Pickleball 101: Grip Pressure When Dinking

By loosening your grip on the pickleball paddle, you can help increase feel and consistency when dinking.

Many pickleball players are looking for the paddle that will give them the best feel when they hit the ball. They compare different cores and surfaces to help maximize their feel while balancing it with power.

But for many players, having a superior feel can come down to just changing how they are gripping the paddle.

“Grip pressure is one of the most important parts of the game, but it’s often overlooked by players,” Founder of Level-Up Pickleball Camps Wayne Dollard says.

By altering their grip pressure, players may find the best method for controlling a ball’s direction and pace when dinking.

Pickleball players don’t need to put too much power behind the ball when dinking. On a scale of one to 10, grip pressure should fall between three and five. Many new and intermediate players tend to hold the paddle too tightly, often falling between an eight or nine.

Players with a tight grip can lose sensitivity and control, both of which can lead to inconsistent shot-making and can cause the ball to fly off the face of racquet erratically when dinking.

Just by loosening your grip a bit, you may find you have more sensitivity and that the ball remains on the paddle for just a fraction longer for better feel and consistency.

“By loosening your paddle grip, you’ll be able to feel the ball and you’ll be able to control the direction much better than if you’re holding the paddle tightly,” Dollard says.

Changing you grip pressure can help transform a low, solid shot into a higher, soft shot. Remember that the sign of a good dink is that is cannot be easily attacked by your opponents. So switch to a softer grip, and see if it can help your pickleball game improve.

Now that you understand how to grip the paddle when dinking, learn the best dinking form and technique, too.