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Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S - pickleball paddle review

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Brandon Mackie

Published on: Jan 25, 2024

The Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S pickleball paddle on a blue background

The Pro Line Energy S is a hybrid paddle from the innovative new brand Pickleball Apes, whose standout feature is the use of Kevlar® in the paddle face. I really enjoyed playing with the elongated Pro Line Energy, and I'm expecting the "S" model to be more forgiving with maybe less power.

Read my Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S review to see how it plays.

My verdict5.0star iconNewcomer Pickleball Apes hit another home run, and this paddle scores a rare perfect 5 stars from me. It plays like a top all-court paddle with great control and spin, backed by plenty of power. This is my new go-to paddle for intermediates in 2024, and I expect to see a lot more Kevlar® coming to paddles soon.

Buy or pass?

Buy if:

  • You want a top all-court paddle:

    beyond control and spin, you get loads of forgiveness and plenty of power.

  • You want great control and spin:

    this is one of the best touch paddles I've played with, while still generating big, consistent topspin.

  • You don't need the extra-long original:

    this "hybrid" S model is for players who don't need the 17" original.

Pass if:

  • You want an elongated paddle:

    I'd highly recommend the original Pro Line Energy—it's 17" long and has a 6 ¼" handle.

  • You need extra power:

    big hitters should check out my top power paddles of 2024.

  • You want a softer paddle:

    this can be poppy, so check out something like the Vatic Pro Flash or PRISM Flash.

Paddle Weight

8-8.4 oz

Paddle Length

16 ⅖"

Paddle Width

7 ⅗"

Handle Length

5 ½"

Grip Circumference

4 ¼"

Paddle Face Material

Kevlar® & Toray T700 carbon fiber

Core Material

Narrow-cell honeycomb poly core

Core Thickness

16.5 mm (0.65")

Sweet Spot


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Review summary

Pickleball Apes came out of nowhere with its impressive Pro Line Energy series. The S model, while almost the size of a typical elongated paddle, is their hybrid shape offering for players who don't need the reach or extra-long handle of the super-elongated version.

The most unique feature of this paddle is its surface, a blend of DuPont™ Kevlar® and Toray T700 carbon fiber. Pickleball Apes claim using Kevlar® with carbon fiber increases the paddle's power, control and spin.

Now, I've heard that marketing before, but I must admit it's true for the Energy S. This paddle gives my game everything it needs and is now one of my go-to paddles in 2024.

Watch my first thoughts on the Pro Line Energy S:


While the original Pro Line Energy has really good spin (over 2,000 RPMs on spin tests), the hybrid S model is just as good. I noticed it straight away.

It's like the Diadem Edge 18k—the spin feels bigger and more consistent than most raw carbon paddles. I can hit big topspin like I can playing tennis, and that makes it a great fit for my game.

The hybrid S model is top-tier in control too, performing a touch better even than the elongated one, which is already excellent on control. These are some of the best paddles for resets I've ever used, and I'm able to switch to defense pretty easily.

Another thing that's better here is forgiveness, thanks to the shape. What you lose in reach and handle length, you gain with a large sweet spot. It's generous, especially for a high-performance paddle, meaning I hardly have any mishits.

One of the only negatives is that power is slightly down compared to the elongated version. That's to be expected, though. The S model still hits hard. I'm able to put away points and win games—I just need to amp up my swing speed to get power.

Personally, I don't mind hitting harder, but if you're an absolute banger, you might prefer the new Gearbox Pro Series, Bread & Butter Filth, or Six Zero Black Diamond Power.

Brandon Mackie holding the Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie holding the Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S pickleball paddle

The only other drawback is that the Energy S is a bit easier to pop up balls compared to pure control paddles like the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash. I have to make sure to grip loosely and shorten my backswing to stay in control of the pop.

Overall, this is an excellent all-court paddle that skews toward control. It's great on defensive switches and resets. It has good forgiveness, some of the best spin I've ever played with, and lots of power when you need it.

If you don't care about playing with a big-brand paddle, this is one of the best paddles you can buy in 2024.


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  • Great value at $170 (currently $153)

  • One of the top all-court performers

  • Large sweet spot for a high-performance paddle


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  • Can be quite poppy

  • Less power than the elongated model

  • Doesn't have crazy reach of elongated version


New US brand Pickleball Apes wasted no time trying to shake up the game. Their unique dimensions and the use of Kevlar® make them a serious rival to popular carbon fiber brands.

Let's take a look at some of the key features of their Pro Line Energy S paddle.

Dynamic Kevlar® surface

Kevlar® is synonymous with tough products like bulletproof vests. While it's been used in paddle cores before, Pickleball Apes are one of the first manufacturers to use Kevlar® in the paddle face.

They blend it with Toray T700 carbon fiber to create their "Dynamic Aramid Fiber Surface". The goal is to get more power and spin, but control is also boosted.

This surface should make the paddle strong and durable. I suspect we're going to see a lot more Kevlar® appearing in paddle faces soon.

Brandon Mackie holding the Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie holding the Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S pickleball paddle

Hybrid shape

The elongated Pro Line Energy has a shape that's really out there—I think it's the longest paddle I've played with. This hybrid S model is more conventional.

At 16 ⅖" x 7 ⅗", it's just shy of a classic elongated shape. Like the Ronbus R1 NOVA, it's the curved top that makes it resemble a hybrid paddle.

For many players, myself included, this classic shape is more appealing. These specs are just proven to work.

Leather grip

The Energy S model doesn't have the 6 ¼" handle length of the other model, which is fine for me. I don't need it since I don't hit two-handed backhands.

You do, however, get the same leather grip. This one reminds me of a tennis racket grip, making the paddle really easy on the hands in long sessions.


















Power: 8.5/10

Even though this paddle is slightly heavier than the elongated one, you lose a touch of power with the hybrid shape. Still, it's more than enough for my game.

I'm able to consistently put balls away whenever I have an opening or pop up. I do need to maintain swing speed though, as this paddle doesn't put them away like the heavier Franklin FS Tour Dynasty. However, if you swing hard, you'll find that this paddle has a lot of power and drive.

Control: 9.5/10

This model is really good on control—a half-point higher than the Pro Line Energy. The "hybrid" shape and larger sweet spot help here. I find it best on resets, taking pace off the ball and getting me back in the point.

Since it's so good on spin, I'm able to bring topspin to all of my control shots, boosting my touch game. My favorite shot to hit with this paddle is a topspin third-shot drop.

I've even found myself hitting topspin dinks, which help keep my opponent off the kitchen line.

Spin: 9.5/10

This paddle can hit big, big spin. I'd put it right up there with some of the top raw carbon fiber paddles like the Six Zero Black Diamond Power, Volair Mach 2 FORZA, and Ronbus R1 NOVA.

I have enough spin to hit every shot I want, from consistent backhand flicks to precise topspin drops to my opponent's backhand—usually on an "inside-out forehand".

I've been working a lot on swinging topspin volleys lately, and this paddle is great for these shots. It has the control and consistency that's ideal to hit the kind of annoying volleys that opponents just can't move up against. This keeps my opponents back, and I've won more games as a result.

As an ex-tennis player, I feel like I'm playing with a tennis racket. I can hit big topspin on hard drives and passing shots when I get an opening. In this way, it reminds me a lot of the Diadem Edge 18k, which I've named my new favorite spin paddle in 2024. However, I'd still put the 18k a touch higher at 10/10.

Forgiveness: 9/10

As you'd expect from the hybrid shape, forgiveness goes up a point versus the elongated Pro Line Energy. You'll find a forgiving, large sweet spot here.

The only thing to note is that you can pop up third-shot drops if you're not careful. Just grip a bit lighter and swing a little less, and this paddle will start to work for you.

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Weighting: 9.5/10

Pickleball Apes did great work on the weighting. This paddle feels solid and powerful, but I wouldn't call it heavy. The moderate 118 swing weight nicely complements the 8.2 oz average static weight. It feels lighter on the court than either of those stats suggest.

Grip: 9/10

The standard handle length suits me better, so I feel right at home with the super-comfy grip. I rarely score a grip 9 or above, but after several intense three-hour sessions, this one still felt good in my hands and not slippery.

Durability: 10/10

I'm giving the Energy S full marks for durability since Kevlar® is known to be even stronger than carbon fiber. When you hold this in your hands, I think you'll also be convinced that your investment was well worth the price.

Aerodynamics: 8.5/10

The curved hybrid shape is a nice aerodynamic touch that you can feel on the court. This makes the paddle faster than the Pro Line Energy. The lower swing speed helps to make up for any lack of power compared to traditional gen-2 thermoformed carbon paddles.

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 Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S 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


At $170, this is $20 more than the Pro Line Energy. This prices it between my favorite paddle of the year, the Six Zero DBD Control ($180), and my top power paddle, the Bread & Butter Filth ($165).

As of January 2024, the paddle is currently on sale for $152.99, and can be purchased for $137.69 using code PICKLEHEADS for 10% off.

This is still a competitive territory, where there's so much great value. Can the Pro Line Energy S offer something new?

Value for money

I think this paddle is great value at $170—even better with the discounts bringing it down to $137.69. That prices it right at one of the best value paddles in the game, the Vatic Pro Flash.

The Pro Line Energy S has a unique Kevlar® build that helps it stand out from its rivals. I wouldn't have been surprised if it was over $200. It's right in the budget of most intermediate players, and I can't see you being let down if you purchase this.

Brandon Mackie holding the Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie holding the Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S pickleball paddle

Bottom line

The Pro Line Energy paddles from Pickleball Apes are among my new top picks for intermediates in 2024. These paddles are all-court gems and offer something unique from all the raw carbon paddles I've seen.

The hybrid S model should win even more fans than the elongated one because it has more control, forgiveness, and a more conventional shape. I think it suits intermediates all the way up to advanced players. This is your chance to buy a Kevlar® paddle before they're all the rage.

Today's best deals

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Save 10% with code PICKLEHEADS

This article contains affiliate links from which we receive a small commission from sales of certain items. As a brand associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you!

DuPont™ Kevlar® are trademarks or registered trademarks of affiliates of DuPont de Nemours, Inc.


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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