The “People’s Choice Awards of Pickleball” returns. It's up to you to decide who takes home the crown for the most coveted awards in the sport: the annual Dink Awards are back.
The Dink Awards is your chance to recognize players, content creators, and moments from the past year in pickleball, with the categories you’d expect to see (Players of the Year; Most Improved Players) and some just for the fun of it (Best On-Court Antics; Best Dressed Player).
Thanks to Selkirk, we're also giving away a $1k grant to the winner of the best Instagram and YouTube content creator categories.
Voting is now officially open. Click here to see the full list of categories and to cast your vote today.
In This Issue:
⚡ Effortless power
💸 DUPR re-ups investment
🌉 Foggy future for pickleball in San Francisco
Watch Me Whip
There are some players that have effortless power on the court. They’re not the biggest or the strongest but the ball flies off of their paddle.
Jaume Martinez Vich is one of those players. In a new video from Davis Pickleball, Jaume explains the intricacies of his swing and where his power comes from.
Instead of gripping the paddle tightly with his whole hand, Jaume squeezes the paddle with his thumb, middle and ring finger. He maintains a loose wrist and forearm to maximize mobility.
Timing is also stressed by Jaume. His grip is loose before contact but tightens just before contact.
A loose forearm and wrist allow Jaume to create a whipping motion with the paddle. In his backswing, he points the paddle towards the back fence to create lag.
At contact, he whips the paddle through the ball at maximum velocity. This sends the ball rocketing off his paddle.
Most beginner players try to generate power by tightening their arms and choking their paddle. All this will do is leave you sore the next day.
Let your paddle do the heavy lifting. Swing it like Jaume and shock your opponent with your effortless power. Watch the full video here.
There is Color
Brighten up your game with the vivid SLK by Selkirk Halo pickleball paddles, now in radiant pink and lime green!
Select between the 16mm Control Core for strategic placement and the 13mm Power Core for that extra oomph in your shots. And with the longer XL handle, you're in for enhanced reach and spin, making every shot count.
Don't blend in; visit Selkirk's website to explore these colorful wonders and elevate your game today!
DUPR Levels Up
The Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating app announced this morning that an $8 million seeding round has resulted in a new executive board, including investments from:
Tennis legend Andre Agassi
Raine Ventures, an investment and advisory firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions
Jay Farner, CEO of Ronin Capital Partners and former CEO of Rocket Companies
Brian Yeager, Chairman & CEO, The Champions Companies
R. Blane Walter, founder of InChord Communications
The company says real estate developer & Columbus Sliders team owner David Kass will serve as the new owner and chairman, while Tito Machado will continue to lead the organization as CEO.
In an announcement, Kass revealed some DUPR adoption details that show impressive growth for the rating platform:
"With over half a million users and a 20% month over month growth rate since its founding in 2021...DUPR provides players across all levels with an ageless, genderless rating based on their match results to equip the emerging sport with a simple language and standard to gauge player ability."
Learn more about this DUPR development and what it means for the company here.
San Fran Players Promise Revolt
There's a developing situation in San Francisco which may lead some pickleball fans to perform a little civil disobedience.
The city says it will remove the divider lines of about half of the 12-or-so courts currently in place at the Presidio Wall tennis & pickleball space — removing lines will revert the affected courts back to tennis-only
The San Francisco Standard reports pickleball players already face long wait times with up to 12 courts active, meaning their queues will likely be much worse if this action is taken
Multiple noise complaints from the park's neighbors and the completion of a new public pickleball space in San Francisco
The most infuriating part of the story? One of the local residents who petitioned to have the Presidio Wall courts removed also has a court in her own yard.
"Holly Peterson alleged that the sale of her $36 million home was thwarted due to the constant pock, pock, pock of pickleballs near the property," a San Francisco Standard report says. "Ironically, Peterson’s home featured its own pickleball court."
Ultimately, all the players are asking for is a little communication from city officials before they lose courts. But this top-down issue works in the reverse, of course.
The tennis- and noise-related issues we’ve seen over the last few years probably wouldn't be so prevalent in the first place if municipalities took more time to plan court placement – though rec departments have been flooded with requests since before the pandemic.
Either way, it's refreshing to see threats of pickleball protests come from actual pickleball fans, not enemies. Keep fighting the good fight, San Fran picklers.
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!
Uh, MLP, Are You Good?
Sources tell us that the upcoming MLP Los Angeles Challenger event is already canceled. So what does that mean for the full slate?
It would admittedly be pretty disappointing for the first Major League Pickleball tournament of the season, slated for early next month in California, to be canceled outright.
But maybe that’s the price of MLP and PPA focusing hard on finishing up their merger? Remember: the self-imposed deadline is January 31st (not that it may turn out to mean anything).
A source close to MLP seems positive the merger will go through:
“MLP Draft date(s) have not yet been confirmed or announced. We look forward to getting the merger closed and sharing additional 2024 details at that point.”
Headlines & Quick Hits
A review from the Dink Fam...