PaddleSmash is gaining traction for its unique blend of elements from Pickleball and Roundnet, offering an engaging experience that is easy to set up and play. From backyards to beachfronts, PaddleSmash is quickly becoming the go-to game for families and friends looking for competitive fun.
Paddlesmash Before Shark Tank
At the heart of PaddleSmash is Joe Bingham, a structural engineer and father of seven from Utah, who was looking for ways to keep his family entertained. Recognizing the rising popularity of Pickleball and Roundnet, but hampered by the distance to the nearest public courts, he envisioned a game that could be played conveniently at home. Several prototypes later, PaddleSmash was born, capturing the essence of both Pickleball and Roundnet in a package that could be set up in a backyard or at the beach.
However, it was the entrepreneurial expertise of Tim Swindle and Scott Brown that transformed PaddleSmash from a homemade game into a market-ready product. Both men had significant experience in the toy and game industry, with Tim having made a successful exit from a software company and Scott being deeply involved in toy retail. They saw potential in Joe Bingham’s invention and quickly obtained a license to bring the game to a broader audience.
Converting the prototype into a mass-market product involved a series of challenges. Tim and Scott worked meticulously to finalize a design that was both durable and portable, qualities they knew would be essential for market acceptance. Their efforts in the marketing realm were just as vigorous. Leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, they created a comprehensive marketing strategy that piqued the interest of both individual consumers and big-box retailers. Their outreach also paid off in unexpected ways; a cold email to Dick’s Sporting Goods and Scheels led to a fortuitous partnership, propelling PaddleSmash into the retail big leagues.
About the Game
PaddleSmash, at its core, is a team-based game meant for four players but adaptable for fewer. Each PaddleSmash set comes with a foldable court, a net system, four paddles, and two balls. Setting up the game is straightforward: the foldable court is placed on a flat surface, the net system is erected, and paddles are distributed among the players.
The game itself is played with teams of two facing each other across the net. The objective is to bump, set, and smash the ball back into the court within two to three touches. Points are awarded when the ball either fails to clear the net or lands on the opposing team’s side without a return. The first team to accumulate 11 points, with a two-point margin, emerges victorious. While four-player matches are considered optimal, the game is also designed to be adaptable; three-player and even one-on-one versions offer variations that cater to different skill levels.
Rules add further layers to the gameplay. For instance, each team is allowed up to three touches, but both teammates must be involved in any given sequence. A point is considered valid only if the ball touches the hard court surface. Players are also permitted to make contact with the net during play, as long as it doesn’t affect the ball’s trajectory or displace the court.
PaddleSmash is recommended for players 14 years and older, making it a game that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike. This adaptability and inclusive age range have contributed to its growing popularity as a family-friendly activity.
The Journey Ahead
Tim Swindle and Scott Brown have developed PaddleSmash into a game that has begun to make its mark in the world of outdoor activities. The duo continue to focus on customer feedback to improve their product, and they are exploring further avenues for exposure through influencer marketing. With its practical setup, inclusive design, and competitive yet friendly gameplay, PaddleSmash is carving out its own niche, offering a fresh alternative to traditional outdoor sports.