The Paddletek story – paddle manufacturer

Here is one of a series of posts I will share from pickleball paddle manufactures. It’s nice to hear their story and some of the behind the scenes… First up – The Paddletek story.

 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 Oct. 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 the fourth largest US manufacturer 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

Find all the Paddletek paddles here

Fun photo of the Paddletek Day Shift 🙂

Paddletek Day Shift


12 comments on “The Paddletek story – paddle manufacturer”

  1. Hey Guys,
    Need to talk with Curtis. I am Chair of community committee to
    build 32 new pickleball courts. Would like to talk to Curtis about
    Paddletek Court number paddles. On my committee is your rep.
    Christie Bradley, Julie Scott (Kyle Yates Mom) and am a close friend
    of a friend of yours, Dan Schuyler of Beach Boys fame. We go out for
    bid on project late June. Let’s talk, Ed

    1. Hello Ed, best of luck on your pickleball venture, sounds awesome! Julie has the number for Curtis. Take care!

  2. Gregory K Baker

    Has the technology changed between an older Bantam EX-L (circa 2016) from today’s 2020 Bantam EX-L? Aside from aesthetics, what is different? Thanks in advance!

  3. I’m one of those people who met Cody on the courts of Fountain Hills AZ a few years ago. I play with the Sweet Spot and love it, tho I’m not seeing it on your list anymore. I worry I won’t be able to replace it when it wears out. ?. I’ve played with my husbands Bantum and like that too but I LOVE the Sweet Spot, especially at the net.

  4. I love the Tempest Wave but it doesn’t love me.
    I have a shoulder issue and very small hands.
    I would like a Paddle around 7.4 with a small grip.
    Can you help me out please.I have been waiting
    and waiting for lighter Tempests with smaller grips.
    Thank you

  5. Hi,
    I have a Paddeltek TS 5 Bantam and have only been using it for 2 months. I love how it feels at the base line with full ground shots but am concerned that many net shots and volleys seem to not pop at the net and actually just die (dead sound) or fall flat. Is this normal? I thought it might just be my playing but other players got a similar feeling. Can you provide some ideas? I thought it might be an effect of the vibration absorption technology. Great anti vibration but I do need it to respond at the net.

    1. The Bantam TS-5 by Paddletek is a favorite with players who are looking for a light-weight paddle. Most players feel that a polymer paddle gives them more control. Generally, the lighter the paddle the less power and more control. If the Bantam TS-5 doesn’t match your playing style I suggest trying the Tempest Wave with a graphite face. If you have any questions you are welcome to call us and we will do our best to help. 🙂 1-866-972-3353

      Doug Clark
      Director of Marketing and Sales

    1. Joseph,

      I am happy to hear that enjoy the paddle when it is working as it should. However, the handle should not come loose and is an easy fix. If you contact us directly we can show you options to either have the paddle repaired or replaced.


  6. I switched from Z5 to Paddletech Tempest a few weeks ago. Used it for two tournaments now.
    Similar weight. Better pop. Better forgiveness on mishits. Like it very much.

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