My Cart

Yonex EZONE and VCORE Pickleball Paddles Review

Yonex pickleball is here! We all know about the legendary Japanese brand's fantastic tennis rackets, but how do their new pickleball paddles stack up to the rest of the industry's?

Yonex EZONE and VCORE Pickleball Paddles Review Featured Image

Yonex tennis rackets are incredible. They are unique in shape, design, and playability, and the craftsmanship behind each racket is top-tier. Yonex rackets are still made in Japan, which adds to the brand's credibility, and has helped them foster a fervent following over the years.

Yonex has finally decided to enter pickleball. It may have taken some time, but like with their tennis rackets, they have cut no corners with their paddles. These paddles are also made in Japan, ensuring that the craftsmanship will be up to par with what we've expected from their tennis rackets. It also means that these paddles will compete in terms of quality with what many of these "made in the USA" brands offer.

While some brands can get caught up with copying and pasting what is successful at that time, Yonex always stays true to its philosophy of doing what they think is best. They've come into pickleball with two different paddles.

The Ezone is more on the standard side of things, with its rectangular shape and 15.8-inch length. It's similar to many pickleball's standard-length paddles, but the Vcore is where things get interesting. The Vcore still has the same 15-millimetre core thickness, 15.8-inch length, and same width as the Ezone, but it has an oval head shape that makes it play much differently from the Ezone and most other paddles that I've tried.

Another unique feature of these Yonex paddles is the use of both carbon and fibreglass in the top sheet. Most paddles use one or the other, but mixing the two materials gives these paddles a unique feel I came to appreciate during my playtest.



I tested the Midweight versions of both the Ezone and the Vcore, but if you prefer something a little lighter, the Lightweight options will be perfect.

I want to mention that, for now, these are the only two paddles on offer from Yonex. Like with most tennis brands making pickleball paddles, there is no extended-length option. I hope that in the future, we get something a little longer from Yonex (and from Babolat and Head) because extended paddles are awesome, and getting all the great playability from this design in a longer package would be very interesting to try.

Touch and Control

These two Yonex paddles feel unique, and that's part of why I enjoyed this playtest so much. 15 millimetres is neither thick nor thin, but they felt more on the plush side of things, with a solid amount of dwell time. The ball sank into the paddle bed and stayed there longer than I expected, which helped me control my touch and slower-paced shots well.

The feel is also interesting because it's so muted. That means the sweet spot isn't all that well-defined, but it's big and very forgiving. Even when I wasn't on top of my game, the ball would generally go where I wanted it to because that sweet spot was so forgiving. On other paddles with a smaller sweet spot, the response can be a little wild if you don't make perfect contact.

Both of these were excellent paddles for guiding touch shots, especially at the net, but between the Ezone and the Vcore, the Ezone was more forgiving and the Vcore more precise. That comes down to the different shapes; because the Vcore is an oval, it has less paddle surface in the head, naturally making the sweet spot smaller. If you want that more forgiving feel, go for the Ezone, but if you prefer the precision you get from paddles with less surface area, the Vcore is excellent.


Both these paddles were fantastic for spin production, which may surprise some of you once you touch the surface because it's one of the smoothest top sheets of any top-end paddle. This reinforces my theory that top-sheet grit is not the most important factor in determining a paddle's spin potential, instead, it's how the top sheet is laid up to interact with the ball.

This is where that combination of graphite and fibreglass comes into play. Fibreglass is more bouncy and responsive, while carbon is softer and pockets the ball for longer. Combine that fibreglass' energy return with how carbon holds onto the ball, and you get a ton of energy return in the form of spin when it shoots out of the paddle bed.

What's great about having such good spin from paddles with smooth top sheets is that that spin will remain consistent throughout the paddle's lifespan. Because there isn't much grit to start with, there's no grit to lose, so the paddle won't play much differently from the first day to the last.

The Vcore is more spin-friendly than the Ezone. That's because it's significantly quicker through the air due to that oval design. You whip it through contact faster on groundstrokes, so the ball naturally has more spin. The Ezone is more geared toward flat hitting. Paddles that are stout like this almost feel like they catch too much air when you're trying to hit spin shots.


Being faster through the air also means the Vcore is a more manoeuvrable paddle. Still, because both paddles are standard length, they are fantastic for manoeuvrability and quick at the net. I don't usually play with these shorter paddles because I prefer extended ones, but they are quick to use and so easy to react with when points get quick around the kitchen.


Because the Vcore and the Ezone are shorter paddles, they won't provide as much leverage for power as extended paddles. That's part of why I want Yonex to release an extended option. Yonex, if you're listening, go ahead and call it the Vcore Pro; you've been so creative with these names up until now you might as well keep going.

Compared to other 15-millimetre standard-length paddles, they are slightly less powerful. It goes back to what I said earlier about the longer dwell time; because the ball spends more time in the sweet spot, it loses more energy before it releases, making your shot more controlled but less powerful. I added some lead tape around the head to boost the swing weight, and I liked the little extra pop that gave me. Also, I only sacrificed a little hand speed because they are so maneuverable.

Interestingly, the Vcore was more powerful than the Ezone. Having that bigger sweet spot on the Ezone makes it feel more mushy, giving it less pop than the Vcore.

Who are they for?

These two Yonex paddles are a must-try for any avid pickleball fan who wants to try something unique and prefers shorter paddles to extended ones. Pickleball is awesome because there's always something new and different to try. Right now, the trend is toward ultra spinny and powerful thermoformed paddles, but these Yonex paddles put touch and feel back as the main characters.

If you want something quick and soft for touch around the net but don't want to sacrifice good spin potential, these are perfect to give a go.


Final thoughts

We can't say enough good things about the Yonex brand, and we're so happy that they have finally made their way into pickleball. In classic Yonex fashion, they're doing their own thing, and that thing is really great. There's still room to grow as they carve a niche in this fast-growing industry, and my biggest suggestion would be to release an extended paddle very soon. Still, the Ezone and the Vcore are excellent paddles worth a demo while you search for the perfect paddle.

Please stop by the store to grab a couple demos, or you can check them out online.

Related Articles