Meet The Pros – Tony Girodo

Meet The Pros – Tony Girodo

Tony Girodo with Linda Dillon

Tony is a full-time RV’er, so he gets to play pickleball with folks from all over. He must have a fantastic array of pickleball friends. Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2019 National Senior Games Mixed Doubles with Sandy Scanlan – Silver
2019 Wickenburg Ranch Men’s Doubles Age – Gold

2019 Grand Canyon State Games Mixed Doubles Skill/Age with Sandy Scanlan – Gold
2019 Robson Ranch, Mixed Doubles Skill/Age with Sandy Scanlan – Silver
2018 Margaritaville USAPA Nationals, Mixed Skill/Age Doubles with Sandy Scanlan – Silver
2018 US OPEN Men’s Doubles Age with Bob Costanza – Gold
            Mixed Doubles – Skill with Connie Reker – Bronze
2018 Happy Trails, Mixed Doubles Skill/Age with Sandy Scanlan – Gold
2018 Duel in the Desert, Men’s Doubles Skill/Age with Doug Cook – Gold
2017 Round Up@ Sun City AZ, Men’s Doubles Skill/Age with Bill Marshall – Gold

Tony Girodo Gold

2016 🌵🏅Duel in the Desert🏅🌵 Mixed Doubles Age/Skill Groups 65+: 4.0, GOLD Audrey Sherfey and Tony Girodo, SILVER Terry Saunders and James Saunders BRONZE Diane Hill and Donald Bangs

What paddle do you play with and why?

I currently play with the Tempest Wave. I used to play with an original Paddletek pickleball paddle, no model name, and had it for about 7 years.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

Ten and a half years ago my wife and I started RV’ing. At our first stop in Palm Springs I kept hearing this “ping – ping – ping” sound and went to investigate. I was invited to play, and the rest is history. I have a tennis and racquetball background. My wife plays recreationally. Pickleball has turned out to be a great social sport. We’ve made a lot of good friends. No matter where we go, we find people who play pickleball.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

Ninety-five percent of the time I play outdoors.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer doubles. I may venture into singles at some time in the future.

Tony Girodo, bronze

Marriott Desert Ridge Holiday Classic December 1, 2017 Men’s Doubles 70+ 4.5: Gold: Barry Jeff Stone & Malcolm Derr, Silver: Jim Saunders & Brian Parkes, Bronze: Tony Girodo & Doug Cook

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

Indian Wells is my favorite place this year, also Happy Trails and Pebble Creek. The Surprise, Arizona area has 16 public area courts that are great. They may be expanding the number of courts in the future.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

I have a supportive spouse, and that really helps. It also helps to get the right partner. Get one who plays like you or better. Make sure you drill all the time and seek to play with better, skilled folks. This builds confidence. It helps to use a Sports Tutor machine to practice drills.

What is your day job?

I am a full-time RV’er with my wife. Just recently visited Portland, Maine and the beach in New Jersey.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

I play 2-3 hours a day, 15-20 hours a week. I usually take a day off during the week to let my body heal. Thankfully, I ‘ve had no major injuries.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I pet our dog “Mojo,” a schnauzer who gives me big “MOJO.” 

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

My current goal is to medal at the USAPA Nationals.

Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

This is a great game to play and for meeting new friends. I keep playing to keep active. Eighty percent of my commitment to the game is so that I can continue to eat ice cream! I try to improve every day. I suggest working on 1 or 2 things at a time, like dinks, lobs and 3rd shot drops. That’s the best way to improve your game, in my opinion. 

Win Tricky Points on Your Serve with the Nasty Nelson

To piggyback on our post about the lesser-known Erne Shot from earlier this month, today we have another technique that’s not seen often and is far more controversial: the Nasty Nelson.

Although this shot is legal, some see it as unsportsmanlike and it may leave a sour taste in players’ mouths. If you decide to use it, make sure you’re either playing among good-natured friends or in a high level competition where opponents should be ready for anything!

Timothy Nelson

Timothy Nelson

The Nasty Nelson was given its name by Scott Lipitz after watching Timothy Nelson make use of it.

The goal is to cause the receiving team to commit a fault. This technique is a serve aimed at the receiver’s partner instead of the usual crosscourt box. If the opponent’s partner hits the ball before it reaches the court—either with their paddle or body—then the point goes to the serving team.

The reason this works is due to pickleball’s service rules which state:

4.C.2. Interference. If the serve clears the net and the receiver or the receiver’s partner interferes with the flight of the ball on the serve, it is a point for the serving team.

Just like a ball is still in play if someone chooses to hit an “out” ball before it actually drops outside the court’s boundaries, if the partner blocks the ball from landing on the wrong side of the court (usually due to not moving fast enough or raising a paddle to protect their body), you get the point.

Although this shot may sound harsh, it’s a viable part of the game and can even be a wise strategy. The “cleanest” way to use the Nasty Nelson is if you notice the receiver’s partner positioning themselves aggressively near the center line.

Since the partner is already close to the legal side of the court, it’s easier to tweak your serve and pop them before they realize they need to get out of the way. It’s (literally) their fault for not realizing they’re blocking the serve’s flight path!

The Nasty Nelson can still be attempted when the partner is at the center or outer edge of their court, but it’s more difficult to achieve under those conditions and may not win many friends.

You can see the shot executed below. In this instance the receiving partner isn’t particularly close to the center line, but the Nasty Nelson is unexpected and he notices the ball heading toward him too late. Despite this surprise attack, all the players take it in good stride!

If you want to see Timothy himself use this shot on an opponent far from the center line, check out this video at 7:04. Just be warned that the rest of the highlights contain strong language.

Do you think the Nasty Nelson’s reward is worth the risk? Even if you don’t want to use this shot yourself, it’s a good one to know so you don’t get caught off guard.

Meet The Pros – Gregg Whitfield

Meet The Pros – Gregg Whitfield

Gregg is retiring so that he can TEACH PICKLEBALL! Awesome! And he brings his tennis techniques into the pickleball training equation. Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2019 U S Open: Silver in Men’s 60+ Doubles with Joe Nguyen
Gold in Mixed 65+ with Hilary Marold, Bronze in 65+ Singles

2018 U S Open 65+ Mixed 5.0 Gold with Carolyn Bagley
Silver Men’s Doubles Skill 60+ with Steve Paranto

Steve Paranto and Gregg Whitfield

2018 US OPEN, Steve Paranto and Gregg Whitfield – Silver

2018 Pasadena Senior Games Gold in Men’s Doubles, Silver in Mixed, Gold in Singles
2018 So Cal Classic Gold in 60+ Men’s Doubles
2018 West Regionals Gold in Men’s Doubles 60+, Gold in Mixed 60+, Gold in Singles 60+
2018 Huntsman Senior Games: Gold in Men’s 65+, Gold in Mixed 65+, Gold in Singles 65+
2018 USAPA Nationals Bronze in Mixed 65+
2018 Southwest Regionals Gold in Men’s Doubles 65+, Gold in Mixed 65+, Silver in Singles 65+
2018 Grand Canyon State Games Gold in Men’s Doubles 60+
2016 Nationals 55+ 5.0 Mixed Bronze with Kathy Pederson

What paddle do you play with and why?

I’m a sponsored player with Paddletek and play with the Tempest Pro because it’s a great all-around paddle that allows for soft touch drop shots and still has power when needed.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

My background was in tennis. I played through high school and college where I played #1 for Occidental College. I taught tennis under David Reed, who played with Arthur Ashe at UCLA, and Sven Davidson, who played in 4 Grand Slam Finals winning two titles. I became the head tennis pro at Altadena Town and Country Club in the early 1980s. In 2016 I found pickleball at a local club in Cambria, CA and became addicted to the sport.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

I prefer outdoor play as the visibility is better for me and I live in California where we have nice weather year round.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer doubles because singles is so physically demanding, especially as we age. Doubles allows one to develop a soft game where you can play with players at all levels.

Gregg Whitfield

Gregg Whitfield

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

My home town of Cambria has 6 newer beautiful dedicated courts. The weather is great being 65 to 70 degrees year round. 25 miles to the east is Paso Robles where it can reach 105 during the summer. So I love my home town.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My advice is to learn the two basic spins that all top level players use: topspin and under spin. These 2 techniques are required for tennis teaching professionals. The two techniques are the basics of the drive and drop shots.

What is your day job?

I am retiring from a home painting contractor business and developing a website on teaching pickleball.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

Being semi-retired allows ample time to play, so I get in about 20 hours per week.

Gregg Whitfield - Dink Drills

Gregg Whitfield – Dink Drills

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament? 

Train with drills in your weekly play and develop all of the shots from hard drives to soft drop shots.

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

One of my goals was to win gold at either the USAPA Nationals or US Open Pickleball Championships in the 5.0 division. I have medals in both with 2 gold medals at the US Open. Now my goal is to finish my training website which is focused on teaching different shots and strategies so players of all levels can play a better game and have fun with great friendships and exercise.

2019 US OPEN 60+ men's doubles: Ted Meyer/Gary Miller - Bronze, Jim Hackenberg/Dan McLaughlin - Gold, Joe Nguyen/Gregg Whitfield - Silver

2019 US OPEN 60+ men’s doubles: Ted Meyer/Gary Miller – Bronze, Jim Hackenberg/Dan McLaughlin – Gold, Joe Nguyen/Gregg Whitfield – Silver

Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

My background in tennis was a great benefit. In tennis, the young guns could hit very fast serves where my skill set forced me to block the return of serve back. All top tennis players know how to have a very short backswing which allows a small compact technique to easily block the ball back and keep it in play. This technique is as simple as you getting to the ball and catching it with your hand. I start players out by hitting a serve to them and asking them to catch the ball with their hitting hand. First, that requires moving to the ball. Then, when catching the ball, there is no backswing and large follow through. From the basic skill, players quickly learn how to hit the ball back over the net and get it in play. Keeping the motion simple is the key to becoming a good player.

The Ten Best Paddles You May Not Know About

With so many paddles on the market it can be tough keeping up with it all. Fortunately, we have people to do that for you. We’ve asked our staff to come up with paddles that may not be grabbing all the headlines but still provide top quality benefits.

Here are the ten best paddles you may not know about (in no particular order):

Paddletek Tangent Pro

1. Paddletek Tangent Pro

The brand you know; the paddle you may not. The Tangent Pro evokes feelings of the original Element with its style. It’s a great all court paddle, having a traditional face size with slightly rounded corners and a 9/16″ core. The shape and thicker core widens the sweet spot and provides more mass for power. From baseline to kitchen play, the Tangent offers top shelf Paddletek quality.

What our customers say:

I love this paddle
I had been playing with the same paddle since I started years ago, it was a lightweight Prolite. The first time I used this paddle I could feel a big difference, it really took my play to the next level. The only con is that the handle is short, so the best fit is for players who have fairly small hands.

Stan in Alabaster, AL

Kinetic Ovation Speed

2. ProKennex Kinetic Ovation Speed

The Ovation from ProKennex is one of the newest paddles on the market and stands out with its unique oval shape. It’s a streamlined design that makes the paddle swing with less resistance, adding credence to the “Speed” in the paddle name. As an edgeless paddle, players experience fewer miss-hits. The Tungsten Bead technology in the paddle helps it absorb energy and prevent vibration from moving up your arm. You’ll be amazed by the feel and the power you get from the Ovation.

What our customers say:

Great Paddle and Amazing Customer Service
Changed my game and worth every penny. The paddle has better control with a larger sweet spot. It has really improved my touch at the net without sacrificing power from the baseline. PickleballCentral’s service is always geared towards the customer first and with excellent shipping its a no-brainer.

John in Rancho Mirage, CA

ProLite Surface NRG

3. ProLite Surface NRG

ProLite has built a loyal following with the Titan, SuperNova and Cypher. These are paddles known for their ability to grab the ball and impart spin, but they’re not known as power paddles. With the Surface NRG, that changes. This paddle maintains the spin and shot shaping ability of the other ProLite performance paddles while providing a little more pop. It’s another innovative offering from one of the original paddle companies.

What our customers say:

Light & Well-Balanced with Plenty of Pop & Spin
I was using a Selkirk Amped S2, which I liked, but was looking for a little more spin, control and pop on my serves. The Prolite Surface NRG matched the Selkirk in terms of power and pop but I did find I got a little more spin, control and touch/feel when using the NRG. The NRG has a slightly longer handle which allows more wrist action on serves and spins. My drop shots are better and more consistent with the NRG – one of the benefits of good feel & touch. Lastly, I really like the weight distribution on the Prolite Surface NRG. I highly recommend this paddle… unless you’re on the other side of the net from me. Then, choose another paddle please!

David in Marietta, GA

Gamma Legend

4. Gamma Legend

Here’s another new paddle on the market. Gamma is now offering their top performance paddles (Needle, Mirage and RZR) with a thicker core (Compass, Legend and Shard). What we like about the Legend is that it’s a composite paddle that plays like graphite. The NeuCore Poly Core is 9/16” thick. The energy of the shot is spread throughout the paddle giving it the control characteristics of a graphite paddle while maintaining the pop of fiberglass. It’s a fun paddle to use.

What our customers say:

Legend paddle is awesome
I’ve only played a couple of days with this Legend and it feels better than my other paddles already. It does soften the sound a tiny bit and seems to help with blocking shots. I’m still a beginner at this game, but I really like this paddle.

Rob in CO

HEAD Radical XL Graphite

5. HEAD Radical XL

Head paddles are known for their playability characteristics that mirror the tennis industry, making them very comfortable for people switching from tennis to pickleball. The Radical XL has all that and then some. The grip feels very comfortable and familiar while the sweet spot sits higher on the paddle. The extra bonus the XL offers with the blade shape is additional power. Its combination of a higher sweet spot and a longer shape increases the torque, hence the exit speed of the ball. It’s radical how science affects pickleball!

What our customers say:

Blue Radical 7.5oz
Received my paddle and got to play about 5 games today. Great feel playing. I love it. Great touch and power. I can drop shot or drive one home.

Jim in Shickshinny, PA

Rally Graphite Power 5.0

PBC Rally Graphite Power 5.0

This is another entry into the category of thicker core paddles, and it comes at a great price point. The Rally Graphite Power has gone through several iterations, all of which have been quite popular. This paddle should be the most popular yet. The 5.0 plays softer than its predecessors. Even though it gives up some of the trademark power associated with the name, the increase in feel and control make this a legitimate full court paddle.

What our customers say (as the 5.0 is so new, this is a review of the previous 2.0):

I was using a lighter paddle and had to bang the ball pretty had to get some velocity on it. Now, using this paddle that weighs approx. 7.9 ounces, my power game has improved. At the net just hold it up at the right angle and with minimal effort you can place the ball where you want with a simple wrist shot. Learning to hit top spin shots has taken a bit more time… overall my game is improving. Great paddle for arthritic hands – at least my hands anyway!

Bernard

Engage Trident

7. Engage Trident

Here’s another paddle from a big-name brand that is flying under the radar. The Trident focuses on control, feel and spin. However, coming from Engage you know there will be some pop. The Trident plays very soft and with the GripTek face you get a little extra spin on your cuts and top spin shots. We also think the Trident is one of the best-looking paddles from Engage. Looking good and playing good is a nice combo.

What our customers say:

Trident
Well, I took a chance on a brand new paddle with no reviews except PickleballCentral’s own pro… kind of like the dealer telling you how great your new car will be. I’m a 3.5 player and initially I didn’t see any real difference between the Trident and my old generic paddle. It took a couple of games to recognize that I was consistently hitting much better dinks! The surface is supposedly as rough as the rules allow (which isn’t very) but I have noticed a little more spin on the ball. The pro review said the paddle was “soft” and it wasn’t a term I understood until I hit with it. Love my new Trident and highly recommend it.

Randy in Kansas City, MO

TOPP Reacher Graphite

8. TOPP Reacher Graphite

The second blade on our list is the Reacher Graphite from TOPP. It combines the additional power you get with the blade shape with a graphite face to increase control. Graphite spreads the energy out over the entire paddle face and give you a more predictable shot time and time again. The additional reach (pun intended) that you get with this paddle doesn’t hurt either. This paddle was designed by Steve Wong, proving that the original paddle makers still have game.

What our customers say:

This paddle is excellent because it has great control and reach as well as a quieter sound when it hits the ball.

Rodney in Bellefontaine, OH

Onix Outbreak

9. Onix Outbreak

When it comes to softness, the Outbreak from Onix may provide the softest feel of any paddle out there. The thick core and the TeXtreme Technology combine for a paddle that plays like butter – in the very best way. From short hops to dinks and blocks, the ball just feels good coming off this paddle. When a performance ball and an Outbreak meet the result is pure magic. The paddle comes in at 7.8 to 8.2 oz which gives it the mass needed to provide some pop to go with the gentle feel.

What our customers say:

Outbreak paddle
I didn’t play a whole lot of tennis growing up but ping pong was my game, very fast paced. This paddle offers so much control and deep play at the kitchen line. My returns are more consistently low over the net and in play. Large sweet spot with no dead spots. Great paddle

JDubs in FL

Wilson Energy Pro

10. Wilson Energy Pro

Oftentimes people equate an entry level price point with a lower performing paddle. That is not the case with the Energy Pro. The Energy Pro sits in the sweet spot for weight at 7.5 – 7.8 oz. With a polymer core and fiberglass face you will feel comfortable hitting shots from anywhere on the court. It’s nice to know you don’t have to break the bank to get a paddle that will help you improve your game. Wilson is showing they’re determined to make their mark in the pickleball scene.

What our customers say:

New Paddle
Nice paddle, service was great, order came fast and in good condition. I would purchase other products from PickleballCentral. You have a great selection of items to choose from, so many that it was hard for me to make a decision, but your information on each item was a great help. I am 80 years old and having a great time playing pickleball. Hard for my old bones sometimes but it keeps me moving. Have some good games every so often even against the younger people. Your Youtube videos are great and have a lot of information.

Mike in Mount Pleasant, SC

Legally Volley at the Net with the Erne Shot

“Stay out of the kitchen!”

This phrase is bandied about the courts so often we even made a shirt out of it. The non-volley zone or “kitchen” is the 7-foot segment in front of the net every player is introduced to and then subsequently told to avoid. You’re not allowed to return a ball in the kitchen without letting it bounce… unless you’re willing to give your point away.

So is it impossible to ever enjoy a slam right at the net? Not necessarily.

If you’re an advanced player and have the ability to read opponents, set up your positioning and wait for the right opening, there is a way to sneak in a smash at close range: the Erne.

Instructor Jeff Shank saw Erne Perry use the shot at the 2010 Nationals and gave the move a title in honor of its creator.

The Erne involves stepping immediately to the left or right side of the NVZ, outside of the court boundaries, to volley the ball at its apex. Since it’s normally impossible to perform a put away shot so close to the net, opponents are often surprised that their “unattackable” ball has suddenly whizzed past them.

You can see the Erne demonstrated by several players including Brian Ashworth in this video by Third Shot Sports (warning for headphone users: loud noise at 1:20):

To legally perform the Erne you must make sure your feet aren’t in the NVZ when you make contact with the ball and continue to stay outside of it afterwards. If you fall back in the kitchen, even if the ball has cleared the net, it will be considered a fault.

The next video will show you how you can practice drilling the Erne with a partner and provides details on how to set this shot up. Since you’re hitting from the sidelines you want the ball to be near the edge of the court, so the goal is to get your opponent to hit down the line.

You can attempt to get your opponent to do this by hitting a down the line shot yourself or by hitting an angled shot so that they’re forced to reach for the ball, making it more difficult to return anything but a more predictable, straight dink.

The Erne is often a devastating, point-winning shot although it takes precision, speed and excellent predictive skills to pull off. Have you ever attempted or successfully performed it yourself? Share your tips and knowledge in the comments if you’re willing!

Meet The Pros – Dan McLaughlin

Meet The Pros – Dan McLaughlin

Dan McLaughlin Action

Dan McLaughlin

Dan McLaughlin is a platform tennis and paddleball convert who really is a team player. He loves the game and he loves the pickleball community. He also loves to win! Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2019 US OPEN Men’s Skill/Age Doubles with Jim Hackenberg, Gold
Mixed Doubles with Jo Anne Russell – Bronze
2018 US OPEN Men’s Doubles Age 65+ with Seymour Rifkind – Silver
Mixed Doubles Age 65+ with Deb Harrison – Silver
        Men’s Skill/Age Doubles with Jim Hackenberg – Gold


Mixed Doubles Skill/Age with Deb Harrison – Silver
2017 US OPEN Men’s Doubles Age with Jim Hackenberg – Silver
Men’s Doubles Skill 50+ 4.5 with Pat Sinicki – Gold
Mixed Doubles Skill 50+ 4.5 with Nancy Robertson – Bronze
2017 Huntsman Senior Games Men’s Skill Doubles 4.5 50+ with Pat Sinicki – Silver
2014 USAPA Nationals, Mixed Doubles 65+ with Yvonne Hackenberg – Bronze

What paddle do you play with and why?

I am sponsored by Paddletek and I play with the TS-5 Pro. Paddletek is just an hour from where I live. I like the way the TS-5 Pro plays, especially the way the grip is rounder and feels more like a tennis grip.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I used to play tennis with Matt Wright at the University of Michigan. He was finishing his training and I was starting with the same coach. I knew Jim and Yvonne Hackenberg. years ago. They lived in Detroit, Michigan and I lived in Kalamazoo, where I lived for 35 years. They asked me to play pickleball, but I was into playing platform tennis and paddleball at the time. They didn’t give up. When I started playing in 2014 I was quickly hooked, and playing with the Hackenbergs put me on the fast track to being competitive at the national level.  I now live in Holland Michigan and winter in Naples, Florida. It is so easy to participate in the US OPEN each year.

What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?

Outdoors! I like being outside in the fresh air. I grew up in Southern California and loved the sun and the challenge of the wind.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer doubles. Singles are too rough on me. I get too spent with little left to bring to the doubles match. I don’t want to let my doubles partner down by mixing singles and doubles in a tournament.

2019 US Open, Dan McLaughlin and Joann Russell - Bronze, Jim and Yvonne Hackenberg - Gold

2019 US Open, Dan McLaughlin and Joann Russell – Bronze, Jim and Yvonne Hackenberg – Gold

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

St. George Utah. Great courts and there are neat places to visit.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

Get old enough to watch the competitive field thin out through attrition. Pick good partners and stay out of their way.

What is your day job?

I am a semi-retired root canal specialist, otherwise known as endodontist. Mention you know me, and you might get a discount… or not. I also do wildlife photography. I have traveled to Alaska and Africa on photography excursions. I also take pictures at pickleball tournaments.

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

I have no big goals. I have been successful at the last few US OPEN tournaments. I now play pickleball as a fun way to stay fit and I love playing with family and friends. I’m satisfied with playing at a high level and keeping in contact with mentors.

Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

I have been given the privilege to know all the top folks in most of the country.  I’m surprised to be included in this category. It is an honor to be sponsored by Paddletek. I like Paddletek because they recognize good players at all levels and gave support to someone like him, a small fish in a BIG pond.

The Best Pickleball Gear for Summer 2019

Summer can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to playing pickleball. Most people prefer playing outdoors, and so you now have the perfect excuse to hit the courts and soak up the sun.

On the other side of things, those same rays can also make it easy to overheat or lose grip of your paddle, and no one likes playing in sticky, sopping clothes.

At PickleballCentral we have an array of great gear to help you minimize stresses the weather can bring so you can fully enjoy the warm weather and competition.

GAMMA Tacky Towel

GAMMA Tacky TowelYour hands get slick from sweat and your paddle is constantly on the verge of flying across court, but you can’t bear to wear a glove in the heat of the day. What’s a pickler to do?

With just a few passes of the GAMMA Tacky Towel your hands will feel stable again thanks to a sheen of its main moisture-repelling ingredient: bee’s wax! The Tacky Towel will last through multiple uses so you can continue to play consistently no matter how sticky the situation.

Chilly Pad Cooling Towel

Chilly PadWhile a standard towel would get soggy and heavy after enough passes over a perspiring player’s skin, the Chilly Pad Cooling Towel absorbs liquid and then allows it to evaporate. You can use this towel again and again without fearing that you’ll just be re-applying sweat!

The extra benefit of this product is that it can also be used as a cooling device. If you dunk it in some water and set it against your neck you’ll feel a pleasant cooling sensation radiate from the material. It retains its temperature for some time but can easily be re-wetted when you want another refreshing experience.

Wilson ProGrip Lotion

ProGrip LotionThis is another great option for players who want to keep a firm grasp on their paddles no matter how humid things get. The Wilson ProGrip Lotion applies to a smooth finish and doesn’t feel sticky, yet you’ll feel far more comfortable keeping your hand in contact with your grip. The gel is quickly transferred to the skin and dries to white finish so you an ensure it’s good to go.

The ProGrip Lotion lasts for around 2 hours and has a non-toxic formula with a pleasant citrus scent.

Overgrips

Absorbant GripsIf you don’t want to fuss with products you need to apply to your hands, you can always stick an overgrip on top of your existing handle. We have plenty of options that offer an array of different finishes so that you can find one with just the right amount of tack and absorbance.

For those who want some guidance on the best overgrips for reducing moisture, we recommend the HEAD HydroSorb Pro and Tourna Moisture Absorbency Grip. The HydroSorb has more of a traditional tacky texture with a thin construction that allows players to still feel a solid connection to their paddle. The Tourna Grip has more of a dry feel that will actively wick moisture away from the hands.

Hats & Visors

Summer Hats It should go without saying, but a simple hat can go a long way to keeping the sun out of your eyes when you’re trying to position your shots just so. You don’t want to trap heat next to your noggin’ though, so we recommend choosing something that maintains good airflow and visibility.

Our Heritage Shade Cap has ventilated mesh siding and a protection flap that will keep the back of your neck from burning during extended games. The Margaritaville Visors are a colorful way to celebrate the season while feeling the breeze. If you want to go for accessories that are as minimal as possible, the HEAD Headband and Wristband will prevent sweat from reaching your hands and eyes.

Shoes

Head Shoes Shoes can make or break your game, and all players want to avoid injuries! Beyond their stabilizing and cushioning nature, a good shoe should allow your feet to breathe so you aren’t sliding around or dealing with smelly digits after your fun.

In addition to great multi-court traction, arch support and a light weight, the HEAD shoes we carry feature a special vent with air holes at the bottom of the soles which allow for plenty of cooling air to enter.

Gloves

HEAD Airflow TourWe’ve offered several alternatives to gloves for when the summer heat may make them feel smothering, but there is one option you may still want to consider. The HEAD Airflow Tour Glove uses a perforated leather that lets air in while also pulling moisture away from the hand.

If you appreciate the added security of a glove but want to ensure you’re not sweating up a storm, the Airflow Tour Glove is your best option.

Apparel

UV PerformanceOne of the easiest ways to stay cool in the heat is to make sure you’re wearing clothes that have a wicking feature and won’t get bogged down with sweat. This usually means utilizing a polyester or poly-blend fabric.

We have several options that are great for this purpose, and will not only prevent you from leaving a trail on the courts, but will protect you from burns as well. Our Sun Shield Tee provides UVA/UVB protection in addition to some of our long-sleeved tops like the UV Performance Top. Choose from our many designs to customize them to your heart’s content!

Eyewear

HEAD RaptorYou can defend your eye’s from glare and wayward balls and paddles all in one go if you select some great protective eyewear. Check out our HEAD Raptor Eyewear which feature anti-scratch and anti-fog construction.

They have interchangeable lenses and wearers can use their “smoke” colored lens for when they’re dealing with bright outdoor rays.