The 6 Best Selkirk Pickleball Paddles In 2022 – Comparison & Reviews

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With Selkirk pickleball paddles blowing past the $300 threshold, we thought it was time to visit their paddles in the $200 range before we took a big bite of the Tyson McGuffin- inspired Selkirk Labs Project 001 and 002 paddles. 

By scouring the internet, we found all six of these Selkirk pickleball paddles in the $150-$200 range.

On the surface, Selkirk apparently leads the ever-growing pickleball paddle industry in popularity, innovation, and customer loyalty.

My very first pickleball purchase was a Selkirk pickleball paddle. 

One common theme across pickleball paddles is the design: we have two distinct styles.

The most common is a honeycomb pattern of cardboard/plastic underneath a plastic (polymers, polypropylene, polycarbonate, carbon fiber) face.

The other less common design is a solid carbon fiber paddle. The most popular solid paddles tend to come from Gearbox.

If you want to learn more about the different features of pickleball paddles, check out our guide on how to choose a Pickleball paddle where we dive into all the different features and how to differ.

Selkirk Pickleball Paddle Rating Factors

Lots of review articles will use catchwords such as “power, control, spin, etc.” In reality, those terms are simply anecdotal – reviewers aren’t making the effort, nor do they have the ability, to measure the specific metrics those terms imply.

Because of current technological limitations, we don’t (YET!) have the tools either.

However, a speed gun is on its way, and we are in talks with a mechanical engineer to develop a tool to measure how much spin a pickleball paddle can exert on a ball.

In the meantime, I am going to use some of the regular terms, but I want to introduce another, albeit anecdotal term – playability.

All paddles reviewed here will be on a playability scale, ranging from 1 (oof!) to 10 (amazing!). 

It is important to bear in mind paddle manufacturers are doing one thing – trying to sell you their paddle.

You will see many variations in descriptions about the core, the face, and the other paddle structures. Though you can definitely find distinct differences in each, all paddles are some combination of plastic components.

If you want to be bamboozled by different terms for “hard plastics,” feel free to visit our paddle buying guide for in-depth descriptions.

The six Selkirk pickleball paddles were rigorously tested in both drills and games in January, February, and March of 2022. Let’s see how they did and dive into the Selkirk Pickleball Paddles review. 

Top 6 Best Selkirk Pickleball Paddles

Selkirk Amped Epic Midweight X5 FiberFlex

Weight: 7.9 oz. The Selkirk Amped Epic has an elongated handle at 5 ¼” and an overall paddle length of 15 ¾”; plenty of paddle to give you added coverage without compromising playability.

Of the six paddles we tested, this was the most balanced with the largest sweet spot, leaving ample room for error.

My drop shots and my drives were exactly where I would expect them to be, and my dinks were effective and controlled. However, the ball also pops off the paddle with reasonable power, and the surface provides sufficient grip that my topspin drives tended to dive with surprising effect.

At the net, this pickleball paddle provided the best playability of the six Selkirks tested.

I love to slice my backhand crosscourt dink, and the Selkirk Amped Epic bit the ball hard. When it came to hands battles, this is only one of two tested Selkirk pickleball paddles (I will discuss the other later) where I felt completely comfortable and confident. Again, playability was perfect.

blonde woman testing out the Selkirk Amped Epic

Though some reviews will discuss durability, it would be disingenuous to comment after only six weeks of play. Over the course of testing, the Selkirk Amped Epic played extremely well.

The thick core made resets and dinks as easy as any paddle I have previously used.

Selkirk Amped Epic Midweight X5 FiberFlex: Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Extremely versatile paddle
  • The length, thickness, and weight make for excellent balance – can easily add weight to your desire
  • Lots of room for error
  • Playability Score: 9 – of all the paddles we tried, this was my personal favorite

Cons

  • If you need to specifically add power to your game, this isn’t the paddle for you

Selkirk Invikta Amped

Weight: 8.0 oz. This is the Selkirk pickleball paddle Tyson McGuffin used before the Project Paddles.

The handle is elongated at 5¼” with both standard and thin grips available.

The paddle itself measures 16½” in length, which means to be fully legal, it has to sacrifice some width. The narrow paddle face is just over 7⅓.”

Clearly, this results in the sweet spot being smaller and more defined. However, if someone promised me I was going to hit overheads the entire match, this is the paddle I would want in my hand.

My drives had a ton of zip, even if I sprayed them with a little less consistent than usual. When I connected cleanly, the ball felt as though it was coming out of a cannon.

Drop shots took some adjustment, but once I was completely accustomed to this Selkirk paddle, I was quite confident in my ability to place the drops with proper distance and accuracy.

At the net, however, I felt lost.

The narrow paddle face is not for me. Admittedly, hands battles are not my strength.

I can be exceedingly patient in the dink game and will often lull my opponents to sleep before attacking (or lobbing!). With the Invikta Amped, I was moderately comfortable with my dinks, though not completely so due to the smaller sweet spot.

Additionally, I never fully adjusted when someone attacked first. The paddle felt clunky and cumbersome.

Selkirk Invikta Amped Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Plenty of power to finish overheads and hit convincing drives
  • Soft enough to land drops with efficacy

Cons

  • Hand battles were a losing affair with this paddle
  • Dinks take extreme precision with little room for error
  • Playability Score: 5 – this paddle is not a fit for my game

Selkirk Vanguard S2

Weight: 7.7 oz. Let us start with the obvious – this pickleball paddle has enough surface area on the face to serve an entire dinner.

The paddle itself is 15¾” long and a full 8” wide. If a sweet spot is what you want, this paddle will fit your desire.

Of the three of us who used this pickleball paddle over the six-week trial period, two of us strongly liked the oversized sweet spot. Make no mistake, the Selkirk Vanguard S2 pickleball paddle provides its bearer with plenty of room for error.

All of us felt as though we could hit outside the sweet spot on this paddle, and it still felt as though we retained an element of control and predictability.

For someone whose pickleball game already contains ample power, the Selkirk Vanguard S2 could serve as a step in the other direction, toward control.

In the right hands, this paddle can generate consistent, biting dinks for days. And though I am skeptical of all technology involving plastic surfaces claiming it is better, advanced, unique, etc., the Quad Carbon face seemed to play more consistently than other Selkirk Paddles over the trial period.

In the attacking game, the Selkirk Vanguard S2 more than held its own.

My ability to reset balls sometimes felt tenuous with the small grip, but with some minor tweaks, I was able to turn the paddle into a defensive shield.

Naturally, with such a large paddle surface area, some sacrifices have to be made. For the Vanguard S2, this is handle length.

In my hands, this Selkirk pickleball paddle simply doesn’t have enough handle. Though the Selkirk website touts the handle as medium in length, make no mistake, this 4½” is small. It almost feels tiny.

Selkirk Vanguard S2 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A forgiving and large sweet spot
  • No power sacrifice with the oversize surface area
  • Bite and consistency from the QuadCarbon paddle face
  • Confidence-instilling control
  • Playability Score: 8

Cons

  • The small handle is no joke. Or maybe it is. But either way, it wasn’t a fit for me
  • For the money, we think there are superior paddles available

Selkirk Amped S2

Weight: 8.0 oz. This might be the shortest pickleball paddle review in pickleball history.

This plays just like the Selkirk Vanguard S2, but without the QuadCarbon paddle face. It is our recommendation to spend the extra money and invest in the Selkirk Vanguard pickleball paddle.

The Selkirk Amped has the same dimensions and the same less-than-exciting short handle. Again, the oversize sweet spot certainly has its advantages, but without the QuadCarbon bite and pop, this paddle is simply less playable.

Selkirk Amped s2 on a Pickleball court

Selkirk Amped S2 pros and cons

Pros

  • Oversize sweet spot plays well for touch
  • Feels totally controllable during net play – both dinking and hand battles

Cons

  • A short handle might work for smaller hands – it doesn’t work for us
  • Difficult to generate power
  • Playability score: 6

Selkirk Invikta Vanguard

Weight: 7.6 oz. As with most Selkirk pickleball paddles in this review, I appreciate the 16mm thickness.

It adds a layer of control and feel that thinner paddles lack. Because of the elongated and narrow shape, the smaller sweet spot requires a bit of help, and the thick core fills the need.

The handle length is 5 ¼”, which is sufficient for most players, especially for those preferring to have two hands on it at any given time.

This Selkirk pickleball paddle plays a little less cleanly than the elongated Amped version of the Invikta, but I was still able to dial in those drops after considerable work.

My guess is that you have a guy at your courts who plays with this paddle – he wears a glove on his playing hand, hits his drives with intimidating pace, and has a nickname, “Ca$h Money,” or something similar.

It is also likely that Ca$h Money has tested the aerodynamics of the paddle by throwing it over the fence because he consistently loses both long rallies and hand battles at the net.

This is my long way of reiterating, elongated paddles aren’t for me.

A few pros still choose to play with them, but unless you are desperate to add power to your game, we think the larger sweet spot on traditional paddles is universally a better paddle investment.

Selkirk Invikta Vanguard pros and cons

Pros

  • Added power is almost guaranteed
  • With the 16mm version, touch is on par with traditional paddles

Cons

  • Considerably compromised sweet spot
  • Difficulty adapting to pace
  • Playability Score: 5

Selkirk Mach 6 Vanguard Power

Weight 8.2 oz. Saying we saved the best for last would imply that we think this is the best Selkirk pickleball paddle we tested.

No, that is not the case here. It is, however, the most interesting paddle I have personally tried to date – with the only rival being the new Gearbox CX14H.

The Selkirk Mach 6 Vanguard was clearly designed for the former tennis player looking for a paddle to emulate the feel of a tennis racquet.

Unfortunately, Selkirk doesn’t have a restock date on this paddle, but you can still find plenty of models available with a little internet research.

The paddle is thin in design, 16½” long, and 7⅜” wide.

The truly unique handle, at 5⅞” long, is perfect for attacking and defending.

The Selkirk Mach 6 Vanguard Power is more an instrument of battle than a traditional pickleball paddle.

It also comes with the highest-quality stock grip I have found on ANY pickleball paddle I have used.

If you are looking to add pace to your game, I highly recommend the Mach 6 Vanguard Power.

However, and this is a BIG “however”, this paddle sacrifices a lot of touch and control for the added power. 

For someone new to the sport, we strongly recommend getting a feel for the game before considering this paddle.

To say this paddle is “stiff” is to do it a disservice. The Mach 6 Vanguard Power plays like a Valeryian Steel blade (look up the reference if you don’t get it).

Selkirk mach 6 Vanguard on a Pickleball court

Selkirk Mach 6 Vanguard Power pros and cons

Pros

  • We’ve got POWER
  • If you are truly desperate during the pending zombie apocalypse, a Selkirk Mach 6 Vanguard Power may come in handy

Cons

  • Lacks control and consistency
  • Unless you are a pro-level player, resets will also be incredibly difficult with this paddle
  • Playability: 4 (I personally gave it a 6, but the other testers demanded a lower score) 

Final Thoughts On Selkirk Pickleball Paddles

Selkirk pickleball paddles come in all shapes and sizes so I wouldn’t say there’s a standout best Selkirk paddle. It’s really individual and depends on your game and your preference.

One thing is for sure. All Selkirk pickleball paddles are made with a high-quality polymer core so you can be sure you’re getting a very good quality paddle.

FAQ

Who owns Selkirk Sports?

Selkirk sports is family-owned and operated by the Barnes family. They chose the name based on their location in the Selkirk mountains in the British Columbia.

Please Note: We may receive a small affiliate commission on products you purchase. For more information check out Affiliate Disclosure

3 COMMENTS

  1. After reading you reviews, I went with the Selkirk Amped Invikta Paddle. It performs just like you say, and suits my game perfectly.

  2. I am a big fan of Selkirk Paddles, I have used this brand from last year and I haven’t faced an issue apart from the selection dilemma which I generally face when I try to upgrade my equipment.

    Since I started playing Pickleball more aggressively, I had thoughts of upgrading my paddle and I can’t think of any other brand than Selkirk, but with so many options I had to read reviews to find out which one really suits my needs and these Selkirk pickleball paddle reviews have really solved my problem and made buying a lot easier.

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