Ranked: top 10 states for pickle

No more Newman. Amazon Pharmacy Pro-Am.

Location, location, location. You might be a 4.0, but you’re not a “Florida 4.0” or a “California 4.0”.

You see it online all the time. Skill-level snobs that assume pickleball in their state is more competitive than everywhere else. Well, DUPR crunched the numbers. Find out the state with the highest average skill level below.

Have you ever purposefully made a bad line call?

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In This Issue:

🤝 Stop overthinking the third
🏋️ Checking-in on pro singles
💪 Roddick and Richards aim to beat the world’s best

Let the debate begin.

The Untold Secret About Third Shot Drops

By this point in your pickleball journey landing a successful dink should be quite easy. An area where you might still be having trouble is landing third shots with the same consistency as pros.

Zane Navratil shares his secret to simplifying the drop in a new video.

Ultimately, a drop from the baseline is theoretically the same as a dink. According to Zane, your stroke should look the same too.

Some players overcomplicate their drop because of the distance from the net. But only one thing has to change to account for the distance: Your forward swing.

Zane demonstrates how a dink from the kitchen line, a drop from the mid-court and a drop from the baseline should all look the same.

  • A short compact backswing

  • Keep the ball in front of your body

  • Aim to have the ball land at your opponent’s feet

From the baseline, Zane moves his paddle faster through the ball and lengthens his follow through. In the mid-court, the paddle speed slows a bit and the follow through shortens. And the same applies when he reaches the kitchen line.

If your consistency on thirds is still below the 90 percent level, stop thinking of them as the most difficult shot in pickleball. Start treating them like your average dink.

Changing Your Paddle is a Game Changer

Being able to change your paddle is a game changer.  

The GAMMA Airbender features variable weighted endcaps and Zorbicon Shockbuster gel inserts so you can tailor your paddle to fit your game perfectly. Adapt on the fly and reduce harmful vibrations for a smoother experience.  

Learn more about the Airbender from GAMMA Sports and customize your game.

Streaming LIVE at SXSW

Andy Roddick will have his hands full on Monday. The tennis star has been thrown into the deep end of the pickleball pool with only a podcaster to keep him afloat.

On Monday, Roddick and TikTok star Josh Richards will take on the world’s top-ranked doubles team of Ben and Collin Johns. They are going to need all of Roddick’s racquet sport experience and support from Richards’ 25M+ followers to stand a chance.

The special Amazon Pharmacy pickleball exhibition is scheduled to take place at Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference next week. The best part is, drumroll please … you can watch the event live on The Dink YouTube channel.

Also participating in the event is Pickleball Coach to the Stars Matt Manasse and VP of Amazon Pharmacy, John Love.

Team Roddick: Andy Roddick, Matt Manasse, Josh Richards
Team Love: John Love, Ben Johns, Collin Johns

Watch pickleball take over the main stage and get a look into one of the nation’s most popular events on Monday, March 11, 2-4pm CT.

The Great State Debate

Who would you rank as the top three pickleball states? California? Florida? Arizona? All good guesses.

But when it comes to average DUPR rating, the answer will probably surprise you. In both singles and doubles, the state with the highest average DUPR is Oregon.

Utah made both lists and is arguably the fastest-growing state when it comes to the number of courts and the number of players. The midwest was well represented with Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa and Illinois all making the cut.

Parris is Back

The top seeds Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters and a host of other pros have skipped the trip to Minnesota. That includes Riley Newman, who is likely to be absent from all PPA tournaments this year. Speculation is that under his current deal, there is very little financial incentive to compete at PPA events. The race is on to claim titles in their absence.

In women’s singles, Parris Todd makes her return to Championship Sunday. Due to missing most PPA tournaments last year, Todd had fallen all the way to the No. 15 seed.

Because of her low seed, she met the second-ranked Lea Jansen in the Round of 16. A big comeback win in that round helped clear her path to the finals.

On the other side of the draw, another heated meeting between Catherine Parenteau and Salome Devidze decided the finalist. After dropping the first game, Devidze came back to upset Parenteau for the second tournament in a row.

The men’s semifinals were all chalk with the top four seeds advancing. The finals will be a meeting between No. 1 Federico Staksrud and No. 2 Connor Garnett.

  • Cason Campbell continues to impress. He reached the quarterfinals again and is officially Collin Shick’s least-favorite player

  • No. 41 seed Dustin Boyer is the Cinderella story in Minnesota. He topped the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds to reach the quarterfinals

Mixed doubles action picks up today at noon ET. Catch the entire weekend on pickleballtv and YouTube.

Find, Reserve, Play!

Struggling to find a pickleball court on your travels? Meet 365Dink – your passport to nationwide private and semi-private venues.

This annual mega pass is a game-changer for pickleball enthusiasts, offering a solution that mirrors the convenience of the Ikon or Epic pass, but for pickleball courts. With 365Dink, you gain the ability to play at premium venues across the country, seamlessly integrating your love for the game into every trip.

Exclusive offer for The Dink fam: Get a 50 percent discount on your first year with 365Dink using the promo code EARLYACCESS2024 for just $180, instead of the regular $365.

Howells Upsets Haworth in Sacramento

Triple crown watch is on in Sacramento. Jorja Johnson’s return to the APP could result in some major hardware this weekend.

She’s punched her ticket to Championship Sunday, where she will face the top seed Megan Fudge. In doubles, she will team up with her brother JW Johnson and Jill Braverman, where they will be favorites to top the podium.

Looking ahead, the Johnsons and Dylan Frazier have already registered for the upcoming APP Miami Open as well.

Will Howells is a top candidate for breakout player of 2024. He already won gold in doubles in Punta Gorda and now will play for gold in singles in Sacramento.

Howells defeated top seed Chris Haworth in the semifinals and will take on Jack Foster in the Finals.

Tune into the APP Sacramento open at ESPN+ starting at 3pm ET today. And don’t miss a special broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday from 10am - 12pm ET.

The reality of the PPA & MLP Merger

Jimmy Miller from the King of the Court podcast joined the PicklePod to break down the merger aftermath. The MLP season can finally get started, but there are still a few loose ends to tie up.

A couple of players have opted out of salary reductions or have been bought out of their contracts. Riley Newman, in particular, may choose to no longer participate in PPA tournaments due to financial reasons.

Watch here or listen here.

Headlines & Quick Hits


Homecourt Havens

Another beauty from Scottsdale. Is there anywhere in the city where you can’t hear a pickleball bouncing in the distance?

A review from the Dink Fam...

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