If you want a unique shape, then GRUVN has you covered.I’m looking at three different paddles today the 16X, 13X and the 16RX

GRUVN first burst onto the scene during CRBN Gate (when CRBN had their paddles banned for a long time and GRUVN seemed to be the best place to go). Now GRUVN continues to innovate with the widest array of paddle face and handle length configurations for carbon fiber paddles. If you want a unique shape, then GRUVN has you covered. They also offer a variety of edge guard colors that really make the paddles stand out as well as offering a great perforated stock grip that is one of my favorite stock grips in pickleball. 

I’ll give a shoutout to Kevin the owner of GRUVN as well because he takes feedback from the customers on designing new paddles and they put customer service as a high priority. 

I’m looking at three different paddles today the 16X, 13X and the 16RX. They all have the same carbon fiber face and similar polypropylene core construction that is said to evenly react to the force of impact and provide precision control while also absorbing vibration and noise.

GRUVN Raw Series Paddle Specs

RAW 16RX

8.1

Control/feel8.5

Power7.7

Spin8

GRUVN.co – $159

Paddle Length:16.5”/ 419.1mm
Face Width:7.375”/ 187.3mm
Handle Length:6”/ 15.24cm
Grip Size Circumference:4.5”/11.43cm
Grip: 3D Perforated Cushion Grip
Weight:7.9 oz (+ or – 0.25 oz)
Face/Paddle Surface:  T700 Raw Carbon Fiber
Paddle Shape:Elongated
Core Material: Polypropylene Honeycomb
Core Thickness16mm/0.63”

RAW 16X

8.8

Control/feel9.3

Power7.7

Spin9.3

GRUVN.co – $159

Paddle Length:16.5”/ 419.1mm
Face Width:7.375”/ 187.3mm
Handle Length:5.5”/ 14cm
Grip Size Circumference:4.5”/11.43cm
Grip: 3D Perforated Cushion Grip
Weight:7.9 oz (+ or – 0.25 oz)
Face/Paddle Surface:  T700 Raw Carbon Fiber
Paddle Shape:Elongated
Core Material: Polypropylene Honeycomb
Core Thickness16mm/0.63”

RAW 13X

8.6

Control/feel7.8

Power8.5

Spin9.5

GRUVN.co$159

Paddle Length:16.5”/ 419.1mm
Face Width:7.375”/ 187.3mm
Handle Length:5.5”/ 14cm
Grip Size Circumference:4.25”/10.8cm
Grip: 3D Perforated Cushion Grip
Weight:7.9 oz (+ or – 0.25 oz)
Face/Paddle Surface:  T700 Raw Carbon Fiber
Paddle Shape:Elongated
Core Material: Polypropylene Honeycomb
Core Thickness13mm/0.51”

GRUVN Raw Series Review (16RX, 16X and 13X)

Power

For Gen1 carbon fiber paddles I think these have the most power of the bunch. You do get a decent power boost when going form the 16mm to the 13mm which is expected.  The big note is with the 16RX vs the 16X.  

The 16RX comes with a 7.375” handle which is one of the longest handles in the game (there is a recent 7.5” handle that has surfaced). I think the 16RX handle is perfect for singles as it feels more like a tennis racquet then any paddle I have used. 

You can generate more power with the 16RX because of the handle length letting you generate more whip with the paddle. I think the overheads with the 16RX are also better than the 16X but if you aren’t used to a tennis racquet, they may be harder to execute. Overall, the power of all three is at a good level for putting the ball away. 

Spin

The spin is great on all 3 of the paddles. I would say they are all comparable spin except for the 16RX being able to generate a bit more on groundstrokes and serves due to the handle length, but just slightly. 

The spin might not beat some of the thermoformed paddles, but I was having no trouble getting great spin on drives, drops, and rolls.  I didn’t feel like I was lacking spin from anywhere on the court. 

I did have trouble with backhand rolls with the 16RX due to the handle length. If you do a lot of rolls and flicks on the backhand side you will want to try the 13X or 16X.  The 16RX is great from two handed backhand rolls. 

Feel/Control

Let’s talk about the 16X and 13X first. Both have great control at the net. I felt very confident placing my dinks and moving the ball around. Speedups felt great and blocking is a breeze with a good-sized sweet spot. Drops and drives were easy to place.  They have one of the best sweet spots of GEN1 Carbon Fiber Paddles. 

Resets with the 16X and 16RX felt smooth and this is probably one of the spots that can make this paddle better for you then a thermoformed paddle because the ball doesn’t rebound off the paddle hot like a thermoformed and lets you have a better soft game at the net.   

The 16RX has great control and feel from the baseline, but I thought it was a little hard to maneuver in hand battles. With the extra handle length your hands will be slower there just isn’t a way around it. 

The longer the handle gets the slower you will be. It just depends how much speed you are willing to sacrifice.  For some this might not be an issue because the extra length is more valuable.  You will need to test this out for doubles. 

Durability

I have used GRUVNs before and their durability has held up for me. I haven’t had any issues with loose edge guards or handles breaking.  The grit seems to last a decent amount of time as far a carbon fiber paddles go. The warranty is on the shorter end at three months if that is a concern for you. 

Pros/Cons

A big pro for the 16RX is the handle length for singles. If you are a former tennis player (who isn’t these days?) you will love this for singles. It feels like a tennis racquet in your hands, and you can rip two handed backhands and huge forehands.  I think I might train some singles for the first time just to use it in tournament play.

The pros of going with one of the X line GRUVNs or any GRUVN is that they offer such a wide variety of options when it comes to sizes, colors and thickness.  All three of these paddles play solid and you can get the feel you want with the different options.  I would say the main con is the price is getting a little high for a Gen1 carbon fiber paddle these days. 

Final Thoughts

Should you get a GRUVN 16X, 16RX or 13X?  If you are a former tennis player and you want a nice starting light starting weight paddle you can customize it to your needs and singles is your specialty then I do recommend the 16RX.

Have you tried thermoformed paddles but they are just too poppy and you can’t control resets or your control feels off when you go to place your shots?  Then I recommend trying out the 16X and 13X.  Which one should you go with?  The 13X offers slightly more power than the 16X and the 16X offers slightly more control.  Go with the one that is more important to you.  

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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