One of the most important parts of your pickleball game is how you hold the pickleball paddle. Different pickleball grips offer different strengths on the court. While it’s hard to say that one grip is better than the rest, it’s easy to say some are more versatile than others. The continental pickleball grip is an absolute must if you want versatility and control on the court.
What is the Pickleball Continental Grip?
The easiest way to explain the continental grip is to say it’s like holding a hammer up to a nail. To practice a continental grip, hold the paddle and pretend it’s a hammer. You can even take a few practice swings pretending there’s a nail in front of the paddle.
With this grip, the paddle face is kept in an upright position, rather than flat, and facing the ground. The paddle face should point towards your forearm if you perform a continental grip correctly.
The continental grip is popular because it’s comfortable on both sides of the court. It can be used for dinks, volleys, and third shots.
When to Use a Continental Pickleball Grip
The continental grip, also called the hammer grip, is often thought of as a neutral grip. This is because a pickleball player can use this paddle grip in a variety of positions on the pickleball court.
The continental grip is excellent for backhand shots. Suppose you need the ability to change from a backhand shot to a forehand shot. You can go from dinks on the backhand side to forehand volleys with the same grip!
Not wasting time switching to different grips is the biggest reason this is known as one of the best grip types for pickleball players of all skill levels.
If you want to hit the ball with a good amount of underspin, this is the right grip to use. It can also be used for drop shots, a backhand drive, and a forehand drive. Adding more power when you’re at the kitchen line and your next shot counts without using a different grip is a great way to catch your opponent by surprise and ultimately win the match.
Other Types of Pickleball Grips
Eastern Pickleball Grip
The eastern grip is the most common grip used by pickleball beginners. When you’re using an eastern grip, you should feel like you’re shaking hands with the pickleball paddle.
To get your eastern grip, hold the paddle in front of you with your opposite hand. The paddle face should be looking to the right and left of your body evenly. Next, slide your dominant hand down the paddle, starting at the face, until you have a grip on the bottom of the pickleball paddle handle.
Once you’re there, you’ll find it does feel similar to when you shake hands with someone!
Western Pickleball Grip
Before you can master a western pickleball grip, you need to have the eastern grip down. Begin in the eastern grip position, then turn your forearm 90 degrees. Right-handed players should turn clockwise, while left-handed players turn counterclockwise.
The western grip doesn’t come as naturally to most players as the eastern or continental grip, but it does come in handy from time to time.
What are the three types of grips used when playing pickleball?
The continental grip, eastern grip, and western pickleball grip are the three grip types.
There are variations on these grips, including an eastern backhand grip, an eastern forehand grip, and a semi-western grip.
What grip do pickleball pros use?
Every pro has a preferred grip on the court, but most use a combination of all three types. The continental grip is the one you’ll see most in professional play, though, which is why it’s such an important grip!
Playing better pickleball is a combination of a lot of moving pieces. The type of grip you’re using plays a part, but so do your pickleball paddles, drills, and strategy. Explore more pickleball content to get the best recommendations for pickleball gear, camps, and drills to improve your gameplay!