Team Paddletek

  • Paddletek

    Posted on by JAN DAVID

    A Husband’s Passion for Pickleball
    By Kim Smith

    To say that my husband is passionate is an understatement. This is a man that learned Italian so he could surprise me while I was in Italy to propose.  His passion lies in everything he loves, and when he discovered pickleball?… it was most certainly love.

    At first it was a weekly game, but it soon exploded to at least three times a week for three to four hours each. This on top of a full time job and two young daughters was a lot to handle.  But for Cody, his passion for pickleball would win out.

    I started noticing the amounts of paddles Cody was tearing through when I saw our Visa bill one month. “Ummm… honey?  Care to explain?”  A chuckle and an apologetic shrug told me everything I needed to know.  There was no going back now.  But it did set in motion a spark of an idea.  Cody’s engineering mind saw a problem it intended to fix: a longer lasting pickleball paddle.  At first it was to appease my concerns about the money spent on paddles.  His explorations would eventually create the brand of Paddletek paddles.

    For a few months all I noticed was more frequent packages arriving on my doorstep, and the inability to park my car in the garage. It then spread into our home office, and eventually my dining room table.  My house had become a paddle making facility, all to appease a challenge that Cody saw before him.  His first paddles were rough, to say the least.  But every time he would come home from playing, he would make another paddle.  “What happened?” I’d ask.  “Yea, so-and-so wouldn’t give it back!” he’d reply.  My annoyance in the takeover of my house became pride and encouragement that maybe he was onto something.  It was like this for over a year, with Cody making as many paddles as he could after work and on the weekends.

    Paddletek became less of a hobby and turned into a business with the addition of Cody’s brother Curtis. Curtis was able to gently take control of the production and build it into the amazing company it is today.

    And the best part? Cody is still passionate about pickleball.  He still plays as much as possible.  And I get to eat in my dining room.

    Fun Facts from Curtis Smith:

    Paddletek was founded as a hobby business by my brother Cody Smith in 2011.   Then in October, 2012, after asking me for six months to partner with him, I finally said “yes”.  That is the point that I consider we actually began for real.  Prior to October 2012 his sales were about 10 to 15 paddles per month and mainly to friends and fellow Pickleball players at his club in Fountain Hills, AZ.  In the 26 months since we got serious, we have grown to be one of the largest US manufacturers of Pickleball paddles.  We have many new innovations and paddles designs we plan to launch.

    • Number of Employees:  12
    • All paddles made in the USA
    • Founded in Scottsdale, AZ but now located in Niles, MI
    • Top Sellers:  Element, Bantam EX-L, Phoenix Pro, Power Play, Stratus (the Stratus is new)
    • Only company to offer a 5 year “no dead spot” guarantee
    • New employees are called “Chimps” (that’s what they look like trying to assemble a paddle for the first time)
    • Shop employees refer to themselves as Paddle Elves or Paddletek-nitions

    LOVED BY PLAYERS

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  • Aspen Kern

    Posted on by JAN DAVID

    Age: 25

    From: Lancaster, PA 

    When he’s not traveling the pro tournament circuit, Aspen is a full-time instructor at the Green Valley Country Club in Philadelphia.  He first learned about Pickleball over 10 years ago in Santa Barbara, CA.  He and his Dad were hooked from day one and became obsessed with the sport.  After training with his Dad, Aspen played in his first ever National tournament at the age of 16, beating some of the best players in the world at the time, and became a professional player.  Just last year Aspen created The Pickleball Forum on Facebook, a group that has over 16,000 members already and growing every day.  Also in 2017, Aspen created the first ever Pickleball (Festival), a non-competitive social gathering that had over 200 players come to Kansas City.  Due to the success, the festival is happening again in 2018 and was sold out within days.  After a successful 2017, both on the court (with 18 Pro Gold Medals) and off, Aspen was named Pickleball Rocks player of the year.

    Accomplishments:

    • 2017 USAPA Nationals Men's Doubles 19+ Gold 
    • 2017 Florida State Championship Men's Doubles Gold
    • 2017 Presidents Cup Mixed Pro Gold
    • 2017 So Cal Classic Men's Pro Doubles Gold 
    • 2017 So Cal Classic Mixed Pro Doubles Gold
    • 2017 The South Championships Men's Pro Doubles Gold 
    • 2017 The South Championships Mixed Pro Doubles Gold
    • 2017 PPF Lakes Spring Fling Men's Pro Doubles Gold
    • 2017 PPF Lakes Spring Fling Mixed Pro Gold
    • 2016 USAPA Nationals Mixed Open Gold
    • 2013 USAPA Nationals Men's Doubles 19+ Go

     

     

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  • Kyle Yates

    Posted on by JAN DAVID

    Kyle Yates
    Age: 23
    From: Fort Myers, FL.

    Kyle is a multiple-time National Champion and picked up the sport while still in high school down in Fort Myers, Florida.  Growing up as a soccer player, he transitioned to Tennis, then Pickleball.  While at the University of Florida, he would spend his weekends, not at school, but at the Villages in Florida playing against some of the top Pickleball players of the time.  Kyle started competing nationally at 19 years old.  In his very first competitive tournament, the SoCal classic in 2014, he won Gold in 5.0 singles, shocking the Pickleball world by defeating the #1 ranked player in the world at the time.  His very first Nationals, also in 2014, he won Gold in Men’s Doubles 19+.  Kyle was chosen as 2016 Pickleball Rocks player of the year and now teaches and plays Pickleball professionally full-time.  He helps teach at the US Open Pickleball Academy in Naples, Florida and also travels around the world to help spread the love of the game.

     

    “People assume I was some big-time tennis player.. I wasn’t.  I played tennis, but compared to some of these other guys, I wasn’t very good…It just goes to show that anybody can be good at Pickleball, regardless of background, if they really work at it.” - Kyle Yates 

     

    Fun Facts: 

    • Has played Pickleball with Andy Roddick
    • Won 5 gold medals in 1 tournament (2015 southwest regional) 
    • Has won a gold medal in 5.0 with each: his mom, sister, brother in law, and uncle
    • Has won a gold medal at some point in every tournament he’s ever competed in
    • In 2 years he has yet to earn less than a silver medal in ANY men’s doubles events in which he competed 

     

    Key Titles:

    • 2017 US Open Men’s doubles Pro Champion
    • 2017 SoCal Classic Men’s Doubles Pro Champion 
    • 2017 Florida State Men’s Doubles Champion 
    • 2017 Presidents Cup Champion 
    • 2017 PPF Desert Singles Champion
    • 2017 PPF Northwest Mixed Doubles Champion 
    • 2017 PPF Rockies Men’s AND Mixed Doubles Champion
    • 2017 Canadian Nationals Men’s Doubles Pro Champion
    • 2017 Grand Canyon State Open Men’s Doubles Champion
    • 2017 US Open 19+ Mixed Doubles Champion with (Sister) Sarah Yates
    • 2016 Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year 
    • 2016 US Open Men’s Doubles Pro Champion
    • 2016 Tournament of Champions Men’s Doubles Pro Champion
    • 2016 USAPA Nationals Open Men’s Doubles Champion

     

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  • Irina Tereschenko

    Posted on by JAN DAVID

     

    Age: 35

    From: Moscow and currently resides in Seattle, WA. 

    Before becoming a National Champion and multiple US Open medalist, Irina played tennis at Texas Tech as their top player in both singles and doubles.  Almost immediately after being introduced to Pickleball, Irina quickly became a competitive and accomplished Pro.  She loves teaching Pickleball because she feels it is a “great battleground for different styles of play and people of all skill levels can really enjoy themselves playing the sport.”  When she’s not teaching or traveling to and winning medals in tournaments, Irina also finds time for snowboarding and waterskiing.

     

    Key Titles:

    • 2017 USAPA Nationals Women’s Singles Open Silver
    • 2017 USAPA Nationals Women’s Doubles Open Silver
    • 2017 US Open Women’s Singles Pro Silver
    • 2017 US Open Women’s Doubles Pro Silver
    • 2017 TOC Women’s Doubles Pro Bronze
    • 2017 TOC Women’s Singles Pro Bronze
    • 2017 PPF Northwest Women’s Doubles Gold
    • 2017 PPF Northwest Women’s Singles Bronze
    • 2017 PPF Northwest Mixed Doubles Bronze
    • 2016 USAPA Nationals Women’s Singles Open Gold
    • 2016 USAPA Nationals Mixed Doubles 19+ Silver
    • 2016 USAPA Nationals Women’s Doubles Open Bronze
    • 2016 USAPA Nationals Women’s Doubles 19+ Silver
    • 2016 US Open Mixed Doubles 25+ Gold
    • 2016 US Open Women’s Doubles 30+ Gold

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  • Christine McGrath

    Posted on by JAN DAVID

     

    Age: 31

    From: Temecula, CA.
     

    Christine is a National Champion and multiple US Open medalist.  Before becoming a highly ranked pro Pickleball player, Christine grew up playing tennis since age 5 and went on to play 4 years of Division 1 tennis in college, playing in the #1 spot in both singles and doubles on the women’s tennis team while serving as team captain for 2 years.  She also holds a record for having the second most number of singles wins in a season at the United States Military Academy at West Point.  After a successful tennis career, Christine has become an accomplished Pickleball pro who loves teaching the sport and helping people to reach their best potential.

     

    “I am a girly tomboy and when not traveling on the pro tour or teaching, I like to spend my time hiking, snowboarding, dirt biking, adventuring.” – Christine McGrath

     

    Key Titles:

    • 2017 USAPA Nationals Women’s Doubles 19+ Gold
    • 2017 USAPA Nationals Mixed 19+ Silver
    • 2017 TOC Women’s Doubles Pro Silver
    • 2017 PPF Northwest Women’s Doubles Pro Gold
    • 2017 PPF Rocky Mountain Women’s Doubles Pro Silver
    • 2017 PPF Desert Women’s Doubles Pro Gold
    • 2017 PPF Desert Mixed Doubles Pro Silver
    • 2017 Simi Valley Pro Women’s Doubles Gold
    • 2017 Grand Canyon State Games Women’s Pro Gold
    • 2017 Grand Canyon State Games Mixed Pro Silver
    • 2016 USAPA Nationals Women’s Doubles 19+ Gold
    • 2016 USAPA Nationals Women’s Doubles Open Silver
    • 2016 USAPA Nationals Mixed 19+ Gold
    • 2016 USAPA Nationals Mixed Doubles Open Silver
    • 2016 US Open Women’s Pro Gold
    • 2016 US Open Women’s Doubles 25+ Gold
    • 2016 Grand Canyon State Games Women’s Doubles Pro Gold
    • 2016 Grand Canyon State Games Mixed Pro Gold
    • 2016 TOC Women’s Doubles Pro Silver

     


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