HEAD RADICAL XL PICKLEBALL PADDLE — INTRO
Nowadays, there are pickleball paddles of all colors and shapes — fit for every possible playing style and personal taste! The HEAD Radical XL Pickleball Paddle, for one, is uniquely shaped, but it’s got a whole host of other features going for it that make it extra special!
This paddle is our third place pick of the top 5 Best Elongated Pickleball Paddles. Elongated paddles — or blades — pack a number of perks for intermediate to advanced users due to their longer length and different weight balance!
If you want to refresh your memory on other types of pickleball paddles and playing suggestions, feel free to pause and head over to our Pickleball Paddle Ultimate Guide!
But if you’re ready to learn all about this paddle, read on!
HEAD Radical XL Pickleball Paddle — Overview
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In addition to the extra reach that elongated paddles provide for the player, the area of the face from which the ball comes off best is slightly different from that of your average wide paddle!
This is especially true of the HEAD Radical XL Pickleball Paddle, which puts a spin on the basic rectangular body of a typical elongated paddle. The long sides are tapered inwards toward the handle, so it’s even easier and more satisfying to hit with!!
More on that ahead. Once we describe the face, surface area, weight, grip, and core in more detail, you’ll learn why this paddle is an especially good smash hitter. But if you’re still not sure, we’ve also included a pros and cons list at the end to help you decide whether or not you want to give this paddle a try.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
HEAD Radical XL Pickleball Paddle — The Basics
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As we mentioned, the sides of the HEAD Radical XL Pickleball Paddle’s face are slightly tapered, and the face itself is made of durable graphite!
Graphite, as we know, makes for very powerful paddles, but this one also makes the ball easy to control. That’s because it is textured to allow extra friction between the paddle and the ball.
As a result, spin shots as well as power hits are made with ease.
The Surface Area
This elongated paddle has a total length of 17 inches and a width of 7 inches.
That’s just about the maximum size for a USAPA-approved paddle like this one. Because of the tapered sides, the sweet spot, too, follows the same outline!
An experienced player will have no problem adjusting to these larger dimensions and uniquely shaped sweet spot, even if they were previously accustomed to using a wide paddle.
Don’t be fooled by this paddle’s size; it’s lighter than it looks. It weighs about the same as your average medium weight wide paddle — 7.6 ounces — and in fact it’s on the light side by some standards!
Since longer paddles can start to feel awkwardly heavy if they increase in weight at the same rate as their length, manufacturers strive to keep the weight of blades on par with that of regular wide paddles.
So while this paddle is long, it is still light enough to maneuver. Just keep in mind that more of the weight of elongated paddles will be concentrated in the face than the hilt, so you can use that additional leverage to create great power moves!
The Grip Size and Feel
The grip has about the same length and circumference as a typical wide paddle would have — 4 ¾ inches long and 4 ¼ inches around.
It’s made of something called “Ergo Grip,” a contoured and spiralized handle that remains grippy even as the player sweats.
If you still find the handle not sitting comfortably in your hand, you can try adhesive strips called overgrips, which mold to the original grip to give a better fit. This is an important step for avoiding calluses and blisters!
The thick honeycomb polymer core helps absorb vibration so that the paddle remains comfortable even for those with joint issues that get irritated by repeated impact.
The added thickness and the large O’s of the honeycomb pattern help make this possible!
It also helps minimize noise, so you won’t need to worry about potentially being restricted by noise ordinances at your local pickleball facility.
- textured graphite face gives both power and control
- increased hitting face provides greater reach and power
- comfortable textured grip
- thicker honeycombed polymer core absorbs more impact and sound
- not typically for beginners
- more expensive than other elongated paddles
Not sure if this particular paddle is the right one for you? Take a look at the Gamma Needle Elongated Pickleball Paddle and the Gamma Compass NeuCore Elongated Pickleball Paddle, both of which are top notch choices in this category!
Choosing the HEAD Radical XL Pickleball Paddle is an awesome way to finally gain an edge over your toughest opponents.
We discussed all the individual parts of this product that make it such a powerful, comfortable racquet that can keep up in even the most spirited of matches. Still not sure? Refer back to the pros and cons for guidance.
Have you ever tried this paddle out before? Is it similar or different in any way to other paddles you may have used, especially other blades? Is there a particular elongated paddle that you prefer? We’d love to know!
Let us know in the comments below what paddle fits YOUR playing style best, and any other pointers you’d like to share. It’d be wonderful if you helped out a fellow pickleball player in the process!