The origins of Paddle Candy can be traced back to 2015, when the sales and marketing team at Tanners Team Sports decided they wanted to design loud, trendy baseball bat grips. This “bat candy” changed the landscape of baseball accessories, showcasing designs that combined patterns and colors in a new way. Beyond the looks, the team wanted to make sure Vulcan Bat Grips was producing products that enhanced a players’ grip, elevating personality while improving performance. (That’s how the proprietary maze pattern was developed.)
That same team started manufacturing pickleball products a couple years later, creating a full line of Vulcan Pickleball gear including nets, paddles, and backpacks. The design of Vulcan Pickleball paddles hit the market with a breath of fresh air, but when the CEO of Tanners came to the group in 2019 with inspiration from the hispanic celebration Day of the Dead, the team knew it deserved its own statement. Paddle Candy, a brand that would concentrate on artistic design, was born.
The “Sugar Skull” paddle was the first design in the Paddle Candy line. The paddle features bright colors–pink, green, blue, and yellow–in stark contrast to the black background. The paddle was created specifically for Paddle Candy Pro Daniel De La Rosa, and its lighter weight and balanced feel felt perfect for the racquetball player as he transitioned into pickleball with his wife Michelle.
Soon after the “Sugar Skull” paddle was on the market, Paddle Candy was approached with an environmental cause to create artwork for–the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital. Because the emphasis of the project was on sea turtle conservation, the first edition of this paddle featured bright teal with a large sea turtle dominating the center of the paddle. This focus on environmental conservation led Paddle Candy into its first major collaboration–with Ellen Degeneres’ Ellen Fund.
After working so hard to create distinction between the Paddle Candy brand and Vulcan Pickleball, it became clear that the brand was more focused on the artwork, on character and creativity and self-expression. As soon as that personality showed through on the paddles and in the players, it was time for Paddle Candy to stand alone. Now, with the help of Paddle Candy Pros Daniel and Michelle De La Rosa and the Paddle Candy Power Couple, the brand is ready to color outside the lines.