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A Deep Dive into The Selkirk Invikta Pickleball Paddle
The Invikta by Selkirk is a fiberglass face pickleball paddle in their AMPED line that comes in midweight and lightweight versions, as well as a range of available grip sizes. The lightest weighted versions of the paddle are in the 7.2-7.4 oz. range, depending on grip size (choices of 4-, 4.25-, and 4.5-inch grips), whereas the heaviest versions are 9.3-9.5 oz.
Most players opt for a heavy paddle, to smash and drive through serves and returns. However, many beginning players are attracted to lightweight paddles that offer more control. This is really an ideal choice for beginning play and makes for a more interesting game.
Your typical pickleball paddle is a polymer frame with a graphite face, whereas the design of the Invikta is a departure from standard (we will get into that below). The Invikta comes in several colors: Selkirk Red, Sapphire Blue, Amethyst Purple, Burnt Sunset, and Desert Coast.
It retails for about $150
Who’s It For?
The Invikta has been hailed as a new standard in pickleball paddle design. The paddle was designed by national champ Tyson McGuffin and features a polypropylene X5 core and FiberFlex fiberglass shell. This combination of materials produces a completely different feel from standard pickleball paddles.
It is a well-balanced paddle for power players as well as intermediate players and can produce powerful drives and serves. Beginning players should opt for a paddle with a wider head than the Invikta.
Compared with other products in the AMPED line, the Invikta has a unique, elongated head shape (like the AMPED Omni) that will likely become more widely adopted due to several performance advantages (like a bigger sweet spot and better reach).
What We Like About Selkirk Invikta Pickleball Paddles
This paddle is a departure from other pickleball paddles in the field. The standard design for the head of any pickleball paddle entails the use of graphite, which give that “pop” players expect reporting ball feel and indicating good ball contact. The Invikta is coated with fiberglass, which softens ball contact, but imparts more spin to the ball. In other words, this is more of a control paddle than a smasher. In the right hands, the Invikta can add an element of complexity to gameplay.
Other pickleball paddles typically use a stiff polymer core, but Selkirk uses their X5 polypropylene, a proprietary structural product that we assume is distinguished by being a form pattern of polymer weave in a honeycomb configuration. This core is softer than other paddles and compliments the fiberglass shell to increase paddle to ball contact time, thus also assisting in imparting spin to the ball.
Despite the softness and contact time, no significant loss of power is experienced. All in all, this makes for more control and more play options during matches with respect to pacing.
The Invikta has a slightly shorter head than its cousin, the Omni, but a longer handle (5.25 inches). This allows for a larger swing arc and more power, which compensates nicely for the general softness of the paddle.
What are players saying about the Invikta?
Many players report that the paddle produces great topspin on serves. The longer handle increases reach and players often report that this has saved them on many ball returns.
Regardless of the soft nature of the paddle, nearly all users report that it produces plenty of power, as long as you hit the sweet spot. The paddle is more expensive than other paddles, in some cases twice as expensive, however the Invikta is steadily gaining a following.
Most new users are not people who just walked up and plopped down $150. They are players who switched to using the Invikta after getting beaten with it and their fellow players letting them try theirs out.
What We Don’t Like About Selkirk Invikta Pickleball Paddles
The unique design of the Invikta takes some getting used to if you have been playing pickleball before with standard paddles. The feel of a polymer core with a graphite face is much more explosive, whereas the Invikta feels muted.
That being said, it is made more for control and can be powerful, but some players may not feel comfortable with the softness of it.
What are player’s gripes?
Some have commented that it takes some play adjustment to get used to the smaller (narrower) head. They experience many mis-hits and ball dinks in the early stages of adjustment.
This is not a paddle for beginning players; they will find it frustrating to use. Some players actually find the Invikta “cheaty” and overpowered.
Their game has markedly improved with the Invikta and they feel that it unbalances gameplay and puts their opponents at too much of a disadvantage.
- Longer handle (5.25 inches)
- Unique design (polymer and fiberglass
- Long head and sweet spot
- Good ball control
- Head is thicker than most paddles
- Feels soft on ball contact
- No paddle cover
A Selkirk Invikta pickleball paddle
Overview Of Features
- EdgeSentry: An edge protection design that prevents damage from accidental court strikes without adding too much weight to the paddle. Selkirk also states that the perimeter weighting assists in balance and stability
- FiberFlex: Their proprietary fiberglass coating for ball spin
- X5 Core: Their proprietary polypropylene honeycomb frame
- Long handle (5.25”)
- Comfort Grip: A proprietary cushioning material that allows for a firm grip and vibration dampening
The bottom line on the Invikta is that this is where the pickleball paddle field is going, it’s just that Selkirk got there first. Materials science will continue to push the envelope on enhancing player performance.
Better equipment, better play. Although the price is a bit steep ($150), the Invikta will definitely not disappoint players.