When Wolfe Pickleball started out, they were much different than they are today. The small reseller that stocked paddles from every corner of the sport was doing well, but that old American ingenuity crept into the mix and a new, more successful direction started to form.
“We realized about five or six years ago that we could make a paddle as good or better than the ones we were carrying,” said Brian Longest, who helps run the family business incorporated under his mother’s maiden name. “My brother has an engineering background, so we designed a 7-ply wooden paddle and started with that.”
Of course, while traditional, every player knows that wooden paddles are heavy, require more power and trade that power off for lost ball velocity. They have their fans, no doubt, but the Wolfe Pickleball team knew they could give players more.
“We evolved with the industry, which was migrating to lighter, fiberglass-based paddles,” Longest said. “So we came up with a series of three paddles that are lighter composites. Our XL paddles with a larger head size, our XF / X3 paddles which are graphite and carbon fiber composites, and our latest Pro XL Tournament paddle. The goal was to focus on these three lines and make them better and better year after year. We focus on making a smaller selection of high-quality paddles, and our philosophy is do one thing and do it well. Because, in the end, if you make something the players don’t want and you get some bad reviews, you’re done.”
So, to ensure they’re offering their customers the best paddles they can create, Wolfe Pickleball employs a blind quality test, working with 4.0 to 5.0 players. The players demo the paddles without knowing the materials and composition. Wolfe then analyzes the play and the player feedback from the demo sessions and adjusts their models accordingly. All of their paddles are USAPA tested and approved as well.
“By testing this way, we found a combination of materials that gives people better net control and more power at the baseline,” Longest said. “It solves the problem of everyone having to cart around multiple paddles in their bag. We have paddles that give them the ability to play in any situation.”
This testing culminated directly in the company’s new PRO XL paddle, which has been over a year in the making. “
We made the perfect combination of materials, with just the right amount of surface grip to create a Tournament Pro paddle,” Longest said. “Anyone can use it, however, it’s of the caliber that pros want and need.”
With a presence on Amazon, Wolfe Pickleball can be found mostly at smaller, tennis-oriented pro shops and their website. They have multiple warehouses and can scale up their business at a moment’s notice, but prefer selling where staff is more knowledgeable about the product and can convey nuances better.
They’ve also redesigned their website, WolfePickleball.com, and all of their paddles and paddle packages can be found there, with more information on the benefits of each. And, visit their website to learn more about the company and their product line.