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Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle (set of 2)


If you’re looking for a paddle — or pair of them — that will give you the best possible value for your money, look no further than the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle! With this paddle, you (and a friend) will be ready to play right away. It comes in a set of two paddles PLUS two outdoor pickleballs!

The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle is our final pick from our 5 Best Cheap Pickleball Paddles of 2020 review, where we broke down five of the very best affordable paddles out there on the market today. All of them, including this one, are ideal for beginners, casual players, or anyone else looking for a good paddle at an equally good price.

To learn the pros and cons of different types of paddles — including wooden ones — check out our Pickleball Paddle Ultimate Guide!

But for now, here’s why the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle is such a great choice for anyone looking to pick up the pickleball hobby!

Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle (set of 2) — Overview

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Parts of a Pickleball Paddle

Wooden paddles remind us of the old days, when pickleball was played with a simple wooden paddle and players relied on sheer skill alone. Nowadays, there are all kinds of modern paddles meant to make playing more comfortable, more exact, more intuitive.

Instead of overhauling the entire paddle, though, many classic wooden paddles merely incorporate modern enhancements. Take the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle, for instance, which features a wooden face/core but has the no-slip grip we’ve come to expect from the very best pickleball paddles of today!

In this post, we’ll talk about these upgrades and more, including how the surface area and weight contribute to the paddle’s unique performance. Then we’ll list some pros and cons to help you decide if this is the right next paddle for you.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive right in!

Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle (set of 2) — The Basics

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The Face

The paddle face is made of 7-ply wood, covered in a vinyl coating and sealed all around by a protective edgeguard.

Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

Edgeguards are useful in prolonging the life of your paddle because they protect against unintentional rough handling, which often occurs when you dip to return a low-bouncing ball.

Inevitably, the paddle scrapes against the ground. Not that this paddle needs an awful lot of protection; wooden paddles are among the sturdiest paddles you can find.

The Surface Area

At 15.75 inches (including the 4.75-inch handle) by 8 inches, this is a wide paddle that is especially good for power shots.

Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

The ample surface area, combined with the weight (more on that below), makes for easy, powerful returns every time.

If you’re a newcomer to pickleball, you might like how easy and reliable it is to handle this paddle. But even if you’re more experienced, you can still draw good performances from this paddle using what you know of finesse techniques.

The Weight

This paddle ranges from 9.5 to 10.5 ounces, putting it well above most heavyweight paddles, which usually top out at around 8.7 ounces.

Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

The added heft makes it easier to exert more power with the same swing speed.

As with most heavy wooden paddles, though, the downside is that swing fatigue may become an issue over long games.

The Grip Size and Feel

Another modern enhancement besides the edgeguard is the cushioned grip. It has a perforated, spiralized texture that wicks moisture and is designed for comfortable handling.

Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

It is 4.75 inches long and 4.25 inches around, the standard circumference for pickleball grips.

If you need a bigger grip, you can always just use overgrips, which are applied by 1/16th-inch increments over the original handle. Applying an overgrip will also help you avoid blisters and calluses!

The Core

The Franklin Sports Wooden Pickleball Paddle’s 7-ply wood core embodies the kind of strength you want backing you with every return. It gives a nice loud “pop” with every hit.

Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

Wood cores — like aluminum and nomex cores — are loud, but if noise isn’t an issue at your local pickleball facility, then this paddle shouldn’t be a problem in that regard.

Compared with paddles made of different materials, wooden paddles retain their shape and performance most consistently throughout their lifetime!


  • wooden face is protected by edgeguard
  • good for power shots due to weight
  • generous surface area
  • comfortable grip
  • durable
  • comes in a set of 2 paddles and 2 pickleballs


  • not suited to players with joint issues due to weight
  • loud hits

Not sure if this particular paddle is the right one for you? Take a look at the Niupipo Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle or the Champion Sports Rhino Edge Wooden Pickleball Paddle! The Franklin Jet Aluminum Pickleball Paddle and the WiTCHDUCK Whiplash Composite Pickleball Paddle are also great options!!


That’s it for our review of the Franklin Sports Wooden Pickleball Paddle! To sum up, we discussed its various modern enhancements, as well as its unique weight and size category.

All these details factor into the paddle’s overall performance. Lastly, we gave a straightforward summary of pros and cons to expect from this product!


Have you ever used this paddle, or any other wooden paddle? How does it compare to paddles made of other materials? Or how does it compare to paddles from other price points that you may have tried? Is there a different inexpensive paddle that you like?

Please let us know! We love to chat with our friends in the pickleball community, so leave us a comment below, and we’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible. Who knows? Maybe we’ll both learn something new!

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