Pickleball paddle companies are a dime a dozen these days. We’re in a gold rush phase, and new companies are popping up like crazy. Unfortunately, most of these companies only sell overpriced clones of previous paddles.
But every now and then, a company comes out and changes the game. Legacy did this in September 2022 with the launch of their Legacy Pro 16mm paddle.
It hasn’t taken long for Legacy to stand out from the sea of new raw carbon fiber paddles with this release. Their paddle has become very popular. It’s perhaps the most anticipated paddle of 2023, aside from the Joola Perseus.
I say anticipated not because it’s unreleased, it has been. But due to the fact that most people who’ve bought one haven’t got theirs yet. Orders have been flying off the shelf thanks to rave reviews. People have been waiting weeks, even months to get their hands on a Legacy Pro.
I was fortunate enough to get mine while they had an active supply, but I know people who ordered in early January who are still waiting on their paddle due to delivery delays.
In this post, we’re going to go in-depth on the Legacy Pro. By the end, any questions you’ve had about this paddle should be settled. Feel free to comment with additional questions you might have.
If you decide that you want to buy a Legacy Pro for yourself, you can do so from Legacy’s website. You can get 10% off of your order by using the code DASHPB at checkout.
The Legacy Pro is currently back ordered due to production delays and extremely high demand, if you order now and it should be delivered in April/early May.
Alright, let’s dive into the review.
Legacy Pro Paddle Specifications
$150($135 with code DASHPB)
- Warranty: 6 Months – manufacturer defects
- Shape: Elongated
- Core thickness: 16mm
- Face: Raw Toray T700 Carbon Fiber
- Average weight: 8.0 oz
- Handle length: 5.3″
- Swing Weight: 120
- Grip size: 4.125
- Core: 8mm Polymer honeycomb cells
- Edge Guard: Anti-Abrasion TPU
- Total length: 16.5 in
- Width: 7.5 in
Legacy Pro Quick Summary
I wasn’t expecting much when I first got this paddle. I read about the new construction techniques Legacy was utilizing to produce it, but it wasn’t until I got it in my hands that a truly understood what I was dealing with.
On first impression, the Legacy Pro has a very different feel to traditional paddles, hits hard, and spins a lot. The Legacy Pro is part of a new wave of raw carbon fiber paddles that utilize unibody thermoformed construction and foam injection. I’ll be referring to these new paddles as Gen 2 RCF (raw carbon fiber) in this post.
I’m able to generate insane power and spin with minimal effort with the Legacy Pro. Per my tests (and others, like Chris at Pickleball Studio) the Legacy Pro has one of the best blends of power and spin of any carbon fiber paddle on the market.
You won’t find a paddle that lets you curve a pickleball with this much power and control. Its potency has left me dumbfounded at times. It also provides a lot of pop while managing to feel relatively plush and controllable.
The Legacy Pro is certainly a power paddle and has a unique ability to pop hard and fast off the face when you want it to and to leave the face a bit slower and with decent dwell time when you hit it softer.
The paddle’s handle length of 5.3″ is less than my ideal of 5.5″ but it still feels fine if you enjoy handle length for power and two-handed backhands. The neck tapers well so it’s easy to grip high up on the paddle when you want to.
For those concerned about tennis elbow, the paddle feels solid with very little vibration. Legacy has said that their paddle core has been modified to help reduce vibration, which feels accurate to me. I’m not sure if they add additional vibration-reducing inserts into the handle as the Vatic Pro does, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. The Legacy Pro made my list of top paddles for tennis elbow.
Overall, this paddle tops my list of paddle recommendations for players who have a good control game and want a top-tier paddle for both power and spin. I highly recommend it for singles players. It’s a singles player’s dream paddle, IMO. Read on to learn more.
Update: the newer (March and onward) batches of Legacy Pros feels like they’re not hitting *quite* as hard as the first version. The difference is marginal, though. It’s also easier to control the new Legacy while still hits with a ton of power. We also have to worry less about delamination with the newly modified paddles.
The Legacy Pro is currently the most well-rounded power paddle on the market. It’s truly a power-players dream with how hard it hits. It does a lot of the work for you, requiring little effort on your part to generate fast, hard, and penetrating drives.
Drives become a true weapon. I’ve hit way more winners with this paddle and forced a lot more errors from opponents simply from the power it’s given my drives.
You’ll no doubt catch your opponents and teammates off guard with the Legacy Pro’s power. You’ll likely catch yourself off guard, too. It takes a while to get used to the power unless you’re well-versed with other high-powered paddles like the ProKennex Black Ace or Selkirk Power Air.
You may send a lot of balls sailing out of bounds while you adjust to the Legacy Pro if you’re not used to a paddle with this much power. You really don’t have to swing hard to generate adequate power with it.
I laughed very hard when I loaned my Legacy Pro out to a longtime Gearbox user who’s been using the CX11 for a while, which is a softer paddle. He looked like a kid who’d just gone through puberty and didn’t have a sense of his own strength. He kept nailing the fence with out-of-bounds shots but was laughing his way through anyway. He ordered himself a Legacy Pro right there on the court between matches after having spent 30 minutes with mine.
The best part about the Legacy Pro’s power output is that you’re not entirely sacrificing control or touch to get it. Power paddles like the Power Air and Black Ace pack a ton of power, but they’re also hard to control outside of serves and drives. They also require more effort than the Legacy Pro to generate their power.
The Diadem Vice feels similar power-wise to the Legacy Pro, but lacks the spin of the Legacy Pro, and, most importantly, the Vice is an illegal paddle due to its construction and EVA foam core.
Update: The new Legacy Pro paddles shipping in March have increased surface grit, giving them even more speed than previous versions.
Spin is another area where the Legacy Pro shines. If you pick up a Legacy Pro, you’re going to notice the impact it has on your spin game right away. Very few other paddles on the market generate as much spin as the Legacy Pro. It’s a top-of-the-line paddle for spin in addition to its power output.
With the Legacy Pro, it feels effortless when imparting spin of all kinds. Top spin groundstrokes and backhand slices arc like crazy. Topspin shots that looked like they were going to fly out stay in bounds far more often. I’ve had opponents give up on balls that they assumed would be going well out, only to have the ball land in. That’s the power of a big topspin drive with the Legacy Pro.
My favorite time to add spin with the Legacy Pro is on third shot drives. Hitting it from the baseline and making it dip super hard over the net and drop like crazy makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It delivers in a way that I couldn’t achieve with any of my previous paddles, minus the Selkirk Power Air, which delivers top-tier spin itself.
This is based on my own experience playing with the highest spin rate paddles (Power Air, Project 002/003, Vatic Pro, SixZero, CRBN 1X/2X) and on other people’s tests, as well. Chris at Pickleball Studio tests gave the Legacy Pro a spin rate of 1903 RPMs, which is well into top-tier spin rates.
How does the Legacy Pro achieve such insane spin potential? It’s thought to be in part due to the emphasis on friction over grit on the paddle surface. It’s not relying on pronounced grit. The Legacy’s paddle face feels smooth compared to my old gritty CRBN1, but it still manages to grip the ball better.
The paddle is using a peel-ply coat and texture that’s 2-4x tighter than other paddles. SixZero paddles use this friction pattern, too, and also have very high RPMs as well. And the new Vatic Pro 14mm Flash is adopting this weave pattern, as well. Which I’ll be testing as soon as I can get my hands on it.
The Legacy Pro feels in some ways plush and in some ways stiff, but one thing is clear – it has some pretty high-level pop. And the pop from this paddle can act as a double-edged sword.
On one hand, the pop makes hand battles way more winnable. The ball flies off the paddle face and messes with a lot of people’s reaction time. Few players, even those with very fast hands, come ready to handle the quickness and pop of the Legacy Pro.
My counterattacks, especially in doubles play, up-leveled considerably after playing and adjusting to the Legacy Pro. You can smack the ball at people hard and fast with this thing.
On the other hand, it can be difficult to control a paddle with this much pop. Pop-ups will happen to players who are not used to a paddle with this much pop.
It can be very frustrating to constantly send dinks up that are easily smashed by the opponent. You also might hit a lot of balls past the baseline with the power and pop combo.
Other paddles like the Power Air are even poppier, but for those accustomed to softer paddles, like the Electrum Model E or Joola Hyperion, it will likely take time for you to adjust and make the most out of the Legacy Pro’s pop.
Once through the transitional period, the extra pop from this paddle should be well worth it for most people.
Update: the newer (March and onward) batches of Legacy Pros feel much easier to control. legacy has made some changes to address delamination, and the combination of these changes and the reduction of delamination itself is resulting in the Legacy Pro feeling like a much more controllable paddle.
While it’s easier to control than other power paddles like the Power Air, Invikta 002, or Black Ace, the Legacy paddle can still feel hard to control for some people. This is because it’s a bit stiffer than other raw carbon fiber paddles.
The Legacy Pro does have a great sweet spot, which helps it beat out those other power paddles in the control department. It’s also less stiff feeling than those power paddles and the weight distribution/balance points feel better. The balance point of the Legacy Pro is overall extremely good in hand.
To control this paddle effortlessly, you’ll need to have your soft hands game honed, or at least be good with angles. Otherwise, your resets and dinks may take a step back in quality, at least temporarily. If you’re already used to a unibody thermoformed or power paddle, it should be pretty easy to control the Legacy Pro.
Hand battles and drives are fun and easy to control with the low-ish swing weight and decent dwell time. But as mentioned earlier, the Legacy Pro is stiff and has high pop/deflection, which can make blocks and resets hard to handle at times. I know I had to adjust a bit initially to ensure my 3rd shot drops matched my expectations.
Should you use lead with a Legacy Pro? If you’re okay with a little heavier paddle, add some weighted tape to the throat and lower edges to help improve stability and control. With more weight and stability you need to do very little to return incoming drives back at your opponent. I personally weight my Legacy Pro to 8.8 oz with an overgrip and lead tape from 3 to 6 and 6 to 9.
You can also look to experiment with grip pressure to help control this paddle. A lighter grip will improve the softness of your game. To keep your grip lighter, it can help you to remember that this paddle does a lot of the work for you.
Overall, some players might simply end up preferring a dedicated control paddle over the Legacy Pro. If you think that’s you, I’d recommend checking out the SixZero Black Diamond control paddle. It utilizes the same unibody thermoformed tech as the Legacy Pro, but is made with controllability in mind. The Vatic Pro V7 is also a relatively soft and controllable thermoformed paddle.
Update: There’s been a lot of buzz around paddle faces delaminating with some of the new thermoformed raw carbon fiber paddles. These companies, including Legacy Pro, have been changing their production methods to eliminate this issue. Legacy changed factories and is using new resins/bonding agents and other methods to mitigate delamination. So far, the new batches of paddles have been holding up.
With its unibody thermoformed construction, the Legacy Pro is among the more durable paddles on the market. Structurally, the unibody thermoforming makes it very sturdy, similar to GearBox paddles. The edge guard is very tough, as well. The carbon fiber face will eventually wear down, the same as any raw carbon fiber paddle, but the T700 Toray fiber that Legacy uses is top-quality and should perform for a long time.
You’re unlikely to experience broken handles with the Legacy Pro like you would with some raw carbon fiber paddles (looking at you, Joola). There are videos of people doing over-the-knee stress tests by trying to break the paddle under pressure and they’ve been unsuccessful.
The honeycomb core is also entirely sealed in with the thermoforming process. With the carbon-forged handle, you won’t feel the honeycomb push through the handle as it ages because it’s not exposed like in cheaper/older paddles. You also won’t see the honeycomb underneath the edge guard around the paddle. It’s entirely sealed into the paddle.
It’s nice to not have to baby this paddle like I do my Joola Hyperion! I always hated loaning it out for fear of it breaking.
The Legacy Pro is a monster buy at its price point. If big-name companies had been the first to bring this paddle to the market, you can bet that they’d be selling it for $220 or more.
The larger paddle companies are no doubt watching the hype for this paddle at its price point very anxiously. Coming in at $135 with discount code DASHPB, this paddle is absolutely a steal. It’s nice to see someone combat the rampant price gouging in the market.
Legacy’s customer service is also top-notch. They’re a small family-run company that’s active online and easy to reach on a variety of social media platforms, including Reddit and Discord.
Should you buy the Legacy Pro paddle?
The Legacy Pro is the real deal and one of my favorite paddles currently. If you’re a power-focused player and/or love to impart spin, then this paddle is for you. This paddle single-handedly pushed me to move more toward drives than drops and with good results. I have a lot of confidence when swinging this paddle.
The power/pop/spin combo is pretty deadly on this thing. The combined improvement of my drives, hand battles, overheads, and putaways have never been better than with this paddle. It’s become hard for me to put this paddle down and leave the effortless power behind in favor of another. Every time I hit with another paddle, I miss the Legacy’s power and all-court blend of features.
And at the price point, this paddle is a steal compared to the more expensive (and inferior) competition. I believe this paddle has set a new bar for what a performance paddle is capable of. I definitely think every singles player should give this one a try.
A number of pros have tried the paddle and are eagerly inquiring with their sponsored companies to make a similar paddle, so expect to see more paddles like the Legacy Pro in the future.
If you’re a newer player or control-focused player that doesn’t care as much for power or spin, then you might want to skip this one. It’s poppy and harder to control than some other paddles on the market.
But if you’re open to a challenge and ready to adjust your dinking/soft game to avoid pop-ups, I think the transition to this paddle would be well worth it for just about any player up to the task. It easily made my list of best intermediate pickleball paddles.
If you want to try the Legacy Pro for yourself, I recommend picking one up today at Legacy’s site for $135 with code DASHPB for 10% off. It’s unlikely that you’ll find a better deal on a paddle anytime soon.
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