The game of Pickleball has burst on the scene of late as an excellent and lower-impact alternative to tennis and badminton. Pickleball differs in many areas, but one of the main places we see these differences are in the equipment used to play the game. Pickleball contains elements of a number of racquet sports, so you see the equipment and court as an amalgamation of all of these games. Unlike tennis, where you have a large racquet with strings, Pickleball uses a paddle of sorts, one that requires a deft touch to put the ball in the desired spot. Pickleball also uses a different ball than a tennis ball, using one specifically for the sport itself. The Pickleball ball is much more akin to a large wiffle ball than anything else. This helps with control on a smaller court.
Today we wanted to take a look at all of this equipment and see what some of the top racquets and balls out there look like, and what ones are best suited for you. There are a number of options out there, all ranging in price, so we thought we would run the gamut of cheap to expensive in regards to racquets and look at a few balls for the different skill levels. With that in mind, here is what we came up with:
Pickle Ball Paddles
This model from Gamma Sports is an excellent option for those looking to take their game to the next level. Gamma does things right and this modelis no exception. What we appreciate about it is the unibody construction as well as the flush fit bumpers to keep it from becoming haggard with consistent usage. It’s also lightweight and an excellent paddle for those looking for something with better handling. Gamma makes high-end paddles and this is a great model for those looking for something light and who take the game seriously.
The second paddle we chose to look at is this model from Pickle Pro. What first struck us is the design, as we all appreciated the start contrast between the white and black. What we liked next was theperformance of the paddle. This particular paddle has been crafted from aluminum alloy as well which adds it strength and durability as well as maintaining its balance.
This is an ideal paddle for beginners as it has a large face, ins’t terribly expensive and is quite durable. Lastly, this paddle is USAPA tested and approved, which lets you know as the consumer it’s going to perform to the standards you expect. A great paddle at a great price.
We recently spoke about this rubber horseshoe set from Champion sports and thought we would revisit it. This is a great set for all ages and, really, gives you all that you’re ever going to need from a rubber set.
We appreciate its simplicity and have look at products from Champion Sports before and have always been impressed with their quality and dedication to fun. All three of the sets we chose to look at are great and fill the exact functions we’re looking for. Family games are perhaps the most enjoyable, especially those that are safe and inclusive.
The key to purchasing the right Pickleball balls is to be sure you get ones that are “seamless.” Purchasing balls that aren’t seamless, while likely less expensive, won’t perform to the standards that you expect. A seam on the ball will wreak havoc with how the ball spins and won’t be a true representation of the game. With that said, here are a few of our seamless favourites for indoor and outdoor.
This 12 pack from Jugs are great indoor balls. While not ideal for outdoor uses they will make due in a pinch. Jugs makes a fine ball that is tournament approved and seamless. Buying in greater quantities is always advised as Pickleball balls are often lost or can break when someone hits a ball a little too hard. this is a great option for those looking for an indoor ball that will perform up to tournament standards.
This 6 pack here are a fine option for those looking for new outdoor Pickleball balls. As the name suggests, these are tournament approved as well as seamless. Like the ones we listed above, these can be used for indoor games of Pickleball but are better suited to be used outdoors. The 6 pack is a nice touch as balls go missing even more frequently when played with outdoors (kids, am I right?).
Should you find a 12 pack to be a bit onerous as you don’t know how often you may be playing we have found this 6 pack here from Jugs. They will perform the same as the balls above and are seamless and tournament approved. Jugs is one of the few brands that are tournament approved so you can rely on the balls flying true and going where you want them to (if you have the game, of course).