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The Greatest Pickleball Camp In America!

Last updated on September 8th, 2023 at 03:32 pm

Running the Top Pickleball Camp and Magazine in the US: Wayne Dollard

Already a successful publisher of many sports magazines, including Pickleball Magazine, Wayne Dollard launched LevelUp Pickleball Camps, which grew from 8 attendees to over 5,000 per year in hundreds of locations.

Are you curious about how to level up your pickleball game? What is it like to be a pro pickleball player? The Simply Pickleball Podcast dives into how Wayne and his family travel the country teaching in 50 cities, the exciting new ventures on the horizon, and a surprise reveal!




welcome to Simply pickleball the podcast where we discuss all things pickleball


the fastest growing sport in America and around the world we’re interviewing the founders industry leaders athletes


lovers of the sport that are driving the spectacular growth if you love pickleball as much as we do listen in


hi I’m Crystal Brown and I was lucky enough to catch up with Wayne Dollard owner of U.S pickleball magazine founder


of LevelUp pickleball camps Pro pickleball player himself and much more he shared his journey into the game his


wildly successful camps and a few key surprises about what’s next okay now to


the show thank you so much for joining uh Wayne dollar so excited to have you you were a coach and the leader at the

Wayne Dollard Background


pickleball camp that I attended in Newport Beach and I was really excited to learn about your business and I was


wondering if you can just start to sort of let me know where have you always been super athletic were you a hitting a


racket when you were little because I know your tennis Tennessee on the ground well I wouldn’t I would say super


athletic but yeah I started playing foreign I played to Penn State got in the


college played at Penn State so yeah I was in the tennis for a long time and then after college I started playing


platforms tennis I played that competitively until about 10 years ago I’m now 53 years old so I’m I play the


competitively until about 10 years ago I traveled what is how do you differentiate uh platform tennis platform tennis has a uh a much heavier

Platform Tennis


paddle with holes in it and it has a bit of aluminum a very rough grit that’s


sprayed onto the aluminum and there’s screens that go around the cord it’s the same size the tennis court as a


pickleball court but there’s an out of balance area where there’s a fence around it and you can play the ball off the screens so there’s a ball in the


middle you serve overhand you serve in volley you play balls off the screens it’s a really fast pace game a lot of


great tennis players gravitate to apart from tennis after college so maybe that’s a little precursor to pickleball


absolutely so yes friends who in their 50s who played a very competitive platform tennis are now jumping into


pickleball too interesting interesting so so yeah when’s the first time you had heard about pickleball and decided to


pick up a paddle I think the first time I heard a pickleball was probably about 10 years ago or so 12 years ago I was in


The Villages visiting my my in-laws and uh we were playing platform tennis and of course we heard the pickleballs next


door to it and so we went and we played a little pickleball and people are yelling at us what’s your rating you


shouldn’t be here what’s your rating yeah and then and then because you guys were too good because you were so good


in the beginning well they were they were Advanced beginners probably yeah and being that we were already had


racket skills we were already better than that advanced beginner level the first time we played


I’m not gonna say we were too good but I I’d say they were they were beginners they’re very that’s very fair


so where is The Villages is that is that I’m sorry The Villages is uh it’s the it might be the largest senior community in


the country it’s in it’s in Florida it’s its own it’s its own place it’s probably like 100 square miles of uh of Senior


Living 50 and over 55 and over something like that and they’ve got something like 300 pickleball courts there I can’t


remember the number wow and they’ve got it’s it’s a spreading a little towns all around in the Villages it’s just a big


hot bed for for pickleball that’s awesome that sounds like a place I’d like to go when you got home from


visiting the villages what what happened next so that was I’m gonna say I’m gonna say


10 years ago and nothing happened right and nothing happened for a long time and then in 2015 I was at my office in

Pickleball Magazine


Pittsburgh for for a living I published magazines yeah I wanted to hear about that too well I own 40 magazines they’re


mostly Community magazines across Pennsylvania I also published the Pittsburgh Steelers magazine I published


the national magazine for platform tennis and one of my advertisers in platform tennis was Wilson racket Sports


and the vice president marketing for Wilson was Terry Graham and Terry Graham calls me and I worked with her for about


15 years or so or more and she called me one day and said hey Wayne I’m leaving Wilson I want to give you a goodbye but


I’m also calling you to see if you’d consider starting a magazine for pickleball I’m leaving Wilson to start


something called the pickleball Us open in Naples Florida and I thought you got to be kidding me


you’re leaving Wilson to start a let’s open for pickleball and she was very serious and she’s very smart and a smart


lady and so uh so I took that a little bit seriously and later that day I went golfing and I was golfing and uh a guy


named Chuck Wittmeyer who’s the uh in charge of product development for gamma Sports was that my at my driving range


with me and he said wait I need to talk to you about something that’s what says we talked about starting a magazine for pickleball I said you’re the second


person today that is so strange I mean serendipitous I guess it was so because


Chuck said that and Terry said it on the same day I decided to look into it and next thing you know I guess five months


later we have a pickleball magazine going it’s been the best thing we’ve ever done um I absolutely love it so were you


always in publishing since college and was was that a family business pretty much a few years after college I jumped


into the publishing business just because I I thought it’d be fun I didn’t have any particular experience but I thought it’d be fun and I I started a a


Golf Magazine and I started platform tennis Magazine first because I like the sport and I just replaced an existing


black and white newsletter they had and that magazine took off went really well and then I quit my day job which is a as


a color lasers uh specialist for for Canon copiers and printers and I left


that and I started Community magazines in Pittsburgh and then in Erie Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and I just


I just loved doing what I was doing my quick experience is this I went to my first national championships in uh that


was Casa Grande Arizona in 2015 and I saw all these families I saw in Selkirk


I saw the Barnes family and in engage I saw the the Elliott family and I saw the


Smiths together in paddle Tech and I saw these family businesses I thought wow wouldn’t that be fun to start a magazine


for pickleball and I could travel around with my wife and my kids and just have some fun playing the game maybe playing


tournaments getting article ideas and it wasn’t until maybe about a two years


later later that we started aggressively playing tournaments and doing that type of thing but it was just it was a family


idea yeah and we spent time together as a family and it worked great to this day two of my kids are working with me my


wife and I we travel together so so your wife did she get into it right away like you did did she pick it up and love it


she did she was a she was a full-time tennis pro so she was teaching a lot of tennis and she liked pickleball right


away and uh in 2018 we played our first tournament it was

Tournament Pickleball


the I think it was the gamma classic in Pittsburgh and it was a 5-0 we won it and then we played quarterly in four


five we won it we played the US Open and Nationals four or five we won them all and when you win all those tournaments


it’s pretty exciting it’s like okay you know what we’re gonna we’re gonna start playing pickleball now that’s when it got serious when we


started to have good success at the four or five level we thought this is a lot of fun that is so great so we took off


of it together so you started the pickleball magazine and how did that do right away did people want to read it


people buying it the first first big success we had was with the U.S APA and the major manufacturers we went to that


first Nationals in 2015 and I talked to the usapa Justin Malouf was a big proponent of the magazine if it wasn’t


for him we wouldn’t have started a magazine but Justin ran right off the bat said the usapa would love to be involved with this and so his


involvement in the usapa really helped us because they provide the content we needed and then I talked to all the


major manufacturers then I talked to you know Polytech and head and Wilson and Selkirk and Gamma and engage and all


these people and they all said yes you start a magazine we’ll support it and so their support allowed us to start that


magazine into and and I guess late fall winter 2015. so it wasn’t for all those


people it wouldn’t have happened how about circulation was it easy to get people were they interested were they wanting to read it like what what did


you find it’s hard it’s hard to sell subscriptions to any magazine in any of our magazines it’s always hard getting


someone to physically go to your websites put a credit card in and even if they want the magazine it’s hard to


get people to go do it right so our big success we had was with advertisers the


ASAPA agreed to send the magazine out digitally to all their members on day one that’s great I think we had like 10


000 members getting the magazine digitally and we had basically zero subscribers at first uh hard copy and


it’s grown and grown with the USAPA and I think we now send it out to like 80 000 of their members we mail about 20


000 hard copies to people who buy the subscription and then we email the magazine to an additional I guess that’s


a traditional 180,000 people something like that so wow Magazine’s going to almost 300,000 people per issue now not


quite but almost that’s amazing and it’s only just begun I mean the craze so so

Pickleball Instruction


then when did you guys transition into teaching and the camps and um you know


like I said that we crossed paths at one of your amazing camps in Newport Beach and and curious when that started we


were visiting a torment in uh since Australia I think it was uh in


Washington state it was called the indoor Nationals at the time self-proclaimed indoor Nationals in 2017


I think it was and uh there’s a guy there named Rob Davidson who’s a really well known well-liked Pro Player and Rob


basically said to me hey I’m looking for a job um in pickleball are you hiring any editors and I said no but do you like to


teach pickleball and he said yeah I loved it I said I said tell you what let’s uh let’s get some camps going so

LevelUp Pickleball Camps


I started LevelUp pickleball camps and Rob was our first pro started doing small camps of eight people he was doing


them for me I was assisted in him for him actually yeah and we had like eight or 16 people our first few camps and it


was a lot of fun and then a year or two later we hired Tyson McGuffin and we had


we had more camps we went 20 camps a year to I think 60 or 70. then the next year we went to 100 some and then we


just kept adding camps and pros and at this point in time we do about I think


this year we’ve got about 205 camps scheduled for this year wow and there’s not there’s nothing right there’s about no yeah so the head


Pros there’s I saw my wife and my son Brendan is a great 5-0 player as well we have Joel Wickes out of Orange County


California amazing Pro and Coach Cal McMakin out of San Diego fantastic Mike


Patterson is in the San Luis Obispo area um he teaches at Templeton Ranch he’s a


great head pro we’ve got um Larry Vanderoos who’s uh New Haven not New Haven he’s up in Michigan somewhere I


can’t okay Grand Haven I think it’s gone yeah okay and we’ve got a couple other Pros as well and and then assistance we have about 50 assistants that Trevor on


with us so we’re just coming up how did you know that there was an appetite for camps and you know I mean how did you


know to invest we didn’t we started we started camps as a fun thing to do we


thought it’d be my account called the camp business level what pickleball camps my most expensive hobby because at


first it was costing us money traveling around but we’re having a good time as a family and then as soon as we started


getting you know 24 people per camp and 32 then 48th and 64. we’ve had camps as


big as 120 people in in Naples, Florida even as soon as it became a larger number of people attending the camps it


became a monetary Source at that time business and now this year we’re scheduled to see over 5 000 people at


our camps last year was 4 300 I think and it just grows every year it does it’s kind of amazing and so you guys and


I know you you you invested in a trailer that you guys ride around in right yes we did we bought a 43 foot RV uh pull


along it’s 14,000 pounds I had to buy a big diesel truck to pull it and last


year I drove from Pittsburgh across the country six or seven times and I drove


to Florida about four times it’s over 12 month period and then that’s just what we did we travel around and we travel


around my wife usually she likes to fly across the country but uh we meet her on the other side and we stay in we stay in


this it’s it’s a very luxurious luxury yeah I know it look I remember seeing it and um that’s amazing so and so as a


family you guys spend a lot of time together you must you really connected over pickleball and you kind of


mentioned that with some of the other brands that have come into pickleball so what do you I mean what do you see next


because you’re you’re busy you’ve got you’ve got the magazine do you guys still play in tournaments there’s a

Pro Pickleball


quick story for you we after winning the the the 4.5 uh Nationals we thought we


were going to be pretty good players and we’ve entered the pro category I think we were about the oldest Pros in the Pro


Tour in 2018 our first pro match was against Catherine pranto and Joey farius


I remember our first match I just looked my wife I said just pound that your ball at that little girl over there I’ll help


you put it away my wife smacks of all Catherine and Catherine just smashes them all right past me I look at my wife


I go that was that was weird needless to say the whole match we got blown off the court we we had to learn


how to play the game properly and we started practicing doing our drills and within the next couple years in 2021 we


won the the 50 and over uh National Championship U.S open uh we won the 5-0 championships do it so and my wife won


the 35 she’s 53 but she won the 35 and over wow as well so we it took us a few


years after the four or five level to really get to that that level where


we knew what we were doing at a pro level and so at that point in time we’re kind of done we pretty much stopped playing tournaments in 20 and 2021 we’ve


only played one since then and we just traveled around teaching it’s just so much fun just traveling around teaching


that’s what I love to do that’s amazing so so you’re okay not you still play I imagine for fun oh yeah we still play


very competitively with our pros and all of our friends we play with are at the highest level in our our teaching Pros


are all five five plus and so we still play completely with those guys we just don’t play in made torments because


we’re either working on our magazine or other projects or we’re out there teaching camps what do you think


I mean you’ve got Rocket Sports and other sports in general and you’ve been able to see


Trends what do you think has just happened in you know this explosion lately well I think it all comes down to

Why is Pickleball so Popular?


the USAPA the USAPA  really helped out in in 2010 there’s a hundred thousand players and they aggressively marketed


the sport starting in 2010. okay and when they did that the sport was ready to take off but it never was and the


reason it’s ready to take off is because it’s a very inexpensive barrier to entry to in the sport yeah and anyone can play


Pickleball at a basic level if you came to me and said hey I’ve never played tennis before can you teach me how to


hit the ball six times in a row of the net with my partner I’d say give me give me six months can you teach me how to do


that in pickleball I’d say give me five minutes so the barrier to entry to to financially get into sports very small


and the the playing ability to basic level is also very low so if you’re older it was a great demographic for


people who couldn’t play tennis anymore yeah my dad’s 90 years old he still plays tennis but the games aren’t very


good applicable and have a nice game the usap really promoted the game taking off and they helped out so much as soon as you


you start a magazine for the sport you had torments in the right places you had the right vendors pushing it yeah it


just all just took off together what do you think is sort of the next thing to come I mean I I actually

Youth Pickleball


interviewed someone about college pickleball and Collegiate pickleball and I’m just curious what do you think the


trend is because I I mean it’s obviously the demographic ranges from you know young kids to like your dad 93 but what


do you think where do you think it’s sort of missing its moment and and yet to come exactly what you said I think


it’s missing this moment with Juniors I mean I’m seeing kids playing all the time now I mean it used to be in one


from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania that for for 30 years all the kids in high school and middle school I should say have uh


pickleball is one of their elective classes right it is I was curious about that yeah we’ve had it I’ve we played it


a couple times when I was in high school back in the in the mid 80s really wow Middle School yeah exactly but uh it’s


it’s I think that’s the big Market that’s that’s to come is going to be well the pro market will continue to grow


at the highest level but also I think that the Juniors you’re going to see a lot of kids more kids jumping into it


it’s hard to get into colleges and high schools and push this as a new sport because you have to deal with all the


high schools across the country and all that stuff and colleges but I do think it’s a natural progression I think things continue to


go the way they are it will happen it’s just my same thing with Olympics it’s going to happen if it continues the way


it is so how do you think it would look in college I mean would you imagine it would look more like tennis or do you

Collegiate Pickleball


think it’ll look more like hockey or you know how do you manage a sport like that in in college or high school I really


don’t know I could only imagine that it’d be something like like like a college maybe where in college you have


six single teams you’ve got three doubles teams competing I could very very much see something like that or


maybe more doubles I really don’t know um I wouldn’t be the person to ask about that but I mean I’m just curious because


you’re out there talking about it and you know sort of like where where else you know and what about tournament play


like I know that right now there’s a sort of I don’t know if it’s more of a fun tournament but it’s at a lot of the


ballparks the there’s a pickle pickleball today actually today it’s in San Francisco where I am at the giant


Stadium um but what do you think about the pro tour do you think it’s going to start heating up and really just you know kind


of hope so yeah I’m not sure I hope so um I know the teams are going for a lot


of money right now and I I don’t know if there’s really any money being made right now in the tour I matter of fact I


assume there’s probably not but I really don’t know on the the the um not that not that the Torah so much


as like the PPA or APP I mean I’m not sure about the the major league pickleball and I’m not sure how that’s


working yet I can imagine one day there being pickleball teams and all this major cities and it’s like a real League


like Major League Baseball or NFL yeah I think they’re trying to do that right now well they are trying to do


that right now I don’t know the success is you need a big audience and the most important thing you need is you’re gonna need um TV coverage as soon as you get


the make it a mainstream thing on TV that’s when that falls into line and I’m guaranteed that people lots more than me


are trying to do that right now the major league pickleball I’m sure that that’s what their next step is well it’s fascinating to watch any I mean you know


it’s fun to watch so with your camps how much more can you scale I mean you’re only one family and you know you’ve got

Growth of Pickleball Camps


incredible demand and you’re selling out in all these cities um how much more can you how much more


do you even want to do than you’re doing so you can still have your life it’s a good question it’s again we have 50 Pros


that work for us and so they they do a lot of the work last year I personally did 52 camps


this year I did something like 30 and next year I’ll probably do something like like 20 and I’ll spread those other


camps out with other Pros it’s hard to in order to maintain the quality you have in your camps you can’t hire a


bunch of Pros you can only make one ahead Pro per year yeah what else we do


is we try to develop one pro into a head pro over a year so if someone came to us and said I want to be a head pro for


level go up they have to be a 5-0 player they have to be very personable they’d have to do camps with us probably about


40 camps or so for a year and really get the system down and a lot of people have


tried and we have not you know we’re very choosy on who you pick as headquarters of course it’s not easy for


sure but I could see us adding one more Pro maybe next year and maybe one the next year after that and I could see us


going maybe from 200 camps next this year to 205 this year to maybe maybe 240


maybe next year or maybe 260 or 280 the next year but the slow process is not going to be okay let’s do 400 camps now


you it’s just yeah it is all your quality but the demand’s there right you’re seeing incredible yeah I’d say


the demands there yeah if we if I if we wanted to run 400 camps right now we


could probably sell them all out but finding the right people to do it is the biggest issue I think it’s really hard


to find those Pros we’ve we’ve worked with the best teachers in the game and I’ll tell you it’s just hard to find those those perfect Pros hey if you know


anyone out there who’s looking well so maybe someone’s listening


really personable of great energy and uh that are interested they want to try us


out by by baby assisting in some camps or we’re always looking at it yeah I know I met your son he was uh teaching


at the camp that I attended and he’s great now does he does he play does he compete otherwise or does he play


torments yet all he does is teach and play with the pros when he’s teaching he’s he’s getting very good very fast


he’s already he’s already passed up my wife and myself um so he’s very good he’s also only what

Pickleball Facilities


25 years old he’s getting very good but no torments


on the schedule yet because he’s always traveling around teaching right now he’s in Denver uh he’s in Colorado Springs


last week he’s just always traveling next week he’s in East Coast for for two weeks uh or next two weeks he’s always


traveling and teaching so do you guys still have time for to for family bonding and and you and your wife where


you can maybe talk about other things besides pickleball or like do because you’re busy you’ve got two basically


huge businesses growing yeah we talk pickleball all the time but so last year


we were so busy this year we took the summer off where we’re only doing three camps this whole summer uh personally


with our family my wife and I and that is we did one in Hilton Head and we vacationed for a week we did one in


Ocean City we vacationed for a week and we did another one on vacation for it so we’re basically taking the summer off


and then the schedule starts back up heavy uh late August again yeah we cut way back in our our camps this year


personally but one reason I didn’t tell you this but one reason is because we’re actually launching a couple facilities we’re looking to build two uh to think


about facilities you know where where will they be


the other one’s uh somewhere else but one’s in Pittsburgh we’re going through approval process right now and we hope


to have that open by January or so and that’s going to be 16 indoor courts to restaurant things like that that’s great


the other one’s a little a little bigger but yeah and yeah you know it’s interesting in um in San Francisco we


have a huge shortage of Courts there were there were actually only 11 dedicated ports


for you know fairly big city and I know this has been an issue in LA and sort of across the country the cities


can’t keep up with the demand so then a lot of the indoor courts are being built


and I guess you’ve heard about malls and things but I feel like it you know that’s such a it’s right for


that kind of a business and we even traveled to Las Vegas because they have a really nice outdoor it’s like Sunset


Park with 24 courts but where are you seeing that you know that kind of investment going right now in terms of


building facilities and do you think that the demand is there in every city because you know I only have perspective


of the Cities I’ve been to but um I know it’s growing and in every city that you’re doing camps and are you just


seeing a need for more courts everywhere we go they need more courts before we go they’re building more courts and the


first thing that happens of course is the repurposing tennis courts that aren’t getting much use anymore yeah I’m an avid tennis player and I hate to be


the first one to admit it but tennis is not growing I mean it’s not significantly growing if anything it’s


declining and tennis players like myself hate to see uh tennis courts going away being replaced by pickleball lines but


the same time that’s progress and that’s the future and and that’s yeah tennis players hate to see that in places like


San Francisco where land is just so expensive you’re not gonna be able to just build new courts unless you’re


using existing land so your choices are either build them on top of tennis courts or go into malls or things that


are being shut down and fill in those places um that’s what most people are doing right now as they’re repurposing those


things what I’m doing in Pittsburgh is I’m I’m we have three and a half acres we’re building a brand new facility from scratch because in Pittsburgh we still


have some land in places but in the major cities they have to find other Solutions like indoor malls closed up


Bed Bath and Beyond stores it’s true or tennis courts or whatever so


they’re just going to keep doing those things I think think about the difference between indoor and outdoor in general are you more of an outdoor

Indoor Pickleball


player or more of an indoor player does it matter you know well I’m from Pittsburgh


what that means is we have to play indoors a lot I mean I like playing Outdoors of course more than indoors


it’s much more fun the environment all that’s better uh when I go to Florida it certainly gets very hot after 12 o’clock


you don’t see many people playing 12-5 that’s a problem but I like the indoor courts because you always know what you


get you always have that same 72 degrees the lighting is always perfect if you get good indoor courts right most don’t


have a good lighting but the ones we have are all good lighting the surface I don’t like playing on on hardwood floors I don’t play on hardwood floors


it’s a different game yeah like temporary Nets very much so the outdoor courts the permanent Nets are always


much more fun to play on what’s the what is the court made out of or what’s the flooring that they use on indoor that


you do like what will you play on well ideally tennis court surface a lot of


places will put have the regular tennis court surface down the best is if they will put asphalt indoors and then


coat that with either a some type of Deco Turf paint or rubberized surface whatever they don’t have to but asphalt


is definitely the best surface to play on it’s easiest on the knees the joints and if you could put that rubberized


coating over top that that’s even better most people don’t do that most indoor surfaces are either wood or or concrete


concrete is part of the knees the ball balances a little too high would the ball skid so that’s not ideal so asphalt


Outdoors or asphalt indoors is by far the best surface for pickleball yeah it’s interesting I think you’re right


there’s a lot of interest in building quartz but it’s almost like as soon as they open there’s more demand than there


was before because yeah it’s like if you build it they will come and I I the


numbers are just astounding and what about sort of you know paddle technology I know that when you go to your camps


you let people demo a lot of paddles how are you guys keeping up on the latest technology and and knowing which paddle


people should use because you know because I’m sure you’re getting asked that all the time which title should I buy and you know just sort of become a

Best Pickleball Paddle


de facto expert so I’m gonna give you a little surprise here I’m going to give you a little heads up on something that I didn’t talk


about and my son is actually coming up with a paddle but we he’s great I’ll show it to you be the first person to


see it how about that you’ll be the first Christmas that’s awesome great I wasn’t attending on doing that here but I


actually have one here we go to our camps every major manufacturer wants to put their their paddles on a table so we


could sell them and we picked the best paddles that we like for our campers and our campers are mostly 3.5 players


looking to move up to that four or five level so we pulled certain powers we like from Power Tech I love I love that


the Tempest way to Pro okay I just absolutely love that paddle it’s just there yeah I like it can we hold that up


one more time getting something with it but yeah okay


just a fantastic paddle it’s got good pop good little power punch to it it’s


got great feel I love the cell truck paddles particularly the the Vanguard Series I love the the Epic is a great


seller for us the new ones they made I don’t like as much as the old ones although you see the ones the whole cut


out although you see on the pro tour a lot of people using this I like the old ones the Vanguard Series a lot still


other Palace mother manufacturers you know the new Yola paddles I like the the new purchase paddle and the one Ben’s


using and some of those paddles are like the Scorpius I like those I didn’t like some of the older ones they used let’s


see the carbon paddles I like the carbon one the carbon two and there’s a lot of just a lot of Pals we like we


demo everything and we know what we will play as well so what my son did is

Trnity Pickleball Paddle


he found out some of the technologies that people are using and I’ll grab one this is one of the paddles that he’s


come up with oh that’s awesome so what’s the name this one is called the pathos Revolution it’s a 19 millimeter thick


paddle and uh it got approved by the USAPA and Shameless Shameless plug I


love it I love it please it’s my son’s company and so he’s making those he’s also making a um cold pressed paddle


which is that’s called a heat press or thermal press paddle it’s a very difficult process making those types of piles they’re very expensive to make


he’s also make the standard paddle uh that he likes modeled off some of our favorite models from Yola from carbon


and from um from paddle Tech he’s kind of taken some aspects of those paddles he’s made his his own power series off


of that as well so those should be out by the end of the year sometime but so how did he decide to do that because I


mean that’s kind of my question is is you know there’s a lot of different paddles you guys are becoming a source right every every people want to know


what should I play with and you know I was talking to a paddle manufacturer that that you could have a tennis racket


for many many years you could restring it with the paddles people are moving through paddles pretty fast I don’t know


if it’s because they think it’s going to improve their game or what but they’re you know they’re moving and what are the questions questions you’re getting asked


I imagine a lot of people they want their game to get better I think people do we call them a Neil Friedenberg of


prolight once told me that people who buy paddles a lot he calls them paddle collectors yeah basically what happens I


think is people use a paddle and they they start playing poorly or they they demo someone else’s paddle they play


well they win a game that’s that’s they want to buy that paddle then it happens a lot it happens a lot more in


pickleball than it happens in tennis but it does happen a lot what we tell people is we look for paddles that have a good


weight to them we’d never recommend lightweight paddles lightweight paddles are very flimsy if a ball misses The


Sweet Spot the pile is gonna shake on you so you want to have a good weighted paddle I say the heavier you can go the


better especially if you’re if you’re female I hate to say it but if you’re especially if my wife plays with a 9.3


ounce paddle um I play with an 8.5 ounce paddle interesting the more weight if she has


Riley Newman smacking a ball at her at 55 miles an hour she better have a lot of power and weight behind that pallet


hit that ball back right I don’t need quite as much weight behind the paddle as she does so she has that and so you


see a lot of women on the tour most of them are over nine ounces on their paddles and so that’s the one thing is I like the people to know you want a good


paddle a wide paddle with a big sweet spot and you would have some good weight on that paddle then the different


materials you could you could choose fiberglass a little bit more pop a little bit carbon fiber has more feel I


think that’s why almost all the manufacturers been switching to carbon fiber over the past three years um pretty much all of them are doing


that now and whether you want to paddle the hole in it or not or if you want a paddle that’s 14 millimeters which is a


little more power or 19 millimeters thick is a little more feel just depends on what you’re looking for but we we


like dimming all these paddles and there’s paddles from each manufacturer that we really really like like I named


you the the soccer epic the paddle Tech Tempest wave Pro the the um the Perseus


and the of the Scorpius of Yola the carbon one carbon two armor paddle has a


great paddle by Steve Wong there’s just a lot of really good models out out there if we bring all those to our camps


you do why my son launched this this power line called yeah I was going to ask you what what needed young he’s


young and basically he sees the best of all these different paddles and he’s basically said why don’t we make a paddle like this or like this like this


I said well if you want to go for it he made paddles combining the best elements of those paddles and so so you know so


he’ll have those at our camps and as well as the other manufacturers as well so the name of his the the paddle


company is Trnity or what I’ll show you is it backwards or forwards that’s backwards isn’t it no no I can see it


pathos it’s Trnity it’s called t-r-n-i-t-y I like it I like it and as I


said I think that’s a really good you know point I I I I see I think that evolution is people start and they’re


just interested in it and and then they something switches and they really want to be good and they they sort of can see


themselves as one of the pros whether they ever get there and I think that’s why they want to


come to your camps and and what do you find is the Tipping Point for for players when they can really move from

How to Get Better at Pickleball


just like you said kind of what happened in your game against Catherine apparently you’re like I better learn these rules I better learn the strategy


and and is that what you’re seeing at your camps I’m not sure when people decide they want to get better or whatnot but but when they have success


at that three five level and the big separator we see from three five players to say 4045 is their ability to stay


close to the kitchen line not backing up and attacking shots that’s that differentiator when we do our Advanced


camps they’re not backing off that kitchen line our intermediate camps they’re backing off quite a bit so


that’s like as soon as players hit that that that that that moments in their game when they start developing raw


volleys and attack shots and it’s staying on that line that’s when they start getting good and that’s one of our


main focus is a level of pickleball camps is we get people to stay close to that line at the intermediate camps and


attack those shots yeah there’s times you’re going to want to back off the line especially at the advanced level to hit some dinks and wide shots things


like that but in general you want to be at the intermediate level you have to control the line I call it controlling


the line so that’s a big thing that when people overcome that hurdle that’s when they start getting good that’s awesome


and what are the other things you know you mentioned a lot of tennis players move to pickleball and they just kind of


assume they’re going to be really good at it but what about if you’re not a tennis player you know do you think that those players can be or you didn’t have


racket skills before let’s not only tennis do you think that those players can become just as good as as a former


Rockets tennis program just as good so one of our headphones his name is Joel ickes Joel was a AAA baseball player and


he could have probably even gone NHL in hockey um never had her played a racket sport


in his life he’s now a five five six oh Pro it just took him a couple years he’s just a great athlete I know a lot of


really good athletes that never played tennis or any racket sport uh they’ve just jumped into it um Rob Cassidy was


one of the best pickleball players in the world for quite a while and he was in a racket sports player at all I think my my young son took him on the tennis


court one day and taught him how to play tennis it was funny just watching Rob try to play tennis because he couldn’t Rob just an amazing athlete


take my plan there’s a lot of those players a lot of um you know Dave Weinbach was an Olympian alternate I believe for in


table tennis a lot of table tennis guys out there and um a lot of you know baseball and hockey and yeah soccer guys


soccer men and women think about players because they’re footwork I’ve seen a lot of really good pickleball players who


said they came from that soccer background interesting you see it all we see it all in pickup that’s so great


that’s so great so so what’s next for you you’re going to continue to grow the camps and and play and what’s next for


me is is I’m going to continue to grow the camp business we’re going to continue to grow the pickleball magazine


and we’re going to be launching these two facilities and and that’s it then we’re done I don’t believe you


I believe myself my plan is at that point in time we’re running those two facilities we’re


running all of our camps across the country and then we’re just cruising for that that’s our intention but things


seem to have a way of changing every few months and pickleball for us but that’s my intention it’s really exciting Wayne and I really



appreciate your time and I’ve been really excited about what you guys are doing and hopefully people all include


in all the show notes all the links to everything and when your son launches his Paddle Company and hopefully we can


check in you know in a few months and I can hear more about the the facilities but I really appreciate your time and and I it really changed my own game and


my perspective being at the camp more than just the skills that I learned which were incredible


was kind of like I don’t know if you remember there was a pro tournament going on while the camp was going on in


Newport Beach yeah and just seeing the interest and the enthusiasm and the


community I think the community was so warm and anyway I just that it really


sparked something for me personally like that it’s bigger than just learning a sport it’s it’s a community yeah awesome


newport’s awesome too yeah I know that’s a good place to attend well thank you and enjoy the rest of your day hopefully


you get some pickleball in yeah I’m actually gonna go play right now that’s why I’m thank you so much for having me today I


loved it and I I really hope you do check back in a few months and I’m sure it’d be a very different place than


we’re in right now because things just keep evolving so it’s amazing thank you all right happy thinking bye hey guys


thanks for listening to Simply pickleball we will be back very soon with great interviews discussions and


more all about pickleball don’t forget to subscribe to our channels on YouTube Twitter Instagram or any of your


favorite podcasting Outlet until next time happy dinking


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