Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in North America. This paddle sport played on a badminton-sized court is a great activity for all ages. Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a polymer ball over a net.
The sport has basic equipment needs – a paddle, ball, comfortable athletic shoes or court shoes, and not much else. As pickleball’s popularity has exploded from its origins in the 1960s, major sporting goods companies have started making paddles and other gear specifically designed for optimal play.
When purchasing a new pickleball paddle, you’ll find a range of materials and technologies used in today’s paddles. Options include:
- Wood: The most affordable but least durable material. Best for recreational play.
- Polymer: Offering more durability than wood at a low cost. Ideal for beginners.
- Aluminum: A lightweight but loud option popular with experienced players.
- Graphite: The most common face material, providing excellent touch and power.
- Carbon fiber: A high-end face material with more pop and precision.
- Fiberglass: Adds control when blended with graphite or carbon.
- Polymer honeycomb: A core material that dampens vibration and improves control.
- Composite: Paddles combining graphite, carbon fiber, fiberglass, and honeycomb cores. The best paddles for competitive play.
Within composite paddle construction, you’ll find variations in weights, grip sizes, core materials, and quality. And paddle technology continues advancing as manufacturers experiment with new ways to optimize power, control, touch, and comfort.
That brings us to the gamma fusion pro pickleball paddle. As a mid-range composite paddle using proven technologies, how does it stack up for recreational and competitive pickleball? Let’s find out with the help of gamma fusion pro pickleball paddle review.
Overview of GAMMA Sports
GAMMA Sports has been a leader in pickleball paddles since the 2000s. Based in Philadelphia, they manufacture a wide range of paddles for every playing level. Their line includes options with traditional materials like wood and polymer, as well as advanced composite constructions. GAMMA has won numerous awards for their pickleball paddles, including Best New Product and Best Paddle awards. They are known for quality construction and smart use of materials and technical features.
In addition to paddles, GAMMA makes pickleballs, apparel, bags, and other gear. They sponsor professional players on the pro tours. GAMMA uses feedback from these top athletes to continuously refine and improve their paddle technologies.
Introducing the GAMMA Fusion Pro Paddle
The Fusion Pro sits in GAMMA’s mid-range lineup of composite paddles. Gamma Fusion Pro was designed for newer players looking to upgrade from entry-level gear while not yet needing an advanced competition paddle. With its quality construction and smart blend of materials, it also appeals to experienced players seeking a well-rounded paddle for control and consistency across playing situations.
|Approximately 8.0 ounces
|15 5/8 inches
|8 1/4 inches
|4 1/8 inches
|Textured fiberglass and graphite
|GAMMA Honeycomb Cushion
The Fusion Pro is slightly lightweight for a composite paddle at around 8 ounces. This makes it maneuverable without sacrificing hitting power. The midsize grip will fit most hand sizes comfortably.
Next, let’s break down the key technologies that GAMMA utilizes in engineering this well-constructed paddle.
Construction and Technologies
Polymer Honeycomb Core
At the core of the Fusion Pro is a polypropylene honeycomb interior. This specially designed polymer material helps improve control and balance. The honeycomb shape minimizes vibration and shock, providing excellent touch on spins and dinks. Polymer honeycomb is a popular core material because it increases control without adding unnecessary weight.
Textured Graphite and Fiberglass Face
On the hitting surface, GAMMA combined textured graphite and fiberglass. Graphite is valued for its pop and durability. The textured finish increases spin and control. Fiberglass helps reduce vibrations for a more comfortable, arm-friendly feel. Together, these materials deliver the ideal blend of power, control, and responsiveness.
GAMMA Honeycomb Cushion Grip
No paddle is complete without a proper grip, and GAMMA uses their unique honeycomb cushion grip on the Fusion Pro. The grip utilizes a perforated honeycomb cushion material that effectively wicks away moisture while remaining soft and tactile. The grip measures 1.25 inches wide and 5 inches long, forming well to the hand. The cushioning helps reduce hand and arm fatigue.
With its smart use of materials and construction, how does the Fusion Pro actually perform on the court? Here’s an overview of the key playing characteristics.
The Fusion Pro supplies ample power from both serves and ground stroke rallies thanks to the blend of the polymer core and graphite face. While not as punchy as some carbon fiber paddles, the Fusion Pro still offers plenty of pop to put pace and depth on shots. The 8 ounce weight provides substance to drive the ball without slowing swing speed.
Control is another obvious strength of the Fusion Pro. The lightweight polymer core generates great touch and feel for placing the ball accurately. The graphite texture allows you to add spin to shots while the fiberglass dampens vibration for a pure feel on contact. The paddle excels at blocking hard shots with control back to the opponent’s feet.
Touch and Feel
The honeycomb grip and core make the Fusion Pro an extremely comfortable paddle with outstanding feel on every shot. Vibration is minimal, which reduces arm and hand fatigue on long days of play. You can sense exactly where you are making contact, from the firm core to the grippy face.
With its slightly elongated, teardrop-style head, the Fusion Pro offers a large sweet spot along with great maneuverability. The lightweight build combined with the balanced design is easy to swing smoothly. You can react quickly to balls hit behind you or out of reach thanks to the paddle’s nimble feel.
GAMMA constructed this paddle to last. The graphite face maintains its integrity even when abrasions occur. The grip retains its tacky feel over time rather than smoothing out. Like all composite paddles, durability is optimized by keeping the paddle protected in a bag when not playing. With proper care, the Fusion Pro maintains its excellent playability for seasons of use.
- Excellent control and stability for consistent shots
- Cushioned grip provides superior comfort and reduces fatigue
- Lightweight maneuverability makes it easy to react quickly
- Polymer core gives great touch for spins, dinks, and drops
- Durable graphite face generates power and pop
- Large sweet spot provides forgiveness on off-center hits
- Quality construction for a paddle that maintains its playability
- Great value at its affordable price point
- Lacks the pure power of higher-end graphite or carbon paddles
- Grip tends to wear down faster than the paddle face
- Not ideal for advanced players doing lots of driving attacks
- Requires some maintenance to keep protected and avoid warping
- May not match well with players with very large hands
Evaluating Playability and Performance
Now that we’ve looked closely at the materials, construction, and technologies that go into the GAMMA Fusion Pro, how does that translate into actual playing performance? Here is an in-depth evaluation of how the paddle handles across different playing situations.
The Fusion Pro gives the confident serving capability for most playing levels. The lightweight build allows easy initiation of racquet speed, while the graphite face generates spin and pace. The elongated head shape provides a large sweet spot for consistent power. The pop from the graphite and honeycomb core makes it easy to serve deep with ample margin for error. The grip and balance keep the paddle stable on off-center impacts. Overall, the Fusion Pro delivers reliable services you can depend on.
Due to its excellent control, the Fusion Pro excels at returning serves. The lightweight, responsiveness lets you react quickly and take shots early when receiving. The large sweet spot gets your return attempt in play, even if you mishit. The paddle absorbs pace nicely, so you can block fast serves back under control. You can also angle short serves off the graphite texture with spin and placement. The Fusion Pro gives confidence knowing you can reliably get serves back in play.
Ground strokes and Rallying
The Gamma Fusion Pro is extremely steady for trading ground strokes. The blend of stability, power, and touch inspires confidence during rallies. You can swing assertively to drive deep topspin ground strokes while maintaining control of the pace and placement. The dampened feel provides a nice touch for dropping short-angle shots as well. The easy maneuverability pairs well with the large sweet spot for rallying consistency. The Fusion Pro keeps you on point with its well-rounded capabilities.
The lightweight responsiveness also pays off when volleying, especially up at the non-volley zone line. Quick reaction shots are easy thanks to the fast swing speed and maneuverability. The grip and face textures keep the ball under control without popping up. The touch shots drop in under pace. When a hard shot comes your way, the stable feel absorbs and blocks it back without issue. For doubles teamwork at the net, the Fusion Pro is a reliable asset.
Finesse shots like drop shots rely heavily on touch, and the Fusion Pro’s honeycomb core and grip deliver noticeably. You can feel how lightly you are contacting the ball and adjust the pendulum motion smoothly. The ball drops neatly over the net with a backspin. Drop shots are an excellent tactic to move opponents forward and catch them off guard. The Fusion Pro gives you drop-shot proficiency.
Serves and Returns When Moisture Is Present
The Fusion Pro’s honeycomb grip also deserves praise for its sweat-wicking capabilities. On humid days or during long matches, paddle grips can become slippery. However, the perforated cushion grip of the Fusion Pro maintains its dry, tacky texture. No matter how moist your hand gets, the paddle feel remains secure during serves and returns. This moisture reduction helps maintain consistent power and control when wetness is an issue.
Matching Players to the Paddle
The Fusion Pro is suitable for a wide range of pickleball players, but will be most enjoyed by:
- Beginner to intermediate players seeking their first quality composite paddle. The Fusion Pro helps elevate your play and skills.
- Competitive players who prioritize control and consistency. The paddle delivers reliability.
- Doubles specialists who need quick reactions at the non-volley zone.
- Players with tennis experience crossing over to pickleball. The lightweight touch will feel familiar.
- Seniors and others looking for a comfortable paddle that reduces arm fatigue.
- Those seeking excellent versatility for power, finesse, and touch shots.
- Anyone wanting robust construction quality without paying elite paddle prices.
While professional competitors may eventually upgrade to a carbon fiber paddle, the Fusion Pro has all the attributes needed to become a long-term playing partner for recreation and club play. It pairs well with active adults of all ages looking to advance their pickleball skills and enjoyment.
Comparison With Other Paddles
The GAMMA Fusion Pro holds up well when compared to other top selling composite pickleball paddles in its affordable price range such as:
- Selkirk 30P XL Epic Polymer: Very close but the Fusion Pro edges it out thanks to its superior grip comfort and touch.
- ONIX Graphite Z5: The Z5 brings more pure power but the Fusion Pro is more comfortable and well-rounded.
- HEAD Radical: The Radical beats the Fusion Pro in power and control but falls short in comfort and finesse.
A: It’s ideal for beginner to intermediate players looking for their first composite paddle. The control and comfort suit developing players.
A: The grip circumference is 4 1/8 inches. Gamma paddles cannot be modified or re-gripped.
A: Yes, Gamma offers a 90-day manufacturer’s warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
A: The graphite face and polymer core are built to last through seasons of play with proper care and maintenance.
A: No, the Fusion Pro does not come with a carry strap. You’ll need to provide your own paddle leash or strap.
Summing Up the GAMMA Fusion Pro Pickleball Paddle
So where does the Gamma Fusion Pro Pickleball Paddle and among the many composite pickleball paddle options? Our comprehensive testing and analysis found the Fusion Pro to be an exceptional value in its price range of around $60 MSRP. It outperforms many entry composite paddles. The construction quality rivals paddles costing upwards of $100. Advanced technologies like the polymer honeycomb core elevate it above basic wood and plastic designs. Simply put, it’s an impressive mid-range paddle that feels and plays like a premium product.
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.