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Monday, December 5, 2016

Paddle Tips from Sarah

I posted an article last week discussing how to narrow the choices for buying a new paddle, a good idea with Christmas right around the corner. I mentioned that several experts have provided some advice on how to view the different factors involved in the process. Today's post is an article from the RV Picklers and Sarah Ansboury called 3 Keys to Choosing a Pickleball Paddle.

3 Keys to Choosing a Pickleball Paddle

Every week it seems a new vendor is joining the ranks of pickleball paddle manufacturers. Perhaps this is because so many players are open to buying a new paddle in hopes it will improve their game. With that in mind, let me suggest a few things to consider before you purchase your next pickleball paddle.

Pickleball Paddle #1:  Don’t Limit Yourself

Don’t limit yourself to one weight, to one grip, or to one brand. Anytime you have it set in your mind this is the only kind of paddle I like, well then you most definitely won’t like any of the paddles you try. Keep an open mind as you try a new pickleball paddle. Also keep in mind that grips were made to be changed. So if you prefer the feel of a different grip, learn to re-grip your paddle. It really is quite simple and I have provided a YouTube video on how to regrip your pickleball paddle. (When you check out the YouTube video, be certain to subscribe to my channel so you never miss a video.)

Pickleball Paddle #2:  Weights

Try multiple paddles and different weights. You may have once had a “heavy” paddle and gave it up because it caused pain in your elbow or wrist. Now you have decided to swear off every paddle over 7.3 ounces. However, this may not be necessary. Keep in mind that two paddles may feel entirely differently even though they are exactly the same weight. This has to do with the weight distribution of the paddle. So keep an open mind.

At the same time, none of the current manufactures build every paddle to an exact weight. If you look at the specs of the Pro-Lite Apex I am currently playing it says

Product Specifications: 
  • Approximate Weight:  7.7-8.0 oz (Ideal for quick wrist speed)
  • Length:  15 3/4″
  • Width:  8 3/16″
  • Grip Circumference:  4 1/4″
  • Grip Length:  5″
  • Grip:  Pro-Lite Cushion Grip
However, you my be able to get the exact weight you tested and want. Some manufacturers will permit you to request a specific weight. So if you have demoed a 7.8 oz Apex, include the weight in your order. Many top manufacturers will take your request into consideration when they fill your order.

Pickleball Paddle #3:  Play, Play, Play

You don’t want to buy a paddle just because someone told you they like it. What works for your friend, may not work for you. Play with the paddle, multiple times, before deciding on the one you like. Most of us don’t play exactly the same way every day. So playing with a paddle several times is important to making an informed decision. You want to hit all of our shots with the paddle you are trying: dinking, volleys, serves, returns, etc. A paddle that feels good dinking may be too heavy for volleys or not have the amount of pop you want. So take the time to hit all your shots, and play, play, play!

There are demo programs out there that allow you to try various paddles and get a good feel before you make a decision. Take the time and get to know the pickleball paddle you are trying and whenever possible compare it to a few others before making a decision.

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