selkirk AMPED epic

Selkirk AMPED Epic Pickleball Paddle Review

Barrett Kincheloearticle, Gear, review, Reviews 47 Comments

Important note (12/08/17): Due to the feedback I’ve received on this review, I no longer consider this paddle to be for advanced players only. I won’t delete the original material that I wrote below, but considering the feedback I’ve received, beginners can use this paddle just fine. Thank you to all who gave feedback both in the comments and in person! -Barrett

Nothing is more exciting than getting a brand new paddle in the mail. But it’s even more exciting when the paddle has just been released for sale. That’s the case with the new AMPED series from Selkirk, one of the best pickleball paddle manufacturers in the world.

The new AMPED series by Selkirk is one of the most exciting paddle launches that I’ve experienced so far. The reason is that the paddles are very different from what they typically make. I’ll be talking more about the new technology and how it affects your game later. But this paddle has been a tough nut to crack and I want to tell you all about it.

There are 4 new paddles in this line. They all use the same materials but just have different shapes and sizes. The paddles are the S2, the Epic, the Omni and the Maxima. The Omni and Maxima versions are long-board paddles.

Today, we’ll be talking about the Epic. Selkirk has used this brand name in the past with the 20p and 30p XL Epic paddles. But this time, it’s an entirely different kind of paddle.

If you came here for a quick rundown of the paddle, here it is. The Selkirk AMPED Epic is an amazing paddle that has loads of power, plenty of control and everything in between. This thick paddle is different than the rest. Considering that, it may take a bit of time to get used to. The fiberglass face gives plenty of power to the paddle while also offering a lot of spin to the ball. The paddle weighs around 8 oz and is for strong and advanced players only. You can check it out here on Amazon.

The basics

As usual, let’s go over the basic construction of the paddle.


  • Core: X5 polymer
  • Face: FiberFlex – fiberglass
  • Average weight: ~8.1oz
  • Paddle length: 15 3/4″
  • Paddle width: 8″
  • Grip circumference: 4 1/4″
  • Grip type: Selkirk ComfortGrip
  • Handle length: 5 1/4″
  • USAPA approved

The Selkirk AMPED Epic is a widebody paddle with a polymer core and fiberglass face. It’s close cousin, the S2, differs only slightly. The paddle length of the S2 and Epic are the same, but the handle on the S2 is shorter, making the face a little bit longer. Former tennis players will feel instantly comfortable with the face-heavy, long handle Epic paddle.


selkirk amped epic

As usual, Selkirk has made a beautiful paddle that feels great in the hands and even better to look at. Its beautiful visual design makes it pop out among the other paddles in a stack and reminds you of the quality. The paddle comes in blue, orange, red and green.

In terms of the paddle’s construction quality, don’t worry, it’s stellar. The paddle will last you a long time as long as you’re not using it to build a brand new set of pyramids. But the main focus of this paddle is what they’ve done to the technology. Let’s take a closer look.

A technological difference

As I alluded to earlier, there’s something special about the AMPED line that hasn’t been seen before from Selkirk. They are using a new, patent-pending polymer (polypropylene) material for their core. They have dubbed this new technology “X5” as you can see plastered on the front of the paddle. I, of course, don’t have the inside details of what this new material is exactly, but I’m 95% certain that it is much lighter than most polymer materials.

Since the core is so much lighter than usual, the engineers were able to make the paddle much thicker. This is the most remarkable difference between the AMPED Epic and other pickleball paddles. Check this out.

Look at how thick the AMPED Epic is compared to the Paddletek Phoenix LTE on the bottom! It’s almost an inch thick. I’ve never seen a paddle this beefy before. Believe me, its thickness shows on the court in terms of performance.

But even with the AMPED Epic’s girth, Selkirk still managed to create a paddle core that’s extremely light. The reason why I say this is because instead of using the typical graphite face which is common with Selkirk, they are instead using a fiberglass face that they are calling “FiberFlex”. According to the Selkirk website, the FiberFlex is a “Redesigned face engineered to amplify performance”. Fiberglass is a very strong and powerful material that gives you tons of “oomph” behind your shots and some wicked spin to boot.

As far as I know, this is the first time that Selkirk has used a fiberglass face for one of their paddles. The problem with using fiberglass for the face of a paddle is that it makes the paddle much heavier in general. It seems that Selkirk has solved this problem with their X5 core technology. You can now have the best of both worlds.

So what does this mean for you?

I have personally played many, many games with this paddle. It’s very different than most paddles that I’ve played with, but not in a bad way. This paddle performs amazingly well, but don’t get me wrong, there is one downside that I’ll talk about later.

If you want to pick up this paddle, you can expect power, control and everything in between. Let’s get into some of the performance details.

Spin, and lots of it

One popular characteristic of fiberglass faces is that they apply a tremendous amount of spin to the ball. The reason is that when the pickleball collides with a fiberglass face, it will stay on the face longer than graphite would allow. This increase of time gives you ample opportunity to apply spin, and thus creates an unpredictable shot that can easily confuse your opponents. Nice!

If you start using this paddle, expect greater maneuverability than what you’re used to. This is especially the case if you’re coming from a paddle with a graphite face.

Extreme power

Ok, let me just level with you.

The AMPED Epic is an absolute monster.

A beast really.

If you’ve ever played with a nomex core paddle then you probably know what I’m talking about in terms of raw power.

But this is an entirely different experience.

By having a fiberglass face instead of a graphite one, the AMPED Epic gives you a tremendous amount of force behind your shots. These shots feel amazing as well, especially when they strike the heart of the sweet spot. It feels powerful, confident and solid.

Soft as cotton

Considering everything we know so far, this is one of the strangest aspects of this paddle. I still can’t entirely wrap my head around it. Each shot with this paddle feels incredibly soft, but still has a ton of power behind it. I think this is primarily caused by the thickness of the proprietary X5 polymer core.

Now it gets complicated

There is only one gripe that I have with this paddle. The Selkirk AMPED Epic performs much differently than most paddles on the market. I’ve talked a lot about the thickness of the core, but I do that for a very good reason.

It changes everything.

If you’re a player who has great distance control and shot placement, this paddle could take a long time to get used to. The reason is that since the polymer core is so thick, it changes the feeling you have in your hands when striking the ball. Imagine banging a nail into the wall with a ruler instead of a hammer. Imagine what those vibrations would feel like in your hand.

That kind of tactile information can be extremely important. In general, it’s viscerally harder to feel how hard you’re hitting the ball and thus, how far you’re going to hit it.

When I first started using this paddle, I was hitting a lot of return serves out behind the baseline. But during those same games, I was also hitting many third shot drops right into the net. I was hitting them both too long and too short at the same time. Of course, I make these mistakes occasionally, but it was too consistent to be a coincidence.

It was incredibly frustrating.

This didn’t make sense to me until I realized that the AMPED Epic, similar to buying a new set of golf clubs, makes you rethink your distances.

If you’re having a tough time getting used to this paddle, you can’t give up! It’s going to take your brain a while to connect and re-establish the feel of each strike with the distance it provides. Keep at it!

This is why I have to delegate this paddle to be an advanced player’s paddle only. Yes, this paddle does give you great control over ball placement and distance control, but you have to be very good at these things first and foremost. Hopefully, you can hop right into using this paddle without any trouble, but it may take awhile to get used to if you’re not as lucky.

Wrapping it up

Having said that, the Selkirk AMPED Epic is an amazing paddle. The technological improvements that Selkirk has initiated here are substantial and could spread throughout the rest of the industry. It will be very interesting to see how the design of this paddle will influence other designs.

I recommend giving this paddle a try, especially if you know someone that has one and can borrow for a game or two. As usual, let me know what you think. Have you tried this paddle? What has your experience been? Let me know in the comments below!

Comments 47

  1. I have been playing pickleball since January and I am a beginner. I play 3 times a week for about 3 hours each time. I use an onix Z5 paddle 1904 graphite. I have problems in aiming or placing the ball where I want it to go plus I don’t think there is a very big sweet spot. My serve is a high soft serve as I want to keep it in bounds. Which one of the Selkirk paddles would be good for me for better control and placement of the pickleball plus more strength on my serve ?

  2. Been playing pickle ball for 3 month in Yuma and now wants to advance my pickle ball game to a higher level
    Currently I am playing at a 3.5 level and play with
    a Rally NX Graphite
    This paddle seems to lack the power and pop I Would like…
    Since I have not tried any other paddle
    I am open to any suggestions
    The Selkirk Amped products interest me
    Especially the Epic and the Invikta
    I would like a paddle that has both power and control

    I would like your recommendations for a paddle with control and power both
    Also How does one go about trying out different Selkirk Paddle when
    My home location (Oregon) does not have Pickleball stores with demos

  3. I’ve been playing with a Selkirk Neo for 2 years and would like a new paddle. I live in New Zealand so don’t have the option of trying different paddles in a shop or on court as we have to order on line. What would you recommend for an intermediate level player? I would appreciate your assistance. I prefer a lighter weight paddle.

    1. Post

      I highly recommend the Selkirk AMPED Epic or S2. If you have smaller hands, go for the S2. If you have larger hands, go with the Epic. This is a great paddle that will last you years as long as you take care of it.

  4. Hi Barrett
    While at pickelball I tried others players paddle. I tried the element but the handle was just to short, the bantam just didn’t feel right. One person suggested the Tempest Wave or the Onix z5. Mid weight racquet As I mentioned I’m looking for more control. As I over shoot the court. Plus with the Upstreet I’m staring to notice elbow pain, compared to the other two I tried mine feels Slightly heavier. What are your thoughts on the Tempest Wave and the Onix z5?

    1. Post

      In my view, the Tempest Wave is a masterpiece. If you want more control, I would stay far away from the Onix Z5.

      The Tempest Wave would be fine, but it may be a bit hard to find. It also has a longer handle which you’ll like. Let me know if that helps.

  5. Hi Barrett I’m new to pickleball i’ve been playing for about a month or two. I use to play tennis and have a very strong swing and have a tendency to over shoot the court. I can’t seems to dink well at all with much practice. I play with the Upstreet. I’m looking for more control to my game. Cost is a factor in choosing a new racquet. I started noticing elbow pain when I hit. Any suggestions you have I appreciate, since there are so many rackets to chose from.

    1. Post

      Hey Joyce, it can be difficult going from tennis to pickleball. With more practice though you’ll pick it up. For you, I would start with the Paddletek Element. It’ll give you much higher quality than what you’re using and it’s pretty affordable. If you need to go less expensive, try the Paddletek Phoenix LTE, but it is quite light. Let me know if that helps!

  6. Hi Barrett,
    After using a Pro-lite Magnum Graphite Stealth paddle for the 3 years I’ve been playing, I’m the market for a new paddle. There are so many to choose among, but with the help of yours and other reviews, it’s come down to either the Paddletek Tempest Wave or the Selkirk AMPED Epic. I know you love the Tempest Wave, but as it has a graphite face like my Magnum should I take a chance with the Selkirk which has that new Fiberflex face (as well as the new interior)?
    I’m only an upper Intermediate player but love the game and wish mostly to improve my consistency, especially with dinking and drop shots. Power I have; it’s accuracy that needs improving.
    I’d appreciate your opinion.

    1. Post

      Hey Steve, I think that either of these paddles will be great for you. If you want much more softness, then you should go for the AMPED, probably the lightweight. The Tempest Wave is a bit more explosive and has more pop.

  7. I have been playing with the 8.0 oz Amped Omni for about 5 mos now. I also noticed the thick black
    Coating on the black areas and was even questioned by a ref in a tournament about the tackiness of the area and it’s legality! I do love the power I have with it and have no elbow or shoulder issues with it all. I may have some slight slowness in quick exchanges at the net. My plastic cap has come unglued and Selkirk is sending me a replacement, and I will say the black areas are wearing very badly and the paddle looks trashed at only 5 mos!

    1. Post

      Yeah I think the black layer has been an issue for them. That’s why they removed for the Lightweight versions. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  8. Do you have an idea what the difference between the Selkirk amped and prime series is? They may an epic prime and an epic amped.

    1. Post

      I haven’t had a chance to try one out yet. I should get my hands on one in a few weeks. When I do, I’ll make a video about it and put it up on my YouTube channel. Stay tuned!

  9. Barrett, it seems like where the black is on the midweight version, there is no texture, unlike on the lightweight version, where the texture is everywhere. Since there is a lot of black, have you found that it a factor in how the ball responds? In other words, do you think it responds differently when it contacts the black as opposed to the rest of the face? Thanks! I appreciate the review (and the follow-up on the lightweight version).

    1. Post

      Hey John, you’re welcome!

      Yes, I think the black stuff they put on the original AMPED paddles is some sort of vinyl coating. It seems to be different than the fiberglass face on there, but it hardly makes any difference. Whether you go with the original or the lightweight isn’t going to make a huge difference in terms of ball response. Most people are going with the lightweight versions regardless. Great paddle! Hopefully that helps!

      1. Yes it does! After your review, and the podcast with Jana, I decided to try one (7.6 oz.). A big difference from my Z5! My wife tried it too and immediately fell in love with it. Besides improving her groundstrokes, it was the 1st time in quite a while that she could play without any ache in her elbow and shoulder. A local store has a midweight at 7.8 oz. and I highly doubt I’ll notice the .2 oz. difference. I was just concerned about the texture difference. Thanks again!

  10. I bought the Amped S2 Lightweight in February 2018 while snowbirding in Florida. It took me 2 weeks of going back and forth between this paddle and my trusted Paddletek Tempest Wave, depending on how badly I needed to play well. Barrett, you are bang-on about not giving up due to the different feel on dinks and deep shots.

    I decided to stop bringing the other paddle in my bag and use my S2 exclusively. Now I am in week 4 and I LOVE it!

    The drop shots and baseline shots are very efficient. I have a powerful smash already, but with this paddle, it is more like a weapon!

    I have to watch my follow-through on my back-hands (topspin shots with a diagonal swing toward the right – the fiberglass face grips the ball so well, that regardless if my feet are positioned to hit straight down the court, the ball goes to the right. This is not a negative point, it just amazes me every time I forget!

    1. Post

      I’m curious, did you mean snowboarding? If so, they have snowboarding in Florida?!

      I’m so glad you like it. My mom now uses the Lightweight S2 and she loves it as well.

      I love the lightweight AMPED paddles, but I’ve had to stick with my Tempest Wave. It’s just too good! And the smashes are out of this world.

      1. Hi Barrett,
        Just for your information, no he did not mean snowboarding, he really meant snowbirding. Here in Quebec, Canada, many retired people flee to Florida during the winter months to avoid the cold and snow. We call them the snowbirds! :)))
        Good night!

        1. Post

          Ok, so funny story about this. My parents were interested in what I do with my website. I showed them these comment sections and they laughed that I didn’t know what snowbirding meant. Whoops. Haha!

    1. Post
  11. You might review the new press release from Selkirk on their facebook page. They are coming out with Light versions of the AMPED paddles January 23rd. They also allude to the diminishing availability of quality graphite material. It also looks like they will have some buy back credit for those early adopters of the AMPED paddles. I actually weighed my two Omni paddles at the local pickleball shop, The original Omni came in at 7.21 oz. The Amped version came in at 8.34. If they can get the weight down to 7.4 or lower, I will buy an Omni Lite for me and a S2 Lite for my wife.

  12. I played all last year with a 7.7 oz Paddletek Tempest. Great paddle. Two months ago I purchased the Amped Epic. I first contacted Selkirk and asked what the weight “range” was. The median weight I had seen listed the Epic at 8.1oz. Selkirk said 7.7 to 8.3oz. Since I like a lighter paddle I ordered a 7.7. Selkirk was great and shipped one labeled 7.7 very promptly. As documented above it does take some adjustment time. I committed to play it full time. Logged over 50 hours through November and December. The “soft” feel is great. The main difference for me ( little voice on my shoulder) was when I did hit a hard – overhead, punched volley, or forehand – it just didn’t feel as crisp/hard as the Tempest. I prefer to play soft when needed and hit hard when opportunity comes. I “preceived “ that some overhead smashes that had not been returned with the Tempest were now getting blocked back with the Epic. Big deal ? It depends on your game. I am planning to keep both and thinking once the weather permits that the Amped Epic may be a good outdoor paddle for me. Paddletek and Selkirk are two great companies. One last comment if anyone is still reading this “Epic” post… About two weeks ago I got the chance to play one game with an Amped Maxima elongated model. It felt more – crisp, powerful than my Amped Epic. Demoing before buying is always a good idea !

  13. I thought I would give an update. I have played with the AMPed OMNI for more than a month now. Probably a couple of hundred games. I have a non-AMPed Omni which I have enjoyed and also the Selkirk S1G that is a wonderful control paddle. With any paddle there are trade-offs, the AMPed series just seems to have fewer of them. In comparison to the previous Omni and other paddles that I have used, the AMPed version delivers more power, it also exhibits an improvement in control. Some using these AMPed paddles commented that they felt they had lost a bit of the “feel” of the ball hitting the surface, it is a different feel, but you get used to it. The only down-side is the quickness. I attribute that to the weight. The AMPed versions run in the 8 oz range, the previous Omni was in the 7.2 oz range. For those quick volley exchanges at the NVZ line, the lighter the paddle, the quicker you are. I wonder if the next generation of AMPed paddles might be the AMPed Lite??? but then you might give up some of the power……

    In summary
    Power *****
    Control *****
    Speed ****

    1. Post

      Thanks JP for the update!

      That change from 7.2 to 8.0 oz is extreme, to say the least. Would you say that was the most difficult thing to get used to? Just the difference in weight? Personally, I think it will hard for Selkirk to make a lighter version with a fiberglass face since they tend to make the paddle heavier. I would love to be proven wrong though.

      I love using a paddle that has a lot of quickness at the net. It’s one of the strengths of my game. That’s why I use a 7.7 oz at the moment.

  14. Hi – Novice Pickleball player here who just used my new Amped S2 Paddle for the first time. I am switching from an Onix Storm graphite/nomex cored Paddle that weighs in at 7.5 oz. It gave me lots of pop, but as a 69 year old ex Racquetball player, I also wanted to add more finesse to my game. Today’s opponents were impressed with the spin off my Amped’s return shots. I will need to agree that it will take some time to adjust to the feel of this paddle. However, I really don’t believe that one must be an advanced player to benefit from the Amped X5 paddles.

    1. Post
  15. Hi, I am also new to the game (playing about 3 mos.) Started out with a Pro-Lite Blaster, and in a very short time felt like I needed something a little heavier. The Blaster is 6.7 oz. I ordered the Amped Epic, the Amped Omni and Paddletek Bantam. I was thrilled I was able to demo them, and return what I didn’t like. (I didn’t like the short handle on the Omni, I did like the Paddletek, but the Epic really wowed me.) As soon as I played a game with the Epic I was hooked. I’ve been using it about 2 weeks now and feel everything about my game has improved with this paddle. Much more control and shots that never would have made it over the net with the Blaster, are easily sailing right over. Very impressed with this paddle! (As a side note, my husband tried mine and thought it had too much power for him to be able to control it. He opted for a Pro-Lite Titan and is very happy with it)

    1. Post

      Wow, that’s awesome! How was it playing with a 6.7 oz paddle? That must have been frustrating!

      I’m glad that you like the Epic paddle. It really is amazing. It sounds like the AMPED Epic is giving you much more power to get your shots over the net compared to the Pro-Lite.

      You’re the second “beginner” that I’ve heard about that loves the paddle. I will definitely need to amend the article soon to talk about that. Thanks for your input!

  16. I agree with all that is said about the Amped paddle I think its GREAT !! . The only thing I disagree with is the statement that this Paddle is for Advanced players. I am new to the sport and my thought is if I am going to commit myself to learning the sport and money is not a factor then why not purchase the best equipment available to help me with the process. I purchased the Amped S2 green and love it.

    1. Post

      Awesome, I’m glad you’re liking it! Perhaps I’m incorrect in my judgment of the skill ceiling for this paddle. I may amend the article if I get more feedback like this. Thanks, Chuck!

      P.S. – How do you like the smaller handle on the S2?

        1. Post

          The only difference is that the handle for the S2 is slightly shorter. But the paddle length is the same. Since the paddle length is the same, but the handle is short, this means that the face for the S2 is slightly larger making it a bit more forgiving. Is that worth the increase in price? I personally don’t think so.

  17. Just had Day 2 with this paddle, all features are getting a bit more dialed in. The dinking game is a big plus with this paddle. My unforced error count on the soft game have dropped. Nice touches in the kitchen corners. Slams are bit more controlled as well, I haven’t hit anybody with a slam….. yet ;>)). Spins are kicking a bit more as I get more used to the paddle. Also starting to “appreciate” the substance of this paddle in my hand. My other paddles might even feel a tad “whispy” by comparison. Day three tomorrow.

    1. Post
  18. Day 1 with the Amped Omni
    Control – i felt I had more control. Dropping stuff in the kitchen seemed pretty straight forward. I did drop some right into the net, but that happens irregardless of which paddle I use.
    Spin – this paddle does put more spin on the ball. It isnt evident to your hand, but watch the ball kick off the court.
    Power – slightly more power than my standard Omni, when you slam it, the ball does travel a bit quicker, i didnt have any more fly beyond the baseline than usual.
    Hand speed – the paddle does feel heavier and more substantial in the hand. I didnt feel I was that much less quick at the net.
    Shock – the paddle doesnt transfer much shock to your hand or arm.
    Summary, I think this paddle will take a good while longer to get used to. I don’t think that I played as well as I normally do, but there could have been many factors why. I watch a bunch of the Nationals matches, there were a lot of Amped paddles there. I dont think this paddle will revolutionize the game, but it could provide an incremental improvement. Time will tell. More to come.

    1. Post

      Thanks for the update.

      Your findings are pretty much exactly what I found. Like I mentioned in the article, the biggest difference between the AMPED and other paddles is the feeling that it gives you in your hands. This changes the way you approach distances. Will just take awhile to get used to.

  19. I have been intrigued by these “AMPED” paddles. There were a couple of advanced players with them at the courts this morning. I have been playing with the Selkirk Omni, so moving to a Selkirk AMPED Omni should eliminate some of the size variables of change. My question is about the weight. The Selkirk Omni is ~7.2 oz. The AMPED version is ~8.0 oz. my hand speed at the kitchen line is important to me as I don’t generally back up, just sit there and take it.

    What has been your assesment of hand speed with the AMPED paddle compared to the non-AMPED version?

    1. Post

      Hi JP,

      The sizes of the Omni and the AMPED Omni version are the same, but as you mentioned, the weight is different. I pulled out my 30p XL Enrique Ruiz and the AMPED Epic for fun and I definitely noticed a difference in how fast I could move my hands. The AMPED is slower. This is just due to the weight and weight balance. I’m not entirely sure how it will affect you for the Omni, but I’m 90% certain that you’ll at least be a bit slower with the AMPED version. I don’t think it would be game changing though. How has your experience been with the Omni?

      1. The Omni is a great paddle, it fits my hand and playing style. I put my index finger along the edge of the edge guard like ping pong. I like the shorter handle as the butt of the handle doesnt catch in my shorts or shirt. It also puts alot of playing surface closer to my hand, more touch and control. I also have a Selkirk Pro S1G. This paddle plays very similar to the Omni although slightly more control, but power with the S1G requires a lot more swing, so to pass and slam requires more prep, more effort. I am hoping with the Amped version my slams and passing shots wont be coming back, i ordered the Amped Omni, coming on Thursday. We will see…… now if I could get a package of the new Onix Fuse balls, the whole game might change

        1. Post

          That’s all very interesting. I met up with a friend the other day who has the Amped Epic but with the thinner handle. It played significantly different than the regular handle.

          Please let me know how the Amped Omni works out for you. I’m eager to hear about it!

          1. Barrett, I am intrigued by your comment “….Amped Epic but with the thinner handle”.
            I take it you mean that the circumference is less than a ‘standard’ Amped Epic? The only circumference I ever see listed is 4.25 inches.

          2. Post

            Ah yes, I remember that. A friend of mine got a hold of an AMPED Epic paddle but with a smaller circumference. I think she ordered it on the Selkirk website if I’m not mistaken. Keep in mind that the lightweight versions of these paddles are out now. Review coming soon!

  20. What I found it the black logo is applied so thick it doesn’t allow you to slice or spin the ball very much. Run your finger nail across the paddle and you will hear the ruff sound pretty much silent when you go over the logo. I get incredible side spin with my Maxima which has the same face material but without the thick black logo.

    1. Post

      Thanks for the comment! I’ve noticed great spin on my AMPED Epic, but have yet to try the Maxima. Something else I’ve noticed about the Maxima is that the logo actually looks different than all the other ones. Have you noticed that?

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