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🫨 How to fight spin (and stop hitting into the net!)

Plus, new pickleball rules for 2024: key changes explained, this week's epic point: skill or luck, you decide and more

Pickleheads Newsletter

Hey there reader 👋

Happy New Year, and welcome back to the latest edition of the Pickleheads Newsletter!

In this issue:

🤾 Skill or luck? You decide.
🫨 How to fight spin (and stop hitting the net!)
📜 New pickleball rules for 2024: Key changes explained
 👵 Pittsburgh grandmother beats NFL pros
Epic point of the week

Skill or luck? You decide.

This week’s epic point features just 7 shots. It’s over quickly because of one filthy backhand return.

But was it skill or just plain luck? We’ll let you decide.

To check out this week’s epic point, click the image ▶️

Have a filthy point caught on cam? 📸

Reply to this email or submit yours to [email protected]. The most epic one will feature in next week’s newsletter!

AND if we pick your submission, we'll send you a free Pickleheads t-shirt 🙌

Level Up

How to fight spin (and stop hitting into the net!)

Brandon here, taking over from Rahul in this week’s Level Up.

As always though, if you’d like to see a 15-second video of Rahul walking you through this week’s tip, click the video below 👇

If not, read on…

Many times, I’m at an open play with a lower-level partner.

Our opponents hit a hard backhand slice right to them. And my face usually looks something like this…

Why?

Because I know there’s a good chance that shot is going right into the net. And it’s one of the biggest mistakes I see new players make.

You see, a hard backspin shot is rotating towards the bottom of the net. And if you hit your normal shot - that’s exactly where it will go - into the net!

So remember this - fight spin with spin.

You need to do something to change the direction of the ball’s rotation. And you can’t hit your normal drive or drop.

Try aiming a foot and half higher than usual. If you hit with heavy topspin (like me), try exaggerating your swing to hit more up on it. Bending your knees and getting low helps too.

If you counter backspin with your own backspin, you’re exactly changing the rotation of the spin. And that’s also a great way to avoid the net.

So next time you see heavy backspin come your way, don’t hit your normal shot. Hit up on it – and fight spin with spin!

Try this tip out over the next week and let us know how it works for you by replying to this email.

Quick Hitters

🤷‍♀️ Remember when a woman played pickleball with NFL Stars and had no clue who they were?

A grandmother from Pittsburgh recently took to a pickleball court against three very tall, athletic young men. Not only was she unaware of who they were, she beat them.

📅 Pickleball a year in review

Forbes recently put together not one but two articles, (yep, that much happened), reviewing the world of pickleball in 2023.

Read all the newsworthy pickleball stories of 2023 below:

💍 Hunter Fieri designed fiancée Tara Bernstein's engagement ring with pickleball in mind

Hunter Fieri, eldest son of Guy Fieiri and internet personality, thought of everything when designing his fiancée’s ring.

New pickleball rules for 2024: Key changes explained

Another year and another set of rule changes brought to us by USA Pickleball.

Now, a lot of the new rules will affect the pros more than others. But never fear, we've got you covered with the key changes that’ll affect you.

Carry Ball on the Paddle? It's a Fault

In 2024, if you carry the ball on your paddle, it's now considered a fault.

A 'carry' is when the ball doesn't bounce away from the paddle but sticks to it and carries along the paddle face.

Note a carry is different than a double-hit. A ‘double-hit’ occurs if you hit the ball twice in a continuous, single-direction stroke. That is still legal.

Paddle Specifications: Keeping the Tech in Check

There's a bit of an update on paddle specs, to make sure no one's getting an unfair advantage with super-spinny surfaces.

Specifically the rules prohibit any objects or features that allow a player to impart excessive spin.

Basically, keep your paddle in good shape and avoid any surfaces textured with materials like rubber or sandpaper.

Rally Scoring: Upcoming Discussions

There's ongoing discussion about introducing rally scoring in pickleball.

The difference between (traditional) side-out scoring and rally-point scoring is that in rally-point scoring a point is awarded after every rally, regardless of which side served.

This could mean a drastic change in how points are scored, making the game even more dynamic.

Stay tuned for more updates on this!

We’d like to hear your thoughts on the new rule updates. Love ‘em or hate ‘em? Let us know!

New: Find games when you travel with vacation mode

Traveling to start the new year? The NEW Pickleheads App now has vacation mode to help you find games wherever you go.

Our team has scoured the internet to find 4,400 open play schedules across the US and CA. With vacation mode, you can find nearby games wherever your travels take you.

Just flip it on and start browsing nearby games.

This feature is available for free in the new Pickleheads app for iOS and Android!

Download now for free: pickleheads.com/app 

Pickleheads App Apple ad Android Download

Sunset Park Pickleball Complex, Las Vegas, NV

Ever dreamed of playing under the glittering lights of Vegas?

Well, pack your paddles because the stunning Sunset Park Pickleball Complex is your next must-visit spot.

Imagine serving under the stars or rallying till the sun comes up…

What else are you gonna do? You’re in a city that never sleeps! 😉

Gear We Love

The Paddle to Boost Your Game in 2024

The Six Zero Double Black Diamond Control (DBD) was my #1 paddle of 2023.

And it’s still my top pick coming into 2024. If getting better at pickleball is on your New Year’s resolution list… check this one out.

This paddle really does it all.

It hits like a rocket. Spins hard. Is light in the hands. Has a surprisingly large sweetspot. Control to boot.

I could go on and on but here’s the thing – every paddle claims to have the “perfect blend of power, control and spin.”

Well this is one of the few I tested that actually does.

I spoke with the founder a few months ago and he said they spent 18 months designing every aspect of this paddle.

It shows. There’s a reason this paddle was sold out most of last year.

If the DBD was $250 I’d call it a great buy. But at $180 – and $162 after code PICKLEHEADS – I’m calling it a really good deal.

** Save 10% with code PICKLHEADS auto-applied **

Erne: The Ultimate Drilling Partner

Anyone get an Erne for Christmas?! Um jealous…

Well if you weren’t one of those lucky few, then give the Erne a look.

I think this is one of the best gifts you can give yourself in 2024.

New Year’s Resolutions are all about bettering yourself. Your health, your relationships - well don’t forget about your pickleball game!

The Erne is what you buy when you’re ready to go up a level and perfect the shots you need to beat advanced players.

Even with all the Christmas shopping deals over, I’m stoked the Erne team has kept our PH100 ($100 off) code active.

Though the Erne is still on backorder, I recommend ordering before you get bumped to the next production run.

Cheers to improving our games in 2024!

***Use code PH100 to save $100 on the Erne***

Meme of the week
Poll of the week

What paddle brand do you plan to play with in 2024?

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