Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played on a court similar in size to a doubles badminton court, with a net similar in height to a tennis net.
The game is played with a hard paddle and a lightweight, perforated plastic ball similar to a wiffle ball. The object of the game is to hit the ball over the net and into the opponent's court, with the goal of making it difficult or impossible for them to return the ball.
Pickleball can be played in singles or doubles and is suitable for players of all ages and skill levels. It is a popular sport in the United States and is played in schools, community centers, and retirement communities, as well as in competitive leagues and tournaments.
Here's a basic overview of how to play pickleball:
The game starts with a serve: The server must stand behind the baseline and hit the ball underhand so that it lands in the opposite diagonal court. The ball must clear the net and land within the boundaries of the court.
Return the serve: The receiving player must let the ball bounce once before returning it to the server. After the ball has bounced once, both players can hit it back and forth without letting it bounce again.
Keep the ball in play: The goal is to keep the ball in play by hitting it back and forth over the net. The ball must stay within the boundaries of the court and cannot touch the net or go out of bounds.
Points are scored: A point is scored when one player fails to return the ball, hits the ball out of bounds, or commits a fault. A fault can occur if a player steps into the non-volley zone (also known as the "kitchen"), hits the ball out of bounds, touches the net, or hits the ball before it has bounced once on their side of the court.
Switch sides: Players switch sides of the court after each point is scored.
Win the game: The game is typically played to 11 points, and the winner must win by two points. However, this can vary depending on the level of play.
Overall, pickleball is a fun and relatively easy sport to learn and can be played by people of all ages and skill levels.
Choosing the right pickleball paddle can make a big difference in your game, and there are several factors to consider when making your selection. Here are some tips to help you choose the right pickleball paddle:
Weight: Pickleball paddles typically range in weight from 6 to 14 ounces. Lighter paddles are generally easier to maneuver and control, while heavier paddles can provide more power and stability. Consider your personal preference and playing style when selecting a weight.
Grip size: Pickleball paddles come in various grip sizes, ranging from small to large. It's important to choose a grip size that feels comfortable and secure in your hand, as a poor grip can affect your control and accuracy.
Material: Pickleball paddles can be made from various materials, including wood, composite materials, and carbon fiber. Each material has its own unique properties and can affect the weight, durability, and overall feel of the paddle.
Shape: Pickleball paddles come in various shapes, including oval, rectangular, and teardrop. Each shape can affect the sweet spot and power of the paddle, so it's important to choose a shape that complements your playing style.
Price: Pickleball paddles can range in price from around $20 to over $200. While more expensive paddles may offer better materials and features, it's important to consider your budget and the level of play you will be participating in.
Ultimately, the right pickleball paddle will depend on your personal preferences and playing style. You can try out a few different paddles before purchasing to find the one that feels the most comfortable and effective. Then upgrade your game by adding our IsolateIT! Sorbothane ShockTape to your paddle for the ultimate experience. This simple upgrade improves player comfort and reduces injuries.
Here are our top picks for Pickleball Paddles in 2023:
- Best Overall: Engage Evolution Extreme X
- Great for New Players: Niupipo Explorer
- For Those Switching from Tennis: Head Radical Elite Middle Weight Composite
- Smaller Grip Size: Onix Z5 Mod Middleweight Graphite
- Power to Value: Oneshot X Lightweight Composite
- Two-Handers: Franklin Ben Johns Signature