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Pickleball is one of the fastest sports in the country! It’s fun to play, its social and its good for you!
Many people are converting from tennis to pickleball, or adding it to their recreational repertoire.
But if you’re a tennis player transitioning to pickleball, there are a number of factors you will want to consider so that you do not confuse your swings or alter your tennis playing style.
So what’s the best pickleball paddle for tennis players?
Making the transition from pickleball to tennis
There are a few important considerations to take into account as you add pickleball to your skill set or transition entirely to a new sport.
Some important things to keep in mind include:
- Grip: Continental grip is the preference for most people in pickleball. It is easier to use on both the forehand and the backhand side. There is not as much time to switch grips as in tennis, so by using a continental grip in pickleball you set yourself up for more success.
- Shorter Stroke: Keep the paddle out in front of you. In tennis when you set up for a ground stroke, you take the racquet far behind you in order to create more power with a longer stroke. Pickleball requires a shorter stroke.
- Footwork: In pickleball and tennis the footwork is similar. You use fewer cross-over steps in pickleball – you have less ground to cover!
- Net Play: This is not a baseline game! In tennis, especially in singles tennis,you play mainly from the baseline with angles and power to gain an advantage and to hit a winner. In Pickleball you must soften the shot and have patience. You have to wait for a ball that comes above the net, take advantage of it, and use your put away shot.
The volley is the main difference in your footwork. In tennis you step forward (opposite foot) in order to make contact with the ball on your volley.
The rules in pickleball state that you have a non volley zone. If you step forward and take a volley out of the air, you’re in violation of the rules.
You have to stay up on the balls of the feet, keep the paddle in front of you, and volley with a very stationary body.
All the movement comes from the shoulder and the arm.
While some tennis skills will definitely transition to pickleball play, pickleball is a game all unto its own.
The strategy and skills involved will be a fun challenge for a tennis player to learn.
A tennis player will need to research and purchase the right equipment, which includes finding the right paddle.
Take a look at this quick video to hear some important pickleball basics for tennis players explained.
Pickleball is not Mini Tennis
Many tennis players get frustrated when mixing in pickleball.
After playing pickleball many tennis players report late hits on volleys and slow preparation on ground strokes.
Beginners can play pickleball within Thirty Minutes!
Tennis is harder to learn for a beginner and takes more athletic skill than pickleball.
A beginner can start playing a pickleball match within 30 minutes of basic instruction.
The rules in pickleball don’t allow for aggressive play and that can sometimes be challenging for tennis players.
The game lends itself to hitting an incorrect (tennis) volley as we stated above. You can’t step into the volley unless you step into the no volley zone.
The dink in pickleball is important. Waiting for someone to hit the ball too high and then putting it away is an important strategy.
For those who don’t move as well as needed in tennis, it’s perfect!
Maintaining hand-eye coordination, improving movement abilities and exercising in a fun atmosphere are the main goals of many pickleball enthusiasts.
At the end of the 19th century, tennis was introduced to Japan by a western missionary and it was later modified to better suit Japanese tastes.
Check out this quick video on soft tennis-pickleball-touch tennis combinations.
A special racquet and ball was developed and the game became known as soft tennis.
Soft tennis is a racquet game played on a court of two halves, separated by a net.
Like regular tennis, it is played by individuals (singles) or pairs (doubles).
The object is to hit the ball over the net, landing within the confines of the court, with the aim of preventing one’s opponent from being able to hit it back.
Softer tennis differs from regular tennis in that it uses soft rubber balls instead of hard yellow balls.
Soft tennis is played primarily in Asia, especially in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Thailand, and the Philippines. In 2004 soft tennis was introduced into Europe.
Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom all now have active soft tennis federations.
All of them are also members of the European Soft Tennis Federation and the International Federation JSTA.
Soft Tennis Rules
Most of the rules for soft tennis are the same as those for regular tennis. When the rules were revised in 1992, singles became a formal event.
This revision also enabled a forward player in doubles to serve.
The serve plays an important role in a team’s chances of winning.
The World championship is held every four years. The recent World Championship was played in New Delhi, India.
Best Pickleball Paddle for Tennis Players
There are a number of pickleball paddle options that could potentially work well for use with a tennis player or a tennis player transitioning to pickleball.
It’s important to always consult an industry professional before using any new product for your game.
The following paddle options may provide a good place for you to start your search.
Rally PXT Graphite Pickleball Paddle | Polymer Composite Honeycomb Core, Graphite Carbon Face | Lightweight | USAPA Approved by PickleballCentral
This paddle is lightweight and shaped more like a tennis racquet, which could potentially make it easier for a tennis player to hit ground strokes and dinks than some other pickleball paddles.
The lightweight design also makes it a good option for volleys.
This paddle has a handle that is half an inch longer than the standard size pickleball paddle, so it has easier reach than some other paddles and may be easier for tennis players to learn to switch hands more easily.
This design also provides a large sweet spot.
Some important features of this item include:
- Manufacturer: Pickleball Central
- Polymer composite: polymer composite is powerful and smooth
- Honeycomb core: Durable honeycomb core
- Graphite carbon face: textured graphite carbon face for enhanced ball control, placement and spin
- Lightweight: lightweight paddle with excellent ball control
- USAPA approved for tournament play.
Some specific specifications of this paddle include:
- Head length: 15.625”
- Head shape: teardrop shape maintains large sweet spot
- Total width: 8.125”
- Speed: built for speed, quick strokes and speed at the net
- Grip: performance perforated cushion comfort grip-cushioned grip size fits most hands comfortably and minimizes slipping while providing exceptional feedback and sweat reduction.
- Grip Size: medium 4.25”circumference
- Elongated 5” length
View at Amazon to learn more about how this paddle may work for your game.
Wilson Pickleball Paddle Series – Energy Pro
Mixing elements of power and control, the Wilson Tour is a lighter option for the tennis/pickleball player.
The fiberglass construction composite blend provides added flexibility.
Texture on the face helps shape powerful shots.
This racquet is designed to be solid and durable, as well as comfortable for the player. It has a soft feel, but it is also designed for power.
This racquet provides good shot mobility, which can be a good option for someone who also plays tennis.
The lightweight design could potentially help to prevent any impact on your tennis swing from using this paddle.
It uses polymer power comb technology and has a shock stop dampening bumper guard and perforated grip.
View at Amazon for more information on how this paddle could work for your game.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com