An awesome paddle and it's now my singles and doubles paddle
Level: 4.5 w/ tennis background
After playing with the R1.16 after switching from a Vision CGS 16mm, I'm happy to announce that the R1.16 is just as good, if not better.
Construction: The R1.16 feels incredibly well made and even when removing the overgrip to see if there was exposed polymer or a flimsy construction, I was happy to see the handle was solid and the paddle looked properly supported at the throat (the most common breakage point for paddles). Also, unlike a lot of cheaply made handles, the octagonal handle on the R1.16 feels exactly the way it should, and not some weird rectangle/oval hybrid. The handle length is also perfect for those of us that use a two handed backhand!
Control: The R1.16 is as plush as they come in my experience. Obviously the 16mm core helps but i felt myself having a lot of confidence when dinking or rolling my angles at the NVZ. Also, the sweet spot was plenty big that offsets weren't too big of an issue. Although the sweet spot isn't as large as a paddle w edge foam, it's more than sufficient and can be improved greatly by just using four smaller strips of lead tape on each corner of the face.
Balance: Love the balance of the paddle. Honestly one of the big places this paddle shines. Although the base weight is a bit heavier than some midweight paddles, the weight is distributed great and feels significantly more headlight than many paddles at the same weight. Hand speed was not a concern at all either due to the aerodynamic shape and weight distribution.
Power: This is where you as the player needs to know your game a bit. As someone who can generate their own pace, I'm not too concerned w power. I felt like this paddle provides enough pop for me to finish points, but I also put a tiny bit of lead tape at the 10 and 2 just for that bit of extra spin and pop. Essentially, if you're buying this paddle it's not because you want the paddle to generate all the pace, but rather you can yourself and want a paddle that can handle that effectively without sailing everything!
Spin: Don't have a scientific test for this, but I found myself being able to hit all the angles and spins I needed to in order to be an effective player. Not out of this world, but unbeatable at this price point.
Overall, an awesome paddle and it's now my singles and doubles paddle.
Reviewed by: Brian Lee from Chicago, IL on 2/4/2023