Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle Review: A Budget-Friendly Ace in Action

Are you looking for a budget-friendly pickleball paddle from Franklin Sports? If Yes, then you are at the right place as we have one paddle from Franklin Sports, which is budget-friendly i.e., Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle.

In this editorial product review article titled “Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle Review,” we are going to discuss the overview, features, and pros & cons of the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle. We are also going to discuss how this paddle performs while playing pickleball using it and its comparison with other models of the Franklin Pickleball Paddle. Additionally, we are going to guide you on how to choose this paddle and take care of it.

Overview of the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle is a fantastic choice for both beginners and intermediate players. Thanks to its 7-ply wooden construction, plastic protective edging, and comfortable padded grip, it offers durability and high performance. This paddle strikes the right balance between power, control, and feel. Although it might not look as flashy as graphite or composite paddles, the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle is a dependable and budget-friendly choice that works well for regular play.

Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle


You can also get this paddle in two different sets:

  • The Activator 2 set includes 2 Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddles and 2 X-40 outdoor pickleball.
  • The 4 Player Set includes 4 Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddles and 4 X-40 outdoor pickleball.

Here are the specifications of the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle:

  • Paddle Length – 15.75″ 
  • Paddle Width – 8″
  • Handle Length – 4.75″
  • Handle Circumference – 4.25″
  • Weight – 9.5-10.5 Oz
  • Core – 7 Ply Wood
Specifications Of The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

Features Of The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

Here are the key features of the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle:

7 Ply Wooden Construction: The core of this paddle is made strong with seven layers of top-notch wood. This design guarantees a nice blend of power and control, and when you hit the ball, you’ll feel a satisfying “pop” or bounce.

Plastic Protective Casing: Franklin has added a plastic edge guard to the Activator to make it more durable. This protective casing shields the paddle from potential damage like scratches, cracks, and impacts during play.

Comfortable Contoured Grip: The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle comes with a comfy, contoured grip made from soft materials. The grip is shaped and padded in a way that absorbs vibrations, making sure that you can securely hold the paddle.

Features Of The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

Lightweight Design: Weighing between 9.5 to 10.5 ounces, the Activator is lighter compared to many other wooden paddles. This lightweight design makes it easy to handle and maneuver, allowing you to execute various offensive and defensive shots easily.

USA Pickleball Approved: The Activator meets the official standards and requirements set by the USAPA. This means it has been given the green light for use in officially sanctioned tournaments and events so that you can trust its quality and performance.

Attractive, Simple Design: You can get this paddle in either green or blue, and it has a simple and elegant design. It might not have fancy graphics, but its clean and polished look appeals to many different players.

Performance Of The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

When I use the Franklin Activator pickleball paddle during a game, I’ve noticed that it delivers a highly responsive and controlled feel when hitting shots. The paddle feels well-balanced and moves smoothly through the air. When I hit the ball, it feels like a solid connection, and there isn’t too much vibration because of the wooden construction.

I can smoothly execute both forehand and backhand strokes with the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle. The paddle face provides a good connection with the ball, allowing me to place shots accurately. The grip fits comfortably in my hand and doesn’t slip, even when I’m sweating.

Performance Of The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle In Pickleball

In summary, the paddle consistently performs well every time I play. It allows me to effectively execute all the pickleball strokes and strategies that I need as an intermediate player. The paddle feels like a high-quality and durable choice, maintaining its performance match after match.

Pros & Cons Of The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

Reasons to Buy
  • Provides excellent control and feel
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Comfortable grip stays stable in hand
  • Good touch for accurate placement
  • Durable construction for frequent use
Reasons to Avoid
  • Lacks the power of advanced graphite paddles
  • Not ideal for competitive tournament play

How to Choose the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle?

Selecting the perfect pickleball paddle involves taking into account your playing style, skill level, and specific requirements. Here are some important factors to consider if you’re thinking about opting for the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle:

Firstly, determine whether you are a beginner or an intermediate player. The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle excels in providing control and accuracy, which is ideal for players who are still developing their skills rather than those seeking sheer power. If you consider yourself a skilled player, you may find graphite or composite paddles more suitable.

Next, think about the dimensions of the paddle. The Activator features a medium-sized grip with a circumference of 4.25 inches. It is essential to ensure that this grip size fits your hand comfortably, as an incorrectly sized grip can affect your strokes.

Consider the weight and balance of the paddle. The Activator falls in the relatively lightweight category, weighing between 9.5 and 10.5 ounces. This lighter weight enhances maneuverability but might reduce the power in your shots. Consider whether you’d prefer a heavier pickleball paddle since certain models offer the option to adjust the weight.

If your pickleball games are more recreational than competitive tournaments, the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle is an excellent choice. Its wooden construction provides a great touch and feel, perfect for casual play and friendly rallies. Pro players often prefer paddles made from carbon fiber or fiberglass to meet their particular requirements.

Make sure to read reviews from other buyers about how well the Franklin Activator Pickleball paddle performs in terms of control and “pop.” It gets positive ratings for its ability to handle the speed, spin, and where your shots land. Feedback from fellow players can be invaluable when making your selection.

Although it might not have all the fancy premium features, the Activator paddle certainly delivers when it comes to quality and how much fun you can have with it. The great thing is that it’s quite affordable. If you’re a serious pickleball player who spends a lot of time on the courts, it could be a smart move to consider upgrading to a higher-quality paddle.

Consider all of these factors, and don’t hesitate to seek advice from fellow players. By carefully assessing your needs and playing style, you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect paddle, whether it is the reliable Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle or something more advanced.

Maintainance Tips for Your Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

To keep your Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle in a top-notch condition, follow these guidelines:

Clean After Use: After playing pickleball, use a soft cloth to clean your paddle. This easy task will stop it from getting damaged by things like chemicals and rust.

Use A Protective Cover: When you’re not using your paddle, be sure to keep it safe by putting it in a padded case or cover. This protective layer shields it from getting scratched, chipped, or dented when you store it or take it with you. When selecting a cover, ensure it comfortably fits your paddle without being too tight. For the best protection of your paddle, opt for soft cases that come with extra cushioning.

Protective Case For Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle

Furthermore, from time to time, check the cover for any wear and tear and replace it if necessary. Remember that a high-quality paddle cover is just as important as the paddle itself when it comes to ensuring its longevity. Investing in a solid cover helps to protect your valuable, high-performance paddle.

Regular Inspections: Pay close attention to your paddle, especially the edges and the part you play with, for any cracks, chips, dents, or splinters. Spotting these problems early can help you to take care of them right away.

Maintain The Grip: When you notice your grip becoming slippery, frayed, or peeling, it’s time for a replacement. Maintaining a good grip ensures optimal handling and performance.

Limit Sun Exposure: Avoid leaving your wooden paddle in direct sunlight for extended periods. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can dry out the wood and cause it to crack.

Professional Repairs: For major repairs or issues, consult a pickleball pro shop to ensure that your paddle is fixed correctly, maintaining its playability and compliance with regulations.

Comparison of Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle With Other Franklin Pickleball Paddles

Before we jump into comparing the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle with other Franklin Pickleball Paddle models, such as the Franklin Christine McGrath Pickleball Paddle, Franklin Vibe Pickleball Paddle, and Franklin X-1000 Pickleball Paddle, let’s take a moment to go over the details about these three chosen models for the comparison. Afterwards, we will compare the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle to the Franklin Christine McGrath Pickleball Paddle, Franklin Vibe Pickleball Paddle, and Franklin X-1000 Pickleball Paddle using a table format:

Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle: 

This wooden paddle features a sturdy 7-ply construction. USA Pickleball (USAPA) has formally certified it for use in tournaments. Even the protective case is designed for a comfortable grip on the handle. With a weight range of 9.5 to 10.5 ounces, it offers a generous sweet spot. It is an excellent option for anyone searching for a sturdy and reasonably priced paddle, whether they are new to the game or have some experience.

Franklin Christine McGrath Pickleball Paddle: 

Professional player Christine McGrath personally designed this paddle. It features a core made from polypropylene honeycomb and a face crafted with fiberglass. What makes it stand out is the MaxGrit surface, which enhances your ability to add spin to the ball and maintain better control during your game. The handle is designed with a trustworthy non-slip grip and is protected by a strong edge band for extra toughness. It weighs about 7.6 to 8.1 ounces, which is a bit lighter than most. This paddle gives you a larger area on the hitting surface that’s easier to aim for. It is a great pick for experienced players who want to improve at hitting precise and delicate shots.

Franklin Vibe Pickleball Paddle: 

This paddle also has a core made of polypropylene honeycomb and a tough fiberglass face. It is officially approved by the USA Pickleball (USAPA) for use in tournaments. The handle is designed to give you a solid and secure grip, and the MaxGrit surface layer on the paddle ensures that you can stay in control, even when the game gets incredibly intense. This paddle falls in the weight range of 7.7 to 8.2 ounces and boasts a comfortably spacious sweet spot. This makes it an excellent choice for players of any skill level, whether you’re a beginner or have some experience under your belt. It is built to deliver an outstanding performance and hold up well over time, especially if you want to up your game with spin and powerful shots.

Franklin X-1000 Pickleball Paddle: 

This paddle is equipped with a strong polypropylene honeycomb core and a durable fiberglass face, and it is officially sanctioned for tournament use by USA Pickleball (USAPA). The handle offers a comfortable, non-slip grip, and it is protected by a robust edge band. Weighing between 7.7 and 8.2 ounces, it features a generous sweet spot for effective play. It is designed for top-notch performance and extended durability, making it an excellent choice for players of all skill levels who aim to perform their best year after year consistently.

Here is a comparison table showing differences between Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle, Franklin Pickleball Christine McGrath Paddle, Franklin Pickleball Vibe Paddle, and Franklin Pickleball X-1000 Paddle:

ConstructionUSAPA ApprovedWeight RangeSpecial FeaturesRecommended Skill Level
Franklin Activator Pickleball
7-ply woodenYes9.5 to 10.5 ouncesSturdy construction, reasonably priced, generous sweet spotbeginners and intermediate players
Franklin Christine McGrath Pickleball PaddlePolypropylene honeycomb core, fiberglass faceYes7.6 to 8.1 ouncesMaxGrit surface for spin and control, non-slip grip, larger hitting surfaceExperienced players aiming for precision
Franklin Vibe
Pickleball Paddle
Polypropylene honeycomb core, fiberglass faceYes7.7 to 8.2 ouncesMaxGrit surface for control, solid grip, spacious sweet spotPlayers of any skill level, including beginners
Franklin X-1000
Pickleball Paddle
Polypropylene honeycomb core, fiberglass faceYes7.7 to 8.2 ouncesDurable construction, non-slip grip, generous sweet spotAny skill level players


How Does The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle Perform Compared To Other Paddles?

The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle offers great control and a nice feel for shots because it is made of wood. It allows for precise strokes on both forehand and backhand shots and provides good ball placement. However, it doesn’t offer the same level of hitting power and “pop” as more advanced graphite or composite paddles do.

What Grip Size Does The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle Have?

The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle comes with a 4.25-inch grip circumference, which is considered medium-sized and generally comfortable for most players. However, it is crucial to make sure that the grip size matches your hand comfortably before you buy it.

What Are The Some Ways To Customize Or Upgrade The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle?

You have the option to personalize the Franklin Activator pickleball paddle by adding lead tape to make it heavier, improving the grip tape for a better hold, and experimenting with various paddle covers to suit your preferred style. Players with more experience may think about switching to a graphite or fiberglass paddle as they progress.

Can You Use Two-Handed Grips Effectively With The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle?

Yes, you can comfortably use two-handed grips with the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle because it has a 4.25-inch grip circumference and a contoured shape. The grip can absorb shocks effectively, but make sure it comfortably fits both of your hands.

What Materials Are Used To Construct The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle?

The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle has a 7-ply wooden core crafted from high-quality hardwood. It features a plastic protective casing around the edges and a grip made of soft, cushioned materials to minimize vibration.


The Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle is a fantastic option for relaxed pickleball matches that won’t strain your budget. It is particularly well-suited for newcomers to the sport and individuals with some pickleball experience who haven’t reached an expert level yet. 

It is built with a durable 7-ply wooden core, has plastic edges for protection, a padded grip for comfort, and offers lightweight maneuverability. Although it might not offer the same level of power and pop as advanced graphite paddles, the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle stands out in its ability to provide outstanding control and a great feel, which can aid in developing your skills.

It is crucial to choose the Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle according to your skill level, playing style, budget, and whether its grip size and weight suits your hand. You can also read reviews from fellow pickleball players who have purchased and used this paddle and try it out before purchasing it. It is necessary to take care of your Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle after purchasing and using it for playing pickleball so that it can last longer.

After writing an editorial product review article on “Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle Review,” we hope you have read and understood the information about Franklin Activator Pickleball Paddle and its comparison with other Franklin Pickleball Paddle models. We hope you’ll consider choosing this paddle, take good care of it, and enjoy giving your best performance on the pickleball court with it!

Leave a Comment