Meet The Pros – Michael Epp
Michael Epp is a family man. He is also like a phoenix reborn after suffering knee and shoulder injuries in other sports. He loves that he found pickleball and can continue being competitive. Enjoy!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2017 Alberta Provincial Championship, Men’s Singles 5.0 – Bronze,
Men’s Doubles (MDB) with Chris Kay, 5.0 – Gold
2017 Kamloops Open MDB with Chris Kay, 5.0 Silver, Mixed Doubles(MxDB) with Roberta Meakin, 5.0 – Gold
2016 Penticton MDB with Pat Fosbery, 5.0 – Gold
2016 CDA Classic, MDB with Daryl Nap, 4.5 – Silver
2015 Canadian Nationals, MDB with Mark Lowe, 4.5 – Gold, MxDB with Nancy Stern, 4.5 – Silver
2015 USAPA Northwest Regional, Bend, Oregon 4.5 Singles – Gold
What paddle do you play with and why?
I play with the Selkirk Maxima 21P MXO Composite paddle. I prefer the elongated paddle and really like the weight of the Maxima.
What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
After two knee surgeries and a habitually sore shoulder from years of badminton, I never thought I would play competitive racquet sports again. Pickleball has given me a new lease on sporting life.
What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?
Outdoors is preferred, and we try and stretch the outdoor season as long as possible. We have been known to play in pretty nasty weather: wind, light rain and fading light. We draw the line at snow and hail!
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
Although I really enjoy singles, it is exceedingly difficult to play against young players with boundless energy and great court coverage. Doubles is very enjoyable overall with lots of strategy mixed in.
What’s your favorite place to play? Why?
Living in the Okanagan we have seen tremendous growth in the number of players and the number of dedicated courts. Kelowna and Bend both have exceptional venues and a 12-court venue in Vernon promises to be a great place to play when construction is completed.
What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
I’m not sure I have any but one thing that helps me is when things aren’t going the right way, change tactics and mix it up. Staying on a path that isn’t working will guarantee failure.
What’s your day job?
I own an auto dealership in Kelowna. I have also recently developed a structural handle system for paddles, Grip Guard, that I am marketing to paddle manufacturers.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I do not play as often as I should, only averaging about 3 hours a week. In preparation for a tournament I will increase to 6 hours a week.
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
Green tea from Starbucks! Not sure if that helps but I sure do enjoy it. Plus, it has a calming effect which is always a bonus before pre-tournament jitters creep in.
Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?
I wish I had learned about this sport years ago! A more immediate goal is to visit and participate in a tournament in India in 2018. As I approach 50, my goal is joint preservation and to become more fit. I hope to compete in the US Open and USAPA Nationals in Senior open events in 2020 and bring some hardware back to Canada.
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
Enjoy the competitive spirit, be fair and have fun!