Last Updated on April 19, 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.

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 pickleball nets 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 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
597 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
PickleballCentral Pickleball Paddle | Rally Meister Beginner Pickle Ball Paddles and Pickleball Sets USAPA Approved | Lightweight and Durable | Comfort Cushion Grip | Great Fun for All Ages
287 Reviews
PickleballCentral Pickleball Paddle | Rally Meister Beginner Pickle Ball Paddles and Pickleball Sets USAPA Approved | Lightweight and Durable | Comfort Cushion Grip | Great Fun for All Ages
  • 3 Options: Single paddle, 2-Player Set with Balls, 4 Player Set with Balls
  • QUALITY CONSTRUCTION - Durable 7-ply alternating grain wood pickleball paddles - lightweight and strong with safety wrist straps and high quality grip
  • GREAT FOR BEGINNERS & FAMILIES- Get started with high quality paddles from a trusted brand at a great price. Commonly used in schools, recreation/senior centers and YMCAs
  • PERFORMANCE - Lightweight compared to other clunky wood paddles, performance grip, quick response
  • AUTHENTICALLY ORIGINAL - 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed, 1 year Warranty, Contact us with any issues, we care about our customers! Made by the world's largest company devoted to Pickleball. Over 200,000 players worldwide rely on PickleballCentral!
Bestseller No. 3
Pickleball Paddle, Graphite Pickleball Racket Polypropylene Honeycomb Core Ultra Cushion 4.5In Grip Lightweight Pickleball paddle 8OZ with Cover, USAPA Pickleball Racquet For Beginners, Outdoor Indoor
964 Reviews
Pickleball Paddle, Graphite Pickleball Racket Polypropylene Honeycomb Core Ultra Cushion 4.5In Grip Lightweight Pickleball paddle 8OZ with Cover, USAPA Pickleball Racquet For Beginners, Outdoor Indoor
  • 👍AMAZON'S CHOICE FOR PICKLEBALL PADDLE - We are proud to announce that the pickleball paddles we made are the best choice of the AMAZON. USAPA tested does, this is one of the most popular pickleball paddles in the markets over the two decades. Our pickleball rackets made from power polymer honeycomb cell technology, they withstand any challenges on the court. This will be the best choice of the pickleball paddle for beginners.
  • 👍UNBEATABLE SPECIFICATIONS & INCREDIBLE VALUE - This pickleball racket comes with a graphite face and honeycomb composite polymer core which provides nice pop while the pickleball paddles graphite honeycomb core gives the pickleball racket great feel and touch. The pickleball paddle is vastly superior in feel, balance, and construction, great for beginner to use. The ball flies off the pickleball racket face with power and control.
  • 👍PREMIUM GRIP, PERFECT HANDLE SIZE - The pickleball paddle is comfortable to handle and works well while in gameplay. Pickleball paddle is perforated, sweat absorbent, and cushioned, to allow for a better paddle grip, for longtime play without fatigue. Widebody pickleball paddles shape with 4-1/2" (4.5) grip length and 4-1/4'' (4.25) grip circumference. Paddle Dimensions: 15.5" L x 8.3" W x 1.5" H Lightweight pickleball paddle 8oz.
  • 👍THE EDGE GUARD OF THE PADDLE PROVIDES BEST PROTECTION - Edge protection is provided on ground hits. Low-profile EDGE GUARD protects the edges of pickleball paddle, yet slim enough to reduce mishits. This pickleball paddle also features corner-shield and interlocking neck-guard, greatly enhancing strength and durability. The pickleball paddle is noticeably lighter than any wooden paddle. The graphite pickleball paddle strikes the perfect balance between great gameplay, control, and power.
  • 👍COMES WITH PICKLEBALL RACKET COVER MAKING FOR EASY CARRYING - Protect the pickleball paddle with zippered neoprene cover when toting around and when not in play. Every Graphite pickleball paddle is designed to be an awesome pickleball paddle for either a beginner or a player ready to take his or her game to the next level. It provides a lifetime warranty on all pickleball rackets to make sure our precious customers 100% satisfied.
SaleBestseller No. 4
Franklin Sports Pickleball-X Elite Performance Sling Bag - Official Bag of The US Open
300 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.
SaleBestseller No. 5
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
566 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. 6
Dura Fast 40 Pickleballs | Outdoor Pickleball Balls | Pack of 6 | USAPA Approved and Sanctioned for Tournament Play, Professional Perfomance
316 Reviews
Dura Fast 40 Pickleballs | Outdoor Pickleball Balls | Pack of 6 | USAPA Approved and Sanctioned for Tournament Play, Professional Perfomance
  • OFFICIAL OUTDOOR PICKLEBALLS (Pack of 6) - Dura is Official Ball of the US Open Pickleball Championships & the USAPA Pickleball National Championships. PLAY WITH THE BEST
  • APPROVED FOR TOURNAMENT PLAY - Dura Pickleballs meet all USAPA/IFP regulations and are approved for sanctioned tournament play.
  • TOP PERFORMANCE PICKLEBALLS - Dura balls are built to perform, they fly true, straight, and fast. They are rotationally molded as 1-piece with 40 precisely drilled holes for consistent flight and bounce. Engineered for outdoor & hard-court play.
  • THE ORIGINAL PICKLEBALLS - Many of pickleball's top players prefer the Dura Pickleballs. The first ball designed and built for pickleball by the company that invented the game
  • BALL LIFE - Performance/sanctioned pickleballs do not last forever. Durability is affected by weather, play style & court surface. Anticipate life of 3-10 games in harsh conditions. Tests show Dura ball life is equivalent or longer than competing balls.
SaleBestseller No. 7
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
873 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!
Bestseller No. 8
Pickleball Paddle, USAPA Approved, 2 Graphite Pickleball Paddles Set Lightweight Pickleball Rackets 8oz Honeycomb Composite Core, Edge Guard Ultra Cushion 4.5In Grip Pickleball Racquet with 2Cover
737 Reviews
Pickleball Paddle, USAPA Approved, 2 Graphite Pickleball Paddles Set Lightweight Pickleball Rackets 8oz Honeycomb Composite Core, Edge Guard Ultra Cushion 4.5In Grip Pickleball Racquet with 2Cover
  • HELP YOU WIN THE VICTORY - STAY informed. Our niupipo pickleball paddle is a part of the profession of USAPA! When you choose the niupipo pickleball paddles, you receive exclusive passion for your Champion. The graphite pickleball paddles will help you win more games and enjoy your time on the court. Having a high-quality graphite pickleball paddle can completely transform your game!
  • OPTIMAL BALANCE BETWEEN POWER & CONTROL, Graphite pickleball paddle is made of a graphite-honeycomb composition for an ideal level of strength and stiffness with a surprisingly lightweight. The niupipo pickleball paddles is a great combination for added control and power hitting. Your shots will be more accurate and have much more control over how much force you put into the pickleball. This pickleball rackets set will help you liberate your power like never before.
  • IMPROVED STRENGTH BY THE HONEYCOMB CORE - The interior of our pickleball racquets are constructed by polymer honeycomb and sandwiched between two sheets of durable fiberglass. The pickleball paddles offer great energy to spin the balls. This graphite pickleball paddle is made of exceptionally durable material that allows it to withstand a strike from balls. Utilizing the best honeycomb cell technology, this pickleball racket set will help you win any challenge on the court.
  • PROFESSIONAL GRAPHITE PICKLEBALL PADDLE - When you want greater control on the court, pick up this 8oz graphite pickleball paddle. We use the best graphite and professional design to make sure niupipo pickleball paddles are light-weighted and soft-edged. Pickleball paddles set are examined for widespread surface impact. The surface of pickleball rackets has superior grip for putting an extra spin on the ball. The niupipo pickleball paddles can provide a resilient surface with sound consistency.
  • COMFORT ERGONOMIC GRIP & PROTECT - The pickleball paddles are comfortable and easy to hold. Each graphite pickleball racket features a specially designed 4-1/2" size comfort grip that minimizes slipping while maximizing balance. The graphite pickleball paddle set also offers added comfort and control on every hit. There is a black edge around the periphery of the pickleball racket to protect its edges as well as balance your paddle.
SaleBestseller No. 9
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)
259 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.