GAMMA Obsidian Pickleball Paddle Review

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GAMMA Obsidian Pickleball Paddle
GAMMA Obsidian Pickleball Paddle
$159.99 $99.99

Players that love to control the court and a sleeker paddle head design will feel right at home with the GAMMA Obsidian Pickleball Paddle. The thin profile allows you to have a generous sweet spot.

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03/06/2024 01:24 pm GMT

So, we took the GAMMA Obsidian Pickleball Paddle out for a spin—quite literally. Straight off the bat, we noticed that the paddle felt exceptionally light in hand, which is great for quick volleys and sneaky drop shots. Its tapered edges aren’t just for show; we could reduce drag and noticeably increase our swing speed, which is a serious gamechanger.

Playing with it, we got the hang of those top- and back-spin shots, thanks to the raw carbon surface that grips the ball just right. For players who are all about that sweet spot, the Thin 16mm NeuCore is generous. And if you’re someone who likes a paddle that’s easy to maneuver, the smaller grip circumference is a real wrist saver.

Bottom Line

The GAMMA Obsidian 16 is a solid all-around performer for pickleball enthusiasts of any level.With its sleek design, lightweight build, and spin-friendly surface, it’s easy to see why many would find it hard to put down.Ready to step up your game? Click here to grab the GAMMA Obsidian Pickleball Paddle 16 and own the court!

Overview of the GAMMA Obsidian Pickleball Paddle

The GAMMA Obsidian paddle is a true court marvel. Its tapered edges cut air for faster swings, while the carbon surface amps up spin. It’s got a massive sweet spot thanks to the thin NeuCore, making every hit feel like striking gold. The grip? It’s like it’s made for our hands, perfect for quick, playful volleys.

Light and nimble, the Obsidian makes moving around the court a breeze. It strikes a superb balance between lightness and control, offering great reach and block ability, making us feel like court royalty.

Yet, opinions vary. Seasoned players may love it, but some find it too light, lacking that heavy ‘thunk’ during play. But that’s pickleball – it’s all about finding your perfect match!

Tapered Edges Reduce Drag

We’ve really put the GAMMA Obsidian Paddle to the test, and it’s a standout for its speed and spin. The tapered edges aren’t just stylish; they actually reduce air resistance, making your swings faster and more efficient. Imagine effortlessly slicing through air – that’s the experience with this paddle.

The tapered edges also contribute to the paddle’s exceptional spin capabilities. Combined with its raw carbon surface, the ball seems to whirl with extra spin, giving your game a noticeable upgrade.

However, if you’re accustomed to lightweight paddles, the difference in drag might not be as striking. But for players aiming to boost their speed and spin, these edges offer a significant, though subtle, edge in performance.

Raw Carbon Surface for Spin

Testing the GAMMA Obsidian Paddle, its raw carbon surface stood out, enhancing spin dramatically. Our slices were sharper, and backspins left opponents puzzled.

But, this surface can be tricky for new users, with shots veering unexpectedly. However, once mastered, the control and spin are impressive.

The feel of the ball on the carbon surface is crisp, giving that sought-after ‘pop’. Remember, while the paddle boosts spin, precision depends on the player. It’s not magic, but practice makes it feel almost like it.

NeuCore Tech for Sweet Spot

NeuCore offers a large sweet spot, forgiving those slight misses more than other paddles. This feature is great for both beginners and pros.

Unlike heavier paddles, the Obsidian is easy to handle, allowing quick grip changes mid-game. Plus, its raw carbon surface enhances spin, effortlessly making the ball dance to your tune.

While it might be too light for those who prefer heavier paddles, its balance of control and reach is excellent. Whether playing doubles or singles, it offers great reach, control, and a sweet spot, making you feel in command of the court.

Ergonomic Handle for Superior Control

The GAMMA Obsidian Paddle impresses with its ergonomic handle. GAMMA’s design, featuring a 5-1/2″ long handle and a 4-1/8″ grip circumference, ensures comfort and fluid position switching, crucial for transitioning from power shots to soft dinks.

While the smaller grip may not suit everyone, it allows for quick maneuvers and precise control. The paddle feels like an extension of your arm, whether you’re at the baseline or the net.

For those with larger hands, the grip might feel small, but it’s perfect for medium to small hands. This paddle excels in allowing on-the-fly grip changes, providing reach and control without losing speed or power.

Expanded Reach for Court Dominance

Using the GAMMA Obsidian revealed its standout design features in our play. Its tapered edges reduced drag, boosting the speed of serves and volleys. The slender build offered extra reach, ideal for wide shots and quick returns. The raw carbon surface of the paddle significantly enhanced spin, often leaving opponents puzzled.

The extended handle was great for quick grip changes during fast net play. Although its lighter weight took some getting used to, it eventually felt like an extension of our arms, perfect for players who value finesse and control. However, those who prefer a heavier strike might not find it as appealing. Overall, our group mostly appreciated its handling and coverage on the court.


  • Weight: 8 oz.
  • Paddle surface material: Raw Carbon
  • Paddle core material: SensaCore Polypropylene
  • Core thickness: 13mm
  • Grip size: 4 1/8″
  • Handle length: 5 3/4″
  • Paddle length: 16 3/8″
  • Paddle width: 7 3/8″



  • The standout feature for us was the tapered edges, which seriously cut down on drag and gave a sensation of a much faster swing speed.
  • Generous sweet spot, making shots feel solid and well-controlled.
  • With a 5-1/2″ handle length, we could effortlessly cover more ground and manage the court effectively.


  • It’s marketed for its massive spin capabilities, but that means you’ll need the skill to utilize it.
  • It’s not one-size-fits-all, and the Obsidian seems to favor those with a longer reach.
  • If you’re used to a heavier paddle, this featherlight paddle might not sit right with you initially.

Customer Reviews

We’ve been swinging the GAMMA Obsidian around the courts and gathered what the community thinks about this paddle. Averaging a stellar 4.7-star rating from 41 ratings, fellow players are largely impressed. The Obsidian 16 isn’t just a good-looker; it fits beautifully in the hand and adds killer spin to your shots. People coming from racket sports find its elongated design familiar and the light 7.4-7.5 ounce weight a real arm-saver during those intense games.

Those more advanced in their pickleball journey appreciate the grip and control, offering that little edge in gameplay. While the paddle packs a punch for seasoned players, there’s an outlier or two who aren’t as keen, finding it perhaps too light for their taste. We get it—personal preference plays a big role here.

In our hands-on sessions, we’ve noticed that the extended handle size is particularly friendly for those with larger hands, and the paddle’s construction screams quality which is what we’ve come to expect from GAMMA. Sure, it might not turn everyone into a pro overnight, but it definitely helps us feel like one, and at the end of the day, having fun is what pickleball is all about.

Bottom Line

After some back-and-forth games, we can confidently say that the Obsidian 16 paddle from GAMMA is a serious game-changer. The lightweight design is a joy for those of us accustomed to heavier models, and it makes playing an extended session a breeze without the arm fatigue. Although one of us initially doubted how light it felt, we’ve come to appreciate the quick maneuverability it allows.

The overall consensus? If you’re looking for a paddle that’s on the lighter side and supports a spin-heavy playing style, the Obsidian 16 might just be your match. It’s a hit for some of us and a miss for others, but undoubtedly, it’s a quality piece that reflects GAMMA’s reputable craftsmanship.


How does the GAMMA Obsidian’s performance compare to other GAMMA pickleball paddles?

Our experience tells us that the Obsidian holds its own against its GAMMA siblings. Its unique tapered edges and raw carbon surface give the paddle a noticeably quick swing and hefty spin potential, in contrast to some of the more traditional models that focus on control or power. While each paddle serves its purpose, the Obsidian’s spin-friendly play might just tip the scales in its favor for those spin enthusiasts out there.

What are the defining features of GAMMA’s Shard NeuCore technology, and how does it impact play?

Shard NeuCore tech is all about giving players a generous sweet spot while maintaining a solid feel on impact. When we took it to the court, the difference was palpable. Those off-center hits seemed less punishing, and the reduced weight didn’t mean sacrificing power. It’s a balancing act, really, and GAMMA seems to have nailed it, making the paddle suitable for a variety of play styles.

Can you give a rundown on the differences between GAMMA Obsidian 13 and GAMMA Obsidian 16 paddle models?

For us, the biggest differences lie in the details. The Obsidian 13 is slightly shorter and may offer a bit more control, while the Obsidian 16 boasts a longer reach and that leaner 16mm NeuCore for more spin. It’s a matter of preference, but if you fancy an extensive reach and are all about adding spin to your game, the 16 would be the go-to between the two.

Where does GAMMA manufacture their pickleball paddles, and what does this mean for quality?

GAMMA crafts their paddles in America, and from our experience, this tends to be a signpost of quality. With stringent manufacturing standards and a close check on the production process, you can expect a consistent playing experience paddle after paddle.

What are pickleball players saying about the GAMMA Obsidian Pickleball Paddle in their reviews?

Gleaning through the reviews, the consensus is largely positive. Players highlight its lightweight feel, spin capabilities, and versatility. Sure, there’s an occasional naysayer who might not fancy the lightness, but on the whole, it’s become a trusty companion for many a pickleball player, from the casual to the competitive.

Are GAMMA’s pickleball paddles including the Quest model approved by the USAPA for tournament play?

Absolutely, they’re on the list. If you’re looking to step up your game to tournament level, you won’t be turned away at the doors. Both the Obsidian and Quest models adhere to USAPA standards, so you can serve, spin, and smash with confidence in any official match.

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Ken Kochman is the founder and chief editor at His aim? Very simple. Cut through all the hype and misleading advertisements so you can make the best decision for your pickleball needs based on your level of play.