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Newsletter: Paddle companies speak out on new testing drama

by The Dink Media Team on

Add consistency to your game. PPA results thus far.

We guarantee: you haven't experienced a drama-filled St. Patrick's Day like this since Uncle Joseph uttered a limerick at Sunday dinner.

Pop some corn and wear something green (the pickleball-colored Dink logo on our new merch counts!). We've got tea to spill.


In today's issue:

  • Tips to stay consistent on the court
  • The unfolding paddle drama; companies speak out
  • PPA results so far
  • Share our NL (unique link at the bottom) to earn a free paddle for life!

Let's go!

Consistently Grow Your Skill Level

Are you still losing to teams you should beat? Are you walking away from open play with more L's than W's? You might be making simple mistakes that are tanking your consistency.

Pro pickleballer Kyle Koszuta, aka @thatpickleballguy, identifies common pain points which might be ruining your game.

  1. Creep - One of the worst habits in pickle is mindlessly stepping into the court after your serve. Players are so excited to get to the line they step in and put themselves out of position as the point starts.
  2. Your Drive - Although extremely fun to hit, your drive is probably not as consistent as you think. Try counting missed drives during a game a see how many points you're giving away.
  3. Dancing - If you're dancing all over the kitchen line your consistency is going to suffer. Minimize unnecessary movement and hold your ground when possible.
  4. Big Swings - In most cases, an exaggerated big swing is not going to add anything, except inconsistencies. Work smarter by reducing swing length when possible a focus on hitting the sweet spot of the paddle.
  5. Low Paddle - This is not a Wild West duel. Your paddle should not be holstered. Return it to ready position after every shot.

Bonus - Kyle also urges players to be open-minded. Don't lose the same way over and over. Seek feedback and make changes.

Just like the game itself, your game should constantly evolve.

ICON: Never-Before Seen Tech in Pickleball

Version 2 of Diadem's flagship paddle introduces a complete deck of new technology never before seen in pickleball. The ICON v2 provides comfort, spin, and precision usually reserved for a control paddle.

Diadems 3xL Core Molding System perfects the Icon’s original carbon fiber construction, increasing the size of your sweet spot and strengthening the outer paddle edge.

Of course this paddle wouldn’t be an Icon without the replaceable edge guards, giving you the ability to match your style while protecting your paddle. Get yours here today!

Paddlegate: 2023 Edition

There’s more paddle drama afoot in the pro pickle scene, and this time, it involves one of the most recognizable players in the game.

But we’ll get to that. Let’s start by clearing up a rumor about CRBN.

The paddle manufacturer recently released a clarifying statement which tackles whispers that their Power Series paddles were “banned” from play at this weekend’s PPA Tour stop in Austin.

Broadly, they aren’t banned, but according to the statement made by the company’s founder Garrett Gosselin, the misunderstanding had to do with a single, used paddle which “exceeded deflection specifications” set by USA Pickleball.

"Rumors were circulating that there were new paddles that failed. This is simply not the case–this was a used paddle. Additionally, USAP made it very clear that this was an issue with the specific paddle they tested and not the entire line," the statement says.

Additionally, Gosselin says CRBN is not an isolated brand in this matter, but he does not know which other brands' paddles have been flagged in initial tests.

PPA’s Decision

PPA decided that all CRBN Power models used for professional play must be onsite tested and sticker-marked before they can be used in a match this weekend.

Once that event ends, all CRBN paddles will undergo further off-site testing.

A player whose paddle fails off-site compliance tests will forfeit any points earned or prize money awarded.

Ben Johns Ignites Several Paddle Companies

It wasn’t long after this update that #1 men’s player Ben Johns let more sparks fly:

Yikes. Shots fired, indeed.

In case you're unfamiliar, "delamination" is a side effect of the manufacturing process that USA Pickleball will evaluate in its new paddle-testing process.

It's about the surface of the paddle face separating from the core, and many believe it gives players an unfair advantage.

Over time, the paddle can break down and "delaminate," which creates a trampoline effect that adds unexpected power.

Some responses to Ben's tweet wondered how he could make such claims. After all, he couldn't expect to do so without retaliation:

“Thermoforming is a heat-intensive process that can improve nearly every aspect of a pickleball paddle,” says Vatic in a statement on Instagram.

“However, no paddle is immune to defects, especially over long periods…Delamination was an early issue we have since addressed through…temperature-resistant glue, new application methods, and a complex resin layering system.”

Legacy Pickleball took a more direct approach in their response:

“No respect for the rules? If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black. Start with that illegal grit your company flooded the market with then cast stones. We respect the rules, the integrity of the game and the integrity of family,” the company said on Twitter.

The paddle drama... will it ever end? Trust me, we are just as exhausted with it as you are. But alas, these developments might have major implications for the sport.

Stay Up to Date

With all this drama circulating, we did what only seemed logical: we brought PPA Commissioner Connor Pardoe into the studio for a sit down on PicklePod.

We talk paddlegate, performance enhancing drugs, gambling, integrity in the sport, and most importantly, how many times Tyson McGuffin spanks his partners during matches.

The episode will premier first thing Monday morning. In the meantime, catch up on PicklePod here.

High-Quality Pickleball Excursions

World-class pickleball instruction. Beautiful locations. All the travel planning done for you. Learn more here — before your favorite location sells out!

PPA Progress

A rainy morning in Texas caused delays and confusion at the start of the Austin Showdown.

Play was moved to the covered courts of Dreamland in Dripping Springs to escape the rain. When the clouds parted and the courts dried up, play was moved back to the Elevation Athletic Club.

The rain did not deter the favorites. Both the one and two seeds survived the draw and will face off on Championship Sunday.

(1) Anna Leigh Waters vs (2) Catherine Parenteau
(1) Ben Johns vs (2) Federico Staksrud

In true March Madness fashion, a few double digit seeds busted the bracket. (11) Connor Garnett, (12) Allyce Jones and (12) Christian Alshon all reached the semifinal round.

Alshon defeated Garnett in the bronze medal match to leave with his first PPA medal. Allyce Jones ended the day with one more upset, defeating Salome Devidze for bronze.

  • (14) Gabriel Joseph knocked out (3) Tyson McGuffin
  • (26) Wyatt Stone pulled his best result to date, reaching the quarterfinals in his home state
  • (27) Brandon Lane ended (6) Dylan Frazier's day early preventing another semifinal run

But expect temps in 50's and fast play conditions. Tune into mixed doubles today on PPA TV.

Headlines & Quick Hits


Homecourt Havens

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Do you have a home court? Why not rent it out and earn money? Learn more here.

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The Dink Media Team

The Dink Media Team

We're the premier pickleball media outlet featuring news, tips, reviews, and highlights with over 1 million subscribers, followers, and listeners.

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