Joola Gen 3

The Controversy Surrounding Joola Gen 3 Pickleball Paddles

The Joola Gen 3 pickleball paddles have recently stirred up significant controversy in the pickleball community. Debates over their legality and performance leave players questioning their choices. This article delves into the current situation surrounding the Joola Gen 3 pickleball paddles, exploring both the technical aspects and the community’s response.

Initial Testing and Controversies

The controversy began when the Joola Gen 3 paddles failed the USAP approval tests. Some speculated that the paddles failed testing, leading to the ban, while others suggested a conspiracy against Joola. The case against Joola centers on the accusation that they sent the wrong paddles for initial testing, which they now claim to be true. Joola claims that they mistakenly submitted the wrong paddles for review.

Lack of Transparency

This controversy hinges on a lack of transparency. The pickleball community is demanding clear answers from both Joola and the USAP. Data comparing the power of different paddles has yielded mixed responses. While some independent sources suggest other paddles might be more powerful, players are questioning the reliability of these sources.

When Joola initially submitted their Gen 3 paddles for certification, they mistakenly sent in a different batch of paddles than what they intended to market. This administrative error led to the initial approval of paddles that were not representative of the final product sold to customers. Upon realizing the mistake, JOOLA resubmitted the correct Gen 3 paddles for testing.

Why does Joola not sell the paddles that were initially approved? Were these paddles Gen 2 or Gen 3?

Community Reaction

The community’s reaction has been mixed, with some demanding accountability. Many players are expressing loyalty to their paddles despite the ban. Others emphasize the importance of integrity and safety, raising ethical concerns about using non approved paddles even in recreational settings.

Recreational vs. Tournament Play

The debate over using paddles that are not approved by USAP in recreational play is intense. Some argue that there is no such thing as an illegal paddle in recreational play since there is no governing body. However, others emphasize that using non USAP approved paddles, even in casual games, undermines the sport’s integrity and poses potential risks.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

The legal implications are significant, with accusations of fraud against Joola by some customers. Some believe financial motives drive the bans and express skepticism about the fairness of the process.

Consider the broader market impact: Most pickleball players never participate in USAP-sanctioned tournaments.

This raises the question: Does being delisted from the approved USAP paddle list really matter for the majority of players? For those who primarily engage in recreational play, the approval status might not be as critical, leading them to continue using these paddles despite the controversy.

joola gen 3 propulsion core

Comparison with Other Paddles

Comparisons between the Joola Gen 3 and other paddles, like the Gearbox Pro, reveal differences in performance and handling. Some believe the Gearbox hits harder but has a smaller sweet spot, making it less advantageous overall. These comparisons help players understand the nuances of different paddle technologies.

Recommended Alternatives

For those looking for alternatives to the Joola Gen 3 paddles that skirt the line but still have USAP approval, here are some recommendations:

  • Paddletek TKO CX 12.7: Known for its power and control, this paddle offers a great balance of performance.
  • Gearbox Pro Power Elongated: Its power and durability earn this paddle high praise, making it a solid choice.
  • Ronbus Ripple: While not widely available, this paddle is comparable in feel to the Joola Gen 3. (Update: Ronbus Ripple no longer on the USAP approved paddle list June 3rd 2024)
  • Vatic Pro Flash: Another option that might face future scrutiny but currently provides excellent performance.
  • CRBN Concept: CRBN is about to release a new paddle, the CRBN Concept, which is expected to be a top performer.

Consumer Reactions and Refunds

Players are understandably concerned about refunds and replacements. Discussions also include the potential resale of banned paddles in markets without strict approval requirements. This reflects the broader issue of consumer rights and company responsibilities. Are customers entitled to a refund if they purchased a Joola Gen 3 paddle? This question becomes more complex for those who only play recreationally. Does the lack of USAP approval affect your game if you don’t participate in tournaments?

Impact on the Market and Future Prospects

The long-term impact of the ban on the Joola Gen 3 line and the pickleball market is a hot topic. There is speculation about the future of paddle technology and the sport’s evolution. As new technologies emerge, standards and regulations will likely continue to evolve to ensure fair play and safety.

USA Pickleball’s Official Statement

On June 4, 2024, USA Pickleball released an updated statement regarding the JOOLA paddles:

USA Pickleball recently de-listed certain paddles after JOOLA notified USA Pickleball that it had previously submitted the wrong paddles for certification. JOOLA also informed USA Pickleball that it intended to submit additional paddles for certification. USA Pickleball received and tested the newly submitted paddles, which did not meet our approved equipment standards. As a result, these paddles have not been added to the USA Pickleball approved equipment list.

USA Pickleball takes its certifications, rules, and regulations seriously to ensure integrity and fairness for all players. They utilize a third-party testing facility that holds approved equipment to an extremely rigorous process and the highest testing standards. For a full list of affected and approved paddles, visit usapickleball.org.

Affected JOOLA Gen 3 Paddles

The following JOOLA paddles are no longer USA Pickleball Approved:

  • Tyson McGuffin Magnus 3 14mm
  • Tyson McGuffin Magnus 3 16mm
  • Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 16mm
  • Anna Bright Scorpeus 3 14mm
  • Simone Jardim Hyperion 3 16mm
  • Ben Johns Hyperion 3 16mm
  • Ben Johns Hyperion 3 14mm
  • Ben Johns Perseus 3 14mm
  • Ben Johns Perseus 3 16mm
  • Perseus Alpha 2024 16mm
  • Perseus Alpha 2024 14mm
  • Magnus Alpha 2024 16mm
  • Magnus Alpha 2024 14mm
  • Hyperion Alpha 2024 16mm
  • Hyperion Alpha 2024 14mm
  • Scorpeus Alpha 2024 16mm
  • Scorpeus Alpha 2024 14mm

Questions about this incident

  • Why were the JOOLA Gen 3 approved in the first place?
    JOOLA recently notified USA Pickleball that the paddles on the market are not the same paddle certified by USA Pickleball. JOOLA explained that they submitted the wrong samples under an Application for Certification by Similarity process.
  • How does USAP manage compliance after a paddle is launched?
    The USAP takes an active approach to ensuring compliance after a paddle is launched. They discreetly acquire samples from the market and then screen them to identify any potential issues that might indicate the paddle doesn’t meet regulations. If a red flag pops up during screening, the USAP sends the paddle to an independent lab for further testing. This multi-step process allows them to catch and address any compliance problems even after a paddle hits store shelves. Additionally, the USAP triggers investigations of paddles for potential non-compliance based on various factors, such as feedback from the pickleball community or their own evaluations of the equipment.
  • What’s the process when a paddle is not compliant after launch?
    If a paddle fails market sample testing, USA Pickleball’s response depends on the individualized circumstances. This may involve additional testing, de-listing the paddle, or launching a Notice of Escape process to scope the issue.

More USAP Questions

  • Is there a formal appeal and resolution process?
    USA Pickleball communicates directly with the manufacturer to address non-compliance. This communication may include discussing the possibility of pursuing the Notice of Escape process.
  • Why did officials address this issue weeks after the launch?
    USA Pickleball communicated concerns to JOOLA before the launch. As soon as officials learned about the incorrect paddle submission, they immediately removed those models from the approved list.
  • Isn’t there a rule about giving 18 months notice to disapprove a paddle?
    Rule 2.F.1 addresses certain situations but does not cover every possible situation requiring de-certification, such as a manufacturer’s submission of the wrong paddles for certification.
  • Why have out-of-spec issues (e.g., surface roughness) rarely been dealt with?
    Several Notice of Escape processes have occurred over the years. Depending on the nature, scope, and process controls identifying and addressing the affected population, the resulting actions may not be visible to the broader market.
  • Why does USA Pickleball ban specific paddles?
    Our standards and process are followed consistently with all equipment certifications. We continue to enhance our testing methods to ensure compliance with standards, sharing specifics of our testing with manufacturers and planning recurring meetings to enhance transparency.

Safety First

While the debate over paddle technology continues, one thing is certain: safety should always come first. If players choose to use these ‘hot paddles,’ they should prioritize eye protection. For more on this topic, check out our article on pickleball eye protection.

Join the Conversation

We want to hear from you!

  • What are your thoughts on the Joola Gen 3 paddle controversy?
  • Do you think USAP approval is crucial for paddles, or does it only matter for professional pickleball tournament play?
  • Will you continue using a paddle if officials ban it from tournaments, or if it is not USAP approved?
  • Should customers who bought these paddles get a refund, even if they don’t play in tournaments?
  • Are we getting to the point where we need to limit the power, pop, exit velocity, and spin of paddles?
  • Would changing the ball be a better solution than limiting paddle technology?

Share your experiences and opinions on the Joola Gen 3 controversy in the comments below and join the discussion!

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7 Comments

  1. Update: https://joolausa.com/official-joola-gen3-update-as-of-june-5-2024/

    We were extremely disappointed to learn of USA Pickleball’s (USAP) decision to remove JOOLA’s Gen3 paddles from the Approved Paddles list. JOOLA has worked for weeks to come to a mutually agreeable resolution with USAP and views this decision as unfortunate for the sport of pickleball.

    While we are confident the current Gen3 paddles are materially and structurally the same as those approved by USAP in September 2023 and therefore comply with USAP standards, we care deeply about our customers and the inconvenience and confusion the USAP decision has caused. To demonstrate our commitment, we are offering full refunds for customers who purchased any Gen3 paddles between April 16 and June 15, 2024. For customers who purchased from our retail and e-commerce partners during that same timeframe, we are facilitating a process for refunds through them.

    While JOOLA’s primary focus is responding to our customers on this issue, we also have a responsibility to advocate for the sport. Pickleball players value access to technology-forward, next-generation paddles designed within USAP standards, and JOOLA’s reputation for innovation is represented by more than 40 approved paddles currently on the market.

    We plan to dispute USAP’s decision to remove Gen3 paddles from the list, and the process employed to do so, in forthcoming legal proceedings.

    We thank our community for its ongoing support as we continue to advocate for our people, products, and the sport of pickleball.

  2. Joola Gen3 Paddle Returns
    First and foremost, we apologize for the inconvenience and confusion related to USA Pickleball’s (USAP) decision to remove our Gen3 paddles from the Approved Paddle list. We are confident the current Gen3 paddles are materially and structurally the same as those approved by USAP in September 2023 and therefore comply with USAP standards.

    That said, we understand that customers are concerned regarding their recent purchases of our Gen3 paddles and want to assure you that JOOLA stands behind our products, people, and partners. To demonstrate our commitment, we are offering the following for customers impacted by USAP’s decision:

    You can keep the paddle and we will extend the warranty for an additional 6 months. Registration in the Infinity app already extends your paddle warranty from 6 months to 12 months, so the total warranty would be 18 months!
    You can return the paddle for a full refund. For customers who purchased directly from http://www.joolausa.com, we are offering full refunds for Gen3 paddles purchased between April 16 and June 15, 2024. For customers who purchased from our retail and e-commerce partners during that same timeframe, please return Gen3 paddles to the original point of purchase as we are facilitating a process for refunds through them. We will process returns requested by July 15, 2024.

    Again, we apologize for any inconvenience and are working tirelessly to support our customers during this time. Please reach out to our Customer Support team for any questions at info@joolausa.com or 301-816-3060.

  3. Love the paddle and will stay with it. I haven’t found any other brand I like more. Was wanting a new Gen 3 but they were all sold out . I will wait till a new one comes out!

  4. JUNE 5TH, 2024
    OFFICIAL RONBUS
    STATEMENT ON RIPPLE:
    R
    On June 3, 2024, we received the news from USA Pickleball that the originally approved Ronbus Ripple paddles are being delisted. The USA Pickleball has retroactively developed and used another test on paddles whose power performance exceeds the normal range. Our Ripple paddles did not pass this new test as currently designed. With an upcoming release anticipated, the Ripple was set to become the most powerful paddle on the market due to its unique internal structure and proprietary materials. After spending significant time and resources on the development of this paddle, this recent decision is certainly a set-back. However, we do respect the decision of the USA Pickleball and will continue to work with them as pickleball’s governing body in the United States. Ronbus will persevere as a science driven company that strives to push the boundaries in the pickleball world through innovative technology. Unfortunately this time we pushed those boundaries so far that they broke.
    -Dong Li, Ronbus Owner

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