Similarities?

georgeyew

Rookie
I have not had a chance to play pickleball yet, but I'd like to. But before going crazy and buying paddles, can you play both tennis and pickleball successfully? Are there areas that are similar?
 

etd

Rookie
Yes, you can play both tennis and pickleball successfully. Many pickleball pros have tennis backgrounds. There is one woman, Kaitlyn Christian, who competes on both the pickleball and tennis pro tours.

Singles pickleball is more like tennis and is actually a good workout.

Doubles pickleball is a bit different due to the skill set needed to handle the kitchen (no volley zone). Mastering what I call the short game is key to becoming a good doubles player. It does require a lot of patience since what you have to do at the net in doubles pickleball can be very different than tennis.

I have been playing pickleball for 2 years. It will never replace tennis for me, but it is a fun diversion.

Tennis stroke and volley techniques will serve you well in pickleball. You have to take a shorter swing than you do in tennis as the paddle is obviously shorter and lighter than a tennis racquet.

The ball, which is plastic, doesn't bounce like a tennis ball. I find that slice and side spin are very useful in pickleball.

If you're an intermediate tennis player or better, you can learn to play pickleball in 1 day.

Hope this helps.
 
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georgeyew

Rookie
Thanks for the insightful reply. The only thing left to do is to actually go play. Now time for a paddle....so many to choose from.
 

etd

Rookie
Good paddles start at around $60. The top of the line ones can be as much as $200, but there is no reason to spend that much on your first paddle. There are plenty of pro level paddles at around $100. And of course, always look for a sale. Pickleball is getting so popular that many tennis racquet companies (Head, Wilson, Prince, Babolat, Gamma, and Pro Kennex come to mind) have pickleball paddle lines as well. But many of the top paddles are from smaller companies such as Selkirk, Paddletek, Onix, and Engage. And unlike tennis racquets, there are many paddles that are made in the US.

I didn't want to spend too much on my first paddle so I bought a Head Radical Elite paddle for $50 (it normally sells for $60). I didn't get a chance to try it out before I bought it, but I have been very happy with it. I swung a few paddles in the store and bought this one just by feel as the weight, balance, and grip felt right to me. I would like to try other paddles to see what I am missing. I am sure demoing pickleball paddles is like demoing tennis racquets (and I have demoed a lot of tennis racquets). There are so many paddles to choose from, and they can have all sorts of different characteristics (weight, balance, length, width, thickness, grip size, etc.).

Do you have friends that play pickleball. Perhaps they have paddles you can try out first to see what they are like.
 
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A_Instead

Legend
What ever you do... don't get a cheap wooden paddle or those at the mart of wall type stores..
Try to get a paddle with a 2nd or 3 gen core.. that are thicker.. also try to get a paddle one that is at least 16 inches long which gives you more reach and leverage...as poster mentioned above... Head make decent entry level paddles...that would be your best bet to start...
Then if you like the sport..upgrade which then...the options are endless...
 

georgeyew

Rookie
At least I don't have to worry about strings and tension, that just adds another level of complexity. Also, don't have to get backups in case the strings break mid game.
 

lilac8bd

New User
I believe TW has a PB paddle demo program much like their tennis racquet demo. Google best PB paddle for tennis players. If you have a 2 handed backhand, a longer PB paddle handle and an elongated head may be helpful.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
What ever you do... don't get a cheap wooden paddle or those at the mart of wall type stores..
Try to get a paddle with a 2nd or 3 gen core.. that are thicker.. also try to get a paddle one that is at least 16 inches long which gives you more reach and leverage...as poster mentioned above... Head make decent entry level paddles...that would be your best bet to start...
Then if you like the sport..upgrade which then...the options are endless...
What is the benefit of buying an expensive paddle, given that the ball is so low-velocity and spin is so limited?
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
It sounds like a lot of ******** to me though
Some of it could be marketing hype but there is, no doubt, something to the description claims. Perhaps more experienced players could provide better feedback. I've only had the opportunity to play pickleball once (a few weeks ago) but I could tell the diff between my cheap wooden paddle and my buddy's higher end shtick.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I have not had a chance to play pickleball yet, but I'd like to. But before going crazy and buying paddles, can you play both tennis and pickleball successfully? Are there areas that are similar?
If you've already developed your muscle memory for tennis, I don't see much danger in pickleball messing up your tennis. For some people it might take a few weeks of adjustment. Or very little at all. I can't imagine that it will affect my tennis game at all. For some / many individuals, playing both sports can eventually help each other. This has been my experience with playing both tennis & badminton; and to a lesser degree with racquetball and table tennis.

I've only played once but found it pretty easy to pick up. I could play right-handed almost as well as I could play left-handed. I was able to compete against some (low) intermediate players who had been playing for a while. Even tho it was easy to pick up, I can see there's a lot of nuances to the game I've yet to learn.

Even tho my ability is limited (need a hip replacement), I was able to cover the court reasonably well. It is the exact same size as a doubles badminton court. But, because of the nature of the game, I find it much more difficult to cover the court for badm than for pickleball.

Perhaps, because I was not quite as quick as I would have liked to have been, I found myself having to play a lot of low balls. Cuz of this I found that my lower back was quite sore for a few days after playing.
 
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A_Instead

Legend
Premium paddles offer more control and feel...which in return enables a more constant response... predictability..etc..
 
@georgeyew - Great that you are looking into the game! As a tennis player who has jumped into the world of pickleball, I can say it's definitely possible to go back and forth between the two. In fact, I feel that pickleball has helped to improve my tennis doubles game. If you are interested in demoing a paddle before taking the plunge, you can learn more about our demo program and available paddles here:

https://www.totalpickleball.com/demoprogram.html

Best,

Kristen, Total Pickleball
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
More expensive paddles tend to allow for better spin control and dampen the impact with various materials.
I've tried playing tennis and pickleball at the same time and it really messes my forehand up. I'm inclined to overuse my wrist to generate topspin in tennis and I've really worked to keep it relaxed and not to force extra torque. Pickleball on the other hand pretty much requires you to flick your wrist if you want to generate topspin. Also there is a solid hour after going back to tennis where I hit low on the racket near the dampener because that's where the sweet spot is on my extended length pickleball paddle.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
More expensive paddles tend to allow for better spin control and dampen the impact with various materials.
I've tried playing tennis and pickleball at the same time and it really messes my forehand up. I'm inclined to overuse my wrist to generate topspin in tennis and I've really worked to keep it relaxed and not to force extra torque. Pickleball on the other hand pretty much requires you to flick your wrist if you want to generate topspin. Also there is a solid hour after going back to tennis where I hit low on the racket near the dampener because that's where the sweet spot is on my extended length pickleball paddle.
I had played tennis for about 6 years before I took up badminton. It took me about 2 months or so before I could easily go back and forth between the two sports without interference. Tennis definitely helped with my hand-eye coordination for badminton. After 2+ months badm started to help my tennis -- esp with overheads, volleys, touch shots and deception.

With racquetball I needed to adapt to a shorter racket. But in a fairly short time, that became a non-issue. Didn't find that racquetball really interfered with my tennis or badminton once I became accustomed to the difference in racquet length.

If pickleball is interfering with your tennis, then perhaps you really haven't developed decent muscle memory for your tennis. Or you just haven't given it enough time for your brain/body to adjust. Give it a few more days or weeks of concerted effort and you will likely see the problems you speak of disappear.
 
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A_Instead

Legend
What I notice is the pickleball court is such a small court to cover..easy peasy...and the ball doesn't bounce so you got to go after everything..
Then switching to Tennis...the court seems huge..and the ball seems to come so fast after it bounces.. but after 2 rallies...it's fine..
Also on the return of my partners serve or mine ..My mind at times thinks that I can't hit the ball out of the air..
 
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