Fortunately, pickleball players aren’t required to bring much to the court to participate; just a paddle and a ball. If you’re using an existing tennis court for your game and can’t lower the net, you will have to bring a portable pickleball net.
Players have many options in paddle styles, which means they can find a grip that fits their hand perfectly. Paddles also come in different weights, which is also a function of comfort and usability. If you’re playing outdoors, wind can be a factor in how the ball moves, which is why heavier balls with smaller holes are used outdoors.
If you ever played wiffle ball as a kid (or as an adult), you’ll be familiar with the structure of a pickleball. However, the USAPA has detailed specifications for what balls can be used to play the game. The balls are to be made of a durable material and have a smooth surface – no textures allowed. You might see a ridge where the mold is fitted together, but it shouldn’t be so significant that it disrupts play. The balls are to be between 2.874 inches and 2.972 inches in diameter. Official balls will weigh between .78 and .935 ounces. When dropped from a height of 78 inches, they are to bounce up from the surface to a height between 30 and 34 inches. Like a wiffle ball, pickleballs have holes, but no fewer than 26 and no more than 40. You’ll find smaller holes in a ball used for the outdoor play, and this is to minimize the effect wind will have on it.Read more
The USAPA has very few restrictions on what materials can be used to make a paddle, as long as it’s rigid and made of a non-compressible material. The surface of the paddle can’t have holes or indentations in it. The surface must be smooth and feature no rough texturing. The goal is to use a paddle that doesn’t allow a player to put any extra spin on the ball, as that would be unfair. The surface of the paddle may be painted, but it can’t be so reflective that it causes glare that will disrupt the game. The paddle is not to exceed a length of 17 inches, but there is no restriction on how thick a paddle can be, nor are there any restrictions on weight.Read more
To fully enjoy a game of pickleball, it’s important to wear what makes you feel comfortable. You can work up a sweat in short order, so wearing moisture wicking apparel is recommended. Many women will wear tennis style dresses and men will wear athletic shorts. Eye protection is recommended, as are shoes that will provide the support you need for a lot of side-to-side action. Protecting the playing surface is important, so your footwear must not leave any marks or damage. As with most organized sports, wearing anything distracting or distasteful while playing pickleball is not allowed. Any writing, graphics or pictures on clothing or equipment must be in good taste.Read more