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Bison Rampage - pickleball paddle review

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Brandon Mackie

Published on: Feb 9, 2024

The Bison Rampage pickleball paddle on a blue background

The Bison Rampage is a standard-shaped, 16 mm paddle from an excellent budget brand. I recently chose the elongated 14 mm Bison Summit as my top spin paddle for under $100, so I was excited to see how the wider-faced Rampage played.

Read my in-depth Bison Rampage review below to see what I think.

My verdict3.5star iconAs expected from its wider face and thicker core, the Rampage has more control and forgiveness than the Summit, but only just. This is still a good pickleball paddle for under $100—it's made with raw carbon and has solid control and spin. However, the more powerful Summit is a better investment overall, and the one I'd recommend for almost all play styles.

Buy or pass?

Buy if:

  • You're a beginner:

    while I can see intermediates continuing with Bison paddles, they are most suited for beginners.

  • You want a raw carbon paddle for under $100:

    it's rare to find a raw carbon paddle at this price.

  • You want a touch more control than the Summit:

    the Rampage is slightly more control-focused than the Summit, with a tad more forgiveness too.

Pass if:

  • You need power:

    you're better off with the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash at the same price.

  • You want higher levels of spin:

    this is good for players learning to spin, but you might prefer a spin paddle like the Vatic Pro PRISM V7.

  • You need more reach:

    you'll prefer the elongated Bison Summit if you don't like standard-shaped paddles.

Paddle Weight

7.8 oz

Paddle Length

15 ¾"

Paddle Width


Handle Length

4 ¾"

Grip Circumference

4 ⅜"

Paddle Face Material

Toray T700 raw carbon fiber

Core Material

Polymer core

Core Thickness

16 mm (0.63")

Sweet Spot


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Review summary

The Bison Rampage is a 16 mm raw carbon fiber paddle that costs just $99.99. It gets good spin for anyone who's just starting to advance their game. Its focus is control and it does well here and on forgiveness, but at the expense of power. Let's dig a little deeper into this paddle.

Bison paddles stand out for their unique look. The Rampage is probably the most subdued design though, and the bison graphic on the face would be cooler if you could see it more. On a side note, Bison actually support the National Buffalo Foundation, which I think is great!

The Rampage is of decent quality, especially given it's from a value brand sold on Amazon. It definitely feels more premium than most competitors but not as good as the Six Zero Sapphire or Vatic Pro PRISM series.

Brandon Mackie holding the Bison Rampage pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie holding the Bison Rampage pickleball paddle

One thing I don't love is the feel of the handle. The grip is thick, bulky, and clunky. It's not a huge deal but I would prefer a standard grip size.

I do enjoy the 7.8 oz weight. It keeps the paddle on the lighter side, making it maneuverable on the courts.

Since this paddle is made with raw carbon fiber, I can generate good spin. Not elite spin, but enough to hit topspin and start playing a more advanced game. This will really help advancing beginners.

The Rampage is marketed as Bison's control paddle and it largely works as advertised. It's not thermoformed, and the thick core helps take pace off the ball. This allows you to slow down and reset when you need to.

It's also decently forgiving. The 8" wide body and standard shape give it a nice sweet spot, which will help beginners. Like the Summit, though, I have found dead zones near the throat and edges, resulting in some mishits.

The Bison Rampage paddle resting on a pickleball court
The Bison Rampage paddle resting on a pickleball court

More advanced players will find that power is lacking big time. I can't put balls away consistently like I can with the Vatic Pro Flash, which has a great balance of control and power.

Lastly, let's talk about spin. While it's good, it could be better. The bar is now super high with raw carbon paddles, and the spin generation here falls well short of what Vatic Pro paddles can deliver for the same price.

Whenever I play with the Rampage, I inevitably compare it to the Bison Summit, which is a great budget paddle. Overall, the Rampage just lacks a little bit of power and reach. If I were choosing between the two, I'd go with the Summit any day.


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  • Good spin, especially if you're just learning to introduce spin to your game

  • Decently forgiving, with solid control

  • Made with high-quality materials, like raw carbon fiber


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  • I'm not a fan of the thicker grip—it's 4 ⅜" vs the 4 ⅛" of the Summit

  • Short handle at 4 ¾"

  • Lacks the power that makes the Summit appealing


Bison have gained a reputation for making raw carbon paddles that cost just $100. The Rampage is their control paddle, so let's look at some of the features it has.

T700 raw carbon fiber

The use of T700 raw carbon definitely gives this paddle more spin than most budget Amazon offerings, but it's nowhere near what you can get from other carbon paddles. Still, it's plenty for any advancing beginner.

16 mm polymer core

The Bison Summit has a 14 mm core that's poppier than this one. The Rampage has a 16 mm polymer core that works well to take more pace off the ball.

Standard shape

The Rampage falls into the "standard" category for its shape: 15 ¾" long with an 8"-wide paddle face. This makes it more forgiving, as you have more playing surface. However, the shorter paddle does give you less reach at the net.

Thicker grip and short handle

One of my gripes with the Rampage is the 4 ⅜" grip circumference. A standard size is 4 ¼". The Bison Summit has a 4 ⅛", which I find a lot more comfortable than this one. I know it's not a big deal, but I'm just not sure why they went with a chunkier grip here.

The handle is short at 4 ¾", so don't expect to be trying any two-handed backhands with this paddle.


















Power: 6.5/10

The Bison Summit just about has adequate power for a full game—and that's supposed to be the power paddle in this line. For me, the Rampage's power drops below adequate.

I simply have trouble finishing points, putting away overheads, and ultimately closing out games. This is frustrating. For that reason, I'd recommend the Summit over the Rampage for almost every player.

Control: 7.5/10

This is the paddle's best attribute in my opinion. Thanks to its 16 mm thickness and the fact that it's not thermoformed, it's good at taking pace off the ball.

That makes it a good paddle on resets against hard shots. I'm able to get balls back in the kitchen that would normally sail high with a thermoformed paddle like the Bread & Butter Filth.

Dinks and drops are good too. The decent spin means I can work my topspin third-shot drops, one of the most important shots in my game.

Spin: 7/10

Just like with the Summit, you can get good (but not amazing) spin with the Rampage. The raw carbon fiber definitely improves spin over almost any paddle under $100.

That said, those other paddles are not made from raw carbon like this one. I would usually expect a lot more spin from a carbon paddle, but for some reason, it's lacking in these Bison paddles. I'm limited in how much topspin I can put on the ball and ultimately how aggressively I can play.

Just look at the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash and PRISM V7. Both are carbon paddles at $100. They get the same high levels of spin you expect from more expensive carbon paddles. If you're hoping for the same here, you'll be disappointed.

Forgiveness: 7.5/10

I put this up a half-point from the Summit for forgiveness. I still have mishits at times as the sweet spot feels inconsistent, especially near the edges and throat. The lack of foam-injected walls doesn't help here.

However, the standard shape of this paddle does increase the sweet spot over the Summit, so you get a more forgiving center.

Weighting: 7.5/10

The Rampage feels a little lighter than the Summit to me, even though they're the same weight. That's due to the standard shape having less of a heavy feel.

I personally like this lightness, but not everyone will. You pay a price with some loss of power, but defensive players will enjoy the quick hands you get at the kitchen.

Grip: 6/10

I'm not a fan of this thick 4 ⅜" grip. I'm not sure why they chose it here and I can't see many people liking how it feels. It's also not super premium and you can tell.

At 4 ¾", the handle is short too, so you won't have room for two-handed shots. This shouldn't matter too much to beginners anyway.

Durability: 7.5/10

This is a budget paddle, so I'm not expecting the type of 10/10 durability you get from an elite $250 paddle. Still, the carbon build makes it a lot more solid than the majority of cheap offerings on Amazon, so it should stand the test of time.

Aerodynamics: 7/10

This is a light paddle with a good swing speed. Other than that, it doesn't have any special features to help with aerodynamics.

Is this paddle right for you?

Before buying a paddle, it's important to make sure it fits your game. That's why I created a 30-second quiz that recommends the best paddles for your play style and budget.

Give it a try and see if the Bison Rampage makes the list:

Find the perfect paddle

Find the perfect paddle

I've personally tested over 80 paddles. Take the quiz to see which ones fit your game best.

Take Paddle Fitting Quiz


The $100 price tag puts the Bison Rampage in a unique position. It's a budget paddle, but it's at the higher end of that range. As I've mentioned already, it has to compete with excellent paddles from Vatic Pro, but also the Paddletek Bantam TS-5 and Six Zero Sapphire.

So, how does it compare?

The Bison Rampage paddle resting against a pickleball net
The Bison Rampage paddle resting against a pickleball net

Value for money

Bison seem like a good, trusted company with great Amazon value brand positioning. Just like their Summit paddle, I think the Rampage is good value at $100 for one simple reason: it's made with raw carbon. So, automatically it performs better than most budget paddles on Amazon.

Overall, I think the Summit is a better fit for my playing style and for most players as well. If your budget is capped at $100, I'd shop around before buying this.

Check out my list of the best pickleball paddles under $100

Bottom line

This paddle will suit beginners who play with cheap Amazon paddles that are holding their game back. If you want a taste of what raw carbon paddles can do and want the convenience of Amazon Prime shipping, check out Bison.

They offer a solid bridge to the next tier of paddle brands, like Vatic Pro, Bread & Butter, and Six Zero. While the Rampage is billed as the "control" paddle in this range, I'd still recommend the Summit over it, as it doesn't skew heavily in favor of power.

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About the author
Brandon Mackie
Brandon is an avid writer and co-founder of Pickleheads™. Once a competitive tennis player, Brandon can now be found these days honing his dinks on pickleball courts near Phoenix, Arizona.
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