Well, it's time for all the "Year in Review" and "What's Ahead" type of blog posts to be posted—and we're going to go for a "twofer"—both subjects in one post. By all accounts, this has been a pretty monumental year for us at Selkirk Sport—even though technically speaking, we started the company in the fall of 2013, it was 2014 that will be known as the year that we were launched upon an unsuspecting Pickleball public. Truly a landmark year shearly by the fact that it is the year we began—and you always gotta start somewhere! And start (humbly) we did!
Our first peek to the public was in May at a small local tournament over the border in the Spokane, Washington area called May Madness at the HUB Sports Center, where we introduced our first version of the 200A-L called the "First Run". This was our first batch of paddles that we weren't calling prototypes. We were still able to learn many lessons from this first batch that we were able to quickly apply to our next models and also to the re-launch of the 200A line. These paddles were unique in that they were numbered as a limited edition run that we will never run again. Time will tell if they ever become collectable, but they're not waiting around gathering dust as they were quickly bought up and put into service. If you have one, we'd advise you to hang on to it for the future—they just might be worth, well, at least a good conversation piece! But if you bring one up to anyone of us at a future tournament to show us, don't be surprised if we get a little misty-eyed and quickly brush away a tear—while it will be a sentimental tear, it will also be from all the painful production lessons we were able to learn from that very first paddle!
Our next "big" introduction was at another relatively local tournament across the other border over in Missoula, Montana, at the Zootown Montana Open Pickleball Tournament, where we introduced the world to our new 300A Graphite Paddle Series. This paddle was met with many "oohs" and "aahs" and has proved to be a hit ever since. This paddle has consistently impressed those who have employed it's balance for their touch game as well as being able to control their power shots with precision.
We then were able to apply some of the lessons we had been learning to improve our 200A Composite Paddle Series and offer a new XL version as well. This has been a great paddle for many people and while it retains many of the control properties of the 300A, the composite surface gives the paddle a unique pop and some slight extra weight that many enjoy for that extra power it brings to their game.
Fresh from the successful reception of our paddles in the Inland Pacific Northwest and within the growing network of online retail partners such as Pickleball Central, we prepared for our biggest splash on the national Pickleball scene to date at the 2014 Nationals VI Tournament in Buckeye, Arizona. Here we launched our third line of handcrafted quality paddles, our 200P Polymer Series paddles using a powerful, Polymer core. These have really helped to round out the selection of paddles we are able to offer to serious players and with their bold, bright color palette, have really appealed to those who, in addition to needing a great-playing paddle, want a great-looking paddle too!
Looking Ahead (to Tournaments!)
So we've been making our list and checking it twice—actually, we've lost count how many times we've checked it—but we're going to find out which tournaments are not on our list, or nice (enough...to be on our list). OK, the whole Santa thing really broke down there. Basically, we're making our plans to attend as many of the best tournaments as we possibly can this next year.
What we've found is that while we definitely want to be at the high-profile, big tournaments such as the Tournament of Champions in Ogden, UT and of course, the Nationals VII, which will be held down in Casa Grande this year, we are also looking at both the larger, regional USAPA Tournaments like the Atlantic South Regional in Concord, NC as well as some key, smaller tournaments that are either local to our region or are worth making the trip to introduce our brand of Pickleball to a community of players that are looking forward to seeing our paddles in action.
So, without further ado, here's the list so far:
|2015 Grand Canyon State Games||2/18 – 2/22/15||El Mirage||AZ|
|USAPA Atlantic South Regional Tournament||3/19 – 3/22/15||Concord||NC|
|SoCal Summer Classic at Melba Bishop||6/19 – 6/22/15||Oceanside||CA|
|Big Country RV Bend Pickleball Tournament||8/14 – 8/16/15||Bend||OR|
|Tournament of Champions||Early September||Ogden||UT|
|USAPA 2015 Nationals VII||Early November||Casa Grande||AZ|
And these tournaments are still up in the air or final dates have not been set yet:
|Great Plains Regional||9/10 – 9/13/15||Colorado Springs||CO|
|Fall Brawl||Early October||St. George||UT|
Feel free to recommend a favorite tournament in the comments below or email us and we'll consider it in our schedule.