Your favorite sports store is now selling equipment for your new favorite sport: pickleball! (It’s your new favorite sport, you just don’t know it yet).
You may be asking yourself, what is pickleball? Are pickles required? Why is the game even called pickleball? Well, we’ve got answers! The game is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong all wrapped into one. No actual pickles are required, but we’re told a dog named Pickles was involved in naming the game. It’s a perfect game to play with friends for a little competitive fun or even some serious competition: there’s a National Pickleball Association with over 700 players!
How to Play:
You and an opponent set up on a badminton court. Then, you use your paddle to serve the ball so it bounces on your opponent’s side of the court. After it bounces, they’ll hit it back to you so it bounces on your side of the court. Once you’ve both got a bounce in, you can start to volley the ball like you would in badminton (only in the air) or ping pong (letting it bounce once on the court). When it hits the line, lands out of bounds, or doesn’t clear the net, you move on to the next round. If you’re keeping score (but really, who’s not keeping score), know that only the server of each round can score points and the game ends after someone scores 11 points. Of course, all of the rules are available on the USA Pickleball Association website.
Pick-le Your Paddle
Now that you get the game, it’s time to get geared up. Gamma offers an awesome variety of paddles to choose from. Here are a few factors to keep in mind and some suggestions on picking one according to your skill level:
- Paddle Material
- Graphite paddles are the lightest and strongest material and are most often used by competitive players.
- Wood is a traditional material of pickleball paddles, but they are also much heavier.
- Composite paddles are the middle ground between graphite and wooden paddles.
- Core Material:
- Nomex cores are the OG’s in pickleball paddles since they’re durable and lightweight.
- Aluminum cores are the heaviest cores but are great for maneuverability since you have more time to manipulate the ball.
- Polypropylene cores are new in pickleball technology and are the softest and quietest material. This makes them especially good if you’re trying to play in a library.
Our Buyers' Recommendations:
|The Gamma Micron 1.0 composite paddle has an aluminum core, perfect for getting into the swing of the sport.||Experienced picklers looking for a lighter paddle, will find it in the Neutron 1.0, a composite paddle with a Nomex core.||The Voltage 1.0 graphite paddle and a Nomex core will make you the ultimate pickleball pro.|
Now that you’re ready to get started, you can pick up your pickleball paddles and balls in-store or online! We’ve also got some sweet kits—like our Franklin Quikset Pickleball Starter Set—that are perfect for beginners or for taking the game on the road. Are you playing pickleball? Tag us on Instagram to show us your game!