Pickleball is an easy and fun-loving game for all groups of ages. However, just like any other sport, there are some key basics to follow in pickleball to become a perfect player. For any beginner starting to play this game, learning how to hold a pickleball paddle is certainly one of the most important things to consider.
Therefore, in the following guide, I have explained in detail the importance of holding and gripping the pickleball paddle correctly. By the end of it, you will surely know how a proper pickleball paddle grip can increase your performance as a pickleball player.
How to Hold a Pickleball Paddle?
For an outsider, it looks quite simple just holding a pickleball paddle smashing all the balls and winning games. Well, it is not that straightforward. It is not about grabbing the pickleball paddle and starting to play, it is about holding it in the correct way to get better results.
Apart from learning the basic rules of pickleball, there are three important factors to consider before taking the paddle in your hands. Those are:
- The position of your hands on the type of grip and the amount of pressure put on the grip.
- The paddle’s holding position to your body position.
- How to hold a pickleball paddle while standing at the net or the kitchen line.
Holding the pickleball paddle correctly plays a significant role in your style of play. A strong grip and a firm hold on the paddle will make your shots more accurate. Below are the steps that should be taken into account while learning the art of paddle holding.
- First, hold the paddle up to your shoulder height in front of you and move it on the right as well as on the left with hands tight around the grip.
- The level of the paddle should be exactly in line with the V created by your thumb and index finger.
How to Grip the Pickleball Paddle
Gripping the pickleball paddle is different from gripping a tennis racquet. In tennis, players have time to change their grips during the game. While in pickleball, as it is a short-length game and mostly around the kitchen line, you do not find pickleball players changing their grips frequently.
Pickleball players tend to use only one grip throughout the whole game on the court. Therefore, a player needs to choose the right kind of grip to get the best out of the paddle.
Let us go into the details of some of the most popular pickleball paddle grips in the world of pickleball.
Types of Pickleball Paddle Grips
Pickleball paddle grips come in three different styles.
- Eastern Grip
- Western Grip
- Continental Grip
Eastern Pickleball Paddle Grip
First up is the most commonly used grip in pickleball called the Eastern style grip. It is also known as the “Shake Hand” grip. In this style of grip, the position of your hand on the handle pretends that you are shaking hands with the paddle. For any newbie in pickleball, it is the type of grip that you want to start from.
Another good thing about this grip is you do not need to change the grip while playing forehand and backhand. It stays neutral just like in tennis or any other racquet sport and allows you to play all kinds of shots.
For getting the right Eastern grip on the paddle, here is what you have to do.
- Using your non-playing hand, hold the paddle in a way that is right in front of you. When holding it, the face of the paddle should be evenly distributed from both the right and left sides.
- After that, put your dominant or the playing hand on the paddle’s face. Move your hand down towards the handle so that you can get a firm grip.
- Make sure that the V generated by your thumb and index finger is pointing towards you.
Western Pickleball Paddle Grip
The Western grip unlike the Eastern grip is not so common in pickleball but is still a good choice. This type of grip is more suitable for playing pickleball forehands rather than backhands. The strong forehand makes your palm goes behind the paddle and makes the angle difficult to play a backhand shot resulting in a weaker backhand.
Many players with this western pickleball grip prefer to play both forehand and backhand using the same side of the paddle. The position of your hand on the grip looks exactly like holding a frying pan. That is why this grip is also called the “Frying Pan” grip.
The grip works by rotating your wrist 90 degrees clockwise in the case of a right-hand player and counterclockwise for a lefty.
For putting the Western grip on the pickleball paddle, you should take these steps.
- Firstly, find the Eastern grip and follow the same pattern used in that grip.
- Your hand should be on the paddle’s face and then drag it from the face of the paddle to the handle to get the desired grip.
- After that, make sure that there is a 60-90 degrees rotation of the paddle towards the ground. The grip that your hand holds is in resemblance to someone holding a frying pan.
Continental Pickleball Paddle Grip
The continental pickleball grip also referred to as the “Hammer grip” is the most famously used paddle grip among pickleball players. The name hammer is associated because holding this grip looks like grabbing a hammer. Both forehand and backhand players prefer this continental grip.
But like the Eastern pickleball grip, this style of grip is more suited for backhand strokes and completely the opposite of the Western style grip. As a player this continental grip allows you to play nice drop shots and some solid pickleball backhands.
In this grip, since your palm is positioned behind the paddle backhand so it becomes challenging to hit a forehand from that angle. Hence the only powerful shot is the backhand.
The continental pickleball grip can be found by the following method.
- Firstly, your hand should be on the face of the paddle and move it down until you grip the handle.
- Opposite of the Western grip, rotate the wrist slightly counterclockwise to find the grip for right-handers and clockwise for lefties.
- Lastly, the V shape formed by your thumb and index finger should point towards the non-paddle side.
All these three styles of grips are very good and can make your pickleball paddle more effective. It’s up to you to decide what type of grip is suitable for your game. As far as my opinion is concerned, if you want to start your career in pickleball, my recommendation would be to go with the Eastern pickleball grip.
Grips are the key elements of a pickleball paddle. Having a good-quality grip will allow you to hold the paddle better and play powerful shots.
That is why in this article I have explained the art of holding and gripping a pickleball paddle. I hope that it will help you in deciding what type of grip suits your game play. If you want to be successful in pickleball, how to hold a pickleball paddle is the first thing to learn. Now grab a pickleball paddle, go out and play some shots to win games.