Why you should be using paddle erasers

Fix your instincts. Unsafe for No. 1 seeds.

If you haven’t checked your calendar lately, it’s time to book your pickleball vacation for the year.

Some players travel to compete in a tournament, others travel to watch the pros. But a growing number of players take their friends on the road with them.

The growing number of luxury rentals includes some convenient pickleball amenities. Check out the homecourt haven at the end of the newsletter to see for yourself.

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In This Issue:
🧠 Listen to your first instinct
🥇 LA no place for No. 1 seeds
✏️ Erase your mistakes

The weekend is clear for takeoff.

Your First Instinct Should Be To Volley

A great way to put pressure on your opponent is to take more balls out of the air. Make the kitchen feel small. Take away their safe space to hit the ball.

Too often at the kitchen line, players let the ball bounce and settle for hitting a casual dink. When you reach higher levels, players don’t just stand at the kitchen line.

They bend their knees and lean into the kitchen. Any ball that can be hit out of the air is taken as a volley. This accomplishes two things:

  • You take away time from your opponent to recover in between shots

  • You put them on their heels, on the defensive, because they have to prepare for a potential speedup

Watch Travis Rettenmaier demonstrate the concept in a new video.

As Rettenmaier says, your first instinct should be to take it out of the air. If it’s not there, you can step back and hit a dink.

In case you missed it: last issue we talked about pro-level grip changes.

Your Quarterly Court Advantage

Do you wish someone would send a box full of pickleball gear to your house every three months?

If only they’d curate some of the newest and best products on the market, pack them together, and send them to my door. Well, look no further. Pickleball’s #1 subscription box is here.

Sign up for The Essentials Box or The Pro Box and receive a ton of pickleball gear for nearly half the price. You can save even more this week with code DINK25.

Is Your Bag Missing This Accessory?

So you've recently been given what looks like an odorless block of soap, but you're not exactly sure what it does or why it's called a pickleball paddle eraser.

Don't worry. We got you.

First off, it's not soap. It's a handy tool to help you keep your pickleball paddle clean of debris, ensuring better contact between the ball and the paddle during your games. You will find one in your next pickleball box.

Every time you make contact with a pickleball using a carbon fiber paddle, tiny pieces of plastic collect on the paddle's surface. Besides making your paddles look dirty, the fibers accumulate over time and can obstruct the paddle's natural grooves, gradually reducing your ability to generate spin on your shots.

A pickleball paddle eraser removes those plastic pieces and gets your paddle back doing its job. The goal is to maintain the same level of grit on the face of the paddle so there is no loss in the spin you’re able to create.

Catching Up With the Pros in LA and Naples

For the second week in a row, both the No. 1 seeds have taken an early exit in singles.

Youth Will be Served
Hayden Patriquin was responsible for ending Ben Johns’ day yesterday. He upset Ben 11-6, 11-6 in the Round of 16 (which we correctly predicted in our preview). Roscoe Bellamy dropped Tyson McGuffin in the same round and will play for Bronze on Sunday.

Fed Does it Again
Federico Staksrud continues his lights-out streak with an eighth-straight finals appearance. He benefitted from a favorable draw this week but showed no mercy, giving up an average of 3.5 points per game on the way to the finals.

New Champ to be Crowned
Last week’s singles champ, Lea Jansen, was upset in the quarterfinals by Lacy Schneemann. This helped pave the way for Brooke Buckner, who beat Schneemann to reach the finals.

Kaitlyn Christian ended the run for hometown favorite, Mary Brascia. But it was the No. 3 seed Lauren Stratman who defeated Christian in the semis to steal a spot in the finals.

Women’s Singles Final
Lauren Stratman vs Brooke Buckner
Bronze: Kaitlyn Christian vs Lacy Schneemann

Men’s Singles Final
Connor Garnett vs Federico Staksrud
Bronze: Aanik Lohani vs Roscoe Bellamy

Tune into mixed doubles action today starting at 2pm ET on Amazon Prime and Pickleball TV.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Anna Leigh Waters and her mom, Leigh Waters, are competing together again at the US Open Championships in Naples, Florida. Tomorrow ALW will team up with JW Johnson in mixed doubles. The Finals will be broadcast on CBS Sports on Saturday at 5:30pm ET.

Your Turn to TOUR

Franklin Sports is once again at the forefront of pickleball innovation with the FS Tour Series Paddles - a game-changer in competitive play.

Crafted with precision, the Tempo and Dynasty models boast a T700 carbon fiber surface for unmatched control and spin, enabling players to execute shots with confidence. The meticulously balanced swing and twist weight of the paddles are engineered to amplify your technique, making every shot count.

It's time to unleash your full potential and play like the pros. Experience the difference today with the FS Tour Series.

It’s Almost Go Time

The teams are set and the first event is right around the corner. The exciting start to this year’s Major League Pickleball season will happen in Atlanta on Mother’s Day weekend, May 9-12.

Unlike MLP events in the past, not all of the teams will make the trip to Atlanta. The Seattle Pioneers and Utah Black Diamonds will both be absent at the Premier Level.

Each team present will play between 3-6 matches, depending on their schedule. Match results will count toward a season-long total and determine playoff positioning later in the year.

Headlines & Quick Hits


Homecourt Havens

Two shades of blue blend perfectly into the Palm Springs sky. The best part about this haven is that you can experience it for yourself.

A review from the Dink Fam...

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