Bird Pickleball Falcon Elite Paddle Review – Ergo

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Bird Pickleball Falcon Elite Paddle Review – Ergo

The Falcon Elite by Bird Pickleball is one of the most unique looking pickleball paddles on the market. It has a unique grip that can only be described through photos if you haven’t seen it before.  They originally marketed it as a paddle for people with elbow and wrist issues (no medical studies have been done and no claims are made) but now it is marketed as a unique option for those looking for something different.  I am all about trying different so I jumped at the chance to review the Falcon Elite.

Bird Pickleball Falcon Elite Paddle Specs

7.8
Spin8
Power7.5
Control8
  • Length: 16”
  • Width: 8”
  • Surface: Carbon Fiber (Type not detailed)
  • Thickness: 14mm
  • Average Weight: 8.5oz
  • Core Material: Polypropylene Honeycomb
  • Price: $229.00

Bird Pickleball Falcon Elite Paddle Review

Power

One of the drawbacks to the Falcon Elite grip is you cannot generate as much power as a traditional handle. You can’t get the same leverage you can with a stand shaped handle, but I was still able to generate decent power once I was used to hitting.

I think the power of my serves, drives, and overheads was good enough that if the grip was my preference, I could survive using it.  The problem I did have is two-handed backhands require a different technique due to the handle and I just could not get it down and get the power I wanted. 

I think the power of the paddle itself is around an average carbon fiber paddle and can get the job done.  It just isn’t going to be considered a power paddle.

Spin

This a Gen 1 carbon fiber paddle and like the other gen 1 paddles it generates good spin. I was able to create some great serves and drives with this paddle. 

I was surprised at how much spin I could generate because I had to change my form to hit accurate shots but once I got the hang of it, I was able to generate good spin.  If you rely on spin, you can do all your usual drops, drives, serves and speedups with the Falcon Elite.

Feel/Control

The sweet spot on the Falcon Elite is on the smaller side due to the way it is shaped.  Off center hits do not feel good and I found myself not hitting my target most of the time unless I was in the sweet spot or very close.

Bird falcon sweet spot

The more I used it thought I was able to consistently get my shots to go where I wanted.  The hardest adjustment is backhand dinks due to the natural way I held the paddle.  I had to constantly remember to rotate my wrist, so I didn’t pop up backhand dinks.

The stability of the paddle felt good when block drives.  The grip offers a different method of blocking and resetting.  After getting adjusted to it I was able to block and reset decently but it took awhile to adjust.  I did not experiment with lead tape on this paddle, but it could add some more stability.

Durability

The Falcon Elite seems solidly constructed at first glance. The edge guard is secure, the handle is good, and the graphics didn’t have any flaws.  I do worry about the grip deteriorating because it is a handle with grooves for your fingers. 

I’m not sure how you can replace the grip or if you just regrip it and forget about the grooves.  I couldn’t find much long-term data on the Falcon Elite but mine has held up strong. 

Warranty

Lifetime Warranty “We pledge to refund, repair, or replace your Bird Paddle for the duration of its life with the original owner.  This guarantee is even transferable to new owners who simply need to register the warranty upon acquisition.” – BirdPickleball.com

Customer Service

I was unable to find many people that have interacted with Bird Pickleball customer service, but the contact I have at the company has been quick to respond to any questions I have had. 

Pros/Cons

I’m sure you can guess the biggest pro and con of this paddle because it is the same thing for both.  The unique grip is the biggest pro and the biggest con depending on who you are.  The Bird Pickleball Site says on average it takes 2 games to get accustomed to playing with this unique grip.  After 20 games I’m not sure I got used to the grip but for some this might feel natural.  I think any former tennis player will have a hard time adjusting but if you don’t come from a racquet sport then you might not feel as strange holding this paddle. Only getting the Falcon Elite on the court can help you decide.

Another pro/con depending on how you view is the amount of attention this paddle attracts.  I have had new paddles in the past attract attention because people want to know my thoughts on the paddle, but this one attracts attention just because of the shape.  Any time I took the Falcon Elite out of my bag I had people flocking to me (I’m sorry!) The first time this happened the guy I had just met asked to hold and then proceeds to drop it as he did a practice swing.  Not the best first impression you can make when asking to hold another person’s paddle.  So if you don’t like attracting attention this paddle may not be great for you but if you like to get the party started just pull this out and you can be the center of attention.

Paddle Comparison

Cliff Pickleball Vauraus
  • Weight: 8”
  • Length: 16”
  • Paddle Width: 8"
  • Tickness: 16mm
  • Face: Raw Carbon fiber
  • Core: Polypropylene Honeycomb
  • Price: $229.00
Engage Pursuit Pro MX 6.0 Carbon Fiber Paddle
  • Weight: 6.2 oz
  • Length: 13”
  • Paddle Width: 8"
  • Tickness: 16mm
  • Face: Graphite Fiber Face
  • Core: Kevlar Core
  • Price: $125.00

There is one other company that I know of making a similar shaped paddle and that is PBZ.  They use an aluminum core and a fiberglass face.  Their paddle is of earlier pickleball technology and looks to be subpar choice unless price is your only concern as it is priced at $125.  

Final Thoughts

This was a fun review for me it because it made me feel like I felt when I first started playing pickleball.  It was a learning experience using this paddle and it definitely isn’t for everyone, but I could see how it could benefit some people.  If you just feel like the standard handle shape isn’t working for you give the Falcon Elite a try. They offer a 30-day money back guarantee so you don’t have any risk and it might be the best thing for your game. 

Written by:

Jacob Hoisington

Jacob discovered pickleball when he one day was biking past local courts and started a conversation with some players. He asked what they were playing and got invited to a beginner’s night where he got hooked on the game. As a long-time doubles’ tennis player, pickleball was a natural fit for Jacob. His first love of the game was trying different paddles as there were so many and ever since he has become obsessed with trying every paddle, he can get his hands on. Jacob appreciates that pickleball is accessible to anyone while still offering competition.

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