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Ronbus R1.16 Paddle Review

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It’s been one month since I began hitting with the Ronbus R1. After having played with the Gearbox CX14e for the past two years, I was not at all sure what to expect. I had not played with a polypropylene honeycomb core for over 4 years. I have never experienced a Torray T700 carbon fiber face nor the various technologies Ronbus has baked into their economy paddle. How would an “economy” paddle measure up against a premium paddle costing 2x as much? Honestly, I was uncertain.

After a month of on court action, I have been pleasantly surprised. This little gem is the best overall paddle I have ever had the privilege of using. My playing style is definitely not “alpha” as I strive for reliability and consistency vs power and dominant putaways. I can easily cover my area of the court, but don’t ask me to take over and cover 60%+…that’s not my game. My current level of play is somewhere between 3.5 and 4.0 due to injury related mobility issues. When healthy, I am competitive at the 4.0+ level. I play doubles almost exclusively.

What I LOVE: The soft game – – dinks, resets and drops — are smooth and consistent. At 16mm wide, this is the thickest paddle I have ever used and I freely admit, I like the feel. Balls come off the paddle face with more pace than the Gearbox, yet not uncontrollable by any stretch of the imagination. The spin is incredibly easy to access. The surface really grips the ball nicely and this leads to remarkable control.

Biggest Surprise: The power! Holy crap. On demand power is not something I had with Gearbox. If I want to rip a return (tennis player here!) I can get significant pace and drop it in with the easily accessed spin. Same is true with my serve. I can generate more speed with less effort. While this paddle is not known for being powerful, the power is definitely much more than adequate. I found overheads to have much more authority and put away shots have become more effective/dangerous when wielding this paddle at the kitchen line.

The Bad: The grip shape and size. I admit, for the first several sessions the grip was a huge distraction. I was moving from a nicely rounded Gearbox grip at approx 4″ with overgrip to a grip size that had some flat areas (not as round) and was measuring over 4 3/8″ with overwrap. I hated the grip during first session. I was constantly aware of it and it felt awkward to me. As I continued to play, I gradually became less aware of the grip and after 3 weeks, I can’t say I notice it as being awkward any longer. It seems it is something to which I have been able to adjust. Not a showstopper. That said, Ronbus has revised the grip. I have not yet seen or hit with revised grip, but going forward the extreme awkwardness if coming from different handle shape should be lessened.

Other than an overgrip, I have been playing with the paddle stock. As an experienced racquet and paddle technician, I am quite proficient with adding weighted tape to adjust paddles. This paddle has a balance that is less head heavy than most and really does not need additional power or stability. For me, it plays near perfect at stock. It is the only paddle I have ever used without adding weighted tape…except for my brief fling with the Paddleboardz PBZ.

As of this writing many are discovering the joys and playing advantages of the Ronbus R1. It is currently sold out and on backorder. We hope to replenish our stock by some point in May 2023. At a retail value of $120 it is a tremendous value. When available on sale for $100, it is an absolute steal of a deal. Look to your friends at Guts and Glory Tennis if you want one for outstanding pricing.

4 thoughts on “Ronbus R1.16 Paddle Review

  1. Ronnie Smith on said:

    What price do you have on Ronbus r1.16, which is normally $120.

  2. GGTennis on said:

    We sometimes list Ronbus paddles on auction sites. We are very limited in creating bundles and negotiating on those platforms due to fees. However, reach out to us using and we can try to work with you on price matching and creating bundles. Thx!


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