Could this be the first celebrity pickleball endorsement of 2024? Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi held a second Instagram Live from their home recently during which they responded to viewers’ questions with advice.
One of said pieces of advice? “Go hang out at a pickleball court,” Ellen said in response to a recent divorcée’s question on how to meet someone sans dating apps.
In This Issue:
🔝 7 Tips to level up
🤑 The sport for moneybags
🥇 ALW does it again
Time to Level Up
You read The Dink Newsletter, so chances are you’re not a 3.0 player. But there are plenty of newbies out there that still need help leveling up.
Plus, it’s always nice to get a refresher on the basics. Here are 7 tips from pro Eric Roddy to help ‘your friend’ level up.
1. Keep Your Eye on the Ball
This will not only help you make clean contact, but it will help train your brain to withstand longer rallies as you advance.
2. Use the Continental or "Handshake" Grip
Beginners will often use a ‘pancake’ grip because it is familiar or easier. This can lead to bad habits and restrict players from hitting certain shots. Using the continental grip is crucial, especially as you add shots to your arsenal.
Stay low for every shot. It can look or feel ridiculous at times, but staying low before, during and after every shot will lead to the best results. Staying low also allows a player to better identify out balls.
Less is more in pickleball, especially when it comes to the backswing. Try to keep your paddle in front of you, especially when you are at the kitchen. This will help your timing and will help you react more quickly when the game starts to speed up.
As you start to learn how to dink, try to keep a firm wrist, but softly grip the paddle. Use the paddle as an extension of your arm and keep it straight, instead of letting your wrist turn over.
You can find tips 6 and 7 here along with a bonus tip to help keep you in peak playing condition.
Share these tips with someone you want to help level up. Use the referral code at the bottom of this email and start earning your way toward free paddles for life!
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PB vs. Padel (vs. Everything Else)
Photo: The Washington Post
Padel, as we've said before, has a lot of ground to cover if it wants to catch up with pickleball...no, literally: it takes up much more space and requires a lot more money to build its glass-enclosed court.
"It’s a networking superconductor for athletic, like-minded, like-moneyed masters of the universe," their story says.
This idea of exclusivity -- as opposed to pickleball's inclusivity -- is mirrored in the fact that only about 300 padel courts exist in the US currently. Even before the pickleboom, there were already well over 300 courts established throughout the US; probably more in Florida alone.
But, WaPo writes, "if you move in the right circles, in the right places, or at least follow the right accounts, padel is everywhere."
Padel needs a specialized court that costs roughly $50,000 to install. But it’s precisely those barriers to entry that appeal to those with cash and calories to burn.
The WaPo piece further describes how padel "is more athletic" than pickleball and how the uber-wealthy have started to latch on to the sport.
The athleticism needed for Padel could actually be more off-putting for CEOs. Golf only requires you to walk. Surely this is a point in pickleball’s favor?
But perhaps the best part of the article is this admittedly-funny chart comparing each of the most popular racket sports. We've highlighted our favorite parts.
New Year, Same ALW
The PPA is using a new ball, testing a new serve rule, and welcomes some new faces. But one thing remains the same: Anna Leigh Waters cleans house.
ALW picked up her first triple crown of the year and her 21st overall, putting her one ahead of Ben Johns. Johns helped Waters reach 21 with their gold in mixed doubles.
Waters beat Catherine Parenteau in the women's singles final then teamed up with her to win the women's doubles title
Jack Sock's singles run came to an end at the hand of Federico Staksrud in the semifinals
Dylan Frazier struggled in men’s singles late last year, but appears to be a new man after the off-season. He was crowned the first men’s singles champion of 2024 and secured big wins over JW Johnson, Tyson McGuffin and Federico Staksrud.
The euro twins Jay Devilliers and Pat Smith looked solid in their return, but the Johns bros still remain head and shoulders above the men's doubles field.
The trial PPA serve rule was met with mixed feedback. Refs and pros tried to navigate the new rule throughout the weekend. We will see if it is still in play at the Desert Ridge Open later this month.
Should the PPA keep the new serve rule?
The beta-tested rule required players to drop the ball no higher from their hip for a volley serve.
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Beautiful, Functional Courtwear
AvaLee is meeting the needs of modern women everywhere. This flowy court dress is cute on or off the courts.
With a built-in low-impact bra, built-in shorts, and high-quality fabric, you’ll feel beautiful and confident in this dress.
Redefine your court presence with the AvaLee Single-Strap Court Dress. See all the available colors here.
Tennis Sucks in Trouble…Again
Travis and Graham push the envelope in another episode of Tennis Sucks. They caught flack for breaking the news on the official balls of the PPA and APP. This week, they break down the new MLP draft process and speculate how they will approach the 2024 season.
Catch the new episode here.
Headlines & Quick Hits
A review from the Dink Fam...