Five lessons from a million dinks

Taylor Swift breaks pickleball. New stars sparkle in LA.

Look what you made her do. Last summer might have been cruel, but this one is already looking up.

If you were online in the past 48 hours, you definitely saw the picture of Taylor Swift swinging a Kansas City Chiefs pickleball paddle.

It was only a matter of time before Taylor picked up a paddle, but we’re hoping this love story lasts longer than a fling with Harry Styles.

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In This Issue:
🧠 Lessons from a million dinks
🥇 New faces reach podium in LA
🎉 Pickleball party in Naples

Are you ready for it?

Lessons from a million dinks

PicklePod co-host Zane Navratil has hit a million dinks in practice so you don’t have to. He provides a shortcut to the lessons learned on his journey here:

1. Ready Position
When training, Zane suggests holding a ball in your off-hand to make sure you come back to ready position between shots. Audibly tap the paddle against the ball after each shot to make sure you’re in a neutral position for the next shot.

2. Strong Wrist
A stable wrist at contact prevents the paddle from rotating in your hand unexpectedly. If the ball doesn't strike your paddle dead center this will prevent the paddle face from opening and causing a popup.

3. Paddle in Vision
If your paddle leaves your field of vision, you’re taking too big of a backswing. Keep the strokes more compact and make sure your eyes follow the ball to contact with the paddle.

4. Offense vs. Defense
Have a goal when hitting a dink. A defensive dink will have a higher arc and land shorter in the kitchen. It is used to buy time and recover from a good shot.

An offensive dink will be more aggressive. It will be aimed deeper in the kitchen and pass over the net at a lower height. The offensive dink is used to put pressure on your opponent.

5. The Bare Minimum
Start with the bare minimum. Good fundamentals will take you a long way in the dink game. After you develop a solid base, you can start to add spin, deception, and more.

Remember consistency is key in the dink game. Start with good fundamentals and build your way up from there. When you think you’re ready, check out the 81 combinations you can add to your dink game.

Rule the Court

Ever feel like your game starts strong but doesn't finish that way? It’s not just in your head—it might be your paddle.

Meet the Selkirk Vanguard Control Invikta, the paddle that ensures your gameplay remains sharp all match long. With its advanced QuadCarbon Face and solid PolyCore interior, this paddle delivers both power and finesse, keeping you in control from start to finish.

Explore the Vanguard Control Invikta now and maintain your edge, all game, every game.

Pushing the Limits in LA

The LA Open podium sported new names and faces. The third consecutive PPA event provided some different results on the medal stand last weekend.

A Different Anna/Ben 🪞
The first-time partnership of Ben Johns and Anna Bright made a formidable run to the finals but could not quite find the chemistry on Championship Sunday. They ran into Thomas Wilson/Vivienne David, who left no room for error. Wilson/David smiled their way to PPA gold in four games.

Another SportsCenter Top 10 🎬
Connor Garnett and Federico Staksrud put on a show in the men’s singles final. Garnett managed to outlast Fed and win gold in the grueling match that included the No. 9 play on SportsCenter’s Top 10.

Fire and Ice 🧊
Tyson McGuffin and Jaume Martinez Vich pushed the Johns Bros to five games in the men’s doubles finals. They brought firepower and energy to the court, but the calm demeanor and consistency of the Johns secured the final game and awarded them another title.

First Time Champion 🥇
Brooke Buckner has been climbing the PPA ranks all season with eyes on the top spot. She took advantage of Anna Leigh and Catherine Parenteau’s absence and claimed her first (but certainly not her last) PPA gold.

We Need a Rematch 🏟️
Anna Bright wasn’t going to leave California without finding gold. She and Rachel Rohrabacher rolled to another women’s doubles title. We will have to wait a few more weeks before we see a rematch of the Austin Open, where they ended the Waters/Parenteau undefeated streak.

Next stop: Utah. The PPA completes four straight tournaments this week with the Red Rocks Open in St. George.

The Biggest Party in Pickleball

Another US Open wrapped up this weekend with the pro doubles finals. The week-long pickleball party hosted nearly 5,000 players, making it one of the biggest tournaments in pickleball history.

Rip. Bang. Win. Cake. 🍰
The Waters were back in a big way this weekend in Naples. The mother-daughter duo Anna Leigh and Leigh won their first-ever US Open title together in Leigh’s long-awaited return from injury.

Let’s Make it Two ✌️
ALW doubled up on gold while in Naples. She and JW Johnson were unbeatable together in mixed doubles. They closed out Megan Fudge/Andrei Daescu in the finals 11-2, 11-3.

Young Guns Ride Again 🏇
JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier went head-to-head with Andrei Daescu and Gabe Tardio in the men’s doubles finals. After two tight games, the outright consistency and quick hands of Johnson and Frazier led to a decisive 11-1 win in game three.

Party Atmosphere 🏟️
The atmosphere at the US Open is unmatched in pickleball. Amateurs and spectators flock to the event every year for a celebration of the sport.

We were happy to catch up with two members of the Dink Fam — Judy and Grady. Thanks for following along on the journey with us. Hope to see you again next year.

Unbeatable Hydration

As the sun climbs, does your pickleball game slump? Look no further—Takeya water bottles are here to save the day.

Their bottles with their innovative insulation that keeps drinks ice-cold, are perfect for those long, hot matches. They feature a leak-proof cap and a universal spout that fits ice cubes of any size—because nobody likes a lukewarm sip between points.

Elevate your game and keep your cool, regardless of the heat. Dive into Takeya's collection and find your hydration hero.

PicklePod: Paddle technology in focus

Should pros be forced to use slower paddles than what the amateurs use?
Dan Martinson from PIKKL joins the pod this week to discuss the current state of paddle technology and what the next wave of paddles might look like.

Dan's material science background and passion for pickleball have led him to become a paddle expert. His new approach to maintaining paddle integrity could have a big impact on how players use and replace paddles.

Headlines & Quick Hits


PPA LA Open Results

Minto US Open Results

A review from the Dink Fam...

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