To start playing pickleball, you’ll need some basic equipment – we’ve crafted this guide below to help get you started, including what to buy and where to buy it!
Pickleball paddles are smaller than tennis rackets but larger than ping pong paddles. Regulation sized paddles are generally made of plastic and are a combined 24 inches in total length and width.
As a beginner, the easiest way to purchase paddles is through TaoBao in Hong Kong. If you’re more advanced and have a specific paddle in mind, both www.amazon.com and www.pickleballcentral.com have great selections and deliver to Hong Kong, albeit with a shipping fee.
Paddle Specifics – Getting Into the Nitty Gritty
- Shape: paddles generally come in shapes that range from shorter and wider, to longer and thinner. Generally speaking, the longer and narrower a paddle is, the higher the sweet spot will be on the face. A higher sweet spot means it is further away from your hand (greater leverage), and the contact point on the face is therefore moving faster when it strikes the ball. All of this translates to more power!
- Core: the thicker the core, the more energy is absorbed (better control). The thinner the core, the more energy is returned to the ball (increased power). Different core materials will also have an effect on the paddle’s feel.
Pickleball has its own unique nets, measuring 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches high at the center. Centers with designated pickleball courts will have nets available, so you won’t have to worry about bringing your own. However, most likely if you’re looking to set up a pickleball game on your own, having your own portable net is essential.
Quality nets can be bought on TaoBao, and are relatively inexpensive. We have used this net from Skatewing and find it to be high quality and reliable.
There are two types of balls: outdoor and indoor.
The biggest difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs is the quantity and size of holes. Indoor balls typically have 26 larger holes while outdoor usually have 40 smaller holes.
Between brands, both indoor and outdoor balls will generally vary on the following criteria: number of holes, hole diameter, weight, hardness, and durability.
Any comfortable athletic shoes will do to get you started.
However, as play becomes more advanced, tennis shoes are ideal as they offer the support and stability for the quick movements that pickleball will require.
If you’re looking to set up your own pickleball court, there are generally three options: taping your own lines, using court markers, or pre-measured rope.
- Tape: you will need 198 ft. of tape to fully mark your pickleball court. It is best to mark the court dimensions prior to taping, so having a measuring device is important.
- Court Markers: plastic lines that mark the edges of the court. Also best to measure the court dimensions prior to laying down the court markers. We recommend this brand.
- Temporary Lines: portable pre-measured lines that are easy to set up and take down. We recommend this brand.