How Players and Residents Can Co-Exists Among Pickleball Noise


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Pickleball is increasing in popularity, but pickleball noise? Not so much, at least in some circles. Though pickleball fanatics love the popping noise a pickleball makes when it hits the racket or bounces off a wall, others are threatening lawsuits, meaning it’s time to get proactive about making pickleball quieter.

Pickleball Players Need Solutions to Pickleball Noise

Without a solution to the pickleball noise, we pickleball players may be run out of town or at least out of community centers and neighborhoods. Pickleball players, along with the manufacturers who make pickleball equipment, are working to find solutions to the noise. The future of this great game depends on it.

Why Pickleball Noise Is Becoming an Increasing Problem

As the game grows increasingly popular, more pickleball courts are being erected in neighborhoods. Once-quiet tennis courts are being converted for pickleball, and four pickleball courts can fit into each tennis court. These new courts are jam-packed at all hours of the day, making noise that some find disturbing.

There are always problems with growth, and the increasing popularity of pickleball means an exponential expansion in pickleball noise. Some residents are up in arms to the point that the future of pickleball could be threatened, and pickleball could be banned. Here are the problems associated with pickleball noise.

1. Pickleball Has a Higher Pitch Then Tennis

While pickleball makes a sound that has a similar decibel range to tennis, it’s at a much higher pitch. The sound isn’t harmful to human ears, but it’s much more noticeable and is far more disturbing. It makes some people irritable and has been known to give others headaches.

2. There’s a Heavier Concentration of Players

Because of the increasing popularity of pickleball, pickleball courts are being built just about everywhere to meet the demand. Those who once lived next to eight mostly empty tennis courts now live near four times as many pickleball courts, filled at all hours of the day and night with people playing the game. Some residents have to listen to pickleball noise from early in the morning until late at night.

3. Pickleball Produces an Increased Decibel of Sound

While the pickleball itself isn’t at a higher decibel than a tennis ball, there’s increased conversation along with the sounds of people grunting with exertion. The popping noise that pickleball makes is repetitive and annoying to some. That and the accompanying conversation is at the same decibel level as someone talking to you and saying the same thing over and over all the time. Some residents find it maddening.

Pickleball Noise Will Impact the Game’s Future

Like it or not, pickleball noise has already impacted the future of pickleball. Players will need to adapt to protect this sport.

Some people are so unhappy with the noise and disruption that pickleball makes, they’ve filed lawsuits. One couple in South Carolina found the constant noise and strobe lighting from a new pickleball court to be a disruption that made them regret purchasing their custom-made home near a golf course. They sued for injunctive relief and damages.

Fortunately, manufacturers are coming up with solutions to the problems, including creating quieter rackets and noise-muting pickleballs. Communities have even found fencing solutions that can help.

Possible Solutions to Pickleball Noise

The popularity of pickleball isn’t going away anytime soon nor should it. Still, players don’t want the neighbors showing up with torches and pitchforks. Here are some solutions to pickleball noise.

1. Quieter Paddles

One solution is quieter pickleball paddles. The Sun City Grand Pickleball Courts in Surprise, AZ, tested several different pickleball paddles and came up with a list of approved paddles. They contacted an independent company to measure the noise level in decibels and then ranked the paddles. Pickleball Portal has a list of the quietest pickleball paddles here.

Mind you, a pickleball paddle shouldn’t be chosen solely for its ability to mute noise. Find one that fits your playing style. Make sure it’s the right weight and that it’s one you can grip easily. Then when you find a paddle that meets those requirements, cross-reference it with the list of quiet paddles. Some excellent ones that Pickleball Empire recommends include:

  • The Patriot Pickleball Sniper Paddle – With its polypropylene core, this is a much quieter paddle that’s lightweight and yet generates a lot of power.
  • Graphite Onix Z5 Paddle – This paddle has carbon fiber materials and a comfortable grip. It’s a durable paddle, although its finish wears out pretty quickly.
  • Onix Evok Pro Paddle – With its polypropylene core and composite face, you’ll be able to spin and play for speed. This paddle enables you to make precise shots.

2. Quieter Balls

Pickleballs made of foam are another solution to pickleball noise. While they can’t be played in an actual game, you can use them for practice and warmup. The Gamma Revolution Warm Up balls have a great bounce and are good for beginners and for warming up.

Also, use indoor pickleballs in every game. While outdoor pickleballs are less susceptible to wind, indoor pickleballs are lighter and softer and will be less annoying to nearby neighbors.

3. Sound Muting Fencing

You can also install soundproofing material around an entire pickleball court to cut pickleball noise. Acoustifence reduces pickleball noise by 50%. It’s an elastic acoustical material filled with heavy minerals. It reflects the noise so it doesn’t travel past the barrier. The material vibrates from the sound, transforming the noise into trace bits of heat. Acoustifencing is a practical solution when a community is first building a pickleball court. It may be cost-prohibitive, however, in other areas.

How You Can Reduce Pickleball Noise

It shouldn’t be long before pickleball enthusiasts and equipment manufacturers find a way to make ultra-quiet pickleball paddles and pickleballs. In the meantime, do your part by purchasing a quieter paddle and using indoor pickleballs for regular games and foam balls for practice. Looking for more information? Check out Pickleball Portal for helpful guides and reviews for this great game.

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