How to Hold Pickleball Paddle: Mastering the Proper Grip

This guide tells you how to hold pickleball paddle, so you can hit better shots and make every shot the winning one.

Although it seems like holding a pickle paddle is no rocket science, the right holding of the paddle not only makes it favorable for the game but also makes it easier for you to play the game comfortably. Learning how to hold a pickleball paddle is one of the most important skills in the pickleball game that you have to learn besides the pickleball rules.

This is because if you are unaware of the correct gripping of the paddle, it affects every hit you make and makes it inconsistent. This ultimately results in hitting the ball out of bounds. To help you in this regard, with my experience of playing for over 15 years of pickleball, I am going to talk about different ways that can help you hold the paddle in the right way.

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How To Hold Pickleball Paddle?

If you are a lefty, flip everything in the details below around, and follow it as it is, it will work for you. One thing you must remember when finalizing the grip you have to follow is your skills, your gaming style, and what suits you the best. I recommend you not compromise your comfort zone while picking the pickleball paddle, as your comfort greatly affects the game’s performance. I will discuss the three most common pickleball grips and the details of the continental grip here.

Three Of The Most Common Pickleball Grips

Focusing on 3 of the most common and professionally used grips to hold the pickleball paddle. All these three grips are the most common and the most reliable ones. These are,

  • The Eastern grip
  • The Western grip
  • The Continental grip

The Eastern Grip

If you are a beginner and are looking for the easiest way to hold the pickleball paddle, then selecting the Eastern grip would be the best choice that you can make. It is the best neutral grip that is used for backhands and forehands both, without worrying about changing the grip from forehand to backhand, just like you do it in the racket ball or the tennis paddle. Moreover, the Eastern grip is also called the shakehand grip.

how to hold pickleball paddle | Eastern Grip

To apply this grip, what you have to do is,

  • Use your playing hand and put it right on the face of the paddle.
  • Now drag down your hand, and bring it to the grip. Now grip the handle.
  • Now look at your grip and ensure that it resembles how you shake hands with someone else.

The Eastern grip is highly recommended for beginner players as it provides them with the control and power they need to play their initial game.

The Western Grip

This Western grip is also known as the frying pan grip. Although it is less common, it is one of the professional grips that is often seen used by players while playing the game. Just imagine you are flipping a pancake while holding a frying pan. The Western grip is similar to the grip you apply while holding a frying pan to flip a pancake.

This type of grip is ideal for throwing the most spinful shots. It favors the forehand grip but makes it quite difficult when you have to attempt a backhand. Moreover, when it comes to the application of the Western grip, what you have to do is first make sure that your hand is gripping a paddle just the way you do it in the Eastern grip.

  • Use the playing hand, place it on the face of the paddle, and move it down until you reach the handle. Now grip the handle.
  • After that, rotate the paddle to almost around 60 to 90 degrees.
  • Make sure you are rotating it towards the ground. If you are a right-handed person, then you have to make sure that you are using the left side of the paddle.
  • On the other hand, if you are lefty, then make sure you are using the right side of the paddle.
  • Now pay attention to your grip and make sure it resembles the grip you use for holding a frying pan.

This Western grip is ideal for those players who are looking for a grip to help them with the spin. It gives them control so they can hit the balls in the most sinful way. Moreover, this Western grip is highly recommended for professional players.

Related: How To Hold A Ping Pong Paddle

The Continental Grip

The continental grip is one of the simplest and clearest of all types of grips. If you really want to learn how to place your hand while using a continental grip, ensure that you are looking at the paddle right from the butt of the handle. This continental grip is said to be the standard grip used by most pickleball players.

One of the easiest examples that are often given to the players learning this continental grip is that it makes you feel like you are shaking hands with the paddle. And that’s it!

Now, what you have to do is to make sure that your palm is facing toward the handle, just like you are shaking hands with someone.

  • Wrap your hands while staying in the same position around the handle.
  • Look at the V that you have just created with your index finger and thumb.
  • Now hold the paddle firmly.
  • In this way, you can hold the paddle in order to give the most accurate shots.

This standard grip, that is, the continental grip, is often used by most professional pickleball players. Well, most of the players rely on this grip because it is ideal for making almost every type of shot easily, whether fast, slow, spinning, non-spinning, straight or angled.

The Continental Grip to hold pickleball paddle

Continental grip is a versatile type of grip that is divided into three variations;

  • The Neutral Grip
  • Strong Grip
  • Weak Grip
Neutral Grip

The continental neutral grip is preferred mainly when hitting a backhand or forehand shot or making a shot close to the net. Moreover, it is also used when you are slicing the ball or are looking for putting a spin on the ball.

Strong Grip

Similarly, the strong continental grip is mainly used when hitting the overhead smashes for making an aggressive hand shot. This gives you lots of power and makes it possible for you to swing your arm in order to get the most control.

Weak Grip

The weak continental grip is not really common. Instead, it is an uncommon way of holding the pickleball paddle. It just does not allow you to make overhead smashes with your forehand. Moreover, for those players who are looking for spin shots and cuts, the weak grip is something made for them. Well, I always prefer going with a neutral continental grip and a strong continental grip every time I play pickleball.


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Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you have gone through all of the details of how to hold pickleball paddle mentioned above. I have tried my best to explain all three basic types of grips and the subtypes of the continental grip. If all of that made sense to you, you must now know which would be the best and adequate one for you. Try these grips at home before directly applying them in court. Although it seems difficult to get used to it, you will get used to it over time.

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