How To Hold A Pickleball Paddle – An Ultimate Guide

Do you know how to hold a pickle paddle correctly? If not, then this blog post is for you! We will provide an introduction to the proper way to hold a pickle paddle and some extra useful tips that can help improve your game. 

Whether you’re looking for an extra edge or just want to gain more knowledge about the sport of pickle paddle, this article has what you need!

All About Pickleball Paddle Grips

There are 3 ways to hold the pickleball paddle: Western, eastern, and continental pickleball grip.

By understanding the different pickleball grip types, including their pros & cons, you can figure out how to control the game the way that benefits you! Continue reading to learn in detail about them!

There are 3 ways to hold pickleball paddle

Western Pickleball Grip

This grip is called the “western” or “semi-western.” More specifically, the Western pickleball grip seems a lot more difficult to use than the Eastern style. It’s better for lefties and right-handers because of its topspin properties but makes it impossible to hit backhands with any kind of velocity on this court surface. 

Some players who hold a semi-western or Western grip will use two hands for their backhand to get more power in their shot. Thus, if you face someone with this grip, try to target their backhand side!

Eastern Pickleball Grip

An Eastern pickleball grip is easy to use and perfect for players of all levels. This basic technique allows you to hit both forehand shots as well as backhands with just one hold! 

To find this awesome style, position yourself so that your hand looks like it’s holding an imaginary paddle facing out ahead of oneself (holding onto something behind them). 

Place equal amounts of weight on either side, then adjust accordingly until the ball rolls easily across each surface without resistance or excess fluffing around.

Continental Pickleball Grip

It is called the Continental grip because you hold the paddle like a hammer hitting a nail. This grip is also called the hammer grip!

To execute this style, start with the Eastern grip. If you’re righties, then slightly turn your wrist counterclockwise. For lefties, slightly go for the lefties. The V-shape created by your index finger and thumb should be facing the opposite side of the paddle that you are using.

In detail, the continental grip is a type of pickleball grip that you use on a backhand. As it requires you to put your palm behind the paddle, the grip gives strong pickleball backhands. 

However, using a Continental grip will make it hard for you to hit forehands. Your palm will be on one side of the paddle and not in front of it, making it a big challenge to hit shots squarely.

If you play against someone utilizing a Continental grip on their paddle, try to hit them on the side of their shoulder. They will not be able to flip the paddle and turn around to carry out a forehand shot!

Win the game with proper technique

How To Hold a Pickleball Paddle?

It’s normal to grip your paddles too tight at the beginning. Still, this will result in making your arm stiffer, and you won’t be able to hit the ball as hard. Thus, try not to do this!

When holding your paddle, your hand should be at the right level. It should not be too tight or too loose, giving you a better feel for the ball when it hits your paddle, and so you can hit more delicate shots and finish if needed. 

There are many different types of grips, but we will only focus on the most standard one – the continental grip. This grip is what most players use and what comes naturally to most people.

Do this to hold the paddle:

  1. Reach out with your palm towards the handle as if you are about to shake hands with somebody. 
  2. Wrap your hand around the paddle, making sure that you create a “V” shape with your thumb and index finger.

Yet, this is not the only way to use this grip. There are other ways to use it as well; they include strong, weak, and neutral. You must use these grips properly to play the game well!

The continental grip

Where Should You Hold The Paddle?

Now that you know how to hold the paddle, where should you hold it? Should the paddle be at your side? In front of your face? Or should you hold it in front of you?

A position like this is not required in pickleball. If you want to hold your paddle out in front of you, then go ahead. You can do whatever is best for you, but make sure that it works!

Where should you hold the paddle

Neutral position

This position is where you should place the paddle to get the most benefit and be ready for a lot of challenges.

When paddling, it is comfortable to have your hand on the other end of the paddle for better balance and keeping the paddle light.

At the net

Different things happen when you are on the net. You must be careful because you might get overhead smashes or lobs.

In general, to avoid being hit by the ball, bend your knees and hold your paddle in front of you. Don’t back off from the ball or turn around when it comes at you. If you practice well enough, you can possibly learn how to block it!

What To Remember When Gripping a Pickleball Paddle?

Knowing how to hold and where to hold the grip is not enough. You must also keep in mind some important notes when gripping.

Avoid tight grip

A Tight Grip

The best players hold the paddle with a loose or relaxed grip. This helps you hit the ball more powerfully with less effort. A tight grip might not be good for controlling your third shot and volley too much. It might also put extra pressure on your wrist.

Switching Hands

In pickleball, players with a lot of experience can master this technique where they switch hands. This takes a lot of practice, as the player has to control the ball with the weaker hand without dropping the paddle.

Finger On Surface

Many players who have played table tennis before like to put their thumb or finger on the paddle. If you put your finger on the surface, a connection will be built between your brain and your finger. This link makes it easier for you to know which way to turn the paddle and what kind of stroke you should make.

Some people like to put two fingers and a thumb on the paddle. This can help them control the paddle better with more stability. Yet, there is a chance that you will hit your finger with the ball when playing a game.

Frequently Asked Questions

When And How To Change Your Pickleball Grip?

In pickleball, many shots are made when someone is in their Non-Volley Zone (Kitchen) line. It’s hard to move your grip in time for the next shot.

Pickleball is a game with many shots

Pickleball is a game with many shots. There is not much time between the shots, so it is best to use one type of grip. Still, sometimes, it’s better to change your grip.

To change your pickleball grip, put the tips of your hand upon the edge of your paddle. Then use that to change your grip when there’s time to do so.

Besides, ensure that you maintain a slight grip. Holding the paddle too tight would prevent you from moving your wrist quickly.

How To Hold a Pickleball Paddle When At The Net?

When you are standing at the kitchen line, you need to be prepared for your opponent to hit an overhead smash.

There are many techniques for hitting the ball, but remember to stand in place. Do not back away or swing at the ball! Hold your paddle in front of you, let the ball hit it, and push back to your opponent.

This way of holding a paddle will often surprise your opponent because they don’t think you are good at playing. The ball will go back to their side of the net and hopefully catch them off guard.


If you’ve ever wondered how to hold a pickleball paddle, we have the answer for you! With our quick and easy guide, not only will your game be improved, but you can also show off some new tricks to all of your friends.

Hope that you found it helpful, and we wish you luck in holding your new favorite sport.

Further reading:

Pickleball 101: The Continental Grip – Dick’s Sporting Goods

Pickleball 101: Grip Pressure When Dinking – Dick’s Pro Tips

How do I hold a pickleball paddle? – Quora

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