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Spring has sprung, and outdoor sports fans are getting warmed up for lots of fun to come. That includes players of pickleball, a relatively new sport that’s consistently growing in popularity.
From its homespun beginnings in the 1960s to 58 member countries in the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) in 2021, pickleball is taking its place in the world of racquet sports. The IFP is even preparing a push for the sport to gain recognition as an Olympic sport!
The unusual name doesn’t offer much info about what pickleball actually is: a sort of hybrid sport that mixes ping-pong, badminton and tennis.
The game uses firm, table tennis-style paddles to whack a modified wiffle ball over a net to score points. Players play singly or as a doubles team, as in tennis.
Pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts, however, and rules prevent the game from getting too aggressive — the zone closest to the net, for example, is off-limits for forceful, impossible-to-return volleys.
The smaller court, the light, bouncy ball and the relaxed style of play helped the game take off. By the end of 2021, more than 53,000 players had joined the USA Pickleball organization, a 43% increase over the previous year.
According to Psychology Today, pickleball’s mental and physical health benefits are part of the appeal. Since the court is smaller and play is less intense, it’s a great workout that’s easier on your body than tennis. And, of course, regular exercise is a fantastic mood booster.
If this all sounds appealing, there’s no time like the present to start! Check out these Amazon deals on pickleball essentials to get in on the game.
This classic starter set comes with four balls and a handy carrying case. Plus, at $69.99, it’s 13% off its usual list price. It’s got great reviews, too: Purchaser Mike said, “This is a great set for the price for players who are just getting started and refining their skills.”
Here’s another good beginners’ set with two paddles, four balls and a case. It’s also on sale for $62.99, a $9 savings. Reviewers like the OG Elf go for these paddles’ ease of play, posting, “The paddles are lightweight and when I’ve used them I haven’t had any issues with my tennis elbow.”
GRM By Gonex Set Of 4 Pickleball Paddles
Get the whole family on the court with this set of four paddles and four balls. Around 82% of reviewers gave this set a full five stars, with one fan writing, “I’m so glad we chose these … the quality is very apparent as you play with them.” They’re currently going for $118.99 — $41 off the regular price!
This Amazin’ Aces set offers another great option for beginners, especially those who don’t want to spend a lot upfront. It includes four maple-wood paddles, four balls and a mesh bag. Save $15 by buying now; this set is a steal at $39.99.
Once you’ve got the balls and paddles, you’ve gotta have a net, right? Amazon’s got you covered there, too.
This strong, light, metal-framed net goes where you go, thanks to its collapsible design and a nifty tote bag. It goes for $124.97 and has a four-and-a-half star average rating from buyers.
Here’s another pick for the pickleball player on the go. Reviewers give this lightweight, $369.99 net with a frame of carbon fiber and aluminum a thumbs-up. User Kevin Curtis writes, “I wanted a net that was light, quick to set up and adjusted to the proper net height easily. SwiftNet nailed it.”
This stable net of nylon, iron pipe and PVC is a lower-cost option that gets some great reviews. Verified purchaser Sue titled her 5-star review, “Easy to put together, sturdy enough to leave on the court without taking it down every time.” Say no more! It’s selling for $84.99.