Review: Paddle Smash

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Even if you do not play, you have probably heard of pickleball. It is one of the yard sports that is taking the country by storm. As people realize the Covid weight they picked up over the crisis is not going away on its own, they are getting more active. If you go to pickleball courts around the country, they are always full. This can mean long lines and lots of waiting to play – but what if you had your own, portable court?

This is where Paddle Smash comes in. With the space-saving size of roundnet and spikeball and the teamwork of pickleball, you can have your own mini-game wherever you go, not just when you are waiting for a game on the big court.

The Setup

When the kit came in the mail, it was heavy for a racquet game. Having only seen the videos online, I expected something you stuck to the ground and played around. The system is a fully functional court for the game. Everything is in the box! The carry case acts as the court, which you place the net around; even the balls and some paddles fit into the case. This was a highly impressive setup 9 of 10.

The Paddles

When you get a game that claims to be a combination of two games, most of the time you expect that the parts are the ‘wish’ version of any part you would see in the original games. The designers of Paddle Smash didn’t go the cheap route. The handles are custom pickleball paddles with excellent grips on them. They are not flimsy and feel good in your hands. The weight is right for maximum control, both of the swing and the ball when you use it. 8 of 10.

Court Reaction

Ever since basketball in school, I have played a lot of “bounce the ball” games, even thought I am not good at many of them (except basketball). One thing I have learned is that if the ball does not bounce well, then you do not have a good game. Well, in the case of Paddle Smash, the ingenious court system gives you a solid platform on which to play. This means that regardless of whether you are on the beach, in a parking lot, or even on grass, you can get a good bounce when you play the ball – meaning you don’t have to hear the whiner in your group say “it was a bad bounce off the court.” 8 of 10.

Game Play

The other worry I have when looking at a game that says it is a combination of two games is that it will be the same as the original game. Paddle Smash has elements of roundnet, spike ball, and pickle ball, but it also has elements of volleyball and some other games.

Players have three hits on each ‘side’ of the net. Since the net is round, you play the whole way around the system. This can lead to some very wild volleys. Each player on a team has to touch the ball, which prevents players from cherry picking and spiking the ball as it comes out of the ‘pit.’ Each team gets three hits each time the ball is in their court and here is the novel factor: a player can hit it twice in a row. This means that the bump, set, spike pattern of volleyball can be varied in multiple ways. 8 of 10

Cool Factor

There are two kinds of people at outdoor parties. Those people who just want to sit and drink beer and those who want to be doing something. If you are a person who wants to be doing something, then this game will be great for you. Any time you have an outdoor game you can carry with you and set up easily, you have something that will be novel at parties. If the game is fun, then you have something cool. If you have something that pretty much anyone can play, then you have a winner and should keep it in the trunk of your car. Not since QB54 have I seen such a cool game in a compact package. 9 of 10.

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If you are a pickleballer, buy this game. If you are a spikeball or roundnet player, buy this game. If you live near a beach or have a small yard, but this game. Heck, even if you have a large living room or open garage, buy this game. This is a great outdoor game and it can be played by almost anyone. As the website says, it takes about 15 minutes to get the hang of, then almost anyone can play. With a score of 42 out of 50, this is one of the top games I reviewed this year. Will it be the next game to sweep the nation? I hope so!

Christopher W Smithmyer
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