Meet The Pros – Jay Rippel
One of Jay's goals in life is for his doubles partners to say he is a 'really good partner.” If you ask Glen Peterson, he would say Jay Rippel is an outstanding doubles partner. Enjoy!!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2018 International Indoor Tournament, Sr Men's Doubles, Open with Glen Peterson - Gold,
Mixed Doubles with Kim Jagd - Silver,
Sr Singles Open - Silver
2017 and 2018 Canadian Nationals Tournament SR Open Mens Gold, 2018 Gold Sr mixed open
2017 Lakes tournament (1st ppf event) Silver Sr Open Men's Doubles
2017 USAPA Nationals, Men's Doubles, age 50-54 with Scott Burr - Gold
2017 International Indoor Tournament, Mixed Doubles with Julie Haney, Bronze
What paddle do you play with and why?
I'm currently a member of 'Team Selkirk' and play with the Selkirk 'Amped Omni' lightweight paddle. I love the touch and feel it gives me without sacrificing the power that my original Omni had. I play with the lightweight version and this has helped me tremendously with my 'paddle speed' at the net when playing doubles. I feel I return a lot more balls with this paddle that are hit hard at me.
What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
I was introduced to pickleball way back in 1992 at a 24-Hour Fitness Club in Bellevue, Washington by a gentleman named Ewol. It was played on carpet with the old Cosom ball. I was instantly hooked. There really weren't any tournaments back then, but a group of us played several times a week until the club was shut down. Unless I'm injured, I have played pickleball weekly for the last 26+ years.
What is your preference – playing indoors or outdoors?
I really prefer to play outdoors with the Dura ball, since its such a fun ball to try and master.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
When I was in my 30's and 40's, I preferred to play singles since its such a challenge to compete, especially against the younger players. Now that I'm in my 50's, I prefer men’s doubles to everything else. I will occasionally play singles, but usually in the bigger tournaments. I also enjoy mixed doubles and have been lucky to find some amazing ladies to partner with.
What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
I think my style of play is a bit more aggressive than a lot of players. I'm always trying to create shots for my partners and keep opponents guessing on where my shot will be placed. I think with the way the game is evolving, my advice to new players is to not be too predictable, like always playing one style. I think everyone who plays tournaments and wants to compete at a high level should also look to add some sort of 'offensive' shot to their game. Communication with my partners during a match is crucial to the success of our game.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I'm able to play pickleball on a regular basis. I have a fabulous support system of my wife, Leigh and two great daughters, Caitlyn and Mackenzie. I play usually 3-4 times a week with a great group of pickleball players. Each session is usually 2-3 hours and mainly consist of doubles. Sometimes we will drill before tournaments.
What is your day job?
When I’m not playing, my day job is in the field of 'financial services' and with stock market hours.
Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?
My goals for pickleball are pretty simple. I would love to win a 'Sr OPEN' Gold medal in one of the major tournaments (USAPA Nationals, US Open, Tournament of Champions). I'd like to stay healthy and pain free, and I'd like players to think that 'yes he's a pretty good player'; he is also a 'really good partner!'