Paddlesmash is a game for 2-4 players ages 14 and up. This game is made for playing outside in the sun, so prepare to get active. But of course, if you have the room, inside works too. Set up is easy and intuitive, and involves unfolding the hexagonal base, inserting the support rods into the net, and plugging them into the base. You get four paddles, and two pickleballs with a set of Paddlesmash. All that’s well and good, but how do you play?
If you have 4 players, each player stands equidistantly around the net, with teammates facing each other. The main idea of the game is to hit the ball with your paddle such that it hits the base and bounces back up through the net. After each serve, a team has up to 3 hits to strike the ball back onto the base and out of the net. The trick is, both players must hit the ball first. You don’t have to use all three hits, but both players must paddle the ball before it goes back in the net. If successful, now the other team must do the same thing, with the prior team’s last hit counting as their serve. Play continues like this until a player or team fails to clear the net, or catch the ball with their paddle. The first team to 11 and leading by 2 points wins!
Paddlesmash is much trickier than it looks, and it seems like the manufacturer knows this! In their online instructions, they recommend allowing yourself 5 minutes or so to get used to the game before passing judgment. Even after that, your skill level may fluctuate wildly for a bit before settling down, at which point, the true game begins.
Should I get it?
Paddlesmash has a bit of a steep learning curve, but that makes it all the more fun when you do get the hang of it. We recommend giving it a try if you’re looking for a new backyard game this summer!
- Set up is quick and easy.
- The materials are sturdy.
- It’s challenging, but fun.
- It’s great for either outdoor or indoor play, so long as you have the necessary space.
- There’s a tricky learning curve before it starts to feel right.