So my name is Steven Shipler STS are my initials and I always liked the way those three letters flow together so when I was thinking of my pickleball paddle review channel name I thought STS PICKLEBALL sounded cool and just went with it!


I was born in Boulder, CO, and grew up mainly in Dallas, TX. I never played any racquet style sports prior to pickleball which is crazy because I feel like I picked up the game really quickly and found a deep love for it right away. I played football, basketball, I have a black belt in Taekwondo, and my main passion growing up was golf. I was actually rank 1 in North Texas and that's what ultimate lead me to moving to Arizona to work with a coach before ultimately burning out and starting a chocolate company... but we will get more into that in a bit. I think all of my time playing golf really gave me a feel for the differences between clubs. I played blades believe it or not for the majority of my time playing golf and loved the buttery smooth feel off the face of a fresh Mizuno blade (or back in the day the original Nike blades were incredible before they discontinued them).


Reverse engineering the world around me and comparing and researching things I think is one of my strongest abilities. I started my chocolate company over 10 years ago and the first 6 years learning how to roast cacao beans and turn them into fine dark chocolate that tasted like the highest quality award winning bars in the world was a deep passion of mine, and still is to this day. I analyzed the flavor profiles, the melt, the particle size using a micrometer, I analyzed 36 different origins of cacao beans from different farms all around the world, and finally I was able to start winning some awards. 4 years ago I won my first bronze medal at the International Chocolate Awards in NYC and a Good Food Award in San Francisco and felt I had finally broken through and created something that was actually starting to standout. Over the next few years up until just a few weeks ago I have won over 40 International Chocolate Awards including 9 gold medals, 2 of which were at the world competition in Italy, and I have received 4 Good Food Awards from San Francisco. My chocolate company is called Stone Grindz Chocolate and it's something I am extremely proud of. I run it with a good friend of mine Kasey and we just love it!


My life hasn't always been passionate and fun of course. I lost my mom when I was 13 to a heroin overdose, and have had a lot of family issues throughout my life. I have an extremely close relationship with my dad and appreciate him so much. He's actually the person who introduced me to pickleball. I went out to see him one Easter quite a while ago and he was telling me about him and his girlfriend had been playing this new sport called pickleball! I figured let's give it a shot I'm always down to try something new. So we went to their local Lifetime in Parker, CO and I played my first game. I had no idea ultimately about any strategy or positioning and I was very mechanically unsound due to my lack of racquet sport experience but I HAD A BLAST! I was hooked. One more game... One more game... On and on the night went just enjoying every moment. When I got back to Arizona I knew I had to get into this. I started going to my local outdoor courts and practicing. I quickly noticed when I started playing pickleball that the crappy $50 paddle I purchased early on (some no name paddle off Amazon) was ultimately very tinny off the face and didn't feel like something I would ultimately want to use. So I dove head first into researching and analyzing every paddle I could get my hands on. I rented paddles from a local tennis shop, tried every paddle there. I watched every video I could online, and was a regular on Reddit for quite a while reading through threads getting as much feedback as I could. I started to really notice all of the different nuances of the different paddles and they started to elevate my game like crazy.


So, STS PICKLEBALL was born. I have done a lot of video work and picture work for my company on Instagram etc. and I figured I may as well share my journey analyzing paddles with the community. Ronbus was the first company to send me a couple paddles to review which was really exciting, and still is every time I receive something new, and I was also really excited about the fact that Ronbus is such a solid company doing some incredible things in the space as far as innovation and quality goes. The R3 Pulsar was my first love you could say. Then the Volair Mach 1 Forza, and now I have a few that I rotate for my own personal play (MUVN 13S, Mach 1 Forza, Diadem 18K, Neonic Force, and a paddle that I can't talk about quite yet). I don't really get to settle on a paddle for myself right now as I am constantly cycling new paddles that I receive and also rotating all the paddles that I have generally so that I can really express and evolve my skill of feeling the nuances and sharing the pros and the cons with all of you as transparently as possible.


My mission with STS PICKLEBALL is to create transparency in an extremely fast paced industry. A new pickleball paddle is approved just about every day if not multiple per day and that's a TON of information to weed through especially if you're a newer player and you're on a budget. I certainly don't do this for the money. Although I do get a small kick back from my affiliate sales. I have created STS PICKLEBALL to be the resource I wanted when I was first starting out. I want anyone and everyone from the novice to the ultra techy 5.0+ paddlehead to be able to utilize my information to better navigate the space of pickleball paddles. I have created a rating system that I think creates some form of understanding and a deeper ability to really compare in a simple sense between different paddles so you can really find what will amplify your weak points and synergize with your strong points. And I am always learning and always evolving, so if you ever have any suggestions or even just want to talk paddles I am always here as a resource. I try and respond to every comment on my YouTube videos (which I don't see many other creators doing) because I want to connect with all of you and really help you navigate your perfect paddle and also ultimately save you money and time so you can spend more money and time on playing the game and enjoying life! :)

If you made it to the end of this and read all the way through comment on my next video and tell me something that you related to, let's connect and build this community together! I am here for YOU. Thank you so much for all the love and support on every video. AND HERES TO MORE FUN PLAYING PICKLEBALL!!!

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