selkirk 30p XL Epic graphite

Selkirk 30P XL Epic Enrique Ruiz Pickleball Paddle Review

Barrett Kincheloe article, Gear, review, Reviews 9 Comments

Note (04/23/18): This paddle is becoming harder to find. If you’re looking for a similar option, please check out the Paddletek Tempest Wave. It will be similar, but slightly lighter.

Selkirk is one of the most recognized names in the pickleball paddle industry. And for good reason. They make some of the best and most beautifully designed paddles around. When I first started playing pickleball, I used the Onix Z5 Graphite. But overtime, I started to realize that my game was improving to the point where a nomex paddle wasn’t offering the kind of control game that I needed. I wanted better control at the net, but didn’t want to lose the high power of a nomex paddle. That’s where the Selkirk 30P XL Epic Enrique Ruiz pickleball paddle comes in, and that’s what I’ll be reviewing for you today.

The 30P what?

I know, it’s a long name but bear with me. There are two different types of paddles that Selkirk has made like this. Their first is the Selkirk 30P XL Epic, and the other is a version tailored by Enrique Ruiz, a pro player from the northwest. That’s the one that I’ll be looking at today.

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According to the story written on the Selkirk website, Ruiz wanted a paddle that fit his playstyle more. Selkirk had done very well with the 30P XL Epic, but Ruiz desired more power, and therefore more weight.

With his assistance, Selkirk developed a paddle with two main differences from the original. They changed the edge guard with their own “EdgeSentry+” technology which added more weight to the paddle. They also changed the grip from their standard Selkirk grip to the Contour Grip made by Gamma.

The construction

First, some specifications.

  • Core: polymer
  • Face: graphite
  • Paddle length: 15 3/4″
  • Paddle width: 8″
  • Average paddle weight: 7.8oz
  • Grip circumference: 4 1/4″
  • Grip type: Gamma contour cushion
  • Handle length: 5 1/4″
  • USAPA approved

Let’s talk about the basic construction of the paddle so that you have a clear idea of what we’re working with. In general, the 30P XL Epic Enrique Ruiz is a monster of a paddle. For a polymer core paddle with a graphite face, it’s pretty heavy coming in a bit under 8oz. It’s a widebody paddle measured at 8” wide and a little under 16” high. It’s a pretty standard shape that you’re most likely already used to. The grip is a bit more interesting because it’s almost 5” long, which allows for some interesting mechanics that I’ll explain later. The grip circumference is 4.25” that some would call a medium size.

As usual, it’s a beautifully constructed paddle that feels as great in your hands as it does to play.

Performance

Ok, let me just gush for a minute.

One word: wow.

This paddle is amazing. I’ve been in love with this paddle ever since I played with it for the first time 4 months ago. What Selkirk says in its marketing language is true. It really is a paddle for the all-around player. If you want power, control and everything in between, this is the pickleball paddle for you. There’s only one catch: you have to have the strength to wield it.

We’re not ripping the sword out of the stone here, but make no mistake, the paddle is heavy even with a graphite face. 7.9 ounces may not seem like a lot, but only adding on half an ounce is a lot when we’re talking about pickleball paddles. This is not a paddle for people with low upper body strength or arm strength. Overhead smashes take a lot of effort with this paddle. If you don’t have the strength to get the paddle angled down quickly enough during a smash, then it’s likely going to go out. There is a way to get around this though, which I’ll explain later.

In general, the 30P XL Epic Signature performs amazingly well. The paddle has a huge sweet spot, it feels balanced in your hand and the balls pops off the face beautifully. Also, in case you live in an area with noise ordinances, the polymer material used is the least noisy of the cores.

A beautiful balance

Due to the word “epic” splashed on the front of the paddle face, some people may think that this paddle is for power players only. Do not be fooled! The 30p XL Epic Signature paddle has tons of power, but also lots of control as well.

Polymer cores are known for having a great balance between power and finesse. You won’t get as much power out of it as you would a nomex core, but at times it feels like it due to the heavy weight of the paddle. So with this paddle, you get the power of a nomex, but keep the control and finesse that comes with a polymer core. Now that’s value!

A handle on perfection

This is the biggest point that I want to make about this paddle. One of the most unique aspects of the 30P XL Epic Signature is how the grip works in tandem with the weight of the paddle.

As I alluded to earlier, the one catch with this paddle is that it is heavier than most modern paddles. This extra weight can give you tons of power for smashes or baseline power shots, but only if you have the strength for it. But there is a way around this, and it involves the grip.

The grip on this paddle is 5” long, giving you plenty of room to move your hand up or down. One trick to take some of the weight requirements out of the equation is to move your grip closer to the center of gravity. Or in other words, choke up on the paddle!

This is something I do when I use this paddle. Similar to other ball-smacking sports, if you choke down (move your hands toward the end of the handle) you get more power, but it’s harder to swing and you lose control. Conversely, if you choke up on the club, bat, paddle, whatever you’re using will weigh “less” and you gain control, but you lose power. In the case of pickleball, you also lose a bit of reach.

What’s interesting about this is that in pickleball, it’s OK if you lose a bit of power for more control. It’s not as devastating as other sports like golf or baseball. Considering the long handle, you can choke down for serves, then choke back up for the dinking game. It’s an incredible thing about this paddle that I think often gets missed.

Also, if you’re a previous tennis player, then you find transitioning to this paddle easier for those two-handed backhand shots.

Should you use this paddle?

The big question around this paddle is whether or not you consider yourself to be a great all-around player or not. Is every part of your pickleball game solid? Are you good with serves, baseline shots, third drop shots, dinks, smashes and so on? Not only this, but do you have the strength to use an 8 ounce paddle?

Then this paddle is definitely for you.

The Selkirk 30P XL Epic signature paddle is going to complement your game hand-in-glove. It has everything you need for every part of pickleball, and it has it in spades.

 
 
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Comments 9

  1. Hi Barrett,

    I have been playing for about 1 year and believe it not, currently my paddle of choice is the Legacy, oldie but goody. I have an all-around game and this paddle suits me well, however I would like to progress to a paddle that provides the same kind of pop and control on power strokes and has an effective touch on dinks. The Ruiz paddle that you suggest seems like it might work. What do you recommend? Thanks.
    Serge

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      Author
  2. Addition to my previous email to you, I have another question for you. Given the fact that I love my Epic Graphite 30 P X L Ruiz paddle, what other paddle you would recommend for me that has the same quality as the Ruiz but slightly lighter? Thanks

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      Author

      Hey Bill, thanks for the comments. I’ll answer both of your questions here.

      I keep my grip in neutral for serves, returns, dinks and third shot drops and try to not choke up or down. I actually don’t choke down at all for overheads either. I’m strong enough to swing at it, and as long as you can, the less you choke down, the more power you’ll have. However, I don’t use the 30p anymore, which leads to your next comment.

      The closest paddle I can recommend to you would be the Paddletek Tempest Wave. It’s my current paddle and easily one of the best on the market. It’s so good and will weigh up to a half ounce lighter than what you have now. I would give it a try if you can. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  3. I own this paddle for a year now and absolutely love it. I am 5’7” and weight about 145lb thus find my paddle 8 oz a little bit heavy still. But I’m so used to it now that the weight does not bother me any more. Without knowing it from reading your article, I am actually choking up and down while playing with this paddle. My question to you is that do you choke up or down while smashing overheads? And how about in third drop shots? Just checking. Thanks

  4. Having a hard time finding this paddle anywhere at the moment, did they discontinue it? I can’t even find it on the Selkirk website! I had a chance to play with one of these recently and it really helped me out. If you have a line on them I would really appreciate it, thanks!

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      Author

      I’m having a hard time finding it as well. However, Amazon has the non-Ruiz version and will work just as well. You can also check out the Paddletek Tempest Wave which is an amazing paddle but won’t be as heavy.

      1. Thanks for the reply! I was actually looking pretty hard at the Tempest Wave and tried it the same day as the 30P XL. For whatever reason, I played a bit better with the Selkirk. Could be that it was because I only played a couple games with the Paddletek right at the beginning of the session and the rest of the time with the Selkirk, so I was just settling in and attributing too much to the paddle.

        I’m a fairly new player but pretty addicted and playing a lot, just wanting to get a well rounded paddle that will let me smack it hard and improve my touch game as that seems to be where I’m struggling the most right now. I know it’s probably silly and not something that will really change my beginner/intermediate game, but I liked the idea of the slightly heavier weight of the Ruiz version.

        I also tried the Amped Epic X5 as well, and for some reason I just didn’t like it. Didn’t have enough “feel” for me. Could be attributing a bit too much to the paddle again, but I felt like I was all over the place with that paddle!

        In your opinion, would it make more sense to stick to the slightly lighter Tempest Wave, particularly since it’s the softer portion of the game that I need to focus on?

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          My pleasure!

          Yes, I think it makes sense to go with the Tempest Wave. It’s one of the best paddles on the market and it will be with you well into your advanced pickleball days. (side note: they’re having shortages right now so hopefully you can find one.) Also, as you become more advanced, those power shots you get from a heavier paddle won’t work on advanced players. Power tends to be quite overrated as you play against better people because they know how to deal with them. Furthermore, since the Tempest Wave is a bit lighter, you will be quicker and more agile at the net which is very important. If you get into a volley rally with someone at the net you’re going to want that quickness. You won’t be disappointed with the Tempest Wave. It’s my personal paddle and I recommend it to everyone at any level.

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