Everything You Need to Start Playing Pickleball

Just a few essentials will get you ready to play this uber-popular game.

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July 03, 2024

Pickleball is one of the most trending sports out there, with an estimated 48.3 million adults who have played a game within the last 12 months. It's an easy game for all ages to play and is a great way to incorporate fun exercise into your routine. Many describe it as a cross between ping-pong, badminton and tennis, and you don't need to be particularly athletic to give it a go. It may take a few times to learn the rules and the language, but once you do, you'll be dinking in no time. The best news? It requires minimal equipment to get started. We've rounded up everything you need to get started playing pickleball, as recommended by a casual pickleball player.

As a bonus, many parks across the country have added free pickleball courts, so picking up a game last minute is easy. Grab a partner and a few of these items and you'll be hitting the winning shot in no time.


You can't play pickleball without a paddle, and just like in tennis, most places require you to bring your own. There are so many racquets out there ranging in price from $30 to $100+. Beginners don't need to spend a ton of money, but if you think you want to play in any official tournaments, you'll want to make sure the paddle you choose is on the list of approved equipment by USA Pickleball (USAPA). Paddles are also designed to show your personality, so feel free to pick one up with a little flair. Most of them come with their own covers, too.


Pickleballs are usually yellow, although they now come in a variety of colors, and come with 40 molded holes in them for outdoor and 26 for indoor. Depending on where you play, they might supply balls, but it's always helpful to have a pack of balls with you for an easy pickup game. They're lightweight at around 25 grams in weight, so they won't bog down your bag.

A Bag

It'll make it a lot easier to transport your pickle gear if you have a good bag to do so. Look for a lightweight and/or waterproof bag that is designed for the pickleball enthusiast. It might feature a paddle case for racquets on the outside and space for everything else, from your shoes to water bottle, wallet and other accessories, on the inside. The bags on the market these days are surprisingly stylish, too.

Court Shoes

Along with the increase of people playing pickleball has come an increase in play-related injuries. The sport is completely safe to play, but you'll want to make sure you're properly equipped (and know that fluke things still happen). If you are starting out and plan to play regularly, a pair of court shoes (tennis or pickleball) will help give the proper support needed to move laterally across the court.

A Water Bottle

Hydration, hydration, hydration. It's key for any physical activity. Pickleball is often played outside in warm weather, so it's imperative to have water with you. The Internet-famous Owala FreeSip water bottle is easy to throw in your bag without the worry of it leaking. And it comes in a wide variety of colors to match any motif.


You'll want to grab a pair of sunglasses that can keep your eyes protected but also won't move or bounce when you run and get the ball. The Goodr brand is made for being active and they're polarized, too. At just $25, you can grab an extra pair to keep in your pickleball bag.


If you're doing it right, you'll get nice and sweaty so having a towel on hand is always a great idea. These cute pickleball-themed microfiber cloths are a great addition to have on hand to wick away sweat. They are also great for wiping off any dirty balls or racquets, too. If you overheat easily, then a cooling towel is a great addition to have in your bag.

A Hat or Visor

You'll want to make sure to never miss a hit just because the sun is shining in your eyes. Wearing a hat or visor will help keep the sun off your face and out of your eyes, ensuring you can grab that perfect shot anytime. From neutral to vibrant, there's a hat or visor to match any pickleball outfit.

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