3 Ways to Grip a Pickleball Paddle
To understand what it takes to up your pickleball game, you first need to focus on your pickleball paddle grip. Having the right equipment—especially your paddle—and knowing how to use it effectively is as important as your strategy. Strategy is nothing if you lack the skill or equipment to pull it off. Having the right grip will significantly impact the speed and spin of the ball.
For beginners, you’ll most likely use one of the following three grips when playing: the Eastern grip, the Western grip, or the continental grip. There are no clear-cut advantages of using one grip over another; it all comes down to your playing style and whatever feels comfortable to you.
No matter what kind of grip, be sure to invest in a quality pickleball paddle to help your performance.
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Let’s look at the three different ways to grip a pickleball paddle.
The Eastern Grip
The Eastern grip is one of the most commonly used grips in pickleball. It is highly recommended for beginners just learning the art of holding a pickleball paddle. It is a neutral grip that is highly effective for both backhand and forehand shots. You don’t have to change your grip to play different shots as you would in tennis or racquetball.
To master the Eastern grip, place your hand on the face of the paddle and drag it down slowly until you can grip the handle effectively. The grip would be similar to how you’d shake someone’s hand.
The Western Grip
The Western grip has become less common but is still seen on pickleball courts. The hold is more like how you’d hold a frying pan when flipping pancakes! It is ideal for those who are strong with their forehand, as it offers a lot of spin when hitting the ball. However, it is tough to ace the backhand because it sets up a difficult angle when attempting the shot.
If you want to get proper hold of the grip, first set the Eastern grip and then rotate the paddle roughly 60-90 degrees toward the ground. You’ll feel the pickleball paddle sit in your hand as you’d hold a frying pan.
The Continental Grip
The continental grip is quite the opposite of the Western grip because it favors the backhand more than the forehand. The grip is quite common among players because the paddle remains in the backhand grip when blocking volleys and sending them back to their opponents. Compared to the Western grip, it makes the forehand shot difficult without changing your grip.
If you’re new to the pickleball game, we recommend you start with the Eastern grip because it is relatively easy. Once you understand your game and style, you can maneuver grips and choose the one that complements your playing style.
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