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Ronbus Pickleball – “The Intelligent Choice” Why we are all in.

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Guts and Glory Tennis and Audacious Pickleball, (the pickleball arm of our business), is delighted to announce that after a thorough deep dive into the current state of the pickleball paddle manufacturers, we will be partnering with Ronbus Pickleball. This partnership will prove to be the most exciting and smartest way forward to helping our customers navigate the rapidly changing paddle technology landscape. We are proud to be the exclusive Ronbus retailer for NE Georgia. We are offering paddle demos as well as paddles available for purchase directly via our Sugar Hill, GA location. We will also be selling them online through the Guts and Glory Tennis website. After initial introductory pricing we plan to offer coupon code discounts for customers wanting to support our family business by purchasing from afar.

As stated in our previous blog entry, the pickleball paddle industry is undergoing tremendous transformation. In a nutshell, there are a barrage of new companies coming on board. They are working directly with overseas manufacturers and bringing in paddles featuring updated and upgraded technology. For the most part, the paddles are high quality and the companies are distinguishing themselves via branding, marketing and pricing. However, the reality is the paddles are coming from the same factories and using common forms of technology.

Basically anyone can approach a factory and purchase product samples. They can then choose a base model and make tweaks to things like length of handle, surface texture and type, graphics, shape and voila!, they have created their own paddle to market and sell to the pickleball world.

There is another level of interaction with the overseas manufacturers that involves more in depth customizations where brands can further distinguish themselves. This is where some of the newer companies with engineers on staff can create some features that are unique to their brand. However, they are doing so in conjunction with the factory. The factory owns the technology. The brand may have an exclusivity agreement with the factory on the technology for a set period of time (6 months/a year/etc) but then the factory can and will make it available to all customers. So today’s exclusive innovations for Brand A will, in a matter of time, be available to all brands who wish to bring it to their customer base.

The only way that paddle innovations can remain proprietary is when the Brand files for a patent on the technology BEFORE taking it to the factory for manufacturing. There are very few patented technologies in pickleball. The vast majority can be widely used and shared. Thus there are solid options being made available from multiple brands, not just the big brands that have been in the game for many years.

Ronbus Pickleball was established in 2022. Yes, they are new. But they stand out because they are powered by an energetic retired former Motorola engineer with a background in tennis and a passion for pickleball. The owner brought to market the current cornerstone paddles leading with the Ronbus R series. (Yes, it was named by an engineer so no clever name like Eagle Fang.) R1.16 refers to the first option in the Ronbus R series and .16 refers to the fact that it has a width of 16mm. They have 3 models all with the same naming convention, R2.16, R3.16. Naming should get more interesting with future models.

This series of paddles were designed and engineered as a joint project between the Ronbus owner and factory where it was produced. The technology came together in a way that created a paddle that is incredibly versatile. It is rated as one of the top spin producing paddles on the market today, generating a spin rate in excess of 2100 rpm. It offers superior control from all areas of the court and plenty of power on command. It is an all around paddle for players who appreciate playing a game with nuances, power and variety. The Ronbus owner set the price point at just $120 and has approved resellers to discount it if they choose. As a result this paddle has been widely available for as low as $99. It is a highly technical paddle that is available at a great price. Arguably the best price to performance ratio in pickleball. It easily matches/surpasses the performance of paddles from bigger brands coming in at $200+

Recently a professional picklball player teamed up with a newcomer looking to enter the paddle industry. As per the comments above, they have essentially taken the exact technologies used in the Ronbus R series paddles, gave them a head cover, some different graphics, an optional thinner core and called it their own. Because it is used and promoted by a highly ranked professional player who uses it on the PPA Tour, it sells for $160 – $180. Same great paddle just marketed differently and at a higher price. Ronbus created the model. Ronbus was first. The factory then made it available to another company who is benefitting from the engineering expertise at Ronbus. (All is fair in the pickleball technology wars!) This is a pattern we can expect to see repeated as new tweaks to design are found to be popular. It is not a question of “if it will be copied?” but really “when it will be copied?”

So, as of the writing of this blog, Ronbus has a value priced/high performing paddle line in production. It is a clear winner! It is a product we can be proud to make available to our customers. Compared to the majority of paddles being used in our area, this represents a huge upgrade at a price point that is more than reasonable. It is, in our opinion, the best value in pickleball today.

The owner/chief engineer of Ronbus is not sitting on those laurels and certainly is not satisfied. While he is proud of his current lineup, his goal is much greater. He is aiming to CHANGE PICKLEBALL. Truth told, he has a vision with the potential to revolutionize paddle technology and we want to be working with him when his vision becomes a reality…and we are confident it will. He has already patented a core for a paddle that will be unlike anything currently being used. The patent will mean the technology will be owned by Ronbus and will be exclusive to Ronbus. No other paddle companies will be able to get and use this technology without licensing or violating the patent. The question at this point is how will it perform and will it meet paddle standards for approval by the governing body of pickleball?

Ronbus has a prototype version of the core currently available to the public, though it is not approved for tournament play. (We currently do not have plans to carry this paddle since it is not officially approved and is a prototype. We can special order it if our customers are interested.) The core is primarily constructed of injected EVA foam vs the traditional polypropylene honeycomb core that is the basis of a huge majority of paddles today, including the Ronbus R series. The advantages the core will provide are easy access to power and also a balance of control. It is projected to be a power paddle with control. It will also be more comfortable than any paddle on the market today. In addition the sound will be significantly dampened which can help alleviate one of the biggest problems pickleball facilities face–too much noise which can be disturbing to neighbors. Also, the material will not break down at the same rate as current cores resulting in paddle performance lasting significantly longer than today’s technology.

The vision and engineering background of the owner/founder of Ronbus is different. It stands out. It makes Ronbus different than the flood of new companies entering the marketplace. This does not mean the other new companies are not producing interesting paddles. In fact, they are. However, by limitations of materials being used, they are unlikely to be evolutionary whereas Ronbus has that potential with their vision of the future and patents to support that vision.

Ronbus is not currently a big name in pickleball. I would bet the majority of the readers of this blog have never heard of them. However, we love their current R series and are confident that their owner/founder will use his engineering talents to continue creating great playing products whether his patented technology ends up being approved/sanctioned for official tournament use or not.

We are proud to have decided to go all in with Ronbus Pickleball and we invite you to join Team Ronbus with us. We believe they are the most intelligent choice in terms of investing in pickleball equipment that players of all levels, from beginners to professionals, can make. Visit us. Make use of our demo program. Support our family business by choosing to make your Ronbus purchases through us. If you find better pricing just reach out and we will attempt to match or beat whatever you find. We believe Ronbus technology will help you to develop your game and play better pickleball.

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