Ronbus R1 Nova Pickleball Paddle Review [Power, Control, Spin, Specs]

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Ronbus R1 Nova Pickleball Paddle Review

The Ronbus R1 Pulsar is one of my personal favorite paddles, so I was extremely eager to get my hands on the Ronbus R1 Nova.

This paddle review is actually going to be slightly different than the older reviews in my pickleball paddle reviews, so if you go back and compare it to the Ronbus R1 Pulsar Paddle Review you will notice the changes - but there are just so many new paddles coming out constantly - with innovative tech, so I knew I had to switch it up with a larger score range and it gave me a chance to make some other fun adjustments that will hopefully make these reviews even better.

That said, the Ronbus R1 Nova is Ronbus' new Gen THREE technology, and one of the big parts of this review is going to be the discussion of how they are bringing new patent pending tech to the sport (under Spec Discussion and Overview).

I'm definitely a hybrid shape paddle player and prefer my thermoformed paddles (they have more pop and durability), so this paddle is right in my sweet spot.

The goal of this paddle's new technology (which we'll talk more about below) is to not only help with core crushing that is unfortunately common with Gen 2 thermoforming, but also to find the sweet spot between the power and pop of a thermoformed paddles and the control of a non thermoformed paddle (think of a mix between the Ronbus Pulsar and Ronbus R Series).

Well discuss more about this throughout the review, and I'll break down some more comparisons in my closing thoughts.

Have you personally played with any Ronbus paddles? Which is your favorite?

Ronbus R1 Nova Paddle Specs

PRICE: $180 ($160 with code RCSlice)


MATERIALS: Raw TORAY T700 Carbon Fiber with Polypropylene Honeycomb Core

SHAPE: Hybrid

THERMOFORMED: Yes (But Not Gen2)


WEIGHT: 7.8 (+or- .2)

LENGTH: 16.5 in

WIDTH: 7.5 in



WARRANTY: 6 months

Ronbus R1 Nova Review -

Spec Discussion & Overview:

To start off we'll make our way through the stats of this paddle and then we'll get into the good stuff: the fact that this one is Gen 3 technology! The first ever Gen 3 paddle.

This one is only available in 16MM, which is fine by me being that it's what I prefer, and comes in with a 5.5 inch handle, hybrid shape, and six month warranty from Ronbus.

The awesome part about this paddles new technology is that it actually leans more towards a control paddle, but retains a decent amount of power from the fact that they're using a new way of thermoforming (especially when you weight it up with some lead).

But now for the good stuff:

What is a Gen 3 Paddle!?

The Gen 3 Thermoforming is a patent pending technology from Ronbus that has air permeable edge grid that enables internal pressure to be released during thermoforming. The edge grip provides both support and flexibility, giving the Nova power to rival a Gen 2 thermoformed paddles, but with far greater control.

The Gen 2 thermoformed paddles also had a structural flaw known as delamination (or core crushing), which occurred because the internal pressure was trapped inside the paddle during the thermoforming process.

The new air permeable grid is not put in place to be able to allow the internal pressure to be released (as mentioned), and therefore alleviate the core crushing that occurs with Gen 2 paddles.

This is all good and great, but it will still really come down to your personal preference, as you'll see as we get deeper into the review.

Ronbus R1 Nova Review Score Chart

Control 93/100
Current Progress
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Control 95/100
Power 87/100
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Control 95/100
Spin 90/100
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Control 95/100
My Opinion 91/100
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Control 95/100
Price 87/100
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Control 95/100

Ronbus R1 Nova Review -

Control Review:

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first heard about the Ronbus Nova Series, but I was actually super surprised when I hit with it and quickly learned that it actually leans more towards a control paddle than it does a power paddle.

I knew were were moving into Gen 3 while trying to keep the power of the Ronbus R1 Pulsar and using new thermoforming tech, so I automatically assumed it was going to have similar power and pop.

Instead, I hit it and realized it feels like an in-between of the Ronbus Pulsar and the Ronbus R-Series (thermoformed and no thermoformed) - which is exactly what Ronbus was shooting for (though I do think they'd prefer it had a bit more power).

We'll move into the power section next, but overall I think this one leans more towards control, especially as someone who comes from preferring thermoformed paddles like the Pulsar, Double Black Diamond, Mach 1 Forza and more.

It still has a super solid feel to it all around the entirety of the paddle and almost feels like it hugs the paddle while keeping the firmness, you just won't have nearly as much pop (springboard off the paddle at the net) or power (on your drives and put aways).

Ronbus R1 Nova Review -

Power Review:

Next up, as promised, is the power of the Ronbus R1 Nova.

As I mentioned in the control section, I was originally thinking that I would be getting a bunch of power like I'm used to with other thermoformed paddles, especially with Ronbus stating the goal is for it to have similar power to the Pulsar, while keeping the control of the R-Series.

I think that it succeeded in being in between both of them, but definitely not as much power as the Pulsar or any of the other thermoformed paddles that I'm used to hitting with.

You can definitely add some lead tape to this one and make it feel a bit more powerful, but even then you're not going to feel like you're hitting with any of the other paddles I've compared to it in the Gen2 paddle category.

That said, if you're a fan of the R-Series or a paddle like the Vatic Pro Prism Flash, then this might be a great option for you, because this one has the 5.5" handle while being super firm and forgiving, and great control.

I'll make even more of that comparison down below in my closing section, but if you're looking for a paddle that hits like an absolute truck because you lack power, then this one likely isn't for you.

I'd rank some of the power in paddles I've hit with like this: CRBN 1X and Prokennex Black Ace at the high tier, Vatic Pro Flash a bit above but right near other Gen2 paddles like Ronbus Pulsar and Double Black Diamond coming in below the high tier, and then other non Gen2 paddles being more control oriented like the R-Series, Prism series and others - with this one right in the middle (leaning towards the Gen2 that are below the high tier, but not quite there).

So Ronbus accomplished the goal they were shooting for, and are not far off the Gen2 power, but not quite there.

Ronbus R1 Nova Pros And Cons

The Pros

Gen3 Technology

Incredible Power

Great Control and Feel

Keeps Power Without Trading Control

Decent Spin Potential

The Cons

Spin is Slightly Lower Than Some of the Very Top Paddles on the Market (Still PLENTY of Spin for Any Player)

Not as much Power as a Typical Gen2 Thermoformed Paddle

Ronbus R1 Nova Review -

Spin Review:

Next up on our review is the spin for the Ronbus R1 Nova.

If you're a fan of Ronbus you know that they have some insane spin, coming in at the top of most RPM charts from paddle reviewers, including Chris Olson from Pickleball Studio.

That said, the Ronbus Nova doesn't quite come in that high.

It still comes in with some great spin, generally reaching around 1800-1850 RPMs depending on the reviewer (Chris Olson has his listed at 1805 which puts it about 30+ paddles down the list), but definitely not in that top tier that we're used to seeing from our other Ronbus paddles.

For essentially every player out there the 1800+ RPMs is going to be more than enough to do what you want with the ball, but if you're someone looking for the king of spin, then you're going to want to take a pass on this one.

I still felt great with my topspin serve, sending some returns with slice and adding any spin I wanted, when I wanted it.

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Ronbus R1 Nova Review -

Price & Personal Opinion:

I personally love this paddle because it's one that I can grab when I want more control. I love my Pulsar, Double Black Diamond and Mach 1 Forza because I think they have a little less pop than paddles like the CRBN 1X and Legacy Pro that trade too much control, and this paddle comes in adding another layer for me to grab a control paddle with significant power.

The Ronbus R1 Nova comes in at $180 $160 with code "RCSLICE" making it extremely affordable, but not quite the cheapest paddle in the control category with good power and great spin.

There are other paddles out there like Ronbus' own R-Series, Vatic Pro's Prism Series and even Hudef that have paddles that can compare at less than $100.

So, this one is really going to come down to your preference, which I'll discuss more about below - but for me I'm having a ton of fun adding it into my rec games.

I'm still not sure if this will become my main paddle, but it's definitely in my main rotation.

Ronbus R1 Nova Review -

Closing Thoughts:

Hopefully by now you know what you're getting with the new Ronbus Nova Series, but if not, I'll do my best to add some more comparisons and breakdowns for you.

First off, you need to remember that the big selling point of the Ronbus Nova is the fact that Ronbus is using it's new patent pending Gen3 technology that allows it to get rid of core crushing that happens with Gen2 paddles while keeping most of the power (not quite all of the power) of Gen2 paddles, while also adding the control that Gen2 paddles tend to lose by being so powerful and poppy.

So, now you're wondering: well, why would I personally buy it? What would make me want to choose the Nova.

Well, I'm glad you asked...

Who should by the Ronbus R1 Nova paddle?

Here are some reasons why you would choose the Ronbus Nova:

  1. You are someone who liked Gen2 paddles but you had a handful delaminate and now you don't want to spend the money on them and don't mind losing a little power to get the new Gen3 method that should save you from core crushing.
  2. You are someone who really liked the power of Gen2 paddles like the Ronbus Pulsar, Double Black Diamond, Mach 1 Forza and others, but would like more control, even if it means losing just a slight amount of power to get it.
  3. You are someone who prefers paddles like Vatic Pro Prism Flash, Ronbus R-Series, or other great control paddles with good spin, but would love to be able to have a bit more power behind your put aways.

If this doesn't sound like something you'd love, then the Nova probably isn't for you.

Like I said above, I'm loving the Ronbus Nova and it is definitely in my main paddle rotation that I play competitive rec games with and adds a new layer to being able to pick up a more control oriented paddle without sacrificing a lot of put away and drive pop and power.

Ronbus R1 Nova Pickleball Paddle Review

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Owner and Creator of The Slice Pickleball and Superhero Jacked
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