Pickleball Gear

Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta - pickleball paddle review

picture of Brandon Mackie
Brandon Mackie

Published on: Jan 1, 2024

The Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta pickleball paddle on a blue background

The LUXX Control Air Invikta is an eye-catching paddle built for control. Selkirk have a reputation for making high-performance paddles that cost a pretty penny, and the LUXX is no different. This is the control-focused cousin of the VANGUARD, which I voted the best advanced paddle in 2024.

Check out my Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta review below to see if I think it's worth its $250 price, or if it's just a bunch of marketing jargon.

My verdict4.5star iconI've never played with a paddle quite like the Selkirk LUXX. Don't be fooled by the 20 mm core thickness or the "control" marketing—this paddle has a ton of personality, more power than I expected, and lots of spin. It's an excellent paddle for advanced players who value control but want all the weapons needed to play at a high level.

Buy or pass?

Buy if:

  • You want an advanced control paddle:

    excellent ball control is complemented by power, speed, and spin.

  • You've got $250 to spend:

    if this is within your budget, I'd seriously recommend considering it.

  • You like to play a fast game:

    the 'air dynamic throat' really does make this paddle faster.

Pass if:

  • You're not ready for an advanced paddle:

    beginners and new intermediates will find the Vatic Pro Flash more user-friendly.

  • You're more of a power player:

    check out this paddle's cousin, the Selkirk VANGUARD Power Air Invikta.

  • You're on a budget:

    the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash offers 10/10 control for just $100.

Paddle Weight

7.8-8.1 oz

Paddle Length

16.45"

Paddle Width

7 ½"

Handle Length

5.35"

Grip Circumference

4 ¼"

Paddle Face Material

Carbon fiber

Core Material

Thikset honeycomb

Core Thickness

20 mm (0.78")

Sweet Spot

Medium-large

Today's best deals

Selkirk logo
Get a free gift card with code ADV-PICKLEHEADS
Pickleball Central logo
Save 10% with code PICKLEHEADS

Review summary

The Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta takes the term "control paddle" to the extreme, going all out with a 20 mm core. This is an elongated control paddle for more advanced players, and it's sealed with an endorsement from former tennis pro, Jack Sock.

The LUXX tries to do for control what the VANGUARD did for power. It's ever so slightly shorter and wider than the VANGUARD and has a larger sweet spot. It also has the same signature open throat.

It's made with really premium-feeling materials and comes in vibrant color choices. I played with the light blue version that Jack Sock uses, and I really dig the look.

When it comes to how it plays, I'm really impressed. First off, this paddle has great control. The marketing isn't just hype. Straight out of the box, it helped my drops, dinks, and resets.

Loading...

I found myself grabbing the LUXX when I was playing against advanced players, especially 4.5 or higher bangers. The 20 mm core is really effective at taking pace off the ball on challenging resets off hard shots.

You can get great spin with this paddle too. It's right up there with my favorite spin paddles like the CRBN-1X Power Series and Legacy Pro. I can put lots of topspin on my drops, as well as on my drives when I want to play aggressively.

What's surprising here is that I still get good pop and power. Someone described this paddle as "springy but not powerful" and I think that's dead on. It transfers energy differently than you'd expect from a 20 mm core. I can hit hard drives and even winners when I have an opening.

That said, this isn't a power paddle and it doesn't pretend to be. If you like to hit hard, I'd recommend Selkirk's VANGUARD Power Air Invikta instead.

I always worry that pro-level paddles won't have a good sweet spot, but it's a decent size here thanks to the edgeless design. It's definitely much larger than the JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus.

Brandon Mackie holding the Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta
Brandon Mackie holding the Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta

The LUXX is inconsistent at times, but it's hard to describe why. One minute I have great control on hard resets, the next I'm sailing a serve long. I think it's in the build. This would never happen with more basic control paddles like the Vatic Pro Flash range.

All in all, despite the great control, I still find this to have less control than those paddles with a standard design. There's just a little too much spring, which makes it easier to pop up a third shot than you'd think.

If you're a beginner or early intermediate, don't get lured in by the "control" appeal. This is built for more advanced players who can handle a more technical paddle.

Pros:

Thumb up icon
  • Surprising power to go along with great control and spin

  • Decent sweet spot with the edgeless design

  • Thick core takes pace off the ball for great resets

Cons:

Thumb up icon
  • Not a power paddle

  • Inconsistent at times

  • Less control than more standard-design control paddles

Features

You'll find a lot of tech in Selkirk paddles that you don't see elsewhere, thanks to their in-house R&D department, Selkirk Labs.

On the marketing specs for the LUXX, you'll see features with names like "ProSpin+ NextGen Micro Texture", "360° Proto Molding", and "CM Anti-Torque Technology". This can be a bit overwhelming so I wanted to explain them in detail.

Let's dig into these features and discuss what they mean for the LUXX's performance on the court.

20 mm thick core

In a world where 16 mm core thickness is the standard for control paddles, this 20 mm paddle really stands out. Selkirk call it their "X7 Thikset Honeycomb Core".

I recently played with the 19 mm Diadem Warrior V2 and found it too soft for my game. So, I was really surprised to find the LUXX way more powerful and poppy than the thick core suggests.

I see a lot of folks online concerned that this will be soft and absorb too much pace off the ball. However, Selkirk did a great job avoiding that problem.

Carbon fiber face

Selkirk use their own "Florek" carbon fiber in this paddle, which they claim adds power and creates a larger sweet spot. I can confirm that both the power and sweet spot are greater than I expected.

I also managed to generate tons of spin in my testing. That said, this is a painted-on gritty face, so I worry it will degrade over time. This was a common complaint with the VANGUARD.

Air dynamic throat

The standout feature of these "Air" paddles is the "ThroatFlex" open throat design. As you'd hope, it does make the paddle aerodynamic. It looks cool too.

Endorsed by Jack Sock

While a pro player endorsement is sometimes just a marketing gimmick, I couldn't help getting excited when I saw that Selkirk signed Jack Sock. He was one of my favorite pro tennis players to watch.

Since coming over to pickleball, he's made a big splash, playing with Tyson McGuffin, Anna Leigh Waters, and others. So, if this paddle is good enough for him, it's good enough for me!

Performance

8/10

Power

9/10

Control

9/10

Spin

8.5/10

Forgiveness

10/10

Weighting

10/10

Grip

8/10

Durability

9/10

Aerodynamics

Power: 8/10

This was the biggest surprise for me. This paddle is quite powerful, which you'd never think looking at its 20 mm core. If I want to play aggressive in a game, I can.

I can still hit the hard drives and passing shots I love hitting with my favorite power paddles like the CRBN-1X and Bread & Butter Filth.

What stops it from being a 9/10 is that it can go soft at times, which allows your opponent to reset. I have to swing hard on putaways.

Control: 9/10

The LUXX does all the routine control stuff well. I think the hardest control shot in pickleball is the topspin third shot drop, so I like to judge control off that.

This paddle is great on those shots, complemented by its excellent spin. There were a couple of times when I hit one so well my opponent flat-out whiffed on it. It doesn't get any better than that for me.

Surprisingly, I knocked it down a point versus the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash, a $100 paddle. This is because I think less advanced players will find its control too inconsistent. They'll get some drops popping up and serves sailing long. I think this paddle skews in favor of more advanced players.

Brandon Mackie holding the Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta
Brandon Mackie holding the Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta

Spin: 9/10

While the spin on this paddle rips, I had to put it at least a half-point below the Six Zero Double Black Diamond Control, Legacy Pro, and CRBN-2X Power Series paddles.

I felt this mostly on serves, where I can't always get that dipping topspin I like—the kind that brings hard serves down to earth and puts the ball right on the line. With the LUXX, it's too easy to sail serves long, which is something I can't figure out about this paddle.

That said, I'm still able to play with a ton of topspin overall. I can rip drives and passing shots, which helps to make up for any lack of power.

I docked it another half-point because the grit is sprayed on, so I suspect it will wear down over time.

Forgiveness: 8.5/10

I wasn't expecting much forgiveness, but the LUXX has a generous sweet spot—especially for an advanced performance paddle.

I tested it alongside the VANGUARD, a notoriously unforgiving paddle. The VANGUARD felt like a 2x4 piece of wood compared to the LUXX, which felt like a pillow in comparison.

The thick core gives me a lot of forgiveness whenever I swing a little too hard or grip too tight on a touch shot. This should help intermediates a lot.

Selkirk logo
Get a free gift card with code ADV-PICKLEHEADS
Pickleball Central logo
Save 10% with code PICKLEHEADS

Weighting: 10/10

Selkirk nailed the weighting in my opinion. The LUXX clocks in at 8 oz, on average. It's light and fast but still plays with power.

Grip: 10/10

Top marks in this department. Premium and comfortable, the grip is noticeably superior to most others.

Durability: 8/10

This is a funny one. You can tell so much work went into the making of this paddle, but I had to dock 2 points.

There's no edge guard, meaning the paddle is open to damage. I even lost a chunk at the top on my first testing session when my paddle clipped the ground. That sucks given this paddle costs $250.

I also suspect the grit on the face will erode over time.

Aerodynamics: 9/10

I've long felt that the "air dynamic throat" is one of the few marketing gimmicks in all of pickleball that really works. Like the VANGUARD, the LUXX has a really great swing speed. This helps to offset whatever power might be lacking.

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 Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta 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

At $250, the "Air" paddles from Selkirk are among the most expensive around. If you're going to part with that kind of cash, you want to be sure it's worth it. Let's find out how the LUXX scores on value.

Value for money

You can tell a whole lot of R&D went into this paddle. As I said, I've never played with anything like it.

It's rare to see a pure "control" paddle that doesn't heavily sacrifice when it comes to spin and power. The Vatic Pro Flash, for example, is amazing but it is lacking in power for me.

Overall, I do think this paddle is worth its big price tag—if you can afford it. That said, you have to be the right player for it. It's designed for pros, so you should be playing at a high level. If you're not there yet, you'll have more success with the Vatic Pro Flash. Your wallet will be happier too.

Professional use

Who uses the Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta?

This is the paddle of choice for Jack Sock, a former pro tennis player who reached #8 in the world in singles and #2 in doubles. He crashed onto the pickleball scene in May 2023 when he took home the gold medal for mixed doubles at his very first PPA tour.

The Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta resting against a pickleball net
The Selkirk LUXX Control Air Invikta resting against a pickleball net

Bottom line

The more advanced you are, the more you'll get out of this paddle. It has lots of personality and takes time to get used to, but it's got a lot of features for advanced play. It's awesome at resetting against super-hard shots. It's also great on technical shots like backhand rolls and flicks.

If you're an intermediate player who's not yet approaching the step up to advanced level, I would avoid it and go with something like the Vatic Pro Flash instead. That way, you can build your confidence until you're ready for more power.

Today's best deals

Selkirk logo
Get a free gift card with code ADV-PICKLEHEADS
Pickleball Central logo
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!

FAQs

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.
Share this article

Join the fastest growing pickleball community

...

members

Join a community of pickleball players and find new friends to play with.

...

games

Browse games and open play sessions anywhere you go.

...

locations

Find every place to play pickleball in your local area.

...

cities

Now available worldwide. Find courts & games anywhere!