How To Hold A Pickleball Paddle?

Pickleball Paddle Grip Size

Pickleball is a paddle sport that is gaining popularity. It can be played on both indoor and outdoor courts that are about one-third the size of a tennis court, with lines dividing into two equal halves. The net is lower than in tennis, at about four feet high. The pickleball paddle has a paddle handle, which typically has a perforated surface. The perforations are designed to catch the ball, so it doesn’t bounce the racket.

There are two types of pickleball paddles: one for left- dominant hand players and one for right-handed players. The size of the racket depends on the player’s height and arm span. A taller player would need a longer paddle to reach over the net than someone who is shorter.

Pickleball paddles range in material used. From composite paddles, wood paddles, and graphite paddles, pickleball paddles are made from a variety of materials, similar to a tennis racquet or ping pong paddle. A composite paddle will influence the paddle weight.

The best position for your grip depends on what type of shots you want to play. The backhand shot requires a one-handed grip while the forehand shot requires two hands on either side of the handle. 

In this article, we will provide you information for you to be guided more on how to properly hold a Pickleball paddle, while helping you find the perfect grip size.

How To Hold A Pickleball Paddle

Pickleball Grips: How to Hold a Pickleball Paddle

Pickleball paddles are similar to those used by tennis players for tennis, but they’re smaller and lighter for easier handling. They also have a large head so you can hit the ball with more power than you can with a tennis racket. Just like the tennis racquet grip size, personal preference is an important factor in determining the ideal pickleball grip.

The pickleball paddle should be held with the hand. Provided below are the techniques for you to know more on how to hold a Pickleball racket.

3 Pickleball Grips Explained

Continental Grip

A continental grip is a type of racket grip where the index finger is wrapped around the handle and the thumb is not used. This continental grip is also known as a “shake hands” grip. The racket is gripped with the palm of the hand facing upwards and the fingers pointing towards the ground. This kind of grip allows for more control over the ball, but it can be difficult to return shots without using a backhand stroke. 

The continental grip is the most common grip for holding the paddle. It can be done by placing your index finger on the top of the racket and then wrapping your hand around it, keeping your fingers on the side of it.

The paddle should be held in the following manner:

  1. As if you were about to shake hands with someone, reach out with your palm towards the handle.

  2. Take the paddle in your palms and wrap them around it.  The fingers should face upward, with the thumb on top of the index finger. The fingers should point toward the body, and not outward.

  3. Make sure the "V" formed by your thumb and index finger is pointed in your direction.

The reflex is as good as you want it to be when you hold the paddle at 90 degrees to the ground. When you swing the paddle, you'll notice that it stays mostly straight on the Continental grip.

Switching from forehand to backhand in the continental grip is a breeze for experts. Beginners, on the other hand, should take their time. However, players who are using their first pickleball paddle, you might prefer to use the continental grip.

Western Grip

The Western pickleball grip provides a lot of top spin but makes hitting backhand strokes on the pickleball court extremely tough. On a forehand, a Western pickleball hold places your palm behind the pickleball paddle, resulting in strong pickleball forehands.

Because your palm is behind the flat side of the paddle, this grip is ideal for forehand strokes. This grip is known as the western or semi-western grip in tennis. A semi-western grip is when the base of your forefinger rests on the location of the handle. It's a totally Western grip if it's all the way to the bottom of the handle.

Grab the handle of the paddle like a fly swatter and swat an insect in front of you to hold a paddle with a western grip. Your forearm will be perpendicular to the plane of the paddle face if you use a full western grip. A semi-western grip isn't exactly perpendicular to the ground.

This is the grip that many novices will use. It works great for forehand shots, but backhands can be a bit uncomfortable. Some players may then employ a two handed backhand grip to compensate for the paddle's odd angle.

Eastern Grip

The Eastern grip is a superb combination of forehand and backhand strokes. This third grip is by far the most common in pickleball, and it's the grip with which I discussed shaking hands with the paddle.

Your index finger knuckle would be on bevel 3, not bevel 2 in this case; it's halfway between the hammer (continental) and fly swatter (western) grips, with a slight slant. If you're having trouble with the continental grip, this is a decent compromise that sets you up properly for both forehand and backhand shots.

This grip is somewhat better for forehand and hard volleys, but it can still be difficult when hitting a backhand like a western grip. The grip is more continental in style, but with a little slant to the face.

For you to better understand the process, you can check this Youtube video for the elaborative method: 

What Grip Do The Pros Use In Pickleball?

When playing pickleball, players take turns hitting their opponents ball over the pickleball net so that it lands in the other teams section. The pickleball grip that competitive pickleball players use in pickleball is called the "shakehand grip". This grip is used by many players at all levels of play, both right-handed and left-handed.

This type of grip is also known as a "tennis grip" or a "grip with fingers outstretched."

It's not always easy to find a pickleball paddle with this type of handle. But if you do, it's worth trying it out to see if you like it.

How Do You Pick The Pickleball Paddle Grip Size?

The grip size for pickleballs can vary depending on the player’s skill level, their hand size, and the type of paddle they use. The most common grip sizes are 4 inch and 5 inch. A 4-inch grip is typically used by beginners because it has less surface area and it's easier to control the ball with more accuracy than a larger grip size would allow for. 

A 5-inch grip is typically used by more advanced players because it provides more surface area which allows people to tighten their hand and grip the racquet better.A 5-inch grip is typically used by more advanced players because it provides more surface area which allows for a greater amount of control over the racquet. With this grip, a player is able to generate power on their shots with ease and accuracy.

A finger test is an effective way to choose the ideal grip size. Align your ruler so that one end is parallel to the bottom of the palm's second (or middle) crease and the other end is parallel to your third finger (ring finger). The distance between the tip of your ring finger and the bottom lateral palm crease determines the size of your paddle grip.