Selkirk Vanguard S2 2.0 Review

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Looking for a new pickleball paddle? Check out our thoughts in this week’s breakdown as we dive into the Selkirk Vanguard S2 review.

Selkirk Vanguard S2 2.0 Pickleball Paddle

SPECS

Core: polypropylene honeycomb core

Average Midweight: 7.8oz – 8.3oz

Average Lightweight: 7.4oz – 7.9oz

Height: 15.75″

Width: 8.0″

Grip Length: 4.5″

Grip Circumference: 4.25″

Price: $200

Handle Length: Medium handle (4.5″)

Review: Selkirk Vanguard S2

This particular Selkirk paddle weighed on the light end at a slender 7.7 oz. 

The Vanguard 2.0 S2 is 15¾” long and a full 8” wide, resulting in a large playing surface area. 

If a massive sweet spot is what you want, this is the paddle for you. The extremely large sweet spot of the Vanguard S2 provides its bearer with plenty of room for error. 

Even if you hit outside the center on this paddle, it still feels as though you retain an element of control and predictability. This paddle can generate consistent, biting dinks for days. 

Although the surface is not “gritty” and will not deliver spin as easily as some paddles, we really liked the feel of how the ball played off the carbon fiber surface.

Carbon Fiber is becoming more common in pickleball paddles, as its stiffness helps provide incredible control, particularly at the kitchen, allowing players to either counterpunch or reset an attack. Carbon fiber is also, traditionally, considered a more durable material. 

The Vanguard 2.0 S2 is unique in this field of carbon paddles due to its QuadCarbon face, which means it has two layers of carbon fiber on each side instead of one that have a bi-directional cross weave pattern.

This design approach is intended to provide even more control and velocity in attacks, which we found to be mostly the case. 

When speeding up the ball or counter-punching, the Vanguard S2 more than held its own. Again, the feel of the ball hitting the paddle was second to none.

We did initially struggle with resets, as the small grip made it more difficult to get the paddle in the correct position. 

However, with some small adjustments and more practice, we are able to turn the paddle into a defensive shield. 

With such a large paddle surface area, some sacrifices had to be made. For the Vanguard S2, it is the handle length. 

The Selkirk website touts the handle as medium length, but make no mistake, this 4½” handle is short. Very short. Especially compared to a paddle-like the Selkirk AMPED Epic that has an extra inch.

Who Should Use The Selkirk Vanguard S2

Given the extreme control of this paddle, it is ideally suited for someone whose pickleball game already contains ample power. 

It could also be used as a second paddle, for those days when you cannot seem to get any ball to hit the way you intend it to.

Final Thoughts 

In those games full of struggle, switching to a paddle with exceptional control, such as the Vanguard S2, can relieve some of the pressure and allow you to regain your confidence. 

Finally, this pickleball paddle could be an excellent tool to neutralize bangers, blocking and countering their relentless drives and attacks until they succumb in frustration.

PROS

  • A forgiving and larger sweet spot
  • Offers speed and consistency
  • Bite and consistency from the QuadCarbon paddle face
  • Plus-plus control

CONS

  • Very short handle
  • Difficulty with hands battles

Playability Score

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