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.

What Paddles Did the Pros Use at the 2019 US Open?

The paddle may not make player, and changing your gear won’t turn into a pro overnight… but using high quality equipment can improve your game in short order.

If you’re curious what the top athletes at this year’s US Open used to win their medals, read on! Click the paddle names to read more about them and see their technical specs on PickleballCentral.com.

The prices listed are the standard retail prices as of publishing and may be different in our store.

Yates Tereschenko Bantam EX-L

Paddletek Bantam EX-L – $97.99

Pros:
Kyle Yates – Mixed & Men’s Doubles
Irina Tereschenko – Women’s Doubles
Description: 
A long-time favorite among polymer core paddles, the Bantam EX-L has a high amount of power that’s balanced by its ability to accurately place shots.

 

Dawson Ovation

ProKennex Ovation – $159.99

Pro:
Jennifer Dawson – Women’s Sr. Singles
Description:
The unique oval shape and edge-less design widens the sweet spot while Kinetic Energy core technology reduces vibration.

Jardim Reponse Pro

Prince Response Pro – $127.99

Pro:
Simone Jardim – Women’s Singles & Mixed Doubles
Description: 
A circular shape allows for great touch regardless of where pickleballs hit this paddle. The longer handle is suitable for 2-handed backhands

Weinbach Waddell Tempest Wave

Paddletek Tempest Wave – $127.99

Pros:
Dave Weinbach & Barry Waddell – Men’s Doubles
Description: 
This premier Paddletek paddle has a quick-acting graphite face which contributes to maximum touch and response.

Moore Sabre Pro

Paddletek Sabre Pro – $137.99

Pro:
Scott Moore – Men’s Sr. Singles
Description:
Designed in conjunction with Scott, this paddle has the longest handle on the market (6-1/4″) for supreme reach and backhands.

Moore Tempest Pro US OPEN

Paddletek Tempest Pro US OPEN – $167.99

Pro:
Scott Moore – Mixed Sr. Doubles
Description:
Paddletek’s popular Tempest but with a thicker core. This one comes with a beautiful, limited edition design made specifically for the 2019 US OPEN.

Kovalova Premier

Onix Evoke Premier

Pro:
Lucy Kovalova – Women’s Doubles
Description: 
Not yet available. Onix’s new signature paddle was designed for pros Lucy Kovalova and Matt Wright. Coming this summer.

Anderson Summit

Onix Summit C1 – $89.99

Pro:
Kris Anderson – Mixed Sr. Doubles
Description:
An elongated shape offers great reach and control. The composite surface adds exceptional spin to place your shots.

McGuffin Invikta

Selkirk AMPED Invikta – $149.99

Pro:
Tyson McGuffin – Men’s Singles
Description:
Designed with Tyson to allow impressive for reach and leverage thanks to both the handle and face. A great choice for high power play.

MacGregor S2

Selkirk AMPED S2 – $149.99

Pro:
Cammy MacGregor – Women’s Sr. Doubles
Description:
Broad face provides a large sweet spot and blocking power. Multiple grip and weight options allow players to choose the best option for their needs.

Johns Franklin

Franklin Signature Paddle

Pro:
Ben Johns – Men’s Pro Doubles
Description:
Designed with Ben, Franklin’s new pro signature model paddle will be available soon!

Pickleball Ball Holders and Storage Ideas

When you’re playing pickleball, especially in an area with multiple games, it’s a given that balls will end up scattered across the courts by the end of play. Picking them all up without the assistance of any sort of tools can be tiring and backbreaking work, which is why we provide a number of pickleball-collecting solutions to make the process easier.

From rolling caddies to ball hoppers and collectors, we’ll help you figure out the best storage fit for your needs.

Kollectaball CS40 Ball Collector

Kollectaball CS40 Ball Collector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kollectaball line allows you to simply roll your way to a tidier court. Just pass the cage over pickleballs and they slide between the wires for dispensing elsewhere. This product almost feels like you’re using a lightweight lawnmower or vacuum, but it’s a lot more fun!

When we first took it to our PickleballStation courts to tidy up after clinics and open play, we were surprised to find both employees and customers jumping to do the job for us! You can’t often say that something makes chores both easier and more enjoyable. If you want an option that holds more than this model, we also carry the K-Max Ball Collector which holds up to 60 pickleballs.

Pickleball Ballport Mini

Pickleball Ballport Mini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you don’t need to stash too many pickleballs, the Ballport Mini is a great way to make clean-up more efficient. At only 3.5 lbs, you can carry it around and then press it atop balls so they pass into the storage area. Two rods prevent the pickleballs from falling out.

You can then change the position of the “handles” so they become legs when you’re ready to play again for easy access to the balls. The larger version of this model, the Deluxe Pickleball Caddy, holds more and also comes with wheels so you can quickly move it around the court.

GAMMA Pickleball Hopper

GAMMA Pickleball Hopper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The GAMMA Pickleball Hopper is similar to the Ballport Mini, but it has a different shape and make. Its hexagonal design helps to improve durability. The carbon steel handles can be used to maneuver the hopper for gathering pickleballs or rotated around for conversion into a standing storage container.

It uses “floating wires” that prevent the structure from weakening over time and holds up to 50 pickleballs.

Quick Cart Plus

Quick Cart Plus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our most expensive option, the Quick Cart Plus, is a sturdy and adaptable container with a huge storage capacity. With wheels and a structure that can be folded together for easy transport, it’s ideal for players on the go. The zippered upper bin holds an astounding 150 pickleballs.

The lower shelf is made of mesh so you can stash other necessities. It also comes with its own bag so it can be stored safely when not in use.

What are your favorite pickleball storage solutions and how do you like to streamline the post-game ball collecting ordeal?

The Onix Outbreak Reintroduces Graphite to Picklers in a Way We’ve Never Felt Before

The Onix Outbreak brings a new type of reinforcement to paddles that offers exceptional levels of durability and touch. The Outbreak’s graphite face is supported by TeXtreme, which has already been used in pro tennis, hockey, golf and other sports that require extreme precision and feel. Now it’s being brought to pickleball as well!

What is TeXtreme?

Onix Sports explains: “The TeXtreme surface is unique for two reasons. First, with most graphite paddles (such as the Graphite Z5) the carbon fiber strands are all a single layer going one direction. With TeXtreme, the carbon fiber strands are woven, which is what makes the checkerboard pattern on the paddle. This essentially provides a thicker and stronger layer of carbon fiber.

In addition to that, TeXtreme basically flattens the strands, eliminating the resin or plastic holding those strands together. This means when a pickleball hits the surface, it’s hitting carbon fiber and not the plastic.”

The TeXtreme reinforcement also adds very little weight to the Outbreak, meaning you get all the benefits of better reactivity and control without slowing down your game. The Outbreak only has a range of 7.8 – 8.2 oz.

outbreak - kasandra gehrke

Kasandra Gehrke playing with the Outbreak

The fact that Onix has kept the weight of the Outbreak in a medium range is doubly impressive when you consider that its polypropylene core is 5/8″ thick, the widest for a graphite paddle in the industry. This core allows the paddle to absorb shock, reduce jostling and offer enough power behind every hit.

Improved Graphite Technology

The Outbreak was created with the “next step in graphite technology” in mind. We’ve seen many innovations in pickleball over the past few years, particularly in the areas of composite paddles, but for a time graphite technology had been left behind in the mix. Onix tried many different options to develop just the right feel with the Outbreak, eventually settling on the TeXtreme for the best combination performance and consistency.

The paddle is a great option for players wanting a strong combination of touch and control. The Outbreak will provide great placement on dinks and noticeable feel in volleys.

outbreak - byron freso

Byron Freso with the Outbreak

It’s also a very forgiving paddle. During our correspondence with Onix, it was noted that players picked up on a difference in the sweet spot between the Outbreak and other paddles. The testers found that the Outbreak had a much better response even along the edges of the sweet spot so that they had more room on the surface to utilize.

Proven by the Pros, Loved by Intermediates

Several pro players are already using the Outbreak including Randy Zbinden, Byron Freso, Kurtis Campbell, KaSandra Gehrke and Erik Gertler.

Onix is also pleased to note that many amateur players have picked up the paddle and used it to bring out the best of their game. The TeXtreme material is an incredible addition to the world of pickleball and will allow players of all skill levels to focus on their placement and fully experience graphite’s control-centric performance.

Enjoy the combination of power, touch and precision of the Onix Outbreak today and feel the difference a unique graphite surface makes. Visit PickleballCentral to see the full list of technical specs on the Outbreak today.

The Most Stylish Pickleball Paddles of 2018

We’re reaching the end of the year with just enough time to list some of the most attractive paddles of 2018! Many manufacturers released some very unique shapes and looks over the past few months, and several classics were redesigned to offer a more modern appearance.

Skill is obviously the most important part of the game, but if you want to set yourself apart with something that looks great as well, take a look at our top picks. (We’re cheating a little bit and including multiple paddles within the same lines, but there are some individual standouts as well.)

Covert by ProLite

Covert by ProLite

The spiritual successor to the previously released and subsequently unapproved Apex Paddle, the Covert has a certain rugged charm to it, but it’s not only a pretty face. Its SPINtac surface helps the paddle grip pickleballs with every hit to help you curl them away from other players.

The background of this paddle simulates asphalt, ProLite cleverly worked their lightning bolt logo into the upper right corner and the pops of color are just enough to prevent the design from feeling dreary.

Margaritaville Paddles

Margaritaville Paddles

Florida is a hotbed of pickleball activity for a reason, but few paddles managed to capture the laid-back charm of this (and other tropical) areas until the Margaritaville line was released.

Using designs and quotes inspired by singer Jimmy Buffett, these are the perfect paddles to put you in the mood for fun in the sun. You can keep it cool with some of the breezier images or show off your competitive side with the “Fins” design.

Xtreme Paddles by HEAD

Xtreme Paddles

It was tough choosing between HEAD’s Xtreme and Radical lines, but in the end we decided on the Xtreme designs due to their clean and futuristic appearance. The highly defined edges contribute to their aerodynamic play in addition to simply looking cool.

We appreciate how HEAD’s logo draws your attention, yet it also seamlessly integrates with the rest of the paddles’ structure. These paddles look exactly like the precise instruments they are.

Spectrum Paddles by Prince

Prince Spectrum Pro Paddles
The Spectrum and Spectrum Pro Paddles are groundbreaking due to their highly circular design, resulting in a sweet spot that just about spans the entirety of the paddle. But just look at those colors and the clever layering of patterns over the face.

The use of honeycomb isn’t foreign to paddles, but slowly fading it into more angular shapes and curves keeps this look interesting. Prince’s “p” logo is front and center yet doesn’t feel out of place thanks to the complementary shades used to fill it in.

RZR by GAMMA

RZR by GAMMA

The original Razor Paddle was released in 2017, but GAMMA was forced to slightly redesign and rename it minus a few vowels due to copyright issues. We don’t mind, because that means we get to include this beauty on our current list!

Everything about this design feels classy yet eye-catching. We love the dark backgrounds, smoky splashes of color and elegant GAMMA logo. Even the grips take things to the next level by integrating matching glimpses of color in the material..

 

Of course, taste is subjective and we know there are many other beautiful paddles being used on the courts! Which paddles do you admire the most, either from this past year or earlier releases?

The Tradition of the Christmas Pickle

For those who celebrate Christmas, the big day is getting close! There are many great traditions surrounding the holiday such as baking cookies, giving gifts, spending time with family and decorating a tree, but the real question is… do you know about the famed Christmas pickle?

To take part, you’re supposed to take a pickle-shaped ornament and hide it somewhere on your tree. The first person to find it is supposed to receive an additional gift or have a year of good fortune.

Santa Pickle

This is a real tradition and not even something we came up with (though we wish we did)! No one is entirely certain of the Christmas pickle’s origins, but some believe it may have been part of marketing campaigns in the late 19th century. During that time glass Christmas decorations were imported to the U.S. from Europe, some in the shape of vegetables.

Another, more dramatic origin story is linked to the American Civil War. A Private John C. Lower was captured after serving in the 103rd Pennsylvania infantry, and on Christmas Eve he begged a guard for a pickle. He was given the pickle and said it ended up saving him from starvation, so when he returned to his family, he began the pickle-hiding tradition.

Christmas Pickle

This sounds a little dubious to us, but we can appreciate a good story regardless of its veracity. If you want to get in on the fun, we just so happen to offer a pickle ornament. We also have a non-ornament design. Best of all, these pickles not only have a lovely green sheen, but the ability to yodel out a happy tune. What more could you want to bring some more Christmas cheer to the season?

Do you engage in this time-honored tradition yourself? What are some of your favorite pickleball or non-pickleball related activities you take part in as the holidays get near?

2018 Pickleball Holiday Gift Guide

There are hundreds of amazing sales at PickleballCentral, and while many customers are gleefully searching for their must-haves, others are feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the available options.

If you’re newer to the sport, looking to buy something for a pickler but not sure where to start, or just want a quick overview of some of our very best deals, these guides will give you some great ideas to consider.

As always, you can also feel free to call us at 888-854-0163 if you’d like to get some direct suggestions from one of our informative reps. Have fun shopping for the holidays!

Pickleball Luxury Gifts

Now is the ideal time to splurge if you’re seeking incredible savings and high-end products such as pickleball machines and nets. If you’re shopping for the player who “has it all” and want to give them a pleasant surprise this season, the following gifts will set themselves apart from the crowd due to their utility and quality.

Luxury Collage 2018
A. Lobster Pickle Ball Machine – Easily maneuverable thanks to wheels, offers top/backspin and oscillation. Comes in battery or AC power models.
B. Paddletek Tempest Pro Paddle – Uses “Smart Response” technology via a thicker core to offer more power without losing control.
C. BOOST Pickleball Training Camps – Near San Diego, Kona, Seattle or Templeton? Come learn from the best during these incredible experiences.
D. Quick Cart Plus – Sturdy fold-up design is lightweight and has zippable canvas pouch that holds 150 balls. Secondary mesh shelf for storage.
E. QGear Pro Bag – Unique design with adjustable compartments so you can sort equipment precisely how you want it.
F. Pickleball Tutor Ball Machine – Remote options for control at a distance, 2-line feature, oscillating/non-oscillating, battery or AC power models.
G. Kinetic Pro Speed Paddle – Minimizes vibration with tungsten-filled chambers and 7-layered coating over the face. Three colors.
H. SwiftNet – Amazingly lightweight at only 14 lbs yet stays in place, holds shape thanks to supportive boom and sets up with ease.
I. Pickleball Weathervane – Uses 14-gauge US steel for durability. Powder coated and laser cut with various mounting options.
J. Kollectaball – Court cleanup has never been faster with this rolling ball pick-up that holds up to 60 balls within its wire construction.

5-Star Rated Paddles

The following paddles have been wielded by top pickleball athletes and up-and-coming contenders alike. If you’re looking for a reliable, strong and precise piece of equipment, any of these options will serve you well. The different materials and designs all lend themselves to different play styles, so you’re sure to find one to suit your needs.

Paddle Collage 2018
A. Engage Elite Pro – Used by 9 pro players during the 2017 US Open and they all won! Reactive feel with a super tough composite face.
B. Onix Z5 Graphite – A classic that’s stood the test of time. Balanced shape with reactive graphite and 8-1/8″ wide face.
C. Paddletek Tempest Wave – Graphite face with polymer core provides the best of both worlds and offers excellent touch.
D. Selkirk AMPED S2 – Large surface area creates broad sweet spot, X5 core allows for precise placement and control.
E. ProLite Titan Pro – Reduced vibrations and sound due to polymer core while carbon fiber face gives the paddle extra “pop” and speed.
F. Prince Response Pro – Rounded face makes for an exceptional response that allows pickleballs to bounce back no matter where you hit.

Men’s Pickleball Gifts

If you want to brighten the holidays for a certain pickleball-playing fellow, these items will help elevate his game and provide extra comfort on the courts. Depending on his needs, you can give the gift of a new paddle, extra storage space, functionality or style with any of these great picks.

Men Collage 2018
A. Winning Pickleball – Top player Mark Friedenberg shares basic techniques on up to pro level wisdom. 179 pages of techniques and drills.
B. Pickleball Shirts – Choose from over 30 designs and get them on your favorite style, color, fabric and size.
C. HEAD Pickleball Elite Backpack – Separate shoe pouch with large main compartment and adjustable shoulder straps.
D. Sterling Silver Pickleball Money Clip – Hand-made brushed sterling, 2″ long and 1″ wide.
E. Engage Elite Pro Maverick Paddle – Made collaboratively with pro Ben Johns, provides a 6″ long handle for grip space and reach.
F. Selkirk AMPED Invikta – Made through a partnership with Tyson McGuffin, comes in two grips, two weights and lengthy design.
G. Paddletek Pro Pickleball Backpack – Thermal-lined section, phone and shoe pouch, internal pockets and more provide plenty of storage space.
H. Jugy Water Flask – An eco-friendly bottle that retains its temperature and holds up to 32 oz of liquid. BPA-free and made of stainless steel.

Women’s Pickleball Gifts

Everyone wants to improve their play while showing off a touch of their owns style, and there are plenty of options to grab for the lady pickler in your life. You can get accessories that will add some more sparkle to her look or great quality accessories and clothing. Or give her some reading material to dig deeper into this great game.

Women Collage 2018
A. Pickleball Shirts – Select from over 30 images and multiple styles, colors fabric and sizes to create the perfect complement to her wardrobe.
B. History of Pickleball – By Jennifer Lucore and Beverly Youngren. Personal stories of pickleball from founders, supporters and top players.
C. Pickleball Pizzazz Earrings – An easy way to add sparkle and shine to a look with drop or stud styles.
D. Sterling Silver Pickleball Partners Pendant – A great way to spruce up a bag, zipper pull or other accessory. Includes 18-inch sterling chain.
E. Margaritaville ‘Fins’ Paddle – A maneuverable paddle with a tapered face and polymer core that reduces jostling during play.
F. Pickleball Shirts – Same as “A” in different design.
G. Paddletek Bantam TS-5 Pro Paddle – Multiple grips and weights let you choose the perfect fit. Thicker core offers softer feel and fast action.
H. Margaritaville Backpack – A big central compartment holds up to three paddles and has 2 mesh side pockets for water bottles. Bright and fun design.
I. Margaritaville Tote – Main compartment, zippered accessory pouch and exterior zippered pocket all allow you to store your goods safely in this vibrant bag.

Pickleball Stocking Stuffers

If you don’t want to spend too much but still want to grab some gifts that will put a smile on a pickler’s face, this section if perfect for finding a fun, useful yet affordable gift.

Stocking Stuffer 2018
A. Pickleball Bottle Opener – Clever design looks like a normal accessory but opens up bottles with ease. Laser cut, comes in green and yellow.
B. Yodeling Pickle Ornament – Why say it when you can sing it with this silly pickle ornament? Battery-powered novelty item.
C. Neoprene Pickleball Paddle Cover – Keep your gear safe from dents, scrapes and other damage with this cushioned cover.
D. Pickleball Rating Decal – Ratings range from 3.5 to 5.0. Allows your competitive friends to proudly show off their skills.
E. Official Tournament Rulebook – No more guessing or unsettled courtside arguments when you have this book on hand. Has all the rules from the IFP for tournaments.
F. Gift Certificate – Let your giftee choose their own favorite products with these easy to use gift certificates via email or traditional mail.
G. Leather Pickleball Ornament – Simple yet eye-catching and charming. Clean design that comes in 8 different colors.
H. 200P Mini Paddle – Perfect for getting the kids started early… really early. This 7-3/4″ paddle is made of functional materials but is best used as a toy or adorable decor.
I. RAPTOR Eyewear – Don’t let lighting throw off your play or wayward balls knock you out of the game with this lightweight eyewear. Comes in 3 colors of anti-scratch/anti-fog lenses.
J. Pickleball Paddle Cookie Cutter – We normally say to stay out of the kitchen, but in the case of making cookies, we’ll make an exception if you share!
K. GAMMA Supreme Overgrip – Use to bulk up a paddle’s grip for extra cushioning, comfort and “grippy” feel.