As a pickleball player, you know that having the right equipment is crucial to playing your best. But what does a pickleball racket look like? And what other gear do you need to play the game?
In this post, we’ll take a look at the basics of pickleball equipment and give you some tips on choosing the right gear for you. Stay tuned!
In This Post
What Does a Pickleball Racket Look Like?
The first thing to know about pickleball rackets is that they are smaller than tennis or squash rackets. A pickleball racket is around 20 inches long, including the handle.
The face of a pickleball racket is also much smaller than the head of a tennis racket—about 6 inches across compared to 10-11 inches for a tennis racket. Pickleball rackets are strung with a mesh or synthetic string, which is very different from the double-cross stringing on most tennis rackets.
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What Else Do I Need to Play Pickleball?
In addition to a pickleball racket, you’ll also need some type of shoes and eye protection. In fact, the only piece of equipment that is absolutely required for pickleball is a net set with posts and a cord or rope that attaches the net to the posts.
A good pair of pickleball shoes, such as lightweight tennis shoes, will help give you traction and provide support for your ankles. Pickleball is played on an indoor court or an outdoor, concrete patio so there isn’t much risk of slipping and falling like there is in tennis (sliding around on clay courts). However, shoes with soles that grip the court surface well will give you an extra edge.
Eye protection is especially important if you play pickleball outdoors or anytime there are crowds gathered to watch your game. Picking up birdies isn’t easy (more on that later), and accidentally hitting spectators with the ball is always a risk. It’s as simple as wearing an inexpensive pair of sunglasses or safety goggles that protect your eyes from flying objects.
On top of those basics, you’ll need some type of pickleball apparel. Most players wear knee-length athletic shorts and a t-shirt when they play pickleball indoors, and shorts and a t-shirt or tank top outdoors. Some players wear pickleball socks, which have padding around the ankles for comfort and support.
In addition, if you play pickleball regularly, don’t forget to bring a towel or handkerchief so you can wipe your face and neck frequently! The game is fast-paced and, as we mentioned before, you’ll be running back and forth across the court a lot. Even if you play mostly indoors, it’s important to stay hydrated during pickleball matches.
Where Can I Play Pickleball?
For those of us who live in iced-over regions where outdoor pickleball is not an option, don’t worry. There are plenty of pickleball clubs and recreation departments that offer indoor facilities where you can play year-round.
It’s best to call the local club or park in your area to find out if they have a pickleball court. Many places charge an hourly fee for playing on their designated pickleball courts, so it’s important to check the price before you show up.
If there is no pickleball court in your area, don’t give up hope!
There are all sorts of creative ways that players have adapted tennis courts for use as pickleball courts. You can also play pickleball on a badminton or handball court (make sure you have permission to use the court first).
How Are Pickleball Matches Played?
Pickleball is played much like tennis, with a few key differences. Pickleball games can be played to 15 or 21 points, just like tennis, but each game is only four points long. This means that pickleball matches are much shorter than tennis matches.
This is due to the fact that you can’t win a point while serving in pickleball, so once you’ve won three points in a row, the game is over. This makes for way more rallies and shot exchanges in every pickleball game—which means it’s easier to get fatigued.
In most pickleball matches, the first player to reach seven points wins the game. However, you can win a game by winning four out of five games in a set (kind of like tennis tiebreakers).
This makes it easier for a less skilled player to win a match against a superior opponent—since they can win sets even if they lose games.
Pickleball matches consist of one game and a match score (not set point, set, match as in tennis) that is the total number of points won in the match divided by two. In other words, if you win a pickleball match 21-17, your score is 38/2 = 19.
Go to this link for the official rules of pickleball: https://www.usapickleball.org/docs/ifp/USAPA-Rulebook.pdf
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Pickleball is a fun, low-impact sport that you can play regardless of your age or skill level. It’s a great way to improve your hand-eye coordination and get in shape while having fun with friends and family!
All it takes is a little research, some dedication, and the right equipment—and before you know it, you’ll be hitting that pickleball like a pro.
Good luck and enjoy the game!