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Pickleball grips 101: Find the right pickleball paddle grip

Pickleball grips 101: Find the right pickleball paddle grip


By Danea Bass & Barrett Bass

On: 02/14/2024

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Pickleball paddle grips 101: Find the right grip for you.
Pickleball paddle grips 101: Find the right grip for you.

When you are first learning to play pickleball, there are so many things to remember: including your pickleball grip. There are three main pickleball paddle grips: the Continental Grip, the Eastern Grip, and the Western Grip. Here are some tips for these three most common pickleball grips, as well as the pros and cons of each.

Continental Grip

A great way to find your Continental Grip is to understand that most paddles have eight bevels. Look straight down at your paddle handle with the paddle face facing up. The bevel also facing up at that point will be Bevel 1.

Rotate your paddle handle toward the right and Bevel 2 will be the corner bevel. Bevels 3-8 will continue around the handle.

To find your Continental Grip, take the bottom part of where your index finger meets your hand and line it up with Bevel 2. Another way to look at it is if you were holding your handle like you would hold a hammer and you were going to nail in a nail.

Pros of the Continental Grip

  1. It will be very easy to find your backhand.

Cons of the Continental Grip

  1. It’s going to be a little difficult to find the forehand because your hand can only flex so far back toward your wrist.

Eastern Grip

To find your Eastern Grip, find Bevel 3 on your pickleball paddle handle. Bevel 3 will be on the side of your paddle. For right-handed players, you will want to rotate your paddle slightly toward the right. Left-handed players will rotate your paddle slightly toward the right.

Another name for the Eastern Grip is the “handshake grip” because it feels like: if your paddle was a hand and you were to grab that handle as if you were shaking someone’s hand. The Eastern Grip is one of the most popular grips in pickleball.

Pros of the Eastern Grip

  1. It allows for you to be pretty neutral and to get balls on the forehand and backhand pretty equally.

Cons of the Eastern Grip

  1. While you can hit the forehand and backhand pretty equally, you will not have a big advantage on either side.

Western Grip

The Western Grip is also sometimes called the Semi-Western Grip, and is more uncommon in pickleball recreational play, but more people are moving toward it.

To find the Western Grip, count four bevels over to your right (or left, if you are left-handed). The Western Grip is going to look like you are swatting a fly.

Advantages of the Western Grip

  1. To help you on your forehand to create topspin.

Disadvantages of the Western Grip

  1. It will become difficult to flex your hand and cover your backhand, because your hand can only flex so far back.

  2. Most people who use the Western Grip will need to use their second hand for their backhand for extra stability and to minimize pop-ups.

Which pickleball grip is right for you?

The best way to find which pickleball grip is right for you is to test out each one during drills or while you are playing.

Watch the video above for drill examples that can help you find the right pickleball paddle grip for you!

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