VANGUARD Hybrid Pickleball Paddle Review

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The VANGUARD Hybrid Pickleball Paddle is the newest innovation unfolding in the pickleball industry. Selkirk’s VANGUARD has promised a powerhouse of dynamic proportions and innovative technology like “QuadCarbon.” Attempting to revolutionize the industry, Selkirk has undertaken the largest research and development venture their company, and possibly the entire industry, has ever seen.

The Vanguard Hybrid was engineered for accelerated speed and consistency. It targets pickleball players from beginner to advanced offering both midweight and lightweight designs with customizable grips and weight range guarantees. At the end of the day, a prestigious paddle turns heads; a winning paddle takes names. We all know a fresh new design is fantastic, but let’s break this innovative technology down for you.

“I’m gonna try to get my hands on the new VANGUARD paddle and maybe it will surprise me and will look/feel completely different and be totally awesome! Either way, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed in how it plays!” – Scott Anglin



Selkirk Vanguard Invikta

Carbon Fiber is a high stiffness, high tensile, high chemical resistance, high- temperature tolerance, low weight, and low thermal expansion material that has been used in some of the most versatile industries from aerospace to mechanical engineering.

This means it provides strength while remaining lightweight, two key things you look for in a paddle’s design.

This also means Selkirk leveraged this high strength-to-volume ratio and has engineered a way to weave and layer the carbon fiber before joining it to the polypropylene honeycomb core. The result is immediately noticeable.

The Vanguard Face features double-layer, bi-directional, cross-weave carbon fiber on both sides of the paddle.

Consistency is created by the paddle’s carbon fiber giving it the ability to hold resonance with the ball longer. In other words, the ball dwells on the paddle face for longer because the carbon fiber is so stiff and flattens the ball. The stiffness of the face creates an intentional relationship between the travel of the ball and the paddle.

Much like a diver, the contact with the top of the water is more direct and concise while simultaneously being absorbed meaning less splash. And in pickleball, that means less ball spray.

The feedback from paddle to ball because of the face, is transferred more directly, and consistently offering more force with less effort from the player.

This means your shot is more accurate with a faster response, all from the paddle. QuadCarbon makes your paddle work for you.


Paddle cores directly impact vibration, speed off the face, spinnability, and the ball “pop” sound.

Selkirk has come up with some interesting combinations that will have you experiencing that softer, more sensitive feel in your paddle.

The VANGUARD core is a honeycomb with advanced polypropylene technology. It works with the QuadCarbon in order to absorb more of the vibrations from each hit.

The synergy alleviates motion transfer pretty effectively and promotes hands to paddle sensitivity. This ability to feel the ball and control direction without being affected by the vibrations will give you more precise control.


Since the edge guard is one of the main factors in paddles going dead, it would make sense that this is important to you.

Having a secure edgeguard that is light weight and low profile enhances the center of percussion or “sweet spot” so you have more forgiveness hitting closer to the edge.


Selkirk Vanguard Epic

Many paddles get reviews such as this: “Fantastic paddle, grip not so great” – Amazon Client. Selkirk has taken action to change that.

Everyone knows the grip matters. Selkirk felt this was the perfect opportunity to design a new grip with some updated features.

Created specifically for the VANGUARD, the GeoGrip offers better wicking capability and improved traction.

This means wrapping, rewrapping, slipping from sweaty hands could very well be a thing of the past.


If you aren’t familiar with the sport, your initial thoughts might focus on power and being able to slam the ball. But have you considered how much pickleball is played in the kitchen where control, hand speed, and ball spin are essential? Having a balance between power and control is critical.

The beginner: This player might feel intimidated by learning a new athletic endeavor from ball behavior, to positioning, to how scoring works. It’s important to be able to jump right in, have fun, and build the foundations of the sport. The VANGUARD can offer confidence and relaxed handling with the more dynamic parts of pickleball because it is an incredibly forgiving paddle with a generous sweet spot.

An intermediate/advanced: This player might utilize this weapon and seize the opportunity to develop more technical skills in the sport

Doubles player: If your partner is a banger and you prefer the dink life, this paddle could, in theory, suit both of you.

The Pro: Professionals know the winning shot is in the details. In any professional sport, aggression and power will only get you so far, while technique, tactics, and the quality of your tools are what gets you to the top of the podium. Simply put, you do not go into battle with a dull blade.

Related Reading: Champion Pickleball Paddle Reviews

Tyson’s First Reactions:

Newman’s First Reactions:

“The VANGUARD {Hybrid} gives me the speed and consistency I need to compete at the highest levels.” –Riley Newman

“Vanguard’s consistency is a must-have to play effective defense, and its increased speed allows me to overpower my opponents at the net during quick volley exchanges and put aways.” -Lindsey Newman

Some of the highest names in pickleball are backing the attributes the VANGUARd has to offer. They know what it takes to operate at the highest level with finesse, control, and speed.


Ultimately, this is going to be based on subjective opinion. Let me give you the facts on the weights and shapes that the VANGUARD paddles offer.

There were mixed emotions with the look of the Vanguard, some said “Plain” other comments were “I love the new design!”, “It’s sexy and sleek”, and my personal favorite: “Paddles are like a status symbol, in the community of pickleball, you don’t want to show up with a brand new Porsche that looks like a Corolla.”-

The Selkirk VANGUARD Hybrid comes in both Midweight and Lightweight models. A bright red “S” indicates a Lightweight paddle while a black “S” indicates a Midweight. The VANGUARD comes in 3 main models, the S2, the EPIC, and the INVIKTA.

Shapes & Weights

  • S2: LW 7.5 – 7.9oz / MW 7.8 – 8.3oz – Widebody design and slightly shorter grip, the S2 brings the largest sweet spot of any of the other shapes offered. 
  • Epic: LW 7.4 – 7.8oz / MW 7.7 – 8.2oz: The Epic features a traditional paddle shape with a long handle and large surface area.
  • Invikta: LW 7.4 – 7.8oz / MW 7.7 – 8.2oz: Elongated surface area integrated with a long handle for full-court coverage.
Selkirk Vanguard Epic
Selkirk Vanguard S2
Selkirk Vanguard Invikta

To answer popular questions: Yes, it only comes in black and red. And yes, those are the only models being currently offered… For now…


If you are someone who likes a straightforward, no-nonsense approach, then Selkirk’s warranty claim will most likely be appealing to you.

30-day return policy, you can try your paddle risk free.

All paddles are covered from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for LIFE.

Pricing: $200

Everyone wants to know why you would pay this much for a paddle? Well, because Science.

The pricing reflects two years of Research & Development, more expensive materials and newly developed manufacturing processes.

From the GeoGrip improvements, the bold graphics, and low profile edge guard to the honeycomb core with advanced polypropylene technology aided by bi-directional, cross-weave carbon fiber on both sides of the paddle, the VANGUARD hybrid is the epitome of advanced technology.

Selkirk did the work and successfully found a way to scientifically make your game better through the VANGUARD paddle without any effort from the player, literally changing the game.

Some people won’t appreciate exactly what it takes to make a paddle this incredibly dynamic and eclectic, you get what you pay for.

While other products may reinforce the old saying “you buy cheap, you buy twice,” the VANGUARD paddle quality and performance stands up to its price in every way, shape, and form.


  • NEW QuadCarbon Technology
  • New Design with Carbon Fiber threading reflecting throughout.
  • GeoGrip for dryer, comfortable hands
  • Improved Edgeguard that is secure and low profile
  • X5 honeycomb core with advanced polypropylene technology
  • Versatile for all levels of player beginner-pro
  • Consistency in your paddle you can trust
  • Ultimate control of up spins, down spins, topspin
  • Develop your skill set faster
  • Reliable paddle response for improved dinking
  • Fine-tune your drive
  • Enhanced 3rd shot drops
  • Speed
  • Vibration dampening
  • Larger Sweet Spot
  • Price point matches
  • Backed by science


  • Built for people looking to improve their technical game. This is great news for finesse players, bad news for bangers. It will force you to address your technical game.
  • Mixed Graphic design: If you’re just into a “pretty paddle” you’re probably not concerned with the specifics of the game.


Based on the collective reviews from pros to the community, Selkirk’s VANGUARD paddles provide the added speed, control, power, and reliability that will benefit every pickleball player.

They understood the need for better ball control, along with handling speed at the net. The Vanguard amplifies both a player’s existing ability and helps promote their future growth.

Granted, many pointed out they love a paddle with power, but you can’t ignore a technically sound pickleball player.

If you are not attuned to the finesse and control it takes to spin balls, control the setup, timing, and execution of a strategy in a rally, then you are missing out on an entire world on the court waiting to be experienced. Vanguard is the invitation people have been waiting for.

I rate this paddle a 5/5 Stars
I rate Selkirk 5/5

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