Get to know Diadem Pickleball

We recently sat down with Diadem Pickleball to ask about how their expertise in the racket industry brought them to pickleball and what we can expect from them now and in the future! With their recent launch of the Warrior Paddle known as the thickest paddle on the market coming in at 19MM, Diadem Pickleball is a brand to watch in 2022!


The new Warrior Paddle from Diadem Pickleball

Diadem started making tennis rackets in 2015 then entered the pickleball market in 2019. Are there any particular technologies that you have brought from tennis into your pickleball paddle designs?

We have brought not only technologies and concepts, but also our Quality Control over from tennis as well.  In the Icon you will see the same HMT carbon fiber we use in our high-end tennis rackets.  The replaceable edge guards are very uncommon in pickleball but in tennis it is a necessity, so making sure players would be able to customize and replace their edge guards was important.  Our QC team is monitoring everything from our weights, balances to the graphics on a daily basis.  That type of attention to detail we hope will help separate Diadem from the pack. 


Diadem Icon Graphite Pickleball Paddle

Your first pickleball paddle was the Icon, with a slimmer than average core at just 12mm. You have recently introduced the new Warrior paddle, with a thicker than average core at 19mm. How do you describe the specific attributes that each of these cores brings to these two different paddles? What type of player do you think would prefer each of them based on their play characteristics?


What is interesting and special about the Warrior is the core is actually three separate layers that allow the player to feel both control and power when needed.  However, the average player looking for power will be drawn to the thinner Icon, and the player looking to add feel and touch will be drawn to the Warrior’s thick stability.   We tried to create two very different paddles that reach those two types of players in different ways.


Diadem Icon Graphite Pickleball Paddle

Another unique feature of the Icon is the replaceable 3-piece edge guard that is flush-mounted. Do you anticipate using this style of edge guard on other paddles or was this a special design specifically just for the Icon?

In order to have a replaceable edge guard you need to have a paddle with a molded construction.  The Icon was constructed like our tennis rackets, creating a solid structure entirely encased in carbon fiber.  We do have plans to add additional paddles with similar attributes.  In pickleball we are limited by guidelines but also by weight.  For example, the Warrior could not be produced using the molded construction because the weight would be up near 10 ounces.  


Warrior Paddle by Diadem Pickleball

The Icon and Warrior paddles both have smaller than average cores in the honeycomb core (8mm across). How do these smaller denser cores affect the feel of the paddle?

We have always enjoyed the denser cores, and find they more easily give the player access to power.  They also have less chance for dead spots that can occur when the honeycomb core gets damaged or bent. 

The Icon and the Warrior paddles have a noticeably gritty surface. How does that help players put more spin on their shots?

The Icon and Warrior get spin in different ways.  The Icon has a unique paint that truly bites the ball with a softer face.  Alternatively the Warrior has a grit paint that cuts into the ball to produce the spin. 


Warrior Paddle by Diadem Pickleball



What’s next for Diadem? Are you planning to introduce more paddles in 2022?

We are excited to add to the Warrior line in 2022.  We are currently working on a light version of the paddle.  We know that 8.5 oz may turn some people away, and even though it is balanced in a way that feels lighter, some players have a hard limit, and we would love to make a paddle with the Warrior technology that appeals to more people.  New color options for both the Icon and the Warrior are also coming soon.   Finally we have a super-secret new concept for a paddle we are working on that may launch in 2022, but I have said too much already.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about Diadem Pickleball?

Diadem Pickleball is committed to bring the highest quality paddle to the market, pushing the boundaries of the norm while growing this beautiful sport.  We are always happy to chat with our customers and listen to their ideas or concerns to make our products better.  

If you’re not sure which paddle would be best for you or want to know more, call us at 1-888-854-0163. Nothing makes us happier than helping you find a paddle that fits your game. You can purchase with confidence, knowing you have a 30-day test drive to make sure it works on the courts – that’s where it counts.

PROLITE Sports: The company that changed Pickleball

We recently chatted with Neil Friedenberg of PROLITE Sports Pickleball about PROLITE’s past and present. The first company to begin making paddles out of modern non-wood materials, PROLITE revolutionized paddle technology and continues to be an industry leader developing innovative paddles for players of all types.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball
Owner and President of PROLITE Sports; Neil Friedenerg

Can you tell us about the history of the PROLITE company?

The PROLITE company was originally founded by Arlen and Steve Paranto. Arlen was a Boeing engineer and his son, Steve Paranto, was an avid tennis player and physical education teacher who took up pickleball in its early days. Steve was famously known for analyzing the weight ratio of a tennis racquet compared to a tennis ball and then analyzing the wood pickleball paddles available in the beginning compared to the weight of a pickleball Using this ratio, they determined that wood paddles were way too heavy, and that the honeycomb panels at Arlen could obtain at Boeing would work well to create a lighter paddle.

Their resulting paddle technology innovation revolutionized the equipment and the game. The feel of the new lighter paddles was exceptional, and led to the importance of dinking, more strategy, and longer rallies.  With this new technology, Arlen and Steve Paranto created PROLITE Sports in 1984 – at the time, Ultra Paddle Company. Both Arlen and Steve have been inducted into the Pickleball Hall of Fame due to their significant contributions to the growth of the sport.

Today PROLITE Sports Pickleball is well known as the legacy brand of pickleball. Nearly forty years old, PROLITE was not only the first company to transform the paddle industry, we also introduced woven carbon fiber paddles to the pickleball market. PROLITE’s most important distinguishing characteristic is our philosophy. We believe that what makes the sport of pickleball special and has led to its increasing worldwide popularity and attention are the everyday recreational players…the 99%ers! That is what PROLITE is all about.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball History
Steve and Arlen Paranto playing Pickleball at their lake house
PROLITE Sports Pickleball Arlen Paranto
Arlen Paranto (inductee of Pickleball Hall Of Fame) and founder of PROLITE Sports

What are the most popular paddles in your lineup? 

The most popular paddles are our Black Diamond Series, which includes the Supernova Pro, Rebel Pro, Titan Pro, Large Titan Edition, and Cypher Pro. These are woven carbon fiber models in a variety of shapes to perfectly fit any player’s sports background. The Black Diamond Series is very unique. Before it came out, most other paddles developed for imparting spin typically emphasized texture and roughness of the paddle face. We approached things a bit differently, focusing on dwell time on the paddle, creating absorption of the ball, and enhancing the ability to maneuver the ball where you want, especially at slower speeds (for example rolling dinks at your opponent’s feet or hitting aggressive, angled dinks creating that next put-away).

Many people are surprised because the surface of the Black Diamond Series paddles appears to be smooth, but much more is going on. Carbon fibers begin to fray over time. Imagine looking under the microscope and seeing these little fibers raised above the surface of the paddle. Those fibers work to grab the ball, which causes friction and can create more spin.  It really is amazing.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball Black Diamond Series Paddles
PROLITE Sports Black Diamond Series Pickleball Paddles

How did your dad get the nickname “Yoda”?

My dad Mark Friedenberg (author of the book Winning Pickleball) was inducted into the Pickleball Hall of Fame a few years ago.  It was well deserved just for the fact that he saw how beneficial this game was to people’s lives so he started introducing the sport into new communities. He was also a skilled player and began competing and putting the time into getting better. “Yoda” came about when he was playing one day against some much younger competition and they sarcastically called him “Grandpa”. Then he cleaned their clocks and the name Yoda caught on.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball, Mark Friedenberg and Neil Friedenberg
Mark (Yoda), Neil (Owner and President of PROLITE) and Erick Friedenberg

If Pickleball had walk in songs like Baseball does, what would be your song?
I can’t help but think of how Ken Griffey Jr. walked up to the plate at the Kingdome when I was young. He had the Hip-Hop Hooray beat by Naughty by Nature. Rage Against the Machine gets me pretty pumped up. No Shelter is a great song, so I would have to say No Shelter by Rage Against the Machine – it gets me ultra-focused and the heart pumping.

What’s next for PROLITE?

We’re on the brink of some exciting brand-new technology yet to be implemented in paddles. We also see the influx of new players coming into the sport and our goal is always to ensure that players of all levels have a specific PROLITE paddle to swing that fits their individual performance needs. PROLITE is dedicated to the sport of pickleball and the everyday player, and our customers will always continue to be our focus.

Explore PROLITE’s paddle lineup and learn more here.

Oneshot Launches New Pickleball Paddles Designed With Aero Flow Technology

Oneshot Pickleball is family owned and operated

Two families bonding over a game of pickleball, having fun with a little friendly competition, and it didn’t take long before they were hooked! Most of us can relate to a story like this – a family member, a friend, neighbor or maybe colleague introduced us to the world of pickleball and it didn’t take long before we were hitting them up to play again.

Their passion for pickleball translated into a desire to create their own pickleball paddles and that is how Oneshot Pickleball was formed. The Lui and Montes Family set out to design a unique yet simple series of paddles for youth up to pro, and have succeeded and even excelled.

Introducing Aero Flow Technology

The newest launch is one of their most exciting to date! On 9/29/21 Oneshot launched 2 paddles with Aero Flow technology, introducing the first commercially available paddles with an aerodynamic component.

The two paddles launched with this technology are the Proshot Graphite Paddle and the Powershot Composite Paddle.

The face of these two paddles has four curved cut-outs on each side. Tested in a Belgium lab, this design was shown to reduce the drag on the paddle by 2%. That may not sound like a lot, but is actually a huge decrease in aerodynamic drag reduction!

When we spoke with Oscar Montes, co-owner of Oneshot, we asked him what he sees as the biggest benefit to the Areo Flow Technology. He said, “the most significant benefit is less drag which translates into faster swings, therefore more power and control. Another benefit that relates to the drag factor is more player stamina; having to swing repeatedly with less effort could have a serious impact on long days of play.”

When asked how long they’d been working on this unique paddle design, Oscar said it started in a garage in 2019. “We drew some prototype sketches on paper and a few weeks later used basic power tools to make a few physical prototypes. Later, we proceeded into the data collection stage which included running our new paddles through wind tunnels and analyzing the results.” 

Which Oneshot paddle is right for you?

When deciding which paddle is the best fit for your game Oscar says, “the Proshot is usually selected by players looking for control and a good feel for the ball at the kitchen line. The Powershot caters to those looking for more power and that might have some racquet sport background.”

Whichever paddle you choose, you will definitely stand out on the pickleball courts! For the team at Oneshot, “paddle color matters to us as much as design; we put a lot of time and effort into each of our paddles to make sure we are offering a clean and modern look. The new Aero paddles reflect a mix of our favorite colors.”

You’ll find these paddles in PickleballCentral’s Oneshot category.

Bonus question from our conversation with the founders of Oneshot:

Other than your paddle, what’s your one piece of gear you can’t live without?

• The Montes family: Definitely a diaper bag; we travel everywhere with our 2 kids!

• The Lui family: Snacks…we like to eat!

What is your answer to that question?

If you’re not sure which paddle would be best for you or want to know more, call us at 1-888-854-0163. Nothing makes us happier than helping you find a paddle that fits your game. You can purchase with confidence, knowing you have a 30-day test drive to make sure it works on the courts – that’s where it counts.

Adidas Enters Pickleball With A New Line Of Paddles For Every Player

New Sport. Same Attitude.

For more than seventy years, adidas has excelled when it comes to leading innovation in sports. We are excited to announce that adidas has launched their first line of pickleball paddles in 2021! With growing recognition and excitement around pickleball, we are seeing some major brands take notice. This new line of paddles brings their spirit of performance to pickleball with 8 paddles for a range of all player types, from beginners to pros.

Adidas is using materials new to the sport to hit the ground running with some high-level performance paddles.

Let’s take a closer look:

adidas ADIPOWER Pickleball Paddles

ADIPOWER Range

Featuring 2 Paddles

  • New carbon aluminized face material for a unique feel 
  • Two shapes for different styles of play – ATTK and CTRL 
  • Adidas quality entering pickleball 

What happens when you combine the rigidity of carbon fiber with the softness of aluminum? You get the face of the ADIPOWER paddles. This gives the paddle a depth not seen in other paddles. From the soft game to the power game these paddles just feel and play a little different. There is very little feedback through the paddle and shots are consistent and controlled.   

ESSNOVA CARBON Range

Featuring 3 paddles

  • 3K carbon face provides great control on all models 
  • 2 shapes and 2 core densities provide a wide range of play characteristics 
  • Exciting technology enhances durability and play – structural reinforcement and Spin Blade technology 

The ESSNOVA CARBON finds a different way to combine power and control. The shape of the ESSNOVA ATTK is slightly elongated, adding more whip to your shots. The balanced ESSNOVA CTRL paddles come in two different core densities. The low density has more give, thus a little more pop off the face. The high density is more rigid, spreading out the sweet spot and adding another dimension of control.  

RX Range

Featuring 2 paddles

  • Consistent play and feel for these intermediate paddles 
  • Your choice of high density (control) or low density (power) cores  
  • Classic shape and weight range  

The RX44 and the RX20 are intermediate level paddles that perform. This series utilizes a fiberglass face to help those who want to keep their serves and returns deep. The RX44 has a high density core for to help temper the bounce of the fiberglass. The RX20 has a low density core to multiple the fiberglass effect. Both paddles are in the traditional shape. 

Drive Range

Featuring 1 paddle

  • Fiberglass face for pop 
  • Carbon-reinforced frame for durability 
  • Comfortable non slip grip 

The Drive is an entry level paddle that comes in a slightly smaller shape. There are many of the same technologies used in the higher end adidas paddles that make this paddle a winner at this price. It will provide enough power as you start your pickleball journey through the use of a fiberglass face and the low density core.   

You’ll find these paddles exclusively at PickleballCentral.

Still not sure which one you should get or want to know more about a certain paddle? Call us at 1-888-854-0163. Nothing makes us happier than helping you find a paddle that fits your game. Buy with confidence, knowing you have a 30-day test drive to make sure it works on the courts – where it counts.

Shop all adidas paddles.

Finding Your First Paddle

Written by John C., Director of Vendor Relations at PickleballCentral

So many of us have been introduced to the game of pickleball by friends, family or chance only to become hopelessly addicted. We start with borrowed paddles and soon can’t wait to get our very own. Then when we go shopping and are just overwhelmed with all the choices. How do you pick your very first pickleball paddle?

It starts with some basics. Have you played racquet sports in the past? Is there a different type of sport you have played? Or, is this your first foray into athletics? To all of you we say, “welcome to the wonderful world of pickleball!”

New to Sports/None of the Above – look for a great entry level paddle to get you started, there are many paddles that are low cost and make the game easier to play than the old wood paddles that are often used in schools (SLK Latitude, Engage Trident, Vulcan V330, PROLITE Illuminate 2.0, Rally Tyro 2, Oneshot X).

Tennis – look for a paddle from a trusted name in tennis (HEAD, Prince, ProKennex, Babolat, Wilson or Diadem) – the grips feel very familiar – or use our Oversized Pickleball Paddles Category to find a paddle that is slightly elongated that puts the sweet spot further from your hand, similar to a tennis racket (GAMMA Compass, Electrum Model E, Paddletek Tempest Reign Pro, Selkirk Vanguard Hybrid Invikta, and Oneshot Powershot are some of our popular elongated paddles at this time). You may also look at handle length if you favor any two-handed shots – anything 5 ½” or longer should work (Franklin Ben Johns Signature, HEAD Gravity LH, Engage Pursuit MX, Prince Quantum Pro and Vulcan V560 Control).

Badminton/Squash – look for a paddle that is long handled and head heavy (PROLITE Cypher Pro, Paddletek Sabre Pro, Selkirk Vanguard Hybrid Mach6)  and has the right size grip for you hand (check out our Paddle Guide to see three ways to measure it).

Racquetball – look for a paddle that is tear drop shaped with a high sweet spot (Onix Evoke Teardrop, Champion Graphite Elite, GAMMA Hellbender). You probably want a standard or short handle size (Selkirk AMPED Omni, Vulcan V550, HEAD Gravity SH).

Table Tennis – look for a paddle that can impart a lot of spin through texture or face material (Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro, Electrum Pro Graphite, PROLITE Titan, ProKennex Ovation Flight, Pursuit EX 6.0). You will probably feel comfortable with a short handle paddle that lets you get the most from a paddle while playing with a finger (or two) up on the face (Selkirk AMPED S2, GAMMA Typhoon, Onix Vertex).

Baseball/Softball – look for a paddle that is well balanced and has a large sweet spot to provide you success as you enter in to a racquet sport (Prince Response Pro, ProKennex Kinetic Pro Speed II, Diadem Icon, Paddletek Tempest Wave II, Babolat RBEL, Oneshot Pureshot Brian Ashworth).

The secret is to get started with a paddle that gives you a chance to find out what kind of player you are. An all-court paddle combines power for your long shots and touch for your short game. As you develop you can decide if you need more power (my shots are going into the net, my serve is not deep enough) or more control (I am constantly hitting the ball out, my dinks don’t go where I want them to). Like most of us, you will find that you go through a few paddles as your skill increases and you understand more about what different paddle characteristics do for your game.

A great place to start your research is our Paddle Guide, where these sections will help you narrow your choices and help you find your very first paddle:

And, if that doesn’t work, call us at 1-888-854-0163. We all play pickleball and went through exactly what you are going through now. Nothing makes us happier than helping you find a paddle that fits your game. And then you buy with confidence, knowing you have a 30-day test drive to make sure it works on the courts – that’s where it counts.

Why Wear a Pickleball Shoe?

Written by Kevin S., our in-house footwear expert and buyer

As pickleball continues to be one of the fastest growing sports we also see players evolve in their preference of gear. Just as many of us started playing with a wooden paddle until we saw the light and realized how much more control we got out of a composite paddle, we owe it to our feet to show them a similar jump in quality by switching out of a running shoe and putting on footwear specific to our sport. While there are no promises on an immediate improvement to your third shot drop with a pair of pickleball shoes on vs your typical running shoe, court shoes do provide improvements to stability, durability, and most importantly a reduced injury risk.

Let us start with the name: Is there a difference between a pickleball shoe, a tennis shoe, or a court shoe?

Easy answer here: No! You may have heard a few different terms used to describe the shoes you should wear while playing pickleball. The differences between them exist in name alone. As you may be aware, most people play pickleball on the same surface as a tennis court; with a big overlap in the range of motion needed from our footwear for each sport. Any tennis shoe is going to equip you perfectly for pickleball. For those who play on an indoor gym surface, a gum rubber shoe or a standard pickleball shoe are both suitable. Sometimes the term tennis shoe will refer to a general athletic shoe, so in place of this court shoe may be used to describe the footwear used for the sport. There is no reason so switch out of a tennis shoe and into a pickleball shoe, but many reasons to switch out of a trainer or running shoe and into a pickleball/tennis/court shoe.

Breaking down the benefits

Every running shoe and most trainers are designed for a limited range of motion: to go forwards and backwards. In pickleball almost every point is played with a great deal of lateral movement. Being able to pivot is very critical, and pickleball shoes are designed for just that. Putting your weight into the ball of your foot and trying to pivot left or right in a running shoe is fighting against the design of the shoe’s midsole, toe box, tread, and outsole. Losing this fight occurs when you twist your foot and instead of allowing this motion while keeping your foot stable, the shoe tips over and caves, easily leading to an ankle injury. You will often hear the term “stability” used with pickleball shoes and the idea is they allow for a range of motion, twisting, and pivoting while keeping your foot level and stable, avoiding risk of turning an ankle. A few design details help accomplish this goal.

  • Tread

The tread on the bottom of a pickleball shoe is most frequently a herringbone design, a term used to describe the squiggly pattern that lines the bottom of the shoe under the forefoot and heel. The tread of the shoe needs to allow you to start and stop quickly, pivot, lunge, backpedal, and exert your weight over many parts of the shoe. This is different from a running shoe that is designed for your weight to transfer only from your heel or midfoot to your toes in a natural running stride.

  • Stability Shank

To aid in keeping your foot stable, pickleball shoes feature a plastic shank that runs between the cushioning of your heel and the outsole. This shank runs from the back of the shoe up to about the forefoot and is visible from each side of the shoes and underneath. Some shoes also feature an additional plastic heel counter that restricts movement even further from your heel and ankle, a key component for anyone with prior ankle injuries looking for the most secure pickleball shoe they can get.

  • Drop

Running shoes often feature a slant called a heel toe drop, where the heel of the shoe is higher than the toe box. Most pickleball shoes feature close to a zero millimeter heel toe drop to allow you to pivot on your heels or forefoot without your weight being entirely distributed in one area or the other. This flat, low to the ground effect makes it hard to find a pickleball shoe with much arch support. A completely flat shoe is easier to pivot in than one with a heightened arch. Knowing many people require additional arch support to compensate for pronation, supination, or plantar fasciitis issues, all the insoles in pickleball shoes are removable, and able to be swapped with your own support insoles. We sell two insoles from Zelus, the Olympus Pro and Olympus Lite that offer a great combination of heightened arch support and cushioning. For someone needing a shoe with high arch support it is much safer to wear a pickleball shoe and put in a support insole rather than wearing a running shoe featuring a high arch.

  • Outsole

Another component of a pickleball shoe is the rubber used for the outsole that ensures durability over frequent use. This rubber is harder than the rubber in most athletic shoes and should stand the test of time against play and wear down at a much slower rate than a non-pickleball shoe.

Between a plastic shank and the hard rubber used to ensure durability pickleball shoes might not be as plush or soft as a running shoe but the benefits in stability, injury prevention, durability, and increased range of motion far outweigh the softer materials of a running shoe.

How to pick a pickleball shoe?

Every pickleball shoe will offer heightened stability, durability, and comfort compared to a normal athletic shoe. Pickleball shoe brands will often offer a very supportive and stable option as well as a lighter weight more comfort-oriented shoe. There are pros and cons to each and picking the one that fits your style of play is important. Using a lighter weight and softer rubber typically brings down the durability of a shoe. Adding a plastic heel counter for added support usually makes the shoe heavier overall. At the bottom of our Men’s and Women’s shoe pages is a shoe guide that lists information about each shoe that will help guide you in this decision.

Here you will see:

  • A classification of each shoe: Lightweight, Comfort, Durability, and Stability being the options
  • The weight of the shoe
  • The toe box width
  • Whether the shoe features a 6-month durability guarantee

As important as style is, we should consider these additional aspects of each shoe to pick the best pair for our pickleball needs.

To summarize

It takes little time to realize the benefits of upgrading from your first paddle; we should be aware of a similar improvement we can bring to our game by upgrading our footwear. You do not want to switch to a proper shoe only after you have experienced a predictable injury playing pickleball in a running shoe. It is not a piece of equipment reserved for the pro players while the rest of us are not good enough to feel the differences. Hopefully after reading along you understand the technology and differences in material used to construct a pickleball shoe and what benefits each component brings. Each brand makes pickleball shoes with different components all including a similar foundation. HEAD makes shoes with exceptional ventilation with their Sprint Pro, Revolt Pro, and Revolt EVO models. Wilson makes a shoe that sits as one of the most comfortable we carry while also being the lightest out of our lineup with their Kaos Swift. Babolat offers a wider fitting shoe with a very durable outsole with their SFX 3. K-Swiss has been a best-seller due to its elevated comfort, weight, and durability in their Express Light model. If you are curious at all of the differences between the shoes we offer or are looking for advice on how to select the shoe that will fit your game best, our customer service team is well trained to handle any and all inquiries to help make your buying experience easier. Stay tuned for more shoe content to come!

Shoe Lacing Techniques Can Alleviate Many Common Foot Problems

Do you experience foot pain during or after playing pickleball? If so you are certainly not alone. It’s not uncommon for many people, especially when doing a lot of running, to experience a variety of foot issues. Sometimes people assume they have an ill-fitting shoe when in fact simply lacing the shoe in a different way can alleviate the discomfort.

The illustration and following explanations below shows lacing techniques for addressing five of the most common foot types and issues. Experimenting with these might help you turn a pair of shoes you thought did not fit quite right into your new favorite pair.


HEEL BLISTERS / SLIPPING:
If you get heel blisters or excessive wear in the back of your shoe, it may be due to heel slippage. Using “Lock Lacing” prevents your laces from becoming loose, decreases movement of your foot in the shoe, and helps reduce friction. To do lock lacing follow these steps:

1. Lace shoes in the typical cross-cross pattern until the second-to-last eyelet.
2. Then thread the lace through the last eyelet so that the lace comes out on the inside of the shoe, which creates a loop between the last two eyelets.
3. Finish by crossing your laces then inserting them through the loops you created, pulling tightly to secure the shoe around your foot, then tie normally.

WIDE FOOT / SHOES TOO TIGHT:
If your shoes feel tight on the top of your foot, “Bar Lacing” is recommended to evenly distribute the laces for improved comfort. To do bar lacing, lace your shoes in a parallel pattern by skipping alternate eyelets for each lace and running the lace up the side of the eyelets to decrease pressure.

HIGH ARCHES:
The “Gap Lacing” pattern can help alleviate pressure that people with high arches sometimes feel in the middle of your foot. To do gap lacing:
1. Start lacing normally with a criss-cross.
2. In the middle section, thread the lace only through the side eyelets.
3. Criss-cross through the final two eyelets and tie normally.

TOE PAIN:
If you get black toenails and feel pain or pinching in your toes, the “Toe-Cap” lacing technique helps lift the toe box to create more space for your toes. To do toe-cap lacing, follow these steps:

1. Start by lacing from the eyelet at the big toe to the eyelet at the top on the opposite side, so the lace goes diagonally across the whole shoe (you might need a slightly longer pair of laces for this method).
2. Make the other side of the lace about 4 inches longer, then lace it in a criss-cross pattern across all of the eyelets.
3. At the top, tie normally.

BUNIONS / WIDE FOREFOOT:
A lacing technique that provides more space in the toe box can be helpful for people with wide forefeet and/or bunions. The recommended pattern for wide forefeet is similar to the “Gap Lacing” pattern for high arches, except that you don’t start with a criss-cross, so there is more opening in the width towards the toe. To lace for a wide forefoot, follow these steps:

1. Begin by threading the lace only through the sides.
2. Starting at the midfoot, lace with a criss-cross pattern.
3. Finish with a criss-cross the final eyelets and tie normally.

The way you lace your shoes can not only affect your performance and comfort, but can also remedy many common foot issues. But keep in mind that if your shoe is not the correct fit for your foot size or for the way you pronate, just changing how you lace your shoes won’t necessarily fix the problem. Make sure that you have the right combination of proper fit and lacing technique to help your feet stay comfortable and keep you performing at your best.

We carefully select a variety of court shoe brands and styles so that people with different foot types and preferences can find the best shoe for their needs. You can see them all here.

 

Get The Skinny On Slender Singles

If you’ve been playing pickleball for a while you’re probably already familiar with Skinny Singles. But have you heard of Slender Singles?

We’re not talking about a new dating site, cheese or type of currency! We’re sticking to pickleball 100% here with some creative ideas for different ways to play the game we all love, get a great workout and improve your pickleball skills.

Slender Singles

Skinny Singles?

In Skinny Singles, you only use half the court: either using diagonal courts and changing the diagonal side with each serve, or using half the court directly across from your opponent. There tends to be more dinking and doubles-like strategy in Skinny Singles, but with only one player on each side of the net. It’s a great way to help your doubles game and work on your skills since you really have to focus on ball placement.

What about “regular” singles? For many pickleball players, especially those coming from tennis, a singles match is a super fun way to enjoy competing against another player while getting an excellent workout, pounding out groundstrokes and making passing shots.

Singles is great for working on shot depth and control, aiming for the sidelines to keep your opponent moving. But for many people (especially those of us getting on in years who might have a few injuries or not be at our peak fitness levels), covering a full 20-foot wide court without a partner is a big ask. Sure, it’s much smaller than a tennis court, but it’s still a lot of ground to cover!

Try Out Slender Singles

Here’s where the new game of Slender Singles comes in! Using an 18-foot net (instead of the 22-foot regulation size pickleball net), players who would like to play full court singles but could use a break from all that extra running have a perfect solution.

By taking four feet off the court width and making it 16 feet instead of 20 feet wide (with the typical 1 foot of net extending beyond each court sideline), players can enjoy a regular singles match and last much longer since they have 20% less court to cover. Slender singles opens up the fun of singles to a much larger population of players who might otherwise feel that singles is just too darn hard.

Slender Singles Dimensions

The MultiNet System

It’s easy to see how the many benefits of playing singles stack up. You have to hit each ball and cover more area, so the cardio benefits result in a great workout. In addition, your consistency and accuracy will improve, which will in turn help your doubles game as well. The MultiNet 18’ Practice Net System is the perfect solution for Slender Singles.

Originally designed as a “Red Ball” tennis net for junior tennis, this net allows pickleball players with limited space to set up a slightly narrower court for singles or doubles drilling and match play. The net height can be adjusted from 30” all the way up to 68” tall, providing a versatile multi-sport solution that works for badminton, beach volleyball and other games, and an interesting training aid for working on pickleball lobs.

Slender Singles Match

If playing Slender Singles sizzles your senses, you might also want to consider an oversize or elongated paddle to help you reach those passing shots your opponent will surely be serving up. You’ll find over 20 of the most popular oversize paddles listed on our website here.

4 Amazing Long Points from Pickleball Matches You Have To Watch

They say that unforced errors are the key to the game, so in an ideal world pickleball points should last through endless hits as players return ball after ball. Of course, that’s not exactly how it plays out in real life, but among top level competitors you do end up seeing some truly epic rallies that last for over 50 strikes.

If you’d like to learn how to be more prepared, consistent and precise… or if you just want to see some pickleball action at its finest, watch these videos to see how pros keep the ball in play for as long as possible.

 

2018 Vegas Open 68 Shot Rally

This point is from the men’s doubles semi-final at the Las Vegas Pickleball Open. It involves Kyle Yates and Ben Johns vs. Callan Dawson and Tyler Loong. There are a nice mix of dinks and volleys as the players jockey to find openings and position their opponents. This match went to 3 games and they also faced one another in the gold medal match afterwards.

 

2019 Golden State Championships 174 Shot Rally

In this tense showdown Kyle Yates makes another appearance with Lindsey Newman as they face Jeff Warnick and Jessie Irvine. The point truly shows how much patience can make or break your game. Many of the hits are gentle and controlled as both sides wait for the other to make the tiniest mistake The point drags on in what may be one of the longest rallies ever! The final hit is unexpected as Warnick reaches near the center line to steal a ball out of the air and put it between his competitors.

 

2016 USAPA Nationals 55 Shot Rally

This video has the shortest amount of hits on the list, but it’s probably the most exciting. Wes Gabrielsen and Kyle Yates (should we deem him the Long Rally King?) battle against Matt Staub and Daniel Moore. The pace hardly lets up as these fantastic players alternate between calculated dinks and lightning fast volleys. It’s amazing that the point isn’t even lost as the players are drawn out of position, but because of an overly powerful shot that flies out of bounds!

 

2018 Practice Match w/ Glenn Lucey 67 Shot Rally

Glenn Lucey is something of a legend among the pickleball community for posting long and impressive rallies involving him and other pro players. Although his videos are “only” from practice matches, they’re no less passionate and fun to watch than those at tournaments. In fact, since the players are often taking more risks, you get to see some unique choices at times. Stick around after the long point to see Dave Wage go to his knees to rescue a ball—multiple times!

Get Free Pickleball Training at Home from Simone Jardim

Simone Jardim is one of pickleball’s top players and has won over 70 gold medals in competitions like the USAPA Nationals. Normally you’d have to attend her Peak Performance Pickleball Academy in Florida to receive training from her, and that would only be if you were lucky enough to catch her between her busy tournament schedule… but now you can practice with her for free from the comfort of your own home!

Starting in late March this year, Simone started posting a series of drill videos on Facebook. She’s going to livestream another drill set tomorrow, Thursday 4/2 at 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT. Watch her in real time and you’ll be able to ask questions and comment as she demonstrates. Be sure to tune in if you have the opportunity!

In the meantime, check out her prior videos so you can get up-to-date on these useful techniques. Most of these drills can be done alone but some can be done with a partner as well. You can even watch how Simone stretches and cool down to ensure proper care of your body after practice. These videos are all 40+ minutes long so you’ll get to enjoy some meaty strategy talks and demonstrations!

Simone Jardim – At-Home Pickleball Exercises – Part 1

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In this 2nd video Simone discusses the importance of positioning around the kitchen, how you can read your opponents’ movements and the best ways to respond to different shots. Some of the Q&A focuses on footwork and describes common mistakes players make so that you can move more quickly and efficiently across the court.

Make sure you’re taking breaks and drinking water, as some of these drills can be intense and require quick actions. Go at your own pace to avoid injury and grow accustomed to new movements.

Simone Jardim – At-Home Pickleball Exercises – Part 2

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At the end of the third stream, Simone gave away a free Prince paddle—so all the more reason to watch her live tomorrow. That being said, if you watch this video you might hear about a special offer from Prince you can still use now…

Her warm-up in this video involves ladder work for your lower body and transitions into more wall drills that focus on placement and touch.

Simone Jardim – At-Home Pickleball Exercises – Part 3

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Enjoy these wonderful workout/training videos and we hope to see you tomorrow on Facebook! Follow Simone today so you can join in the fun and improve your skills.