Got Pro players calling us out and that's just like baffling I'm looking at my phone and the number one player in the world's calling you out saying you don't respect the rules that's absolutely asinine if everything goes south from here it'll all have been worth it and the pro players know it's there right because here's the thing.

They're not only some of them playing with it they're asking me for it hey send me the highest grit Legacy Pro what that what it's very uncontrollable it's very you can hear it you know it's not a a huge issue for any of the companies when it comes to the number of paddles in the market but uh you know it's it's definitely something that needs to be.

Stomped out of the game we didn't want another marshmallow you know quite frankly there's a ton of marshmallows on the on the market some companies own all the marshmallows right we didn't want a marshmallow right we didn't want that we'll leave them to have the marshmallow if that's what control looks like we'll leave it to them ours hits like a.

Machine all right so it's early 2023 and Legacy paddles are flying off the shelf Pros are using it various YouTube YouTube channels are reviewing it and sales are going through the roof but then paddle gate 2.0 sound familiar it all started when USA pickleball banned a release of carbon's paddles back in May of 2022 after that was over everything.

Seemed fine until recently many of these smaller brands have been drawn into the spotlight and some even overpending legal discourse Chris sticker the co-founder of Legacy pickleball is actually one of them while they have not been called upon by USA pickleball for any violations there have been accusations made by other parties.

Outside of this regulatory committee these accusations whatever the speculations and allegations may be put this man's company and ability to provide for his family financially in Jeopardy stick around until the end to hear more on why Chris does this who he does it for and the origination of his saying bet on yourself it gets a little.

Emotional thank you hey what's going on Chris thanks for joining me today thanks for having me bud yeah for sure um can you tell me a little about yourself as well as Legacy pickleball.

Your brand absolutely of course my name is Chris dickert I'm from Alabama um I grew up in Alabama went to school at the University of Alabama you know been a playing pickleball probably about three and a half four years myself as a tournament player um Legacy is our little love child.

Um you know it kind of started uh randomly um I was playing in Atlanta and my little girl was with me and uh I was testing the waters at Pro and uh I was getting whipped out there on the court and I look over my little girl was just hanging out with some of the pros and she's a big fan of Annalee Waters and.

She's she's five now but at the time she was four and um you know we we kind of just enjoyed the moment uh later uh a company or a couple companies kind of approached us about maybe sponsoring my little girl and kind of building a brand around her maybe doing some paddles you know and making her kind of the face of.

The of the junior panels look kind of like the next kind of like Anna Lee Waters if you will and um you know I think I made the mistake of telling her hey sweetheart we're gonna look at making a paddle for you and put your name on it and uh you know when we got down towards the end of it it just seemed like you know for me I'm.

All about family and uh the way it worked out was it was probably better for her if if we did it ourselves and so I had to make a decision as a dad to either honor my word or just disappoint my little girl and that that wasn't gonna happen so we went to bat working on uh the first uh junior carbon fiber paddle and we named it Prodigy and um.

You know we we really have tried to make a paddle for the juniors and The Super Juniors we're trying to coin the term Super Juniors for the kids that are four to eight years old and bring them into the game Ellie's been playing probably since she was I don't know maybe one you know she she started out with a little cell Kirk novelty paddle and uh kind of.

Went from there got her a little One-Shot paddle and it was pretty cool and then um you know now she's five but she's very athletic you know and she can handle herself stinking real well and and hitting back hands and forehands and you know so I wanted to build a tool for The Super Juniors and juniors that uh.

Was you know a training tool not just another paddle with a name on it the flip paddles and sell paddles and um that was important for me you know because I've coached a lot of sports over the years my kids um you know I have three children they're all super athletic and uh for me you know I wanted to do something for the junior program.

And The Super Juniors and you know as an untapped Market you know I wanted to make sure that we we got in and we made a difference in that environment and so uh her and I started looking at tons of different you know looks and uh she probably went through 1500 different designs and she settled in on a rainbow glittery paddle and uh I think I got one.

Right here matter of fact this is a copy of it and uh you know we we named it The Prodigy and we put a little name on it Ellie Dicker series but it's a a carbon fiber paddle it's smooth carbon fiber so it's not it's not raw carbon fiber but you know for us we wanted to make something that we knew would be forgiving and it was a little bigger it.

Had a longer handle so kids could start developing a two-handed backhand at an early age and um you know the thing I I know about children and kids after coaching um if they have some success they're having fun right and if they're not having success then they're probably not going to come back to the game you know so I was a baseball player growing.

Up and uh you take a kid into the uh um hitting cages and man they missed 10 balls in a row they're probably not having fun you know they go home and they're like Mom and I stink at baseball you know and they probably don't want to come back right so for some of the paddles that we found out on the market um you know it just seemed like they.

Weren't real training tools you know I I play 5-0 I'm not the best player out there but I couldn't control some of those paddles you know and so if I couldn't control it how's my four and five year old going to control it right and so it was really more about novelty at that point versus you know application and predicting practicality.

And stuff so we we tried to change that and we're just getting started on that we've got some pretty cool things coming on that but you know in the process we knew that we probably needed to uh build an adult paddle and so I went to work on that I took six of the best paddles on the market that I was uh fans of and I throw them apart and what I liked about.

In my cap and what I didn't like I fixed and there were some glaring things that needed to be fixed and so I fixed them and um you know indirectly we came up with a paddle that was pretty dope you know and felt like you know it was going to make a difference in the marketplace and for us you know we named our company Legacy because it was something that we.

Wanted to leave behind for our children you know and that's it you know I mean we didn't get into this to make a ton of money you know really selling paddles was kind of the the last thing on our minds right it was really about holding my word to my daughter um but you know in the meantime we've got a mission and vision and value.

Statement that we believe in and we want to change the game for the you know we want we want people to gravitate to us because of who we are and what we stand for not uh for a shiny paddle that we made or you know we can make any paddle out there but um you know that's that's kind of how we got started yeah you're definitely right about.

Children if they don't find success early then they just want to move on to the next thing which is actually funny because adults are the exact same way and I think that's like why pickleball is what it is now because a lot of people will play and be like it's hard but it's not like impossible and.

You kind of remove certain aspects that other sports require like I think athleticism to a degree yeah um absolutely yeah I think that's probably some of the beauty of our sport is you can take it a five-year-old and a 70 year old and you don't know who's going to win the match right it really takes out athleticism to a point you.

Know I mean you can make it as competitive as you want obviously you can run it all the way up to Pro but uh the majority of the game is at the Rick level you know if there's five million players probably 4.8 million of them don't play tournaments so um it's truly about the social aspect and um you know it's it's by far the coolest sport out.

There to me because it takes out race uh ethnicity socioeconomic background none of that matters you know and and if you peel away everything and it's just a bunch of great people enjoying hitting the wolf of ball back and forth you know what I mean and it's pretty it's pretty awesome yeah totally.

Um what paddle were you using before Legacy so right before Legacy I was uh sponsored by Babylon and uh before that I was with paddle Tech and um I was playing with the monster power and you know and that was part of the you know the the need for a better paddle you know about lots of great company but the technology is just not there uh in their.

Paddles yet and it's extremely difficult to play at a high level against these paddles out there that just have stupid grit and um with a paddle that can't keep up with it and I mean you know a lot of people say that the the tool doesn't matter or the paddle doesn't matter or the the arrow doesn't matter it's the Indian but I I tend to believe.

It's both you know and so you can you know if it wasn't that way you'd never see advancements in any sports like golf going from Woods to uh irons to baseball going from wood bats to aluminum I mean it's it's just the nature of the Beast so what's different about the junior paddles yeah so um the first thing we did was we made it.

All one piece you know in the adult paddle that was the biggest thing that I found right off the bat was the majority of paddles on the market had a an inferior build when it came to design you know the handles would break on an overhead I probably broke I don't know 15 20 paddles over the span of playing just.

Just from hitting overheads and uh putting so much force into an overhead and so I wanted to make sure that our Junior panels kind of mimicked our adult paddles in that it was one piece and so that was the very first thing you know then the carbon fiber it was definitely the first on the market uh another company kind of followed behind us and.

Made theirs not far behind us but you know I feel like in order to move the needle you have to bring in different aspects of technology and it might not be Reinventing the wheel but it definitely has to push the envelope further down the road and we were very much about being um legal and adhering to the usapa rules.

That was the biggest thing for me was like I knew you know on the adult panel the junior panel not so much obviously because um you don't see a lot of grit uh on the junior paddles out there but in the adult tournament um area you're seeing a tremendous.

Amount of friction on the paddles now and um you know for us we wanted to make sure that our paddle was legal on the grit side and we wanted to make sure that we used physics behind it to you know help the spin rate because I didn't want to come out and be a little fish in a big pond and and have a paddle that was pushing the illegal limit on grit.

And they go well we're not going to bust so and so and so and so because they they donate so much money to the tours and and usapa we're gonna pop Legacy right you know they're the little fish we can we can use them as an example and I've heard a couple Pros talk about it right the opposite right you know I heard Zane say something about.

Yesterday about uh little companies can come out and push the envelope because man it's only fifty thousand dollars of them and if they lose it it's no big deal right well you know I don't think Zane was really thinking through that because I'm a single dad right you know fifty thousand dollars that's a lot of money that's a lot of money I could have.

Put towards my kids education so it's even more stringent on us as small companies to do the right thing and for the right reason so that we can succeed in this industry because you know we're we're very Expendable being little you know big fishes can come in Clean us up come after us try you know uh lock us down in court and everything else so you.

Know for us uh we wanted to make sure we did it right and so you know we kind of took gearbox's idea I mean you know you don't have to have friction to spin a ball I mean look at gearbox this slick is all get out right and it spins the ball fine so there's different current physics behind it that if you combined it and you know you don't necessarily.

Have to depend on illegal grit to to spin the ball at a high RPM and so that was kind of what the idea was is how can we design a paddle that the ball dwelled on the face long enough for you to shape it you know to increase the speed and I feel like we did that you know for our first paddle out on the market I think the Legacy Pro hit a hit a high mark and.

Um you know we've got our challenges obviously but um you know we're real excited about it and where we're headed so yeah it's definitely Making Waves uh I've talked about I think the last episode is with uh Joey B from the pickleball exchange and I've like talked about Reddit I've talked about Reddit.

And I've talked about you and Legacy and I've just talked about how Legacy is probably the most popular post within the subreddit of pickleball right now and I've said it's it's like mixed right it's kind of like a double-edged sword like or like a kind of like a love hate there are people who are like man I just ordered it and you see it like.

Posts are just flooding yeah just like I can't wait and on the flip side there's like also where's my paddle three months yeah and you know I've talked about it on the last episode too it's just like it's not a it's not like a knock at all it's just like there's high demand and Joey cleared things up and was like you know.

There's manufacturing uh like hold ups there's things that are kind of like outside of your control so yeah I want to give you a chance to shed some light on that um even though you are transparent you send emails you have uh like posts but uh yeah just give you the opportunity to shut some light on it you know we grew fast right we we came out.

October and uh December we had sold out already even before reviews came out because everyone that was in our area was buying the paddle and knew that we had something different right it was just built different and and you could feel it when you hit it you could feel it and so we uh were approved in September and.

Um you know a couple months down the road the carbon power series comes out right behind ours is very similar to ours uh it was very apparent that our Factory was not the most um loyal when it came to intellectual property and so um lesson learned you know carbon's a.

Great company um but you know we felt like we we brought something out that was you know different and so uh right after that you saw vatic 6-0 coming out and you know everybody has their different opinion on who brought it to the table as far as the thermal forming and all that but needless the same.

You know in December we sold out uh some reviews came out they were really good um on the 26th of December we sold out I had a rush order coming in came in on the third before the third even got in we had already sold out of that shipment that came in which was Triple the amount that we had ordered prior so I rushed another shipment before.

The factories went into their holiday for 20 days their Chinese New Year and that was really the huge issue was planning accordingly for that right and so you know being in the industry probably last April you might know about that and I was not prepared for the demand you know um and so we rushed another order in we.

Went into back order status shut down uh pre-orders and then drop the price just as a convenience to our customers because look we're not trying to make a bunch of money on people we wanted to make affordable paddle um you know we struggle with that in itself because people say oh it's 150 you know it's a good value at 150 but.

They look at paddles that are 250 and go man those must be really good paddles well you know actually our paddle could sell for 250. our particles sell for 300 you know it's not because we're a small company or we're new to the market we could have came out and put the price at 299 and people would have still bought it right because they like expensive.

Things and so that's not who we are you know we're family oriented and so you know the the demand got so high so quickly that you know we were prepared in February for the uh shipments to come there was a delay at the factory because not only was our demand getting hired carbon's demand got higher six zeros demand got higher Maddox demand got.

Higher so now all of a sudden the factory that is pushing the thermoforming paddles is at Max Capacity right and so they got to make a decision on who do we cater to do we cater to the bigger company and carbon do we cater to smaller companies do we do we try to balance it out so they started I feel like trying to balance this all out and.

Try to keep us all happy and so they started cutting our our supplies and so we at the same time started looking at some issues in the marketplace with the delaminations and so in some of the colder areas we were noticing that not only us but if some other companies the thermoforming companies were dealing with some issues.

Around delamination where the glue is coming undone from the core and it's making this paddle a little bit more powerful in some instances some instances it's making it dead and um we immediately went into okay we got to fix this issue because we don't want it to become an issue right and you know listen paddles are not made to be played.

In 35 degree weather if you put glue in a freezer it's going to crack if you put glue in a heater or you go put it in a truck in Alabama at 100 degrees outside it's going to turn into 150 degrees and the glue is going to start to melt don't leave them in your car in extreme weather don't don't leave it outside try not to play.

In 35 degree weather for Long because not only are you playing with a paddle that's cold with a cold face you're playing with a cold core and you're playing with a ball that gets harder in the cold right so you know we're definitely seeing more delamination issues I think across the four companies in the colder areas and so we.

Immediately went back started trying to adjust the application at the factory that took some time two or three weeks for them to adjust I kicked our supplies back uh we've got some tests back from that and we noticed that uh some of the other companies had a couple of new ones that didn't pass you know they they were starting to necessarily or not.

Necessarily not pass but they delaminated and so we were like okay well we need to make an adjustment here because we're not going to just stick this out at the same Factory if we can't get this process done right we're gonna check out some other factories and that's what we did and so Legacy shifted right we made a big shift really quickly.

No one knew about it you know we took the same application same um materials the same design setup for legacy Pro and we took it somewhere else at the same time and we kind of recreated a different thermal forming process you know thermoform has been around for a long time in different Industries word on the street is it's.

Been in our industry before in different applications but you know the way we were doing it with the foam and in the carbon seal and everything um it just seemed like that was the best technological advancement that we can make coming from what was out on the market and and with carbon fiber being real uh popular that was where we wanted.

To be and so if the process is a really good process and it's a really good paddle if glue is the issue we ought to be able to fix it so we had to re-change or readdress rather the uh the way things were I guess set up you know because say for instance if you you put all the pieces together and you glue it and then you heat it up maybe the the.

Heat itself is breaking down some of the glue internally right and then as it's shipped out later different elements are hitting the paddle it's starting to um now show because it's becoming delaminated well we felt like you could do the same process without doing it exactly that way right before maybe the glue was all applied and so we shifted.

It and that caused us some delays and and you know of course we went into emergency mode people were still wanting the paddle we thought about backing off and and not continue to do pre-orders and and or back orders and people were still blowing us up we were getting emails after emails please let us let us just put the order in and I'm like okay.

So we'll just continue to do that and we'll be very transparent you know I'm I'm I try to live by that myself and so um obviously a double-edged sword you know Reddit you know if you breathe wrong they'll tell you and so uh yeah so you know there's uh Reddit subreddits out there that hey I ordered mine at 112 2023 at 10 52 p.m with 23 seconds to go.

You know what I mean and so I just got my power in somebody else is out there oh man you know I ordered mine on on 3-1 at 12 you know whatever I I'm waiting I'm waiting you know it's like I love it man it's such a great problem but it really breaks your heart because you want to be able to give people the paddle but at the same time I want to.

Make sure they're happy with what they're getting right and I'd much rather people be upset with me for the delay in us give them discounts or um you know uh maybe you know like for instance I just sent out a mass email I don't know if you heard about it or not but I gave everybody like four options that were.

Coming from January and February orders and it was like you know get a percentage off your your current paddle right order or get percentage off your next Legacy uh Pro order or the Legacy paddle order or off our our tour bags that are about to come out right or you can donate 10 and we'll donate 10 to uh the dementia Society of America because.

Not only with all that going on my father's started to develop some dementia himself and was walking down the street headed to the gas station to see his little buddy at the gas station fell in the middle of the road and um knocked himself out and broke his wrist shattered it had to have emergency surgery he's 69 years old we weren't.

Sure if he was going to make it through it just the anesthesia alone and uh he stayed in the hospital for three weeks he literally got out last night and so you know that's just life no excuses on on delays or anything like that but tried to be very transparent and tell people that and um you know that's that's what we're.

About Legacy you know we're all about family you know here we are with a family issue that is not causing any delays you know it's absolutely the quality control that we're trying to in place and we have paddles in hand we're scanning them you know we hear that usapa is um looking at changing the way they do some of the testing so we're.

We're very much waiting to hear you know what they're planning on doing so that we can be abreast of it we'd love to see more transparency in that part of the industry so that we could um you know continue to make good paddles for people but uh we'll see how that plays out I've gotten in contact with someone.

Who's on the equipment side for usapa and trying to get them on here yeah that'd be awesome yeah just create some transparency like you said I'm a player too right and so I don't like hearing about new testing and things like that through Players especially Pro players hey by the way so and so at usapa reached out and wanted.

To buy my paddle because they heard that it might be delaminated but that that just seems it seems not the right process right you know I mean if if the paddle manufacturers are out there and we're paying to have these paddles tested we're the ones driving the industry when it comes to the paddles we want to put.

Products out that there are fun to play with safe for the game good for the game and continuing to bring the game into the the 21st century right I mean you know we we we want to we want more transparency you know talk to us tell us what's going on you know invite us in you know what I mean don't don't don't keep us on the outside.

Looking in and then let us know hey by the way you know you got a panel that didn't pass you know don't you know that's not transparency you know that's that's good that's the good old boy Network and listen I'm from the south so I know how the good old boy network works right let us in you know just this I'm sure every Paddle Company owner out.

There wants more transparency when it comes to that yeah that's so true that you don't want like wire rules and regulations and testing being heard like why are we finding out about it through like professional players and why are the companies the people who are manufacturing or like creating the.

Products being the last ones to hear about and there's certainly some like hierarchy in terms of like the prior the priority and that's where things get like definitely muddy and someone had called this out before about like no shade on duper and what that rating system has done but they just thought it was weird that duper.

Is a rating system for the same tournaments that they also have sponsored players so they thought it was odd that like why why are some of the professional players sponsored by the very same rating system that is being used in these tournaments I've never played a sport where an active player an active Pro Player is also an owner in.

In in the tour that they're playing on or the the or their uh have some stake in um the governing body if you will and so that's interesting you know that that that's definitely interesting right and so um you know and and I think everyone's.

Trying to do the best they can when it comes to navigating those Waters as we continue to grow as an industry um and I mean wow I mean what MLP has done for the game uh you know brought a ton of excitement there's just so many things that are working in the right direction but transparency could definitely take it a better turn for all.

Of us I mean who doesn't want to know what paddles past how they pass what the numbers are I'd be all for it seeing everyone's numbers and our numbers being published I mean why is it not right and so um you know that that seems to be the most fair thing why is there not a website that we could all see.

Everybody's product and and and what you know they hit on I mean I don't think that gives any intellectual property away right seeing what the deflection numbers are for the Legacy as a stock paddle right I mean because what I do know is our paddle is 100 legal was made to be 100 legal it was actually made to to be better than the paddles that were.

Illegal on the market currently that weren't being held accountable for illegal grit you know because I mean you could literally fill some of the paddles on the market it feels like sandpaper and you're like come on man you know I mean who's who's holding these companies accountable right and then you know you've got Pro players calling us out.

And that's just like baffling yeah I'm looking at my phone and the number one player in the world's calling you out saying you don't respect the rules that's absolutely asinine I mean I mean man you're the best player in the world hands down but he has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to Legacy not respecting the rules that's exactly.

What we did and how we created our pattern was to respect the rules right and that and if you hear anybody touch a legacy they go man that feel that thing feels like it's smooth there's a reason right we didn't push the grit over just to to compete with Pro players we didn't do that right we didn't rush out there to sponsor a bunch of pro players you.

Know we're more about family we're more about every player out there the amateur players are just as important as the pro players the rec players that don't know any pro players they're more of them than anybody else right and so for us as a company we want to make sure we're also meeting the needs of everybody out there and the paddles that.

We are working on right now they don't cater to the pros right they cater to the average Joe and so um and we love the pros I I love watching Ben play I love watching them play he's phenomenal but um you know he was way off base on that comment you know as far as respecting the rules so yeah it's definitely odd considering you.

Guys haven't been approached by us APA uh carbon I don't know why they keep getting like mentioned I don't know why they're the scapegoat I I like carbon I like Garrett based on what he's done by making the mistake in the past and how he handled it I was like this honestly the best uh the best way he could have handled it just given you are a business.

Um I agree with you like changes should definitely be transparent because the danger with keeping that from the companies and just really just everyone is at the end of the day you're affecting the consumer without the consumer there's no there's none of this so it's like you're hearing about oh like the carbon paddle might be banned.

Well what about all the people that purchased the paddle like it's not really the company's fault if the company thinks that they're doing it within the right yeah yeah well in the right yeah I can tell you this and I I mean I'm not going to speak for Garrett and the other companies but I'll say this uh I believe that the intent.

When it comes to the thermoforming paddles was to make a better build a better quality paddle so that we didn't have warranty issues when it came to broken handles broken Edge guards stuff like that okay so at no point now this has nothing to do with you know paddle gate 1.0 and the grit gate right right this has everything to do with the.

Build of these paddles now and not one of these four companies went into it at all thinking we're gonna put a paddle out there that will eventually delaminate and it will give someone a Competitive Edge that is absolutely false and I don't care who the pro is that keeps saying it I don't care how good they are it doesn't matter who they.

Are they are absolutely wrong that's not what we built it for no one wants to deal with warranty issues right we actually were trying to avoid warranties by making the paddle the way we made it right so that's absolutely the opposite um you know and unfortunately you know it looks like there's some glue issues going on and listen delamination is not.

A new thing it's been around for a long time almost every paddle I've ever had has delaminated at some point right it becomes dead the people used to be like oh man my graphite paddle I don't understand it's dead in the center yeah it's starting to come loose from the glue you know it delaminates you know the problem is in the past because the.

Bills of the panels weren't as good when they delaminated they got weaker right now there's so much tension on the edges that when it delaminates it becomes more springy it's very uncontrollable it's very you can hear it you know it's not a a huge issue for any of the companies when it comes to the number of paddles in the market but uh.

You know it's it's definitely something that needs to be stomped out of the game I mean tournament directors there's been a rule for delamination for a long time all they've got to do is test the paddle you can squeeze a paddle and hear it crunch that thing is delaminated it doesn't need to be able to play with in a tournament and if they want to test.

Every paddle beforehand test away right we want we want Pros that play with our paddle to play with a good paddle not a paddle that's inconsistent right because here's the thing they might hit it harder but they're going to spray it over there you know and over there because they can't control it right so unless they're in a hand battle you know.

They're going to have a hard time controlling it now people are going to take this and run with it and they're going to go oh man Legacy hits hard it's the laminated come on right let's let's let's stop that narrative right now the Legacy at stock was one of the most powerful titles on the market period okay period yeah Chris Olsen Olsen made.

A video about that and it was like this hits like a truck this was a month ago and will made one two months ago yeah so I mean you know and that's we didn't want another marshmallow you know quite frankly there's a ton of marshmallows on the on the market some companies own all the marshmallows right we didn't want a marshmallow right we didn't want that.

We'll leave them to have the marshmallow if that's what control looks like we'll leave it to them ours hits like a machine you know and and we we I tend to call it a Ferrari right and so you can put a 16 year old in a Ferrari in in the 16 year old can handle it if they drive it appropriately right but if they jump in that Ferrari and stomp the.

Gas like they did in that Honda they're gonna have some trouble and so that's kind of the way our paddle's built you know it's built for um a person that understands grip pressure you know can squeeze to make it more powerful loosen up to to have more control and um you know you have to practice with it.

You know I mean it's it's uh it's just built that way and so I I hope they get it all straight I hope it's not any backhandedness you know between the tours and usapa and um you know I try not to get into the rumor mill stuff but it's it's it's lining up like it's very odd how it's lining up that certain players are.

Coming out that have their names on paddles against the paddles that are out there that are making noise and are hot right now and uh maybe it's affecting their sales right in their pocket change and then and it's directly affecting their companies and so I'll say this and then I'm going to get off of it because I know I've beat this horse.

Um I listen to these Pros go right on social media and I'm I try to be very transparent and I'll tell you almost every Pro that has come out and said something about these thermoforming paddles has ordered a legacy Pro not only that not only that they've either texted me or called me and said.

Hey man this is probably one of the best paddles on the market period don't tell my company right and so I just I'm just waiting for the day one of them just puts me on Big Time blast and I'm gonna post that text you know so I just it's coming you know who you are out there so I'm just saying you know leaving me alone we're trying to do the right.

Things I'm just kidding hey always keep that proof oh yeah yeah I got it I got it I'm just kidding the transparency is huge man um it's I guess I can only really equate it to pickleball because or like talk about it in pickleball because I really don't follow much other things but.

Transparency is huge from a company like you don't see it in large companies you don't see it from Banks you don't see it from corporations and there's it it like coincides with pickleball very well because pickleball has that Community Vibe it has that kind of organic homegrown it has a family Vibe the van the vibe same vibe that.

You're trying to um convey and there is something about seeing the CEO the founder responding whether it's Reddit Twitter sending emails out like that takes time yeah it also it also like subjects you to risk in terms of like what you're saying you haven't said anything bad but there are.

People like Elon you know he's like very transparent and he said things that are very like off the rails but at the same time what you're getting is someone very transparent he's going to tell you what's on your mind instead of like all these other people who hide behind you know the screen and they never say.

Anything they use someone else to make the announcements or you know talk on their behalf and I just want to say like as a consumer but also as a human being transparency is so important in this culture in this day and age that it's awesome that you do that and I see it all over Reddit you know like people are.

Just like oh dude he's like responding in these uh posts and he's like commenting and he's like sending emails and they like copy and paste the links to the or like the screenshots of the emails yeah yeah it's awesome yeah you know I appreciate that you know it's it's it's um.

It here's the thing man I think that we've got so many things that we want to accomplish as a company and one of them is really good customer service and you know if you ask me or John what's most important for us in this game it's Family right and so I want to leave behind something that my kids can.

Be proud of and um I've I've had plenty of missteps in my life right we all have and um you know it's a learning process everything is and I know that if you are if doing the one of my one of the Legacy athletes said this to me and it's so true um her name is Jamie and if she sees.

This she's going probably how that I mentioned her but uh she said doing the right thing is never wrong and I agree you know I mean I just feel like if you peel back all the layers of Legacy what you'll see is a company that believes in bringing attention to mental health awareness you know when it comes.

To pickleball uh bring in attention to the benefits of playing pickleball and how good it is for you both mentally and physically and that's important to me because I'm a single dad so I've gone through things myself and uh pickleball was both a detriment and a savior if you will and um man it took a while to really dive into that and own it because.

There was a time where I was going through some things and I just I felt like pickleball was probably the reason I was going through it and um but at the same time you know pickleball turned it around for me you know what I mean because when I didn't have that there.

I had that family community in pickleball and uh they lifted me up and so for me you know it's hard to talk about as a man about mental health but that's important to to me and so for us as a company that's that's what we want to do and in order to do that you have to be honest with yourself and honest with other people and so that's probably.

Where the transparency comes from is um you know just owning my mistakes owning owning the things that I'm accountable for and putting yourself out there because listen man I I every time I open my phone I'm like oh man you know I I have we have to get uh back in stock we have so many things that we want to do you.

Know uh people text me at late at night or I'll put my cell phone out there and people are like man don't put your cell phone on Facebook are you crazy and I'm like you know it's okay you know because I have had conversations on Christmas Eve after the kids went to bed and I had you know Santa Claus came and uh people called talking about the paddle and man.

To me that's amazing and I want to make sure I'm always available and answering the phones and and John's the same way and you know whether we're a seven dollar company or a 10 million dollar company we're still going to be the same two people and um for us it's amazing because we've attracted a group of players that is just Grassroots campaign.

To a t you know and they just gravitate to us and they're all good people you know our athletes are just all good people and uh we're so blessed to be around so many amazing people uh that it's you almost have to pinch yourself every day the good and the bad right and uh being on the forums and Reddit and you can't please everybody that's.

Probably the hardest thing I think of being transparent is disappointing some you know and I feel like I'm such a people pleaser in some ways but at the same time it's you know um you have to stay true to your mission and if that mission is one thing and and people are dragging you in different ways you have to stay focused on that.

Path and um and that's that's that's where we're at you know right now so yeah even being a people pleaser is very exhausting and it's just yeah very uh it's dead it's a definitely a weird battle Yeah Yeah too and if you defend yourself right it makes you look defensive you know it's it's difficult.

Because you're passionate about it right and so it's like somebody picking on your kids you you jump out there and defend them but you you some people take that different ways and really it's just passion and and my company is all about those three kids and and John's kids and and everybody's kids I mean you know like the coolest thing for me wasn't.

That the Legacy Pro became like super popular super quick it was man those 100 Ellie Dicker Prodigy series panels that we shipped out and I got pictures every hour just boom boom boom on Christmas Eve of little girls smiling loving life loving the game and it's like man if everything goes south from here it'll all have been worth it right I mean just.

Because one I was a man of my word and and my daughter will always know that right and then two you know we've we've pushed the quality of paddles right so now we're talking about new tests right we're talking about I mean it's amazing you know the things that are now starting to happen because we're trying to push it in the right direction and.

And by no means are we trying to push it over the envelope but again just pushing it in the right direction right and so yeah for us that's that's pretty cool just to be a part of that you know yeah the fact that they're like re-configuring the testing yeah you could think of it as like some people could think of it as a bad thing but.

Honestly if we're talking about the advancement of the sport yeah and yeah all that then it is good obviously regulation is very tricky it's kind of like if you equate it to like crypto right like crypto all these people are getting screwed over and there's a lot like all these rug bowls it's because regulation.

Just can't keep up same with tech companies uh like big companies like Google Apple Amazon have like Anti-Trust laws so regulation is always going to be something very tricky to balance out and figure out but we just hopefully I don't know what it's going to take maybe it takes like getting paddle founders all at this like Round Table yeah that's.

How that's how it should be right that's how it should be you should bring the the heads of the companies in together and and listen it doesn't matter what the rules are right if the rule is our RX is 40 then we're going to be under 40. right if the rule is 80 we're going to be under that but let's set some clear rules and let's hold everybody.

Accountable for it right and let's have an even playing field when it comes to the rules right just because my paddle hits harder doesn't mean it's bad for the game right doesn't mean that it's illegal it's not right and so if a paddle breaks that's not the responsibility of necessarily the player or the company.

Right it could be that it just broke right it could be that there's a flaw in manufacturing it could be that you know maybe there is a company out there that's trying to to do things the wrong way right there's always that um option of taking that path right but but if every company is held to the same standard and when you hear about and and.

I'm going to just be as as real as it gets right now I have heard about illegal grit until I'm blue in the face I've played against the paddles I've felt the paddles I've seen the cut returns hit back at me you know I know it's there and the pro players know it's there right because here's the thing they're not only some of them.

Playing with it they're asking me for it hey send me the highest grit Legacy Pro what the what you know what I mean so like people are talking out of both sides of their mouths you know what I mean they want transparency they want it to be fair but they also want what they want to give them a competitive Advantage you.

Know and it's so crazy seeing the back side of it as well you know what I mean and so when you hear people talk and take the higher moral ground it's almost like come on man you know aren't you that same guy that asked for that hybrid you know you don't need come on man you know you know like oh my goodness man yeah okay all right but you know at the.

End of the day we all just want the same even playing field set the rules set the expectations and then let us let us um go out there and make panels that that fit in that and we did that right so if they come out and they ban the Legacy Pro are they ban carbon or they ban you know any of the thermoform paddles.

Um man what a mess what a mess right because we passed all the tests not only did we pass the test we passed with flying colors okay so we have room to grow when it comes to grit or deflection so if a panel becomes broken it should go in the trash period you should send it back to the company let them send it back to the.

Manufacturer replace that paddle and hopefully that company does right by everybody and fixes the process so that it doesn't continue to cycle right because as we all know some companies continue to put paddles out there that break at the handle over and over and over and over and over I got buddies that are that that play with these.

Paddles they've had 14 warranties for the same paddle come on man fix it just fix the build it's a it's a build issue right and so you know there's always going to be warranty issues with every company and that's not new there's always going to be delamination because we're dealing with glue you know in resins.

Um and hopefully if anything this will drive the paddle Engineers to make a better paddle that doesn't depend necessarily on the glue you know what I mean and that's where we're headed so we're hoping to put we're hoping yeah the broken paddle broken handle I think we're on the same page as what as far as.

Like which paddle that is I have a buddy who's gone through five already and keep sending it back to this retailer that supplies a paddle and they just keep replacing it and I'm just like dude when are you just going to move to another paddle yeah like you're only getting it because it's just what everyone else has to a degree.

As opposed to like what is best for you which is something that you know Joey B was talking about but um that's frustrating right that's so frustrating as a player and and I think I can say this because we're probably one of a handful of companies that's actually has players at a competitive level that own the company you know.

That's ridiculous man I don't want to have to constantly go back to the company and ask for a new paddle because it broke you know and so that's the absolute last thing I want to deal with as a player and a company owner right you want to build a product that doesn't do that right and so I mean we will always do right by the customer if.

There's an issue you know people can pick up the phone they've got my cell phone listen how many how many companies and people can say look and they're a small company they're going to answer the phone they got no employees I'm still going to answer the phone when we're in 10 million dollar company in two years call me.

I'm gonna answer the phone right so you know um it's just who we are and we care about people and we're going to do right by people and you know we want people to come to Legacy because of who we are and what we believe and what we stand for not what we build not the paddle because look if you come to Legacy Brook Pro.

Because it's the the best in spin right now the next power that that beats it in spin you're gonna run to it right that's not what we want you know we want loyalty um you know we want we want generational uh loyalty we want the the children you know we we want the whole family man you know and that's that's what we're.

Striving for yeah and it's interesting that you're saying this because these are all things that someone else or another company cannot imitate you can imitate a paddle you can imitate a product but you can't imitate who someone is down in the core you can try and imitate like how they talk how.

They dress how they look but you can't imitate like the authenticity authenticity the transparency the genuine like care for wanting to Foster like more Community family and that's also I think something that's so powerful about not just what you're doing but a lot of other companies that and people who.

Strive to do that is that at the end of the day builds a following like you look at someone like Mr Beast that kid is just genuinely a good person and at one point he asked he made a post to all his followers and he was just like after he put out his chocolate bars he told people like hey if you happen to be in.

Walmart and the shelves of the chocolate bars are all messed up do you mind you know just tidying it up for me right next like next couple hours just post after post after post people are just showing before and after photos he didn't ask for anything and he just like because he cultivated this following of just being.

A genuinely like good guy he's always trying to put it like put others first and these people like yeah they just cultivated this like amazing following where people are just willing to do something for this person like how many corporations can speak to that so I think that's you know like very interesting.

Um what what's next for legacy you have mentioned the tour bags and you know elaborate on that if you yeah so we we've got a legacy Pro s model that uh we're shipping off to usapa to uh get approved it's a square version of the Legacy Pro with a shorter handle five inch handle we've got a recreational paddle that we feel like we're gonna.

Break the industry on that's um coming out before too long um you know we're really striving to be in the recreational industry right we we are definitely going to be in every facet of pickleball so we're gonna have Pros you know that's common uh we're not in a rush there right we don't have to go that route but it's it's something we.

Want to do we want to we want to support the tours we want to support usapa uh and Nationals and we want to be a part of of building MLP and and making a big difference in the game but we also don't want to forget where we came from so you know I play at the YMCA in in Montgomery Alabama indoor all the time now not so much you know.

But but it was maybe three three days a week and you know I play Pickleball because a 72 year old hit me in the chest with the ball right off the bat and I was like man can you do that and he was like heck yeah you can do that and I was like all right I'm I'm in it now and so uh you know I was questioning myself as an athlete so.

Um you know I want to make sure that Legacy is the social media company in pickleball right and and I'm we're way off but man it's so fun for me to post pictures of people winning medals post pictures of people that are out there just doing clinics that are just hanging out with their dog in the paddles there you know I mean we're gonna do so much.

When it comes to our blog uh we call it the reset it's uh uh about mental health and um you know it's about players and they don't have to be Legacy players they could play with whatever paddle you know we don't care you know we're going to tell your story and if you're you're brave enough to tell your story we want to tell it for you you know and we want.

To help that and so um we're we're headed in the direction of making that a big staple of legacy and who we are and uh dude we're gonna do some exciting things coming up with some Super Juniors that are going to be pretty dope you know and you know and I'll tell you a little snippet um there's plenty of companies out there that that man they.

Do an amazing job of picking off all the pros right and sponsoring every one of them you know and and they can they got the funds right they've been around they've got the money well we believe in juniors and we know that the future of pickleball is the little little studs and study that's coming and we're very much gonna go and sponsor a.

Lot of them right and we're going to have fun with it we're going to have big to Do's on social media so and so five-year-old sponsored we're we're and listen if anybody's watching this and steals my idea shame on you but uh we're definitely gonna be we're definitely gonna be um.

Making some some cool commercials uh with Super Juniors and making a big to do out of it kind of like high school recruiting if you will and so we're gonna have some fun with it and uh that's the beauty of our game and uh I'm I promise you when that wreck paddle comes out you know people are going to talk about Legacy as much as they're.

Talking about us now and we're gonna we're gonna make some noise we're not trying to get rich off of anybody but we're definitely uh want to make paddles that are affordable and that are good for the family and excited about the athletes that we have and and the things that they're going to be out there doing uh we having a tremendous ambassador.

Program I mean I don't think there's another ambassador program out there that is quite like ours and we're just doing things different you know and so um you know you asked me about the built different thing in in the uh where did bet on yourself come from and you know growing up um.

You know there were there were trials in my life I lost my little brother when I was 15. and uh you know he was and he was something you know he played every sport kid was just a genius he was artistic he was just salt to the Earth right and um.

I knew that growing up that it in order to succeed you had to look in the mirror and not not let the things that beat you down in the world um and The Valleys that you've gone through keep you in that Valley you had to uh you had to put your money on yourself you had to look in the mirror and you had to bet on what you saw and.

You had to believe in yourself because what I know is if you don't believe in yourself no one else will and um Legacy is very much that and so that's one of our mottos is BET on yourself because listen you know what you're capable of you just got to reach inside and grab it right and don't let anybody in the world tell.

You different because there will always be haters the big dogs are coming after us right now they're slapping us with this and slapping us with that but listen at the end of the day it's not going to matter because Legacy will still be here 10 years from now right and and I'll tell you the exact reason why it's because I look in the mirror.

Every day and I bet on myself because I know that nobody's going to take it from me you you better be something else if you're going to take it from me and so um you know that's that's where we're at and every one of our athletes and they they are the same you know and and in our following you know the people that Believe in Us and and see our paddles.

And our passion they're the same and I mean look man that 72 year old that has never played in a tournament that plays with a legacy paddle when I walk in man it almost takes me in tears every time I see it because one day I'm gonna walk in and he's not gonna be there right and man for this amount of time.

You know Legacy made something you know and and made a difference and that dude made a difference to me and that that's that's just how it's going to be and we're going to keep pushing and we're not giving up and uh look even if even if things change with the Legacy Pro and and the industry changes we're gonna adapt right.

Because we're here for the players not to to make money or to build the the best paddle on the planet or the most expensive we're here for the players and and that's what we're all about is listening to the players and what the players want and uh getting that feedback and you know and we're working on some bags and stuff that that players.

Have really asked for and you know that that's that's kind of where we're headed and man forgive me for being a little emotional but man it's tough when you when you when you believe in something so much um you know I'm betting the rest of my life on this right I'm betting the happiness.

Of my kids and my kids kids on how hard I work right now and so um and if you are the type of player that believes in companies like that then then take a chance on us because I promise you one thing you'll never not be able to pick up the phone and call me and I won't call you back right so yeah for sure man really sorry to hear.

About your brother um I know where he's at yeah and you know I'm sure he's very proud of you and I lost my dad when I was 25 dining like a climbing accent and it's I feel you man it's a shame that something so motivating and Powerful has to come at such a high cost and such a high price and I can also tell that you.

Have a coaching background which I just want to say man coaches I think that's a prop I think that's something missing from society today is a lot of kids that are more going to like there are screens as opposed to being under the tutelage of a coach is that these coaches bring something very special and different out of many individuals and make them feel.

Like they're capable of something and you don't have a lot of people like that in today's society now um but and you honestly ended this on a perfect note I don't have uh any more any more things to say you covered everything and just want to say thank you man uh thank you for being transparent thank you for just being.

Aside from a business owner just the person that you are like your father your son your just a overall honest human being which is something that isn't easy to come by and not as common as one might hope I appreciate that and I'm sorry to hear about your dad and man what what I know is where we're all.

Headed is the right direction right and if there's anything I can ever do for you or anybody else out there watching this man please pick up the phone and call me because um for us it's it's as important as helping everyone build their brand and their identity and who they are and helping them succeed because indirectly.

That'll help us succeed and uh you know we're all about servant leadership and putting others first and um and that's just who we are so for sure uh what's the best place for people to find more information about yes so you can check our website out at legacypickleball.com or you can check us out on Instagram at Legacy pickle or uh.

Twitter Legacy pickleball or um Facebook Legacy pickle um we're even on Tick Tock so if you're on Tick Tock we're on Tick Tock at Legacy pickles so we're uh we're learning I'm learning on Reddit Discord I'm I'm old but I'm learning so uh you know forgive me if yeah I'm out there and and we cross.

Paths and I'm not sure what I'm doing but I'm out there so I will always be out there and uh you know I'm a player first right so yeah any uh last question actually because I feel like you're gonna have something good to say here is uh any advice you would have for someone who has successfully create a business in.

Pickleball yeah you know um I I will I would say this um it doesn't take much to do a lot right and and if you wake up every day with good intentions and you believe in yourself and you don't let the outside influences bring you down you're going.

To be successful and there's so many good people in this industry that even if you don't know which path you want to run or where you want to run there's people out there that will help you and they'll help you for free and I'm one of them and so uh if you're interested in getting in the paddle game you know call me I'll help you you know we um we don't.

Shy away from competition right and and we'd love for see other people be successful and do things for our community and our industry and uh man what exciting time to be in pickleball at the front end of this thing listen when when this is in the Olympics we're all going to look back and go wow you know we were at the front of it and so.

What a blessing uh and keep doing what you're doing so awesome seeing um I'm such a fan I love watching your stuff and uh uh and I I love watching uh Chris Olson and those guys do their thing and so many good podcasts out there so it's it's awesome and listen from from from us to you and me as a player to you all uh thanks for what you all do but.

Because um you know you are definitely a driving force behind the industry and um motivation because you know without you all you know it would be hard to get the word out there and and really show and share what we all enjoy you know getting up every day for so so thank you.

Yeah thanks again Chris really appreciate it thanks for having me Bud good to talk to you likewise
Interview with Chris Dickert, co-founder of the most popular paddle on the market right now, Legacy Pickleball. We talk about his background, influence on junior paddles, the origin of the Legacy Pickleball brand, Reddit, delamination, thermoforming paddles, USA Pickleball regulation, Ben Johns, and what Legacy means to him. Use code ‘BOY10’ for 10% off your Legacy Pickleball order.

Chapters
00:00 Highlights
01:00 Intro and context
02:10 Start of conversation
03:40 Ellie and Super Junior paddles
07:14 The birth of Legacy adult paddles
9:40 Sponsored by Babolat and Paddletek
10:35 Moving the needle with unibody and carbon paddle
12:20 Grit and spin
14:40 Reddit and Legacy
15:40 Explaining the delays
19:10 Delamination, thermoforming
24:33 Fathers dementia and injury
25:45 USA Pickleball regulation
30:06 Being called out by Ben Johns
35:10 Legacy POWER
37:03 Sponsored pros using Legacy
39:00 Transparency
52:30 Building a following
53:50 What’s next for legacy
56:45 Super Juniors
58:10 Bet On Yourself
1:04:50 Advice for founders
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