What Is Dink In Pickleball? Find Out How To Dink

What is dink in pickleball

What is Dink in Pickleball

Dink is a term used in the sport of pickleball. It is a shot that hits lightly over the net to the opposing player, usually with an underhand motion. The goal of the dink shot is to keep the ball low and make it difficult for the other player to return. This can be done with either a forehand or backhand swing.

The dink should be placed just over the net so that it lands close to where it was hit from on the opposite side of the court. A successful dink can often win a point or set up an easier shot for your partner if you are playing doubles. Dinking requires good control, accuracy, and excellent timing, which can take some practice to master.

Brief History And Evolution Of Dinking

In the early days of pickleball, dinking was not a technique that was widely used. Instead, players focused on hitting powerful shots and getting points quickly. However, with the growth and development of the sport, dinking began to be incorporated more into the game. Players realized the advantages of using dinks to regulate the game’s pace and create opportunities for more powerful shots.

In the 1970s, advancements were made in the way of different grips, stances, and swing techniques to improve the dinking ability. As a result, it became a vital part of pickleball, and players began to develop new methods to increase their dinking game.

Dinking is now a mainstay in the pickleball game, and people of all skill levels use it. It has become a crucial element of the sport, as players use it to control the game’s tempo and to set up more powerful shots.

Purpose of Dinking in Pickleball

The purpose of dinking in pickleball is to control the game’s pace and force opponents to move to a specific area of the court. The idea behind this shot is to place the ball just over the net, so it drops barely on your opponent’s side, allowing you to maintain control of the game. Doing so can force your opponents to move out of position, setting up for a more powerful shot or strategic placement. Dinking also allows you to assess how well your opponent moves around the court, which can be used as an advantage if they struggle with certain areas. As such, dinking is a key shot in pickleball that is both strategic and tactical.

Types of Dink Shots

There are a few different types of dink shots in pickleball, each with its specific purpose and technique.

  • Volley Dink: Hit while the ball is still in the air, usually at the net; used to end a rally quickly and put the ball away before the opponent can react.
  • Groundstroke Dink: Hit after the ball bounces; used to control the game’s pace and force opponents to move to a specific court area.
  • Lob Dink: Hit with a higher trajectory, used to clear the net and give the player more time to get into position. It can also be used to force opponents to back away from the net.
  • Angle Dink: Hit with a specific angle; used to move opponents out of position and create an opening for a more powerful shot.
  • Drop Shot Dink: Hit with a lower trajectory; used to make the ball drop quickly to the ground on the opponent’s side of the court, disrupt the opponent’s rhythm and create an opening for a more powerful shot.
  • Short-hop Dink: Hit when the ball bounces once on the opponent’s side of the court, intended to land close to the net. It’s a great shot to force the opponent to play a defensive shot.

How To Dink In Pickleball

What is dink in pickleball

Following is the Step-by-Step Guide on how to play dink shots in pickleball

A. The Grip 

To ensure success with a dink shot, it is vital to hold the paddle correctly. A popular grip to employ is the “Eastern forehand grip,” where the index knuckle of the hand is situated on top of the handle. This grip provides increased control and accuracy when hitting a dink shot.

B. The Stance 

For a successful dink shot, it’s best to stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your weight evenly distributed. This stance provides more balance and stability when hitting the dink.

C. The Contact Point 

For a successful dink shot, it is essential to make contact with the ball at the ideal spot. Contact should be slightly above the middle of the ball for a dink shot to achieve a lower trajectory and drop quickly on the opponent’s side of the court.

D. The Follow Through

After striking the ball, it is important to complete the stroke properly. A successful follow-through for a dink shot should see the paddle finish up and out, resulting in a lower trajectory and greater accuracy.

Advanced Tips for Playing the Dink Shot

Choosing the Right Angle

To land a successful dink shot, it is essential to select the correct angle. This entails aiming the shot in a particular area of the court where the adversary is less likely to be able to return it. This could be a corner of the court or a spot where the opponent is not in the proper position.

Setting Up the Opponent 

Hitting a dink shot can be used tactically to set up a more potent stroke. By striking a dink shot, players can cause opponents to shift their position, leaving space for a more powerful shot like a drive or a smash. Furthermore, by hitting a dink shot, players can also break up the rival’s tempo and make it harder for them to respond to a more aggressive stroke.

Generating Power

Players can get more power out of their dink shots by using the right technique, such as a combination of wrist snap, arm acceleration, and a full body rotation. Even though these shots are low-powered, they can still be executed with greater force by employing the correct technique.

Executing the Shot

To perform a successful dink shot, it is essential to focus on the technique, especially the grip, stance, contact point, and follow-through. Additionally, it is important to be mindful of court positioning and the opponent’s position to select the optimal angle and set up the rival for the next shot.

Are There Any Rules For Dink In Pickleball

Dinking is a legal shot in pickleball and is considered an important part of the game. However, there are certain rules that players must follow when hitting a dink shot.

  • A dink shot must be hit with a downward motion and must clear the net.
  • A dink shot cannot be hit with such force that it causes the ball to fly off the court or into the ceiling.
  • A dink shot cannot be hit with a such a spin that it causes the ball to spin out of control or make it difficult for the opponent to return.
  • A dink shot cannot be hit by the same player or team twice in a row.
  • A dink shot cannot be hit with a paddle that is not approved by the governing body of pickleball.
  • The ball must be hit with the flat side of the paddle, not the edge of the handle.
  • A dink shot must be hit within the legal playing area of the court, which is defined by the lines on the court.
  • If a dink shot lands out of bounds, it is considered a fault, and the point is awarded to the opposing team.
  • The ball must be hit with a legal paddle, and if the ball is hit with an illegal paddle, the point will be awarded to the opposing team.

Are there any benefits of playing dinking in Pickleball 

  • Dinking allows players to adjust the game’s pace and disrupt their opponents’ flow
  • Dinking can be used to guide opponents to a specific area on the court for a more powerful shot
  • Dinking can be used as a lead-in for a more accurate and precise shot
  • Dinking can be used to force opponents to make weaker shots, increasing the chances of winning the point.

Are There Any Difficulties In Dinking 

  • Dinking requires good hand-eye coordination and precision in placement, which can be challenging to master.
  • Against more experienced players, dinking may not be as effective
  • Relying solely on dinking is not a successful strategy for winning points. Players need a variety of shots
  • Dinking can be high-risk and result in points for the opposition if done incorrectly
  • Some players may find dinking less exciting than hitting more powerful shots.

 Common Mistakes When Playing Dink Shot

  • Hitting the ball too hard can cause it to go out of bounds or hit the net.
  • Incorrect aiming, such as aiming too close to the net or too far back, can lead to the ball going out of bounds or hitting the net.
  • Using an improper grip or stance can affect the accuracy and power of the shot.
  • Poor timing of the shot can result in weak or mistimed shots.
  • Using the incorrect amount of spin on the shot can affect the trajectory and placement of the ball.
  • Not adjusting the racket face angle can cause the ball to go wide or long.
  • Keeping the racket head low and close to the net can cause the ball to fly high over the net.

Not keeping the ball low can allow the opponent to hit a winner easily.


Having the ability to execute a dink shot is a fundamental skill in order to successfully play at the no-volley line. The dink shot can be a very potent tactic that more advanced players may attempt against you, so it is important to be able to hit it.

Attempt to hit the pickleball out of the air when you are dinking at the kitchen line whenever possible. Doing so will put pressure on your opponents, decreasing their time to respond to your shots and leaving them with less room to make theirs.

The dink is struck from the non-volley or kitchen area, while the drop shot is struck from the baseline.

Final Verdict

The dink shot is an essential element of pickleball that requires control and accuracy for successful execution. It can win points and set up easier shots for your partner. With some practice, anyone can master the art of the dink shot and become a better pickleball player.

Playing a successful dink shot in pickleball involves a few necessary steps – the grip, stance, contact point, and follow-through. It is essential to use the correct grip, stance, and contact point for maximum accuracy and control and complete the stroke correctly for a successful dink shot. With practice and dedication, players can master the art of the dink and use it to their advantage in pickleball matches.

Leave a Comment