games. Ideal for driving power, putting spin on serves, and quick volley exchanges at the net.

Control and finesse – The Touch MNSTR and Renegade 2021 provide great touch and control for placing shots. Excellent for dropping delicate touch shots or handling blocks and resets with precision.

All-around play – Babolat paddles offer a versatile blend of power and control. Paddles like the 2021 XPLR suit all-around games for both singles and doubles play.

Beginner to advanced – While optimized for intermediate to pro players, Babolat paddles offer enough forgiveness and playability for beginners but still give advanced players pro-level performance.

MNSTR Power Pickleball Paddle Review

Babolat MNSTR Power

Designed for dominating power and heavy spin, the Babolat MNSTR Power excels for aggressive games centered around drives, volleys, and put-away shots. Let’s dig into the key specs and performance.

Power and Control Rating

Power – 9.5/10

Control – 8/10

The Power version rates very high on power as you’d expect. With the rough carbon fiber face, it bites into the ball exceptionally well to deliver explosive pop on contact. You can really lean into shots to drive the ball with force.

It still provides enough control and stability for consistent shots, but favors power and spin over fine touch placement. Great for attacking shots and driving through the ball.

Design and Build Quality

Right away the MNSTR Power shows Babolat’s high standards of quality craftsmanship. It has a sleek, professional design finished with premium materials.

The aerospace honeycomb polymer core gives it rock solid stability without deadening feel. Babolat’s carbon fiber formation creates ideal flex patterns for power. The rough texture on the hitting surface generates tremendous spin.

At 7.8 ounces, the paddle feels extremely quick and smooth yet still provides nice heft for plowing through returns. The grip size is on the smaller side for added quickness.

Playstyle Suitability

  • Aggressive attack – Ideal for spinning serves, forehand drives, and punch volleys
  • Power baseliner – Excellent stability and pop for keeping balls deep and moving opponents back
  • Spin and pace – Rough surface texture lets you take huge cuts while loading balls with heavy spin
  • Quick exchanges – Lightweight and quick handling for fast volleys and reaction returns
  • Developing transition game – Generates power to help you practice consistently driving through balls

MNSTR Power Pros

  • Impressive power and spin
  • Very quick and responsive feel
  • Great pop and ball speed off shots
  • Easy to swing aggressively thanks to lightweight design
  • Comfortable grip even when used barehanded
  • Perimeter edge guard for extra durability

MNSTR Power Cons

  • Not as much finesse and touch as other paddles
  • Grip is smaller than some may prefer
  • Premium price tag

Who is the MNSTR Power Best For?

The Babolat Power caters squarely to aggressive and spin-focused players. If you like to dictate points with sharp angle drives, spin serves, and quick reflex exchanges at the net, it’s an excellent match.

Intermediate players looking to add more zip and spin to their shots will appreciate the punchy power. Advanced and pro players will also love the high-end performance and technologies built into this paddle.

For finesse-first players who rely on touch and placement, the Power may not provide the optimal blend. But if you’re ready to start hitting harder and spinning the ball more, the MNSTR Power helps take your aggressive attacking game to the next level.

MNSTR Touch Pickleball Paddle Review

Babolat MNSTR Touch

On the other end of the spectrum, Babolat’s MNSTR Touch paddle dials in more control and finesse for players who win with placement, touch shots, blocks, and keeping the ball in play. Here’s an in-depth look at what it offers.

Power and Control Rating

Power – 7.5/10

Control – 9/10

As you’d expect from the name, the Touch excels more on the control side of the spectrum. While it still provides very solid power for drives and punch volleys thanks to the carbon fiber construction, Babolat optimized this version more for control.

It offers an excellent blend of stability, accuracy and finesse for precisely placing shots. Great for touch and rolls at the non-volley zone, blocking hard returns back deep, or applying spin for shape.

You can take full swings for power when needed, but the Touch shines when you need nuanced touch and shaping of balls.

Design and Build Quality

Like all Babolat paddles, the MNSTR Touch displays excellent craftsmanship and quality components. The aerospace polymer honeycomb core transmits great feel to go along with stability. The carbon fiber face provides a finely tuned flex pattern and smoother texture for controlled shots.

At 7.5 ounces, the Touch comes in a hair lighter than the Power version for added quickness and handling. It features the same comfortable EVA foam grip in 4 1/8” or 4 1/4” options. The edge guard helps defend the paddle against dings and scratches.

Playstyle Suitability

  • Control and placement – Excellent directional control for precisely placed shots
  • Finesse game – Ideal touch and feel for delicate drop shots and rolls
  • Counterpuncher – Great blend of power and control for counter shots and blocks
  • Singles strategy – Maneuverability for tactical play and shot shaping
  • Developing soft game – Optimized for touch and finesse practice

MNSTR Touch Pros

  • Extremely precise ball control and shot placement
  • Excellent touch and finesse
  • Very quick and maneuverable
  • Lightweight and comfortable feel
  • Quality construction and smart technologies
  • Great balance of stability, power, spin, and touch

MNSTR Touch Cons

  • Less ideal for pure power players
  • Smaller grip size won’t suit all hand types
  • Higher price point

Who is the MNSTR Touch Best For?

For players who win matches by consistently keeping the ball in play and precisely controlling shot speed, depth, height and angle, the MNSTR Touch is an elite choice.

Suitable for singles strategists and seasoned counterpunchers, it provides the ideal finely tuned blend of control, stability, and finesse. The Touch excels for touch shots, blocks, and handling speed.

While the Touch can hold its own for driving power when needed, it really shines on the control end of the spectrum. Finesse players will love the blend of quick handling, subtle touch, and pinpoint placement precision.

Babolat 2023 Pickleball Paddles Reviewed

In 2021, Babolat built on the success of their flagship MNSTR paddles by launching several new pickleball paddle models – the Rebel, Renegade, and XPLR.

Designed to complement the strengths of the Power and Touch models, Babolat’s 2021 paddle lineup caters to different types of players with unique specs and performance attributes.

Here’s a rundown of how the Babolat pickleball paddles compare:

Babolat Rebel Pickleball Paddle

Babolat Rebel

Style – Power and spin focused

Weight – 8.1 oz (heaviest Babolat paddle)

Grip – 4 1/4″

Face – Diamond Carbon Hardening for extra pop and hardness

Play For – Aggressive attack and drives

The Babolat Rebel paddle lives up to its name by packing a real punch in power and speed. With the thickest face (0.80”) and heaviest overall weight of Babolat’s paddles, the Rebel provides some mass behind shots to overwhelm opponents.

The specialized diamond carbon fiber face hardening technology provides incredible ball speed off the face while retaining touch and control. Built for dominating through aggressive drives and put-away shots.

Babolat Renegade Pickleball Paddle

Babolat Renegade

Style – Control and finesse focused

Weight – 7.8 oz

Grip – 4 1/4″

Face – Fiber glass face for added spin potential

Play For – Touch shots and spin

On the other end of Babolat’s 2021 lineup, the Renegade paddle provides boosted control and finesse. The unique elliptical fiberglass face creates an elongated sweet spot while generating spin through longer contact time.

With the lightest weight of the new paddles, the Renegade also emphasizes quick handling and maneuverability. Tailored more for placement players and spin artists.

Babolat XPLR Pickleball Paddle

Babolat XPLR

Style – Versatile all-around play

Weight – 7.9 oz

Grip – 4 1/4″

Face – Graphite for power and touch

Play For – All-around games

Combining features of both control and power paddles, the XPLR aims to provide the best of both worlds as a versatile option. The graphite face offers a blend of power, spin, stability, and touch in a lightweight package.

This paddle suits all-around singles and doubles play for both attack and defense. A great choice if you play a balanced game not skewed heavily to power or finesse extremes.

Babolat Pickleball Paddles: Final Recommendations

After extensive playtesting and review, here are my final recommendations on which Babolat pickleball paddle suits different playing styles and levels.

Best Babolat Paddles For Power Players

If you like to play aggressively and hit forceful shots, the MNSTR Power and 2021 Rebel are your best Babolat options. Both provide explosive power and easy access to spin to run through balls.

Best Babolat Paddles for Control and Finesse

For touch shots, counters, blocks, and keeping the ball in play, look to the MNSTR Touch or 2021 Renegade. These models emphasize precision placement and spin over pure power.

Best Babolat Pickleball Paddles for Versatile Play

If you play both offense and defense equally, the MNSTR Touch, 2021 XPLR, or 2021 Renegade give you a balance of control, power and spin to handle diverse situations.

Best Babolat Paddles for Beginners

Beginners new to pickleball would benefit from the 2021 XPLR or MNSTR Touch to develop ball control skills before moving to more powerful options.

Best Babolat Paddles for Intermediate Players

Intermediate players ready to up their power and spin can get great benefits from the Power MNSTR or 2021 Rebel to take their drives and spin serves to the next level.

Best Babolat Paddles for Advanced Players

Advanced and pro players who want the pinnacle of performance can utilize the quickness of the MNSTR Power, precision of the MNSTR Touch, or balanced XPLR to excel in competitive play.

No matter your skill level or style of play, Babolat makes a pickleball paddle designed to improve your game. With phenomenal technologies and construction quality, Babolat paddles truly stand out as some of the best pickleball paddles on the market today.

About Joanne

Joanne Russell is a highly accomplished pickleball player, writer and blogger, Joanne shares her insights and expertise on all things pickleball. She has written for a number of publications, including Pickleball Magazine and Paddle Magazine, and she is passionate about using her platform to promote the sport and help others to discover the joy of playing pickleball.

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