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Beginner pickleball: What gear do you need to get started?

Beginner pickleball: What gear do you need to get started?


By Jaclyn Brandt

On: 03/11/2024

gear

beginner

Here are our tips for the beginner pickleball gear you need to get started playing pickleball.
Here are our tips for the beginner pickleball gear you need to get started playing pickleball.

When you are learning to play pickleball, it’s hard to know how much to invest. What if you don’t like it? What if you decide not to play again? (Don’t worry, you will love it.) Here are our tips for the beginner pickleball gear you need to get started.

Pickleball paddle

When you go to your first pickleball lesson or game, choosing a paddle may seem like a big deal. But instead of buying the most expensive pickleball paddle out there, you will instead want to learn your style over time and only then choose the best pickleball paddle for you. When you first start, it will all be trial and error.

Choose an entry-level paddle that will help you with that trial and error will be best for learning. Many local sporting goods stores carry pickleball kits that include paddles and balls. Once you have played a few games, you will know what you like and what you don’t like, and then you can start narrowing down what to look for in a pickleball paddle.

Control or power (or something in between)?

When it comes to pickleball paddles, you can choose between two types: control or power. There are many options for a combination of both also, but as a beginner, you will not be as concerned with power. Find a good control paddle and learn the sport before deciding how much power you need.

Shoes

When you are first learning to play pickleball, you also do not need to buy special shoes. Most tennis shoes will be fine in the beginning.

If you have different types of tennis shoes in your closet, shoes made for similar sports, like tennis, will be better suited for pickleball because they are built for moving side-to-side. Running shoes are better suited for running forward, so their structured sides may make it more difficult to play pickleball.

When you are a beginner pickleball player, bring the tennis shoes you already have — but pay attention to what is working and what is not working. Do your feet hurt? Was it difficult to get to the ball? Can you stay on the balls of your feet without much difficulty? You will want to remember these things when eventually upgrading your shoes for pickleball.

Clothing

If you have attended a beginner or intermediate pickleball game, you have probably seen every type of athletic clothing: leggings, tennis skirts, athletic shorts, and even PJs.

When choosing your beginner pickleball clothing, think about what will help you move — side-to-side, back and forward, knees bent, etc. There are experts who will tell you what is best, but when you are first starting out, wear what is most comfortable so you can focus on your game, not your clothing.

Other pickleball gear

There is a lot of extra pickleball gear you will eventually want to invest in. But just like our other suggestions, you need to first learn what kind of player you are. Some of the other things you may eventually want to think about:

  • Paddle grip

  • Guard tape

  • Gloves

  • Hat

  • Bag

  • Balls

  • Net

  • Paddle case

  • Protective athletic supports

Choosing the best pickleball gear for beginners

You are busy learning how to serve, when to dink, what is the kitchen (and all the other vocabulary), and hundreds of other things — adding pickleball gear is just one more thing. When choosing your beginner pickleball gear, keep it simple. If you decide this is the sport for you, you can always upgrade when you know your preferences and playing style.

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