Pickleball Goes From Fad to Fabulous

Pickleball is growing and evolving at an exponential rate.  Gear, clothing, and shoes have moved from a fad to fabulous. More brands are recognizing the fast paced sport both on a competitive level and in a social setting.  Pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors and courts can be converted in a matter of minutes, with tape and a net.

According to the USA Pickleball Association, more than 4.2 million players picked up a paddle in 2020.  That number is expected to grow.  Likewise, manufacturers are keeping up with the demand and creating innovative products to help the average pickler spice up their game.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a fun and easy-to-play sport. It is enjoyed by all ages, genders, and skill levels. It’s a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.  The game is commonly played as doubles but can also be played as singles. It is played on a modified court, smaller than a standard tennis court.  It is different from tennis because athletes use a paddle and a plastic ball. The ball has a particular pattern depending on whether it is used indoors or out.

The ball is served underhand and can be hit by all players.  Points are awarded to the serving side.  The serve rotates between all players and the process is repeated until a team reaches 11 points. One of the most challenging aspects of the game is the score keeping. There are three numbers called. The first is the score of the serving team. The second is the opponents. The third identifies the server in the rotation. Once you have the scoring down, you will be good to go!

Pickleball Video


Not only is the game of Pickleball growing, but so is the apparel selection. Brands like K-Swiss, Fila, Pickleball Bella, and Baddle are offering shirts, shorts, skirts, and accessories. Even Original Penguin clothing by Munsingwear is getting in good graces with the pickleball community. The golf apparel manufacturer has been synonymous with a league of legends. Some of the iconic names who have worn the logo include Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Arnold Palmer, and Clint Eastwood. Penguin and Grand Slam were named the official apparel of the USA Pickleball. Both brands are a division of Perry Ellis International. The new clothing line embodies American sportswear with the modern-minded Pickleballer.



Different from a tennis racket, a pickleball paddle does not have strings. It also has a much shorter handle and is significantly smaller. Paddles are composed of wood, graphite, and other materials. They come in different weights and slightly different shapes. Paddles also have different finishes.

Take for example the Lancer Midweight by Baddle. This manufacturer uses the latest surface technology and has a fiberglass finish.  The paddle has a thick polymer core to help maintain stability across the entire face. It is a mid-weight version and was designed for control and touch.

Technically speaking, pickleball is a game of dinks. Your paddle should have less power and a lot of control. It should also have some comfort features but you can always add an overgrip to reduce slippage and absorb vibration.



Pickleball shoes and tennis shoes are similar, but not identical. They have complimentary tread patterns, especially in-door court shoes. Since the motion on a pickleball court is side to side, shoes should be lightweight, flexible, and very comfortable. Trust me when I tell you it’s easy to lose track of time on the pickleball court!

The Acacia Ultrashot’s are a top-performance shoe. They are endorsed by professional Pickleballers Tyler Loong, and Corrine Carr. They also come in unisex sizing and can be worn indoors or outdoors. This shoe is constructed of a ProFlex™ material, an elasto-polymer fiber membrane, and has a ProSole™. Combine these traits and you wind up with a lightweight, comfort-centric shoe that has great breathability and excellent stability.

Pickleball shoes can also have a variety of other features.  Some are water-resistant, while others are shock absorbent.  Some have extra cushioning and others are ideal for pivoting. Regardless if you choose a pickleball or tennis shoe, it should have a non-marking sole and help you perform at your maximum.


Be sure to check out our wide selection of pickleball gear, clothing, and shoes at TennisExpress.com, and happy dinking!


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