What Does A Quiet Paddle Look Like?

A quiet paddle?  Is there such a thing?  Well, yes there is.  But what is QUIET?
Nowadays, quiet is the buzz word in town and city council meetings everywhere.  Everyone wants to have their peace and quiet, and pickleball has become a source of consternation in many places.

So paddle companies are swiftly moving to try to solve the noisy problem by making a paddle that is quiet. The challenge is that the word quiet means different things to different people.  What is quiet to one may still be too noisy to others.

But at its core, the solution is to either make a quieter paddle or a quieter ball.  Many people will not remember the old, legendary lime green 26 hole Jugs Bulldog ball.  We still sell them at the Pickleball Rocks Shop for one simple reason.  It is extremely quiet when you hit it.  And even quieter if you hit it with one of the newer thick, 16mm carbon fiber paddles.  We also have tested the new Pickleball Rocks 26 hole ball and it too is extremely quiet on the decibel meter.

I have to be up front here. I have not hit with many of the newer thick paddles.  I was an old 10mm graphite paddle guy for over 10 years before I started moving into carbon fiber paddles five years ago.

But I am happy to say that the new DUDE 16mm carbon fiber paddle was recently tested by USA Pickleball and was actually singled out in a recent post that it was one of the quieter paddles they’d tested.  It does not have that traditional POP sound that is apparently so irritating to many non players.   It does have a significantly lower “THUNK” sound that does not carry far.

We recently played with the DUDE paddle and combined it with the Jugs Bulldog and it was amazing how quiet it was.

So what does a quiet paddle look like?  It looks like any other pickleball paddle.  It is what you don’t see that makes the sound difference.  You make the paddle thicker, the extra mass will absorb more of the sound.  Remember from your middle school science classes that sound comes from vibration.  So the thicker the paddle, the more the sound is absorbed and lessened because of less vibration.

Make the honeycomb core chambers larger in diameter and now you have larger air pockets inside each chamber.  Those larger air pockets will absorb the sound.  Make the plastic in the core softer and likewise you will have less sound coming from the face of that paddle.

So we know it’s possible to reduce that decibel level and we know companies are working hard on it.  Ultimately science will help us solve the problem.

Don’t expect any new “Quiet” paddles to be approved for sanctioned tournaments for awhile.  But we know we built the DUDE paddle to be totally compliant with all the USA Pickleball rules and we are very pleased with the sound that comes from hitting a clean winner. Shoot we may even send it in for approval some day.    It plays like any high level carbon fiber paddle should, and I would not hesitate to use it in any unsanctioned event.

I’m truly looking forward to trying more quiet paddles as they hit the market.  It is an exciting time for pickleball, and technology is going to continue to make it even more exciting.

So if you get your hands on a DUDE paddle, enjoy the way it plays, but even more importantly, enjoy the lack of sound, and keep on playing.


DISCLAIMER:  This article was written to address and help with the sound problem in communities where it’s a problem.  In this article we are not trying to come up with a sanctioned tournament ball or paddle solution.  We are trying to help the other 95% who just want to play and have fun, and not have to worry about the neighbors shutting them down.  Let’s Play!


The DUDE Pickleball Paddle

16mm Large Hole Polymer Core
Double Layer Carbon Fiber Face
Ultra Soft Grip

The DUDE: The GOAT of Under $100 Carbon Fiber Paddles

The DUDE: Play With Attitude

The Dude Pickleball Paddle

Remember the last time you were playing a match, and you heard someone from the sidelines yell, “wow that dude is really good!”?
NO??? You don’t remember that???

Well, we are here to fix that with The DUDE.   The newest 16mm carbon fiber super paddle from the team at Pickleball Rocks.
This bad boy is rock solid and made to last.  You’ll feel the softness of the popular thick 16mm paddles, but unleash the power that you get with 3K carbon fiber.  Also, and you may not care about this, but The DUDE has a distinctive “thunk” when you hit the ball.  Yes, it is a very quiet paddle compared to most other paddle in player’s bags.

So next time you are on the court with this new paddle, don’t be surprised if you hear from the sidelines,

They might be talking about you…..and then again it could be the paddle.  But who cares!

Pink Widow: The Paddle Designed By The Ladies of the Courts

Six months ago, our team at Pickleball Rocks reached out to our huge Facebook fan base and asked a simple question:

“With all the macho named paddles out there, what would be a great paddle name that ladies would like?  Go ladies!”
And OH MY the responses!

There were names like Honey Badger and Godiva.  There was Queen B and there was Bella.
And yep there were names of both female and male body parts that we just won’t mention here.  🙂
But the point is, we were inundated with names to choose from and ultimately the name that won out was “The Pink Widow”.

Thank you Michell Cook for being the first to submit that winning name.

So next we put some graphic designers to work to come up with some fun Pink Widow paddle designs.  Then again, we put you Facebook pickleball addicts to work to vote and choose the winning design that would become “The Pink Widow”.
And again, we loved what you decided on.

With your help we decided that Pink Widow would be a soft, yet powerful paddle, so we chose a super thick 16mm polymer honeycomb core that would absorb not only the impact of the ball, but the sound from the impact as well.  We love the sound of the ball hitting this paddle and will be sending it off to the USA Pickleball sound testing guys to see if it meets their “quiet paddle” standards. 
We believe it will.

We also wanted to give you the latest and greatest surface in paddles, so the Pink Widow has the iconic T700 carbon fiber face.  Plenty of strength and yes, plenty of spin.

And finally, you told us that you wanted the new Pink Widow paddle to be affordable.  You said it had to be a price where everyone could have one, and for some players even two, of them in their paddle bags.
So the Pink Widow paddle is coming to courts everywhere for $79.


Ladies you hit a home run with the creation of the new Pink Widow and we are excited to bring it to you.

Be ready for the reaction when you walk onto the court with it in your hand.
People will want to try your new weapon of choice.
So be ready to share it at your own risk.  You may not get it back.

Thanks again for all the team work that went into bringing The Pink Widow to life.
Let the fun begin!!!!
-Rocket and the whole Pickleball Rocks Team

Pink Widow Pickleball Paddle by Pickleball Rocks

Breaking News: Lime Green Pickleball Shirts No Longer Banned

January 1st, 2023: The new USA Pickleball Rules officially went into effect

SPOILER ALERT:  You can wear Lime Green shirts or apparel while playing pickleball. No Rule Against It.

Every year it is a big deal.  The new rules go into effect and immediately everybody starts talking about them. Some rules get no discussion, while some rule’s conversations go viral with players dissecting every sentence and word to make sure they understand the intent and how to apply the rule to their next game of pickleball.
This year one of the first posts to hit social media was a post that said “lime green shirts will have to stay in the closet.  USA Pickleball rules have now banned them.”  And just like that, people started commenting and sharing the news in record fashion. It became entertaining to watch social media take this very simple rule and twist it into something it isn’t. Soon the whole world was talking about the fact that one of their favorite colored shirts could no longer be worn on a pickleball court.

So if you know anything about Pickleball Rocks, you know we sell shirts, and yes we sell lime green shirts.  And yes we sell lime green shirts in big numbers. So at first, that first social media post was quite disappointing to us, but at the same time became intriguing to us.
The intrigue????

Did USA Pickleball actually single out one color and ban it from being worn in the sport of pickleball?    Just didn’t seem to make sense.   So we did what any good, common sense practicing pickleball player would do.  We decided to actually read the rule book.  

What did we find?
The rule that everyone was talking about is rule 2.G.1. Safety and Distraction: A player may be required to change apparel the is inappropriate, including that which approximates the color of the ball.
So somehow social media took that simple rule to mean, YOU CAN’T WEAR A LIME GREEN SHIRT.

Rule 2.G.1 is for player’s protection, and rightfully so, but the rule is ONLY for a piece of apparel (could be a shirt or could be shorts, or could be wristbands) that is exactly the same color as the ball being used.  In other words, you literally can’t see the ball when it is laid on the apparel. If there is a contrast, a tournament director will not ask for a change. In rec play, we are the referee, and likewise we should only ask someone to change an item if it truly is causing the complete loss of sight of the ball.

Think about it.  In rec play and even in tournaments there are many different colored balls being used.  White, Red, Lime Green, Yellow and many others.

This picture below from social media, shows well known pro player Dekel Bar in a lime green shirt.  If you look at the ball in his hand, it is yellow.  So a tournament director would never ask for a shirt change.

So the bottom line is, wear what you want (but not exactly the same color of the ball).  Have fun and…

8.9 Million Pickleball Players Now Playing: Can You Say Tsunami?

Wow! I thought our sport was exploding before.  Now the word explosion almost under describes the growth.  How about tsunami?  This just in from USA Pickleball.  The 2023 Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) Topline Participation Report was released today, announcing that pickleball continued to be America’s fastest-growing sport for the third year in a row.

According to the report, pickleball participation almost doubled in 2022, increasing by 85.7 percent year-over-year and by an astonishing 158.6 percent over three years.

“After anticipating the 2023 SFIA report and its insightful findings, we were thrilled to see further evidence-based research that confirms pickleball’s momentum and exponential growth continued last year,” said Stu Upson, USA Pickleball Chief Executive Officer. “This data from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association is valuable for our team’s efforts to build the pickleball community and reach new mainstream audiences, as the sport collectively reaches new heights.”

Pickleball is now up to a total of 8.9 million players in the United States over the age of six years old, an increase from 4.8 million in the 2022 SFIA Report. Tom Cove, SFIA President and Chief Executive Officer, stated in his Executive Summary that “you will find the pickleball craze is alive and well, still the fastest growing sport in the United States.”

The annual SFIA Topline Participation report provides a comprehensive snapshot of all sports, fitness, and recreation activities in the United States for the previous year. SFIA research is the leading supplier of sports and fitness research, publishing over 100 industry reports each year on industry and product categories.  END OF USA PICKLEBALL RELEASE.

So we all have some work to do.  Gonna need more courts!
But in the meantime….

Let’s play!

2022 Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year Announced

During the year, people throughout Pickleball Nation email us or use our NominateAPlayer.com website to tell us about their favorite players. They tell us about players who have dominated in tournament play, but many times they also tell us about players who have had tremendous impacts on their communities or towns or even the game of pickleball overall.  (We really like those.)

Throughout the year we may recognize a player, club or community of the month, or we may give a simple Facebook shout out. They are all deserving.  But once a year, we pull together all the nominations and feedback, to finally determine who is most deserving to be called the Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year.     It’s certainly not an easy task.

Past winners include amazing people such as Zane Navratil, Riley and Lindsey Newman, Stephanie Lane, Ben Johns, Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters, Enrique Ruiz, Jim and Yvonne Hackenberg, Jennifer Lucore and Alex Hamner, Daniel Moore and Scott Moore, Aspen Kern, Simone Jardim, Dick Johnson and we even recognized how important we believe the certified referee program has been to our sport.
You’ll notice all our past winners are definitely great players, but you will also immediately recognize they all are very giving of their time and talents to “help pickleball grow”, which of course is the foundation of our Pickleball Rocks mission.

2022 saw one player become the face of our sport. And before you start writing to us saying she was already the face. She was already the face to people inside pickleball. But in 2022 her face was introduced to millions of people seeing the sport for the very first time. Through ESPN, CBS, NBC and Tennis Channel, many of them were seeing her on a gold medal stand on a Sunday. So all the new players and potential players are seeing a 15 year old young lady having fun and simply dominating the women’s side of pickleball.
Some people call her AL. At our office, we nicknamed her APS (Always Playing on Sundays) because we saw her on the TV screen on championship Sunday every tournament she played.

Not only was she entertaining to all those first time viewers and attracting them to the sport, she also amassed about as dominating a single year record as we’ve ever seen.

Just think about this, in 2022 Anna Leigh played mostly PPA tournaments. In those tournaments, there were 78 gold medals handed out in singles, doubles and mixed doubles combined. Of the 78 gold medals available, she took home 38 of them including an amazing 7 Triple Crowns (she won singles gold, women’s doubles gold and mixed doubles gold all at the same tournament). Just as amazing, she played in 16 PPA singles gold medal matches, and won 15 of them. Oh and when her regular women’s doubles playing partner (her mom Leigh) sustained a season ending injury, AL simply continued to win regardless of who was by her side on the court.

So it was a monster year for her and the sport.

Please help us congratulate our female 2022 Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year, Anna Leigh Waters.

Our male choice for 2022 is also a very familiar face on tournament courts across the country.  Not too many players put in more miles this year.  And certainly no male senior pro won more medals in 2022.

But one thing that did pop out at us was the fact that this individual also puts a lot of time on the courts helping others.

Simply ask him to help at a clinic and there is no hesitation, he’s there.  But beyond that, it really caught our attention and was mentioned by almost everyone who nominated him, that Rick Witsken loves to work with kids.

You can catch him regularly giving kids clinics in the Zionsville/Indianapolis area.  Plus he is a NEXTGEN Senior Pro Mentor.

In coming to this choice we saw a player with a dominating record on the courts, but we also saw a special player who was going way above and beyond to help our sport grow, especially at the youth level.

His constant smile and positive attitude on and off the court is infectious, and we are proud to make Rick Witsken our 2022 Male Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year.