pickleball racket newbie
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Pickleball Racket, an Overhand Serve and Other Dead Giveaways that Identify a Pickleball Newbie

Every new pickleball player is guilty of doing or saying something “incorrectly” on the court. Let’s face it, pickleball has some quirky sayings and rules. But once you’ve played for a while, pickleball terms and rules become second nature.

It’s Called a Paddle, not a Pickleball Racket!

One dead giveaway that someone is a new player is when they ask, “what pickleball racquet do you use?” That’s actually a good question you should ask before making a purchase. However, the equipment you use to hit a ball in this fun game is actually called a PADDLE, not a pickleball RACKET. Keep those racket – or racquet – references for tennis!

>>READ MORE: Pickleball Paddles 101 – How to Choose One that is Best for You<<


The whole pickleball racket / paddle thing got me thinking of those Jeff Foxworthy redneck jokes. The ones that go something like, “you might be a redneck if you watch TV from a couch sitting on your porch.”

You Might be a Pickleball Newbie if You

Here’s our pickleball twist to those famous redneck jokes!

You might be a pickleball newbie if you…

  • refer to the weapon that hits the ball as a pickleball racket
  • think there are only 2 numbers in a pickleball doubles score
  • think the kitchen is only something you cook in
  • think Bert and Erne are 2 characters on Sesame Street
  • bring indoor balls to an outdoor venue
  • show up to the courts wearing running shoes
  • bring a 16oz wooden paddle to the court
  • try serving overhand
  • bang the ball back and forth without dinking
  • think ATP stands for “All That’s Pickleball”
  • don’t know how to use a ball tube
  • continually forget that there’s a double bounce rule after the serve
  • initiate a handshake after a game instead of a paddle tap
  • think honeycomb refers to a bees nest instead of a paddle core
  • take half an hour to assemble a portable net and still have pieces left over
  • think pickleball was named after a can of pickles
  • think anything with the logo of a cucumber on it is cute
  • think a senior pro is a 12th-grade jock
  • think skinny singles are unmarried people weighing less than 120 pounds
  • think stacking refers to neatly arranging a woodpile
  • run around the court forwards, backwards, and from side to side like a chicken with your head cut off
  • think the continental grip refers to your car’s continental tire tread
  • don’t know how to register for a tournament
  • walk out to the baseline (not the Non-Volley Line) to start warming up with your partner
  • arrive at your first lesson without a paddle
  • think the phrase “just one more game” means, quite literally, one final game

We were all new to this great sport at one time. I’m sure you can think of other funny things that only a pickleball newbie would do. Let’s hear them in the comments below. And if you’re a pickleball newbie, be sure to use the term ‘pickleball paddle’, not ‘pickleball racket’ the next time you ask what brand someone plays with. That will boost your credibility on the courts.

P.S. You also might consider enrolling in our Pickleball for Beginners course so you can quickly move from a newbie and have confidence the next time you’re on the court!

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About Teresa

Teresa is the idea-maker behind PickleballMAX. Teresa joins Todd to manage and market PickleballMAX. She creates pickleball content and assists with pickleball tournaments. In 2023, she wrote a pickleball devotional book titled Pickleball Is [Not] Life

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