Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Review

Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Review

Welcome to the Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Review! Ronbus, a respected name in the pickleball community, has recently unveiled their latest paddle line, the Nova.

This release has caused quite a stir among enthusiasts, marking it as one of the standout paddle launches of the summer. Despite being a smaller manufacturer, Ronbus has steadily built a reputation for quality paddles.

Dong Li, the retired engineer and owner of Ronbus, proudly labels the Nova as a Gen. 3 paddle, signifying a significant leap in innovation. You might be familiar with terms like Gen. 2 (hot-molded thermoforming) or even Gen. 1.5 (thermofoaming).

Ronbus’s groundbreaking Gen. 3 technology builds upon the strengths of Gen. 2 thermoforming while diligently tackling the quality control challenges that have plagued its predecessors, including issues like core corruption, disbonding, and delamination.

It’s truly exciting to witness the introduction of proprietary techniques aimed at resolving core thermoforming concerns. Ronbus’s previous success with the thermoformed Pulsar paddle series has set the stage, and now, with the Nova, they’re taking the next big step forward.

The big question remains: How does the R1 Nova perform? Has Ronbus successfully implemented the desired changes in their Gen. 3 production methods while preserving the essence of Gen. 2 thermoformed paddles? Join us as we dive into the review and find out!

Also Read: Ronbus R3 Pulsar Pickleball Paddle review.

Technical Specification of Ronbus R1 Nova Pickleball Paddle

  • Paddle Shape: Hybrid
  • Paddle Core thickness: 16mm
  • Paddle Face: Raw Toray T700 Carbon Fiber
  • Paddle Width: 7.5″
  • Average weight: 7.7 oz
  • Swing Weight: 115 moderate
  • Twist weight: 5.82 moderately low
  • Grip length: 5.5″
  • Grip size: 4.125″
  • Paddle Core: high-performance polypropylene honeycomb
  • Total length: 16.5″
  • Warranty: 6 months manufacturing defects warranty

Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Review

Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Review

The R1 Nova is an outstanding all-court paddle with a power-oriented touch. Featuring an innovative hybrid shape, this paddle delivers the enhanced power of thermoforming while maintaining strong control, high spin capabilities, and unmatched durability.

The Nova introduces Gen. 3 technology, addressing durability issues in thermoformed paddles through “Edge Grid Technology.” This advancement increases both durability and performance.

What is Gen. 3 Thermoforming?

Thermoforming involves subjecting a paddle to high heat and pressure during manufacturing. Ronbus identified key durability issues linked to this process, particularly air bubbles trapped within the paddle core, leading to malfunctions over time.

The innovative Gen. 3 technology addressed this problem by using a permeable carbon fiber grid to seal the paddle’s edge foam. This allowed hot air to escape after thermoforming, preventing damage to the core and face. The result is a more resilient paddle, capable of withstanding temperature changes throughout its lifespan.

Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Face

The paddle face is the business end of any pickleball paddle, and the R1 Nova doesn’t disappoint. It features a meticulously designed surface crafted from tightly woven raw Toray T-700 carbon fiber.

This high-quality material provides a blend of responsiveness and durability, ensuring that the paddle face can handle the rigors of intense gameplay while offering excellent control over the ball’s trajectory.

The Nova’s paddle face is engineered to enhance spin capabilities, allowing players to impart sharp cuts and slices. This feature proves invaluable for players looking to gain an edge over their opponents, especially in higher-level matches.

With the Nova’s advanced paddle face, you’ll experience a level of precision and control that can significantly elevate your gameplay.

Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Core

Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Review

At the heart of the R1 Nova lies a carefully crafted core that forms the backbone of its performance. Ronbus’s Gen. 3 technology introduces a structural innovation that addresses long-standing durability concerns in thermoformed paddles.

Unlike conventional designs, the Nova’s core benefits from the patented “Edge Grid Technology.”

This groundbreaking approach involves using a permeable carbon fiber grid to seal the edge foam around the perimeter of the paddle. By allowing hot air to escape post-thermoforming, the Nova’s core maintains its integrity and resilience to temperature variations over time.

This means fewer instances of core crushing and delamination, offering players a more dependable and long-lasting paddle.

Ronbus R1 Nova Dimensions and Weight

Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Review

The R1 Nova boasts an elongated shape that sets it apart from standard paddles. With carefully calculated dimensions, the Nova strikes a balance between maneuverability and power.

Its slightly longer profile and curved top provide players with added leverage, enhancing their ability to execute shots with precision and control.

When it comes to weight, the Nova’s average of 7.8 ounces places it firmly in the lightweight category. This feature contributes to the paddle’s nimbleness, allowing for quick reflexes and agility on the court.

Additionally, the paddle’s very low swingweight of 115 makes it exceptionally easy to handle, ensuring that players can react swiftly to the fast-paced nature of pickleball.

Ronbus R1 Nova Handle and Grip

Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Review

The handle of a paddle is where the player establishes their connection to the game. The R1 Nova boasts a 5.5-inch handle that strikes a perfect balance between length and leverage.

This size provides ample room for two-handed backhands while allowing for a dynamic range of motion during play.

The handle’s octagonal shape and smaller 4.125-inch circumference offer a comfortable grip that feels natural in the hands. This feature is particularly beneficial for players with smaller hands or those who prefer a more compact handle.

Additionally, the smaller circumference allows for the easy addition of one or more overgrips to customize the feel to your liking.

Also check out the Best Pickleball Paddles for Small Hands.

Performance Rating of Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle

When it comes to evaluating a pickleball paddle, performance is the ultimate yardstick. The Ronbus R1 Nova excels in various key aspects, making it a formidable contender on the court. Let’s delve into the performance ratings to uncover what sets the Nova apart.


One of the standout features of the R1 Nova is its exceptional control-oriented design. Unlike standard thermoformed paddles, the Nova offers a more refined and less stiff feel.

This characteristic is a game-changer for players who found conventional thermoformed paddles to be too “poppy” or rigid.

The paddle provides a crisp and precise response, giving players confidence in their soft game. It enables longer ball contact on the paddle face, facilitating the execution of aggressive topspin dinks and angled shots, especially when striking from below the net.

This advantage over poppier paddles can be a game-changer for players seeking control and finesse in their gameplay.


The R1 Nova strikes a harmonious balance between power and precision. With its Gen. 3 technology, this paddle leverages thermoforming advancements to deliver an impressive level of power.

Whether it’s serves, drives, overheads, or counters, the Nova provides players with the ability to put pace on their shots, ensuring they have the firepower they need to dominate rallies.

What sets the Nova apart is its uncanny ability to maintain precision even in the midst of power-packed plays. The paddle’s well-engineered paddle face and core work in tandem to offer players the control they need to direct the ball with pinpoint accuracy.

This combination of power and precision makes the Nova a formidable tool in the hands of any player.


One of the considerations with the Nova is its forgiveness rating. While it doesn’t feature an oversized sweet spot like some traditional thermoformed paddles, it still offers a playable sweet spot.

It’s worth noting that the sweet spot may feel slightly smaller when compared to other thermoformed options.

However, the Nova’s lighter average weight of 7.8 ounces and low swingweight of 115 allow for customization.

By adding lead tape strategically, players can enhance the paddle’s twistweight and forgiveness without significantly increasing its overall weight.


Spin is a game-changer in pickleball, allowing players to impart unique trajectories on their shots. The R1 Nova’s surface, composed of tightly woven raw Toray T-700 carbon fiber, provides the perfect canvas for generating spin.

This feature is crucial for executing tricky slices, cuts, and spins that keep opponents on their toes.While the Nova already offers excellent spin capabilities at its stock weight, adding a bit of weight can elevate this aspect even further.

Players who relish the opportunity to shape their shots with precision will find the Nova to be a formidable asset in their arsenal.

Hand Speed

Thanks to its low stock weight and curved aerodynamic shape, the Nova is one of the quicker thermoformed paddles available.

This translates to nimble and agile gameplay, allowing players to react swiftly to the fast-paced nature of pickleball.

With its 115 swingweight, the Nova strikes a balance between maneuverability and stability, ensuring players can handle hand battles and rapid exchanges with ease.


Perhaps the most significant achievement of the R1 Nova lies in its durability. Thermoformed paddles have long grappled with issues of delamination, core crushing, and disbonding. Ronbus’s Gen. 3 technology introduces a groundbreaking solution, effectively addressing these concerns.

Extensive testing, including a rigorous 10,000+ rotation test, showcases the Nova’s ability to withstand the demands of intense play. This innovation provides players with the peace of mind that their paddle will stand the test of time.


The Nova offers an excellent feel, with a lightweight design and a well-balanced distribution of weight. The handle length and circumference strike a sweet spot, providing excellent grip and leverage. The octagonal handle shape and smaller circumference cater to players with smaller hands or those who prefer a compact grip.


The Nova offers a crisp and responsive pop, particularly suited for short strokes and fast play. It strikes a good balance between responsiveness and control, making it ideal for quick exchanges and punch volleys. While it may not have the highest pop, it meets the needs of most players who prioritize control.

Pros Of Ronbus R1 Nova

  • Soft Paddle
  • Excellent spin and control
  • Lightweight
  • Improved power compared to same league paddles
  • Durable
  • Less poppy

Cons Of Ronbus R1 Nova

  • Compromised Sweet Spot
  • Use of lead tape for best performance

What I found appealing in Ronbus R1 Nova?

Control-Oriented: The R1 Nova stands out for its control-oriented design, offering a crisp and less stiff feel compared to standard thermoformed paddles.

If you’ve found other paddles to be too poppy or stiff, the Nova might be your ideal choice. It strikes a balance between responsiveness and control, making it great for precise shots.

Improved Soft Game: The paddle allows for a longer ball contact, enhancing your ability to execute aggressive topspin dinks and angles, especially when hitting from below the net at the Kitchen line. This advantage makes it excel in soft game situations compared to poppier paddles.

Offensive Power: When it comes to offense, the Nova holds its ground, delivering similar power levels for serves and drives as regular thermoformed paddles.

However, it feels less poppy when countering speed ups or drives, offering more control in offensive plays.

High Spin Rating: The Nova boasts an impressive spin rating, with RPM tests measuring around 1900. This ample spin capability provides excellent control over the trajectory of the ball.

Lightweight and Maneuverable: With an average weight of 7.8oz and a very low swingweight of 115, the Nova’s elongated shape feels agile and fast right out of the box.

What I Disliked in Ronbus R1 Nova?

Lower Forgiveness Rating: The Nova falls short in terms of forgiveness, as its sweet spot is noticeably smaller compared to traditional thermoformed paddles like Six Zero Double Black Diamond 16mm. However, this can be improved with the addition of lead tape.

Initial Performance: Out of the box, the Nova delivers a good but not exceptional performance. To maximize its potential, you may need to add lead tape, an overgrip, and edge guard tape.

Did Ronbus R1 Nova Fix Delamination?

During extensive playtesting spanning four weeks, the Nova exhibited no signs of delamination or core crushing issues. Ronbus’s durability testing videos, including the one shared in the review, are convincing evidence that the Nova addresses these concerns effectively. However, real-world usage over time will provide a more comprehensive assessment of its durability.

Ronbus R1 Nova VS R1.16

In comparison to other paddles in Ronbus’s R1 lineup, the Nova falls between the R1.16 and R1 Pulsar (we will review it later) in terms of power and control. While the R1.16 leans more toward control, the R1 Nova offers a balanced combination of control and offensive capabilities, playing more similarly to the R1 Pulsar. Notably, the R1 Pulsar is a fully encased thermoformed paddle, while the R1.16 follows a different design approach.

My Personal Opinion on R1 Nova

Overall, the R1 Nova is a solid paddle with the potential for greatness. It shines as a control-oriented paddle with added offensive abilities once you apply lead tape. Ronbus’s innovations in durability make it a compelling choice for those seeking a reliable paddle in the thermoformed category.

If you don’t mind customizing your paddle with lead tape, the R1 Nova offers a great option. However, if you prefer a larger sweet spot straight out of the box, other control paddles like the Vatic Pro Prism Flash may be more suitable.

In my personal experience, I found the Ronbus R1 Pulsar to be a preferable choice out of the box due to its forgiveness and slightly more power. However, after adding lead tape to the Nova, I appreciated its softer feel.

Does the Ronbus R1 Nova Worth Buying?

The R1 Nova represents a welcome incremental innovation in the pickleball paddle market, addressing durability concerns with intelligence and engineering. If you prioritize durability, performance, and longevity in your paddle choice, the Nova is a compelling option.

Furthermore, if you’re upgrading from a non-thermoformed paddle, the Nova is likely to provide you with an edge you never knew you needed. For first-time Ronbus paddle users, the Nova offers an impressive introduction to the brand’s exceptional quality.

Supporting a small business like Ronbus, actively pushing the boundaries of pickleball paddle technology, is an added bonus. The Nova’s performance, combined with its durability, makes it a standout choice for players looking for a reliable and long-lasting paddle.

Final Thoughts on Ronbus R1 Nova

In conclusion of this comprehensive Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Review, it’s evident that the paddle represents a significant leap forward in thermoformed paddle technology. The incorporation of Gen. 3 advancements, particularly the Edge Grid Technology, addresses longstanding issues of delamination and core crushing. This innovation alone sets the R1 Nova apart, offering players a durable and reliable tool for their pickleball pursuits.

The paddle’s performance is nothing short of exceptional. Its unique blend of power and precision, combined with spin-friendly design, caters to a wide range of playing styles. The soft game capabilities and control offered by the Nova make it a versatile choice for players looking to dominate the court with finesse.

Hand speed is a notable advantage, allowing for quick reactions and agile gameplay. The Nova’s lightweight construction and optimized design contribute to its nimble performance, ensuring players can navigate intense exchanges with ease.

What truly distinguishes the R1 Nova, however, is its unrivaled durability. In a market where thermoformed paddles have often struggled with structural issues, Ronbus’s Gen. 3 technology offers a game-changing solution. The extensive testing and real-world play attest to the Nova’s resilience, providing players with the confidence that their paddle will stand the test of time.

Overall, the Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Review showcases a paddle that carter innovation with performance, setting a new standard in the world of pickleball equipment. For players seeking a reliable, high-performing paddle that addresses durability concerns, the R1 Nova is a standout choice.

It not only elevates gameplay but also instills confidence in its longevity, making it a valuable investment for any pickleball enthusiast. Experience the difference for yourself and unlock the full potential of your play with the Ronbus R1 Nova paddle. Avatar

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