Onix Z5 vs Head Radical Elite – Which Pickleball Paddle Is Best?

We compare two highly popular pickleball paddles, The Onix Z5 and the Head Radical Elite to see which one comes up on top

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Onix Z5 vs Head Radical Elite
Onix Z5 vs Head Radical Elite - Which is best? (Photo: Amazon.com / The Sport Review)

If you’re looking for a new pickleball paddle, then the chances are you’ve probably come across Onix and Head as two of the biggest manufacturers in the sport.

Both companies make high-quality pickleball gear and the Onix Z5 Graphite and Head Radical Elite are two of the most popular paddles around right now. But which one is best?

In this article, we’re going to take a detailed look at both paddles to examine some of the differences and similarities between them. We’re going to bring you everything you need to know about both to help you choose which one is right for you.

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s start taking a closer look at the Onix Z5 and Head Radical Elite.

Onix Z5 Graphite And Head Radical Elite – Things To Know

If you’re looking to compare the Onix Z5 with the Head Radical Elite, the chances are that you’ve already done some research into both paddles. These are two very popular paddles made by reputable brands, and the truth is that they are both great options.

Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle

(Photo: Amazon)

In fact, these two paddles are currently are top two rated options in our in-depth guide to the best pickleball paddles on the market at the moment.

However, there are some key differences between these paddles to be aware of, and the one that’s best suited to you will depend somewhat on what you’re looking for from your pickleball paddle. Let’s cover some basic facts about these two paddles now.

The Onix Z5 Graphite (available here on Amazon) is quite simply one of the best-selling pickleball paddles around. At the time of writing, it had more than 4,800 ratings on Amazon.

Head Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle

(Photo: Amazon)

Onix, the brand behind the paddle, are known for being one of the top names in the world of pickleball – and the Graphite Z5 is their most popular and best-selling paddle.

The Head Radical Elite (available here on Amazon), on the other hand, is another hugely popular paddle. It had more than 1,500 ratings on Amazon at the time of writing and Head are well-known to be one of the top manufacturers in the racket sports space.

Now that we’ve covered some of the basic points to know about both paddles, let’s drill down and focus on some of the key numbers and facts to consider.

Best Pickleball Balls

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Onix Z5 Graphite vs Head Radical Elite – Specifications And Price

So you now know a bit more about both paddles. They’re both high-quality options and they’re both made by reputable brands considered to be big names in the pickleball space.

Let’s now take a look at some of the key facts and figures about both of these paddles to compare them in more detail.

Pickleball Courts

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Bear in mind that all of the information shown below was correct at the time of writing. We recommend that you check the product page on Amazon or elsewhere before making a purchase, as the details and prices can change from time to time.

Onix Z5 Graphite

• Price (approx): $90
• Amazon Rating: 4.6 / 5 stars (4,887 ratings)
• Face Material: Graphite
• Core Type: Nomex Honeycomb Core
• Handle Length: 5 inches
• Paddle Length: 15.5 inches
• Face Width: 8.125 inches
• Weight: 7.5 to 8.2 oz
• USAPA Approved?: Yes
• Multiple Colours Available?: Yes

Head Radical Elite

• Price (approx): $65
• Amazon Rating: 4.6 / 5 stars (1,507 ratings)
• Face Material: Fiberglass
• Core Type: Polypropylene Honeycomb Core
• Handle Length: 5 inches
• Paddle Length: 16 inches
• Face Width: 7.875 inches
• Weight: 8.1 oz
• USAPA Approved?: Yes
• Multiple Colours Available?: Yes

Looking at the numbers above, there are a few things that stand out. Firstly, both paddles are very highly rated by customers on Amazon and are generally well-appreciated by players.

The Radical Elite is the cheaper option, costing $25 less than the Z5 at the time of writing. The two paddles also differ in terms of the materials used for their construction. As its name suggests, the Z5 Graphite uses Graphite as its face material, while the Radical Elite uses Fiberglass. Both paddles have honeycomb cores.

In terms of dimensions and weight, the two paddles are similar. However, the Z5 does have a slightly wider face (known as a widebody construction) than the Radical Elite, which could make it a good option for newer players looking for a bigger sweet spot. That said, the Z5 is generally also considered to be a good option for more advanced players.

Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle

The Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle (Photo: Amazon / The Sport Review)

Both paddles are approved for use by USA Pickleball and both are available in a range of different colours to suit all tastes. However, the Z5 is currently available in a much wider selection of different colours and designs, so if the look of your paddle is important to you, this could help you choose between the two.

Onix Z5 Graphite And Head Radical Elite – What Are The Players Saying?

It’s always worth taking a look at what actual people are saying about the paddle you’re thinking of buying. We took a look on social sites such as Reddit to see what people were saying and recommending about both paddles, and we also checked out a handful of customer reviews of both products on Amazon.

Best Hat For Pickleball

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Generally speaking, both paddles are highly rated. As we covered above, they both had the same average score (4.6 out of five stars) on Amazon at the time of writing.

The Z5 was often mentioned as being a great option for tennis players who had turned to pickleball, partly because the Z5 features a tennis handle shape that players of the sport will find familiar. The Onix Z5 was also recommended by players who enjoy using spin in their shots thanks to its rough face.

Among some of the negative comments we found about the Z5 was that it was rated as being quite loud when striking the ball, which may put some people off.

The Radical Elite had lots of positive reviews on Amazon, with some customers commenting on the fact that this paddle has a generous sized sweet spot. The Radical Elite was also favourited by newer players who were still working on developing their game during our research.

Many users on Reddit also reported being happy playing with the Radical Elite as a new or beginner pickleballer.

Some of the more negative comments about the Radical Elite on Amazon included people saying that the control of the paddle was tough to get to grips with, with some saying that the face was too smooth to gain proper control of the ball.

Head Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle

The Head Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle (Photo: Amazon / The Sport Review)

Where To Buy The Onix Z5 Graphite And The Head Radical Elite

Both paddles are available to buy on Amazon in the US and in other countries. They are also available from other retailers and directly from the manufacturer.

• The Onix Z5 Graphite was priced at around $90 on Amazon at the time of writing.

• The Head Radical Elite was priced at around $65 on Amazon at the time of writing.

Anything Else To Keep In Mind?

Shopping online for a pickleball paddle can be quick, easy and convenient. However, if possible, we do recommend visiting your local racket sports store. This can give you the chance to hold a few different paddles in your hand and also get some tailored advice from staff.

If you do end up shopping online, just be sure familiarise yourself with the returns, refunds and exchanges policy of the site you’ll be shopping from before making a purchase. It’s also important to carefully check the product page and description so that you know what you’re getting before buying.

Best Pickleball Ball on Court

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts

That concludes our look at the Onix Z5 Graphite and Head Radical Elite pickleball paddles. We’ve compared and contrasted the important points about both paddles and have looked at what people are saying about them online.

The Z5 (available here on Amazon) is the more expensive of the two paddles, and was more popular on Amazon at the time of writing. The Z5 features a widebody construction which may suit some players looking for a more generously sized sweet-spot. It also has a tennis handle shaped handle which may also suit some players.

The Radical Elite (available here on Amazon) is slightly cheaper but remains a popular and well-rated paddle, with a slightly narrower face than the Z5.

Overall, these paddles are both considered to be good options, so it may be that the price point has the final say in your decision.

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