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Power vs. Fast Hands: Which is the More Important Pickleball Skill?

by Adam Forziati on

Which is the better skill to have in pickleball: overall power, or fast hands?

Depending on how you think about it, this could easily be framed as a “chicken-or-the-egg” scenario; impossible to answer since both obviously have their place.

But not according to Ben Johns.

“When you put power up against fast hands, sometimes it doesn’t matter,” he says in a video on the topic.

“If you can hit it hard enough and you’re there but don’t do anything with the ball, that defeats the purpose of being there in the first place.”

We were interested to know what the community thought about this.

Our Twitter poll revealed that most of you disagree, with over 86% saying you prefer fast hands over power.

While those numbers seem to suggest a clear winner, how can you argue with pickleball’s champ?

Are we blindly accepting that the ability to counter power is more important than power itself? After all, recent analysis of the game suggests that higher levels of pickleball are becoming less about patience and more about aggressive play.

"Paddle technology has allowed for more spin making it easier to attack. The influx of high level tennis talent is pushing the limit of what is possible on the court," observes Jim Ramsey, Pro Pickleball Stats.

"For me, the thrill of the hands battle leads to quick trigger pulls."

Rallies are becoming shorter. Proverbial triggers are being pulled sooner. If you have the power to crush a ball before your opponent can, you’re more likely to win the point.

This may be even more pronounced in 2023, now that MLP has switched to the fast-paced rally style of scoring, where every rally results in a point earned.

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