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  • Exceptional Growth of Pickleball in the UK | Pickleball English Nationals 2024 dates announced! | Chris Olson Interview

Exceptional Growth of Pickleball in the UK | Pickleball English Nationals 2024 dates announced! | Chris Olson Interview

Major Paddle Brands Merge | PPA changes serving rules | Upcoming Tournaments & Festivals

Pickleball Addiction is back!

Some of you have kindly been enquiring as to my whereabouts over the last month or so. Thanks so much to all those who reached out.

Due to some personal issues, it became essential for me to take an extended break beyond Christmas, but now Pickleball Addiction is back and I’m looking forward to witnessing more growth in the Pickleball community throughout 2024.

I have some exciting plans and announcements planned so I’m really excited for the year ahead and where we can take Pickleball in the UK from here.

Exceptional Growth of Pickleball in the UK

Source: Pickleball England

Pickleball England has shared new numbers showing a huge growth in Pickleball throughout 2023. Highlights from this data show:

  • An estimated 87.5% increase in players in England (15,000 players vs 8,000 in 2022)

  • 58% increase in Pickleball venues (449 vs 284 in 2022)

  • Over 500 people have now taken the Pickleball Leaders certification since 2021 and 276 of those were in 2023 (me included!) with the expectation of doubling those numbers in 2024

Pickleball England has for some time had a plan for reaching a target of 25,000 players by 2025 and given the latest data, this seems more than possible.

“At venues large and small across England, an ever-growing number of people are picking up a paddle and learning the benefits of this unique sport – one of the most socially inclusive pursuits around.”

Karen Mitchell, Pickleball England

Pickleball England’s priorities in 2024 are:

  • Sport England recognition of the sport and Pickleball England as the National Governing Body

  • 25,000 members by 2025

  • Develop Club and Venue network – aspiration of somewhere to play within 10 miles for every player

  • Develop a Marketing Plan to shape our inclusive community – all ages and abilities, from recreational players to competitive player

We’d all love to see these happen!

Visit the Pickleball England website to learn more.

Pickleball English Nationals 2024 dates announced!

Source: Pickleball England

Pickleball England has announced that the 2024 Pickleball Nationals will be played from the 31st of October to the 3rd of November, returning to last year’s venue, the Bolton Arena.

Save the date now for one of the best tournaments of the year! More to follow once further details have been released.

Keep an eye out for more details on the Pickleball England Website here.

Discount at the Pickleball Addiciton Store

Readers of the Pickleball Addiction newsletter can get a discount at the Pickleball Addiction store. Visit now to pick up your new paddle.

The Pickleball Addiction store is now stocking Six Zero Paddles.

Use code NEWS10 for a 10% discount.

Major Paddle Brands Merge

Thirty-5 Capital, LLC, a private equity and family office specialising in sports technology and innovation, unveiled its new subsidiary, United Pickleball Paddles (UPP), under its global investment branch, United Pickleball Properties, LLC.

Under the umbrella of UPP, the initial collaboration includes three established paddle brands: Paddletek, ProXR Pickleball, and Boundless Pickleball.

“Our aim at United Pickleball Properties is to elevate pickleball by offering top-tier paddles, clothing, and gear to players globally, catering to all levels of skill and experience.

Uniting these esteemed brands allows us to offer a diverse range of products to our customers, while streamlining our manufacturing and distribution processes.”

Ron Saslow, Founder and Managing Partner at Thirty-5 Capital

UPP believes that this collaboration will allow them to leverage the best parts of each brand for the common good. Paddletek due to its advanced design and engineering techniques, ProXR for its commitment to designing highly technical paddles for professionals using cutting-edge technology and Boundless Pickleball for their popularity among schools and universities.

“Combining multiple respected brands under one entity will allow us to provide unparalleled choices for our customers while allowing for great efficiencies for our manufacturing and distribution partners.

This venture will accelerate the success of all 3 of these unique and important brands. We are also committed to adding other strategically significant brands to the family – Stay tuned.”

Ron Saslow, Founder and Managing Partner at Thirty-5 Capital

This collaboration also brings with it many heavy-hitting pros including woman’s number 1, Anna Leigh Waters.

“I’m so excited that Paddletek is joining forces with UPP. Paddletek has been making excellent paddles for me and my family for years, and I am eager to see them add the firepower to build on this tradition.”

Anna Leigh Waters, Woman’s No.1 Pickleball Player

Other sponsored players include: Irina Tereschenko, Zane Navratil, Andrea Koop, Connor Garnett, Scott Moore, Dave Weinbach, Rick Witsken, Adam Stone, Andre Mick, Dayne Gingrich, Landon Daly, Jim Dobran, Emily Ackerman, Beth Bellamy, and Mari Humberg.

“I love working with the R&D team at ProXR Pickleball as they are relentless in their pursuit of advancement. It is no coincidence that more top professionals are using their paddles in competition.”

Zane Navratil, Pickleball Pro

It will be interesting to see how this collaboration will affect the future of these paddle brands.

Upcoming Tournaments & Festivals

Interested in participating in or promoting a pickleball event?

Lots of new events have been added to the pickleball calendar. Check them out at Pickled Events. The number 1 source for all pickleball events in the UK.

  • Get notifications when new events are added

  • Search Events by location

  • Search Events by date

  • Filter Events by Tournament or Festival

  • Get directions and distances to events

  • See which events are coming up next

  • And promote your own events for free!

Join the Pickleball Addiction Facebook Group and Instagram Page

Interested in more pickleball discussion? Join the Pickleball Addiction Facebook group and Instagram page for the addicted.

PPA changes serving rules

Source: Pickleball England

The Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) is beta testing new serving rules which significantly change the way players need to serve in tour events. This change is not a change to the USA Pickleball official rules and you don’t need to go down to your club next week and dictate new rules.

However, it’s an interesting experiment designed to lessen the importance of the serve which was always the intent of the original pickleball rules where the serve was designed to just get the ball into play and not be weaponised.

Here are the rules changes:

  1. The ball must be dropped from below waist height

  2. You can’t toss the ball upwards

  3. The tossing hand as to be face down

The emphasis of the game now shifts from aggressive serves winning the point to encouraging more and longer rallies where strategic play will win the point.

It’s good to see innovations in the sport as it evolves to keep the best aspects of the game that we fell in love with.

Check out this video which covers the rule changes in detail.

Speedcubing to world-leading pickleball paddle reviewer with Chris Olson

In this episode, I speak with Chris Olson from Pickleball Studio. This was a super fun episode with lots of laughs.

Chris is the internet's leading pickleball paddle reviewer and has grown his channel significantly in the few years that he's been running his podcast with Pickleball Will (see last episode).

In this episode, we chat about:

  • His background in speedcubing and filmmaking

  • How he got into pickleball

  • Pickleball documentaries he's worked on

  • What he enjoys about creating pickleball content

  • His aspirations for playing pickleball

  • His process for paddle testing

  • The growth of Pickleball in Minnesota

  • The future of Pickleball

Watch on YouTube here or listen on your favourite podcast app.

Paddle Spotlight

Double Black Diamond Control
(Cherry Blossom Pink With Pink Edgeguard)

In a beautiful pink design, this paddle looks great and would make a great gift for Valentine's Day.

Six Zero was the first paddle company to bring foam injection around a paddle's perimeter. This construction is now replicated across the whole paddle market due to the performance gains in bought.

The Double Black Diamond Control features a raw carbon fiber face providing a balanced experience, and offering good forgiveness. Its spin capabilities are impressive, allowing for aggressive plays and enhanced control off the bounce.

Six Zero's paddles are priced competitively versus similar offerings, offering a viable alternative for those seeking the benefits of a quality paddle without the premium price.

Use coupon NEWS10 for a 10% discount on everything Pickleball Addiction Shop.

In the News

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