The Open Stance Serve
More and more pros are adopting the open stance serve. The serve differs from the traditional closed stance serve that you’re probably used to seeing.
In the closed stance serve, the server’s feet are stagged. The non-paddle side foot is in front and the server steps forward as the serve is executed
In the open stance serve, the server’s feet are squared up to the court, each about the same distance from the baseline. Because the feet are square there is no need to step forward
The server cuts down the serving motion by pre-loading the hip turn. They basically skip the step and start with their hips already turned forward.
For the Johns bros, it made sense because of the new service rule in play at PPA pro events. “Because of the new rule, you have to strike the ball relatively quickly.”
The new rule requires the ball to be dropped from hip height. This does not leave much time for the swing to take place. In order to hit the ball at the highest point possible contact should occur quickly after the ball is released.
A big question that accompanies this serve is: are you still able to generate power without stepping into the serve? “The power still comes from using the large muscles,” Johns says, “You have to be a little bit more disciplined” about loading the hips and shoulders.
The open stance could also be utilized for players who struggle with accuracy. The open stance limits the overall serve motion.
There is no step and your body is already facing the target. With those variables limited, you should see more consistent results on where your serve is landing. It’s also a convenient solution for any new server battling the yips.
Raising the Bar
Franklin is helping raise the bar and writing the next chapter of competitive pickleball with the new FS Tour Series Pickleball Paddles.
Their Tempo and Dynasty paddles are engineered to help pickleball players improve their shot-making skills and reach their maximum potential. Its T700 carbon fiber surface allows for controlled touch and killer spin, while its optimized swing and twist weight enhance your technique.
Check out the paddle that won nationals and start playing like pro today.
Tennis Stars Battle at the Hard Rock
Photo Credit: Allmeid for Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
South Florida offered all the pickleball one could handle this past weekend with Pickleball Slam 2.
Andre Agassi, his wife Steffi Graf, John McEnroe and Maria Sharapova put on a show Sunday evening in front of a packed house at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
Team Agassi and Graf emerged victorious, taking home the biggest single event prize in pickleball history of $1 million. Agassi/Graf defeated McEnroe/Sharapova (11-7, 13-11).
Also participating in Slam 2 as players/coaches were tennis professionals who have made the transition to pickleball:
James Blake (co-owner, Major League Pickleball’s Milwaukee Mashers)
Sock was part of Team Agassi/Graf while Blake joined Team McEnroe/Sharapova
McEnroe was in top form, bringing his priceless antics and shotmaking to the event.
A handful of foot faults early in the competition brought out the best from the tennis legend, who playfully sparred with the referee throughout the night about her "rulings."
With these names competing at the highest level of the sport and for ESPN to provide a Sunday night LIVE primetime window for the competition, the future looks very bright for the growth and popularity of pickleball.
Finding Joy in Movement
Ever wished you could sneak in a workout while relaxing or working? Meet Cubii – the revolutionary under-desk elliptical that's a game-changer for your fitness routine. Whether you're strategizing your next pickleball victory or unwinding after an epic match, Cubii keeps you moving!
Cubii is compact, whisper-quiet, and perfect for any home or office space. With its smooth, low-impact design, you can pedal away calories, strengthen muscles, and boost your energy – all while sitting. It's not just about staying active; it's about enhancing your pickleball performance with improved strength and endurance.
Get ready to pedal your way to victory – both at the desk and on the court. Discover Cubii’s under-desk ellipticals and revolutionize your fitness journey today!
A Message from Thomas
Some of you received a cold message from me on Facebook three years ago: "Nice to meet you. I thought you'd like to subscribe to my new pickleball newsletter..."
Some of you are brand new to the game, and this is your first issue of The Dink Newsletter (welcome!).
Whoever you are, you're part of The Dink Fam, an eclectic group of hundreds of thousands of pickleballers across 6 continents. From teenagers to retirees, casual players to top pros, we all have one thing in common: we love this weird sport.
For a long time, our company did one thing: we brought you the latest news, tips, analysis and gear recommendations. The pulse of pickleball.
But recently that changed.
We thought long and hard about what else we could offer our audience. Countless ideas, plenty not so good, some we are still considering. But one idea in particular stood out above the rest...
We study the sport, we work with the top brands, we interview the top pros and we monitor the latest technology and exciting new ventures. It's safe to say we know the sport better than anyone...
That's why we felt we were uniquely positioned to bring value to you, the pickleballer. And so, we launched our first product: a curation of premium pickleball products that we know you will love? Why? Because we love them ourselves.
Spoiler: we're talking about The Pickleball Box. Delivered to your doorstep once every three months. Curated by our team. Gear, apparel, equipment, accessories and more.
But we wanted to make sure we were delivering real value. And so, we packed each box with over $250 of the best in pickleball, for a mere $99.
Now we know, it's not for everyone. And we aren't going to tell you this is the perfect product for you. It might not be.
But if you ask us, it's more than worth it for anyone who plays pickleball even once a month.
So whether you started reading three years ago, or you subscribed just yesterday, we would be honored if you'd be one of our early customers of The Pickleball Box.
Either way, here's to continuing to bring you the best of the sport that has changed countless lives for the better.
(Oh, and it may or may not be the perfect Valentine's Day Gift for that pickleballer in your life).
Pickleball Steals the Top Spot
James Ignatowich's superhuman ATP defied physics and earned himself the #1 spot. Ignatowich, unfortunately, had to settle for silver on the court as the ALW triple crown count grew again in AZ.
Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns topped Ignatowich and Anna Bright in the mixed doubles final
ALW defeated Mary Brascia in women's singles 11-2, 11-1
Waters and Catherine Parenteau moved to 60-0 in women’s doubles
This triple crown didn't come with the same untouchable vibe were used to seeing. Johns/Waters faced match point against Etta Wright/Pablo Tellez in the mixed doubles quarterfinals. In women's doubles Waters/Parenteau were down 9-3 in game 3 against the Kawamotos before rallying back for the win.
Could the gap for these divisions be tightening for the top seeds like it has in men's singles? The No. 1 men's player Ben Johns was upset again to start the year.
This time it was Jaume Martinez Vich, who bested Johns in three games on his way to the finals. Vich and Federico Staksrud put on an all-time athletic performance in the singles finals that went Staks’ way in three games.
The PPA Tour will set up shop in AZ for the rest of the month. The Arizona Cup in Mesa, AZ kicks off in two weeks. Read a full recap and takeaways from Desert Ridge here.