weeks tip is on equipment, specifically paddles. Here in Florida, in the
winter we play in 30 degree to 60 degree weather. In the summer we play
in 80 to 97 degree weather with LOTS of hot sun beating on the ball.
the winter time, our balls are nice and crisp when cold and POP off the
paddle with little help. In the summer heat and sun, the balls tend to
get soft and are much harder to generate a high rate of speed.
past month i personally noticed that it was becoming much harder for me
to hit winners on my serve. Usually it is not uncommon for my serve to
win at least one outright winner per game ( receiver is not able to
return the ball ). And smashes at the net were very difficult to
overpower my highly skilled opponents.
Today , realizing
these things, I remembered to switch back to my summer paddle. This
summer paddle hits the ball much harder ( thus less control ) than my
lighter , older winter paddle. But i need this extra power on the soft
summer ball. Control is great, but when the opportunity arises, you need the power to win the point.
I had 4 outright winners in one game today on my serve with the summer paddle.
paddles, heavier paddles, composite paddles ( as opposed to light
hitting graphite paddles ) and paddles that have had the Jim Carroll
upgrade are all good choices for the soft summer ball. I personally like
to use a lighter paddle, however my summer paddle has the Jim Carroll
upgrade. He takes an older paddle and applies a tough smooth coating to
the surface. He can also put college info or grandkid photos on the
paddle with this coating. It does NOT provide any trampoline effect
which is against usapa rules, however it does give it a little more pop
as it is a nice hard surface. And adds a little weight which also gives
So a slow light winter paddle will give you
about the same power and control in the winter as a heavier more
powerful paddle in the summer.