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Pickleball for Beginners: 10+ Things You’ll Need (Equipment, Accessories,…)

As Pickleball continues to get popular, more and more people are getting curious about the game. The sport can be characterized as a crossbreed of the three popular net games – tennis, badminton, and ping pong.

Pickleball doesn’t require much stuff; basically, all that’s required is a court with a net, paddles, a ball, proper shoes, and you’re good to go. Although these are the essential items you’ll need to play Pickleball, there are other things you may want to bring with you.

Below we’ll discuss 10+ things you might want to bring to your Pickleball game. 

1. Paddles

These are an essential part of Pickleball, and no, a tennis racquet or ping pong paddle won’t do it. You actually need a Pickleball paddle. If you’re new to the game, you can start by borrowing a paddle from others. Many Pickleball players enjoy having new people to play with, so they might be more than willing to lend you a paddle for the game.

As you get more involved in the sport, you should definitely consider getting a paddle for yourself. You would need to look at several features when choosing the proper paddle for you. For instance, there’s the size, surfaces, and paddle cores. To make everything simple for anyone who is looking for a paddle, you can consider the grip, weight, and feel. 

2. Balls (Indoor or Outdoors)

The ball that you’ll use will depend on whether you’ll be playing indoors or outdoors. So, in other words, you’ll be using a different ball for indoor and outdoor play. 

The outdoor ball is heavier and has smaller (and more) holes compared to an indoor ball. This is needed because of the wind factor. In contrast, the indoor ball is lighter, softer, and has larger holes. 

3. Appropriate Shoes

As with most sports, in Pickleball, there are proper shoes that you should wear. This is not only for your comfort but also for your safety. A mistake many beginners make is playing with regular running shoes. Having the right shoes can lessen the risk of injury and help with your footwork when playing.

When choosing what shoes to wear, you should mainly consider the type of surface you’ll be playing on. If you’re playing on a hardwood floor (like a gym or basketball court), a good choice will be soft-soled shoes. On the other hand, if you’re playing on a hard surface (concrete or asphalt), hard-soles shoes are a great option. 

4. Court (Net and lines)

In order to play Pickleball, you’ll need a court (that’s an obvious one). A pickleball court is about a third of a tennis court, similar to that of a badminton court. Depending on where you are, you might play on actual Pickleball courts made specifically for the sport

If you’re playing indoors, in a gym or basketball court, you’ll probably be using portable nets.

5. Apparel (Sportswear)

People wear cloth that is comfortable and appropriate for the weather. For instance, men might wear athletic shorts, t-shirts, sweatpants, and anything in between. The ladies might opt for skirts, leggings, tops, or t-shirts.

6. Extra Overgrips

Having a good grip so that you can comfortably hold the paddle is crucial in Pickleball. An overgrip is like a tape that goes around and over the grip’s paddle. It helps with sweat absorption, having a thicker grip, and to have more cushion when holding the paddle.

Also, if your current overgrip has worn out, it’ll be a good idea to replace it with a new one. 

7. Towel

Having a towel might come in handy during your Pickleball session, especially on hot days. It will help keep the sweat out of your face, especially your eyes and your hands. The last thing you want to deal with is sweat on your eyes and hands. You’ll be struggling to see the ball, as well as to hold the paddle properly. These two things can hamper your game big time.

8. Paddle Cover

Although this is not necessary, it might be a good idea to have one. A paddle cover can help you protect your paddle when not using it. The cover’s material is usually cushiony, which helps keep your paddle safe from damage.

9. Hat or Visor

For many, this is a must when playing outdoors. A hat or a visor will help protect your face and head from the sun, as well as your eyes from harmful rays. It will also help you perform better on the court because you’ll keep the sun from hitting straight into your eyes.

10. Sunglasses

Sometimes a hat or a visor is not enough. So, in those situations, using sunglasses might be a great option. They will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, as well as potential eye injuries on the court. 

Another reason to use sunglasses is to have better vision and visibility when playing the game outdoors. 

11. Sunscreen

If you’re spending most of the summertime outdoors playing Pickleball, then using sunscreen might be beneficial. Although you do want to get your daily dosage of vitamin D, spending too much time outside without protection can be detrimental to your health. Just make sure to use sweat-resistant sunscreen so it doesn’t affect your game. 

12. Bag

With all the stuff you’re taking, having a bag will come in handy. Most bags should be fine. I personally use a Pickleball backpack; there are easy to carry around.