Relishing Pickleball

David Zapatka, USAPA rating committee member

Reader, friend, fellow Robson resident and Cottonwood Pickleball President Irene D’Alosio asked questions about balls, paddles and club policies. Since these questions seem to be on the minds of residents, I’m sharing them with our Relishing Pickleball audience.

Many people have been under the impression that the USAPA/IFP list of approved balls and paddles is all quiet balls and paddles. Is this true? Also, some of the local pickleball clubs believe the Dura 40 is a quiet ball. Many people think the Pure 2 was removed because it was not a quiet ball. Would the PGA limit clubs because they are not quiet? Aren’t the right color? Is this true?

No, neither the USAPA nor the IFP have a quiet paddle definition. “Quietness” has never been a specification. The USAPA/IFP-approved paddle list shows only the paddles the USAPA and the IFP allow in their sanctioned tournaments. There’s no such thing as a USAPA/IFP-approved quiet paddle list. However, a very small number of clubs have created quiet paddle lists for their membership use.

You can find the list of USAPA/IFP-approved paddles online by simply searching USAPA-approved paddles. Click on the pdf titled Approved Paddle List – International Federation of Pickleball. What you’ll find here is almost overwhelming. With the exploding popularity of pickleball, big names like Wilson, ProKennex, Head and Prince, names normally associated with tennis racquets, have entered the pickleball manufacturing market. In addition to these big-name tennis manufacturers, you’ll find the big-name specialty pickleball paddle manufacturers and distributors such as Pickle-Ball Inc., Pickleball Central, Onix, Gamma, Selkirk, Engage and Paddletek. If these big names can’t fulfill your needs, you’ll find over 100 other manufacturers offering more choices than you can imagine.

Thinking of making your own paddle and/or if you’re interested in USAPA paddle specifications, go to the website and look at the official IFP handbook. Like the sports of table tennis, badminton and tennis, there are guidelines regarding paddle material, surface, paint, reflection, depictions, size, weight, alterations as well as prohibited surface and mechanical features.

Next month, we’ll continue our conversation with Irene D’Alosio when we answer her questions regarding pickleballs.

Have a question about pickleball? Want to know more about the sport, the rules, equipment or have some pickilicious news you would like to share with our pickleball community? Email David Zapatka at [email protected].