The pickleball paddle market is poised for impressive growth over the next several years, according to a new 91-page industry report. The global market size for pickleball paddles is expected to reach $256.1 million by 2028, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% from 2022-2028.
Driving this growth is the rapidly increasing popularity of pickleball as a fun, social and affordable activity. Often described as a mix of ping pong, tennis and badminton, pickleball can be played both competitively and just for fun. The sport has exploded from a niche activity to a mainstream phenomenon over the past decade.
The COVID-19 pandemic gave pickleball participation yet another boost, as homebound Americans sought out safe, socially distanced activities. With many community pickleball courts remaining open throughout lockdowns, new players flocked to the sport. This increased demand has fueled sales of pickleball gear, especially paddles.
Surging Popularity Attracts Newcomers
As more new players try their hand at pickleball, manufacturers are responding with a growing array of paddle options at various price points. Choices range from budget-friendly paddles under $50 made of materials like aluminum, to high-performance graphite paddles costing over $150.
With its similarities to tennis, pickleball attracts many former tennis players looking for a lower-impact sport. At the same time, the sport has introduced new populations to paddle sports, including seniors and kids.
Beyond just recreation, pickleball’s popularity has fueled a rise in tournaments and competitive play. The USA Pickleball Association, the sport’s national governing body, oversees official tournaments and rankings. Stars like tennis icon Venus Williams have helped raise the sport’s profile by competing in celebrity pickleball events.
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New Paddle Technology Meets Growing Demand
As participation grows, manufacturers continue to innovate paddle designs and materials to meet players’ needs. Options like fiberglass faces and honeycomb polymer cores aim to balance power, control, feel and durability.
Some paddles incorporate vibration-dampening technologies to reduce arm and elbow strain. Adjustable, oversized grips better accommodate a variety of hand sizes. Paddles are being designed specifically for beginners, intermediates and advanced tournament players.
Major brands in the market include Selkirk, Pickleball Central, Paddletek and Onix. Lesser-known companies are joining the scene as well, creating even more options for consumers.
The Future Looks Bright
With an estimated 4.8 million pickleball players in the U.S. alone, the sport’s growth shows no signs of slowing down. Rec centers, YMCAs, schools and community parks are adding pickleball courts to meet demand.
The report projects steady expansion of the global pickleball paddle market over the next five years. While the U.S. currently accounts for the majority of sales, other countries are picking up the pickleball craze. With its broad appeal and low barriers to entry, pickleball seems poised to follow other paddle sports like ping pong in becoming popular worldwide.
The report’s data and insights aim to support companies in capitalizing on this fast-growing segment. As more new players get drawn in by the sport’s fun and social aspects, they’ll need quality, affordable paddles to match their enthusiasm. Brands that understand their needs and preferences will likely come out on top.