Palio is a Chinese-based brand that produces pre-made bats. So far, it has produced three paddle models, and the 3.0 series is the latest. It’s an upgrade from the previous 2.0 paddle, evident from its improved construction, redesigned handle, and longer-lasting case.
The Palio Expert 3.0 is a great beginner’s paddle. The rubber delivers a good grip, but the bounce isn’t as good as that on high-end paddles.
I noticed it dampens the ball’s hit, leading to a slower speed but more control. And as a beginner, you want to improve control, not speed. Its surface is very tacky, giving players lots of spin and grip, whereas the sponge is soft to enhance control.
The paddle is well-built compared to its predecessor, the Palio Expert 2.0. The outer part of the blade is thicker and has an edge tape that protects the exposed part of the blade.
Palio also adds a cover to protect the paddle from dust and elements when not in use. Its zipper is firm and barely comes off after many uses. However, I noted the rubber separates from the blade after eight months of extensive use.
Ease of use
The paddle might be a little hard to get used to because it’s much more sensitive. However, once I got a grip of it, my friend struggled to keep up with the spins. The grippy rubber surface made spinning much easier, and the flared handle enhanced control.
Flared handles are suitable for Shakehand grip players because they are comfortable, ergonomic, and enhance performance.
Value for money
The paddle is a great buy for the price. Its high-quality construction can withstand rigorous use for months, but it needs a little maintenance (clean the rubber before and after use with water and mild soap). I also loved that Palio added a zipper pull on the bag. It seems a small item but gives value for money.
Overall, the Palio Expert 3.0 is a solid buy for beginners. The speed is a little on the lower side but still faster than the cheaper paddles I have used. The spin and control are exceptional; the most important attributes novice players should master.