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IQ Grip

As the founder of a wellestablished engineering firm in Salt Lake City, Utah, Robin Peng and his design team have developed custom solutions for the U.S. Army and designed prosthetic limbs and medical devices. After more than two decades, they have a reputation of pushing the boundaries of design in the projects they’ve tackled.

design team have developed custom solutions for the U.S. Army and designed prosthetic limbs and medical devices. After more than two decades, they have a reputation of pushing the boundaries of design in the projects they’ve tackled.

So when Peng turned his eye to pickleball, he saw an opportunity to solve a real problem. This time the focus was on ergonomics—or lack thereof—in the racket handle.

“There were a lot of companies making paddles, but none really addressed ergonomics in the handle design,” he says. “In human-centric design, sound ergonomic principles are applied in everything from surgical scalpels to power hand tools. Pickleball racquets are no different, where issues of precision and pressure are crucial in maintaining control and preventing injuries.”

Peng recalls, “When I took up pickleball a few years ago, I developed lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) because of improper swing and poor stroke mechanics. At the time, I 
had limited knowledge of a proper swing. When you hit the ball with the paddle, the force transfer in slicing, punching, slapping and swiping are quite different as it relates to your body mechanics.”

“Your grip is the key connecting point linking the paddle to your body. When you subject your joints, tendons and connective tissues to repetitive and abnormal stress, it will tear and break down over time. Tackling this problem is the reason IQGrip was invented.” 

According to Peng, “your grip is the key connecting point linking the paddle to your body. When you subject your joints, tendons and connective tissues to repetitive and abnormal stress, it will tear and break down over time. Tackling this problem is the reason IQGrip was invented. This is a custom-fitted orthotic for your hand. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some players hold their paddle like a racquetball handle; others use a ping-pong style grip. IQGrip is designed to be configurable—it can be overlapped and positioned on the paddle grip to the size and shape of your palm regardless of how you grip your paddle.”

IQGrip is designed to reduce your grip pressure and improve grip-to-handle alignment. Some injuries are amplified, particularly during the aggressive poking and repetitive punching at the net. The IQGrip, when properly fitted to your paddle handle, reduces hand grip pressure and lowers the tension and stress of the muscles and tendons in your forearm.

The product is made from a special class of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). It will most likely outlast your racquet. It can be inserted under the original factory grip or placed on top and be taped over with an over-grip. Because of the material composition, IQGrip repels microbes, so it won’t smell or mold over time because of sweaty palms.

Currently, IQGrip has a full range of players using it nationwide. Peng says it’s the pro-level players who are driving performance innovation, but, equally important, IQGrip provides added support and comfort for recreational players with prior injuries.

And while you can buy IQGrip directly from the company’s website—and soon on Amazon—Peng is currently working with top-tier paddle manufacturers to help distribute this product nationwide before the 2018 US Open.

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