Three Ways to Grip Your Pickleball Paddle: Continental, Western, Eastern

Three Ways to Grip Your Pickleball Paddle: Continental, Western, Eastern

Watch this video to learn the three ways to hold a pickleball paddle. Glen Peterson, pickleball pro, carefully explains each grip and describes the advantages and disadvantages of each grip. You may want to try a new grip after watching this video.

Learn what grip is best for people with strong backhands. Learn what grip works best for a two-handed backhand.

Learn how to get incredible control of your paddle face with a special grip developed by pickleball players who come from a table tennis background.

Learn what grip trick most all top pickleball players use when holding a pickleball paddle. This is grip technique is especially important when hitting third shots or volleys. You will want to know about this!

Want to learn more about how to improve your game overall? Learn more about Pickleball Training camps and find a location near you by visiting


  1. Brian Perkett on May 5, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    As a new player, I found these tips on grip to be incredibly helpful. I appreciate your approach of "there is no best way", instead reviewing the options and discussing the pros and cons of each grip approach. Thank you for taking the time to create these tutorials.

  2. Terri L on May 5, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    Such good clear helpful information. Ty!

  3. Timoti Batac on May 5, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    But not all handles in every paddle are the same. The one i have is like a handle of table tennis that is semi-flat. Good thing i can switch around in 3 various grips in split second as ball come approaching.

  4. Jeff Selkowitz on May 5, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Please discuss how low or high your hand should be on the paddle. My local pro says as low as possible but ??????

  5. jim Assalone on May 5, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    On ground strokes I go from Western grip for forehand to “shake hand” grip for backhands.It feels natural and there is more time to switch. At the no-volley zone I stay in “shake hand” grip and try to cover two thirds with backhand and then pray when forehand is needed for fast volley shot. Only been playing for 3 months and come from a table tennis tournament background.

  6. Paul Mcgee on May 5, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    If you hold an eastern forehand grip you better be good at running around your backhand. Whenever I see newer players struggling with their backhands they are almost always holding an eastern forehand tennis grip.

  7. y11971alex on May 5, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    When I started playing tennis, I used to have an eastern forehand and continental backhand, but they later merged into a single continental grip for all strokes. Thus when I started pickleball, I also used continental for all strokes.

  8. Jeff Selkowitz on May 5, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    So the Full Western Grip is position #6?

  9. David Sirois on May 5, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    Finger on the paddle… eesh… I’ve always thought that was a no-no… I like to keep my fingers lol

  10. Grace Grace on May 5, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you very much,

  11. The watcher on May 5, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Love the video with one exception! You don’t show the (x) that you place on your hand, you just match up the (x) on the paddle with the (x) on your hand. You need show the (x) on the hand for each stroke and how they match up with (x) on paddle. I found myself trying to see where you placed the (x) on your hand for Western and Eastern grips!

  12. Bob Strawn on May 5, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    Good video

  13. rtmirt46 on May 5, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    Love the very graphic approach. As a former engineer it’s what I like best. Thanks for the detail.

  14. Whit Whitacre on May 5, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    really glad to see you cover having an index finger on the paddle – having played ping pong this makes it an easy transition to pickleball. It really does help tell my brain what angle the paddle is in my palm.

  15. Jakey Boy7 on May 5, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    Clear and concise instructor. Thank you for sharing your wisdom n experience. Learned so vmuch.

  16. mdrobtx on May 5, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Excellent video. I lost the "pinky" finger on my paddle hand years ago in an accident. I use the one finger on the paddle technique to help with control but the result is a loss of power due to the missing digit. This helped me verify that the one finger on the paddle can be used successfully.

  17. Gabriel French on May 5, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Oddly enough, both my father and I don’t use any of these three grips. My father used to play racquetball, so he grips the paddle with his pinky under the pommel–and I used to play table tennis, so I play with my pointer finger in-line with the edge of the paddle. I’m sure there’s pros and cons to both, but we play the best when we use them.

  18. Milagros Maldonado on May 5, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Thank you very much!!! I’m going to watch as many of your videos as possible. You are a great teacher!! 🙏

  19. Angelo Mazzuca on May 5, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Awesome demonstration and this was demonstrated at LevelUp camp! Thanks

  20. The Reeds on May 5, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    As a PPR professional I teach the 3 most common grips in pickleball: 1) the Continental, 2) Eastern with a Finger, and 3) the V. The Continental is the most commonly used grip and the grip used by most pros. You can easily hit all the strokes necessary with the Continental grip.
    The Eastern with a Finger is fairly easy for most players to use. The finger helps stabilize the wrist. Often beginners will start with this grip and progress toward a Continental grip as they become more skilled.
    The V is similar to a table tennis grip. The grip is created by choking up on the paddle toward the top of the grip and placing one or two fingers on the face of the paddle; often with the thumb on the opposite side of the paddle face.

    Pickleball is not tennis, it has some similarities, but it is important to understand that it is a different game and will have different grips.

  21. Adam Donovan on May 5, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Great grip primer….big thx! Very helpful for this beginner.

  22. LatiNoble on May 5, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    I instinctively played with the eastern grip which I use in tennis. When I learned to get to the kitchen, my thought process was, “Okay, play ping pong, not tennis.” And I didn’t realize that I would shift my hand up to the ping pong grip.” It works for me, but I will admit, a dura to the thumb is no laughing matter! Keep your eye on the ball!

  23. timventura on May 5, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    All your videos are incredibly helpful. Your words are in my head as I work out on my quarantine garage backboard. Thank you!

  24. mrbobevans on May 5, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    There is a big difference between the western and semi-western grips in tennis. Most players on the tennis tour use semi-western for the forehand. Nadal uses a grip between semi-western and western. Djokovic grips is more semi-western than western. Federer’s forehand grip is between Eastern and Semi. Sampras was one of the all-time greats who used eastern. Not too many easterns today – Del Potro is the most notable who still uses Eastern on the forehand. From what I can see is that the Eastern grip in pickleball is similar to the semi in tennis, as it allows the greatest usage of overall shot selection. In tennis, they say that the semi is the best overall shot in that it handles low better than western, and handles high better than eastern or continental. Continental is the preferred grip for serving and volleying in tennis. McEnroe was the last player to use continental. He literally never had to change grips. But the continental grip is outdated for baseline play.

  25. Roger BelAir on May 5, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Good job, Glenn.

  26. mohbright on May 5, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    You are an amazing teacher!

  27. Gary Jones on May 5, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Never heard such a complete description of the "grip"…Well done

  28. Eileen Tokuda on May 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Wow! Super helpful with the use of the numbers and marking your hand to assure clean position. Will be marking my hand for next pickleball practice!

  29. Richard Hurley on May 6, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Very helpful with drawing the bevel positions on whiteboard to describe the three grips and advantages/disadvantages of each.

  30. Tim S on May 6, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Other videos say the continental is preferred grip, not the eastern.

  31. Bryan Baker on May 6, 2021 at 12:03 am

    If you move your thumb to rest on the top of your middle finger instead of on top of your index finger, then allow your index to ride slightly higher, you’ll dramatically increase your control and flexibility in switching between forehands and backhands. This is a must for ping pong and tennis as well, and works even if you don’t rest the index/thumb on the paddle surface.

  32. leticia vallejo on May 6, 2021 at 12:12 am

    I played pickleball at the YMCA for the first time today and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will continue to watch your tips in order to improve my game. Thank you for sharing this great information.

  33. Seulgi Kim on May 6, 2021 at 12:13 am

    This helps me a lot thank you

  34. Richard's World on May 6, 2021 at 12:13 am

    Glenn is very thorough in this video.

  35. Heman Lee on May 6, 2021 at 12:13 am

    You are absolutely right!, the Eastern is the most popular among better players, so why does every teacher tell beginners to use the continental?