ZZT Sports has been around for awhile, offering high-quality, responsive paddles at a very affordable price. Spike Christensen and his wife, Linda, are true value-adds to the game and have been consistent and reliable vendor-participants in almost every tournament we’ve been to in AZ in the last few years. Way back in the day, Spike and his then-partner Wayne Muggli, actually brought the then-revolutionary “art” of dinking to Palm Creek Pickleball Club. We weren’t yet here but heard from everyone that that truly changed the way pickleball was played in their minds, and Palm Creek has since grown into a pickleball tour-de-force in part because of Wayne and Spike. This is typical of Spike; if he can help he will, and he and Linda always have. They both rock, and so do their paddles!
The following is from their website but it’s pretty interesting so we just copied it in.
Gold medalist Spike Christensen and his wife, Linda, found the game of pickleball one day and quickly fell in love with the sport. Their love for the game grew each time they played. With all their hours spent on the courts, their paddles could not withstand the constant force of their POP’s, and their paddles could not provide the control they needed for a finesse game – unless they were willing to spend outrageous amounts of money. Spike and his son, Jerald, resolved to make their own paddles, and they began experimenting with unusual materials. Their goal was to make a paddle that would be quiet, strong, responsive, and inexpensive.
After many attempts and experiments with different materials, they developed the paddle that Spike loved and wanted to play with every day. And this power and control came at a fraction of the price of available paddles! Other players noticed Spike’s paddle, too, and liked it well enough to buy it right out of his hand. Spike then realized he found an affordable way to share the joy of the game with others.
The following is a more complete description of just ONE of their paddles, including some of the construction details that make this product so interest. In our opinion ZZT competes for the title of “best paddle on the market” at their price-point, although that title applies to their less expensive paddles and not necessarily the Raptor shown, which is $65 at this writing…just slightly on the low end of the market for excellent paddles but way cheaper than the box stores would sell anything even remotely comparable. Plus – buy from Spike and Linda and you’re buying from real people.
We are proud to introduce ZZT’s newest line, the Raptor! The Raptor has an aluminum core with a fiberglass face. We take it to the next level by adding a poly vinyl overlay to the paddle to make it a 4 layer composite. A new low profile edge guard and choice of premium grips make for a solid paddle you can count on.
The Raptor starts with a commercial grade honeycomb (3003 alloy) core that is sandwiched between epoxy impregnated fiberglass for strength and rigidity. The epoxy gives a rock solid bond between the honeycomb core and the fiberglass that withstands the shock of repeated hits, season after season.
We then bond a matte polyvinyl layer to it, giving it a color rich surface that is durable, unique and provides a clean controlled pop!
You have your choice of grips (at NO additional charge);
Gamma Pro Lite grip (black) is a cushioned grip that is designed for today’s lighter paddles. This sleek black grip is perforated for additional moisture absorption. The handle is 4.40 inches in circumference with this grip.
Gamma Contour Grip (Redliner) that is ribbed stitched with perforations that increase your gripping ability, while absorbing excess moisture. The handle is 4.50 inches in circumference with this grip.
Gamma Hi-Tech Gel Contour (blue gel) is the thickest grip we offer. The gel inside of this grip helps absorb some of the shock from hitting a ball. The handle is 4.60 inches in circumference with this grip.