Three Ways to Start Playing Pickleball
Get the gear you need for a pick-up match or tournament of champions amongst your friends.
Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing amateur sports of the last decade. Once an obscure hybrid of tennis and ping-pong, today you’ll find it played everywhere from the local YMCA to swim-and-tennis clubs and even neighborhood driveway courts. To get started at home, all you need is a bit of specialized gear and two to four players. It’s not complicated or expensive, and any of these equipment choices are great way to get in on the action.
To get started properly, the easiest thing to do is buy a full pickleball set rather than piece one together. A complete set will include a regulation net, four paddles, and a few whiffle-like pickleballs. But be advised that once you start playing, you will undoubtedly wear out the pickleballs and need new ones and may even want to upgrade your paddle for that all-important competitive edge.
If you already have a net (say from a volleyball or badminton set) that is adjustable to a height of three feet, it will suffice for a game of pickleball. They only other items you need are the paddles and some pickleballs. Synthetic paddles are popular, but those made of a hardwood like maple will get the job done just as well, and with an utterly satisfying whack! on every volley.
Pickleball is so addictive that at some point you are sure to wear through the gear, from paddles to pickleball. When it’s time to replace the net (or get your first one) keep in mind that a regulation pickleball net is 20 feet wide by 3 feet high, with an inch or two of sag in the center. Draw some chalk lines on the driveway, grab a couple of paddles and a pickleball, and let the games begin!