Platform Tennis Paddle Overview
VIKING PADDLES' CORES EXPLAINED
Viking paddles core densities equate to a tight, mid, or loose string tensions in tennis.
The equivalency is:
tight string job -
Less of a slingshot effect as the ball comes off the paddle at a more straight angle and the ball does not travel as far.
loose string job -
more of a slingshot effect as the ball comes off the paddle and the ball travels farther. The more pronounced slingshot effect makes the ball leave your paddle at a more upward angle so the ball will travel farther.
Most people wrongly think that a given paddle can provide “more power and/or pace” but there is no such thing. It would be like someone handing you a baseball bat and saying “here, use this bat – it’ll help you hit more home runs”. That’s just silly. The ability to hit home runs has to be a preexisting condition i.e. explosiveness, bat head speed, flawless mechanics, etc.
Certain paddles can give you the ability to hit the ball “farther” but not faster, with more power/pace. The ball just travels farther because the bigger slingshot effect makes the ball leave your paddle at a slightly more upward angle.
Self-explanatory; between Mid+ and Low.
Note: we assume the same swing speed for all cores.
Benefits of Various Core Densities
More control since the ball does not travel as far off your paddles due to the smaller slingshot effect.
Your ball will travel farther off your paddle due to the bigger slingshot effect.
Ideally, players of all levels need a perfect balance between their own ability (or lack thereof) to generate power/pace and control. When that is not possible, we always recommend control be paramount. Usually, tournament players have more ability to generate their own power than club players do. Everyone needs control. Ideally, you want to have control and the ability to generate your own power/pace.
What generates spin?
The same way there is no paddle that will give you “control” or “power”, there isn’t a paddle that will give you “spin”. One’s innate ability to generate spin is what creates spin, plain and simple. That means:
• Paddle head speed
• Torque (one’s ability to generate power with their own body movements)
Perfect mechanics (maximum output with minimum input) – said another way, generating a lot of spin effortlessly.
Understanding where exactly to make contact with the paddle on the ball:
Great hands/feel/ability to “grab the ball”.
Players who generate the most spin excel in those areas mentioned above.
Once a player’s ability to generate spin is a pre-existing condition, the sharpness of the holes at the surface of the paddle is what will allow that player to generate the most spin they are capable of generating. Unlike what most people think, grit does not help at all with spin – in fact, a grit with granules that are too thick is counterproductive to generating spin because it prevents the ball from making the most contact with the paddle’s sharp holes at the moment of contact.
Grit is only helpful when playing in heavy rain when the face of the paddle becomes wet. It will prevent the ball from skidding too much at contact.
How Often Should You Buy a New Paddle!?
It depends how often you play. Paddles take a lot of abuse throughout any given season and unlike tennis racquets, you cannot put a fresh set of strings on them whenever you like. Generally speaking, we recommend the following:
Casual player (plays at most once a week for most of the season) – a new paddle every two years/seasons.
Committed player (plays at least two/three times a week throughout the season) – a new paddle every year/season.
Tournament level player/maniacs (in addition to league matches, they also play every local and area tournament in sight) – two new paddles every year/season.