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Spartus Pickleball Paddle Review: Ballista V2

Image of three Spartus Ballista V2 Pickleball Paddles

After nine months of dedicated research and development and two pending patents, the Spartus Ballista V2 emerges as an innovation crafted from scratch, focusing entirely on performance enhancement. This patent-pending paddle is hot-molded through a unique “thermoforming” process, boasting a unibody construction and a densely compacted cell core structure, a pioneering feature among 16mm paddles. 

The Ballista V2 doesn’t just promise speed; it delivers remarkable power alongside it. Internally, its design incorporates edge foam and weighted tape, extending the sweet spot to the paddle’s edges, significantly reducing mishits. Moreover, fortified with three layers of carbon fiber and an additional layer of fiberglass, the edges are reinforced, ensuring unparalleled strength and durability.

Spartus Ballista V2 pickleball paddle

Table of Contents

Review Summary

The Spartus Ballista V2 is one of my favorite paddles, especially against more formidable opponents. It is an incredibly fast paddle, especially given that it’s 16mm. I can dominate firefights with 4.0-4.5 players and hold my own against the occasional 5.0 player. It’s made the Simply Pickleball list of Best Paddles for Under $150

The Ballista V2 is very light and highly customizable with lead tape. The specs and review below are based on a stock paddle, but you can easily add power and increase the sweet spot with lead tape. 

It’s best suited for more advanced players and helps intermediate players level up their game. 

Are you interested in a power paddle better suited for beginners and intermediate players? Please read our review of the Spartus Gladius Centurion

Ballista V2 at a Glance

Spartus Ballista V2 Pickleball Paddle Logo

Control: A

Power: B

Spin: A-

Forgiveness: A

Value: A+

Spartus Ballista V2: Features

Josh Kim, founder of Spartus, has an engineering background and is also a patent attorney. When you dig into the construction of the Ballista V2, you’ll see that it’s no ordinary pickleball paddle. A few innovative design features include lead tape inside the perimeter and compact 6mm cells inside the honeycomb core. He has two patents pending for some of his innovative designs. 

Edge Foam & Weighted Tape

The foam edge, coupled with the weighted tape running the entire premier of the paddle, extends the sweet spot to the paddle’s edges, reducing the likelihood of mishits. 

It has a soft feel, ideal for executing resets, precise dinking, and effective blocks at the net. The paddle’s ability to absorb energy produces a velvety sensation upon ball contact, significantly enhancing reset shots. Playing defensively with this paddle feels almost instinctual due to its reliable performance in absorbing energy and facilitating a softer ball response.

Low Swingweight

Due to its edgeless construction and an aerodynamic throat hole, Spartus has been able to remove unnecessary weight. They relocated that additional weight to the perimeter via internal lead tape. While the static weight of the paddle is an average 7.9oz, the swingweight is 111, which is exceptionally light for a 16mm pickleball paddle. 

Durability

For the price, it’s incredible what Spartus could pack into the Ballista V2. Utilizing a patent-pending design, it is constructed using hot-molded thermoformed. It boasts a unibody design and a unique compacted cell core structure, a previously unseen feature in 16mm paddles.

The Ballista uses compact 6mm diameter cells vs. 8mm cells found in most other paddles in the compacted cell polypropylene honeycomb core. This helps increase the core weight and density to improve stability. 

Spartus Ballista V2: Paddle Specifications

  • Price: $159.99 (save 10% with SIMPLYPB)
  • Thickness: 16mm 
  • Length: 16.4″
  • Width: 7.5″
  • Grip Length: 5.4″
  • Grip Circumference: 4.125″
  • Weight: 7.9oz*
  • Swing Weight: 111*
  • Twist Weight: 5.51*
  • Spin: 1863**
  • Balance Point: +10*
  • Shape: Elongated
  • Thermoformed: Yes
  • Unibody: Yes
  • Foam Edge Walls: Yes
  • Face: Raw Carbon Fiber
  • Core: Polypropylene Honeycomb
  • USAP Approved: Yes

* Simply Pickleball test results.

* Pickleball Studio test results. 

Performance

With a swingweight of 111, the Spartus Ballista V2 is the fastest 16mm paddle on the market today. Everything about this paddle is designed for quick hands and speed up by the kitchen. 

Control: A

The Spartus Ballisa V2 excels as a control paddle – one of the best! Dinking, drops, and resets feel natural and effortless. The low swingweight makes speedups and hand volleys a breeze. This paddle was designed for fast-hand battles, and it did not disappoint. 

Power: B

Unsurprisingly, a stock Ballista V2 does not accel in the power category. That’s nearly impossible with a swingweight of 111. However, it is a highly customizable paddle because it is lightweight. 

I added an ounce of lead tape along the paddle’s throat and sides, increasing its weight from approximately 7.9oz to 8.9oz. Given the paddle’s stock weight, this increase in weight didn’t significantly impact its perceived heaviness. The paddle’s balance toward the handle made customization easy without tipping it into being excessively heavy. 

Following this alteration, I noticed improved power in my shots. While it didn’t transform into a power-driven paddle, there was a noticeable difference in drives, counter punches, and put-away shots.

Spin: A-

Whether it’s a drive, roll volley, roll dink, or slice, the spin feels solid and is one of the best features of the Ballista V2. I have it as an A- vs. an A because I haven’t played with it long enough to know how well the surface grit will hold up over time. 

Forgiveness (sweet spot): A

With a twistweight score of 5.51, the Ballista V2 falls close to the middle of the pack in terms of sweet spot. However, lead tape has been added to the entire premier, which helps enlarge the sweet spot. I added lead tape for additional power but not necessarily to increase the sweet spot. 

With the Ballista V2, I’ve found the off-center dinks near the edges and throat are forgiving. I can get away with mishits that I can’t with similar paddles. 

Value: A+

Compared to similar paddles, you can’t beat the price of the Ballista V2. 

In a recent interview with Simply Pickleball, Josh Kim explained how he can lower the cost of his paddles. He took the time to travel to China and evaluate pickleball paddle factories. After selecting several, he set up direct relationships, cutting out the intermediaries. 

This is a significant advantage over other low-cost paddle companies sourcing through a broker. Not only does he save the consumer money, but he builds his paddles with high-quality material.  

In addition, he promotes his paddles organically and doesn’t pay a fortune for pros to play his paddle. 

Our Interview with Spartus Founder Josh Kim

Spartus Ballista V2: Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Customizable with lead tape
  • Larger sweet spot compared to other edgeless paddles
  • Easy to swing, fast paddle 
  • Incredible value 
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • Not a power paddle 
  • Granule paint is prone to wear off quickly

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Spartus Ballista V2: Bottom Line

If I had to summarize this paddle in two words, it would be “controlled aggression.” The Spartus Ballista is a well-designed, unique pickleball paddle. If you’re transitioning from an intermediate to an advanced player, from banging to dropping, this paddle will help you elevate your game. 

It’s incredibly light for a 16mm paddle and contains a larger-than-average sweet spot. If you play in fast games against strong players, the Ballista V2 would be a great addition to your arsenal. Good luck on the courts, and happy dinking! 

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