How to hold a Pickleball paddle?

Learning about Pickleball is basic, but learning how to hold a paddle is necessary to improve performance. You can hit the ball hard and firmly once you hold the paddle with a good grip.

There are different types of grips to hit the ball firmly and to have a long reach. Please read the below article to learn about the grips and their pros and cons.

Different grips to hold a Pickleball paddle:

There are three types of grips that you can hold a Pickleball paddle. They are,

  • Continental Grip
  • Eastern grip
  • Western grip
Hold a pickleball paddle
Continental Pickleball Grip:

Continental Pickleball grip is a common grip that every newcomer or beginner player learns. This grip is called the ‘Hammer grip’ because it looks like holding a hammer and hitting a nail.

To learn this grip, you must hold the paddle in your hand with the knuckle of the index finger on the right side of the flat paddle. You can see that the thumb and index finger form a ‘V’ shape with the handle.

This grip is most favorable for the backhand because of the hold of the index and thumb fingers.

  • This grip is the best grip for the backhand.
  • It is easy to learn for beginners as this is one of the basic holds that every player can learn.
  • With this grip, there is great power control while playing.
  • You can make accurate dinks without changing into different grips.
  • This grip is not flexible for the forehand.
Eastern Pickleball grip:

The Eastern grip is another famous among beginners after the Continental grip. This is also called a Handshake grip because the handle’s grip looks like you are giving someone a handshake.

Pickleball Game

To get this grip, you have to hold the handle as a handshake, and the knuckles of the index finger must be on the flat slope of the paddle. The V shape is slightly above the handle than the continental grip.

For left-hand players, the grip to hold a Pickleball paddle is the same, but if different hand, where the knuckles of the index finger are on the left side of the angle. This grip is the most neutral grip among the three grips.

  • As it is a neutral grip, the forehand and backhand shots are flexible, and there is no need to change the grips.
  • It is another grip that a beginner can learn.
  • It has excellent flexibility and is comfortable for hitting the ball.
  • This is unsuitable for professional players because it needs to give more power to hit the ball.
Western pickleball grip:

Once you master your Eastern grip, it is easy to learn the Western grip by rotating the hand one more angle to the right. The index finger of your hand will be on the top of the slope.

You can see the V between the index and thumb finger on the third angle near the paddle.

This grip looks like you are flipping the pan, called a ‘Frying pan grip.’ With this grip, you can only see the back of the paddle as the paddle is rotated.

  • The grip suits best for the forehand shots.
  • While playing using this grip, there will be maximum power to hit the ball.
  • You can hit the balls by producing topspin.
  • This grip is only suitable for some beginners.
  • The awkward backward forehand shot is comparatively easier than the typical forehand shot.
  • Using this grip, producing the backspin with the forehand shot is difficult.

Where to hold a Pickleball paddle?

As you learn about the types of grips and how to hold a Pickleball paddle, you must know where to hold the paddle. There is no particular place where you have to hold the paddle, but make sure that it works for you. Some basic positions are,

Where to hold a Pickleball paddle
Neutral position:

The neutral position is the common position that you see in many players. This helps the players to hold the paddle with a great grip to hit the ball. With the neutral position, there is no confusion, and you are always ready to receive the ball.

You can also slightly place another hand on the paddle to create a more balanced position.

At the net position:

The neutral position near the baseline and at the net is slightly different. When you are at the baseline, there is no need to worry about the smash. But when you are at the net, you must be alert while hitting the ball.

How do you switch the grip techniques?

A beginner player doesn’t dare to switch the grip when they hold a Pickleball paddle. But some professional players like to switch from one grip to another.

They may switch between the real or after serving the ball. You can follow the below tips to switch the grip between the play.

Master the grip:

As a beginner, you have to learn one grip at a time and then go to another grip. Once you master the continental grip, slowly change the grip while playing.

Practice switching the grips:

As we know, ‘Practice makes a player perfect’; you must practice switching the grips while playing slowly occasionally.

Do not abruptly switch the grips; switch them with techniques as you get them by practice.

Try different grips in different conditions:

Try switching off the grips during the practice sessions and by the machine to master the grip.

Consult a coach:

Switching the grip is a difficult technique professional players use to hold a Pickleball paddle. To master this, consult a professional coach. Get training from them with all the tricks and tips, and practice to implement the technique.

Keep experimenting:

Pickleball has three major grips, and the beginner grip is continental. But there is no need. A player should only fix that grip. You can experiment with different grips and fix them with a good grip and position.


Pickleball is a game that has many techniques that a beginner player has to learn. But before the techniques, the basic lesson is holding a Pickleball paddle.

You can hold the paddle in three ways: Continental, eastern, and western grips. Learning the first two grips can be easy as they are beginner-level. Still, the Western grip can be hard for beginners to implement.

The article teaches you more about the grips and positions while playing Pickleball.


What are the different types of grips available in pickleball sports?

There are three different grips: Continental, eastern, and western grips.

Does the grip matter while playing Pickleball?

Yes, knowing about the grips and learning them is important because, with a good grip, you can perform well in the sport.

How can we improve the grip strength?

As the strength in the grip improves, the accuracy and power of the shot increase. You can improve your strength by doing hand exercises before playing, squeezing the tension ball, and doing finger workouts.

Which grip is easier to learn from the three grips available in Pickleball?

Continental and eastern grips are beginner-level and easy to use.

Spread the love