Does pickleball require much equipment to play?

For people who are looking for exercise from a racket sport, but who don’t want to — or can’t — run as much as tennis requires, pickleball is a great alternative. You play on a smaller court than tennis, and the ball doesn’t move as fast as a tennis ball, making it easier to play.

Even though pickleball uses a paddle instead of a racket, the two sports have a similar list of equipment that you need, including a special type of ball and net. 

What does pickleball equipment cost?

Generally, those learning to play pickleball often can use cheaper equipment successfully. Advanced players typically want more expensive equipment, especially if they are participating in tournaments. Some of the price ranges you can expect to pay include:

  • Paddle: Beginners can find pickleball paddles in the $20-$30 range, while advanced players may want paddles that cost $100 or more.
  • Ball: Recreational-level pickleball balls may cost $1.50-$2.50 apiece, while tournament-level balls may cost $5-$8 apiece. You can often buy balls in sets of six or more.
  • Net: Most nets are portable, so you can set up a game anywhere. Low-quality nets use plastic frames, so they don’t stand up well to rough play. They may cost $20-$50. High-quality nets have steel frames and may cost $125 or more.

Essential pickleball equipment to play the game

Top pickleball set

Best Monarch Complete Pickleball Game Set

Monarch Complete Pickleball Game Set

What you need to know: For those who want basic, inexpensive equipment when starting to play pickleball, this set contains everything you need, including paddles, a net, and balls.

What you’ll love: The entire kit ships with a carrying case, so you can easily keep all your gear together. Even though the overall cost of the kit is lower than average, you still receive a reasonable quality of materials.

What you should consider: With only two paddles on the set, you need to purchase two more paddles to play doubles.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top pickleball balls

Best Onix Portable Pickleball Net and Carrying Case

Onix Dura Fast 40 Outdoor Pickleball Balls

What you need to know: When you want to take your pickleball game seriously, these USAPA-approved and sanctioned game balls do the trick.

What you’ll love: This is an official pickleball ball, as it contains the proper weight and 40 regulation-sized and -spaced holes. The yellow color is easy to see in all kinds of playing conditions. It stands up well to hard court play.

What you should consider: These official balls are a little more expensive than recreational-quality pickleball balls and don’t appear in other color options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top pickleball paddle

Best Selkirk Vanguard 2.0 Hybrid Mach-6 Pickleball Paddle

Selkirk Vanguard 2.0 Hybrid Mach-6 Pickleball Paddle

What you need to know: If you want to upgrade your level of play, this model has extra texture to help you spin the ball more successfully.

What you’ll love: With the carbon fiber material in this paddle, the manufacturer can generate a greater sweet spot than some other materials. A honeycomb design pattern in the paddle absorbs vibration for a smoother feel.

What you should consider: This is an expensive paddle, so it may not be the best choice for a beginner just learning the game.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top pickleball paddle for the money

Best Gamma Sports 2.0 Pickleball Paddle

Gamma Sports 2.0 Pickleball Paddle

What you need to know: You receive multiple color options in this paddle design, giving you the ability to show off your personal style.

What you’ll love: This paddle delivers a good mix of power and precision for shot-making as you play. The graphite material in the paddle and frame combine to create lower vibration levels.

What you should consider: Although this paddle has a reasonable price point, beginners may want to try to spend a little less.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top pickleball net

Best Onix Portable Pickleball Net and Carrying Case

Onix Portable Pickleball Net and Carrying Case

What you need to know: When you want to be able to set up a pickleball game in any location, this heavy-duty net ships with its own carrying case for simplicity in transportation.

What you’ll love: This is a high-quality net, including steel tube framing that stabilizes it for gameplay. The net’s size and height fit the size required for USAPA regulations. Adjusting the tension of the net is an easy process.

What you should consider: This net carries an above-average price. If you have a specific place you always play, you may want a more permanent type of net installation.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top pickleball shoes

Best K-Swiss Express Light Pickleball Shoe

K-Swiss Express Light Pickleball Shoe

What you need to know: Having a lightweight shoe for moving back and forth on the pickleball court lets you keep fresh legs as the game progresses.

What you’ll love: The outsole’s rubber compound provides excellent traction, even when you bend your foot to make a quick movement. The built-in sock liner uses an open-cell structure to pull moisture away from the foot.

What you should consider: If you want a pickleball shoe with many design and color options, this model may not fit your needs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top pickleball shoes for the money

Best New Balance 696 V4 Hard Court Shoe

New Balance 696 V4 Hard Court Shoe

What you need to know: This highly comfortable shoe design is ideal for playing on hard courts.

What you’ll love: The rubber sole provides the grip and traction you want for making quick movements while playing. You also receive excellent cushioning from the soles of these shoes, keeping your feet feeling fresher on the hard court surface.

What you should consider: Even though most models of this shoe have a below-average cost, some colors and designs carry a higher-than-average price point.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Kyle Schurman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.