Pickleball Gear

Friday pickleball paddle review

picture of Brandon Mackie
Brandon Mackie

Updated on: May 16, 2024

Brandon Mackie holding the Friday Pickleball Paddle

If you're stepping up to intermediate level but don't want to break the bank on a new paddle, the Friday Pickleball Paddle is one of my top new choices for you.

This is a solid thermoformed carbon fiber paddle at a bargain price. Read my full and honest Friday Pickleball Paddle review to see how it performs on the court.

My verdict4.0star iconThe Friday Pickleball Paddle is easily the best paddle I've tested for $50 (if you get the 2 for $99 deal). On paper, it looks like the $250 JOOLA Hyperion C2. While it won't perform quite to that high level, it does offer a real challenge to the $99 Vatic Pro PRISM Flash as the best value in all of pickleball.

Buy or pass?

Buy if:

  • You want a great value carbon fiber paddle:

    this is the best paddle ever offered at this price point ($50 per paddle with the 2 for $99 deal).

  • You're stepping up to intermediate level:

    this is an ideal step-up paddle for early intermediates with a beginner price tag.

  • You want a solid combo of spin and power:

    grit on the paddle face gets you decent spin, while the slightly heavier weight helps generate more power.

Pass if:

  • Your budget is over $200:

    a premium paddle like the CRBN-3X will give you more consistency and performance.

  • You want a large sweet spot:

    I had a few mishits thanks to the small-medium-sized sweet spot.

  • You're a new beginner:

    this is best suited to intermediates and up. Check out my list of the best beginner paddles instead.

Paddle Weight

8.3 oz

Paddle Length

16.5"

Paddle Width

7.5"

Handle Length

5.5"

Grip Circumference

4.25"

Paddle Face Material

Carbon fiber

Core Material

Polypropylene honeycomb

Core Thickness

16 mm (0.63")

Sweet Spot

Small

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Review summary

The Friday Pickleball Paddle is hands down the best $50 paddle I've ever played with. It has many of the same features as the $250 JOOLA Hyperion C2: carbon fiber, thermoformed, foam-injected walls.

While it doesn't play quite at that level, it's an excellent step-up paddle for early intermediates at the cost of a beginner paddle.

The first thing I noticed about the Friday Paddle was how it complemented my spin game. The paddle face has nice grit, and I was pleased to find I could hit hard dipping forehand drives that often went right on the line.

I wouldn't rank this as highly as top spin paddles like the Bread & Butter Filth. That said, spin definitely works on this one—a lot more than most paddles in its price range.

Watch my initial thoughts on the Friday Pickleball Paddle:

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The Friday also hits relatively hard, which I'm crediting to the 8.3 oz stock weight. Most thermoformed paddles weigh around 8.0 oz, so it's nice to have a little more weight in the base model. I can hit hard drives with the Friday and generally put the ball away whenever I have the opening.

It does have its flaws, though. My main concern is how inconsistent it is compared to more expensive paddles. The sweet spot isn't always reliable and I find some of my shots behave unexpectedly.

I notice this mostly on serves. I'll hit my normal routine and the ball will sail wide. Sometimes, my serves go long when, just before it, I'll have hit a perfect serve. These are the only times I feel like I'm playing with a cheaper paddle.

Brandon Mackie with the Friday pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie with the Friday pickleball paddle

The sweet spot itself is also frustratingly small. Paddles with foam-injected walls and an edge guard are usually effective at extending the sweet spot near the edges of the paddle face. The Friday doesn't have this—a sacrifice you pay for the bargain price.

You can expect mishits at first, especially at the kitchen where you have less time to react to your opponent's shot. Surprisingly, I also have mishits on routine volleys against drops. Thankfully, I adjusted to this with practice and it was less of an issue by my second session.

In terms of the design, I like how Friday made an effort to build a paddle with advanced tech at an affordable price. I also like the fun, funky pattern, which helps it stand out from the mass of generic black carbon paddles.

The "tennis style" grip is comfortable and more premium than I expected. The Friday Paddle manages to feel solid and strong without any head heaviness—something even expensive JOOLA paddles suffer from.

Brandon Mackie with the Friday pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie with the Friday pickleball paddle

Overall, the Friday Paddle offers impressive value. No other paddle at this price point comes close to it. You get good spin, power, and all-court performance. I can play a legit 4.5 session and win games against advanced players. I never thought this would be possible with a $50 paddle.

The Friday Paddle really is challenging the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash for the best value in pickleball.

Pros:

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  • One of the best-value paddles ever

  • Solid all-court paddle, especially for early intermediates

  • Comfortable and premium grip for the price point

Cons:

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  • Expect mishits, especially early on

  • Takes time to adjust to the small sweet spot

  • Too advanced for beginners

Features

The Friday Paddle jumped out at me for its 2-for-$99 offer, as well as for the great reviews I saw online. It's a real thermoformed carbon fiber paddle at such a low cost.

Let's take a look at the features more closely, and see how they compare to more expensive carbon fiber paddles.

Thermoformed

Almost all performance paddles are thermoformed these days. It's just surprising to see one at such a low price. The Friday feels similar to other thermoformed paddles—stiff but with good power.

Carbon fiber surface

Most $50 paddles are made from fiberglass or other cheaper materials. While the Friday Paddle is made from carbon fiber, it's not the more premium T700 raw carbon found in more expensive paddles.

It works as I expected—solid performance on spin, power, and control compared to some higher-priced carbon paddles.

Top specs

I really like the tried-and-tested elongated shape they went for here, with a curved top for aerodynamics. The core is a solid 16 mm thickness, and the static weight is 8.3 oz. These are way better specs than anything I've ever seen on a $50 paddle.

Performance

8/10

Power

7.5/10

Control

8.5/10

Spin

7/10

Forgiveness

8/10

Weighting

8/10

Grip

7.5/10

Durability

8/10

Aerodynamics

Power: 8/10

While it's a couple of points below elite thermoformed paddles like the Bread & Butter Filth, I still like the solid power performance here. I find myself driving a good bit, and I can put the ball away most times I have an opening.

The only problem is this paddle's inconsistency, which has me taking my swing speed down. This gives me less power to work with than more reliable paddles like the Six Zero Double Black Diamond Control.

Control: 7.5/10

While power and spin outshine control, my touch game is still good enough for me to call this an all-court paddle.

Spin helps with control, especially if you use lots of topspin like I do. While I'm not able to hit precision topspin drops like I can with my Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S, I can land them with ease in my 4.5 sessions where I have to hit only drops.

Spin: 8.5/10

This is where the Friday Paddle feels most like the raw carbon paddles it's trying to replicate. I knew the spin was good when I hit a couple of hard topspin drives that my opponents let sail long, only for them to dip on the line.

This is an experience I usually get with a CRBN-3X Power Series or Bread & Butter Filth. So, if you're a big topspin player, you'll like this paddle's spin—especially given the price point.

Forgiveness: 7/10

This is the paddle's worst attribute. The sweet spot is too small and inconsistent. It feels almost like the sweet spot can move, which makes it hard to dial in the paddle and play consistently.

Unlike with other foam-injected paddles, there are dead zones near the edges and throat. If this is a concern for you, check out another great-value paddle, the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash.

It's not all bad news, though. Firstly, I find the Friday Paddle more manageable than the $275 Gearbox Pro Power. Also, after a couple of sessions, I did learn to dial in the sweet spot and lessen my mishits.

If you don't mind an adjustment period, I think you'll be less put off by the lack of forgiveness in time.

Weighting: 8/10

I like what they did with the weight distribution. They went higher on the static weight to give you more power while adding a curved hybrid shape to make it more aerodynamic. It feels pretty quick up at the kitchen.

Grip: 8/10

The tennis-style grip is a nice touch. It's comfortable and much better than what I'd expect on such a cheap paddle. I'll still probably toss an overgrip on it, but I appreciate the quality.

Brandon Mackie holding the Friday pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie holding the Friday pickleball paddle

Durability: 7.5/10

While this paddle has the raw carbon build that should help it last longer, I can already see some dings and scratches that I wouldn't normally find on more expensive carbon paddles.

That said, the durability reflects the price and I wouldn't expect 10/10 here.

Aerodynamics: 8/10

This paddle uses the same curved-top design that you find on paddles like the JOOLA Hyperion, which helps it cut through the air fairly well. This shape nicely offsets the 8.3 oz weight, so it doesn't feel heavier than your standard 8 oz thermoformed paddle.

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 Friday Pickleball Paddle 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

Pricing

On its own, this paddle retails anywhere from $69-99, but I've already mentioned the 2 for $99 deal. If you get this paddle on this offer, it's one of the best deals ever in pickleball—with some caveats. Let me explain further below.

Value for money

If you get the Friday Paddle on the deal, this is the best-performing paddle you can find for $50. I'm able to play at a pretty high level, despite some frustrations with consistency and forgiveness.

Just bear in mind that you'll have to buy that extra paddle for a friend or partner to make the most of the deal.

That said, even if you buy this for around $70-80, I'd still call it a bargain. It rivals the $100 Vatic Pro PRISM Flash, which is a softer paddle. So, if you want something with more power than the Flash, the Friday Paddle is a top choice that will save you money in the process.

The Friday pickleball paddle resting against a pickleball net
The Friday pickleball paddle resting against a pickleball net

Bottom line

The Friday Paddle is ideal for intermediates who want the specs and performance of a mid-range paddle ($140-180) at a budget price.

While it won't perform to the highest standard, it is a solid all-court paddle with good power and spin. Plus, it's an awesome deal for anyone shopping for a pair of paddles.

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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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