Thank you, dad! Pickleball player De La Rosa”s father introduced him to racquetball at the age of four and he quickly rose through the racquetball ranks to the top. Currently #1 in the world for both singles and doubles as a professional racquetball player, De La Rosa manages to play pickleball at a high level as well. A native of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, he currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona with his wife Michelle and their two children. Michelle is also a competitive racquetball player, having played on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour and on Team USA. We sat down with Daniel on the heels of launching his signature paddle with Paddle Candy to find out what brought him to pickleball, what his goals are and more.
How did you get started with pickleball?
I start playing pickleball four or five years ago. When my wife was pregnant with our first baby, she wanted to keep playing sports but racquetball was a little too hard on her body so we started playing pickleball. A really good friend of ours helped us learn the rules and we quickly got hooked.
What paddle do you use and why?
I use the Vulcan V560 Control Paddle Candy Edition. It suits my playing style well because I’m more of a control player. I like the feel of the paddle; it’s easy for me to control the resets and dinks. I also love the long handle, which gives me a bit more flex on my overhead shots.
Vulcan has combined the performance characteristics of one of their most popular paddles, the V560 Control, with the bold Sugar Skull design honoring De La Rosa’s Mexican heritage.
Do you have any goals for pickleball?
I want to be one of the best pickleball players on tour, and win some of the big events for sure.
Is it difficult to switch back and forth between the two sports?
I’m still playing racquetball full time. It was a bit hard in the beginning moving from racquetball to pickleball because of the speed of my sport, but now I have found a way to combine both of the sports and make it a little easier. There are a few skills that translate from racquetball to pickleball such as footwork, moving up and back (for example to chase down lobs) and quick reactions. Racquetball is a very fast game just like pickleball when you are at the kitchen line.
What’s the pickleball scene like in Mexico?
In Mexico I just play pickleball for fun with my family, but I am excited to play some big events in the future as the sport develops more there. Pickleball is growing a bit more in Mexico and some of my good friends are opening facilities with pickleball courts. I’m really happy for them.
You’re known for having some exciting trick shots and acrobatic moves. Do you practice those or does that just come naturally?
I can’t share my secrets lol! I don’t practice those shots; maybe they come from my racquetball background or my mental attitude. Every time I hit a shot, in my mind I tell myself “don’t miss it”!
What are the top 3 things (besides your paddle) that must be in your pickleball bag?
What is your most memorable moment in pickleball so far?
Playing on the MLP (Major League Pickleball) is an incredible memory for me, especially sharing the court with amazing teammates.
What are you doing when you are not playing pickleball?
I try hard to be a good father and husband, and grow my construction company. Also golfing has quickly become one of my greatest passions and I play as often as I can.
Learn more about De La Rosa’s paddle of choice, the Paddle Candy Daniel De La Rosa Signature Paddle and if you have any questions about this paddle or any other pickleball gear, our Customer Support representatives are happy to help. You can reach our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-993-5548.