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What's Coming to Rackets & Runners in 2024

Happy New Year, everybody! As we all know, 2023 was an epic year for all the gear at Rackets & Runners, but we've got a sneak peek into 2024, and it's looking even better....
What's Coming to Rackets & Runners in 2024 Featured Image


We don't know about everything coming to the store this year, but we know January will hit with a tidal wave of quality products. Let's start with tennis.


Asics Solution Speed FF3

The Solution Speed 3 is already out and has gone on a major diet. It's significantly lighter than the already light FF2, and time will tell whether the loss in weight is worth the slight drop-off in support and durability.

One thing is for sure: you will feel rapid around the court with this thing; during my playtest, I couldn't believe just how weightless they felt on my foot. They reminded me of the glorious F50 Adizero soccer shoe days if anybody knows what I'm talking about. In terms of weight compared to other tennis shoes, they are so much lower and could push the rest of the industry into developing lighter and lighter offerings.


2024 Head Speed MP

By the time you read this article, this racket will have already come out, and we may even have our full review up on YouTube.

The Speed MP is one of Head's most popular frames, and with good reason. In terms of all-around playability — spin, power, control, feel, and user-friendliness — it is nearly top-tier. Adding Auxetic in 2022 already made it significantly better than the 360+, and after an extensive playtest and considering how Auxetic 2.0 helped the Head Prestige Pro, the improvement may not be as stark, but it's certainly there.


2024 Babolat Pure Strike

We know Babolat takes its time to release rackets, but this wait was pretty excessive.

The last Strike came out in 2019, and while it was still a competitive racket, it was time for a change. The Strike is Babolat's least popular line, but it deserves more love than it gets. The 16x19 is a control racket at heart but has significantly more power than most of the other rackets in this category, and the 18x20 has more control but still packs a pretty big punch. This is a fantastic update that should make a big splash, even for players who haven't used this line before.



Wilson Blade 98 V9

If the Strike isn't the most popular control racket, the Wilson Blade certainly is, and it's not even close. We are getting a new one in January — the paint job is gorgeous — so get excited! There's a lot of good that can be said about the Blade (and what does need to be said, I will cover in the full review), but this is a modern control racket that everyone knows about, and everyone should seriously consider when it is time to change rackets. On the V9, they've livened up the feel and developed a more consistent mold, which is, unfortunately, just a fancy way of saying the quality control is better, but at least that's a good thing.

Those are the major January releases that will coincide with the Australian Open, but it won't stop there.

The Nike GP Turbo is currently on the chopping block, and it seems that the GP Challenge 1 will be significantly more supportive and reactive than the uber-soft Turbo. Then, we'll be getting a brand new Head Boom, and while I, and a minority of players, were huge fans of the original Boom (at least the Pro), I hope the improvements on the second version will make it more demo-friendly so that more people can quickly appreciate its excellent, unique playability.

Now it's time for the rumours.

It's been a while since we saw a new Pure Drive, and while the current one is still easily a top 5 racket, we may see a new one at the end of the year. There is also a lot of talk about a brand new Ezone. While I can't confirm this rumor, I am very excited because that would probably mean an Ezone without Vibration Dampening Mesh, which could push the racket to new heights.

There are bound to be many more rackets, shoes, and strings coming to the store in 2024, but those are the ones we know about and the rumours we hope come true. Now, let's switch it over to pickleball.


We can only hope that pickleball grows as quickly in 2024 as it did in 2023, but all signs are pointing to "yes," and that starts with these paddles.


Six Zero Ruby

You may call me a sensationalist, but the sport is growing so quickly that it's no exaggeration to say that "the most hyped paddle of all time" comes out every few months, and right now, that's the Ruby.

Six Zero's Double Black Diamond paved the way for a whole new type of paddle; not only was it thermoformed, but it also came in a unique hybrid shape that took the industry by storm. Take that, add Kevlar to the top sheet, and you have the Ruby.

Kevlar is a buzzword in the industry in large part due to the success of the Pickleball Apes Pro Line Energy S. All we hope is that the Ruby lives up to this hype, but we are sure that it will, and we will have our review up as soon as possible.

Bread & Butter Loco

Saying that the folks at Bread & Butter are great would be a massive understatement. It's probably over now, but they were giving a free bottle of Loco sauce (hot sauce) with each of the first 1,000 paddles they sold (direct on their site).

Of course, they came out with a fantastic paddle in the Filth that aligned itself with the best thermoformed power and spin paddles, and they're releasing the Loco to rival the duopoly held by the Double Black Diamond and Vatic Pro Flash. It, too, has a hybrid shape with a thermoformed, unibody construction and T700 Carbon Top Sheet. After initial tests, it is slightly softer than the Flash and DBD, which should help with control and take away a bit of power—still more power than the Prism line, though, because it's thermoformed.

SixZero Infinity

SixZero isn't stopping with the Ruby; they're also releasing the Infinity.

It doesn't have the same buzz but could be an even more ground-breaking paddle, considering the technology within it. Their Patent Pending Edge Technology is supposed to lay up the carbon in a way that should substantially increase sweet spot size without taking away the great feel we've come to expect with thermoformed paddles, and it should also give a better combination of power and control; think Ronbus Nova. It's great that paddles are coming out to better colour between those lines of power and control and my guess is, if it's SixZero making it, it's going to be good.

The paddles will obviously not stop there (I think we brought in more than fifty different paddles in 2023), but those are the ones we know are coming very soon and should make the biggest splash when they do.

We've also recently brought in the entire Gearbox Pro Power and Pro Control lineup of paddles, and the Powers have completely revolutionized what we thought was possible in terms of pop and pace.


We review most of the paddles that come into the store on our YouTube channel to help you make a more informed decision when it comes time to purchase, especially if you don't have the luxury of demoing. So please subscribe.

Hopefully you are as excited for 2024 as we are — as you can see, it will be another wild ride!

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