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PicklePod: Paddle Technology and Legality With Paddle Expert Dan Martinson

by Jason Flamm on

PicklePod co-hosts Zane Navratil and Thomas Shields (click here to subscribe) tackle a few different angles in this week's episode, including a new twist on the Minor Leagues and what should or shouldn't be legal with pickleball paddle manufacturing.

They're joined by a paddle technology expert, Dan Martinson from PIKKL. They discuss the latest technologies and the paddle industry as a whole, among other topics.

The Dink Minor Leagues are coming to a town near you

Host Thomas Shields couldn't say too much (yet), but if the idea of participating in Minor League Pickleball excites you, then you'll want to pay attention to what's coming.

Thanks in large part to a new partnership between The Dink and MiLP.

Minor League Pickleball and The Dink Announce Joint Venture, Launch “The Dink Minor Leagues”
Minor League Pickleball (MiLP) and The Dink, pickleball’s leading media platform, today announced The Dink Minor Leagues, a new joint venture designed to grow local competitive opportunities for amateur players.

Dan Martinson joins the pod

Dan Martinson founded PIKKL – a paddle manufacturer that recently launched its new Pro Skins. Skins are the first and only replaceable pickleball paddle skin approved by USA Pickleball for professional tournament play.

The skins work like a sticker that you peel and stick to the face of your paddle, providing new life and a refresh on spin.

Dan has a background in material science and a passion for pickleball. His innovative approach to maintaining paddle integrity could significantly impact how players – professional and amateur – use and replace paddles.

Understanding the rules of paddle testing

While paddle testing has made progress, it still has a long way to go. Dan breaks down how some paddle tests are conducted and what needs to happen to strengthen paddle regulation across the industry.

Which paddle brands are innovating?

Many pickleball paddle brands aren't very creative. Dan provides insight into who is spending the money on research and development and who might just get their paddles through overseas sites like Alibaba.

Spoiler alert, it's more than you think.

Why more powerful paddles are worse for pickleball

By comparing it to pro baseball, Zane makes a strong case for pros using less powerful pickleball paddles than amateurs. As he explains it, pro baseball players use wood bats, which is actually a worse technology than players use up until reaching the pros.

Do you agree? Should pros be allowed to use such powerful paddles?

How you can get your own custom pickleball paddle

Dan explains how PIKKL will provide custom skins for pickleball paddles starting in May. So, if you've ever wanted your own face (or you and your cat's face) on a pickleball paddle, PIKKL can make it happen.


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Jason Flamm

Jason Flamm

Jason is a writer from St. Louis. He’s been a coach in several sports and is currently working on his pickleball coaching certification. He loves to teach and share his passions.

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