The sport of pickleball has been growing rapidly in popularity across the country. There are now thousands of outdoor pickleball courts and indoor pickleball courts, but there are still plenty of people who don’t know exactly how to play pickleball or what kind of equipment is necessary for this exciting sport.
So, what do you need to play pickleball? The equipment you need to play pickleball is very minimal, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular. Most players will have a paddle and balls, but there are other accessories that will help you improve your game.
In order to learn how to play pickleball and get started playing this exciting game, you’ll only need a few pieces of equipment:
1- A Pickleball Court:
Pickleball courts are different from tennis courts and are either permanent or temporary. The surface of a pickleball court is similar to a badminton court. It’s usually made of concrete or asphalt but can also be made of grass, sand, or dirt like in a beach setting (known as the “grass ball” style.)
Permanent pickleball courts are often made from concrete and are painted with lines for each sport that takes place on them (tennis, basketball, volleyball, etc.).
Temporary pickleball courts are typically made from plastic flooring mats that can fit together like puzzle pieces.
The pickleball paddle is the most important piece of equipment you’ll need to play. You can buy pickleball paddles that are made of wood, graphite, or composite materials.
Wood paddles tend to be heavier and more durable but they also have a smaller sweet spot. Graphite paddles are lightweight but also don’t have as much power. Composite paddles have the best of both worlds, offering a large sweet spot, great control, and plenty of power.
If you’re just getting started with the game, a composite paddle is generally your best bet.
3- Paddle Cases/Covers:
A paddle case can help protect your investment in your equipment by ensuring that nothing happens to your paddle between the court and your home. Paddle covers make it easy to carry your pickleball gear.
There are so many brands offering specialized backpacks and gear bags for pickleball players.
4- Pickleball Balls:
You won’t get very far in your games without some pickleball! The official ones are made from plastic and feature 26 holes in them. They weigh 0.9 ounces and bounce about two-thirds as high as a tennis ball does. They’re not very expensive (about $8 for six) so it makes sense to buy several at once.
5- Pickleball Nets:
When setting up your pickleball net, make sure you have 34 inches of clearance above the ground at the center of the net. The aluminum net posts that you will use for this game should be 36 inches tall and 1.5 inches in diameter.
However, other sizes may work as well depending on your specific needs. The pickleball net itself should be approximately 22 feet long with a width of 36 inches and made from nylon mesh material or other durable fabrics.
6- Pickleball Shoes:
If there is one item that we cannot emphasize enough, it’s having the right pair of shoes for pickleball! Pickleball-specific shoes can save you from heel pain, ankle strain, and other foot injuries. So don’t hesitate at all in buying a lair or shoes for pickleball.
You can check out my list of the best pickleball shoes
7- Water Bottle:
Most courts will have water fountains or machines on-site but I always recommend having your water bottle with you just in case. Most courts do not allow glass bottles and/or alcohol inside their premises so make sure to check before heading out!
Pickleball accessories such as pickleball hoppers, pickleball machines, support gear, and braces help you enhance your skill level.
Some players go the extra mile and buy special dresses, skirts, shirts, and shorts to play pickleball. Hats, headbands and other headwear is also popular among players and increases the overall gaming experience.
Rules of the game:
The rules of pickleball are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. Here are some basic rules of Pickleball:
🔵 A coin toss decides who serves first, then players alternate serving from one side of the court only.
🔵 A serve must land in the diagonal box opposite the server.
🔵 The ball may bounce before it is returned over the net by players on the other side of the net.
🔵 After each point, all players rotate one position clockwise around the court (1st player becomes the last player).
🔵 Scoring is similar to tennis (first to 11 points wins) and there are two serves per turn except when scoring 10-10 (then only one serve).
🔵 Once you score 11 points you win unless your opponent also has 11 points in which you must win by two more points.
Start Playing Pickleball Today!
Pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors and on a hard court or grassy area. It is easy to learn and play, and you don’t need any special equipment to get started. A small paddle, a plastic ball, and a few more accessories are all you need to start.
However, if you want to get better at the game or compete in tournaments, then you might want to invest in some of the equipment that is made specifically for pickleball such as shoes, nets, pickleball machines, etc.
Do wait any further, start playing pickleball today!