In response to the increasing demand for innovation in the sport of pickleball, ONIX Pickleball has invested in Graphite Technology’s popularity to deliver the all-new Outbreak paddle, featuring a graphite face reinforced by TeXtreme Technology that ONIX’s leaders say is breaking new ground. Pickleball Magazine conducted an interview with Zach Scheller, ONIX’s Associate Product Manager, and David Kolosek, Sporting Goods Sales Manager for TeXtreme, to learn more about the product.
What is ONIX hoping to accomplish with the new Outbreak paddle?ZS: While there have been several innovations in the sport over the last few years, Graphite Technology has really been on the back burner, which is surprising considering Graphite’s popularity and reputation. We really started the process by asking, “What’s the next step in Graphite Technology?”
How did you discover TeXtreme Technology?
ZS: We worked with a variety of carbon fiber surfaces—different materials, configurations and finishes, but couldn’t get the performance, weight and consistency out of the product. TeXtreme had been interested in teaming up with us, and the timing was perfect. TeXtreme had already proven itself in pro tennis, pro hockey, and pro golf. We were excited about bringing it to pickleball.
DK: We’ve been investigating the pickleball market for a while and it became clear that there was an opportunity for innovation within the graphite/carbon fiber segment and we felt TeXtreme could provide the solution. We aim to partner with the best brands in each market and it was clear that the ONIX brand was the perfect partner for us, so we scheduled a meeting at the ONIX headquarters in Evansville, IN, to learn more. Mother Nature almost kept me from getting there, but after an unplanned stop in Ft. Wayne and a five-hour drive, it was great to learn that TeXtreme had a potential answer to meet the needs ONIX was hearing from amateur and pro players. As a result, ONIX and TeXtreme joined an exclusive partnership in the sport of pickleball.Want to try out the new OUTBREAK yourself? Enter to win the new ONIX Outbreak by signing up for the exclusive ONIX Insider newsletter at ONIXpickleball.com. Ten Outbreak paddles are available. Limit one per person. Drawing will be held on April 30.photo credit: Randy Land – Escalade Sports
Tell us about TeXtreme/Oxeon.
DK: Oxeon, the makers of TeXtreme, was founded in 2003 and is based in Boras, Sweden. Oxeon was started in order to bring Tape Weaving Technology to the market.
Sixteen years later, TeXtreme has flown in the air and gone to space, helped to win the America’s Cup, Formula1, Tour de France and NASCAR races, the Stanley Cup and more. It’s been very rewarding to be part of these successes and we’re looking forward to helping our customers win in the future.
How is the Outbreak different from competitors?
ZS: There are essentially two types of graphite paddles on the market. The first, like the Graphite Z5, has carbon fiber tows, which are a bunch of filaments going in a single direction. The second method uses a carbon fiber fabric made from weaving narrow carbon fiber tows.
DK: TeXtreme Spread Tow carbon fiber fabrics provide an advantage over traditional UD construction by better withstanding impacts, which lead to enhanced durability. When compared to paddles that use traditional carbon fiber fabrics, TeXtreme Spread Tow fabrics remain straighter and improve the stiffness across the length and width of the paddle face.
How does the Outbreak perform?
ZS: One of my new favorite things to do is have someone hit with their trusted paddle, and then put an Outbreak in their hand. Every single time, it gets a “Wow!” reaction. It’s the most forgiving paddle I’ve played with, giving you incredible touch with dinks at the net and control on your shots. It’s really given me confidence with my drop shots and kept me in many a point that I previously would have lost.
What have players been saying about the Outbreak?
ZS: We gave Outbreak paddles to our team at Nationals, and they were floored. One of our players, KaSandra Gehrke, actually switched paddles the next day and used it in the Women’s Doubles Pro event. Our pros that play more of a soft game love this paddle, including Byron Freso, Randal Zbinden, Kurtis Campbell, Jim Hackenberg, Tyler Sheffield and others.
How is the paddle tested before being released to the public?
ZS: We sent it to a wide variety of players at all different skill sets. The responses were pretty drastic. Before, when we tried previous materials, we’d get feedback such as, “interesting.” But when we sent out the TeXtreme paddles, the feedback was, “Wow, this is incredible!”
Was the concept fulfilled?
ZS: Absolutely. With the help of TeXtreme, I believe we've opened the door for the next major development in the sport.
DK: Because TeXtreme is nearly infinitively customizable, we'll be able to work with the ONIX R&D team to create paddles that may look the same but play completely different from one another. These potential future variants will help players of all abilities continues to improve their game through better equipment.