When you start playing pickleball, one of the first things you need to learn is pickleball grip–how to grip the paddle. The grip you use will affect your ability to hit the ball correctly and play well. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to grip the paddle for beginners. We’ll also go over some of the different grips that can be used in pickleball. Read on to learn more!
Pickleball Grip Types
The pickleball grip you choose to hold your pickleball paddle significantly influences your game. There are three main pickleball paddle grips: the continental grip, the Eastern forehand grip, and the Western backhand grip. The pickleball grip you use will depend on your playing style and what strokes you feel most comfortable hitting.
The continental pickleball grip is the most versatile of the three main pickleball grips. It can be used for both forehand and backhand strokes and is a good grip if you are new to the game. To hold the pickleball paddle using the continental grip, place your hand in the middle of the pickleball paddle handle and wrap your fingers around it.
The Eastern forehand pickleball grip is most commonly used for forehand strokes. To hold the pickleball paddle using the Eastern forehand grip, place your hand at the bottom of the pickleball paddle handle and wrap your fingers around it. This grip gives you more power when hitting forehand strokes.
The Western backhand pickleball grip is often used for backhand strokes. To hold the pickleball paddle using the Western backhand grip, place your hand at the top of the pickleball paddle handle and wrap your fingers around it. This grip gives you more power when hitting backhand strokes.
No matter which pickleball grip you choose to use, make sure you hold the pickleball paddle in a comfortable way for you and allow you to make the strokes you want to make. Experiment with different pickleball grips until you find one that works best for you.
So what is the best pickleball grip for beginners? The best pickleball grip for beginners depends on what strokes the beginner feels most comfortable hitting. If the beginner is comfortable hitting forehand strokes, then the best pickleball grip would be the Eastern forehand grip. If the beginner is comfortable hitting backhand strokes, then the best pickleball grip would be the Western backhand grip. Finally, if the beginner is comfortable hitting both forehand and backhand strokes, then the best pickleball grip would be the continental grip.
Comfort is king when you are first starting on your pickleball journey.
Sleight of Hand?
Many people also wonder if they should utilize a two-handed backhand pickleball grip. A two-handed pickleball grip can be helpful for beginners who are still getting a feel for the game, as it gives you more control over your strokes. However, once you get more comfortable with the game, you may want to switch to a one-handed pickleball grip, giving you more power and accuracy.
I continue to be amazed at the number of players that switch hands when playing pickleball. While there is no rule against this, it does put you at a disadvantage. Outlawed in racquetball, so perhaps this practice comes from paddleball or badminton? Not sure, but it seems relatively easy to exploit older players who have this hand-switching habit.
During the pickleball lesson I took and unsolicited advice from other players, it is apparent that pickleball grip pressure is something that needs to be addressed. Just as in golf, you want to hold the pickleball paddle lightly. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to easily slide your pickleball paddle out of your grip if someone were to try and take it from you. Grip tighter on groundstrokes (7 out of 10, with 10 being the tightest) and looser on non-volley zone hits (3 out of 10).
Nice and Dry
One last piece of advice for pickleball grips: make sure you keep your pickleball paddle grip dry. A sweaty pickleball paddle grip can cause the pickleball paddle to slip out of your hand, which is frustrating and can also be dangerous. If your pickleball paddle grip feels slippery, wipe it off with a towel or pickleball grip tape. Some people add an overgrip or replace the stock tape on their paddle to gain comfort and control moisture.
Just like in tennis, pickleball paddles have various grip sizes. You will want to make sure you pick a pickleball paddle grip size that is comfortable for you. If you have small hands, you may consider using a pickleball paddle with a smaller grip size. Conversely, if you have large hands, you may want to consider using a pickleball paddle with a larger grip. Pickleball paddle grips generally have a circumference between 4 inches and 4.5 inches.
One pickleball paddle grip size does not fit all, so make sure you pick a pickleball paddle grip size that is comfortable.
The Final Word on Pickleball Grips
Now that you know a little more about the different pickleball grip sizes, it’s time to find the best one for you. Experiment with a few different grips and see which ones feel most comfortable and give you the most control over your paddle. Remember, finding the right grip size is an integral part of playing well and having fun on the court. Do you have any advice on choosing the right pickleball grip size? Share in the comments section below – we would love to hear from you!