Pickleball Gear

Franklin FS Tour Dynasty - pickleball paddle review

picture of Brandon Mackie
Brandon Mackie

Published on: May 10, 2024

The Franklin FS Tour Dynasty pickleball paddle on a blue background

The Franklin FS Tour Dynasty is the paddle of choice for top pro player, JW Johnson. This is the elongated model in the Tour Series of paddles, available in 14 mm and 16 mm sizes, with three color choices.

Straight away, I was excited about this paddle. Franklin has clearly put a lot of thought into it, including into the unboxing experience. The packaging is high-quality and you even get a free pickleball bag, a paddle eraser, and two pickleball balls.

Read my full Franklin FS Tour Dynasty review to see how it plays.

My verdict4.5star iconI'm impressed with this comeback from Franklin. The FS Tour Series packs all the top tech and it shows. If you're an intermediate-advanced player who likes heavy paddles that hit hard, the elongated Dynasty is definitely worth considering. It's also one of the best value paddles out there at $150.

Buy or pass?

Buy if:

  • You like power and spin:

    this is right up there with paddles from Six Zero, Bread & Butter, and even the Legacy Pro on power and spin.

  • You don't want to customize:

    this paddle is heavy and designed for optimal performance out of the box, so no need for lead tape.

  • You want good value:

    for $150, you get a lot of performance and a bunch of free add-ons.

Pass if:

  • Heavy paddles aren't for you:

    this is very heavy (mine is 8.8 oz with a 134 swing weight), so try the 8 oz B&B Filth, one of my top power paddles.

  • You struggle with pop:

    this is a powerful paddle, so it's easy to pop the ball up. You might prefer something softer, like the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash.

  • Control is important:

    if you want to focus more on your touch game, check out my list of the best control paddles.

Paddle Weight

8-8.4 oz (14 mm) or 8.5-8.8 oz (16 mm)

Paddle Length


Paddle Width


Handle Length


Grip Circumference


Paddle Face Material

T700 raw carbon fiber

Core Material


Core Thickness

14 mm (0.55") or 16 mm (0.63")

Sweet Spot


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Review summary

If you like heavy paddles with lots of power, I think you'll like the new Franklin FS Tour Series.

Right out the box, I was impressed with these FS Tour Series paddles. On the court, I'm even more impressed by how powerful my elongated 16 mm Dynasty is.

This is the paddle that JW Johnson plays with. It gets crazy spin and offers plenty of forgiveness too. JW's sister, Jorja Johnson, plays with the Franklin FS Tour Tempo, the standard version in the series.

I want to talk about power first. This paddle hits HARD. I've never seen another thermoformed paddle clock in at 8.8 oz, and maybe there's a reason for that because this paddle is dangerous.

It edges many of the top thermoformed paddles like the CRBN Power Series, the JOOLA Hyperion, and the Six Zero DBD Control.

In terms of power, it's right up there near the Bread & Butter Filth, one of my favorite power paddles in 2024. During my testing, I enjoyed hitting big overhead putaways and drives that were hard to return.

Brandon Mackie with the Franklin FS Tour Dynasty and Tempo pickleball paddles
Brandon Mackie with the Franklin FS Tour Dynasty and Tempo pickleball paddles

Next up is spin. Franklin's textured T700 raw carbon fiber face works just as I'd hoped. They nailed the weave too. I can hit big topspin with this paddle—shots my opponents often let sail out, only to watch them touch the line.

That's how I know spin is good. It's as good as the Gearbox CX14E and Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy.

One downside of this paddle is it does sacrifice a little on control. If I take too big of a backswing or hold the handle too tightly, I can easily pop up a drop. So, whenever I play against 4.0 or higher players, I get some immediate pop-ups that lose us the point.

The heaviness won't suit everyone, either. The weight and bulkiness can make this paddle slow at the net. My 16 mm model is a hefty 8.8 oz, with a 134 swing weight. That said, JW Johnson uses this paddle and he's one of the fastest in pickleball. If you play like him, it might not slow you down.

Brandon Mackie with the Franklin FS Tour Dynasty pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie with the Franklin FS Tour Dynasty pickleball paddle

Thankfully, Franklin offers four different paddle variations in the FS Tour Series. So, if you want something lighter, check out the 14 mm version at 8-8.4 oz.

Franklin's idea here is that you won't need to customize your paddle with lead tape. Many rec players (myself included) don't want to bother with tape. I appreciate that these paddles are designed for optimal performance right out of the box.

I like the color choices too—gray, electric blue, and sharp pink. There's a premium, baseball-inspired grip on here that I've grown to really like playing with.

It's just a fun paddle. I feel like the power and stability outweigh any negatives around heaviness. I don't tire out with it because I don't have to swing hard. For just $150, this is a great deal for power players.


  • Big power

    Big power

  • Great spin

    Great spin

  • Really nice premium grip

    Really nice premium grip


  • Excessive heaviness will exclude some players

    Excessive heaviness will exclude some players

  • Will feel too bulky for some

    Will feel too bulky for some

  • Slow at the net

    Slow at the net


It's exciting to see Franklin now using the newest tech that we've seen in the top paddles throughout 2023 and into 2024. Let's explore the features they've included in the FS Tour Dynasty.

Thermoformed, unibody, carbon fiber

The FS Tour Dynasty has many of the same materials you'll find in almost every top-tier performance paddle in 2024, many of which cost $200 or more.

It plays just as I expected. It has the same stiff but strong feel of thermoformed, unibody paddles like the JOOLA Perseus, and a similarly textured face.

Thick grip

This grip is thicker (4.3") than almost any paddle I've tested so far. I didn't think I would like it, but it grew on me. The grip is taken directly from baseball and has a unique comfort that I think will surprise pickleball players (in a good way).

Super heavyweight

The Dynasty ranges from 8-8.4 oz for the 14 mm paddle and 8.5-8.8 oz for the 16 mm. Mine is the 16 mm version and it's right at the highest end (8.8 oz).

This is funny because the trend over the last year has been for lighter paddles. The 134 swing weight here is the highest of any paddle I track in my database, which is surprising given that JW Johnson is one of the fastest players in pickleball.

I find this paddle slow in the kitchen. However, the extra power and stability I get make up for the heaviness for me.


















Power: 9.5/10

Even with how heavy this feels, I'm still surprised by the amount of power I can generate. It's huge. I keep wanting to just drive the ball to set up the point.

This is a forgiving paddle too (more on that in a moment). So, you don't have to worry about hitting the ball dead center like you do with some super-powerful paddles like the Gearbox Pro Power.

You get great spin to help you rein in the power, giving you an extra bit of accuracy on big serves and drives. If you have a big tennis-like forehand, I think you'll like how this plays.

Control: 8/10

This is an all-court paddle, but it skews toward power at the expense of control. The paddle is really well-designed, so it's just the weight that's working against you.

Just as I expected, I pop up a fair amount of drops and even dinks. I do find it challenging to move between hard drives and then take a ton of swing off to land a precise drop.

That said, I can easily adapt my swing speed and length to prevent pop-ups. Plus, I can get plenty of spin to control my touch shots.

This paddle definitely has better control than a pure power paddle like the Selkirk Vanguard Power Air Invikta or the Gearbox Pro Power.

Spin: 9/10

This is great on spin—right up there with the Bread & Butter Filth and the Six Zero DBD Control. I can hit big topspin, and even sidespin and backspin.

This is the kind of reliable spin I'm used to getting with my favorite carbon paddles and it suits my game well. I can always play at a high level with this paddle.

Forgiveness: 8.5/10

I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice sweet spot here, especially as it's a heavy, elongated, power-oriented paddle. You don't have to hit dead center to access its big power like you do with the Gearbox Pro Power.

Mishits are minimal for me, and I haven't found dead zones near the edges like I expected.

Weighting: 7/10

This is bulky and slow at the kitchen. It has a hefty 8.8 oz static weight and no room to customize with lead tape.

Whenever I play against hard bangers, I find myself swapping this out for a lighter paddle because I need faster hand speed to keep up.

Grip: 9/10

Franklin uses a thicker grip here that's inspired by baseball. I was skeptical at first, but I loved it by the end of my first 3-hour sweaty session. It's unique, comfortable, and durable.

I don't think it's for everyone, though. That's why I'm docking it a point. It's a risky choice of Franklin's not to use a standard-sized grip.

Brandon Mackie with the Franklin FS Tour Dynasty pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie with the Franklin FS Tour Dynasty pickleball paddle

Durability: 9/10

This paddle feels solid, with a strong edge guard and raw carbon build. I have no reason to think it won't hold up well over time.

Aerodynamics: 6/10

You won't get any real aerodynamics with this head-heavy paddle. I find it manageable, but if you want something faster, you might prefer the Bread & Butter Loco or Ronbus R1 NOVA.

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 Franklin FS Tour Dynasty 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


With the trend going back toward more expensive $250 or more paddles, I'm happy to see Franklin pricing this at $150. I love finding value in the $150-180 range.

So, how does the Dynasty compare in value to paddles from brands like Bread & Butter and Six Zero?

Value for money

If the weight works for you, I think this is a great paddle at a great price. Remember that you get some pickleball accessories for free with it too. There's a paddle eraser to clean the face, a nice carry bag, and two of my favorite pickleball balls (the Franklin X-40 Outdoors)—all in a nice box.

You can customize your color, and choose from four paddle sizes. All things considered, this paddle is undervalued in my eyes.

Brandon Mackie with four paddles in the Franklin FS Tour Series
Brandon Mackie with four paddles in the Franklin FS Tour Series

Professional use

Who uses the Franklin FS Tour Series?

Franklin calls the Tour Series "the paddle that won nationals". That's because JW Johnson took home gold at the 2023 Nationals in Dallas. JW uses the same paddle I play with: the 16 mm Dynasty.

His sister, Jorja Johnson, plays with the FS Tempo 16. Together, they're ones to watch on the doubles circuit, rivaling the Johns brothers for best sibling partnership.

Bottom line

Yes, this is a heavy paddle, but it was designed for rising pro JW Johnson. The more advanced you are, the more natural this will feel. That said, it's still a great fit for any intermediate who can handle the weight.

So, if you struggle with slow hands at the kitchen, this one isn't for you. The 8.8 oz weight will likely harm your performance.

If you need help generating power, you'll like this paddle. If you're already a hard-hitter but want to amp up your power without sacrificing forgiveness, I'd recommend this to you as well.

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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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