Posted on

Best Pickleball Paddles for Spin


Once pickleball players get beyond the beginner stage, they start the process of finding a playing style that suits them and allows them to win more points. One of the most popular game styles is “The Spinner.”

Spinners like to do exactly that: they like to spin the ball. Some come from a table tennis background where spinning is a central part of the game. Others come from a tennis background where top spin, slices and spin serves are easily adapted to a variety of pickleball shots.

Regardless of your reason for wanting to add some spin to your game, we’ve got your back. We always have spin-capable paddles in our in-store inventory and we have even more online. Below is a list of the best paddles that we offer for spin.

Best Pickleball Paddles for Spin

The Wilson racquets above are core products and they are usually in stock in our southwest Calgary store. The Onix paddles are generally special order items, which means that they are generally available online. If you want to pick them up in-store, you will need to order them online and choose SHIP TO STORE for local pickup.

If spin isn’t your game, no worries. We have lots of other options both online and in store. If you are shopping online, check out our online racquet selector. If you are in Calgary, stop by our store and talk to one of our experts. We can help you find a paddle for any game style.

Posted on

Gift Ideas for Pickleball Players

Pickleball is extraordinarily popular right now. Quite rightly, it has a reputation as a game that is easy to learn. Unfortunately, it also has an unearned reputation of being an injury-free sport. Those who know better, though, know that there is no such thing as an injury-free sport.

As with all other court sports, injuries ranging from minor to major happen every day of the week all across North America. Many of these injuries are completely unnecessary. They happen because pickleball players are misinformed. They think they can’t get hurt, so they don’t take steps to prevent injuries.

At Racquet Network, we want to keep all pickleball players safe and healthy. So we offer our customers a range of useful products.

Proper Court Shoes

Most pickleball injuries occur as a result of falls. Players trip and fall because they are playing pickleball in running shoes. As they fall, they stick out their hand to break their fall and end up breaking or spraining their wrist.

Unlike running shoes which are designed for steady forward movement only, court shoes are designed for explosive movement in all directions.

Racquet Network offers more models of pickleball shoes than any other retailer in Canada. We have shoes for men and women of every size, width and colour preference. Check out the shoe section of our website to find the perfect pair of shoes for the pickleball player on your Christmas list.

Proper Athletic Clothing

In addition to proper court shoes, it is essential that pickleball players wear non-restrictive athletic clothing. Freedom of movement is essential for all athletes, regardless of age.

Unfortunately, many seniors who play pickleball either don’t have the money to spend on proper athletic clothing or believe that it is not necessary for athletes at their age/level.

In fact, as our certified coaches will tell you, it is even more important that athletes over fifty wear proper clothing: A) because they are more susceptible to injury and B) because it takes longer for their injuries to heal.

Training Tools

Over the past five years, the use of training tools such as step counters and heart rate monitors by middle-aged athletes has exploded. The primary motive for using these tools by athletes in this age group appears to be weight management.

Older athletes, meanwhile are using the same tools, but for different reasons. While middle-aged athletes are concerned with monitoring calories burned, athletes over 50 are rightfully concerned with monitoring their maximum heart rates.

Tennis Elbow Prevention/Treatment

Finally, no discussion about preventing pickleball-related injuries would be complete without pointing out that tennis elbow is the most common minor injury suffered by pickleball players of all ages.

Using a Theraband ™ Flexbar is the best way we know of to prevent tennis elbow from occurring. We are also told it is one of the best ways to help treat tennis elbow once you have it.

Gift Certificates

If you are still not sure what to get the pickleball player on your Christmas list, don’t worry. We sell gift certificates in $25.00 increments and our expert staff can help the recipient get exactly what he/she needs.

Posted on

Become a Racquet Network Playtester

Become a Racquet Network Playtester

Racquet Network invites frequent intermediate racquet sports players to become Product Playtesters.

Product Playtesters are brand ambassadors who test racquets, strings, shoes and other products during their regular activities and then write product reviews which are published on our website.

Even though they do not work for us, we consider Product Playtesters to be part of the family and we allow them to purchase everything we sell at staff price.

In many cases, Product Playtesters are allowed to keep what they test. In some cases, they have the option of purchasing tested products at staff price once testing is complete.

In order to become a Product Playtesters, an applicant must be a frequent player at the intermediate level who has been a Racquet Network customer for at least one full year. They must be active in their sport at least nine months per year, must be active on social media channels and must demonstrate enthusiasm for Racquet Network on their social media accounts.

Racquet Network supports a maximum of five product testers in each of the following sports:

  • tennis
  • squash
  • badminton
  • pickleball
  • racquetball

To apply to become a product tester, please send an email to

Before you do that, however, consider the following points carefully.

  • We only consider applicants who live in Calgary.
  • We only consider customers who have been with us for a year or more.
  • We only consider frequent intermediate players — not beginners, not experts.
  • We only consider people who are active in their sport nine months a year or more.
  • We only consider people who have already shown us love on their social media accounts.

All new Product Playtesters start on a waiting list and remain there for a minimum of three months while they wait for a position to come open. When/if they are accepted as Product Playtesters, they get a maximum term of one year.

Sorry. There are no exceptions. After one year, it is time to step aside and allow somebody else to have this opportunity.

Posted on

Test Drive Pickleball Paddles in Calgary

Our customers test drive more than 1000 racquets every year.

Racquet Network customers test drive more than 1000 racquets and pickleball paddles every year.

This try-before-you-buy program is a central focus of our business. It allow players an opportunity to try a variety of racquets and figure out which one fits them best before they commit to buying it.

This program — we call it our Try Before You Buy program — is open to all sports, including pickleball.

Most, but not all pickleball paddles that we carry are available for players to test drive. The only paddles that are excluded from our test drive program are low priced, low risk paddles and/or special order paddles that are only available from the warehouse. The vast majority of our core products, that is paddles that we typically carry in-store, are available for customers to test drive.

So come in to our store in southwest Calgary and talk to one of our experts. We can get you set up and test driving paddles today.

Test Drive Pickleball Paddles

Our try-before-you-buy program allows players an opportunity to try a variety of pickleball paddles and figure out which one fits them best before they commit to buying one.

Posted on

How Much to Spend on a Pickleball Paddle

The Wilson Tour BLX pickleball paddle is one of our top selling models.
In the past six years, we have watched the retail prices for pickleball paddles climb from an average of about $40 per paddle to $200.00 and more.

Does this make sense? Not really.

What you are seeing reflected in these price increases are poor choices made by pickleball paddle manufacturers. Rather than making their paddles in large numbers in factories, they are choosing to make them in small numbers locally. The result isn’t better paddles, it’s costlier paddles.

Paying $200 for a pickleball paddle doesn’t make anybody a better pickleball player. It just makes them poorer. The truth is that a good player is just as good with a $20.00 wooden paddle as he is with a $200.00 graphite paddle.

What has been driving pickleball paddle prices rapidly upward over the past few years is marketing. A tiny number of overpriced lifestyle brands have convinced some very gullible people that a few cosmetic changes make their paddles worth a lot more than they were charging just a year ago.

These manufacturers are now making paddles for less than they ever have while at the same time charging distributors more for each and every one of them. In order to sustain this unsustainable business model, these “lifestyle brands” have convinced a large group of retired people to peddle their paddles for little or no return. In other words, they are using cheap volunteer labour to put more money in their own pockets.

Capitalism is great, of course. We are big fans of it ourselves. However, there are times when things get completely out of hand and this is one of them.

Wilson Pickleball Paddles

Wilson makes reasonably priced pickleball paddles suitable for all levels of play.

Luxury pickleball paddles are nice, but they are not necessary and using one certainly doesn’t make you a better player. Wilson, one of the world’s leading racquet manufacturers, offers a line of paddles that are perfectly fine for use at all levels.

The Wilson Profile and the Wilson Tour BLX are best for beginner to intermediate players, while the lightweight Wilson Energy and Wilson Surge paddles are suitable for intermediate to advanced players.

None of these four paddles are expensive. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices range from $80.00 to $120.00 but virtually every store who sells Wilson pickleball paddles sells them for less.

So consumers how have a choice. They can spend $200.00 on a luxury paddle or they can spend the same amount and get a perfectly suitable pickleball paddle AND a pair of court shoes.