If you are planning to begin with pickleball or planning to master it, this write-up is for every pickleball player, catering to the requirements of recreational and national-level players.
The craze of pickleball is surging immensely. However, if you are a beginner and planning to start from the basics, this guide is exactly what you need. I have tried my best to gather all in the same place. So, let’s get started with the basics.
Other than that, I am sharing some best options for each category as well.
Pickleball: Things You should know as a Beginner
What does a pickleball look like heading?
Pickleball is a racquet game that is adopted from different games such as tennis, paddle ball, etc. The paddle and pickleball are slightly different compared to these games. Usually, a pickleball is made of plastic which is perforated holes; instead, many people refer to it as a Wiffle ball.
This ball has a hole in it that helps it to move cleaner in the air as compared to the felt-covered tennis ball.
The first thing that you need to get started with pickleball accessories from where you can start your journey. For your ease, I am dividing it into two categories, primary and secondary.
As I am calling them primary pickleball accessories, that means they are the essential gear. This includes
· Pickleball paddles
· Pickleball balls
And secondary pickleball accessories include the things that aid your game like
· Pickleball paddle eraser
· Pickleball apparel
· Pickleball shoes
· Pickleball hat
· Pickleball bag
· Pickleball net,
· Pickleball court etc.
Let’s dig in deep to complete them individually.
Primary Pickleball Accessories
1. Pickleball Paddles
One of the main gears of pickleball is the pickleball paddles. The pickleball paddles usually weigh 5 to 8 oz. 15 to 17 inches long, and around 7 to 9 inches wide. They are available in different materials, which are
· Fiberglass pickleball paddles
· Graphite pickleball paddle
· Wooden pickleball paddles, and
· Composite pickleball paddle
Graphite pickleball paddles are a popular choice for many players. They are durable, light in weight, and provide more grip on the handle. However, they are a little expensive compared to the other pickleball materials. Here are the best options for graphite pickleball paddle.
ONIX Graphite Z5 Graphite Carbon Fiber Pickleball Paddle: Best Graphite Pickleball Paddle
This has undoubtedly made its way to be the best pickleball paddles for women as well as for men. It is a lightweight, mid-weight graphite pickleball paddle, mainly with a wooden handle to offer a solid grip. You can choose from your favorite color as it comes with eight different options.
Pro light Magnum Graphite Pickleball Paddle- Second best option
This pickleball paddle is a good choice for players who are on the hunt for paddles that prefer light and slim.
For more options, the Best graphite pickleball paddle
The wood paddles are the classic choice of pickleball paddle and are comparatively heavy, making them more durable. For beginners, these are good options.
My suggestion for the Best Wooden pickleball Paddles are
Amazin Aces Pickleball Wood Paddle Set: Our First Option
This wood paddle has a frame of Graphite material and a graphite shaft which is recommended mainly for beginners. As this is a set, in the package, you will get four pickleball balls, two wooden pickleball paddles, and a mesh bag to carry them.
Diller Pickleball Pickleball Paddles: Second Best option
This pickleball paddle set includes two wooden paddles that are constructed with Two-ply wood and four pickleball. There are other options that are the best pickleball paddle under $100 available as well.
For more wooden pickleball paddles, Continue to Best wooden pickleball Paddles.
Fiberglass pickleball paddles are inexpensive and offer more power compared to other materials, and are the best pickleball paddles for spin. In terms of durability, they are no less than wood, in fact, they are more durable than wooden pickleball paddles. However, they are difficult to control. Here are the best options for fiberglass.
SLK by Selkrik Pickleball Paddle: Best Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle
This fiberglass pickleball paddle is widely preferred by many pickleball players, mainly for the adults. It weighs around 1.1 lbs. which is a little heavy but not much, but will not compromise grip and your game.
Head Radical Elite Pickleball Paddle: Second Best
The second best option is Head Radical which is perfect for beginner and intermediate players. This can optimize your game and your playing style with ease and solid grip.
Explore more options for the best fiberglass pickleball paddle
Composite pickleball paddles are made with a combination of different materials like graphite and fiberglass which makes them more powerful, but they could be expensive.
Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro Pickleball Paddle: Best composite pickleball paddle
This composite pickleball paddle offer a standard grip, made and preferred specifically for the professional players. Its frame and shaft are made of graphite that can help you to get great wins.
Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CFS Swift Pickleball Paddle, Second best option
The second best option is by Joola Ben Johns Hyperion which helps to master the game of booth beginners and intermediate players. The material for this composite pickleball paddle is Polymer enclosed in a fiberglass frame with a carbon fiber shaft.
For more options, continue to Best Composite pickleball paddles.
As of now you are aware of pickleball paddles, you should also know that the women's pickleball paddles are same. They are not and different, however, you might be for the colors, don’t worry you can find many color options in pickleball paddle for different brands.
Be wise when searching for the material as it impacts your performance.
1. Pickleball paddle Size and Style
They all are available in different shapes and sizes. In general, the most preferred paddle shape is the teardrop. Other than that, you have the option for
· Rectangle, and
· Oval shape
The surface area of a pickleball paddle is between 90 to 120 square inches.
How to hold a pickleball paddle?
Holding a pickleball paddle can make and break your game win. Usually, there are three main grips for pickleball, the continental grip, the eastern grip, and the western grip.
The continental grip is the most common grip used in pickleball, which is a neutral grip that provides a good balance of power and control.
If you want to find the continental grip, place your hand on the paddle as if you were shaking hands with someone. Your palm should be facing down, and your fingers should be spread evenly across the handle.
The eastern grip is a more aggressive grip that provides more power. You can find the eastern grip; you need to rotate your hand on the paddle so that your palm is facing slightly to the right (for right-handed players). Your fingers should still be spread evenly across the handle.
The Western grip is the ultimate power grip. To practice your Western grip, rotate your hand on the paddle so that your palm is facing almost completely to the right (for right-handed players). Your fingers should be curled slightly around the handle.
Which grip is perfect depends on your individual playing style and personal preferences. To get comfortable with the right grip, you need to experiment with different grips to find one that feels comfortable and allows you to hit the ball with power and control.
Here are some tips that will help you for holding a pickleball paddle with the perfect grip.
1. Keep your grip light
You don't need to grip the paddle tightly to hit the ball. A light grip will allow you to have more control over the ball.
Keep your wrist loose. A loose wrist will help you to generate more power and control when you hit the ball.
2. Keep your elbow close to your body
This will help you to generate more power and control when you hit the ball.
3. Practice, practice, practice
Finally, the key is practice. The best way to improve your grip is to practice with it. The more you practice, the more comfortable and natural it will become.
To learn more about it, continue reading:
2. Pickleball Balls
The next main essential gear for the pickleball game is balls.
What ball is used in pickleball?
Pickleball ball uses different balls compared to the felt-coated tennis ball. They are designed to offer optimal performance and durability while ensuring fair play.
The pickleball balls are further categorized as indoor and outdoor pickleball that are suitable for their respective courts. However, the all-weather pickleball balls can be used in indoor and outdoor.
Indoor Balls:These balls are designed to play on indoor courts. They typically have larger holes, more like X-26 means 26 holes in the ball and a softer construction, which results in a slower speed and lower bounce.
The Indoor balls are specifically tailored for use in facilities with controlled lighting conditions and smooth indoor surfaces.
ONix Fuse Indoor Pickleball, Best indoor pickleball
They are the best indoor pickleball with X-26. They are colored orange so that they can be visible in low lighting conditions.
Or you can get a pack of pickleball so you don’t have to order them again and again. For that, I suggest,
Franklin Sports X-26 USA Pickleball Approved: Second best option
This is the second-best option for pickleball. They are economical, weighs 26 grams and are 74mm diameter. In the package you will get 12 balls that are USA Pickleball Approved and are ideal for every tournament.
For more options, Best Pickleball balls
Outdoor Balls:Outdoor pickleball balls are designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor play, have more wholes like X-40 means, 40 holes. They have smaller holes and a harder construction to withstand wind resistance and provide a consistent bounce on outdoor surfaces.
Outdoor balls are engineered to endure rougher playing conditions, such as varying weather, and rougher surfaces like asphalt or concrete.
Franklin X-40 Best outdoor pickleball ball
These pickleball are three-inches in diameter, available in different packs. This one is of 6 balls in a pack, all are in 3 inches with X-40.
Franklin X-40 is the second best option
This pack comes with 12 balls in a pack in an optic yellow color.
Explore more brands and options for pickleball balls, the best outdoor pickleball ball
Pickleball balls are typically available in various colors, with yellow being the most common for outdoor balls and white or yellow for indoor balls. The color of the ball is chosen to enhance visibility and contrast against the playing surface.
So, the debate for pickleball balls indoor vs pickleball outdoor is concluded by the fact that it depends on the playing environment and the preferences of the players. Some players may have considered brands or models of balls, but as long as the balls meet the standards set by the governing bodies of the sport, they can be used for pickleball play.
What is a pickleball made of?
The pickleball is made and designed to provide optimal performance and durability while ensuring fair play.
Typically, pickleball balls are made from durable plastic materials. The most commonly used materials for pickleball balls are polyethylene PE and Polymer.
Polyethylene (PE) is the most popular material for pickleball balls. It offers a good balance of durability, bounce, and playability. PE pickleball balls are widely used in recreational play and tournaments.
On the other hand, the polymer pickleball balls are constructed from a combination of plastics. They are known for their durability and consistent bounce.
Polymer balls are often preferred for outdoor play due to their resistance to cracking in various weather conditions.
These are the basics for the primary accessories for pickleball, now here are the secondary pickleball accessories that significantly impacts your game.
Secondary Pickleball Accessories
As I said earlier, the secondary pickleball accessories are mostly the gears related to your appeals and some essentials that you will need to improve your game.
· Pickleball apparel
· Pickleball shoes
· Pickleball paddle eraser
What to wear to play pickleball? Pickleball Apparel
Other than the pickleball paddle and pickleball ball, the first thing that I think can impact your game is what you are wearing. You have to wear something comfortable and must be airy.
Sweaty Betty Women’s Power Workout Dress | Best sports apparel for women
This women apparel is available in three colors Black, green, and dahlia pink, ranging in seven different sizes. They are comfortable and supportive when playing in the court.
The second best option is Under Armour Men’s Playoff 2.0 Golf Polo
This one is comfortable sportswear for men which is airy and comfortable to wear, available in different sizes from x-small to 3x for large and tall.
However, there is compulsion, in fact, you can wear pickleball sweatshirtswhen playing for a recreational purpose.
3. Pickleball shoes
The next important part of your apparel is what shoes you need to wear when playing pickleball. As this game has more back-and-forth movements so, you need to get the appropriate court shoes that offer great traction to meet every movement without compromising the shot.
For best pickleball shoes, my recommendation is ACACIA Ultrashot Pickleball shoes
These best mens pickleball shoes are available in different sizes catering to all feet that requires room in the toe area as well as comfortable fit.
The other option for the best pickleball shoe for women that I think is a great option is Babolat Women’s jet tere all court shoes.
For more option for women, check out more at best pickleball shoes also here is an article we wrote on the best shoes:
Pickleball shoes vs Tennis shoes, which one is better?
Pickleball shoes and tennis shoes both have their advantages for playing pickleball. However, pickleball shoes, as you can hint from the name, are specifically designed for the sport, featuring non-marking soles, stability features, and cushioning for quick lateral movements.
They provide court-specific traction and support, reducing the risk of ankle rolling and offering impact protection.
On the other hand, tennis shoes can be a versatile option, suitable for multiple court sports, including pickleball. They offer traction, durability, and familiarity for players already comfortable with them.
Ultimately, the choice depends on personal preference, playing style, and individual needs. Pickleball shoes are ideal for dedicated players seeking optimal performance tailored to the sport, while tennis shoes can be a viable alternative if they provide the necessary comfort, support, stability, and traction.
What else can you take as the pickleball accessories
As said, pickleball accessories can go long. However, I have already listed the main components that impacts the game. Other accessories for pickleball includes
Now, let’s speak about the court and playing area of pickleball.
· Pickleball net
· Pickleball court
How tall is a pickleball net? How high is a pickleball net?
A pickleball net has a height of 36 inches (91.4 cm) at the sidelines and 34 inches (86.4 cm) at the center. The lower height at the center allows for better control and shot placement in the sport of pickleball.
Pickleball Net vs Tennis Net? How they are different?
Pickleball nets and tennis nets differ in several key aspects. Here are the main differences between the two. These include
The height of a pickleball net is 36 inches (91.4 cm) at the sidelines and 34 inches (86.4 cm) at the center.
In contrast, a tennis net is 3 feet (91.4 cm) high at the center and remains the same height at the sidelines.
The lower height of the pickleball net accommodates the sport's lower ball trajectory and allows players to have better control and easier shot placement.
A standard pickleball net is 20 feet (6.1 meters) wide, spanning the entire court, which is narrower compared to a tennis net. A tennis net, on the other hand, is 42 feet (12.8 meters) wide, extending beyond the singles and doubles sidelines.
3. Mesh Size
The mesh size of a pickleball net is smaller than that of a tennis net. Pickleball nets have a mesh size of around 1 inch (2.54 cm) to prevent the smaller pickleball from passing through. Tennis nets, in contrast, have larger mesh sizes to accommodate the faster-paced tennis ball.
Both pickleball nets and tennis nets are typically constructed with a durable netting material such as nylon or polyester. They are supported by a center strap that runs along the top of the net and tension cables or rods at the sides to keep the net taut.
Pickleball nets are often designed with portability in mind, as pickleball is frequently played in various locations and settings. Portable pickleball nets are lightweight, collapsible, and easy to assemble, allowing players to set up a pickleball court wherever they choose to play. Tennis nets, on the other hand, are generally more stationary and require a more robust installation.
6. Net Height Adjustment
Tennis nets usually have a mechanism for adjusting the net height to meet the requirements of different playing surfaces and game formats. Pickleball nets, due to their fixed height, do not typically include a net height adjustment feature.
These differences reflect the specific needs and dimensions of each sport. Understanding these distinctions ensures that players have the appropriate net for their chosen game, enabling fair play and adherence to the respective sport's regulations.
How to be a better pickleball player and improve my game?
Pickleball hopper, you can only learn about the game and rules from the pickleball books but only consistent practice can make you better and evenly a pro player.
What are the dimensions of a pickleball court?
A standard pickleball court has the following dimensions
· Court Length: 44 feet (13.41 meters)
· Court Width: 20 feet (6.10 meters)
The court is divided into different sections
· Service Area Length: 22 feet (6.71 meters) on each side
· Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) or Kitchen: 7 feet (2.13 meters) from the net on each side
What is Baseline in the back boundary line in a pickleball court?
These dimensions are based on the official regulations set by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) and are used for competitive play and tournaments. However, it's worth noting that pickleball courts can vary in size, especially for recreational or non-regulation play, where space limitations may be a factor.
Rules for playing Pickleball
What are the top 5 rules for pickleball?
Like every other game, pickleball has a bunch of rules as well that you should be aware of before you begin with it. These rules are
1. There should be no volley in the kitchen
The non-volley zone is also called Kitchen, which is located seven feet distant from the net on both sides. The player must have to stand outside of the Kitchen, not even on its lines; otherwise, you will still be considered in the kitchen, which is not allowed in any condition.
2. There should only be one bounce on each side
Pickleball has a rule of Two Bounce Rule which means there must not be more than one bounce on each side for every rally (serve and the return to serve). After that, you can play in the air or let the ball bounce.
3. The pickleball ball must be served at the baseline
You always have to serve the ball from the baseline (the backline of the court) and must be served under the player’s baseline. It must be hit diagonally over the net and across the court. Another rule related to serving is to continue to play if the ball touches the net unless it touches the kitchen.
4. Service must not land in the Kitchen
When the player servers, it must not land in the kitchen and not even on the marking line of the kitchen, but it can after serve. A serve is bound to serve in case it lands in a line other than the kitchen, but not if it lands in the kitchen.
5. The game must end on points with odd numbers, i.e., 11, 15, or 21 points
Usually, a game ends when the score is 11 on any team, but the winner has to earn two points at least. For instance, if the points are 11 and the opponent has 10, the game will not end there.
What is the double bounce rule in pickleball?
There is no difference in the double bounce rule and two bounce rule except for their titles. According to the new pickleball rules, updated in 2018, the name is updated to the TWO-BOUNCE RULE.
The rule is
‘The players on both sides must make one groundstroke before volleying the ball.’
In conclusion, pickleball is a rapidly growing sport that offers a unique and enjoyable experience for players of all ages and skill levels.
With its combination of elements from tennis, badminton, and table tennis, pickleball provides a fast-paced and dynamic gameplay that is both exciting and accessible. The sport's smaller court size, lower net height, and specialized equipment make it easier for beginners to learn and enjoy, while still providing a challenge for more advanced players.
Since this guide is for the new players, I hope you find it informative. Do let us know if you have any suggestions.