Patriot Pickleball, LLC is wholly owned by me, Wayne Goodwin, a former competitive tennis player and now a competitive pickleball player. A Chemical Engineer and former mold maker and number 1 player in my family (you don’t have to be the number 1 player in the country to be the number 1 pickleball paddle designer!) I played my first tournament in early 2014. In that tournament, with a pick-up partner, I lost badly in both the first round of the main draw and first round of the back draw in the Men’s 65+ 3.5 division. I did, however, place third in the 50+ 3.5 Mixed doubles also with a pick-up partner. This experience really got me hooked on pickleball.
Later that summer after several other smaller tournaments, winning medals in the 4.0 men’s doubles and mixed doubles, I decided that I needed a better paddle. I searched but did not find what I wanted. So I decided to make my own.
While relaxing on a visit to family and friends in the summer of 2014, I wrote down what I thought were the shortcomings and problems with most paddles and thought I could design one that eliminated all of those problems. Some of the problems were the excessive noise made when striking the ball due to the “drum effect” of a honeycomb core covered with a tight skin, no real sweet spot (the hitting surface of current paddles was uniform from edge to edge), butt caps and edge guards came loose, control paddles had no power and power paddles had little control.
So I put on my engineering hat, grabbed a glass of wine, found a pencil and paper and went to work on my new “project”.
I wanted to mold the paddles as a single piece and do it here in the USA. I had worked with rigid structural polyurethane materials before and thought they were a good candidate for this project. This material would produce a sheath of random bubbles over a polymer honeycomb core that would reduce the noise and provide a rigid surface that would meet the stringent USAPA paddle specifications. A polypropylene honeycomb insert would add rigidity, a high density polypropylene sweet spot would add drive to a light paddle and a polycarbonate hitting surface would provide added control.
Realizing that different styles of play actually require different paddle characteristics and that sweet spots should be an integral part of our paddles, we developed a complete line of paddles that would satisfy the needs of a variety of playing styles. I thought I could insert mold different sized high density sweet spots into the structural plastic paddles and that the size of the sweet spot could be varied for different styles of play. I was successful. Since this success we (I say “we” now because Mary is now a full partner in my “project”) we have developed paddles for four styles of play. The different models of paddles are named after different levels of the US Army Special Forces: The Recruit (our paddle for parks and recreation), the Sniper (our quiet power paddle), the Green Beret (our quiet control paddle) and the Ranger (our quiet combine paddle).
Since the rigid polyurethane foam sheath (encasement) is basically a layer of random sized bubbles it virtually eliminates the “drum effect”
We have recently applied for our utility patent for the molding process, the foam encasement and the integrated sweet spot system.
It took a while and several iterations but on Dec 15, 2015 the SNIPER, our Quiet Power paddle model, successfully met all of the USAPA specifications.
The Sniper is available now and the other three models will be available soon.
We called the company Patriot Pickleball because our goal was to use only US made materials and workers. We almost accomplished our goal. The only exception to the “Made in the USA” is the grip, which is, by default, sourced from off shore.
Mary and I live in Holland OH and our two children and three grandchildren live in the Cleveland area, only 2 hours away. We really like pickleball and want to help expand its enjoyability and competitiveness to more and more people with quiet, playing-style appropriate equipment.