From the little game played by children on Saturday afternoons in the backyard to a recognized sporting event with a licensed regulatory body (USAPA), Pickleball has become the go-to-sport on its fifth decade of existence.
Invented in 1965 by 3 fathers who couldn’t stand the look of their bored children, the sport incorporates 3 other sports; Ping-pong, Tennis, Badminton, to become the perfect hybrid. It started in a bid to set up badminton for the bored children but there was no shuttlecock to complete the game. Necessity as the mother of all inventions made the fathers improvise with a Wiffle ball while lowering the badminton net and making paddles from plywood.
Pickleball is played on what primarily seems like a badminton court with the net down instead of raised up. Unlike Badminton, the same court is used for both singles and doubles play. The dimension of the court is 20×44 feet with a 36 inches net in the middle. There is a region 7 feet from the net on both sides called the No-Volley Zone.
Just like any other sport, it has rules, which is adapted from the three sports that birthed pickleball. Some of them are:
- It can be played either as singles or doubles (tennis, ping-pong).
- A standard Pickleball game is played to 11 points (ping-pong) and is won by the player who gets at least 2 points above his opponent.
- If you touch the ball with your hands, you lose a point.
- If you serve and the goes out of bounds, you lose a point (tennis,ping-pong).
- The ball must bounce on the receiving side after a serve before hitting it and the serving side must let the ball bounce before hitting it back. This is called the Double Bounce rule. After this play, the ball can be volley without bouncing on either side as long as the player is clear of the No-Volley zone.
- If you are in the No-Volley Zone, you must let the ball bounce before hitting it.
- If you volley the ball from the No-Volley Zone, you lose a point.
- If you volley the ball before it bounces on a first serve or return, you lose a point (ping-pong).
There are secrets to a perfect victory run in Pickleball such as:
Positioning, Timing of the serve, Proper volleying of the Pickleball, Fast Spin balls, Getting the curve right. But the most important secret of becoming a Pickleball champion is getting the Best Pickleball Paddle. So many ask “What exactly makes the Best Pickleball paddle?” Well, the answer is not as simple as most people think.
Picking the Best Pickleball paddle assures you a winning streak unlike any other but knowing how to use one cements that streak.
What makes the Best Pickleball Paddle
The weight of your paddle would determine a lot, like your reaction time, balance, power, control, swings and volleys. The standard recommendation for Pickleball paddle weight is between 6-14 ounces but picking the right weight for you is the most important step in getting a perfect Pickleball paddle.
Picking a light paddle doubles your reaction time and it is easy to maneuver while getting a heavy paddle gives more power to your smash.
Material of the Paddle
- The material which a Pickleball paddle is made from determines the weight, and response of the paddle. In other words, it determines the level of control and power a paddle would have.
- Apart from the conventional wood paddle, three other types of materials have been used to make viable Pickleball paddles over the years. They are; Polymer plastic, Composite and Graphite.
- A wooden paddle is heavy and gives more power; it is cheaper than the rest and very durable.
- A polymer plastic paddle is considered lightweight, durable and it is cheaper too. But some have described it as “too light” which is why it is not a popular pick among Pickleball players.
- A composite paddle is made mainly of fiberglass which give a well-structured and responsive surface. It is light but still offers good control and power.
- And finally, the graphite paddle, which is the popular choice among players today, is made up of a thin graphite layer which gives exquisite control and power. It is quite expensive but it is the go-to choice for professionals.
Surface area of the Paddle
A large surface area gives a better response and it is recommended for beginners but for better control, paddles with less hitting areas are just right for the job.
The Best Pickleball paddle, herein, depends on the players’ skills. The key is to achieve a truce between power and control while getting the best ball placement. The Best Pickleball paddle should have a comfortable grip, perfect balance, must not be too heavy or light and must have the best surface area to achieve wonderful spin balls.