After years of playing other racket sports, we’ve fallen in love with pickleball and created this site to cover everything related to the sport.
Whether you are here just to find out what this funny-sounding sport is all about or are an experienced player looking for more advanced pickleball tips or gear reviews, we’ve got something for you.
Maybe you’ve seen someone wearing a funny pickleball t-shirt or heard people mixing pickleball terms like “dink” into everyday conversions and you feel like you are out of the loop…
Pickleball is gaining popularity so quickly (it’s often referred to as the fastest growing sport in the US) that we get lots of questions from new readers about the basics, so we put together this Pickleball FAQ with answers to dozens of common questions and continue to update it with new info. If you don’t find your answer, please send us your questions.
Getting started: if you want to try your hand at pickleball for the first time but aren’t sure where to get started the great news is that pickleball is a very accessible and affordable sport to play.
According to the US Pickleball Association (USAPA), at last count, there were roughly 6,000 courts in the US so there is a pretty good chance you have a place to play in your area. If you don’t have a court nearby, you can also make a basic pickleball court in minutes using simple chalk lines and a net.
Basic Gear to Start:
One of the great things about pickleball is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get started. While there are lots of expensive pickleball paddles on the market, you can start with very affordable gear. A family of 4 could be on the court playing with all the gear you need for less than $50. If you are buying your first paddle we recommend you start with our Pickleball Paddle Guide.
At a minimum you would need:
Paddles: these range from $10 to $150+. To start playing, you can begin with a cheap pickleball paddle (click to see affordable quality picks). Another easy and inexpensive way to get started is a pickleball paddle set -sold as a bundle with paddle and balls together and usually come in sets of 2 or 4 paddles and a few balls to get started.
Balls: Pickleballs are plastic, perforated balls with 24 to 40 holes that look and feel similar to a Wiffle ball. Indoor and outdoor pickleballs are slightly different although the may be hard to tell apart for a newbie. Click here to see our Pickleball Ball Buyers Guide.
Shoes: We think this is really the most important piece of gear. As a beginner, you probably won’t really notice the difference between a cheap or high-end pickleball paddle but wearing the wrong shoes could leave you with sore feet, blisters or even an injury.
If you have a pair of tennis shoes you should be set for outdoor pickleball. Avoid running shoes at all costs, the knobby treads are not designed for racket sports and can lead to injuries. It’s also important to note that for indoor pickleball on gym floors you really want natural gum rubber soles.
See our detailed Buyers Guide to Pickleball Shoes for more info.
Net: If you are setting up a home court you would want to get an official sized portable pickleball net (click to see our buyers guide and our recommendation on the best net to buy)
For beginners: if you are already playing pickleball and are hooked, we have lots of useful articles with tips on getting started and strategies for taking your game to the next level like this improving your pickleball serve.
If you just need a few quick tips for your next weekend outing we have short articles like our top 3 tips for improving your pickleball game along with longer guides. Click here to see all our playing tips and strategy guides.
If you are shopping for a good beginner pickleball paddle click here for our top picks.
Intermediate players: if you’ve been playing for a while you may be looking for more strategies to take your game to the next level. You may also be at a point where you’ve outgrown your beginner gear and are looking to upgrade to a good paddle for spin or higher-end graphite pickleball paddle.
Advanced players: although a large part of our site is dedicated to getting people started and helping them improve, we haven’t forgotten you. We have several articles on advanced tips and gear reviews of more pro-level paddles.
You may want to check out this page where we track the best pickleball paddles on the market with updated news on paddle technology and new releases from all the major pickleball equipment brands in the industry.
Apart from being easy and affordable to get started, many people are enjoying pickleball because it’s a very social and welcoming game. With courts popping up all over the country (and other parts of the world).
Many cities that have idle or under-utilized tennis courts are converting them to pickleball with the rise in demand. Seniors are flocking to the sport as it is less physically demanding than tennis but still offers a great way to stay active.
However, pickleball is by no means just an idle sport nor one limited to retirement communities. The sport is growing across all regions and demographics. The USAPA Junior pickleball association was recently to support young players.
There is also an active tournament circuit with competitions in almost every local community and larger national tournaments that have are now covered on live television with large cash prizes and professional players that have company sponsors.
Pickleball has also become a way for many people to keep active and play sports into later life, with several articles being written lately on the mental and physical benefits of the sport, we’ve published this article on the health benefits of pickleball.
We hope you enjoy the site and find it useful. If you have any questions or suggestions please leave a comment you’ll find at the bottom of every article or use our Contact Us page to drop us a line.