Hello my pickling friends!

We’re well into 2024 and thus far, the weather hasn’t been too much of an obstacle (well, aside from the rain!). We’ve had some beautiful days that are just right for getting on the courts. 

Your board has sent out a survey asking for your opinions on a variety of subjects. Please take the time to fill these surveys out. We are here to serve our pickleball community and doing it right involves knowing what our community wants. 

We’ve got the pics and a winner of last month’s chili cookoff! 

This issue has some great tips on finding a new paddle–HINT, if yours is over a year old and you play with any regularity, it’s time! Not only will your game be better, but you might just save yourself from injury like tennis elbow or rotator cuff pain–ask me how I know! 

Also, DUPR, the pickleball rating system (DUPR stands for Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) has changed some of its metrics (thank heavens!). In this month’s issue, I’ll break those key changes down for you. 

Our next social is March 17th! Watch your email for your reminder. 

Pickle ON!

Recognizing when you need a new pickleball paddle involves paying attention to several key signs that indicate wear and performance decline. 

Here’s how you can tell and what to look out for in a new paddle:

 Signs Your Paddle Needs Replacement:

1. Wear and Tear: Common indicators include cracks, splits, warping, chipping, and discoloration. These signs can compromise the paddle’s performance and may even make it unsafe to use. When I got rid of my worn out paddle and got a new one, my tennis elbow magically disappeared! That’s how important a new paddle can be.

2. Performance Decline: If the sweet spot of your paddle has shrunk, making it harder to control your shots, or if the grip starts to get loose, affecting your hold and comfort, these are signs that your paddle is aging and potentially needs replacing. You can feel it when you hit!

3. Feel and Sound: A change in how the paddle feels during play—less power, control, or an off sensation—can indicate it’s time for a new one. Additionally, if the paddle starts to sound different when you hit the ball, with areas sounding hollow or dull, it might be “dead”. Dead paddles don’t play well with others.

 Understanding Delamination:

Delamination refers to the separation of layers within the paddle, which can affect its structural integrity and performance. This issue can sometimes be detected by a change in sound when tapping or rubbing the paddle, suggesting that the internal layers are no longer firmly bonded.

 Choosing a New Paddle:

When selecting a new paddle, consider the following:

– Playing Style and Skill Level: Choose a paddle that complements your playing style—whether you’re more about power or finesse—and matches your skill level. 

– Weight and Grip Size: The weight of the paddle can influence your control and power on the court, while the grip size affects how comfortably you can hold the paddle. Remember, you always need an overgrip.

– Material and Quality: Paddles made from high-quality materials tend to offer better performance and durability. Consider composite or graphite paddles for a good balance between power and control.

 Tips for Prolonging Paddle Life:

To extend the life of your paddle, store it properly in a cool, dry place, clean it regularly, and handle it with care, avoiding rough surfaces and extreme temperatures. I use an “eraser” (CRBN makes them; I bought mine on Amazon) to take care of the face–those little fibers from the balls wear down the surface. 

Your paddle is an investment in how well you’ll play. They’re not magic, but having a new paddle that helps you control your shots and feels good in your hand and doesn’t make your arm hurt, makes a huge difference!

Thanks to our social committee who organized an awesome Chili Cook-Off at the Clubhouse on January 29th.

Michele Varian, AJ Longware, Ellen Gagnon, Betsey Merriken

We had 12 participants who cooked up some mean chili, each with  differing ingredients and levels of heat. Lucky pickleball members tested them all, and cast their votes.

And the winners were……

Pickleball Chair Leanne Ely and Mark Civiok

The Chili cook-off gave us the opportunity to say good-bye to Social Chair Betsey Merriken and thank her profusely for bringing fun and flair to the Pickleball Club!

Betsey Merriken and Ellen Gagnon

I’m thinking the people at DUPR heard the murmurs and complaints about their ranking system and changed a few things up. 

Yes, I was one of the murmurers! 

Let’s take a look at how DUPR works and how that might affect us (if you play tournaments, it does!).

DUPR’s (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) system has recently undergone a significant algorithm update. They are attempting to enhance the accuracy, efficiency, and user experience for its broad base of users. 

Let’s take a look at the key changes and what they mean for you.

 Enhanced Accuracy in Data Analysis

The core of the DUPR update revolves around improved accuracy. The algorithm now incorporates advanced machine learning models that are capable of processing vast datasets more efficiently. This means users can expect more precise insights into their data patterns, with a reduced margin of error. 

 Faster Processing Times

The updated DUPR algorithm delivers much faster processing times. This improvement ensures that users can access insights fairly soon after a DUPR match.

 Improved User Interface

The DUPR update also includes a revamped user interface. This new interface is designed to be more intuitive, allowing users to navigate the system with greater ease and access the information they need without unnecessary complexity. The user-friendly design is probably the best part of DUPR’s overhaul. 

 Commitment to Security

With an ever-increasing focus on data security, the latest DUPR algorithm strengthens its commitment to protecting user information. Enhanced encryption protocols, alongside more robust data handling practices, ensure that user data remains secure and confidential. 

And that’s all folks! 

See you next month on the courts! 

Pickle ON!

Connestee Falls Pickleball Club

Let’s Play!