Pickleball is an exhilarating and entertaining game for children and adults alike. If you have been developing a passion for pickleball, you may be interested in setting up your own court and purchasing some high-quality pickleball equipment. To help you take your pickleball game to the next level here is the ultimate pickleball equipment guide.
The Pickleball Court
Because a pickleball court is smaller than a tennis court, it is a lot easier to build one in your backyard. The court could be a permanent feature or you could use special equipment to create a temporary court.
When you set up a pickleball court, it is important to get the dimensions right. If the size of the court is too small or too large it can dramatically change how the game plays.
An official pickleball court is a rectangle that is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide. Of that 44 feet, each side of the court has 15 feet of service area and 7 feet of non-volley zone. The service areas are split straight up the middle and are 10 feet wide each.
The court should be set up in a north-south direction so players won’t be looking into the sun in the afternoon or morning. Ideally, pickleball should be played on a hard surface like concrete or asphalt. However, if you are desperate for some pickleball fun, it can be played on a closely cropped lawn.
If you have a tennis court, you can simply lower the net and draw a pickleball court outline in the middle of the court. There are some very handle products which allow you to set up a temporary pickleball court easily including Wilson EZ Tennis Court Lines, Tennis Court Markers, and the Heavy Duty Pickleball court line.
The Pickleball Net
A quality net that closely matches the recommended specifications is also very important. A net that is too high or low will change how shots are played and change the dynamic of the game completely.
The net should be run across the middle of the court and be supported by posts that are set back at least 12 inches from the side of the court. The net should be 36 inches high on the sideline and 34 inches high on the center of the net. The total length of the net is approximately 20 feet (6.1 m).
The net can be made of any see-through material, however traditionally a string net is used. The holes in the mesh must be small enough to prevent the ball from passing through. A net edge consisting of a 2-inch (5 cm) strip of white binding should cover the top of the net.
There are many commercially available pickleball nets that comply with pickleball specifications including the 3.0 Portable Pickleball Net System, PickleNet – Pickleball Net and USAPA Portable Pickleball Net System.
If you want to get your pickleball court setup quickly, you could even purchase a Pickle Ball Tournament Set, which includes a pickleball net, 4 pickleball balls and 4 pickleball paddles. You could also consider the Optima Complete Pickleball, Badminton Portable Net Starter Set, which also comes with badminton rackets and shuttlecocks.
Traditionally, pickleball paddles are made of plywood. The official pickleball rules created by the IFA/USAPA suggest that the paddle must be made of any safe, non-compressible and rigid material. The surface of the paddle cannot have any indentations or rough texture designed to increase the amount of spin applied to the ball.
They also define some size constraints for pickleball paddles. The edge guard and butt cap shall not exceed 24 inches (60.96 cm). Paddles are usually 8 inches (20.32 cm) wide by 15¾ inches (40 cm) long. There is no restriction on paddle thickness or weight.
The International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) runs a variety of tests on paddles to assess their rigidity, compressibility and other characteristics. If you are serious about pickleball, look for a logo identifying the paddle as being compliant with official pickleball paddle specifications!
There are many fantastic pickleball paddles available including the Onix Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle, Rally Graphite Pickleball Paddle and the Pro-Lite Blaster. They are all very well made and guaranteed to deliver years of pickleball fun.
A pickleball ball is made of durable plastic and has a hollow center. In terms of size, it can be anywhere from 2.75 inches (6.99 cm) to 3 inches (7.62 cm). The holes on the ball must be evenly spaced to ensure it has a straight flight. Balls must weight between 0.8 and 1.02 oz (21 and 29 grams).
If you are getting serious about your pickleball, check out the USAPA’s pickleball ball specifications (PDF).