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Holbrook Mav Pro Pickleball Paddle Review

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Holbrook Mav Pro Pickleball Paddle Review

Holbrook is relatively new to the Pickleball scene, but they are here to compete! With a wide variety of paddles, ranging from beginner to advanced, there is a paddle for just about everyone. Including the option to customize paddles with your own flair, which keeps it fun and personable to the user.

Holbrook is one of the only companies I have found that will create custom-designed paddles for you and your company (granted, this comes with a 50-paddle order minimum).

Once I was finally able to get my hands on them, I could quickly see what all the hype was about, especially for the price point of $179. If you are a more advanced player looking for your next paddle, check out my review and breakdown of the Mav Pro series paddles and see if there are right for you.

Holbrook Mav Pro Series Specs

Mav Pro

Mav Pro

Spin 8.5

Power 8

Control 8.5

  • Length: 16.5″
  • Width: 7.5″
  • Weight: 7.8 – 8.0 oz
  • Grip Length: 5.5 in
  • Grip Circumference: 4.25 in
  • Thickness: 13mm and 16mm
  • Core: Dual Reactive Polypropylene Honeycomb
  • Surface: Force Field T700 Woven 3K Carbon Fiber

Mav Pro E

Mav Pro E

Spin 8.5

Power 8

Control 7.5

  • Length: 16.5″
  • Width: 7.5″
  • Weight: 7.8 – 8.0 oz
  • Grip Length: 4.75 in
  • Grip Circumference: 4.25 in
  • Thickness: 13mm & 16mm
  • Core: Dual Reactive Polypropylene Honeycomb
  • Surface: T700 Woven 3k Carbon Fiber

My Personal Thoughts

These paddles have more pop than traditional Gen 1 raw carbon fiber paddles and are softer than Gen 2. Because of this, they can be very desirable by newer pickleball players. My biggest drawback of these paddles is the surface. I am not generally a fan of applied grit in this manner because it always makes my question the durability. 

I really enjoyed playing with the Mav Pro 13mm, as it felt the best for my game, but was never quick to grab the other models. Also, with the technology evolving constantly, there are other paddles from Holbrook that have caught my attention like the Power Pro 16mm.

Holbrook Mav Pro Series Paddle Review

The first time contact is made, you can feel just how soft this paddle is. Both the 13 and 16mm versions of this paddle have a very soft feel.

Of course, as designed, the 16mm versions have more control and the 13mm thick counterparts will produce more pop and power. It did not take long to dial in the Mav Pro Paddles. Dinks, resets, and drops came rather effortlessly, and I was able to swing harder during serves without the fear of hitting too deep. 

I found myself gravitating to the Mav Pro 13mm the most while testing this set of paddles. This was mainly because I do not currently use a two-handed backhand, but I want to develop one to be more aggressive in singles.

Coupled with the pop and power from the thinner paddle construction, and it has all the makings of a paddle built around the needs for a skilled player to stay ahead of the curve during the ever-changing game of pickleball.

Spin

Shaping the ball is crucial at high levels. The applied grit on the face of the Mav Pro paddles allows you to put that inside spin on the ball to create confusion, or outside spin to pull your opponents further off-court, creating an opening.

Holbrook Mav pro Surface texture

Having the ability to draw the ball back in towards the court during an ATP is not a commonly needed attribute in a paddle, but one that is greatly appreciated during those few occasions. 

The Mav Pro paddles made shaping the ball easy and precise. Top spin on serves kept pace on the ball while my backspin slice returns maintained unpredictable and difficult for third shot drops or drives. For spin, I will give both the Mav Pro and Mav Pro E an 8.5/10.

Power/Pop

With third-shot drives becoming the norm in today’s game, being able to drive the ball and apply pressure onto your opponents is a must-have.

While technique and strength play large roles in the ability to accomplish the perfect third shot drive or groundstroke, having a paddle to amplify these traits can be the difference between being on the receiving end or the one executing a successful shake-and-bake. 

The power that I felt from both the Mav Pro and the Mav Pro E were identical. The “Dual-reactive” core made no sense to me at first, but after I had put a few hours into them I realized for myself what this means.

When making soft shots at the kitchen, the paddle feels soft, but when swinging with gumption in an attempt to put the ball away, the paddle feels stiffer with more pop

I had asked customer service to explain what a few of their descriptions mean and this is what they had to say about the core: “The Dual Response Polypropylene honeycomb core helps to get a better reaction from the touch off the paddle.

We call it Dual Response because it helps in both consistency and kinetic reaction!”. This made a lot more sense after feeling the paddle for myself. For power, I give the 16mm paddles a 7/10 and the 13mm variations an 8/10

Control

This was one of the biggest surprises of the paddle for me. Being a lighter paddle, with the weight distribution closer towards the handle, this made maneuverability at the net smooth.

Coupled with an incredibly soft feel during dinks and resets, this made consistency easy during the soft game. I absolutely loved how soft and controlled these paddles were. The only downside would be that maybe some players would find them too soft.

The game is moving more and more towards a fast-paced onslaught of hand battles, so if you are the type of player that prefers to reset and get back to the net, the 16mm paddles would be a wonderful choice.

If you are looking to be on the attacking side of the net, the 13mm have the control to help accurately aim the ball, but will not produce as much speed as high-ranking power-oriented paddles like the Black Ace or the new line of thermoformed paddles. As for control, I give the 16mm paddles a 9/10 and the 13mm an 8/10.

Durability

The paddles I tested were lent to me by an ambassador of the company that has had the paddles for about 4 months, so they all had some hours on them.

They were continuously being used as a demo paddle by other friends and patrons of the courts, so all sorts of players had tried these out – bangers, novices, self-proclaimed pros, etc. The wear pattern was pretty evident after all this time. 

The face of the paddle is carbon fiber that is coated with their signature designs, then sandblasted to apply the grittiness to achieve the spin that everyone loves. 

The downside of this process is that the coating does wear down eventually, becoming smooth. After the six months of decently heavy use, there is a noticeable difference between the grittiness on the outer edges of the paddle that gets used less and the center of the paddle that gets the most use.

The warranty does not cover normal wear and tear through standard use, but only manufacturers’ defects. Fortunately, after speaking to high level players about how long other paddles with an applied grit lasts and have stated that it is not uncommon for the surfaces of paddles like the Selkirk Power Air, Gamma, and others to only last 4-5 months of heavy use, so I would say these results are within expected standards. 

Drawbacks of The Holbrook Mav Pro Series

The biggest downside of the Mav Pro line, for me, would be the applied grit on the paddle’s face. I personally prefer the spin generated from raw carbon fiber paddles. 

Also, while I appreciate the softness these paddles possess, others may not. Because I would classify these paddles as more control-oriented, including the 13mm variations which clearly provide more pop, players that rely on the paddle to help generate power may find these slightly lacking in this department.

Holbrook Mav Pro vs. Holbrook Mav Pro E

Holbrook Mav pro
  • Weight: 7.8 – 8.0 oz
  • Length: 16.5″
  • Paddle Width: 7.5"
  • Grip Length: 5.5 "
  • Tickness: 13mm and 16mm
  • Face: Force Field T700 Woven 3K Carbon Fiber
Holbrook Mav Pro E
  • Weight: 7.8 – 8.0 oz
  • Length: 16.5″
  • Paddle Width: 7.5″
  • Grip Length: 4.75 in
  • Tickness: 13mm & 16mm
  • Face: T700 Woven 3k Carbon Fiber

Final Thoughts

In case it was not apparent, the E in Mav Pro E alludes to the elongated face. With a shorter grip, keeping the same width dimension allows the face itself to take up more of the overall length.

I have now begun using a two-handed backhand, which is very difficult with the E shape, so because of that, I would choose the Mav Pro 13mm from this lineup. Many that come from a tennis background also use a two-handed backhand, making the Mav Pro the obvious choice. However, if you know that you will not be using a two-handed backhand, the increased size of the sweet spot that comes with the E model is the right choice.

So, if you are looking for a control-oriented paddle that will excel in dinks and resets while also being maneuverable at the net for blocks, you will be very pleased with the performance you will receive from the Mav Pro line of Holbrook paddles.

Written by:

Cody Heyer

One day, a friend challenged me to a game of Pickleball. My response “that old person game?!?” He laughed and a couple days later, a few “old people” completely crushed me. The competitive side of me couldn’t take it and since then I’ve been studying, drilling, playing, and thankfully winning. Then my attention went to world of paddles. So many to choose from, so how do I know which one is right for me? The answer was simple: try them all! That’s how my journey began and I don’t see it ending any time soon. Follow along with me as I discover the rapidly evolving world of Pickleball!

1 thought on “Holbrook Mav Pro Pickleball Paddle Review”

  1. Great article! Thank you.
    I would like to see a comparison between the Holbrook 16mm Pro E and the Joola 16mm Ben John’s Hyperion.

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