Pickleball Equipment List
Pickleball is an individual or pairs sport in which players hit a wiffle ball over a net with wooden paddles. The players must hit the ball into an enclosed area on the other side of the net, similar to tennis or volleyball. Points are scored by forcing the opponent to make a poor shot. Pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors.
The necessary equipment required to play pickleball includes pickleball paddles, pickleballs, a pickleball court, and a pickleball net. Tape may be needed to identify court dimensions and markings if an official court is not available. An external net is also required if there is not an existing one built into the court. Shoes, a shirt, and shorts are usually worn when playing pickleball. Hats and sunglasses can be useful for keeping the sun or lights out of a player’s eyes. Pickleball bags and paddle covers can be additional valuable accessories for more frequent or experienced players. Finally, there must be adequate gear for the game’s referee, as well. Referee gear includes a uniform, whistle, and score counter.
Pickleball accessories are clothing, machines, gear, and tools that can help enhance the performance of pickleball players of any skill level. Accessories are used to boost the performance or preserve the value of the player and his or her pickleball equipment. Pickleball accessories have a great variety of costs, ranging from as cheap as $5 or $10 to as expensive as several hundreds of dollars. The best pickleball players boast some of the most refined and exquisite pickleball accessories.
Any bag with enough space can be used to carry pickleball equipment, but the most ideal and space-efficient is a sling bag. These bags should contain enough room for at least 4 paddles and a few balls. Pickleball bags are easily transportable and typically cost between $20 and $50. A good size for a pickleball bag is around 13 x 18 inches. Other types of pickleball bags include duffel bags and backpacks.
Pickleball ball hoppers, much like tennis ball hoppers, are used to store pickleballs during and outside of play. The size of the hopper should allow for around 50 pickleballs to be stored, and should be of easy and convenient access to the player. The most trusted and popular brand generally used for pickleball ball hoppers is GAMMA. Pickleball ball hoppers are also referred to as carts or baskets. Typical cost for a quality pickleball ball hopper is about $40.
Pickleball balls are chiefly divided into two different categories: outdoor and indoor balls. Outdoor balls are made of a hard plastic with smaller holes. Indoor balls are made of a less durable plastic but have larger holes, because wind is not present indoors. Regulation pickleballs contain 26 to 40 holes. Balls are typically bought in packs of 3 or more and can cost up to $30 for a pack of 9. Pickleballs are similar to wiffle balls and are most commonly a green or yellow color.
Pickleball books have a variety of topics including tutorials, strategy, rules, history, techniques and fundamentals. Books about pickleball are readily available online to purchase and roughly range in price from $5 to $20. The best and most highly rated pickleball books will not only provide a guide to playing the game but also give key tips and advice to be a successful pickleball player.
Braces And Supports
Pickleball braces and supports are used to protect from injury or provide support and sooth injuries, especially in the joints. Braces are most commonly used on the elbows and the knees, both of which are used extensively in the sport. Pickleball braces and supports typically vary in cost depending on size and quality, but ultimately range from $20 to $50. Other pickleball supports include ankle braces, arm sleeves, compression socks and athletics tape. Braces and supports can allow a player with sore, old, or aching joints or muscles to still enjoy pickleball play.
Court Line Tape
Pickleball court line tape is used solely for marking off the lines of a pickleball court. Any kind of tape could be used to mark off a pickleball court casually, but pickleball court line tape is a specific type similar to painter’s tape. The tape is best used indoors, but can be used outdoors as well if needed. It serves as a perfect non-permanent set-up that can be brought almost anywhere. To apply pickleball court line tape, determine the proper court set up, and then create a dry and clean surface underneath to ensure the tape remains in place. The tape is used for creating or improving a pickleball court with zero or unclear lines.
A pickleball court is needed to play pickleball; however, one may improvise using a pre existing tennis, volleyball, or badminton court. Pickleball courts are 20 x 44 feet, divided by a net and centerline. In the middle is a non-volley zone called the kitchen, separated by the net and extending 7 feet on each side. Each side is also divided into left and right serving areas, each 10 feet in length, making up the baseline. The sidelines on either side are 22 feet deep, adding up to 44 feet total for the whole court. Pickleball can be played on any hard material, including but not limited to concrete, asphalt, and hardwood.
Pickleball grip tape is wrapped around the paddle where one would grip it. This grip tape enhances the grip, making it easier to handle and creating a much stronger grasp around the paddle. Pickleball grip tape also serves the purpose of working against sweaty palms. The best grip tape prevents sweat from building up or residing on the paddle handle. Pickleball grip tape can also be used to increase the circumference of the paddle handle. This allows for more comfort and support on the paddle handle if needed.
There are no requirements for which types of hats are necessary for playing pickleball. The best hats for pickleball are performance based caps or visors that serve the primary purposes of keeping sweat and hair out of the face, blocking the sun from the player’s face, and improving court vision. Pickleball hats typically cost between $15 and $25. It is not a requirement to wear a hat when playing pickleball.
Nets And Posts
The pickleball net is one of the most important components needed to play pickleball. Pickleball nets should be 34-36 inches in height: 36 inches at the side posts (on the sidelines) and 34 inches at the center. The length of the net should be a minimum of 21 feet and 9 inches. The net posts should be 22 feet apart, and the maximum diameter of the posts should be 3 inches. The top border of the net should be binded by 2-inch white tape. A set containing a net and posts can cost between $100 and $200.
Pickleball paddle covers should keep the paddle safe during travel and protect it from any possible damage. Most pickleball paddle covers only cover the actual paddle itself, leaving the paddle handle exposed. This makes for easy transportation and access when quickly using or putting away. Typical size for a cover should be roughly 9 x 12 inches, although any should suffice so long as the paddle is covered and protected. Pickleball paddle covers cost between $5 and $15.
A pickleball paddle is generally around 20 x 40 inches and typically weighs between 7 and 9 ounces. The paddle is resemblant of a table tennis paddle, but is larger and is constructed of a few different materials. Pickleball paddles can be classified by 4 principal categories: brand, type, player profile, and weight/grip. Different brands have various paddles to offer, including differences in type of paddle construction. Player profile refers to the level of skill a player has or wishes to take advantage of, and weight and grip size can vary among paddles. Pickleball paddles cost as low as under $30 and as expensive as $100+.
Pickleball machines are used to throw pickleballs without the need of another person or someone else to hit to the player. While machines like this already have been practically perfected for baseball and tennis, pickleball balls will not comply with these machines. So, a pickleball machine is a practical and efficient tool to assist pickleball training, especially when one is alone or without a partner or team. Pickleball machines cost between $800 and $1200 if bought new.
Pop Up Targets
Pickleball pop up targets are used to practice swing accuracy and precision. Pop up targets can be attached to the net so that the opening (typically 20 x 26 inches) is positioned right above the net. These small openings are perfect for practicing to develop skills in how a ball is returned, served, and passed. The pop up target is easily attached to the net by at least 4 velcro straps, making set-up and take-down easy. Pickleball pop up targets cost about $40 for a set of 2 targets.
A pickleball referee scoreboard is used to keep track of the score of a pickleball match so that the players, referee and audience can clearly see the score at any time during the match. The referee scoreboard contains at minimum two sides showing the respective number of points for each player or team in the game being played. Games will typically go to 11 points, but can go up to 15 or 21 points in tournament matches. An additional possible feature on the scoreboard can be an additional counter for the number of games won by each team or player.
The official USAPA certified referee shirt is a dry fit t-shirt that is available only to members who have completed and successfully been certified as an official USAPA pickleball referee. In the most general terms, a pickleball referee should wear a neutral, brightly colored shirt that makes them stand out from the players and fans. This shirt should be fit to be comfortable and durable for matches and gameplay. Shirts can cost between $10 and $30.
A pickleball referee whistle is the referee’s principal tool for signaling a call or gathering the attention of pickleball players or fans. A pickleball referee whistle should always be easily accessed by the referee and should only be in the control of the referee. The referee whistle should produce a loud and noticeable sound that is clearly heard by the players and scorekeepers. Pickleball referee whistles can cost up to $10.
The shirts worn by pickleball players tend to be short sleeved t-shirts that make for comfortable yet athletic fits. A pickleball shirt should be any shirt that is comfortable to play in and provides the player with his or her best range of motion, especially for the swing of the paddle on returns and serves. There are no requirements on what kind of shirt must be worn for official pickleball matches or tournaments except for that one must be worn. Pickleball shirts cost between $10 and $30, but can be more expensive based on brand and quality.
Pickleball shoes provide great stability and support to keep up with the quick and back-and-forth motions required when playing pickleball. The most important aspect of a pickleball shoe is its ability to prevent injuries. There are different shoes for indoor and outdoor pickleball. Indoor shoes should be similar to volleyball shoes, providing great mobility and grip on hardwood or hard indoor surfaces. Outdoor shoes are recognizable for their support, cushion, and shock-absorbent characteristics. Pickleball can be played with regular tennis shoes, but it is important to acknowledge the rapid and tense motions in the game. Pickleball shoes can cost between $30 and $120, depending on quality.
There is not a requirement for any specific shorts or pants that a pickleball player must wear, although athletic shorts are the most encouraged. When it comes to shorts, the most important aspect for pickleball is the mobility that the pair of shorts allows. Court mobility is key to performing to the best of one’s ability on the pickleball court, and comfortable, athletic and lightweight shorts are adamant to achieving this. Quality pickleball shorts can cost between $15 and $45.
Pickleball skirts share a majority of characteristics as pickleball shorts except that they are designed as skirts. This is common pickleball attire for women, and still provides similar versatility and fluidity for court movement. Other alternatives to a pickleball skirt are women’s shorts or a pickleball skort, which is a combination of shorts and a skirt. Pickleball skirts can easily be bought online or at stores and cost between $25 and $45.
Pickleball sunglasses do not solely serve the purpose of blocking sun from the wearer’s eyesight. Pickleball sunglasses double in the way that they are protective eyewear in defense of the rapidly moving ball during intense gameplay. In outdoor pickleball, sunglasses can provide a great advantage on a bright sunny day. Pickleball sunglasses can also boast UV protection and an elastic wrap around that will keep them secure to a player’s head. Pickleball sunglasses cost roughly $15 to $30 but can be more expensive from some brands.
Tape in pickleball serves a few different purposes, including court line tape, athletic tape, and grip tape. When pickleball tape is used to line a court, this allows players to play wherever they can find a hard surface and a net. In the role of athletic tape, pickleball tape allows athletes to fight against injury and perform at their best. Finally, grip tape provides a player with extra grip and anti-sweat tape that improves power, finesse and strength when striking the ball. Pickleball tape can cost anywhere between $5 and $15.
Pickleball training aids provide pickleball players with equipment that helps improve their game and refine their skills on the court. Pickleball training aids include but are not limited to rebounders, pickleball machines, mini-nets, pop up targets and pickleball books. Even something as simple as a wall with a marked line can serve as a pickleball training aid. The important commonality is that all equipment pieces help a player to improve their abilities. The prices of pickleball training aids can vary greatly depending on what type of equipment is being purchased.
What Makes Pickleball Equipment Unique?
Pickleball equipment is unique because the paddles are specially made just for pickleball. The paddles are a unique size, shape, and wooden material. Pickleballs themselves are very similar to standard plastic wiffle balls (the game is sometimes played using these) but are a little heavier with fewer holes. The dimensions of a pickleball court (40’x20’) and net (36” high) are also specific to pickleball.
What is the Most Important Pickleball Equipment to Buy?
The most critical pieces of equipment required to play pickleball are the paddle, ball, and net. No game of pickleball can be played without these items. Organized or official games may require a well-equipped referee and regulation-sized court as well. Proper tennis or training shoes are highly recommended, but not completely necessary.
What is the Estimated Total Cost to Buy Pickleball Equipment?
Standard pickleball paddles can be found for less than $35, but premium models can reach well over $100. Pickleballs are usually purchased in packs of six or more for about $10 or more. Pickleball nets are often the most expensive pieces of equipment, with most models ranging from $100 to $200. Pickleball bags cost around $20 to $50, while most paddle covers are under $10 or $20. Most of the other gear, such as hats, shirts, shorts, shoes, and tape, can usually be found lying around or for cheap at a basic sporting goods store. In all, all total gear for pickleball can easily be less than $200. There are lots of package deals that offer pickleballs, paddles, and a net for less $100.