Best Pickleball Gifts: 2018 Gift Ideas for Players Who Have Everything

Best Pickleball GiftsPickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the US and although some people associate it with Florida and retirement communities it’s being played by people all over the country (and many other countries) by people of all ages.

With more and more people playing pickleball as a competitive sport or casual hobby, many shoppers are searching for gift ideas for their friends or loved one’s newfound pickleball obsession.

What better gift to give someone than something they are passionate about and will actually use!

Say “No” to giving boring and impersonal gift cards for the holidays or ugly neckties for Father’s Day.

Unique and Personal Pickleball Gifts

Here are some great pickleball gift ideas. Whether you’re looking for the next birthday present or holiday gift for the pickleball players in your life – there is something for everyone on this list.

Pickleball Crystal: If you are looking for a truly unique and personalized gift that is also practical, you’ll want to check out the crystal selection at Pickleball Crystal Gifts. 

From barware such as martini glasses and “On The Rocks” glasses and beer mugs to vases, decanters and decorative vases there is a wide variety of crystal for all tastes and uses.

This fine crystal is made by skilled artisans and each piece is customized to your liking with a personalized message, logo or name.

What sets this crystal apart is that the company specializes in pickleball themed engraving (Owner Michael Schwartz is also the inventor of the Simon pickleball machine).

There are over a dozen pickleball themed logos to choose from (or upload your own personal logo). This is a great option for clubs or organizations. All products receive 2 engravings, so in addition to the logo, you can add a personal message, monogram or name. Click here to see their full collection of crystal.


Lobster Sports – The Pickle – Full-Featured Pickleball Machine – Lightweight Design – Inverting Hopper – 135-Ball Capacity – Top and Back Spin Control – Battery Powered – Optional Accessories
Lobster Pickleball Machine

If you really want to impress someone, a pickleball ball machine would be the ultimate gift for any pickleball player.

A ball throwing machines is something that a lot of players would love to have but might not be willing to splurge on themselves. While they are an expensive ticket item, the machines really are useful tools for serious players looking to improve their game. These machines are able to toss over 100 balls in a row and are a great way to practice drills and specific shots. We’ve done a side-by-side comparison of the three top-selling pickleball machines on the market to help you with the buying decision.


Pickleball Apparel

Unisex Pickleball Is My Therapy {Hooded Sweatshirt} Large Black
Pickleball Is My Therapy by “Dinky Dink”

Who doesn’t love a funny themed T-shirt about their favorite sport or hobby? Even better than a T-shirt might be a for the winter holiday season might be a long-sleeved  T-shirt, Sweatshirt or pickleball hoodie.

Click here to see a list of our favorite pickleball shirts for a wide variety of unique and original phrases and funny sayings that are all available on Amazon. We regularly update the list with new designs we find.

If you are looking for quick-dry performance t-shirts for on the court, Pickleball Xtra has a large selection of shirts as well as hats and other apparel and gifts worth checking out.

If you are looking for a quick, affordable gift for your pickleball player there are more and more pickleball gifts on the market.

Some of them are well designed and fun…but we found that with so many pickleball mugs, cups, t-shirts and other accessories we had to weed through dozens of products – past the cheap and tacky – to find some real gems. 

Here are our top picks for nice budget pickleball gifts:

Practical Pickleball Stocking Stuffers

Thorlos Unisex Tennis Crew Thick Cushion 3-Pair Pack White Large Socks:  This may seem boring gift but having a nice quality pair of socks can make a huge difference in comfort on the court and a lot of players just don’t think to buy themselves nice high-quality socks. Check out these Unisex Tennis Crew Socks from Thorlos.

Scoring can be one of the most confusing parts of pickleball for newbies and also causes disagreements even between advanced players. This ScoreBand PLAY Scorekeeper wristband has a large, easy-to-read display and simple buttons to make it easy to keep track. The “AllScore” mode works for pickleball.

Luckily, pickleball is a year-round sport with both indoor and outdoor courts. But even in the warmest parts of the country, those early morning games can be pretty chilly. The Tourna Hot Glove Mitt is specially designed for playing pickleball outdoors in cold weather. The main advantage over a pickleball glove is that this mitt just slips over the outside of your handle allows the player to keep a solid grip on the paddle while keeping their hand warm.

NSD Power AutoStart Spinner Gyro Wrist Forearm Grip Strengthener with Auto Start Feature and Battery-Free LCD Counter For anyone suffering from tennis elbow, or wanting to increase forearm strength, this Gyroscopic Wrist and Forearm Exerciser is an easy way to build up stronger wrist and forearms or use as a pre-game warm-up tool. This could potentially help prevent injuries and add some power to your shots. I bought one of the original gyroscope balls years ago when they first came out. The main problem was getting the thing spinning using a pull cord. This new improved version that has an auto-start function that eliminates the hassles of getting the thing spinning.


How to Play Pickleball: The Complete Guide from A to Z: Illustrated Stroke Techniques and Winning StrategiesBooks: While we’ve reviewed all the top pickleball books here, if you are looking for a recommendation, go for one of these new releases (2018). Both are highly recommended and having just been published, it’s more likely that the receiver doesn’t have them already.

How to Play Pickleball: The Complete Guide from A to Z  (Oct 2018) is a great strategy book for both beginner and advanced players.

History of Pickleball (March 2018) is a detailed history from the start back in 1965 with lots of anecdotes that pickleball lovers will enjoy


Best Pickleball Gifts for Women

While most pickleball gear, especially paddles, are unisex there are some gifts that are gender-specific.

NIKE Women's Pure Skirt White/Black Skirt XS
NIKE Pure Skirt

Women’s Pickleball Skirt / Skort:   As pickleball gains popularity and almost half of pickleball players are women, we are seeing more fashionable outfits on the courts.  For a long time I just played in old gym clothes- T-shirts and shorts- although there is something nice about wearing comfortable clothes that fit well, allow you to move easily and are also stylish.

For women’s pickleball fashion, I deferred to my wife who along with her pickleball-playing friends came up with this short list of some of the nicest pickleball skirts, shorts, and capris for women.

Our top pick is this NIKE Pure Skirt.

We also like this “Sport-it” Womens Skapri if you’re looking for leggings.

Tourna Hipster Ball Band for Holding Tennis Balls and Pickleballs Regardless of what you wear, this Tourna Hipster Ball Band is a very useful accessory to hold pickleballs around your waist. It’s more convenient than trying to tuck the balls into pockets or under your skort and especially useful for skirts or leggings that do not have pockets.

Women’s Pickleball Tote:  Our top pick is the Pickleball Ready Tote for Women with its patterned design it doesn’t look like a sports bag and could double as a shopping tote. If you want a versatile bag to use for more than just pickleball it’s a great pick. It features a main zippered compartment and 6 outer pockets.

 

However, if you want a dedicated pickleball bag we recommend this one by Fila. The separate shoe compartment and the insulated pocket (to keep snacks and drinks cool) make it a very practical bag.

 

Oakley Men's Non-Polarized Half Jacket 2.0 Oval Sunglasses,Pearl Frame/Violet Iridium Lens, 62 mm Sunglasses are a key piece of gear for any outdoor pickleball player. Not only do they cut down on glare and help you see the ball but filter out the harmful UV rays that can damage your eyes.

We’ve spent a lot of time researching tennis sunglasses and feel that the Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 is the best pick for women. While they are technically listed as Men’s glasses, they are really unisex and many women have commented that they prefer the smaller frame of the “half jacket”. They are not cheap, but we think good sun protection is worth the investment.

While we are on the topic of sun protection, wearing a UPF 50+ sun hat or visor is another way to protect yourself when playing pickleball out in the sun.  After looking at all the options, we picked this Adidas adiZero II cap.  For sun hats with a wider brim, we like this  UPF 50+ Women’s Ultra Sun Hat by Coolibar.

Woman’s Pickleball Jewelry:  The company “Inspired Silver” makes a variety of pickleball inspired jewelry including pickleball earrings, necklaces and charm bracelets.  What better way to show you care than a long lasting piece of silver.

Personalized wine glasses: wine and pickleball…what else do you need? While the professional artisans at Pickleball Crystal Gifts can customize everything from crystal vases to hostess trays, these wine glasses can be a great gift – especially during the holiday season. Apart from being quality crystal, they include two engravings: choose from a selection of pickleball themed logos and also add your own personalized message or name of the person receiving the gift.

Pickleball shoes, of course, are made specifically for either woman or men. Click here to see the best picks for both Women’s and Men’s Pickleball shoes.  The toughest thing about getting shoes as a gift is the fit but if you know their size and brand they wear you have a pretty good chance of getting it right. 

Best Pickleball Gifts for Men

Unlike woman’s jewelry or pickleball clothing, there are few pickleball gifts for just men but still tons of great options since almost all pickleball gear is unisex. But here are a few of the more “masculine” gifts for the pickleball-playing guy in your life.

This License Plate Holder & Pickleball Keychain Combo is a great gift to show off your love of the sport on your vehicle as you drive to and from the pickleball courts.

For the guy that has everything: if you are looking for a practical gift that he most likely doesn’t have yet, this recent innovation by “Kollectaball” is an ingenious cage on a rotating spindle that can be rolled around the court to pick up balls. It could prevent some backaches as it saves you from bending over to pick up balls, this is especially useful for players that use a throwing machine or do pickleball drills with lots of balls landing all over the court.  A simpler (and less expensive) picker-upper is this ball tube by Franklin. 

A lot of men are unlikely to buy themselves a quality shirt with built-in SPF 50 protection but when they receive one it is much appreciated since it’s one of the things that they just wouldn’t think to buy. A great way to give a gift that shows you care (in more ways that one) is to combine pickleball with skin protection with a nice set of UV wraparound glasses, stylish hat or sporty SPF clothing. If you’re looking for a gift that will surprise here’s the ticket! 

We bought some of these shirts for my dad and he now wears them for all kinds of outdoor activities. Not only do they look (and feel) nicer than a t-shirt but he has the relief of knowing that it’s also protecting him from the sun. Considering the long sleeves, they are surprisingly cool to wear even for playing sports.

Speaking of sun protection, anyone that has been visited this site before has probably read something where I preach about keeping safe in the sun. Sunglasses, like my favorite Oakleys are a great investment. The wrap around style is perfect for playing racket sports and the shatterproof Polycarbonate lenses provide 100% UV protection.

For keeping your head and shoulders out of the sun, I recommend a wide-brimmed UPF 50 sun hat like this one I use from Outdoor Research.

For a really personalized and classy gift, check out this customized crystal barware with pickleball themed engravings! Whether he is a beer drinker or a whiskey on the rocks kind of guy, Pickleball Crystal Gifts has a wide selection of beer mugs, low-ball, and even martini glasses. Each product includes two custom engravings. The company has a wide selection of pickleball themed engravings to choose from and you can also add your own personalized message. The crystal is delivered in a beautifully packaged gift box


Easy Pickleball Gifts

You Can’t Go Wrong With These!

A new pickleball bag:

Amazin' Aces Premium Pickleball Backpack | Bag Features Pickleball Holder/Sleeve | Pack Fits Multiple Paddles | Convenient Pockets for Phone, Keys, Wallet | Padded Back & Straps for Added Comfort  Every player needs something to carry their pickleball gear in.

This pickleball backpack by Amazin’ Aces was launched in 2017 and was a huge hit in last holiday season.

Several of our readers commented that it was a great gift that people loved. We’ve tried it out ourselves and agree it’s a perfect gift especially for the price.

Many new players just carry a used backpack that they have or reuse a bag for multiple sports, the gym, etc.

So for them, it’s great to get a new one designed specifically for pickleball and has space for paddles, balls, shoes and even an insulated side pocket for keeping water or sports drinks cool!

Experienced players carrying around a simple slingback or cinch sack would probably love an upgrade to a more complete solution like this pickleball backpack.

Still not sure?  For our complete reviews of the best pickleball bags click here.

Balls

Pickleball Balls: Not only is the tube a great shape for stockings, but it’s also one of the most practical gifts you can give. Balls break and wear out, players are always replacing them and can never have too many.

Our top picks are these Onix Pure 2 for outdoor players or these Jugs Balls for indoor players.

Any pickleball player who is playing often will need to buy balls on a frequent basis. It’s a gift that will definitely get used, I’ve never heard any player complain about having too many pickleballs stocked up!

If you are going to buy pickleball balls but aren’t sure if the person you are buying for plays indoors or outdoors, the best bet is to buy indoor balls.

Many players actually prefer to play with indoor balls outside (because they are more forgiving and slightly easier to play with) but would rarely use outdoor balls indoors.

Buying for the holidays? Check out these Red and Green Christmas colored Pickleballs:

Franklin Sports X-40 Pickleballs - Outdoor Pickleballs - 3 Pack - USAPA Approved - Pink

Pickleball Now Indoor Balls (Pack of 6)

Pickleball Christmas Decorations

Miles Kimball Pickleball Ornament
Pickleball Ornament (click to see on Amazon)

If you’re looking for last minute pickleball Christmas decorations, whether it’s a few Christmas ornaments to add a little pickle theme to your tree or you’re doing a full-blown pickleball themed Christmas party at your club or community center, we’ve curated a list of the best decorations here.

One of the easiest ways to decorate for your next pickleball holiday party is to make a wreath or garland uses some red & green pickleballs (see above).

There is a wide variety of pickleball-themed Christmas tree ornaments here on Amazon.

Our favorite are these Personalized Pickleball Christmas Ornaments (they come in male and female versions and can be personalized with the player’s name which adds a nice, personal touch (it also gives you the option to add the year on the paddle)

Tis’ the season.  What better way to get into the holiday spirit and show off your love for the sport with these cute pickleball themed pickleball Christmas tree ornaments and stockings.

(12) One Dozen Hand Blown Glass Pickle Christmas Tree Ornaments for Good Luck Trim-A-Tree Stocking Stuffer or Gift Giving We also just discovered these hand blown Glass Pickle Christmas Tree Ornaments. They measure just under two and a half inches and come in packs of a dozen. They are pretty well made, compared to some of the plastic ornaments we’ve seen.

The “Legend of the Pickle” is actually an old Christmas tradition from Germany where the parents hid a pickle-shaped ornament deep in the tree. The green color blends in with the tree and only the most observant child would find it…and be rewarded with an extra present.  So a very cool, old tradition, but also a nice touch to the tree for pickleball lovers.

If you something that brings a little more attention to the pickle accents on your tree….check out these pickle-shaped Christmas tree lights. They are shaped like a pickle with a Santa Claus hat on top. The 10 bulbs are evenly spaced 12″ apart and have an additional 30″ of lead wire. The lights can be used either indoors or out and come with an extra four spare bulbs.

Even off the tree, these also make a nice lighted decoration for any pickleball club, rec center or community looking to add a little pickle flavor to their Christmas decorations.

Funny Pickleball Gag Gifts

We just had to create a separate list of funny pickleball gifts. Most of these are small and affordable so really make good stocking stuffers or last minute gifts for under the tree. But we thought these corny pickleball presents deserved their own category!

Pickle Shaped Adhesive Bandages: People will get a kick out of these self-adhesive “Band-Aids” in the shape of a pickle! The design is pretty realistic looking and they come in an old-fashioned metal tin with 15 bandages. Apart from funny, they are practical for playing pickleball since you occasionally do need these for minor scrapes or blisters from gripping the paddle.

3 FOOT Long Inflatable Pickles!

Why? Absolutely no reason! These are 36″ pickle-shaped inflatables are ridiculous -but that’s the whole point-perfect gag gift for a themed pickleball party or surprise gag gift.   Best of all, they come in packs of 2 so you can each have your own. Not a sour deal! 

Rasta Imposta Pickle Costme Full-sized pickle outfit!  This is a great gag gift- can you imagine showing up for a Christmas party in this – ok – maybe not a nice family dinner but we do a pickleball themed happy hour /potluck last year a few days before Christmas and this outfit got a ton of laughs when the host opened the door wearing this! Could be fun for new years eve costume party and of course could be re-used next Halloween.

The Ultimate Pickle Themed Gag GIft! 

Deluxe Pickle Lovers Gift Pack (7pc Set) - Pickle Bandages, Lip Balm, Mints, Stress Toy, Can Cooler Insulator, Wristband & Dill Pickle Salt If you want more than just a little stocking stuffer, this is the full meal deal:  a 7 Piece Pickle Themed Gag Gift Box: it includes the pickle “band-aids” we mentioned before  along with six other pickle items including a pickle-shaped stressed toy, pickle lip balm and an I “heart” pickles cozy to keep drink cans cold.

Pickle Candy

Fancy Pickle flavored Candy Canes, 3.8 OZ This one combines Christmas, Candy, and Pickleball (well at least the pickle part)…

 Pickle Flavored Candy Canes!  These come in a box of six, they are on the small side (just over 5 inches) -total weight of the box is 3.8 ounces.

Some people complain about the quality of the candy but let’s be honest folks- we’re talking about a novelty item and they’re candy canes!   Corn syrup, dill flavor, and artificial coloring… these are not going to win any awards at the state fair for best candy – but if you’re looking for a gag gift they are a pretty sweet solution. 

There are actually a surprising number of dill pickle flavored candy products on the market (lollipops, mints, gummy bears, etc).  Be warned they are not the greatest quality and the ones I’ve tried really taste more like dill than pickles) but they do make a sweet present for a pickleball obsessed person on your gift list…

This Pickle Flavored Candy Sampler Pack is the best option we’ve been able to find.  It ‘s a combo of 4 different candies: Pickle Mints, Pickles Lollipops, Pickle Hard Candies & Gummy Pickles.  Again the flavor quality is not great but realistically I don’t know of any “delicious” pickle flavored candy! It’s all about the novelty.  And as a novelty item with very few competitors in the pickle candy niche…it’s not exactly cheap for what it is..supply and demand.

I like this sampler just because it’s a little more of a gift compared to just the mints or lollipops on their own. The company “Pickle Addicts” does sell the candy separately on Amazon- if you’re just looking for a quick stocking stuffer or little gag.

Online Pickleball Courses:

If you’re looking for something unique and practical,  you could get them an online course to help them improve their game. The folks over at Quick Pickle have online pickleball courses for beginners and advanced players.

For a beginner, I’d recommend their Serving for Gold course whereas a more intermediate/advanced player might get more out of their Drop Shot Domination (see course details here). 

Pickleball Gifts for Kids

Ranger Paddletek Pickleball Paddle (Orange)
Paddletek Ranger Youth Paddle

With more and more kids picking up the sport of pickleball, we think the best gift you can give is a good quality junior paddle that fits in the hand and is not too heavy.  Rather than give them a cheap beginner paddle which can be heavy and frustrating to use when just starting out in pickleball and learning.

The good news is that in 2017, Paddletek launched the “Ranger”,  the first junior pickleball paddle on the market specifically made for kids 12 and under.

In addition to the Ranger, we’ve put together a short list of the best lightweight paddles that also have small paddles grips -that combo makes them the best paddles for juniors.

Sunglasses:

A Cool Gift For Men & Women

For me personally, this is one of the top gift ideas for anyone who plays pickleball: men, women or kids. Probably because I love getting gifts that I wouldn’t buy for myself. 

So while you really can’t go wrong with practical items like a new stock of balls or a good quality pair of tennis socks,  giving a pair of new Oakley or Bollé glasses really does set the bar high and most players that unwrap a shiny new pair of shades will be pleasantly surprised!

Anyone playing outdoor pickleball is exposed to many hours of sun exposure should be wearing quality eye protection! Unfortunately, only a small percentage of players make the investment in a good pair of sports sunglasses.

I often see friends on the court wearing cheapo glasses, what I call “drug store grabs” – those last minute purchases – usually on a rotating display near the checkout.  I get it- I  also used to buy cheap glasses – until I had a very unpleasant episode of “snow blindness” (photokeratitis) after spending all day out in the very bright sun. I promised myself -“never again” and invested in a decent pair of sunglasses.   

I personally think a premium pair of sunglasses makes a great gift. It’s one of those pickleball items that a lot of players won’t splurge on for themselves but love getting them as a gift. Not only do they look stylish, they could help improve their game in sunny conditions – but most importantly there is a big health benefit to wearing sunglasses.Oakley Holbrook Sunglasses, Matte Black Frame/Warm Grey Lens, One Size

Oakley has been making quality sunglasses since 1975 and is known as a standard for high-end sports sunglasses.

Oakley Mens Holbrook Sunglasses provide full protection filtering 100% of all UVA UVB UVC and harmful blue light and come in several stylish frame colors and lens tints.

If that style doesn’t convince you…


Gifts for Players that have Everything

Are you looking for a gift for a pickleball player that has every piece of gear out there or maybe they are just hard to buy for?

So here is our list of the best, most obscure pickleball gifts. We’d bet that they don’t have these yet since they were hard to find. If they already have all these then we probably have to throw in the towel and give up. If they are like us and obsessed with pickleball then they will most likely appreciate anything pickleball related…even a pair of pickle-themed socks!

BigMouth Inc The Big Dill Pickle Mug, Ceramic Cup for Coffee and Tea with Handle, Funny Ceramic Novelty Cup We’ve seen a lot of coffee mugs and cups with pickleball related sayings but this one takes the cake!

The handle on this mug is made to look like a pickle and it has the phrase “I’m kinda a big dill”.

I think that line has been overused on pickleball way too much but the addition of the handle that actually looks like a life-sized pickle makes it work. May not be the most comfortable handle on a mug I’ve felt but it’s definitely a conversation piece and funny gift.

This Pickleball Medal Holder is a great option for competitive players on your list that have played in any pickleball tournaments and won any medals, this is a great option.

It’s a wall mounted medal holder measuring 20″ long and made out of thin stainless steel.  The medals just slide on/off the metal sliders. There are lots of these medal holders for sale….it’s really kind of amazing they have thought of medal holders for almost every sport.

Pickleball Marketplace This Pickleball Medal Holder is forged from stainless steel and makes a great statement. Makes a great piece of wall art or gift to be proud of. At first I thought it was kind of a silly and unnecessary item but I bought one similar to this one as a present for my son who had several high school sports medals just collecting dust in a drawer in his room…the medals really do look good hanging on the wall like this and is a way the person can show off a little. 

I also like it as a good gift because it’s another one of those things that a lot of people wouldn’t buy for themselves but they appreciate having.  This one is the best one I’ve seen because it has the word “Pickleball” at the top.  It comes pre-drilled and is easy to install, with all screws and anchors included.

Should I buy a pickleball paddle as a gift?

Well, it’s not that you can’t buy a pickleball paddle, it can definitely be a great gift for a pickleball player but there are a few things we recommend before you buy.

If you are buying for newbie pickleball players it’s much easier (compared to a veteran player) since a good quality paddle will be a welcomed gift and most likely a nice upgrade from what they are currently playing with. For beginners, the most important thing would be to stick to mid-weight, all around paddles rather than specialty paddles (blade paddles, edgeless paddles, etc).

Tip: Skip the wooden paddles, these are the cheapest (under $15) and really don’t come across as a quality gift- plus the person you are buying for might very well be playing with something nicer! So these would be a letdown.

For beginners, the safest option would be to buy a mid-range graphite paddle.

Check out our guide here to the Best Graphite Paddles for 2018 with several affordable options.

If you are buying for an experienced player- Do you know what paddle(s) they already own and what kind of paddle they would be looking for by themselves?

A paddle is kind of the obvious choice, but if you decide to go for a paddle, I’d pick one of these latest and greatest models that have recently come out, because these are all new releases so it’s less likely they already own one and most likely a welcomed upgrade from what they are currently swinging. Some the best high-end paddles to consider gifting would be the Selkirk AMPED Series, the Paddletek Tempest Wave or the ProLite SuperNova

These are paddles that beginner or intermediate player would have on their wishlist and that even a lot of advanced players don’t have yet…but would love to.

Many players might not splurge on these paddles for themselves – but would love to have one in their possession!  These also come at a steeper price tag- but they are high-quality paddles, often seen in the hands of pro pickleball players and would bring a smile to the face of almost any pickleball player. 

Pickleball Paddle for Women: Prolite does sell the Groove paddle, which they claim is specifically engineered for women. The paddle is slightly smaller than many paddles on the market.  Click here to see our full review of the Prolite Groove Paddle. 

Or you could also look at our list of best pickleball paddles for women since that list includes only lightweight paddles (around seven ounces) with small four-inch grip size designed to fit for adults with small hands-looking for light paddles with small grip size.

For more gift ideas read our article here about Preventing Sun Exposure while Playing Pickleball.

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