An Exciting New Paddle

By Matthew Schwartz

July 8, 2024


Hudef Sport released a new paddle today that I’m excited about. It’s the Mage Pro Gen2, a different version of the popular and excellent Mage Pro. I’ve been playing with the Mage Pro Gen2 for a week and love everything about it. It has fantastic power, pop, spin and control.

The Mage Pro Gen2 has a hybrid shape and its surface is made of 50 percent DuPont Kevlar and 50 percent Toray T700 carbon fiber. The result is a great looking paddle with pop, but not too much. I would know because as a 3.5 player, I usually hit many pop ups, but playing with the Mage Pro Gen2 I’ve reduced them dramatically. Even a couple of opponents noticed before asking which paddle I was using.

The Mage Pro Gen2 will come in both a 14mm core thickness and a 16mm. Hudef tells me that the swing weight for the 14mm is 111 and the 16mm has a swing weight of 114. Those are in the low range.

In my opinion the Mage Pro Gen2 is even better than the Mage Pro. And the Mage Pro received high praise. The paddle reviewer Farmer Lanky said it has “crazy, phenomenal spin.” He added that during a game when he was using the Mage Pro, “I hit a slice that was [going] way out and it hit right on the line, surprising literally everybody. You’re gonna get crazy good spin with this paddle, that’s for sure.”

I have found the spin on the Mage Pro Gen2 to also be crazy good. And here’s what I think is crazier: the price is only $119 if you use my discount code of MS30. The regular price is $169.99.

The Mage Pro Gen2 went on sale at 6 a.m. Eastern Time at


My thoughts of the week, not all pickleball

- During my 40 years in the news business there were always two stories to report every July 5th: Dog shelters were packed with pups who got spooked by fireworks and ran away, and some yahoo blew off a finger (or three) setting off fireworks. Once again on this past July 5th, I read about the same two things happening. When will people learn?

-I’ve always found one-hit wonders in the music industry interesting, that a band can write a phenomenal, even classic hit but can’t come up with any more. It shows how difficult it is to write one great song. A few of my favorite songs from the long list of one-hit wonders include 96 Tears by a group called “? Mark and the Mysterians.” As oldies fans know, the name was said as “Question Mark and the Mysterians” and its lead singer said he was from Mars; Spirit in the Sky, released in 1969 by Norman Greenbaum, reportedly made him wealthy to this day because the song is still used periodically in films and television commercials; and Dexy’s Midnight Runners, a one-hit wonder with Come on Eileen in 1982. There are countless more bands and solo artists who were one-hit wonders.

Makes one appreciate even more the prolificacy of Dylan, Lennon and McCartney, Chuck Berry, Smokey Robinson, Carole King and Brian Wilson, to name a few.

-I don’t like and don’t know why many website articles omit the date it was written. That’s not user friendly, especially when the reader is searching for the most up to date information. Put it at the top near the writer’s byline. Well-managed websites always include the date the piece was originally posted and also updated.

-So I’m playing rec pickleball the other day and serving with the score at 10-10-2. I thought my serve hit the center line before it rolled straight down the middle and off the court. The receiving opponent calls it out. Her partner says, “I think it was in.” The woman who called it out then says, “I thought it was out and I don’t call balls out unless I’m 100 percent sure.” I nicely say, “If you disagree, then it’s in.”  The woman repeats her claim that she doesn’t call balls out unless she’s “100 percent sure.” She’s adamant, so I say nothing else, she gets serve and her team goes on to beat mine, 12-10. I know it’s only rec play, only a game, blah, blah, blah, but still, if I was on the other side and my partner and I disagreed on a call I’d abide by the rules and the serve would be in. I just believe that even in friendly rec play it’s okay to go by the rules but I’m not always strict about it. Earlier in that match the woman stopped an errant serve of mine with her hand while standing in the up position by the kitchen. Technically that should’ve been my team’s point, but my partner and I said nothing. That was in the back of my mind when the disputed serve call arose.

Of course, if I had played better and my team won, I wouldn’t be mentioning this.

What do you think? How would you have handled the disputed call on my serve? Am I being a whiner and off-base here? Email me at and I’ll include some of your comments in next week’s blog.

-The city of Asheville, NC, still has not replaced the portable pickleball nets it removed from all of its courts on May 24th without notification. Players have to bring their own nets or rent one from the city for up to a week. Asheville, population 95,000, has no dedicated public pickleball courts. Not one. All public pickleball courts are also lined for tennis.

If you love pickleball (and since you’re here you probably do), and even if you don’t live in or near Asheville, I suggest you call its parks and recreation department and tell them how you feel. The number is 828-259-5800. Email: 

Asheville’s recently released master plan includes building eight pickleball courts…by 2035.

 The many researchers who rank Asheville among the best places to retire must not play pickleball.

Congratulations to Kolby Bixler for being the first person to email Hudef with the correct answer to last week’s contest question. The Mobile, Alabama, resident won a Hudef Viva Pro Gen3 paddle, which costs $169.99. Kolby knew the name of the reviewer who said in his review of the Viva Pro Gen3 that the paddle “hits like a truck.” The answer: Dustin Fowkes, who runs the Pickleball Medicine channel on YouTube. My first blog of every month includes the contest question with the first person to correctly answer via email winning a Hudef paddle. 

Again, if you buy the Mage Pro Gen2 or the Viva Pro Gen3, use my discount code, MS30, to knock the price of each paddle down to $119.