OneShot Brings Together Value and Quality in Expanding Paddle Line

OneShot Pickleball is owned by two pickleball-obsessed families and has all the positive hallmarks of a smaller business: great customer care, passion for the sport and attention to quality. But they combine these attributes with a strong system for QA and a focus on making products accessible to players of all strokes.

OneShot Pickleball

Coming from tennis backgrounds and dedicated to welcoming a broad spectrum of players to pickleball, OneShot is an impressive, growing company that’s just released their line’s first graphite paddle (the ProShot) and offers the only youth-centered paddle using high quality materials (the JuniorShot).

Owners Oscar and John were able to take some time with us to provide more background on their company and we’re excited to share:

Why did you decide to enter the pickleball industry?

Our families met playing pickleball at Greenlake in Seattle almost 2 years ago. Oscar and John hit it off immediately with their style of play resembling tennis players. The families met soon after and it’s been non-stop fun playing and growing a business together with something all of us were passionate about. We thought it shouldn’t take a small fortune to buy multiple paddles for the game we loved. So we decided to create a paddle that was affordable for all styles of play and for all skill levels from beginners to pro players.

JuniorShot

JuniorShot

How did you come up with your paddles’ designs? 

We were all interested in finding a paddle that resembled a tennis racquet due to our backgrounds and the familiar shape and feel. There were one or two we thought came close, but we also wondered, “Why not create one ourselves?” So we developed a paddle that could benefit both tennis and pickleball players. We engineered a paddle with a slightly longer handle and elongated face to resemble what we thought a tennis racquet would look like in a pickleball paddle form.

What makes your paddles unique?

We use fiberglass faces and polymer core materials that are similar to our competitors, but we believed these should also be affordable for our customers. Performance-wise, we would say it’s the same or better than other paddles. We use a slightly heavier core but made it balanced through the middle, so while playing it feels light but also has enough weight to really power through a solid drive, volley or punishing groundstroke.

UltimateShot

UltimateShot

What should players expect when it comes to the feel of your products?

Overall, our paddles are known for having a solid “pop” and large sweet spots. We have various models that combine power and control to find the right balance for each player’s game. Our face roughness is also a huge factor that we developed to make sure we had the maximum roughness allowed by the USAPA. Our solid grip will provide each player better blocks, turning those into winning volleys and finesse shots dink after dink
.

ProShot

ProShot

Are there currently any pro players using your paddles?

We have who we believe are two young, up-and-coming pros in Michelle Lui and Lukas Crippen. Given more time to play at a higher level we believe these two will excel. Michelle likes the Powershot because she can rip her 2-handed backhand and Lukas likes the Ultimateshot for the soft feel of the finesse game, but if you give him an overhead, watch out!

Anything else you’d like to add to share?

We believe that the growth of the sport comes from our youth. Therefore, we designed the first playable paddles for kids in the market: the Juniorshot. We offer 2 options for this paddle 1) The U8; suggested for ages 2-7 years old and 2) The U12 (USAPA Approved); suggested for ages 7-11.

Last but not least, we are launching our first graphite paddle, the “Proshot.” We believe from the response we have received from our team that this is the paddle of choice for a lot of players. It is so well balanced and powered that in the right hands we believe will bring your game to the next level.

The Sweetest Presents for Your Pickleball Valentine

Whether you have a life partner, a pickleball partner or both (lucky you!), Valentine’s Day is a great time to take a moment to appreciate the people we love. We have a number of gifts at PickleballCentral which are sure to spread those fuzzy feelings, so if you want to find something special this time of year, take a look at these charming ideas.

Jewelry for Valentines

Jewelry

This one is a classic for a reason: Most people love to receive gifts with a bit of shine. From high class silver to functional pewter or glitzy crystals, we have something for everyone. Bedazzle your loved one(s) with pickleball-inspired jewelry to show you appreciate their style, but also their dedication on the courts. Why settle for a generic piece of jewelry when you can combine it with one of their favorite hobbies?

If you’re shopping for someone who isn’t the jewelry-wearing type but feel they’d still appreciate the look, you can always remove the charm from one of our necklaces to turn it into a keychain or zipper pull.

Passion Shirt

Apparel

For a useful gift that still expresses affection we recommend our Passion Shirt. This image features a heart-shaped pickleball and reflects a love for the game and the world at large. You can have this printed on a number of designs so it’s perfectly suited to the recipient, whether they’d appreciate moisture-wicking material or soft and comfy cotton.

If you don’t think that would be a hit, then we still have over 40 designs you can choose from to create a shirt your partner would enjoy. Nothing says “thoughtful” quite like a custom-made gift! If you’d like a few other suggestions, additional relationship-centered designs are our Circle of Friends and Pickleball Pride shirts.

Accessories

Accessories

Another practical yet considerate route you can take is getting your partner a pickleball accessory. If their grip is looking a little worn or they’ve been complaining about losing hold of their paddle, a new overgrip could be just the thing to fix their concerns. If you want to help them keep their gear in top condition, they could make use of a paddle cover. Maybe they could use a better bag to carry their equipment or a glove to defend against the cold outdoors.

All of these are helpful to their game, plus they’ll be reminded of you whenever they use them.

At the end of the day your continued love and support is all that a partner needs, but getting them a little reminder of that affection is a nice gesture too. We hope everyone has a wonderful V-Day whether it’s romantic or spent with friends.

The Best Pickleball Habits You Should Develop

It can take many days for good habits to become second nature, but keeping a few concepts in mind can help build a strong foundation of skills so you’ll be able to think less and act more successfully.

Some basic pickleball principals are easy to implement but seem so “common sense” they can be overlooked. It’s definitely worth being more mindful of these areas, though, since they can deeply strengthen your game if you take the time to cement them in your mind.

A Balanced Ready Position

You’re out enjoying some rec games, it’s hot and your body is getting tired… this might seem like a nice time to relax and let positioning fall by the wayside, but it’s important to maintain your form. A good ready position involves slightly bent knees, your paddle raised near the center of your body and feet shoulder-width apart.

Not only does this make it easier for you to move across the court, but this positioning is much safer and reduces the chance of tripping and stumbling. You can also better protect yourself and respond to unexpected dangers like a smash flying toward your face with the proper stance.

Try to Hit to the Kitchen

The kitchen or no-volley zone is the great leveling ground of pickleball. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by an opponent’s speed or power, then forcing them to dink (or else make an awkward, arcing shot) allows you time to regain your equilibrium. Using a soft, relaxed grip can help achieve this aim as can angling your paddle angled slightly upwards.

Of course you’ll want to develop the ability to see openings as well, but generally speaking, dinks are safe shots that reward consistency. If you can master this aspect of the game then you’ll often be able to control and outlast aggressive players.

Develop a Consistent Serve

Some players get caught up in the idea of developing powerful, spinning serves with all the bells and whistles attached. Yet more often than not, it’s wiser to just get the ball over the net. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by getting too fancy. It is helpful if you attempt to serve deep—this makes it more difficult for other players to close distance and make accurate returns. But in the end, the main goal is simply to get the ball into play.

The serve is the only shot where you have the time to breathe and fully recenter yourself before hitting the ball. If a match is getting close, you don’t need to take risks when you’re in the highest position of control.

Stay Close to the Net

With the exception of when a lob is flying over your head, there aren’t many reasons to back away from the NVZ. Staying near the net can seem intimidating, but it allows you to cover your side of the court with less movement and minimizes the variety of shots your opponents can make. It also prevents them from making the most out of spin since you can hit the ball before it touches the ground.

You don’t necessarily have to rush to the kitchen right after the return of serve, but you do want to make steady progress towards it. Don’t let yourself get stuck in “No Man’s Land” where it’s difficult to ever gain an advantage against the other team.

When these behaviors become innate, you’re more likely to set yourself up for success and naturally create winning situations. What are some of the best habits you’ve formed in pickleball that have improved your game?

10 Pickleball New Year’s Resolutions You Can Add to Your To-Do List

The New Year brings plenty of excitement and big plans, but it can also be easy to lose steam! Now that we’re almost through the first half of January 2020, how have your resolutions held up? If you need some extra inspiration and ideas to commit to, whether big or small, we have some suggestions that could build your pickleball prowess in the months to come.

BOOST Training CampsResolution 1: Improve Your Pickleball Skill & IQ, Attend A Boost Training Camp

Drilling on your own is an important part of training, but having a professional observe your play can help to identify shortcomings you didn’t even know were present. At BOOST camps you not only learn proper techniques but develop a more tactical mindset so you know when to use them. Hosted by a number of highly qualified instructors at first-class court facilities, you’ll get to enjoy a deep dive into your favorite game while absorbing tons of functional knowledge.

Resolution 2: Find The Right Paddle To Improve your Game

It’s true that you can’t transform from a 2.5-rated player to a 5.0 simply by switching paddles, but those who’ve stuck with a single piece of equipment throughout their pickleball journey are often surprised by how huge a difference the right paddle can make. Everyone has their own unique play style and finding gear that complements it can make your whole game feel smoother and more intuitive. Check out some of PickleballCentral’s game improvement paddles to see what might take you to the next level!

If you want to take a look at paddles that have been proven “in the field” by a wide array of players, we also have a section dedicated to 5-star rated paddles that have at least 20 perfect reviews.

Pickle Palooza Logo

Resolution 3: Attend A Pickleball Festival

Pickle Palooza is a one-of-a-kind event that offers all the thrills of a tournament without the stress of competition. Palooza is located in Phoenix, AZ and runs from Feb 21-23 this year. It hosts court exhibitions and interviews with the pros, skill-based open play, paddle demos, one-on-one instruction and entertainment. It’s the perfect excuse for players to share in some pickleball-centric fun, and with enjoyable activities in the surrounding area (such as the Phoenix zoo, art museum and botanical gardens), you can make a true vacation out of it.

Resolution 4: Practice More

The best way to become a better player is often the simplest. Whether it’s playing a practice game or drilling specific skills, you always have the ability to improve through hard work and dedication. Of course, certain training aids can make the process easier as well. The two pickleball machines we carry, the Tutor and Lobster, allow you to practice more easily without a partner by sending lobs, spin shots and dinks your way.

Resolution 5: Play In A Tournament

Competition isn’t for everyone, but even if you’re a fairly laid-back player, participating in a tournament can be a great way to strengthen your abilities, make new friends and take part in the greater pickleball community. Tournaments are the perfect excuse to knuckle down on training and come out the other side knowing you played your best. There are also a number of exciting new tours taking place this year that will serve to bring pickleball to an even broader audience, so taking part in one of them will truly have you becoming part of the sport’s history!

A few upcoming tournament options include:

PPA Mesa Grand Slam Qualifier … 2/13-16
APP Hilton Head Pickleball Open … 3/19-22
PPA Georgia Open at Life Time  Grand Slam Qualifer … 3/26-29
International Indoor Pickleball Championship (Centralia, WA) … 4/1-5
PPA Dallas Grand Slam Qualifer … 4/2-5
APP Owensboro Pickleball Open … 5/8-10

History of Pickleball

Resolution 6: Learn The History Of The Game

Speaking of history, despite being a relatively new sport, pickleball has enjoyed a fast rise in popularity thanks to many incredible people who have done their part to spread the game to communities across the world. If you’ve ever been curious about how pickleball got started and turned into the growing phenomenon it is today, it’s worth taking a look at the book History of Pickleball. Written by pro players Jennifer Lucore and Beverly Youngren, it shares many insights and interviews that reveal pickleball’s past and where it’s headed in the future.

Resolution 7: Read to Improve Your Winning Strategies

Players learn in a variety of ways, and hitting a pickleball isn’t always the most direct path toward improvement. Sometimes you need to take a step back and dig into the reasons why skilled players do what they do. To that end, the book Winning Pickleball by top player Mark Friedenberg is a great way to get yourself into the mindset of a professional and learn about the mental side of the game. It’s incredible how a few minor tweaks in strategy can result in big improvements, and “playing” your opponent is just as important as knowing how to swing a paddle.

Glen Peterson

Resolution 8: Watch Some Videos To Improve your Game

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but sometimes it just makes for good practice! Pro Glen Peterson has filmed several videos that provide excellent tips to grow your game. When dedicating just a few minutes can provide you with new ways to improve, what do you have to lose? Check out his videos on solo wall drills you can try and his 5 tips for becoming a better player overall.

Resolution 9: Give Back To The Game

Pickleball’s community is extremely inclusive. There’s often a sense of camaraderie even during heated competition, and its acceptance towards players of all genders, ages and backgrounds is unparalleled. Because of that, friendships have formed among many who may have never met otherwise. If you enjoy the idea of giving back to that community, it’s worth taking a look at several pickleball initiatives that give back to players. The Founders Courts project is aiding in the construction of courts on Bainbridge Island where the game originated. The Pickleball Legacy Scholarship Foundation (PLSF) helps support the next generation of players, and donations to the USAPA open up new opportunities for people to engage in the sport.

Resolution 10: Improve Your Grip In More Ways Than One

Many players are content with their paddles’ original grips, but sometimes you want a little extra tack to improve your hold or need to replace one that’s become worn over time. Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to switch your grip (see how here) or layer up an overgrip to provide better feel. Grips also provide a great opportunity to add a little flair to your paddle with fun colors and designs.

Alternately, if you want to keep your handle as-is but learn new ways to improve your grip security, you may want to experiment with different (hand) grip styles to see how they affect your ability to make different shots. To that end, you can explore various ways to hold your paddle by watching this video with Glen Peterson.

Ring in the New Year with Top Tier Pickleball

Happy 2020 to all the pickleball players out there! We hope the new decade will bring joy, new friendships and improved skills to all.

While many of us likely spent the last days of 2019 with family, watching fireworks or making a toast, hundreds of picklers pushed themselves to end the year with a pop rather than a bang at the World Pickleball Championships in Punta Gorda.

The inaugural event made history despite delays brought on by the weather. Organizers were happy with the turnout and amenable to bringing it back next year. The championships took place in a location with its own impressive backstory: the Pickleplex.

The Pickleplex was entirely funded by private and company donations, opening in June of 2019. The 16-court complex was made to relieve others in the area which were already crowded, offering players more opportunity to join games without a wait. Now it’s had a “trial by fire” after being tested by some of the best players in the world, and the city is excited the Pickleplex is seeing such prominent use.

The World Pickleball Championships ran from Dec 27-30 and saw coverage on Fox News due to the revenue brought in for the county.

If you want to enjoy the event’s competitive energy from the comfort of your own home, you can see the finals matches in the video below. What better way to start off your New Year than watching and learning from the best? (Unless you already have some of your own games scheduled!)

We hope the picklers involved in the championships will carry their enthusiasm with them in the months to come and wish the same for everyone who couldn’t make it in person.

Do you have any pickleball-related or personal resolutions for 2020? Let us know in the comments!

Why the Way You Hold Your Paddle Can Strengthen Play

Drilling skills, working on placement and learning new strategies are all necessary steps towards becoming a better player, but there’s a simple yet often overlooked factor that also comes into play: grip.

How a player holds their paddle affects how quickly they can respond to volleys and makes it easier or more difficult to perform certain shots. This has a significant effect on player readiness and comfort. As such, it can be useful to take a look at your primary style of grip to see if it’s truly supporting your game.

In the video below, Glen Peterson goes over most popular types of grip used by picklers.

The three styles are: Continental (hammer), Western (swatting) and Eastern (shaking hands). By referring to a chart like the one shown here, you can see that certain positions of the hand correspond to numbered segments of the handle’s bevels or corners.

Grip Positions

Grip Positions (Credit)

The continental grip favors backhands since the player’s knuckles are face the net. The western grip in contrast is more suitable for players who use a lot of forehand strokes, but makes it difficult to perform backhands. The eastern grip is the most popular since it strikes a balance between access to either style of swing.

Glen also notes that some players will put several fingers or a thumb on the paddle face in order to improve their orientation and awareness of their paddle in addition to strengthening paddle stability. This is similar to how some table tennis players hold a paddle, but it exposes the fingers to potential harm if a ball hits the wrong area.

Once you’ve decided which grip suits you, another thing to consider is what your overall paddle position looks like in relation to your body.

PrimeTime Pickleball shows that your paddle’s “ready” position doesn’t have to be fixed, but can be fluid as you adapt to circumstances throughout a game.

In the video, note that there are two extremes between holding a paddle in a backhanded position and directly in the middle of your body. The former allows you to easily block most volleys, while the latter is more balanced between offence and defense since it allows you to transition into forehand shots.

Which style you should use depends on whether you’re on the offense or defense and how far you are away from the net/opponents. The backhanded position allows you to react very quickly, so it’s ideal when you’re having to focus on slowing a ball down. As you switch to attacking, the paddle should simultaneously move into a more aggressive location.

Watch the video to see how you can alter your paddle’s placement depending on the situation.

Do you have a favorite grip style? How has keeping your paddle in the right “ready” position helped win points in your game?

6 Last Minute Pickleball Gifts Sure To Bring Joy

There are only a few days left before the holidays, but just because you don’t have time to spare for shipping doesn’t mean you can’t give a present to a pickleball lover.

The following all require zero time in transit so that you can provide them at the perfect moment. Better still, several of these options are experiential, so they’ll live forever in the recipient’s memories. Go ahead and choose a gift that will keep on giving!

1. Gift Certificates to PBC

Gift certificates get a bad rap as being uninspired and noncommittal, but many pickleball players are very selective about their gear and prefer freedom to find the right fit. Perhaps they mentioned a specific paddle they’re after, but unless you’re in close contact they may have already bought the item they wanted, so it’s safer to let them choose their own products. A gift card is always appreciated and lets the recipient select a present they’ll certainly use. Be sure to choose email delivery after adding the gift card to your cart so you won’t be waiting on snail mail.

2. Pickle Palooza – The Best Pickleball Festival of the Year

Pickle Palooza is an event that will run from Feb 21-23 (2020) in Phoenix, AZ. Hosted by senior pros Steve Dawson and Dave Pickle Palooza LogoFleming, it includes court exhibitions, paddle demos, pro interviews, skill instruction, open play and more. This is an ideal experience for a player you know who loves the sport but might not feel ready for competitive play, or even for a tournament-goer who’d enjoy downtime around the greats. Visitors have tons of opportunities to engage with the pickleball community at large in a fun, lively environment. The celebration takes place at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa, which offers plenty of its own entertainment with a spa, golf course, 5 pools and outstanding restaurants.

3. BOOST Pickleball Training Camps

Help take someone’s skills to the next level with an intensive BOOST training camp. Geared towards 3.0 – 4.0 rated players, these intermediate courses run for several days and are led by some of the world’s best pickleball players and instructors. The programs involve drills and clinics that improve technique and translate into fast improvement during competitive games. Participants spend over 12 hours with optional open play time working to strengthen their mechanics and strategies. The instructor to student ratio is 8 to 1 to allow for personal attention, and camps are offered in several locations throughout the U.S. including WA, CA, HI and AZ.

4. Buy a Brick at the Bainbridge Island Founders Courts

Pickleball originated on Bainbridge Island, WA when a group of families wanted to create a game to share with their kids. In honor of the threeBainbridge Island Pickleball founders’ contributions, six new courts are being built on the island at Battle Point Park. For $150 you can buy one of the bricks that will be used to build the walkways and areas between the courts and have the recipient’s name immortalized within the facility. It’s a great way to publicly show the giftee’s support and love for the sport. This is an especially meaningful gift for someone who inspired your pickleball journey—whether that’s the person who introduced you to the game or a club leader (larger bricks are available if you want to include a logo or other image in the design). Their contributions will be known to all in a soon-to-be historic location.

5. Make a Donation To a Pickleball-Related Cause

Similar to the suggestion above, there are other ways you can contribute to pickleball in honor of a friend or family member at your own price point. One organization is the PLS (Pickleball Legacy Scholarship) Foundation. This group uses funds to award scholarships to qualifying young athletes which can be used toward tuition at accredited educational institutes.

The USAPA (USA Pickleball Association) and Sid Williams Junior Pickleball Fund are both dedicated to increasing accessibility to the sport through the development of programs in schools, recreation centers and other locations (specifically focused on youth pickleball in the case of the Sid Williams Fund). Donations can easily be made online or by sending a check to the addresses listed via the link.

6. Sign Your Giftee Up as a Doubles Tournament Partner

Maybe you’re a pickleball player yourself and enjoy playing the game with your friend. If you know they enjoy competitive play and will have the time for a specific tournament date, you can take the initiative to sign them up (taking care of registration fees) as your doubles partner. Better still if you’re willing to cover their travel costs, especially if it’s to a dreamy destination like Kona at next year’s Hawaii Open (1/22 – 1/25). This event takes place directly after one of the aforementioned BOOST camps in Kona, so you can double down on the pickleball training for an extended stay.

Hawaii Open

Another great upcoming tournament for those who can’t travel quite so far is the IIPC, the International Indoor Pickleball Championships in Centralia, WA. It’s one of the largest indoor tournaments in the world and runs from 3/30 – 4/5, making it a great option for those who might enjoy a side trip to Portland or Seattle in the early spring.

Lastly, there are two exciting pickleball tours coming up with tournament locations spread widely across the country. If you haven’t seen a nearby state listed yet, take a look at the APP (Association of Pickleball Professionals) and PPA (Professional Pickleball Association) lists to see if they’re hosting a competition in your neighborhood. These tournaments have strong prize money offerings and also lead to championship games with even greater stakes.

2019 Pickleball Holiday Gift Guide

When it comes to gifting, sometimes you have the perfect present in mind and others you’re left scratching your head. For those who need a little more help picking something that will be fun, useful and appreciated by the pickler(s) in their life, we have a handy solution: our PickleballCentral gift guides!

Browse below to see some of our most popular and functional products for everyone on your list. Click the links for even more options than those listed here. If you really want to narrow down some suggestions, you can always give us a ring at 888-854-0163 to chat with our knowledgeable reps. Enjoy!

Pickleball Luxury Gifts

Luxury Gifts

A. Douglas Premier PPS-22SQ Portable Pickleball Net System – A super heavy duty option that has all the benefits of a permanent net but with the convenience of wheels.

B. Pickleball Tutor Plus – A light ball machine that has top and backspin capacity, random oscillation and a 2-line feature for side-to-side shots or practicing with friends.

C. Quick Cart Plus – Holds up to 150 pickleballs with an additional storage area underneath. Convenient wheels and sturdy construction keep your equipment safe.

D. Selkirk TOUR Backpack – Four major compartments, including one with insulation and a vented section on the bottom for storing shoes.

E. Lobster Pickle Ball Machine – Speeds of up to 60 mph with random oscillation and multiple charging options so you don’t have to stop drilling.

Women’s Pickleball Gifts

Women's Gifts

A. Margaritaville Tote Bag – Bright and breezy design that includes a zippered interior compartment and a separate shoe bag with multiple ways to carry it.

B. GAMMA Shard Graphite Paddle – The small grip is ideal for easy maneuvering and the lighter weight keeps it quick at the net. Highly reactive face with power despite its speed.

C. Sterling Silver Pickleball Hoop Dangle Earrings – Classy, high quality earrings with an extra punch of pickleball style. Measure about 1″ in diameter.

D. History of Pickleball: More Than 50 Years of Fun! – A unique look into pickleball’s rise in popularity, written by pro player Jennifer Lucore and featuring interviews with major figures in the sport’s history.

E. Pickleball Holiday Shirt – Featuring a cute tree made out of pickleballs, this shirt helps spread holiday love and cheer among other players.

Men’s Pickleball Gifts

Men's Gifts

A. Viking Shirt – A fun and cheeky design that shows a powerful viking slicing open a pickleball and telling his opponents to “Dink Again.”

B. Pickleball Bottle Opener – For the player who’s into good games and good drinks (maybe not at the same time), this bottle opener is a handy accessory to have available.

C. Tour Team Pickleball Supercombi Bag – A large and versatile bag with plenty of space and an eye-catching look. Various ways to carry it comfortably.

D. Large Titan Edition Black Diamond Series Paddle – A broad surface area and hefty weight give this paddle a head-weighted feel similar to a tennis racquet.

E. Kollectaball K-Max Ball Collector – The ultimate item for convenient clean-up on the courts. Roll over wayward pickleballs to gather them without a sore back.

Pickleball Stocking Stuffers

Stocking Stuffers

A. Pickle Hard Candy – Go the untraditional route this holiday season and ditch the mints for these candies flavored like sweet pickles.

B. Pickle Mints – Keep your breath fresh with a twist using these surprising pickle mints that are perfect for sharing with friends.

C. Pickleball Keychain – Can also be used as a zipper pull on bags or other gear. A great way to add some pickleball bling to other items.

D. GAMMA Supreme Pickleball Overgrip – Deck out a paddle for the holidays! Just wrap overgrips on top of a handle for more cushioning, tack and style.

E. Santa Pickle Ornament – Santa gets a pickleball-themed makeover with this silly yet endearing ornament that will find a home on any pickler’s tree.

Local Pickleball Guide – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque has some of the largest dedicated pickleball court facilities across the country, and best of all, they’re mostly free! This desert jewel hosted the National Senior Games at the Manzano Mesa courts in June 2019, and now you can enjoy playing in the same location at your leisure. The largest club in Albuquerque (ABQ Pickleball) has over 850 members, so friendly fun and competition are in abundant supply.

Abq Pickleball Club Courts

Albuquerque Pickleball Club (Credit)

Places to Play in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The city of Albuquerque has a map of numerous court locations on their website. A partial selection of the courts are listed here.

Manzano Mesa – Eighteen outdoor courts (six lighted). Free to use and open daily from 6am – 10pm. Scheduled events at Abqpickleball.com.
Villela Park – Six outdoor courts. Free drop in play, open 6am – 10pm.
Los Altos Park – Six lit tennis courts with pickleball lines (12 courts if all used for pickleball). Bring your own portable net. Free to use.
Cesar Chavez Community Center – Four indoor courts. Weekdays except Thurs open play 8:30 -11:30am, Thurs 5:30 – 7:30pm.
Thomas Bell Community Center – Three indoor courts. Pickleball open play on Thursdays from 9:30am – 12pm.

USAPA Ambassadors: Albuquerque

Larry Lite — larrybudlite@usapa.org, 505-331-2014
Joyce Paulsen — healthyjoyce@gmail.com
Gary Rutherford — ruthergary@aol.com, 505-292-5114 or 505-507-3663

Albuquerque Court Construction Companies

DML, Inc.
General Acrylics
Elite Sports Builders

Albuquerque, NM Pickleball Clubs

ABQ Pickleball

ABQ Pickleball

Ruidoso Pickleball
Ruidoso Pickleball Club (~2-1/2 hrs S of Albuquerque)

Angel Fire Pickleball

Angel Fire Pickleball Club (~3 hrs N of Albuquerque)

Pickleball Tournaments in Albuquerque, New Mexico

ABQ Labor Day Classic
New Mexico Games
Ruidoso Pickleball Championships (Ruidoso)
Beat the Heat Tournament (Angel Fire)

Albuquerque Pickleball Related News and Videos

Destination Pickleball Southwest
Pickleball Is Latest Racket in Town
A Match of Pickleball, Anyone?
Hunsberger Strikes Gold in Albuquerque
Ruidoso Pickleball Club Active Year-Round and Growing Fast

Electrum Brings Silicon Valley Standards to Pickleball with Innovative Features

If you haven’t heard of them yet, it’s worth your time to explore the Electrum Pickleball revolution. This up-and-coming manufacturer has been making waves with their flagship paddle, the Electrum, thanks to a series of unexpected innovations and highly consistent play. Popular among both intermediate players and pros, many have sought to develop a paddle that satisfies a broad segment of the pickleball population, but Electrum just might have done it.

Electrum Logo

Run by serial entrepreneurs Moheeth Alvi and Mike Kazley out of the always state-of-the-art Silicon Valley, it may be this duo’s first foray into the pickleball industry, but their seasoned business backgrounds and love for the game have already made a mark. Having found its way into the hands of countless players at local courts and on a broader competitive stage, the Electrum is here to stay for good reason.

We had the opportunity to speak with Moheeth to learn about the numerous features that make the Electrum unique and what went into their design process. Find out how Electrum is setting themselves apart by reading on:

Why did you decide to enter the pickleball industry and what area of the market are you looking to address?

I discovered pickleball through Electrum’s co-founder, Mike. We started playing in Rochester, NY. We really enjoyed the game and went on a fascinating journey that led us to making a great product. Our main audience is any player looking to improve their game, whether they want to go from intermediate to pro or are already a high level player wanting to improve even further.

We tend to skew toward players who are around a 3.5/4.0 rating, but the Electrum Pro has seen success on a wide spectrum. Shellton JeanBaptiste is the highest rated pro player (5.0) on our team right now. He plays in the 25+ category. He’s really helped with distributing the Electrum Pro and has fully converted to using the paddle himself.

Another influential 5.0 player we have on board is Coach Phil Dunmayer. He’s been teaching for a long time, is a national champion himself, has authored books on pickleball and is overall a member of the game’s “old guard.” He’s done a lot to spread the sport and advocate for us.

Co-founder Moheeth Alvi with Terran Distefano at the West Coast Classic Tournament in Santa Monica

Co-founder Moheeth Alvi with Terran Distefano at the West Coast Classic Tournament in Santa Monica

How did you come up with the Electrum Pro’s design?

When making a paddle, our goal was to find and use the best materials in the market. Even when it came to the grip, end cap and edge guard—we deeply considered all of these aspects. Another big ingredient was using data to find out what worked not only on paper, but in players’ hands. We analyzed hundreds of players to find out what parts of the face they used the most.

Our design is totally proprietary, and we’re based out of San Francisco. We felt positive about bringing the modern, uncompromising quality of the Silicon Valley tech industry to pickleball which has resulted in our current engineering.

Studying competitors was our starting point, so we made sure we were using something no one else was. People have a tendency to think graphite and carbon fiber are the same, but there is a difference. We have a good amount of manufacturing connections overseas that provided a solid supply backbone for the company and went through an iterative process of creating paddles with different features.

We had an edgeless version at one point, another that was only 7.2 oz in weight. As we continued to get feedback from players we arrived at our final design. Most companies have multiple SKUs; we just have the one. The reason is that once you’ve collected enough data, you can make a paddle that fits 80—90% of players’ needs. There are niche paddles out there with a head-heavy feel and so on, but we wanted to make something that would benefit the largest segment of players possible.

This doesn’t mean we won’t continue creating new products, but we were committed to making something with a broad appeal. We were at the West Regional Tournament and sold 100 paddles there to many different people: 3.0s, 4.0s, pros. The Electrum Pro has a wide face and so you might think that would limit its appeal, but no one has thought it’s unwieldy.

Co-founder Mike Kazley

Co-founder Mike Kazley

Would you explain a bit more about how you analyzed those data points to create a well-balanced paddle?

Yes, we ended up finding that most players really enjoy a paddle that has an evenly distributed weight. Essentially, every part of the face should feel like you’re playing from the center so you don’t skew a certain direction or lose out on power due to a less than perfect shot.

Even if you’re hitting close to the edge with the Electrum Pro, it offers great pop. You can take any paddle and find where the middle is, set it on your finger and check whether it leans toward the handle or the head. With the Electrum Pro, you’ll find it stays at an even 180 degrees. It’s a very balanced paddle which makes it easy to maneuver.

Out of all the paddles on the market, what makes this paddle unique? 

Toray T700 – The carbon fiber we use is Japanese made. It’s the best you can source and uses a special molding technology that gives it a nice, grainy texture. It’s right up against the USAPA’s roughness limit (which has to be within 40 micrometers), so you really feel the fibers. This texture produces very accurate shots with great touch, which results in a lot of control.

While we were iterating we didn’t explicitly mention this to players, but people noticed the paddle’s great handling and started calling this perk the “Electrum Spin.” We were happy to run with that! The carbon fiber also creates a look that stands out on the court. The simple, sleek design comes across quality-centric rather than needing to blatantly promote our brand. We figured: Produce a high quality paddle and it’ll sell itself.

Full Cell Core – At first we tried using Nomex for our core, and it is a stronger material than polypropylene, but you don’t get as much absorption to soften impact and it makes a lot of noise. We were willing to sacrifice a little bit of power for more touch and a reduction of the noise factor. The Electrum Pro still has plenty of pop because the cells are so strong, and in fact we only use full cells in the honeycomb.

With a lot of companies you’ll find there’s very little material near the edge guard, creating a weaker and less responsive feel when you don’t hit right in the center. With the Electrum, you get the benefit of whole cells near the edge and the guard is wrapped all the way around to create a consistent feel. We’ve basically created an “edge-to-edge” sweet spot. We don’t have images of our paddle with certain areas circled showing where players are supposed to hit, because we believe if you’re buying a premium paddle the entire face should be playable.

Carbon Fiber Handle – While the Electrum’s edge guard is plastic, our handle is also made out of carbon fiber like the face. This offers a high level of durability and much better feel as opposed to using lower quality materials. The handle has an ergonomic design with a grip somewhat similar to those produced by GAMMA, but the one we use was fully designed by us. It’s made using 100% leather so it won’t sweat in your hand easily, feels comfortable and takes longer to wear unlike synthetic materials. The 4-1/4” circumference makes it suitable for most hand sizes since it’s a good medium ground.

What should a player expect when using the Electrum?

This weight and responsiveness is such that you don’t have to put in as much work to get the power you want. Less is more. It only takes a couple rallies to get used to the Electrum Pro since it has such a great balance. The paddle feels light, responsive and intuitive.

Shellton JeanBaptiste reviews the Electrum Pro


We appreciate Electrum taking the time to share their knowledge and contributions with the pickleball community. To hear more from Moheeth, check out this interview from Golden Boy Pickleball. Moheeth summed up by saying:

“We want our customers’ end-to-end experience to be amazing; we know people will be satisfied with the Electrum Pro and want as many players to benefit as possible.

Our mission at Electrum is to be an asset to the pickleball community firstly through the creation of great products and then by making pickleball more accessible on a global scale. We’re looking forward to playing a part in the continued growth of the game and hope our current customers and new fans alike will help us share their love for this inclusive, exciting and versatile sport.”