While camped in Holmen WI last year I had the opportunity to play pickleball at the YMCA in Winona MN with some wonderful people. Actually, all pickleball people seem to be good folk.
One of the ladies I met was Kelly Kirk, who was just starting to form a new company called Riverstyks making pickleball paddles (or blades, as they call them) and balls.
She was determined to make the best quality product in an environmentally friendly manner or not do this at all. Well, they have it worked out and things are now for sale.
I'd been wanting a new paddle for a while anyway, who doesn't? The paddle I've been using is just fine, but there's always that new one out there tempting me. Add that to the fact it's a small business by a woman who is passionate about her product and it was a no brainer which way I was going to go.
So after confirming with Left Brain that if I blew $200 on a new paddle and some balls he'd still love me, I hit the submit order button and anxiously awaited my delivery.
The first time I used the new paddle, er...blade, I was a bit nervous. Would I like this $189 worth? Was I wrong in ordering this new toy? Oh my, what have I done.
I didn't like the odd ping sound it made at first, but the responsiveness of the paddle more than made up for that. Now I don't notice the sound so much, in fact I kind of like it.
Many of the paddles out there have a cardboard foam core with a resin coating. This product is a carbon weave resin impregnated blade, no cardboard center - it's solid throughout the paddle and down in the handle, giving it the biggest ole sweet spot. The handle is flatter than others, which prevents it from slipping and spinning in your hands. It makes for quick hands in the non volley zone and I really love that.
And it's so darn cute with its little purple fox...it won't get mixed up with all those ordinary paddles out there, that's for sure.
I know it's weird, but I just kept kissing it and telling it how much I loved it. I was really glad I left the old paddle in the car so it didn't have to see that.
Long Live the Pickleball Queen