Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle Review

Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle Review

The Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle – a new addition to Gearbox’s lineup known for quality and durability. This paddle is unique as it’s Gearbox’s first raw-carbon fiber release, featuring cutting-edge technology in this space. I had the chance to test and review this paddle, generously provided by JustPaddles. Over the past few weeks, I’ve put the GBX through its paces to see how it performs.

In this review, we’ll delve into whether this paddle lives up to Gearbox’s reputation for innovation, comparable to their SST line. Is it a paddle worth considering? Let’s find out.

Upon testing, the GBX proves to be a solid all-around paddle, reminiscent of trusted Gen 1 raw carbon fiber paddles like the CRBN 1 and Joola Hyperion. It offers good control, a generous sweet spot, decent spin, and ample power.

It’s worth noting that Gearbox’s decision to release a raw carbon fiber paddle comes as a bit of a surprise, given their previous stance on this type of construction. It appears they’ve entered this market due to the high demand for such paddles.

While the GBX does introduce some new proprietary technology, it doesn’t feel as groundbreaking as Gearbox’s other paddle lines. Notably, the 2023 innovations in the raw carbon fiber paddle arena, like thermoforming and foam-injected perimeter treatment, are absent in the GBX.

The GBX employs a unibody construction, enhancing both performance and durability. However, it’s important to highlight that it lacks the thermoforming seen in standout unibody paddles like the Legacy Pro and others. Gearbox’s decision not to incorporate thermoforming and foam injection is a topic of discussion among paddle enthusiasts, as these features have shown excellent performance in new-generation paddles.

In an unexpected move, Gearbox has introduced the GBX with a polypropylene core and a thickness of 16 millimeters. This paddle boasts a T700 Toray carbon fiber face, a familiar feature in other paddles, but with an eight-ply design. This unique construction, with seven layers beneath the surface, promises a large sweet spot, enhanced spin, power, and a smooth feel.

Gearbox’s reputation for thorough product development and research is evident in this paddle, which introduces its own technological twist. I’m eager to put this paddle through its paces and see how it performs in action. Stay tuned for the full Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle Review!

Technical Speciafication of Gearbox GBX 16mm Carbon Fiber Paddle

  • Shape: Elongated
  • Average Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Weight Range: 8.3 – 8.7 ounces
  • Grip Circumference: 4″ (Small)
  • Grip Style: Gearbox Smooth Black Wrap
  • Grip Manufacturer: Gearbox
  • Handle Length: 5 1/2″
  • Paddle Length: 16 1/2″
  • Paddle Width: 7 3/8″
  • Paddle Face: Toray T-700
  • Core Material: High-Density 7mm Polypropylene Honeycomb
  • Core Thickness: 16mm (0.63″)
  • Edge Guard: 1/8″ overlapping paddle face
  • Swing Weight: 122

Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle Review

Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle Review

In this detailed review, we take an in-depth look at the Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle, a paddle that has garnered significant attention in the pickleball community.

We’ll break down its specifications, strengths, weaknesses, and overall value, helping you make an informed decision before adding it to your gear collection.

Paddle Face

The Gearbox GBX Pickleball Paddle boasts a cutting-edge paddle face constructed from Toray T700 raw carbon fiber. This material is known for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, making it a popular choice in high-performance sports equipment.

The use of raw carbon fiber provides the paddle with a robust surface that can withstand the rigors of intense gameplay. This face material is also instrumental in generating powerful shots and precise ball control.

Paddle Core

Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle Review

At the heart of the GBX paddle lies a high-density polymer honeycomb core. This core material is engineered to provide a perfect balance of power, control, and durability. Unlike conventional cores, the GBX employs a unique honeycomb structure with cells measuring a mere 7mm in diameter.

This design results in a denser core, contributing to a more solid feel across the entire paddle face. The high-density core enhances shot accuracy and imparts a distinct responsiveness to the paddle.

Dimensions and Weight

Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle Review


The Gearbox GBX stands out with its distinctive dimensions, measuring 16.5 inches in length and 7.38 inches in width. This elongated design grants players an extended reach, particularly advantageous for powerful groundstrokes and precise net play.

However, what truly sets the GBX apart is its weight. Weighing in at 8.5 ounces, this paddle falls into the heavyweight category. This characteristic empowers players to deliver forceful shots, giving them an edge in competitive gameplay.

Handle and Grip

Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle Review

The GBX features a meticulously designed handle with a circumference of approximately 4.25 inches, ensuring a comfortable and secure grip. This handle length of 5.5 inches strikes a balance between control and maneuverability, enabling players to execute various shots with precision.

To further enhance player comfort, Gearbox outfits the handle with its renowned smooth black grip. This grip material provides excellent traction, minimizing slippage during intense rallies. The combination of handle length and grip material ensures that players can maintain optimal control throughout their matches.

If you have small hands and looking for the best pickleball paddle that suits you make sure to check them out here.

Performance Rating of the Gearbox GBX 16mm Carbon Fiber Paddle

When it comes to pickleball, performance is paramount. The Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle has been generating buzz in the pickleball community, promising a blend of power, control, and spin. In this section, we’ll delve into the performance of the GBX paddle, breaking it down into key aspects that matter to players.


The GBX paddle’s construction, with its Toray T700 raw carbon fiber face and high-density polymer honeycomb core, offers a unique balance of power and precision. The heavyweight nature of the paddle, tipping the scales at 8.5 ounces, provides players with the ability to deliver forceful shots when needed.

This extra weight generates the necessary leverage for smashing and driving the ball with authority. While the GBX excels in power, it also maintains a level of finesse that allows for controlled shots and placement. Players can expect their baseline drives and smashes to pack a punch, offering a competitive edge on the court.


Spin is a critical element in pickleball, influencing ball trajectory and making shots more unpredictable. The GBX paddle incorporates “Hyper spin technology” through its textured carbon fiber face.

This innovation enables players to impart precise spin on the ball, enhancing their ability to execute spin-dependent shots like topspin serves and slice returns. While it may not deliver the extreme spin of some top-tier paddles, the GBX provides reliable spin control, giving players an edge in manipulating ball movement.


Control is where the Gearbox GBX truly shines. The paddle’s design emphasizes accuracy and placement, making it an excellent choice for players who value consistency in their shots. The denser honeycomb core contributes to a solid and responsive feel, allowing players to execute shots with pinpoint accuracy.

The forgiving sweet spot ensures that off-center hits still maintain control, minimizing the risk of mishits. Whether you’re executing dinks at the net or aiming for precise baseline shots, the GBX delivers the control you need to outmaneuver your opponents.


The Gearbox GBX strikes a balance between power and maneuverability, thanks to its elongated dimensions and well-distributed weight. The longer paddle face offers an extended reach, which can be advantageous in reaching difficult shots.

However, the paddle’s weight and balance can take some getting used to. While it provides excellent stability and power, it may feel slightly cumbersome, especially during fast-paced rallies at the net. Players may need to make adjustments to adapt to the paddle’s unique characteristics.

Overall Performance Rating

In summary, the Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle offers a well-rounded performance that caters to different playing styles. Its blend of power, spin, and control makes it a versatile choice for both singles and doubles play. While it may require some adaptation due to its weight and balance, players can expect reliable and accurate performance from this paddle. The GBX is particularly suitable for those who value control and spin in their gameplay.

Who Should Buy the Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle?

The Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle is a standout choice for players who prioritize a balanced blend of power, spin, and control in their gameplay. Here are some specific profiles of players who would benefit most from this paddle:

Power Players:

Players Seeking Smashing Potential: If you thrive on delivering powerful smashes and baseline drives, the GBX’s heavyweight nature and robust construction make it an ideal choice. It provides the leverage needed to generate forceful shots.

Competitive Singles Players: Individuals engaged in singles play, where power plays a crucial role, will find the GBX to be a formidable ally on the court. Its ability to deliver strong, accurate shots can make a significant difference in singles matches.

Spin Enthusiasts:

Players Emphasizing Spin Control: For those who rely on spin-dependent shots like serves, slices, and drops, the GBX’s “Hyper spin technology” provides a textured surface for precise spin manipulation. It allows for effective execution of various spin techniques.

Doubles Specialists: In doubles play, where net play and precise placement are essential, the GBX’s spin capabilities come into play. It offers the control needed for dinking, drop shots, and volleys.

Precision-Oriented Players:

Players Prioritizing Control: If you value accuracy, placement, and consistent shots, the GBX’s design caters to your playing style. The paddle’s responsive feel and forgiving sweet spot ensure that you maintain control even on off-center hits.

Intermediate to Advanced Players: Those with a solid foundation in pickleball looking to elevate their game will appreciate the GBX’s performance. It offers the features and capabilities that more experienced players can harness to their advantage.

Who Shouldn’t Choose the Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle?

While the Gearbox GBX is a versatile paddle, it may not be the perfect fit for every player. Here are some profiles of players who might want to consider other options:

Lightweight Preference:

Players Preferring Lighter Paddles: If you’re accustomed to lighter paddles and prioritize maneuverability over power, the GBX’s 8.5-ounce weight might feel too heavy. It may require an adjustment period for players used to lighter equipment.

Fast Net Play Specialists:

Players Emphasizing Lightning-Fast Reactions at the Net: For players who thrive on rapid exchanges at the net and rely on quick reflexes, the GBX’s weight and balance might pose a slight challenge. It may not offer the same level of agility as lighter paddles.

Budget-Conscious Shoppers:

Players Seeking Lower-Priced Options: The GBX is positioned as a premium paddle, and its price tag reflects its advanced features and materials. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, there are paddles available at a lower price point that still offer solid performance.

Pros of the Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle:

Balanced Power: The paddle offers a well-calibrated mix of power and control, catering to players who seek forceful shots with accuracy.

Spin-Friendly: Equipped with “Hyper spin technology,” the textured carbon fiber face enables players to exert precise spin on the ball, enhancing their shot repertoire.

Durable: The Toray T700 raw carbon fiber face and high-density polymer honeycomb core contribute to the paddle’s durability, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of competitive play.

Ample Sweet Spot: The paddle boasts a forgiving sweet spot, providing players with a wider margin for error on off-center hits.

Elongated Design: The longer dimensions of the paddle offer players an extended reach, advantageous for executing shots that require extra reach and power.

Excellent Grip Material: The smooth black grip on the handle ensures players have a secure hold on the paddle, minimizing slippage during intense rallies.

Innovative Core Design: The high-density honeycomb core with smaller cell diameter contributes to a denser core, resulting in a more solid and responsive feel across the entire paddle face.

Versatility for Both Singles and Doubles Play: The GBX’s balanced performance characteristics make it suitable for both singles and doubles playstyles, accommodating a wide range of player preferences.

Cons of the Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle:

Heavier Weight: Weighing in at 8.5 ounces, the GBX falls into the heavyweight category, which may not suit players who prefer lighter paddles for enhanced maneuverability.

Top-Heavy Balance: The paddle’s balance may feel slightly top-heavy, potentially requiring players to make adjustments to adapt to its unique weight distribution.

Price Point: Positioned as a premium paddle, the GBX comes with a higher price tag, which may be a consideration for budget-conscious players seeking more affordable options.

Adaptation Period: Players accustomed to lighter paddles may experience an adjustment period when transitioning to the GBX due to its heavier weight.

Limited Aesthetic Appeal: Subjectively, some players may find the design of the GBX paddle to be less visually appealing compared to other options in the market.

Final Thoughts:

Hope you have enjoyed the Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle Review. Overall, the decision to invest in the Gearbox GBX 16mm Pickleball Paddle should align with your playing style, preferences, and budget. Understanding your specific needs on the court will help you determine if the GBX is the right fit for you or if another paddle might be better suited to your game.

If you’re a dedicated Gearbox enthusiast looking to support their venture into raw carbon fiber paddles, the GBX is worth considering. However, for the average player seeking a high-performance paddle at a competitive price, there are alternative options to explore.

Paddles with edge foam, hold molding (thermoformed) construction, and elite spin capabilities may provide better value and performance. Some of these options include the Legacy Pro, The Vatic Pro V7 & Flash, the Six Zero Black Diamond Line, and the Ronbus R1.16, which offer improved performance at more affordable prices. Avatar

Leave a Reply

Liyana Parker

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.