Introducing Revolin Pickleball at Pickleball Central
May 9, 2023
Innovative and eco-friendly Revolin Sports is based in Holland, Michigan. After several years of materials exploration and experimentation they sold their first run of paddles in 2019. Delivering great performance and style, and proudly made in the USA from sustainable materials, Revolin paddles are changing the sport of pickleball.
We chatted with Revolin’s Sophie Vanden Bosch to learn more about their mission.
How did you get started?
Our founding stems from the passionate belief that we can make better things in a better way and a relentless drive to do just that. Let me rewind.
It’s a classic story beginning all the way back in 2012. Boy meets pickleball, falls in love, and thinks he can do better. It took over 200 prototypes and 4 years in his parent’s garage, to get to this new definition of better. But after repairing paddles from 2012 to 2016 and earning sponsorships from some of the top pickleball brands, 20-something pickleball player and engineer Hugh Davis grinded to build high performance pickleball paddles with smaller carbon footprints. He succeeded.
One summer day in 2019, just after graduating from University of Michigan with his degree in engineering, Hugh and I, Sophie (his then girlfriend, now wife) were out testing the latest and best-to-date round of prototypes. People paid attention to us - one, because we were a third of the age of everyone else playing, and two, because we had something they hadn’t seen before. I remember letting a few people try the paddles and one gentleman pulling out a one-hundred dollar bill and asking to buy the paddle. That’s when it clicked. We knew that this concept was bigger than just a personal quest to make the best paddle.
We sold our first paddle through our self-made website in September of 2019. We spent the next two years getting as much feedback as possible to build an even better iteration. Then, last summer, we launched the Revo Series and things really started to take off. In 2022, Revolin Sports grew 330%.
You’ve mentioned sustainability. Is this the only thing that makes Revolin Sports different?
Our difference lies in our unwavering commitment to our mission. At Revolin, we serve pickleball players by improving equipment performance without compromising our planet. It manifests through the hundreds of player conversations that drive the development of innovative materials and processes to accomplish this mission.
We are pioneering an entirely new category of pickleball equipment. What can I say, the Revolin team dreams big! And it goes beyond using renewable materials. All of our paddles are designed, manufactured, and assembled in Michigan. Plus, we take it step further, sourcing 80% of all materials from the United States.
Your Revo Series uses a novel hemp and flax based material you call BioFLX™. Can you explain what that is and how it compares to other popular materials?
We developed our patent-pending BioFLX™ composite specifically for pickleball to make paddles better both in terms of performance and sustainability. Believe it or not, our story actually started with carbon fiber. Hugh, our CEO, was the body team lead for the Super Mileage club at University of Michigan. They designed and constructed a ridiculously fuel efficient single person vehicle using primarily carbon fiber for the body. In 2017, their vehicle went 3,000 miles on just one gallon of gas. While working with this material, he learned just how much harm it causes to our planet. It’s difficult to recycle or repurpose, comes from non-renewable fossil fuels, and requires 14 times more energy to produce than steel. He knew there had to be a better option.
Hugh turned to natural fibers and never looked back. After hundreds of prototypes, he developed BioFLX™ from a proprietary layering of Flax and Hemp fibers that possess exceptional traits of strength and elasticity, not to mention renewability. The elasticity of these natural fibers give players plenty of power while also dampening vibrations. BioFLX™ actually reduces vibrations 200% better than fiberglass and 20% better than carbon fiber due to the cellulose structures of hemp and flax. Players will get a surprising amount of pop too from even our control paddles due to the elasticity of BioFLX™.
Talk us through your Revo Series. How do people choose which one might work best for them?
When developing the Revo Series, we relied heavily on the feedback from players and developed four paddles to suit the most common needs. We have two different shapes, the Pure and Reach in both Power and Control models. All the paddles are constructed meticulously in Holland, MI using similar high quality materials and technologies. We’ve primarily altered the shapes and the core thicknesses to give players different feels.
Everyone loves the Revo Pure Control. It perfectly suits hybrid-style players who prioritize control, maneuverability, and can generate their own power. Even when you miss-hit, this paddle with its large sweet spot is very forgiving.
If you prefer a third shot drive to a third shot drop, definitely check out the pure power. It’s made with a 13mm core so there is a ridiculous amount of power transfer back to the ball. It’s great for aggressive players who prioritize power.
Elongated paddles are hot right now and for good reason! Players who care about spin, play singles, or want more torque on their shots tend to like the Revo Reach Control. It’s also great for a two handed backhand.
If you’re looking for an absolute weapon and don’t mind sacrificing a little on forgiveness, look no further than the Reach Power. This is the most aggressive paddle of the four due to its elongated shape and 13mm core.
What’s next for Revolin Sports?
When your company is small, you need focus. We’ve aimed our sights on two priorities. First, serving the millions of players who vary from total newbies to ambitious, performance obsessed competitors. We are in development of two new paddles: one aimed at entry level players and one for the increasingly competitive group with insane texture and the perfect blend of power and control. Second, Revolin is building a robust patent portfolio and pushing the limits of equipment innovation in ways that haven’t been approached before using any materials, much less sustainable ones.
View our full line-up of Revolin paddles to learn more about each one.