Pickleball Magazine 3-1 - Page 69

you dramatically change the way it plays. We’d rather say, ‘This is the shape and material; you choose your weight,’ and then explain to players how that will perform. Our Bantam EX-L, for example, is popular with tennis players because of its weighted balance and response, whereas our Bantam TS-5 is really light.” Always thinking about the players, Paddletek’s also looking at increasing durability in pickleball paddles, creating legacy pieces that can be handed down to the next generation. “Right now, we’re looking at everything as if we had to start from scratch and saying, ‘How do we make this longer lasting?’ How do you make a five- or 10-year paddle,” Curtis explains. “When you buy a good tennis racquet, you can just get it restrung. What plays as well as polymer but will still be good eight years from now? We put more energy into that than changing the spec a bit and claiming innovation. If I’m spending $150 on a new paddle, I want to be able to give it to my grandkids.” That drive to solve problems for the players and not just feed the bottom line has been the key to Paddletek’s success since the beginning. And while the company’s grown and changed since its reluctant start, so has Curtis, who is now a pickleball player who plays mostly with his family and coaches his son. He’s even played in his local regional tournament, where he won silver— an accomplishment he likes to joke about. “There were only two of us in the match,” he notes. “So I came in second, but I also came in last.” • For more information on Paddletek, visit paddletek.com. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 | MAGAZINE 67