Can we add material to our paddle to increase the spin or bounce of the ball? Is it ok to use a sticky or rough substance that could increase the spin? Often, many new and intermediate players ask these questions. Watching pro players use spin and scoring a point must be why most players want to use spin.
There is no doubt that a textured surface can help you to increase a spin; however, it is not legal. According to the official rule book section 2. E, you can add texture, tape, and extra grip at the frame and handle of the paddle. Yet, you cannot hamper the surface of the paddle. There are some specifications and limitations to that.
Let’s discuss in detail what these specifications are. Also, we will tell you about prohibited alterations. That is if you are thinking about personalizing your paddle, so you know your limitations.
Table of Contents
- How to Add Texture to a Pickleball Paddle
- Modifications Approved by USAPA
- What Are Paddle Specifications According to USAPA Rule Book?
- Prohibited Modifications and Alterations
- The Bottom Line
How to Add Texture to a Pickleball Paddle
With the popularity of pickleball, you will see many changes in the sport, its rules, and its equipment. That ensures everybody gets an equal chance at winning and showing their expertise. It also enhances the integrity and popularity of the game.
Nowadays, many manufacturers are making the paddles that USAPA approves. You can simply find a paddle that suits your style and game. Meanwhile, if you want more spin, you can find some perfect paddles with textured surfaces on the market. Check the Rogue 2 pickleball paddle and the 10 best paddles for advanced players to get some ideas.
What is Pickleball Paddle Texture?
Any substance, holes on the surface, sandpaper, or any cuts or scratches that can increase the paddle’s roughness and give it more texture are illegal.
Unlike wooden paddles, there are new materials and scientific techniques for the surface of the paddle. They allow the players to enjoy more speed, power, and spin.
Benefits of Adding Texture to Pickleball Paddle
A paddle with a textured surface moves the ball with great speed and power and gives it a spin. That is something you don’t get from plan surface paddles. Thus, almost all players want to use the spin to get some good points.
However, only USAPA-approved paddles can be used in tournaments and at professional levels. Thus, if you are thinking about using spin, learn the technique instead of relying on the paddle.
Modifications Approved by USAPA
If you still want to modify your paddle, the US pickleball association approved a few specifications. You can alter your paddles according to them. It will definitely give extra power and fast maneuverability to your game.
Adding Weight to The Paddle
As there are no particular rules about the paddle’s weight, you can add some extra weight to your paddle. You can use lead tape or electric tape to add weight.
You can add lead tape to the whole frame of the paddle to increase the weight. It will give you more power and speed. You can also use lead tape to balance the weight of the paddle. For that, use it at the top and bottom of your paddle.
Besides, if you want stability and less vibration, you can use lead tape. You can also use electrical tape only at the edge guard or handle. It can be of any color of your choice.
You can read our detailed guide about adding weight to a pickleball paddle.
Changing The Grip of The Paddle
Another alteration that is allowed is to change the grip. You can add a grip to fit your hand or just remove the existing grip to change it with something of your liking. If you find the grip slippery or non-sweat absorbent, that can also be the reason for grip change.
Personalizing The Paddle
One more thing that USAPA allows is personalizing the paddle with any paint, name, or design. The only condition is paint should be non-reflective. If it does not reflect any light, then you can use it.
You can also personalize the paddle by writing your name decals. Handwritten markings should be of good taste. Anything that can offend others is prohibited.
What Are Paddle Specifications According to USAPA Rule Book?
If you intend to play as a professional and participate in tournaments, stay updated on rules and regulations about the instruments.
These are some clear guidelines for commercial paddles.
The paddle should be rigid, non-compressible materials and adhere to USAPA and IFP guidelines. The best materials for paddles are graphite, wooden, and composite. You can pick according to your needs and style.
There are no set rules about the weight of the paddle. So, you can choose heavy or light, whatever suits you the best. Or you can add extra weight by using lead tape.
The total length and width of the paddle can’t exceed 24 inches (60.96cm), including the edge guard and butt cap. The length of the paddle can only be 17 inches.
There is no limit on the thickness of the paddle.
The hitting surface or the face of the paddle should not have any holes, dents, scratches, or any rough material that adds to the texture of the surface. Any feature or material that allows the player to have more spin to the ball is not allowed.
USAPA conduct a roughness test for all paddles before approving them
Any paint or substance that can reflect light and affect the game negatively is not allowed. It is not allowed if your opponent has any issue with your paddle and it is disturbing his vision.
Prohibited Modifications and Alterations
To keep the game fair and fast pace and to preserve the nature of the sport, USAPA has made these rules. Therefore, it’s important to know what modifications are illegal.
- No paddle with rubber or foam core.
- Decals or any pen marking can’t be thick. It has to be smooth and surface-level for it to be approved.
- You cannot use any anti-skid paint on your paddle.
- Synthetic rubber, sandpaper, spring, or any other substance that causes the ball to move fast or spin is also prohibited.
- You can’t use Homemade paddles for a professional game.
- Any material that increases the bounce of the ball.
- Any electrical or mechanical assistance.
The Bottom Line
Now you can alter and personalize your paddle as per your choice. You can only change the grip size or wrap and add lead or electrical tape to the edge guard or handle.
Any substance you want to add to your paddle for any reason other than what is mentioned above. It is illegal and prohibited by USAPA and IFP.
Also, it’s better to check the rule book for any further details or updates about the rules.