Gamma Pickleball Paddles are made by Gamma Sports, located in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The company has a history of manufacturing equipment for racket sports that spans over 40 years, they are most known for tennis rackets and strings.
However, in recent years they’ve become one of the best-selling brands of pickleball equipment.
The company dates back to 1974 when Dr. Harry Ferrari, a nuclear engineer, and keen tennis player, set out to develop a superior tennis string. The result was a patented process and new type of gut tennis string that has continued to earn accolades in the tennis community for decades as one of the best strings on the market.
More recently, with the rise in popularity of pickleball, Gamma has added a line of equipment including paddles, balls, and other pickleball accessories. They are one of the cutting edge brands in the industry with their new poly core technology gaining a lot of attention in the past year.
Gamma is also well known for its paddle grips and over-grips. They can be seen on several other paddles sold by several other major pickleball paddle manufacturers. Gamma is also the official grip of the US Open Pickleball Championships.
Premium Sensa Poly Core Paddles
Twister: Poly Core Paddle: Lightest paddle in the PolyCore paddle line-up.
Mirage: Premium Poly Core Paddle: mid-weight paddle with a textured composite face.
Razor: Also known as the RZR. Premium Poly Core Paddle: mid-weight pickleball paddle, textured graphite face.
Needle: Elongated Premium Poly Core Paddle: the first blade-style long paddle by Gamma Sports.
Pin: This is the a special sports team edition.
The Gamma 405 features a graphite-hitting surface, which is commonly used in the industry. However, the design of this paddle is elongated which gives players an edge when it comes to high volley shots or ground balls ( you wont have to reach as much ). One thing that bugs me is that a lot of paddles have a small and short grip. For most paddles, you would not even think about using two hands for your backhand because there is no room, but Gamma has the most comfortable grips on the market and they are a good length ( especially the 405 ) so you can marry up to your paddle. Because the handle is slightly larger, getting good power and ball speed from this paddle is no chore!
The Sensa Poly Core is Gamma’s newest technology that they are putting in all of their paddles, which is great for all skill levels. The idea is to try and balance out the feel of the paddle and make sure it does not get too heavy, but also make sure that the paddle has enough power in the backfield. The paddle is on the high end of the price range, but well worth the money and Gamma does use quality materials for the external components, so you will have this paddle for years.
Riley Newman 206
For the Riley Newman 206, a two-handed backhand is no problem. Riley Newman is known for power, and that’s why Gamma teamed up with him to design a paddle that has an extended grip and a ton of kick for every kind of shot. Surprisingly, the paddle is still incredibly accurate even though power was the focus. There is still a good feel in this paddle even at 8oz, and if I had to guess, it’s because of the comfortable and longer grip. Riley Newman is another D1 tennis player that has migrated to pickleball. It seems to be an easy transition for a lot of people, including myself. He has now been in the mix since 2017 and already hovers in the top 3 best pickleball players in the world for singles and doubles.
The 206 has gotten nothing but 5-star reviews. It is quickly gaining popularity among those who are willing to invest in their game and getting used to the longer design is much easier than most think. For most players, you will not lose any control or feel with the 206, but if you have small hands and smaller limbs, the 206 at 8oz may feel heavier than what you are used to. If it feels good in the hand though, you will be able to put away shots like nobody’s business! The paddle has 0 vibrations.
Lindsey Newman Havoc
Similar to the Riley Newman 206, the Lindsey Newman Havoc is a signature series that includes the NeoCore technology, is a middle-wight paddle, and has an extended handle just like the 206 for those who use a two-hand backhand, or just have bigger hands and need that extra material to grip. The face of the paddle is composite, so you will get a great spin with this paddle, and the power is the same as the 206. In fact, the 206 and the Havoc are identical. The only difference is that one has Riley’s name on it, and the other has Lindsey’s name on it. So really it comes down to which player you like more! Both of these paddles exude an all-around performance for intermediate to advanced players.
The Honeycomb Cushion Grip is exactly the same as the 206, so you will not have any slippage during extended play. You also won’t find a dead spot on this paddle. The sweet spot is HUGE! It almost reminds me of some of the elongated Selkirk paddles ( Selkirk is on the front lines of paddle tech ). The Havoc has received good reviews so far, and it is replacing a lot of people’s “go-to”.
The Gamma 505 takes a turn away from the 206 and the Havoc. Instead of a composite hitting surface, Gamma decided to use graphite, which is what the 405 uses that we reviewed up top. The advantage in doing this is it shaves off some of the weight. The 505 is .4 oz lighter than the 405, which does not sound like a lot, but it can make a bigger difference than you think. The core is the NeuCore Polypropylene, which is what all of these paddles are using right now, except the 405.
However, the 505 uses a 25% thicker celled core so you have a very soft feel and a ton of control in the kitchen. You still have the elongated design, so you have great reach and a ton of power, but you don’t have to deal with the 8oz, which in my opinion is a big win compared to the signature series. The 505 has been a hit for Gamma, and although there are not a ton of reviews about them yet, the market is receiving them because they are often sold out.
The Gamma Quest takes a price dive. If you are looking for a beginner paddle, this would be a good place to start. I have played with all of their beginner paddles, and this one takes the crown for me. The Conqueror has too small of a sweet spot ( and costs more ), and the Odyssey is too short. The Discovery is not a bad option if you are dying to have an elongated paddle that doesn’t cost a fortune, but if you want a decent feel when you swing, go with the Quest. It is the perfect all-around paddle that has the same Gamma Honeycomb grip as their higher-end paddles do.
The polypropylene honeycomb core is also used in their more expensive paddle. However, to cut down on costs, the Quest uses a textured fiberglass hitting surface, which does not feel cheap, but tends to be more of a victim of wear and tear. You also carry around a 7.9 oz. 7.9oz is a lot for this small of a paddle, but not unreasonable, especially for an entry-level paddle. Some people compare it to the Micron.
Just like the 505, the Gamma Shard uses a 25% thicker large cell core. This helps with dinks in the kitchen and being able to slow the game down, which puts you in the driver’s seat! Some paddles you never know what you’re going to get, but the Shard is more consistent than any other paddle I have ever used. And the perforated grip allows sweat to be absorbed away from the grip so you don’t accidentally sling your paddle towards your adversary. Like the 206 and Havoc signature series, the Shard uses the NeuCore, which is Gamma’s latest technology that is leading the charge because it gives the core a denser and thicker plate, and Gamma can use a graphite or composite surface for different preferences.
Gamma uses a graphite face for this one, which I am biased toward because I am a big advocate for keeping the paddle lightweight, and balanced. If they had used composite, this paddle could easily be 8+ oz. Also, pickleball is a game of placement, so you need as much control over the ball as you can get. And because the Shard uses graphite, the pickleball will remain on the paddle longer as you hit the ball than on other surfaces.
Gamma Beginner 2.0 Models
The Gamma pickleball paddle line includes over half a dozen models with options for beginners to advanced or even pro players.
The product names (such as Atomic, Micron, Fusion, Neutron, etc) honor the founder’s scientific background and Gamma’s constant innovation using the latest technology.
The newer 2.0 line of pickleball paddles was released in 2017 and uses the same naming convention as 2015 with the addition of “2.0”, for example, Atomic (2015) and Atomic 2.0 (2017), Voltage (2015) and Voltage 2.0 (2017), etc.
Since the 2.0 paddle line, Gamma Sports has launched a new line of Premium “Sensa Poly Core” paddles that includes the: Twister, Razor (renamed RZR in 2018), Mirage and most recently two new elongated blade paddle called the “Needle” (March 2018) and the Pin.
Gamma Needle Elongated Pickleball Paddle
The Needle is Gamma’s first entry into the elongated paddle market. When blade-style paddles first came out, they were considered a specialty paddle. However, they have become more mainstream and are becoming more and more popular.
Long paddle tend to appeal to cross over players migrating from tennis and especially for players that play singles as the longer paddle gives them more reach and enables them to get to shots that shorter, traditional paddle shapes cannot- since in singles you have more ground to cover on the court the extra length, even a couple of inches – can make a difference.
This blade style paddle by Gamma weighs an average of 7.6 oz and has a grip size of 4 ⅛”. The Needle has a textured graphite face.
Gamma Mirage Composite Pickleball Paddle
The Gamma Mirage composite paddle is a powerful 8-ounce power hitter paddle that the company markets as a middle-weight pickleball paddle for a balance between hard and finesse shots. The textured composite paddle face gives it some added grip or bites on the ball which helps at the NVZ with added control for those critical dink shots and surgically placed winners.
With a 4 1/8 grip is wrapped in Gamma’s Honeycomb Cushion Grip that adds the tack and extra sweat absorption for a solid grasp on the paddle. Featuring the new Sensa Polymer core and finished with enough texture for added control, this Gamma paddle will appeal to players looking for a solid feeling paddle with solid grip and a good feel.
The paddle has a range of 7.8-8.2 ounces, with an average of 8 ounces. The grip size is medium 4 1/8. The grip is a Gamma Cushion Grip. The handle length is 4 3/4″. The paddle length is 15 7/8”. The paddle width is 8″. The paddle hitting surface is textured composite. The core is a Gamma Sensa Poly Core.
Gamma Twister Composite Pickleball Paddle
The Twister composite paddle by Gamma is lightweight (weighing in at 7.3-7.5 ounces). The small grip (4 1/8”) is finished in Gamma’s honeycomb grip with the perforated and cushioned finish while the handle measures on the short side at 4.25 inches. The paddle has a traditional shape of 15 ¾” x 7 ¾.
The key to the new Twister paddle is its Sensa Poly Core – Gamma’s new premium poly core which dampens vibration without sacrificing power. The Twister was also selected by Gamma for their whole new line of college-sponsored paddles that are designed with emblems of several major US colleges and marketed to college students and alumni.
The composite hitting face gives enough texture to give good touch for players looking to add to the feel of their control game and putting extra “English” on their serve. The Twister is approved by the USAPA for sanctioned tournament play.
Gamma RZR (Razor) Graphite Pickleball Paddle Review
The Gamma RZR paddle is one of the company’s premium offerings that feature the new Sensa Poly Core. The core gives the Razor a soft feel which is great for control at the net and the short game. The control is matched well with the paddle’s weight of 7.6 – 7.8 ounces.
The large paddle face (15 ⅞ x 8”) has a large sweet spot and the graphite hitting surface gives it plenty of pop. The Gamma RZR pickleball paddle is a good option for an all-around player looking for power graphite paddle with the soft-touch Gamma’s new poly core.
The paddle has a small-medium 4 ⅛ in featuring the comfort of Gamma’s cushioned grip. The shorter 4.25 handle makes it easy to maneuver and adds control for smaller hands and players that like a more stout grip shape. The RZR comes in stylish graphics in pink and yellow options.
Here’s a good overview and comparison of Gamma Mirage, Razor, and Twister with pro pickleball player Lucy Kitcher who actually collaborated with Gamma to help design the new paddles based on her experience on the court. While she previously played with the graphite (Nomex core) Phaser 2.0 and now plays with the new Mirage.
Gamma Neutron 2.0
The Gamma Neutron 2.0 is the lightest and fastest paddle in the Gamma line. If you are a touch player who relies on feel and control then this is the Gamma paddle you are looking for.
The maneuverability is a huge advantage for the controlled dinking at the net and the textured* graphite hitting surface gives you added ball bite for adding spin to your pickleball shots.
The paddle weighs a mere 7 ounces. At this ultralightweight, it’s the option for a speed game that relies on the ability to maneuver quickly at the net.
The lightweight and small grip size of 4″ make it a perfect choice for smaller hands which is why we’ve included it as a top pick on our list of Best Junior Pickleball Paddles.
The Neutron 2.0 blends all of the innovative features that Gamma has brought to the pickleball market and include in their top paddles:
- Live Periphery™ Frame: Eliminates dead spots and reinforces paddle edges.
- Flush-Fit™ Bumper: reduced profile compared to traditional edge guards, still protects while taking up less of paddle face.
- Unibody™ handle Single molded handle for a solid feel.
- GAMMA Honeycomb Grip: perforated stitched grip for increased comfort while absorbing moisture for better grip.
- Paddle Face: Textured Graphite Hitting Surface for increased touch and ball spin.
The “textured” paddle surface is actually slightly rough to the touch and makes a scratching noise when you run your fingers across it, similar to very fine grade sandpaper.
Here is a quick video review of the Neutron from Gamma where you get a better idea of the surface texture :
GAMMA Sports 2.0 Pickleball Paddles
The Gamma Micron 2.0 is a mid-weight paddle (7.6 oz) with a small 4″ grip. The fiberglass textured face provides good touch and control. The paddle features an Aramid Fiber (Nomex®) composite core sandwiched between two fiberglass paddle faces.
This is Gamma’s entry-level paddle and normally sold at a price point that makes it a good value purchase for beginner players.
The textured fiberglass face helps you add spin to your serve and shots and the mid-weight paddle gives a nice balance between power and control although it’s marketed by Gamma primarily as an affordable “Touch” paddle.
The Micron 2.0 is priced for beginners/intermediate players. While it doesn’t have the high-end finish nor the newest Premium Poly Core Paddle of the new Twister, Mirage, RZR, or Needle but it’s a good all-around paddle.
Gamma Fusion 2.0 Pickleball Paddle Review
The Fusion 2.0 is a Gamma’s widebody composite paddle with similar core and textured fiberglass face as the Micron 2.0 although slightly heavier (8 oz) and a wider body that maximizes the sweet spot.
This is another beginner/intermediate option, especially for players wanting a wider paddle face. The fusion has a wide 8” face, small handle, and medium weight.
The large sweet spot is ideal for making the most of the paddles’ control properties. The face design is split diagonally with black and red sections, with a honeycomb pattern printed across the entire paddle face.
The Fusion is a good quality composite paddle that will appeal to all skill levels while still reasonably priced. The 4″ grip is ideal for small-sized hands. Taller players with larger hands may want to look to the grips that Gamma offers so they can build up the stock handle to match their grip size.
Like the other paddles in the Gamma 2.0 lineup, the Fusion 2.0 is approved by the USAPA for sanctioned tournament play.
Gamma Phaser 2.0
The Gamma Phaser 2.0 paddle balances power and control for the all-around player. This type of paddle is a good option for someone who is neither a dominating touch nor a power player and is looking for maneuverability while still having enough power for winner overheads and drives.
The Phaser weighs 7.9 ounces and has a 4-inch grip like other Gamma paddles. The specs on this paddle are a step up from the previous two above with it’s textured graphite face for extra feel and control.
The Phaser 2.0 is the newest of the 2.0 line. Its graphite hitting surface gives enough texture to add a good amount of touch and optimizes spin ability. At just under eight ounces it’s probably best for a player looking to blend touch with a good boost of power.
The Phaser 2.0 weighs in at about half an ounce more than the Voltage so if you’re looking for a lighter paddle scroll down to check out the Voltage 2.0 which is Gamma’s high-end performance graphite paddle.
Gamma Atomic 2.0
The Atomic 2.0 is Gamma’s answer to POWER. This is the heaviest in the Gamma Sport 2.0 paddle lineup, weighing in at 8.5 ounces. This paddle packs plenty of punch and would be the choice if you consider yourself a “banger”- the power behind this paddle will give you a boost from the deep court hitting from the baseline or putting away winning overhead smashes.
The power of this paddle is paired with a fiberglass composite faced that won’t leave you empty-handed at the kitchen when it comes time to switch from the power game to your short dinking game at the net.
This is a heavy hitter’s paddle. If you are a power player looking for the extra drive from the baseline or on your overhead shots, this is Gamma’s solution for you.
With it’s Flush-Fit™ Bumper, Gamma states that this newer style of edge guard provides up to 30% more playing surface while still providing a protective edge guard (compared to an edgeless paddle that has no cover around the outer edge.
Gamma Voltage 2.0 Paddle
The Voltage 2.0 is the top of the Gamma paddle line aimed at the most competitive players looking for a quality graphite paddle that is both light and powerful.
The Voltage weighs 7.6 ounces and comes with a small 4″ grip. This size is great for smaller hands but can also easily be built out with one of Gamma’s pickleball overgrips. This is the top of the line when it comes to Gamma’s pickleball paddles.
The Voltage 2.0 is designed for the competitive player in mind who needs a high-end graphite paddle for competitive tournament play for the perfect blend of touch and power.
However, for an intermediate to advanced player who is looking to up their game, the Gamma Voltage 2.0 would also be one of the top options to consider when upgrading to your next graphite paddle.
Gamma also organizes the annual Gamma Pickleball Classic in Pittsburgh, PA. The classic is a 3-day pickleball tournament in June held at the David L Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. The convention center is converted into a 27-court arena.
The tournament is open to players of all ages and skill levels. The very cool thing about this tourney is that it raises awareness and funding for Parkinson’s Disease with all money raised benefiting the Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania.
In 2017, the tournament was held from June 23rd-25th with over 400 players (413 to be exact) participating from 17 states and Canada. 2017 was the second year of the tournament, the participation doubles that of the 2016 event.
In 2017, the Pickleball Classic raised $22,000 for the Parkinson Foundation. What a great event, combining Pickleball and a very worthy cause!
The 2020 tournament has been postponed and rescheduled for August 28-30th.
Some players competing in the tournament had Parkinson’s themselves. Although we can’t find studies specifically done on Pickleball and Parkinson’s, there are studies that show that cardiovascular exercise does provide benefits and help alleviate the symptoms.