We have been open for 10 months now. How have we been doing? Its been an education along the way and I think the shirt designs have improved since we started. We added paddles and balls this summer now that we have partnered up with 2 of the best paddle manufacturers out there, Pro-Lite and Onix. So how are we doing?
Pickleball Maniac is an extension of what I was doing here at home and it was to fund my pickleball related work. I did not like most pickleball themed tees and I wanted to make something I liked. Locally my friends liked my designs but it was hard trying to deal with the printers who were making my shirts. It was always an issue of that unpopular shirts were sitting around longer than other designs but a popular one could not be kept in stock. My printers could never move quickly enough to keep up with the demand of the more popular designs and it was expensive to purchase large quantities of shirts not to mention where was I going to store them.
A couple months after the company I worked for was bought and I and the other office staff were put on the street I needed a way to pay for my pickleball hobbie. Besides a year before I had started Virginia Pickleball as an organisation to fund pickleball programs in my home state of Virginia. VP had just been a website for years for players to find a place to play or what the local tournament results were. But now I wasn't working and looking for a job. How was I going to keep Virginia Pickleball going until I was back at work? There ya go, Pickleball Maniac.
Now months later and I'm back at work and continuing to grow Pickleball Maniac. Along the way I found the answer to my inventory issue. Print-on-demand, and I found two companies that offer it. I design the shirts. you buy the shirts. They print them and ship them directly to you. Now I have more shirts, and I am adding new products like long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts and hats. But how am I doing?
Did you know that I don't get to see most of what I sell before it is shipped to you? I have seen samples of shits and other items and they look great. But I never see most of what what you receive. I have paddles and balls in inventory but what about everything else? The new embroidered hats for example. The first hat I designed was terrible. You never saw it. It sits on my desk reminding me to make it better. My second design, the Pickleball Maniac ball cap turned out great. Designing for embroidery is a bit different than shirts. Then I did the Pickleball Life Hat. Bulzeye! What a great looking hat. Have you seen it? I just received mine yesterday. I made it available last night. You should check it out.
I have talked to many of my customers and I have been happy with their responses. I have made sure that everybody has been happy with what they bought from me. One time I switched out 4 paddles with one person until she was happy with what she had. Most would think that a bother. Not me. I have been selling paddles for years before Pickleball Maniac existed. I want to make sure players get a paddle in their hands that will work for them for years to come. Not months but years. I just replaced a shirt from one of my first customers when PM opened. The shirt just did not wear right. She had it for months but I was not happy with it. So I replaced it.
Now that does not help Virginia Pickleball. No it does not. And sales are not busting at the seams. There OK but not great. Good for the small number of visitors we have each day. We average less than a 100 a day. We sell a shirt every few days. I still get exciting when I get notified that one of my fellow pickleball players has ordered a shirt or a paddle. Getting the word out has required spending money with Google and Facebook to let you guys know I'm out there. Every dollar I spend replacing shirts or shipping paddles out to swap is not helping Virginia Pickleball pay for its website, domain, balls, paddles, nets for churches and civic organizations but thats the way I'm going to do it. I want people to know I'm here and I want to make you happy doing business with Pickleball Maniac. If your not happy then I'm not either. Are you happy?
Please let me know how I am doing. Send me an email letting me know what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. I care about you guys. I'm a pickleball player too and I want value for the money I am spending and I know you do to so let me know. If you like what we are doing then tell your friends. Share our Facebook page. Whatever you can do to get the word out there. Thanks
In anticipation of PickleballManiac.com offering the highest quality paddles on the market I am offering a little information about the different types of paddles and some good and bad qualities of Pickleball paddles.
Yesterday I ended with discussing issues you can run into with your Pickleball paddle. Here is a few more.
Grip. Grips vary widely on the every paddle on the market. You can have everything from a flat squared off handle that I think is not very comfortable sitting in your hand to a nice round padded tennis grip. Many paddles have a squared off grip. That comes from the fact that the handle end of the paddle is just as thin and flat as the rest of the paddle. The wood paddles will attach a extra piece of wood on the handle to fatten it up a bit. Unfortunately all you get is what was a flat thin grip to a fat very square grip. Then a simple rap may be applied but not improving the handling much if it gets a rap at all. The Diller paddles are not rapped.
Other non-wood paddles will get a soft foam wrap then a tennis grip over rapped on the handle. A good improvement but still not as comfortable as a tennis racket grip.
Then you get the good ones. If you place a shaped piece of hard foam on either side of the handle you end up with a nice round tennis like grip that is either rapped once with a tennis grip or even then over rapped for an even better feel. Even better, just my opinion is when they taper the foam with a contoured shape so its a bit smaller in the middle of the grip and fatter on each end. One thing you get with that is what I call a heal at the bottom that helps hold the paddle in your hand. For me that is a plus plus because I change my grip constantly and vary how tight I am holding the paddle. Without the heal I am prone to accidentally throw the paddle from time to time. This is even helpful if you tend to sweat a lot and your hands get slippery like mine.
That's enough for today. Time to go out and play pickleball. Look for part 3 tomorrow!
Pickleball Maniac will be offering paddles in just a few days. While we are waiting I wanted to let you know what my philosophy is when it comes to Pickleball paddles. Its not worth buying if its not going to last.
I have been selling paddles courtside for many years and have played with almost every paddle on the market. During that time I have learned one thing. Most pickleball paddles are not worth the money you spend on them. So many times I have seen people spend $60, $70, or even $100 for a paddle only to have to replace it within months of purchasing it. Why? Because the many manufacturers uses poor materials in the paddle construction. For the most part they all look good when you get them but soon after you start having problems.
Paddles a built with 4 parts.
1. The core. Usually a honeycomb design made of paper, aluminum, or other composite material such as Nomex or other material.
2. The Shell. The shell covers the core and is the part that you hit the ball with. It is either made of fiberglass, graphite, or aluminum.
3. The edge guard. If you don't have an edgeless paddle the edge guard covers and protects the core and the edge of the shell.
4. The handle or grip. The grip is where you hold the paddle and is usually wrapped with the same material as a tennis racket. Some of the better paddles have a piece of shaped foam on each side of the paddle to shape the grip for easier handling and the grip is wrapped over it.
Here are a few issue you will often run into with a paddle.
1. Edge trim can start to pull away from the edge of the paddle. Except the edgeless paddles, who have their own issues, most paddles have an edge guard wrapping around the paddle. This edge protects and covers the edge of the paddle shell and covers the core of the paddle. The edge guard makes for a neat clean appearance to the paddle.
2. On many paddles the core material was once referred to as a corrugated core. They don't call it that anymore because it is nothing more that corrugated cardboard. This is the worst core material to have and at the same time many players like how they play, for a while. What happens is the core starts to break down or weaken the more you play. Once it starts to break down you will have to swing harder and harder to get the same impact on the ball. The Wilson brand and the Pickeball Inc. brand of paddles are mostly the corrugated or paper core. The Wilson paddles can break down in days. The Pickleball Inc. paddles can last for month but can show wear in as little as six months.
Look for part 2 in another post tomorrow!
You figured it would happen eventually. Every other pickleball website would sell paddles and add a t-shirt or two. But we are Pickleball Maniac! We sell pickleball tees and we are adding paddles to our product offerings. Coming soon you will be able to purchase paddles made by Onix. Onix makes some of the best quality paddles on the market today. When everybody else's paddles break, or the core collapses. Onix paddles play on. They make the famous Z5 and Phantom line of composite and graphite paddles and are unmatched in durability, playability, and longevity. We hope you will think of us when you are looking paddles, balls and of course, the best pickleball tees on the web! PickleballManiac.com
Check out our new tee style! You can get our great designs on Anvil 3/4 length sleeves baseball tees starting with our 65 PickleballManiac.com design. They come in 4 contrasting color combinations your going to love. Order yours today!
Pickleball Maniac now offers free shipping on orders over $50. Just use the code Free at checkout and take advantage of this offer.
Pickleball Maniac can design a shirt for your local pickleball group or tournament and offer it on the PickleballManiac.com website and it wont cost you a thing to do it. You can email me at email@example.com or call me at 804-641-6816 for more information.
We have added to the Pickleball Widow shirt options the Alternative Karen V-neck t-shirt in the colors Heather Gray and Azalea.
Pickleball Maniac now has over 50 pickleball t-shirt designs for you to choose from. Visit us on Facebook and let us know which one you like best. www.facebook.com/pickleballmaniac
Welcome to Pickleball Maniac. I hope you like our unique Pickleball themed t-shirts. Pickleball Mainiac is the e-commerce site for Virginia Pickleball. Virginia Pickleball is an organization that helps to grow the sport of pickleball in Virginia. You can find us www.virginiapickleball.org.