Pickleball Magazine 3-1 - Page 68

BIZZ BUZZ Paddletek— Innovation That Sells Itself THE DRIVE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS FOR PLAYERS AND NOT JUST FEED THE BOTTOM LINE HAS BEEN THE KEY TO PADDLETEK’S SUCCESS SINCE THE BEGINNING. Curtis Smith’s introduction to pickleball was a reluctant one. An advertising and marketing executive who worked for a large department store, he’d never played the game that his brother, Cody, was so passionate about. But, like many family business stories, when one family member has an overwhelming drive, the others tend to follow. “Cody kept asking me to work with him, and I said no because I had no idea what pickleball was, and it wasn’t my primary business,” Curtis explains. “Then, Cody needed help making 60 paddles for a coffee demo event, and he couldn’t go because of his day job, 66 so I helped him out. I thought maybe 30 people would show up.” Curtis never made it to his vendor’s table that day. “There were more than 200 people at the event. I was swarmed with people pulling paddles out of the boxes for two hours,” he says. “I went home and told Cody that if he gave me half the company, I’d run it.” Paddletek’s polymer paddle was revolutionary at the time. Now used by 80 percent of the market, polymer designs were the solution to a problem pickleball players had been facing for years—finding a durable paddle that responded to the needs of the player. “It changed the sport. TO SUBSCRIBE CALL 888.308.3720 OR GO TO THEPICKLEBALLMAG.COM Old Nomex paddles wore out and aluminum paddles dented over time,” Curtis recalls. “Polymer paddles were intuitive. They change in response to the situation. They were meant for pickleball.” Since those early days, Paddletek has remained committed to its designs. Where some companies focus on trends and “latest and greatest,” Paddletek is focused on durability and the needs of the player. “Rather than us change our recipe, we want to simplify the message for consumers,” Curtis says. “We could make a paddle an ounce lighter, but when you change the weight by more than half an ounce,