Pickleball has exploded in popularity over the last few years, becoming one of the fastest growing sports in America. With more people picking up pickleball paddles each year, companies are responding with new and innovative designs to meet the growing demand.
One of the leaders in the pickleball gear industry is Gamma Sports, a company known for making high-quality paddles suited for players of all skill levels. Their Compass paddle is an excellent option for intermediate to advanced level players looking for great control and touch on their shots. In this in-depth Gamma Compass Pickleball Paddle Review, we’ll take a close look at the key features and performance of the Gamma Compass to see how it stacks up.
At first glance, the Gamma Compass Pickleball Paddle stands out with its clean red and white design that gives it an elegant, high-end look. The paddle has an elongated shape with a textured graphite face that provides good surface area for solid contact with the ball. It feels lightweight in your hand at around 7.5-7.8 oz, making it easy to maneuver. The Honeycomb cushion grip gives it a nice tacky feel that promotes good wrist action and comfort.
Upon taking it out on the court for some warm-up rallies, the Compass provides a very responsive and controlled feel. The paddle seems to “stick” to the ball slightly longer, allowing you to cleanly carve out angles and apply spin. The lightweight design doesn’t compromise any power or stability, either. Overall, the initial impressions are very positive in terms of the Compass’ optimal balance of control, power, and responsiveness.
Design and Construction
Gamma utilizes their signature NeuCore paddle technology in the Compass. This design features a polypropylene honeycomb core that is 25% thicker and has much larger cells compared to a traditional core. The result is a more consistent sweet spot across a larger surface area of the paddle face. NeuCore also dampens vibrations and sound for a softer, quieter feel on each shot.
The core is sandwiched between textured graphite faces, providing good touch and grip on the ball. Graphite tends to offer more controlled power over other materials like polymer composites. The Compass is finished off with a comfortable Gamma Honeycomb cushion grip that absorbs sweat and provides excellent traction even during intense play when hands get slippery.
At 16 5/8” in length and 7 1/8” in width, the slightly elongated head shape gives you some extra reach without compromising control thanks to the balanced weight throughout the paddle. The construction quality is excellent with crisp edges, clean graphics, and consistent paint coverage.
|~ 7.75 ounces
|GAMMA Honeycomb Grip
|NeuCore Poly Core
The Gamma Compass really shines when you put it into live play. The NeuCore core gives it an incredibly consistent and forgiving sweet spot – you can feel the ball pocketing cleanly no matter where you make contact on the face. This imparts great touch and control on shots, allowing you to “brush” or “caress” the ball to produce heavy spin and angle with ease.
The lightweight design doesn’t hinder power at all. The paddle packs plenty of pop to put away shots when you take a full swing. The Graphite face provides a good blend of control and power that suits an offensive, driving style of play. The grip and surface texture provide great tactile feedback, so you can “feel” the ball on the paddle face, even on quick reaction volleys and blocks.
The balance between control, power, touch, and quickness is outstanding. The Compass allows you to play both defense and offense at a high level. It truly does seem to enhance all aspects of your game. The excellent playability makes it suitable for a wide range of skill levels as well.
- Outstanding touch and control
- Very responsive and lively feel
- Lightweight but still powerful
- Consistent and forgiving sweet spot
- Good reach with elongated shape
- Excellent construction quality
- Graphics may scratch or fade over time
- Not as powerful as ultra-lightweight paddles
- Less reach than super oversized heads
The Gamma Compass goes toe-to-toe with other leading composite pickleball paddles in its class:
Selkirk Amped Epic – Very similar responsive and controlled feel. The Amped has a slightly stiffer face for more pop. The Compass has a more forgiving sweet spot.
Onix Graphite Z5 – The Z5 is slightly wider providing more surface area. It also has more power on full swings. The Compass has better touch and control.
Engage Poach Advantage – Very similar balanced feel. The Poach may have a slight edge in power. The Compass has a more consistent sweet spot across the face.
Paddletek Bantam TS-5 – The Bantam is more lightweight with an edge in quickness. The Compass has more stability and a softer feel.
The Compass holds its own against the top composite paddles. It stands out with its excellent blend of control, power, consistency, and feel. The playing characteristics and quality make it suitable for a wide range of playing styles and skill levels as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Compass is an excellent all-around paddle that will suit a wide range of playing styles and skill levels. It particularly shines for intermediate to advanced players looking for more control and finesse on their shots.
It features a Polypropylene Honeycomb NeuCore, Textured Graphite faces, and a Gamma Honeycomb Cushion grip. This provides a great blend of touch, power, control and comfort.
NeuCore increases the core thickness and cell size for a more consistent and forgiving sweet spot across a larger portion of the paddle face. It also dampens vibrations for a softer feel.
Yes, the graphite face and poly core provide a good mix of pop and stability. The paddle offers very consistent power across the face thanks to the NeuCore design.
The Gamma Honeycomb cushion grip has a nice tacky feel that absorbs moisture and provides excellent control when maneuvering the paddle.
- Superb control and touch
- Very forgiving sweet spot
- Great blend of power and quickness
- Excellent construction quality
- Suits a wide range of skill levels
- Ideal for intermediate to advanced players
- Provides a very balanced and responsive feel
- One of the top composite paddles available
- Highly recommended for all-around performance
With its outstanding playability and quality, the Gamma Compass pickleball paddle earns our strong recommendation. It is one of the most well-rounded and dependable composite paddles you can add to your game, especially if you are looking for more control and finesse. The Compass will provide a major step up in your game without breaking the bank. We hope from our Gamma Compass Pickleball Paddle Review you have got answers to all your questions.
I am a professional physiotherapist and the author of the BallSportsPro. I worked with athletes of all levels, from amateur to professional, and i helped them overcome injuries and improve their performance. I am a certified Pickleball instructor and has been playing the sport for over 10 years.