Pickleball is the fastest-growing and trendiest sport in America in 2022, and if you’ve got questions, here’s why people love it and everything you need to know to play it yourself. Our correspondent Jillian Tangen explains why the latest cool outdoor sport to love is Pickleball and what you need to know and buy to get started in summer 2022.
Why the latest cool sport to love in summer 2022 is Pickleball
What do your 75 year old parents, Leonardo DiCaprio and the Chicago Cubs bullpen have in common? They’re all caught up in the pickleball craze currently sweeping the country.[white_box]
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The sport, a mash-up of ping-pong, badminton and tennis, is the fastest-growing sport in the United States according to The Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s 2022 report, rising in popularity thanks in large part to the pandemic. Nearly 4.9 million Americans have started playing and the sport is now a contender to be added to the 2028 Olympic lineup.
Pickleball is relatively easy to pick up and you can play as casually or intensely as you like. And because it’s played in groups, there’s a social element as well. Which explains why people gravitated so much to the sport immediately after isolation.
what is pickleball?
The game was invented in Seattle in 1965 by three fathers (one of whom had a dog named Pickles) seeking a way to entertain their children. It can be played inside or outside, in singles or doubles and the only equipment required include a net, paddles and a plastic wiffle type ball.
The objective is simple: Players serve, volley and hit the ball back and forth, with the first side to score 11 points wins. Games can be as short as 15 minutes and is a great activity for families. The rules are relatively easy for beginners to learn, but like most other sports, becomes more competitive and nuanced as the level of play increases. You can find the complete rule book here.
Pickleball will make you feel like a serious athlete – all while you’re having fun with friends and getting a pretty good workout. No wonder everyone from George and Amal Clooney to Larry David, Melinda Gates, Jamie Foxx and our parents are loving this game.
what do you need to play pickleball?
Ready to give pickleball a try? To get started, you’ll need a little bit of gear. From paddles to court shoes to all the other essentials, we’ve rounded up a few favorites.
1. sneakers: adidas by stella mccartney
While you can get away with any pair of supportive sneakers for pickleball, if you decide to stick with it, invest in a pair designed specifically for performance sports like these Ultraboost 22 Elevated ($230) from Adidas by Stella McCartney.
BUY NOW – $230.[white_box]
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2. sneakers: new balance x staud
For something a little simpler but still responsive, we love these uplifting New Balance x Staud 57/40 Sneakers ($150) from their recent collaboration.
BUY NOW – $150.
3. paddles: recess
Add the perfect print to any court with this Pickleball Paddle ($86) from Recess, featuring a durable fiberglass surface with honeycomb polypropylene core, sanded texture surface and leather gripped handles.
BUY NOW – $86.
4. paddles: nettie
Made with a premium plastic honeycomb core, the Nettie Pendleton Paddle ($80) is bright and playful.
BUY NOW – $80.[white_box]
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5. pickleballs: recess
Make sure you buy balls that are pickleball-specific like these Pickleball Balls ($14) from Recess, not just any plastic ball with holes. Designed for play on all surface types, the balls are heavier and slower, and come in a bright neon color for maximum visibility.
BUY NOW – $14.
6. pickleballs: franklin
Franklin’s Outdoor X-40 Pickleballs ($12) are made from a single piece of plastic with precise, machine-drilled holes.
BUY NOW – $12.
7. nets: a11n
If there isn’t a pickleball court near you, you can create one at home on any 30 x 60 feet concrete surface. A11N’s Portable Pickleball Net ($180) is lightweight and features a white tape across the top for added visibility.
BUY NOW – $180.
8. nets: zeny
With a steel frame and fiberglass middle post Zeny’s Pickleball Net ($75) has added stability. Plus it can be set up and taken apart in just a few minutes making it easy to bring along on your next trip out to the Hamptons or Cape.
BUY NOW – $75.[white_box]
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9. clothes: marysia
BUY NOW – $373.
10. clothes: tory sport
For something a little more classic in style, there’s this Tech Pique Tennis Set ($276) from Tory Sport made from high performance fabric for when the games get more intense.
BUY NOW – $276.
everything you need to know to play the trendy new sport of pickleball
While country clubs, rec centers and luxury resorts have been trying to make space for pickleball courts, the rapid growth has made it hard to keep up with demand. You can locate a Pickleball court near you by visiting places2play.org. The only obstacle to getting started yourself may be finding a place to play – hence purchasing your own net.
There you have it, everything you need to know about Pickleball including what you need to get started playing. What do you think, readers? Are you ready to give this sport a try?
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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.
This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links.
Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier and a former Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in New York and is married with three young children. She loves cross-country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.