Last Updated on August 12, 2019

Essential Pickleball Equipment

pickleball equipment setsPickleball is an exciting sport that involves agility, strength, and endurance. While pickleball may not be as common as football or baseball, it is gaining traction due to easily understandable rules and fun play style. Many local recreation centers have been adding pickleball to their weekly program.

Like any other popular sport, certain equipment is required to play pickleball correctly. Getting a good working understanding of how to play the game is an important first step to knowing the roles of each equipment piece.

pickleball equipment

 

Basics of Pickleball

Pickleball is a blend of many popular sports, but has a unique set of rules. It is played on a standard badminton court. This court is similar to a tennis court, but is smaller, and has a secondary line for playing doubles.

A player serves the ball using a pickleball paddle. If the ball clears the non-volley zone, it is considered in-play (similarly to tennis). If it doesn’t, the Server loses a point. Like table tennis, the ball is hit back and forth over the net until it goes out of bounds or is missed.

Basic Pickleball Equipment

The most basic pickleball equipment a new player will need is a paddle and a ball, but there are many other equipment pieces to look into. And your pickleball play strategies – like how you try to spin or dink the ball – can be enhanced by the equipment you choose.

Paddle

This paddle has the appearance of a large ping pong paddle. The shape is roughly square with rounded edges. In size, they are larger than ping pong paddles, but smaller than a tennis racket. These paddles were historically made from wood, but modern paddles are often made of lightweight materials such as aluminum. They come in an infinite variety of colors and patterns, so finding the best pickleball paddle can take some research.

With so many options, picking out a paddle can be a confusing experience. There are three main things to consider when looking for pickleball paddles.

  1. Price – If you’re looking for a solid, strong paddle, you’ll probably need to invest around $50. Paddles under this price are much more likely to break or hinder your play due to their weight. If you’re not sure how much you’ll enjoy pickleball and just want to try it out, consider borrowing a paddle from a friend to get an idea for the sport before purchasing your own.
  2. Material – The most ideal paddle material for a new player is aluminum. Wood paddles often are less expensive but are much heavier. Many pickleball players love the “pop” sound that the sport is known for. Graphite paddles are the most lightweight and efficient but can be incredibly expensive. They often range between $60 and $145. Graphite paddles are great for hardcore or professional players, but do not offer enough advantages to a casual or new player to be worth the price difference. Aluminum paddles offer a lightweight option at a reasonable price, making it the best option.
  3. Weight – Most paddles are 6 to 14 ounces, and the lighter the paddle is, the better. Lighter paddles are more maneuverable and easier to swing. Heavier paddles can be clumsy and slow down the player during crucial moments.
  4. Grip – Paddles come with a range of grips for differing hand size. Playing with the wrong grip can impair the player’s abilities and cause awkward movement.

The smallest grip size is 4”. This size is usually suited for petite women and children. The largest grip size is 4.5”, which is usually used by adult men. Most people fall in the middle and fit best with a grip size around 4.25”. If possible, try to visit a local store with a range of pickleball paddles and try out a few grip sizes in your hand to get an idea of which works best for you.

Ball

The ball used for pickleball is similar to a whiffle ball. This ball has holes throughout it to allow it to be aerodynamically efficient. Pickleball balls can be designed for indoor or outdoor play and differ in weight and hole diameter. Indoor balls usually weigh less than outdoor balls and have larger holes throughout.

Outdoor balls often weigh about 25 grams (0.88 ounces). They are offered in many colors, with the most common being orange, white, or yellow. Indoor balls usually weight in at around 24 grams (0.85 ounces). The larger holes help slow the ball down for better indoor play. They usually come in the same standard colors as the outdoor balls, but some indoor balls can come in indigo, pink, or blue to contrast against the typical light-colored indoor court color.

Nets

The net is the third of the crucial equipment pieces for pickleball (check out our review of the best portable pickleball net for more details). These nets are similar to tennis nets and are placed halfway across the rectangular court, bisecting it. The net fits into two posts that sit right outside the lines of play. Many nets are long lasting as they are not commonly worn away or damaged during the game.

Portable nets are a new wave sweeping through pickleball players. These nets can be easily set up and broken down and can be moved from place to place. With these nets, a pickleball can be set up anywhere with the help of chalk or white spray paint to set up the lines of play.

Pickleball nets and poles commonly costs between $90 and $150. Once you have the posts, replacement nets are around $50.

Pickleball Set

Looking to grab equipment and go? Consider choosing a complete pickleball set. These sets are curated by pickleball experts that know what to look for in the equipment. Sets include a pickleball net, balls, and four paddles. Different sets include varying extras, such as carrying bags, court tape, or a rule book.

These sets are a great option for people looking to get all of their equipment in one place. Sets can often be less expensive than their constituent parts. They range from $300 to $500 depending on the equipment included and the quality or brand of the equipment.

Equipment Covers

When you invest in a sturdy pickleball paddle, it’s important to get a cover to protect it when it’s not being used. These sleeves help protect the paddle from rust or environmental factors. Covers and pickleball bags come in a wide range of sizes and designs. Small sling bags are designed to hold just the paddle and can be designed to carry a single paddle or multiple. Other players vouch to use duffle bags to hold their paddles, balls, and clothes. See our review of the best pickleball paddle bags for more details.

Clothes

Pickleball is best played in lightweight, maneuverable clothes. Pickleball clothing, like other sports clothing, is often made of breathable, skin-tight fabric as heavy and baggy clothing can weigh down the player. One of the most popular categories of clothing is pickleball t-shirts. There are a variety of attractive and funny shirt designs for both men and women players.

An important component of pickleball clothing is shoes. Pickleball should never be played with street shoes or running shoes— the lack of traction on the typical court material can lead to dangerous falls and injuries. A sports shoe with a smooth bottom ensures better traction against the court. Proper pickleball shoes allow for quick changes in direction and provide plenty of support to the ankle.

Training Accessories

If you’ve found you enjoy playing pickleball, investing in training accessories can be a great way to have fun when nobody is available to play. A pitch rebound net can volley a ball back at you if you don’t have a partner to run drills with. These nets are great for gaining reflexes and increasing response speed. Use one of these nets to impress your friends next time you play!

Court Accessories

There are many nonessential extra equipment pieces that can make your pickleball experience more enjoyable. A pickleball court stencil can allow you to draw out a perfect pickleball court no matter where you are. If you’re just looking for a temporary court, a set of court lines and corner lines can be easily picked up and put down to set up a court anywhere.

outdoor pickleball court markers

A complete outdoor pickleball court tile set

If you are really serious about the sport, you can even get a complete pickleball court setup shipped to you. It is a bit pricey, but if you have the lawn space what better way to enjoy a game whenever you want.

Pickleball ball holders are an important tool to keep all of your balls in the same place. There are many types of ball holders. Some players like rolling caddies that can be easily moved. Many players vouch to get a belt that has a pouch for holding pickleballs, allowing them to easily grab a new ball without running back to the car or even walking off the court.

There are many other extraneous tools to be used. Targets can help players to improve aim and speed. A steel frame squeegee can soak up any water on your court to make it ready to play after rain. A wearable bracelet score band can permanently end all debates over the score by easily recording the point balance.

Here is a YouTube video that discusses some of the things to consider when choosing a pickleball paddle:

Pickleball Merchandise

Many players love to show off their love for pickleball with home accessories and jewelry! There are many options available for players to always keep pickleball close to them. Pickleball books, weather vanes, aprons, water bottles, pillows, wall art, and kitchen hand towels are among the most commonly available home accessories. There are many options for pickleball jewelry. Bracelet charms, necklaces, and earrings are often found with subtle references to the sport. Pickleball merchandise makes a great gift for any lover of the sport!

Pickleball Bestsellers

Here are some of the best selling pickleball items and equipment:

SaleBestseller No. 1
Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleball Balls Specifically Designed and Optimized for Pickleball
639 Reviews
Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleball Balls Specifically Designed and Optimized for Pickleball
  • Weighted heavier to fly straighter in extreme outdoor conditions with True Flight Technology
  • Consistent bounce shot after shot with Authentic Bounce Technology
  • Exceptional seam welding offers greater durability and resists splitting
  • Superior balance with strategically aligned, precision-drilled holes
  • Most durable pickleball available on the market today
SaleBestseller No. 2
JP WinLook Pickleball Paddle Set - 2 Premium Graphite Rackets Honeycomb Composite Core 3 Balls, Ultra Cushion Grip, Portable Racquet Cover Case Bag Accessories Gift Kit, Men Women Kids Indoor Outdoor
382 Reviews
JP WinLook Pickleball Paddle Set - 2 Premium Graphite Rackets Honeycomb Composite Core 3 Balls, Ultra Cushion Grip, Portable Racquet Cover Case Bag Accessories Gift Kit, Men Women Kids Indoor Outdoor
  • Superior high-quality lightweight (7.8 oz) honeycomb polymer core with graphite carbon fiber face, makes paddles great feel and touch; eliminates denting; Exceptionally durable material gives racket ideal strength and longevity; designed in USA;
  • Optimal balanced control and power hitting; wide-body brings large sweet spot for wide impact; Resilient surface offers great energy to spin the balls; Two bats are responsive; shots are more accurate; Prime edge guard for protection on ground hits; Good looking black-purple paddle face design;
  • Precisely drilled holes make the balls deliver prefect flight path; Balls can be used for most aggressive play. Perfect bounce and remarkable durability make these pickle-balls the best choice for any game; Popular orange yellow color;
  • Super soft non-slippery comfortable handle with elite wraps (overgrip); Blue color protective carrying duffel storage bag with nice gift design; For all age (adults, elder, youth, young kids), female & male, and different skill levels: beginner starters, intermediate, to top advanced head champion pro expert players;
  • 1 year money back and free replacement warranty to let you buy with confidence. Men and ladies, parents and grandparents, grab this unique sport bundle equipment gear present 4 your children, grandchildren, friends, ..., for Birthday Party, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year Eve, any holidays, reunions, housewarming, graduation, ... Make the amazing deal four you in Amazon now (sale)!
SaleBestseller No. 5
Pickleball Paddle Set By Amazin' Aces | Pickleball Set Includes 2-4 Wood Pickleball Paddles, 4 Pickleballs, 1 Carry Bag & Guaranteed FUN! | Great Rackets For Beginners | Includes Free eBook
904 Reviews
Pickleball Paddle Set By Amazin' Aces | Pickleball Set Includes 2-4 Wood Pickleball Paddles, 4 Pickleballs, 1 Carry Bag & Guaranteed FUN! | Great Rackets For Beginners | Includes Free eBook
  • UNBEATABLE VALUE: Our pickleball paddle set includes two premium wood pickleball paddles, four pickleballs, & one mesh bag for convenient carry and storage of your pickleballs. Everything you need to hit the court! Get started playing the amazing sport of pickleball today with industry-leading gear at a great price.
  • HIGH QUALITY PADDLES & A BRAND YOU CAN TRUST: We've worked long and hard to develop the best beginner pickleball set on the market! Our classic wood pickleball paddle features durable 7-ply construction made from sturdy maple for plenty of power and durability. The handle includes a comfortable cushion grip with a wrist strap. We've even gone the extra mile with our packaging; your order will arrive in a high-quality box that makes it easily giftable and also works well for storing the set.
  • JOIN THOUSANDS OF SATISFIED AMAZIN' ACES CUSTOMERS | 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: We began with a simple mission: offer amazing pickleball paddles at amazing prices all while treating our buyers like family. Today we are recognized as one of pickleball's leading brands and our love of all things pickleball is stronger than ever! We are a family run business and stand behind the quality of our products. We proudly offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee so you can purchase with confidence.
  • EXCELLENT FOR BEGINNERS: New to pickleball?!? Prepare to get active, meet some wonderful people, and most of all have a ton of FUN! Our wood pickleball set is the perfect way for friends, couples, families or just about anyone else to get started with this amazing sport. Our pickle ball set is also the ideal choice for schools, community centers, athletic clubs, and YMCAs. Durable pickleball paddles, plenty of pickleballs, and a convenient carry bag provide everything you need for your group.
  • FREE EBOOK INCLUDED: With purchase you'll also receive our e-book, "The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Pickleball". This comprehensive e-book contains rules and tips to help you hit the ground running on day one!
SaleBestseller No. 6
Amazin' Aces Pickleball Paddle Set | Pickleball Set Includes Two Graphite Pickleball Paddles + Four Balls + One Mesh Carry Bag | Premium Rackets Graphite Face & Polymer Honeycomb Core
589 Reviews
Amazin' Aces Pickleball Paddle Set | Pickleball Set Includes Two Graphite Pickleball Paddles + Four Balls + One Mesh Carry Bag | Premium Rackets Graphite Face & Polymer Honeycomb Core
  • UNBEATABLE VALUE: We believe an amazing pickleball paddle set doesn't need to cost a fortune! Our set includes two premium graphite pickleball paddles, four pickleballs, and one mesh bag for convenient carry and storage of your pickleballs. Everything you need to hit the court! Get started playing the awesome sport of pickleball today with industry-leading gear at a great price.
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY & PERFORMANCE: We've worked long & hard to develop the best performing pickleball paddle on the market. Our Classic paddles combine cutting-edge technology, premium-grade materials, & expert craftsmanship. The end result is an amazingly lightweight racket that is excellent for everyone from beginner to pro. We've even gone the extra mile with our packaging; your order will arrive in a high-quality box that makes it easily giftable and also works well for storing the set.
  • A BRAND YOU CAN TRUST | 1 YEAR WARRANTY: Choosing a pickleball set can be overwhelming! Amazin' Aces began with a simple mission: offer incredible pickleball paddles at amazing prices all while treating our buyers like family. Today we are proudly recognized as one of pickleball's leading brands. When you play an Amazin' Aces paddle you join a community of tens of thousands of happy pickleballers who recognize our commitment to performance, durability, & service.
  • POWER + CONTROL | PREMIUM GRIP: Impressive specs without a hefty price tag! The Classic features a polymer core paired with a graphite face. This is the configuration most pros use & for good reason. The Classic paddle weighs in at 8.3oz & expertly blends power with control. It has a large sweet-spot, optimized weight distribution, & classic shape. Our hand-stitched contour grip is second to none. Superior performance combined with top-grade materials make the Classic an absolute joy to play.
  • FREE E-BOOK INCLUDED: With purchase you'll also receive our e-book, "The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Pickleball". New to pickleball?!? Prepare to get active, meet some wonderful people, and most of all have a ton of FUN! Please enjoy our complementary e-book while you wait for your gear to arrive. This comprehensive e-book contains rules and tips to help you hit the ground running on day one!
SaleBestseller No. 7
ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle (Graphite Carbon Fiber Face with Rough Texture Surface, Cushion Comfort Grip and Nomex Honeycomb Core for Touch, Control, and Power)
280 Reviews
ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle (Graphite Carbon Fiber Face with Rough Texture Surface, Cushion Comfort Grip and Nomex Honeycomb Core for Touch, Control, and Power)
  • Constructed with a graphite face and nomex core
  • Available in your choice of color
  • Oversized paddle for larger sweet spot
  • Features a 5 in. handle length
  • Dimensions: 18L x 10W x 2H in.
Bestseller No. 8
Athletico Sling Bag - Crossbody Backpack for Pickleball, Tennis, Racketball, and Travel for Men and Women
8 Reviews
Athletico Sling Bag - Crossbody Backpack for Pickleball, Tennis, Racketball, and Travel for Men and Women
  • REVERSIBLE SHOULDER STRAPS - Comfortable, padded shoulder strap easily flips between the LEFT and RIGHT sides. No matter which side you prefer to wear your sling bag, we've got you covered.
  • TONS OF POCKETS TO FIT EVERYTHING - Our sling bags feature 5 pockets and external water bottle holder. Main compartment can hold up to 6 pickleball paddles, 2 tennis or raquetball rackets, or up to a 15 inch laptop.
  • HIDDEN ANTI-THEFT POCKET & EXTERNAL WATER BOTTLE HOLDER - The hidden pocket on the back keeps the contents against your back when carried as a backpack so pickpockets do not have access to the contents inside. Perfect for securing a wallet or phone. The external water bottle holder features cord lock to secure contents.
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED OR YOUR MONEY BACK - We believe highly in the quality of our sling bags. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase for any reason, simply return it for a full refund.
SaleBestseller No. 9
Amazin' Aces Signature Pickleball Paddle | USAPA Approved | Graphite Face & Polymer Core | Premium Grip | Paddles Available as Single or Set | Set Includes Balls & Bag | Includes Racket Case & eBook
234 Reviews
Amazin' Aces Signature Pickleball Paddle | USAPA Approved | Graphite Face & Polymer Core | Premium Grip | Paddles Available as Single or Set | Set Includes Balls & Bag | Includes Racket Case & eBook
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY & PERFORMANCE: Our Signature paddle combines cutting-edge technology, high-quality materials, & expert craftsmanship. Players will appreciate the high-performance honeycomb polymer core & the responsive graphite face. At Amazin' Aces, we believe details matter. From the hand-stitched grip, to the gift-able box, to the low-profile edge guard... we believe all these details add up to something special. The end result is an amazing paddle great for both beginners & pros.
  • USAPA APPROVED | UNBEATABLE VALUE: The Signature pickleball paddle has passed USAPA testing and is approved for sanctioned tournament play. The 'USAPA Approved' seal is located on the face of the paddle above the handle. We believe an amazing pickleball paddle doesn't need to cost a fortune. The specs on the paddle combined with USAPA approval make the Signature an excellent value.
  • POWER + CONTROL | PREMIUM GRIP: Our polymer core & graphite face expertly blends power & control. Polymer is the #1 core among pros for a reason. The Signature weighs ~8.9oz; an optimal weight resulting in the "just right" power/control balance. The racket has a large sweet-spot, balanced weight distribution, & a classic shape. Our hand-stitched contour grip gives the paddle a wonderful in-hand feel. Paddle also features an edge guard & paddle cover to protect your investment.
  • JOIN THOUSANDS OF SATISFIED AMAZIN' ACES CUSTOMERS: We began with a simple mission: offer amazing pickleball paddles at amazing prices all while treating our buyers like we'd treat family. 1,000+ five-star reviews later, we are still going strong. We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure you have a fantastic experience with the incredible sport of pickleball and with our products. Should you ever need anything, we are always here and happy to help.
  • ONE-YEAR WARRANTY | FREE EBOOK: Your satisfaction is extremely important to us. Amazin' Aces is a family-owned business and we stand behind our paddles. We offer a one-year warranty on the Signature paddles so you can purchase with confidence. New to pickleball? With purchase you'll also receive our "The Ultimate Beginner's Guide To Pickleball" e-book. This e-book contains rules, tips, strategies & more to help you hit the ground running on day one.
SaleBestseller No. 10
Franklin Sports Pickleball-X Elite Performance Sling Bag - Official Bag of The US Open
351 Reviews
Franklin Sports Pickleball-X Elite Performance Sling Bag - Official Bag of The US Open
  • Official bag of the US Open Pickleball Championships. Convenient carry strap and easy-use fence hook. Convenient ball pouch.
  • Cell phone pocket. Holds (6) pickleball-X paddles. Made in China.
  • Model Number: 52823C1.