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A beginner’s guide to pickleball gear

A beginner’s guide to pickleball gear
Posted at 8:30 AM, May 08, 2023

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Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in America. Withparticipation up 158.6% over the past three years, millions of people are seeking out a court to try the sport, which combines tennis, pingpong and badminton.

Why is pickleball so popular? That’s because it is a game that almost anyone can play, no matter their age or fitness level. All you need to play pickleball is a paddle, a ball that looks similar to a whiffle ball, a court or a net and three friends.

The rules are also easy to learn. You can visit the official USA Pickleball website to get a rundown of the rules or check out some YouTube videos for a visual introduction. Since four people are required to play, it’s a fabulous way to combine time with friends and fitness.


Beyond the game’s simple rules, pickleball does not require a big financial investment to get started. Once you find a pickleball court, you don’t need much equipment to start playing right away.

If you’re ready to get out there and give the sport a try, we have a roundup of the basic pickleball equipment you need to get started. As with any sport, you can start simple and upgrade your paddle, balls, shoes and more as you get more into the game. But the goal of this list is to give soon-to-be pickleball enthusiasts a chance to play without breaking the bank.

Picking the Perfect Pickleball Paddle Set

You need a paddle to play pickleball, and they come in all sizes and colors. The key to selecting the perfect pickleball paddle is to find something lightweight that is easy to hold, swing and turn in your hand to give the ball a little extra spin to score points.  Paddles can be made from graphite, wood, fiberglass and carbon fiber weave, according to ThirdShotDrop.

Which paddle you choose is entirely based on your preference, so do some research to figure out which one is best. We’ve collected some of the highest-rated pickleball paddles on Amazon, and the top choice was the Vinsguir set of two paddles. You get the two paddles along with four balls and a carrying case for $41.39.


There are also pickleball sets that are made for beginners and intermediate players, as well. The choice is yours!

Stock Up on Pickleballs

Even though you only need one ball to play pickleball, you’ll want to have a bunch handy. Whether you want to have extra in your pockets to avoid chasing after an errant shot or you wind up losing some along the way, it’s good to have a ready supply of extra pickleballs ready to go.

You can find several options on our list of top-rated pickleball balls, including the Franklin Sports 12-pack for $27.62.


Lace Up Those Pickleball Shoes

While you don’t need a specific uniform or clothing to play pickleball, experts recommend wearing a shoe designed for pickleball courts. Many beginners start out with a typical sneaker or running shoe. However, that may not work well once a player gets really moving around the court.

According to Fromuth Pickleball, pickleball-specific footwear is a better choice than walking or running shoes because they’re designed for the multidirectional movement the sport demands.

Pickleball shoes are similar to tennis shoes because the soles allow for that mobility. When you’re ready to get your first pair, consider these popular pickleball shoes.

One we recommend is the Fitville Wide All-Court Tennis Shoe on Amazon for $69.89.


The Best Pickleball Bags

Once you have your gear selected, you’ll likely want a bag to carry it all to the courts. A pickleball bag is similar to a backpack but is typically triangle-shaped and has one wide strap for comfort. There are many to choose from, and we have compiled a list of the four best pickleball bags on Amazon.

One option is the Himal Pickleball Bag, which  is only $19.99 on Amazon. It has an adjustable strap, comes in four colors (black, grey, blue and pink) and a water bottle holder.


Portable Pickleball Nets For Easy Gameplay Anywhere

If you don’t have a pickleball court near you, don’t worry. We have reviews for the best portable pickleball nets available on Amazon. These net sets are easy to pop up and get a game started.

The JOOLA HIT MIT Adjustable Height Net can be used for a variety of net sports, including pickleball. It has three height settings, has no stakes and can be used indoors or outdoors. With a setup time of five minutes, you and your friends can be playing pickleball in a flash.


Ready to play? Find a pickleball hotspot near you at USA Pickleball’s Places 2 Play.

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