Whether you’re new to the sport and are looking for the right pickleball paddle, or you’re an expert who’s looking for a way to reach their full potential, you’ll find many popular paddles in the pickleball world to choose from.
Some paddles are plain iconic, and the Onix Z5 Graphite pickleball paddle is one of them.
In this article, we’re here with everything you need to know about the Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle.
Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
Onix Z5 Paddle Overview
The Graphite Z5 is a wide-body paddle with a graphite face and a Nomex honeycomb core. It’s the most popular pickleball paddle in the entire Onix line.
It has become a favorite for anyone who wishes to buy a graphite paddle regardless of how experienced they are at pickleball.
Are you wondering why this one is so special? To explain, let’s first start with the basics.
When you break the paddle down to its parts, you can begin to see what the hype is all about. Below are the paddle’s most prominent features.
The paddle averages around 7.5 – 8.2 ounces in weight, which makes it a medium-weight paddle. This can give you a great balance of power and speed behind your shots.
What makes this paddle great for beginners is its wide-body shape of the paddle. The wide body increases the wind resistance while enabling you to hit with more precision and control.
Additionally, the bigger and wider a paddle is, the larger the sweet spot is, and the larger the sweet spot is, the less likely you are to hit and miss.
The term “sweet spot” refers to the part of the paddle that stores the most energy and can accurately propel the ball with the most power.
That means that since the paddle has a wide body, it has a bigger sweet spot and can deliver more powerful hits than most paddles.
Another unique aspect of the Z5 Graphite paddle is the tactile feedback it gives you. Tactile feedback is the gut feeling or instinct that allows you to prejudge the shot depending on how the paddle feels in your hands.
The sense you get when the ball hits your paddle is what tells you where you’re mishitting. Depending on the spot where it hit, you can assess how to fix your swing in the next hit.
The design of the Z5 gives you accurate tactile feedback, allowing you to feel where you hit the ball on the paddle easily.
Most paddles are indeed going to give you tactile feedback, however, with the Z5 Graphite, it’s much more evident. This is another reason why the paddle’s great for beginners and advanced players alike.
The wonder of the Onix Z5 Graphite doesn’t stop here. Several other great features further add to its prominent advantages, such as:
- Dimensions: 15.5″ L x 8.3” W
- Grip circumference: 4.25″
- Edge guard
- Ten different color variations
- Tennis handle that’s 5″ in length for extra reach
- USAPA approved
Onix’s Z5 Graphite vs. Z5 Composite
The Onix Z5 Composite is similar in dimensions and core material to the Onix Z5 Graphite except for the composite face. However, the Z5 Composite is much heavier, weighing from 8.4 to 9.2 ounces.
The extra weight can give you even more power than the Z5 Graphite, but it can also take away more of your control. Additionally, the heavy Z5 Composite paddle may tire you out faster, especially if you’re suffering from an injury or play aggressively.
Unlike the Z5 Graphite, which is suitable for beginners, we recommend the Z5 Composite for intermediate and advanced players who are used to heavier paddles.
The classic shape, quality build, and stable feel in your hand make both Onix Z5 paddles a good match for most players. It all depends on your preference and level of experience.
If you’re a light-touch player, go with the graphite paddle, but if you’re a hard-hitter, the composite version might be more fitting for you.
Onix Z5 Graphite vs. Rally NX Graphite
Graphite paddles are generally popular due to their relatively lightweight and durable construction. The Rally NX Graphite Pickleball Paddle is among those beloved graphite paddles.
While the Onix Z5 Graphite might be suitable for power players, the Rally NX Graphite might be more fitted for the control players.
If you prefer a controlled soft game over a fast-paced power-driven one and love to play a slow game with carefully planned controlled shots while maneuvering the opponents into mistakes, you’ll love the Rally NX Graphite.
The Rally NX is similar in core and face materials to the Onix Z5 Graphite. However, the Rally NX is slightly lighter in weight at around 7.4 – 8.0 ounces, allowing for more control over the ball.
Its grip size is also a bit smaller at 4.25”, which doesn’t give you as much reach as the Z5 Graphite but is more suitable for players with small hands.
The edge guard around the Rally NX is very strong and durable to protect the paddle from ground hits which can be great for amateur players. However, some actually complain that the guard is too thick and protruding.
The NX’s biggest downside is perhaps its durability. A common complaint is that the honeycomb core wears down quickly, and the paddle often breaks after a short period of time.
Aside from that, if you’re looking for control and decent power in a practice paddle, the Rally NX might be right for you. Just remember that you may have to replace it sooner than you’d expect.
What We Like
As we already established, the Z5 Graphite is a favorite for many players, and we’re no exception. Here are some of the things we like about it.
The large sweet spot on the Z5 Graphite does allow for more precise hits, and it also gives you a satisfying pop sound when the ball makes contact with it.
Whether you’re a pickleball expert or you’re just getting started, this pop is guaranteed to give you a fulfilling sense of accomplishment.
Grip and Weight
As for its grip and weight, the Onix Z5 Graphite’s paddle fits comfortably in our hands and doesn’t slip, even during long matches where our hands get sweaty. The grip size and tight honeycomb texture make maneuvering the ball a bit easier.
The relatively light paddle weight provides more agility and freedom of movement, allowing us to play closer to the net. This allows you to serve any ball from any place, allowing you to dominate the court.
When compared to other paddles, we found that the Z5 Graphite aids in strengthening backhand serves and helps improve performance.
Overall, we can honestly say that the Z5 Graphite paddle is an upgrade to all the other paddles that we’ve tried before.
What We Don’t Like
As with any paddle, the Onix Z5 has its share of drawbacks.
More Power Equals Less Control
We raved about the power that the Z5 Graphite gives you, but, unfortunately, it can also be a big downside.
When you hit a ball with so much force, such as the one the Z5 Graphite provides, you can lose control over where the ball goes. While you can still control the spot where the ball hits the paddle, you can’t predict how the ball reacts with it.
This is because the materials used for the core and face are designed to bounce the ball right off with little to no absorption, making the ball’s direction unpredictable.
Not Light Enough For Everyone
Although the paddle is of medium weight, if you suffer from elbow injuries or joint pain, you might want to consider a lighter option.
Price-wise, the Z5 Graphite lies somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, but for some, it can be too expensive.
Even though it’s not a cheap paddle by any means, if you’re serious about playing pickleball, the quality and durability you’ll be getting will make up for the slightly high price.
After a few intense long matches, the paddle may start to show small signs of wear, and the paint may start to chip off.
However, the edge guard seems to wear better than other paddles we’ve tried.
We also aren’t huge fans of the paddle’s aesthetic design. Most people don’t seem to mind the graphical design, but we personally would prefer a more simple and modern one.
How Does The Onix Z5 Graphite Stand Out?
As you can see from the user reviews and specs mentioned above, the most prominent qualities of the Z5 Graphite can be summed up in 3 points.
The core of the paddle is what constitutes its efficiency and practicality, which in turn sets the tone for your performance. Pickleball paddle cores are typically made of either Nomex, aluminum, or polymer honeycomb.
The Nomex honeycomb core in the Onix Z5 Graphite is wider and harder than most. This means that it’ll perform longer and weigh less due to its thick core density and smaller honeycomb size.
Given the large sweet spot, the Z5 Graphite enables you to hit the ball with both force and confidence, a powerful combination.
Are you starting to see why this paddle is legendary?
The faces of many pickleball paddles are made of different composite materials such as fiberglass, but Graphite is more commonly used in the manufacturing process because it’s strong and provides great power without adding too much weight.
In addition to being lightweight, the Nomex core and graphite face give more force to the ball when you hit it.
When a ball makes contact with a paddle, the paddle typically absorbs a certain amount of force. This amount depends on the paddle’s material.
Ideally, you wouldn’t want a paddle that absorbs a great amount of force so as to give more power to your hit.
The Z5 Graphite doesn’t absorb much of the force, which is another reason why it’s that popular among serious pickleball players.
When it comes to the Z5 Graphite, the ball bounces right off the face, giving you the ability to send the ball soaring over the net. Just imagine how good it’ll feel when you hit a power shot right on the sweet spot.
The strong core, light yet hard graphite face, and tremendous hitting power all work in perfect harmony together to give you the best performance. Do you see how brilliantly designed this paddle is?
The Bottom Line
As you can probably tell by now, the distinguished Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle is carefully crafted to provide all types of players with the best performance possible.
It offers an outstanding grip and good control while still allowing for powerful hits and quick maneuvering in a medium-weight design, making it an iconic paddle in the world of pickleball.
If you’re looking to purchase a quality paddle that’ll help you gain superior ball control during heated matches, one that you can use from the time you start playing until you turn pro, the Z5 Graphite might be the right fit for you.
See for yourself what the hype is all about. Give it a try and get ready to deliver some winning hits and return just about any type of shot.