Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Pickleball Paddle Review [Power, Control, Spin, Specs]

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Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Pickleball Paddle Review

I finally got a chance to hit with the Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 and I'm extremely impressed.

The Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 is there Gen2 version if the original Viva Pro (if that wasn't obvious), which means this one is thermoformed and unibody technology, and even having a one piece molded handle for better touch and feel (which I personally think shows), and a strengthened core.

Personally I think the changes from the Hudef Viva Pro to the Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 definitely come through and make a big difference, especially when you consider the fact that it's only $29 more than the original Viva Pro.

Comparing this one to other paddles that I really love like the Six Zero Double Black Diamond, The Ronbus R1 Pulsar and a few others, I wouldn't say this has a shot at being my main paddle, but I think it might actually make it into the rotation for regular rec games.

I'm more of a hybrid shape player, and this one is elongated, so I do take that into account when I score the sections below so it doesn't lose any points just because I'm personally more of a fan of a different shape.

That said, for this one to make it into my rec game rotation while being elongated should tell you a lot about it. 

You'll learn below that I'm really considering this one a Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None - though I guess you could just consider it an All Court Paddle (as opposed to control or power oriented) - and I said the same thing about the Vatic Pro Alchemy, except that one is not in my rec game rotation.

But, before I give too much away and ramble on, let's get into the full review, section by section.

Have you played with the Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 yet? What are your thoughts? Have you played with the original Viva Pro?

Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Paddle Specs

PRICE: $129 ($109 with code TheSlice)


MATERIALS: Raw TORAY T700 Carbon Fiber with Polypropylene Honeycomb Core

SHAPE: Elongated



WEIGHT: 7.8-8.3 oz (Mine was 8.2)

LENGTH: 16.4 in

WIDTH: 7.4 in

GRIP LENGTH: 5.5 in (Actually close to 6")


WARRANTY: Lifetime

Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Review - 

Brief Introduction and Discussion

I already made mention to the fact that the Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 is both thermoformed with unibody tech through the handle, so you're getting some power and control, and you're also getting the raw T700 carbon fiber face as well, so you can expect the great spin potential.

While the Viva Pro was available at 14MM and 16MM the Viva Pro Gen2 comes in strictly at 16MM (at least for now), but it still has great power (which can be expected with the thermoforming).

Surprisingly, though, this one also has a softer touch than a lot of the other paddles that I've played with that are thermoformed, especially while being elongated, and has less pop and power as well - which is why I said it leans more towards an All Court Paddle than a power or control paddle.

I'll discuss this more below during the control and feel section, but I do want to make a specific note that they list this one with a grip length of 5'5", but when compared to my other 5.5" handles this one is definitely longer, and it feels closer to 6".

I added a picture below of the Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 paddle next to my Six Zero Double Black Diamond that comes in at 5'5".

Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Review Score Chart

Control 82/100
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Control 95/100
Power 85/100
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Control 95/100
Spin Potential 90/100
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Control 95/100
Personal Opinion 87/100
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Control 95/100
Price Point 100/100
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Control 95/100

Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Review - 

Control and Feel Review: 82/100

I was actually super surprised by how much control this paddle has.

I thought I was going to be hitting with an elongated, thermoformed super poppy paddle that was going to struggle with control and perform really well with power.

While I thought I'd be ranking in a paddle up there with CRBN 1X for power, the opposite was almost true as this one comes in with a significant amount of power (which you can expect from a thermoformed paddle), but doesn't have too much pop and power.

The ball isn't flying off this paddle, but you can still generate plenty of drive power, especially with it being elongated - and you have plenty of power to put the ball away at the net when needed as well.

I didn't feel any issues with missing the sweet spot on this one, which is also nice, and it was a fairly easy transition coming over from my other paddles - even being a player who generally leans towards a hybrid shape.

With all that said, though, it still isn't going to feel as soft and forgiving as the Double Black Diamond or a paddle like The Vatic Pro Prism Flash that are getting higher scores in this category.

The other thing I do want to touch on is the fact that the handle length definitely feels longer. I know companies measure their grip length differently and some come in longer or shorter than what is listed (for example, I know Chris Olson at Pickleball Studio mentioned his Alchemy having a bit of a longer grip than what was listed as well), so that could make it to the pro column or the con column depending on if you prefer a 5.5 or closer to 5.75-6 inches.

Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Review - Handle Length

Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Review - 

Power Review: 85/100

Next up as we make our way through our categories for our Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 paddle review is our discussion about the power.

We know right off the bat that this one is going to have decent power considering the fact that it is thermoformed.

That said, this doesn't have as much pop and/or power as paddles like the CRBN 1X, Selkirk Power Air, Vatic Pro Flash or other paddles that came in within that super high power category that trades power for control. Just below that, with other thermoformed paddles like the Ronbus R1 Pulsar or Double Black Diamond you have some power with what feels like less trade off for control. The Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 power feels just below that power that can be generated, but really, really close to that level.

I would say that second tier that I mention, Double Black Diamond and Ronbus R1 Pulsar, are still power paddles that lean towards a bit more forgiving control than the super power paddles, where-as this Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 leans more towards an all court paddle - or as I sometimes put it: a Jack of All Trades.

So to finish off: you're definitely have plenty of put-away power and power potential for your drives with this one, but you aren't going to be trading off much control with this one leaning towards an all around feel.

Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Pros And Cons

The Pros

Incredible Price for a Gen2 Paddle

Great Control and Feel

Long Handle (Says 5.5", but mine came in longer, closer to 6")

Good Power When Needed

Jack Of All Trades (All Court Paddle)

Lifetime Warranty

The Cons

Handle Comes In Longer Than Expected (Could be good or bad, depends on you)

Master Of None (Jack Of All Trades)

Viva Pro had some delamination issues (only time will tell if these were fully fixed)

Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Review - 

Spin Potential Review: 90/100

The spin potential on this paddle is quite high. Close to what I'd consider very high - especially for what you'd need at any level to feel like you're putting a significant amount of spin on the ball.

While it isn't the new king of spin, it does come in a slight level above some of the other categories because you can really tell the carbon fiber is pulled tight and the mix of that and the elongated variation (which sometimes can add a significant amount of RPM above the hybrid or wide body) that you can do what you'd like with the spin.

I had no problem adding slice and spin with my shots, which was a nice added touch to add in to the all court feel of this one.

If you're a player who likes an elongated paddle with a long grip, significant power and control, and want to only spend $110 or so while still being able to add as much spin as some of the ebst of them, then this paddle is definitely a no brainer.

Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Review - 

Aesthetic and Personal Opinion: 87/100

As I mention each review: I'm a big fan of a minimalistic paddle aesthetic, with the option to be able to add some lead tape and overgrip with color if I want it to have some flair to it.

This one falls right into that category.

While they do have a gray grip and edgeguard, you still can easily throw on the edge tape and overgrip (I always overgrip my paddles as soon as I get them anyways) and have the same effect as you would for a paddle that stuck to the black color.

In terms of my own personal opinion of this one, I actually really enjoy the playstyle.

While I also considered the Alchemy a Jack of All Trades, master of none (leaning towards all court); it really didn't do anything that made it stand above any other paddles, especially with it being elongated and me gravitating towards hybrid shape.

Factor in some of the things I'll make more mention to below (like price and warranty) and I really feel like this is a no brainer if it fits your style of play and preferences.

Even as someone who prefers hybrid I'll be still be adding it to my regular rec play rotation.

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Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Review - 

Everything Else: 100/100

I feel like we did a pretty good job touching all the bases for this review, but there are a few things I always like to bring up in the "Everything Else" category, starting with price.

The Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 comes in at $129 $106 with code "THESLICE" making it one of the most inexpensive thermoformed paddles on the market.

The price category obviously comes in as a super plus, and something you likely won't be able to beat, which is one of the reasons for the super high score here.

The second reason for the super high score here is the fact that Hudef offers a lifetime warranty.

A lot of these other brands are offering three months, but we generally don't see lifetime warranties from any other company other than Selkirk, who has prices reaching $330.

I have personally never had to use a Hudef warranty, so I'm not sure how easy it is to work with them on it, but the fact that it exists is already a check in the plus category.

The only reason this one doesn't get a 10/10 here is because they did have some delamination issues with the Hudef Viva Pro paddle, and I can't yet say for 100% certainty that they are completely fixed moving into the Gen2 version.

Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Review - 

Closing Thoughts

A score of 45/50 is actually pretty dang good. 

In comparison, we have had the Double Black Diamond and Ronbus R1 Pulsar come in 3 points higher, and those are my two competitive paddle choices that I personally play with on a regular basis.

Then you have paddles like Diadem Warrior V2, CRBN Control Series and Selkirk Power Air at a range of 36-40 - so this one comes in easily beating those out.

Who should by the Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 paddle?

If you're someone who is looking for al All Court Paddle - one that doesn't necessarily come in as a Power Paddle or a Control Paddle, but has pretty good numbers in each category, while also putting out a significant amount of spin and beats almost the entire competition in terms of price, then you're likely going to want to grab this paddle and give it a shot.

The only other things that would be there to factor in would be the fact that it has a longer handle and an elongated shape, so those are two more things to consider when deciding if it is for you or not.

Hudef Viva Pro Gen2 Review

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