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Franklin Pickleball Paddles

Franklin Pickleball Paddles

Franklin is one of the prominent pickleball brands on the market today, used by pro pickleball players like Ben Johns, Christine McGrath, and Aspen Kern. And we've compiled the top Franklin pickleball paddles for you here.

For a more in-depth review of the different Franklin models, see our breakdowns below.  Read More

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Pickleball Paddles: Franklin Aspen Kern Centre Carbon Fiber Paddle
$130.00 $99.99
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The Franklin Ben Johns Signature Pickleball Paddle

The Franklin Ben Johns Signature pickleball paddle is inspired by pro player Ben Johns, one of the top players in the world.

Among Franklin's signature paddles, this is the most well-rounded.

If the Christine McGrath leans towards being a power paddle, and the Aspen Kern leans towards being a touch paddle, the Ben Johns would sit right in the middle.

It’s got an elongated face, which gives you extra reach, and extra leverage for hitting the ball. And because it’s center balanced, instead of being head heavy, it’s more maneuverable than similar elongated paddles.

The Ben Johns is a thick paddle, which absorbs impact and gives you better control over your shots.

Perhaps the most standout feature of this paddle is the gritty surface, making it excellent for putting spin on the ball. This might just have the grittiest surface of any pickleball paddle.

It’s on the heavier end of the mid-weight paddles, so it’s going to feel more stable when hitting the ball.  And as a nice bonus, it’s got a longer handle (5 ½ inch), which makes it easier for two-handed shots.

Playing experience with the Franklin Ben Johns pickleball paddle

Even though it’s got a fiberglass face, it still has a great touch to it. Because of how thick it is you can almost feel it catching the ball. This helps you decide how and where you’re going to hit your shots.

When it comes to attacking the ball, this is where the Ben Johns shines the most.

After a couple weeks of playing, you’ll notice the gritty surface will smooth out a little bit. However not so much that it affects your ability to put spin on the ball.
If you’re trying to decide on a paddle, and one of your main focuses is spin, know that even after it smooths out, it’s still one of the best paddles for spin on the market.

What type of player is the Franklin Ben Johns pickleball paddle for?

The Ben Johns is probably the most ideal for a 3.5 pickleball player.

If you’re an intermediate player, looking for a thick paddle, but that gives you a little more power, this is your paddle. Among the thick paddles out there, this is definitely one of the more powerful ones.

When it comes to defense, especially defensive dinks, this paddle may have a tad bit too much power. The reason this paddle might not be best for a beginner is that you’re going to have to use a little of your own finesse for shots like defensive dinks. If you rely on the paddle alone, you’ll hit defensive dinks too hard.

But if you’re just looking for a powerful paddle in general, this probably doesn’t offer as much pop as you’re thinking.

The Ben Johns paddle makes it super easy to put spin on the ball, so if that’s what you’re after, this is one of the better paddles out there.

The Franklin Christine McGrath Signature Pickleball Paddle

This paddle is inspired by pro player Christine McGrath.

This is a very powerful and consistent paddle.

Even though it’s a middle-weight paddle, it’s got a head-heavy balance, so it’s going to have a heavier feel when you swing it. This gives you a lot more power to your shots.

Like the Ben Johns, the Christine McGrath paddle also has a fiberglass face. But unlike most fiberglass paddles, where the power varies greatly between the outer parts and the sweet spot. the McGrath gives pretty consistent power across the face.

Playing experience with the Franklin Christine McGrath pickleball paddle

One thing to note about that consistent power: it’s going to take a little getting used to when it comes to your soft game. The head-heavy design and the fiberglass face mean you can’t rely on the paddle alone for dink shots. You’ll have to adjust and use your own touch to dink the ball accurately.

But thankfully, because this paddle is consistent across the face, it won’t take you much time to adjust.

Defensively the head heavy feel might slow your game down a little

It particularly shines when you're attacking, and it's great for serving.

What type of player is the Franklin Christine McGrath pickleball paddle for?

The Christine McGrath is ideal for offensive-minded intermediate players who are looking for power.

It’s likely got a bit too much power for an advanced player who wants more control over their shots.

And it’s probably too head-heavy for a beginner who hasn’t developed the needed muscles and skills just yet.

But for intermediates who prefer attacking, this is your paddle.

The Franklin Aspen Kern Centre Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle

This paddle is inspired by pro player Aspen Kern.

Of the three signature paddles, this would be your control paddle.

The Ben Johns and Christine McGrath were both made of fiberglass, while the Aspen Kern has a carbon fiber face. Carbon fiber is known for softening shots a little more, which gives you better control over how you return the ball.

The Aspen Kern is also a bit shorter than the other signature models. This can help you with ground shots because you can get lower without making contact with the ground.

Playing experience with the Franklin Aspen Kern pickleball paddle

This is easily the more player-friendly of the three signature paddles.

It’s the lightest of the three, and it’s the most forgiving. You can maneuver a little faster with this paddle thanks to the lighter, smaller head size.

And thanks to the carbon fiber facing you’ve got better touch. This will give you more control over your dinks and allow you to slow the pace down as needed

Just know that because of this, any drop shots will require a bit of your own power to get over the net.

Because this paddle is lighter you can swing it quicker and generate more spin than the other two signature models.

If there had to be a downside to this paddle, it could be that it doesn’t produce quite as much power as the other two signature paddles. But depending on your preferences and style of play, that might not be a downside at all.

What type of player is the Franklin Aspen Kern pickleball paddle for?

If you want a performance-level paddle with excellent control, then the Aspen Kern is probably the paddle you’re looking for.

You can move it a little quicker through the air than the other two models, which will make you more efficient at the net. And because of the touch, it’ll definitely compliment your soft game.

If you’re looking for a power paddle, then you’d probably feel more at home with either the Ben Johns or, most likely, the Christine McGrath.

But if you’re not worried about generating your own power, and you’re mainly looking for a paddle to highlight your soft game, the Aspen Kern is the paddle you’re looking for.

How do I choose the best paddle for me:  Ben Johns VS Christine McGrath VS Aspen Kern


The best Franklin pickleball paddle for power

If you're looking for power both the Ben Johns and Christine McGrath are made of fiberglass which gives you more power.  The McGrath has a bit more power than the Ben Johns, largely because it's head-heavy. 

But if you want power with a center-balanced paddle so that you can maintain a little more control, the Ben Johns is likely what you're looking for.


The best Franklin pickleball paddle for touch & control

If you're looking for more touch & control, the Aspen Kern would be your best bet.  It has a carbon fiber face, which absorbs more of the impact, letting you choose how hard, or soft, you want to hit the ball.

Note: All three signature paddles offer good control, but the Aspen Kern has a little edge over the other two.




What's the best paddle for an absolute beginner pickleball player?

If you're brand new to pickleball, and you don't yet know your playing style and preferences, you'll probably want to go with a beginner racquet.

The Franklin X-1000 is ideal for new players because it's the lightest model and gives you plenty of power.  This helps you hit the ball across the net while you're just starting to develop your arm muscles.

The X-1000 isn't going to give you as much control over where you place the ball or how you defend difficult shots, compared to the other three paddles.  But once you start to develop these skills and you learn your playing style, then you can upgrade to a paddle that matches you.


If you're coming from tennis or racquetball, then you'd probably feel more at home with the Ben Johns.  It has an elongated face which will make it feel more like a tennis racquet.  And it's the most well-rounded model.

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