Monday, August 12, 2013

Pickleball Tip of Week #19

Ok Guys,
This 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.

In 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.
The 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.

Newer 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 extra pop.
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.

jeff shank

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