Hopefully, this article will aid you in finding how to hold a pickleball paddle to improve yourself.
Pickleball is an outdoor or indoor paddle sport suitable for all ages. It’s a fusion of different sports, such as badminton, ping-pong, and tennis, using a paddle and a ball decorated with holes. As said above, it’s suitable for all ages, meaning it’s easy enough for even kids to play. But just like any other game, it also requires specific skills and tricks to strike the ball toward the desired target.
Moreover, every sport demands the player to possess basic mechanics skills to perform skilfully. Therefore, learning how to play any sport correctly with basic skills backing you up is necessary. Playing a pickleball paddle may seem very easy as you have to swing it, but it is a bit trickier.
If you wish to hit the ball to make it land within bounds constantly, you must learn how to grip the paddle correctly. It is one of the vital skills to learn besides learning about the pickleball rules. Your hold on the paddle greatly contributes to how you play your game on the court.
In this guide, we will educate you on how to hold a pickleball paddle so that you can win your game effortlessly. And lastly, you will also learn about the right grip pressure to hold your paddle.
How To Hold A Pickleball Paddle
Your level of performance depends upon the type of grip you choose to hold a paddle. Therefore, you must choose your grip according to your style and comfort. Below are the different options available to you to choose from. Let’s start.
1. Continental Grip – Best Pickleball Paddle Grip For Backhand Shots
Continental pickleball grip is the most basic grip usually recommended by instructors to beginners since it comes naturally to most players. It’s known by various names such as hammer grip or handshake grip because the way players hold the paddle resembles a person holding a hammer or trying to shake hands with someone, hence the name hammer and shaking hands grip.
Players who hit a uniform number of forehand and backhand shots prefer this hammer grip. To find your pickleball continental grip, Follow the given steps below.
- Extend your hand towards the paddle to make it seem like you are trying to shake hands with it.
- Let your palm cover the handle of the Paddle.
- Make a “v” shape with your index finger and thumb.
- Be sure that “v” faces your direction.
Remember that the pickleball paddle must lie in your index and thumb fingers, not the entire palm. In addition, you should be mindful of the pressure on the pickleball paddle grip. It must be loose. Continental grip is reliable for forehand-backhand shots, dinking, and slamming pickleball balls.
Variations In Continental Grip
There are slight variations in the way you hold your pickleball paddle handle. You must adjust your angle a little to get the best results. Slight variations do not mean that you are changing the grip; instead, they imply that you might make minor adjustments to find a comfortable angle. Variations are as follows,
Weak Grip: When the “v” you created faces the left side, it’s considered a weak grip.
Neutral Grip: When “v” faces the middle of the handle. As the name suggests, it’s a balanced grip that allows versatile shots. It merges the power of both weak and strong grip.
Strong Grid: Here, “v” faces the right direction. It is important for hitting aggressive and head-smashed shots.
Benefits Of Continental Grip
- It offers various advantages to the players and is the most commonly used grip.
- It boosts your shots by allowing flexible movement of your wrists and arms.
- It provides more control over the paddle, making it easier to adjust the angles and course of your shots.
- It’s versatile and is used by players for various shots, such as forehand-backhand shots, dinks, serves, etc.
2. Eastern Grip – Best Pickleball Paddle Grip For Beginners
Like the continental grip, the Eastern pickleball grip has also been considered a standard grip most players use. It comes off pretty naturally to most players. It’s a neutral grip because it’s effective for both forehand and backhand shots. This grip is highly recommended if you want to focus on the forehand shots.
Players who hit more forehand than backhand prefer an eastern grip. To find your pickleball eastern grip, follow the given steps.
- Place your hand flat against the paddle.
- Then, slowly glide downwards to the handle.
- Then, wrap your hands around the handle (called the handshake grip).
And there! You have your proper pickleball grip. It provides a quite stable position for your hands and generates control and power compared to other pickleball grips.
Benefits Of Eastern Grip
- Comes naturally to most players, therefore making it the most common grip.
- Provides effective control over the paddle, making it more stable for action.
- Provides better service.
To conclude, you can choose both styles depending on your playing style, preferences, and the position you are comfortable in. You can choose to alternate between these two pickleball paddle grips depending on the type of shot you are hitting, or you can bind to just one grip for your shots. All of it comes down to your choice and style.
3. Western Grip – Best Pickleball Paddle Grip For Forehand Shots
The Western pickleball grip involves rotating the hand further under the paddle handle compared to the Eastern grip. This grip is especially useful for generating topspin on the ball, as it naturally angles the paddle face at contact.
To adopt this grip, follow the given steps.
- Turn your hand slightly to the right (clockwise).
- Position your index finger’s base knuckle on the third level, counting from the top flat one.
- The ‘V’ formed by your thumb and index finger should align with the second bevel to the right of the top flat bevel.
- For left-handed players, the index knuckle should be placed on the third bevel to the left of the top bevel.
This grip style is beneficial for players looking to add an advanced spin technique to their game. It’s beneficial for aggressive play and lob shots, but it might be a bit challenging for beginners due to the wrist angle required.
Benefits Of Using Western Grip
- This grip naturally closes the paddle’s face, making it ideal for creating topspin.
- The Western grip is excellent for delivering strong shots.
- Western grip positions your palm mostly behind the paddle when executing a forehand shot, leading to more powerful forehand strokes.
Best Grip For Pickleball Serving
The grip you use when serving contributes a lot to the effectiveness and accuracy of your shots. You must start with an excellent grip to play a good game. You must grip the paddle in a way that complements your strokes. Players tend to change their grip for a wide range of shots; however, at the kitchen line, during aggressive exchanges, you don’t have enough time to change your grip.
Therefore, only one grip is sufficient to hit forehand-backhand shots, groundstrokes, etc. Beginners use both continental and eastern for serving. However, the eastern grip is preferred, as it comes effortlessly and naturally to most players. It’s commonly used due to its versatility and flexibility.
Check Your Grip Pressure
After learning about different ways of holding pickleball paddle, you must educate yourself about the proper pressure you apply to your paddle. Therefore, it’s necessary to educate yourself about the size of the paddle.
The paddle comes in various sizes and weights, so it’s necessary to find the right size for yourself because it might affect your performance. The size matters because it will affect the grip on your paddle. If the grip is too small, there won’t be enough space, so you will put too much pressure on your hand, arm, and wrist, leading to injuries. But if the grip is too large, you will find it difficult to control your paddle.
Why Is Grip Pressure Important
Pickleball instructors speak about the pressure on a scale from 1 to 10. 0 indicates no pressure, meaning your paddle might slip out of your hand. Whereas 10 suggests tight grip pressure.
Tight grip pressure means you might strain your wrist, knuckles, and arms. It leads to undesirable consequences. It is a level that you need to avoid unless necessary.
Ideal grip pressure will be on a scale from 3 to 4, recommended for softer shots such as third-shot drop or dink. Therefore, allowing more control over your paddle provides enough flexibility to change paddle position and grip when required by the player.
Tight Vs Loose Grip
Instructors recommend a loose grip, as mentioned above, allowing more control over your paddle. At the same time, a tighter grip generates strain and pressure on your arms and wrists, which you must avoid to get better shots.
As discussed above, you can check your pickleball grip pressure using a numeric scale from 1 to 10. Each number represents the pressure level; 4 to 5 is used for softer shots. 7 to 8 is used for hitting aggressive shots. You need control over your pressure level, as it will make it easy to control the ball.
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Hold Pickleball Paddle When Serving?
Continental grip is the correct way to hold a pickleball paddle while hitting the serve shot. It is also called a hammer or handshake grip. For this purpose, hold the paddle-like hammer to ensure that the handle sits on the palm of your hand and your index finger and thumb wrap the paddle’s grip.
How Do You Hold A Paddle On A Pickleball Net?
When at the pickleball net, hold the paddle in a continental grip manner, as it provides more strength and control over pickleball shots. Moreover, keep the paddle high over the net so that you can hit the balls coming at certain heights. The continental grip is also helpful for hitting dink and serving pickleball shots.
What Is The Best Way To Hold Pickleball Paddle?
The best way to hold a pickleball paddle is by using the Continental Grip, similar to holding a hammer. Place your hand so that the base knuckle of your index finger is aligned with the top edge of the paddle handle. Ensure your grip is firm yet relaxed to allow for wrist flexibility.
The article explains the different grips you can adopt when playing a Pickleball game, which is the eastern and continental grip. Both ways are effective as long as you are comfortable with it, and that feels right in your hands. If you feel content with it, then use that grip.
The most recommended grip for beginners is the eastern grip, one of the intermediate players’ most common and standard grips. It’s a grip that allows you more control over your paddle and provides enough flexibility to change your position.
Educating yourself about the grip is one of the first steps in learning pickleball paddle. Hence, if you want to step up your game, you need to find the right grid for yourself because if you know how to hold the paddle, the more you will improve. Get your grip correctly and see yourself improving daily.
Hopefully, this article will aid you in finding the best position to hold your paddle so that you can improve yourself and consistently smash the ball within bounds.
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I, Jeena Noven, am a renowned pickleball expert and author with over 10 years of experience playing and coaching the sport. My passion and extensive knowledge of pickleball has made me a leading authority in the game, particularly in the field of footwear. I have written countless articles for https://pickleballcard.com/, a website dedicated to pickleball, sharing my insights and expertise on the best shoes for the sport. Through personal testing and reviewing countless different brands and styles, I have developed a deep understanding of the technical aspects of shoe design that make them suitable for the demands of pickleball. In my articles, I provide valuable information for both beginner and advanced players, covering everything from the basics of shoe fit and support, to advanced tips for maximizing performance on the court. As a dedicated pickleball player and expert in footwear, I am a valuable resource for players of all levels. My articles are not only informative but also engaging, making them a must-read for anyone looking to improve their pickleball game. I am constantly researching new products and trends in the industry and my readers can always count on me to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on the best pickleball shoes available.