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The hot new paddle debate

by The Dink Media Team on

On-court etiquette. A win for pickle in Manhattan.

We may have a new Paddlegate on our hands. But this time, it isn't about any one particular affects every paddle manufacturer.

More below, of course. We don't do cliffhangers here.


Also in this issue:

  • On-court etiquette
  • A win for pickle in Manhattan
  • The NEXT GEN is coming

Let's go!

Step Up Your Etiquette

There are a couple of ways to spot a newbie on the courts. One tell-tale sign is the over-eager player that chases their ball through two courts, disrupting games in progress.

This will be obvious for open play vets, but can go a long way for not ruffling feathers. When a ball leaves your court, don't chase it.

You should think through a couple options instead of disrupting the game next to you:

Safety first - If the ball is going near any player in an active point, call "BALL" loudly to stop the point and prevent anyone from getting hurt.

Respect the point - If all 4 players are at the kitchen and the ball rolls through the backcourt or to the back fence, the rules change.

Don't immediately stop the point or run to retrieve the ball. Wait to see how the point plays out. Leave the decision to stop the point to the players on the court.

It's a big ask to make someone wait patiently to start their next point. But a player running to retrieve a ball is always going to be a bigger disctraction than the ball alone. Wait it out.

Don't crowd the court - Whether you're waiting to retreive a ball, pass through a court, or socializing between games, don't crowd the court.

You never know when an ATP is coming. While you and Henry are chatting about the last Dink Newsletter, you might also be interfering with the point in play. BTW if Henry is not subscribed, refer him using your unique link at the bottom of this email and start earning rewards with our referral program.

A couple of bonus reminders to keep things copacetic at the courts:

  • If your paddle is next in the rack, be ready to play
  • Don't be the player that never has a ball
  • Be willing to play with anyone, we all start somewhere

We want to know: what etiquette rules would you add to this? Tell us here.

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The Hot New Paddle Debate

Three weeks ago I had no idea what "Dwell Time" or "Deflection" were. Now I know they are debatably the most important paddle specifications there are.

The highest level of pickleball is plagued with irregularities and inconsistencies surrounding paddle technology and the paddle-testing processes. One of those irregularities is the inability to effectively test dwell time and deflection.

  • Dwell Time = how long the ball dwells on the paddle face, which influences power, spin and sound
  • Deflection = rigidity of the paddle, which heavily influences power and sound

The two are closely related, and both are tested using the same process. But that process needs improvement. A lot of improvement.

But why has this become such a hot debate? Because it's where paddle manufacturers see the most opportunity. It's where they can safely push the limits to improve power, spin and shape, without violating USAPA's regulations. And this has given rise to an influx of new and unregulated paddle technology.

Honestly, there is so much to cover on this topic that we had to go long form blog.

Read it here.

Play Like Zane

It's been rumored about for months, but the day has finally come. The new Zane Navratil Signature Carbon paddle is now available from ProXR Pickleball.

The paddle features an Ultra-RAW carbon face that is designed to maximize spin and power.

An elongated straight handle allows Zane (and you) to fit both hands on the paddle, perfect for the two-handed backhand.

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Finally, There's a Permanent Court in Manhattan

There was drama in NYC pickleball last year. After several months of deliberation, the city parks department decided to power wash the lines away at one of the most popular courts in Manhattan, directing players to other locations despite that space being empty about 80% of the time.

There was a whole "parents at war with pickleballers" thing. It was ridiculous.

But now, a tiny win for Manhattan players: their first permanent indoor court is now open to the public.

Located at The Moinian Group's Sky luxury apartment building in Midtown West, the Life Time courts feature 9,500-square-foot, street-level space that stays well-lit.

We guess that'll have to do until city officials amend their position on outdoor courts in the area.

Rumor has it that city officials may be coming around, and by early Spring, there could be another exciting place to play...More to come.

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Make Room For the NEXT GEN

The APP Tour and Chicken N' Pickle are keeping an eye out for the next generation of pro players. The first NEXT GEN tournament of the year played out last weekend in San Antonio.

The format awards one top male and female performer based on cumulative points over the three day event. Spencer Lanier collected the men's title and Alli Phillips took the women's crown.

Lanier won gold in mixed doubles with Riley Bohnert on Friday. He followed that up with silver in men's doubles with Garrett Whitehead and silver in men's singles.

Phillips started with a bronze in mixed doubles with partner Ethan Jauschneg. Her best result however came on Sunday, when a gold in singles pushed her to the top of the leaderboard. She edged out second place finisher Riley Bohnert.

  • Jack Foster earned gold in men's singles
  • Rainbow Ciampini and Averee Beck won the women's doubles title on Saturday

Fans will have to wait until July for the next event. NEXT GEN Kansas City is set for 7/7-7/9.

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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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