7 Tips How To Hold A Pickleball Paddle? (Ultimate Guide)

Learning how to hold a pickleball paddle is the fundamental starting point for anyone looking to excel in this increasingly popular sport.

A correct grip not only enhances your control over the ball but also minimizes the risk of injuries. Whether you’re a novice eager to embark on your pickleball journey or a seasoned player seeking to refine your technique, mastering the art of paddle grip is essential. 

In this guide, I’ll explore the various grip styles, their pros and cons, and provide step-by-step instructions to help you find the grip that suits your playing style and elevates your pickleball game to new heights.

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How To Hold A Pickleball Paddle? (Mastering The Art Of Gripping)

Pickleball is a rapidly growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to get started or an intermediate player aiming to improve your game, one fundamental aspect you must understand is how to hold a pickleball paddle.

A proper grip is the foundation for control, power, and precision in your shots. Here I’ll talk about different types of grips and provide step-by-step instructions on holding paddles effectively.

Before diving into the specifics of how to hold a pickleball paddle, let’s understand why it’s so crucial. Your grip directly impacts your ability to control the ball, generate power, and execute best pickleball shots.

An incorrect grip can lead to mishits, reduced power, and increased risk of injury. To maximize your performance on the pickleball court, mastering the perfect grip is essential.

Types of Pickleball Grips

1. Eastern Grip:

  • The Eastern grip is one of the most common grips in pickleball.
  • To achieve this grip, start by holding the paddle’s handle with your non-dominant hand, positioning it parallel to the ground.
  • Next, wrap your dominant hand around the handle so that your knuckles are facing forward, similar to shaking hands.
  • It also offers a balanced blend of control and power, making it suitable for most players.

2. Western Grip:

  • The Western grip is less common but can be effective for players with strong wrists and a preference for more power.
  • To use the Western grip, position your non-dominant hand on the handle as with the Eastern grip.
  • However, when wrapping your dominant hand around the handle, turn your knuckles slightly to the right (for right-handed players) or left (for left-handed players).
  • This grip allows for increased topspin but may sacrifice some control.

Now that we’ve covered the types of grips, let’s break down the process of holding a pickleball paddle step by step:

Step 1: Position Your Non-Dominant Hand

Begin by holding the pickleball paddle’s handle with your non-dominant hand.

Your hand should be positioned in the middle of the grip, and your fingers should wrap around the handle comfortably. Ensure that your thumb is on the backside of the paddle handle.

Step 2: Maintain a Loose Grip

It’s crucial to avoid gripping the paddle handle too tightly. Maintain a relaxed grip with your non-dominant hand, allowing for flexibility and wrist movement during your shots. A tense grip can lead to reduced control and increased fatigue.

Step 3: Place Your Dominant Hand

Now, bring your dominant hand into play. Position it below your non-dominant hand, ensuring that both hands work together harmoniously.

For an Eastern grip, your knuckles should be facing forward. For a Western grip, make the necessary adjustment with your knuckles.

Step 4: Create a V-Shaped Gap

Between your thumb and index finger of your dominant hand, create a V-shaped gap. This gap is essential for controlling the angle of your paddle face during shots. Learn about Oval vs Square Pickleball Paddles (Which Is Best For You).

Step 5: Overlap or Interlock Fingers

Depending on your preference and comfort, you can overlap your fingers or interlock them to secure your grip. Experiment with both to see which feels more natural for you.

Step 6: Maintain Flexibility

Throughout your game, remember to maintain flexibility in your wrists and fingers. Avoid locking your wrists or fingers in a rigid position, as this can hinder your ability to adjust your paddle’s angle as needed.

Step 7: Practice and Adjust

Lastly, practice your grip regularly. As you gain experience, you may find that slight adjustments to your grip enhance your performance. Pay attention to how different grips affect your shots and adapt accordingly.

Holding a paddle correctly is a fundamental skill that every player should master. The type of grip you choose, whether Eastern or Western, should align with your playing style and comfort.

By following the given tips and practicing diligently, you’ll be well on your way to improving your pickleball game and enjoying more success on the court.

Remember, consistency and practice are key to refining your paddle grip and overall pickleball skills.

How Each Pickleball Grip Works?

A proper grip can make all the difference in your game. In this article, we’ll explore the various types of pickleball grips and how they work to enhance your performance on the court.

1. Eastern Grip

The Eastern grip is a fundamental and versatile grip used in pickleball. It involves holding the paddle like you would a hammer, with your index knuckle on the third bevel.

This grip offers excellent control, making it ideal for beginners. It allows for quick and precise shots, facilitating easy transitions between forehand and backhand strokes.

2. Continental Grip

The Continental grip is similar to the Eastern grip but with a slight modification.

Here, the knuckle of your index finger rests on the second bevel, positioning your hand slightly more towards the center of the paddle.

This grip is particularly useful for executing spin shots and serves. It offers a good balance of control and power.

3. Western Grip

The Western grip is characterized by placing the knuckle of your index finger on the first bevel. This grip is primarily used for topspin shots and is popular among advanced players.

It provides a lot of power but can be challenging to control, especially for beginners. It’s essential to practice and build strength when using the Western grip.

4. Semi-Western Grip

The Semi-Western grip is a compromise between the Eastern and Western grips. It positions your index knuckle between the second and first bevels.

This grip is versatile, offering a good balance between power and control. It’s favored by many players for its adaptability across different shots and playing styles.

5. Two-Handed Backhand Grip

While most pickleball players use a one-handed grip, the two-handed backhand grip is occasionally employed for certain shots.

It involves holding the paddle with both hands, similar to a tennis two-handed backhand. This grip can provide added stability and control for backhand shots, especially for players who are transitioning from tennis.

Selecting the appropriate pickleball grip depends on your playing style, skill level, and personal preferences.

Novices may benefit from starting with the Eastern or Continental grips to develop their fundamental skills. As you progress, experimenting with different grips, such as the Western or Semi-Western, can help you adapt to various situations on the court.

In pickleball, your grip can significantly impact your gameplay. Each pickleball grip has its unique advantages and suits different situations.

Understanding how each grip works and when to use them is key to improving your performance on the court.

As you practice and gain experience, you’ll discover the grip that best complements your playing style and helps you excel in this exciting sport. So, grab your paddle, experiment with these grips, and elevate your pickleball game to new heights!

Does The Grip Matter In Pickleball?

In the world of pickleball, where players strive for precision and control, every aspect of your game can make a significant difference.

One often overlooked aspect is the grip you use on your pickleball paddle. While it may seem like a minor detail, the grip you choose can have a substantial impact on your performance and overall enjoyment of the game.

The grip in pickleball refers to how you hold the paddle handle, and it’s typically categorized into two main styles: the Eastern grip and the Western grip.

The Eastern grip, which is similar to a tennis grip, involves holding the paddle handle with your index knuckle on the third panel of the paddle face.

This grip provides excellent control and is favored by players who prioritize precision and finesse. It allows for precise placement of shots and is ideal for players who rely on touch and accuracy.

On the other hand, the Western grip, where the index knuckle is on the fifth panel, offers more power and topspin potential. It’s favored by players who want to add some extra oomph to their shots, especially during serves and smashes.

It allows for a more aggressive playstyle and is often preferred by players who like to put their opponents under pressure.

Choosing the right grip is not a one-size-fits-all decision. It depends on your playing style, strengths, and weaknesses.

Some players even opt for a hybrid grip, which allows them to switch between the Eastern and Western grips depending on the situation.

The grip you use in pickleball does matter. It affects your control, power, and overall playing style. Experiment with different grips to find the one that suits you best, and don’t underestimate the impact it can have on your pickleball game.

Whether you prioritize finesse or power, the right grip can help you excel on the court and enjoy the game to its fullest.


Q1. How do you hold a pickleball paddle with your index finger?

To hold a pickleball paddle with your index finger, you’ll want to use what’s known as the “Eastern grip.” Place your index finger along the backside of the paddle’s handle, and then wrap your other fingers around the handle as well. This grip provides better control and precision when playing pickleball.

Q2. How do you swing a pickleball paddle?

When swinging a pickleball paddle, start by getting into a good stance with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold the paddle with both hands, positioning it in front of you.

To swing, rotate your torso and shoulders while keeping your eye on the ball, and then follow through with your paddle, striking the ball with the paddle face. The exact technique may vary depending on the shot you’re attempting, such as a forehand or backhand.

Q3. How do you hold a pickleball paddle like ping pong?

Holding a pickleball paddle like a ping pong paddle is known as the “Continental grip.” To achieve this grip, place your index finger and thumb so they create a V shape on the paddle’s handle, just like you would hold a ping pong paddle. This grip can be useful for certain pickleball shots, such as the serve or for quick volleys.

Q4. Do pro pickleball players change their grip?

Yes, professional pickleball players often change their grip based on the type of shot they are playing. They may switch between the Eastern grip, Continental grip, and other variations to optimize their control and power for different situations during a match. Adapting the grip allows them to execute various shots with precision and efficiency.


Mastering the art of holding a pickleball paddle is essential for optimal control and performance on the court. The Continental grip offers versatility, while the Eastern and Western grips suit specific shots.

Regular practice and experimenting with grips will help players find their ideal balance and enhance their pickleball skills.

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