Essential pickleball gear for any level of player

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Does pickleball require a lot of equipment to play?

For people looking for exercise from a racquet sport, but don’t want to – or can’t – run as much as tennis requires, pickleball is a great alternative. You are playing on a smaller court than tennis and the ball does not move as fast as a tennis ball, which makes it easier to play.

Even though pickleball uses a paddle instead of a racquet, both sports have a similar list of equipment you need, including a special type of ball and net.

How much does pickleball equipment cost?

Generally, those learn to play pickleball can often successfully use less expensive equipment. Advanced players generally want more expensive gear, especially if they’re playing tournaments. Some of the price ranges you can expect to pay include:

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

Essential pickleball equipment to play the game

Superior pickleball set

Complete Monarch Pickleball Game Set

What do you want to know: For those who want inexpensive basic equipment to start playing pickleball, this set has everything you need, including paddles, net and balls.

What you will love: The whole kit comes with a carrying case, so you can easily store all your gear. Even though the overall cost of the kit is below average, you still receive a reasonable quality of materials.

What you should consider: With only two paddles on the board, you must purchase two additional paddles to play doubles.

Or buy: Sold by Dick Sporting Goods

Top pickleball balls

Best Onix Portable Pickleball Net and Carrying Case

Onix Dura Fast 40 Outdoor Pickleball Balls

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

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

What you should consider: These official balls are a bit more expensive than recreational grade pickleball balls and do not appear in other color options.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick Sporting Goods

Top pickleball paddle

Best Pickleball Paddle Selkirk Vanguard 2.0 Hybrid Mach-6

Selkirk Vanguard 2.0 Hybrid Mach-6 Pickleball Racket

What do you want to know: If you want to improve your level of play, this model has an additional texture to help you spin the ball more successfully.

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

What you should consider: It’s an expensive paddle, so it might not be the best choice for a beginner who is just learning the game.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Best pickleball paddle for the money

Gamma Sports 2.0 Best Pickleball Paddle

Gamma Sports 2.0 Pickleball Racket

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

What you will love: This paddle offers a good mix of power and precision to make strokes while you play. The graphite material of the paddle and frame combine to create lower levels of vibration.

What you should consider: Although this paddle is reasonably priced, beginners may want to try spending a little less.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Superior pickleball net

Best Onix Portable Pickleball Net and Carrying Case

Onix Portable Pickleball Net and Carrying Case

What do you want to know: When you want to be able to host a game of pickleball anywhere, this sturdy net comes with its own carrying case for easy portability.

What you will love: This is a high quality net, featuring a steel tube frame that stabilizes it for gameplay. The size and height of the net matches the size required by USAPA regulations. Adjusting the net tension is an easy process.

What you should consider: This net has an above average price. If you have a specific location where you always play, you might want a more permanent type of network setup.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick Sporting Goods

Best Pickleball Shoes

Best K-Swiss Express Lightweight Pickleball Shoe

K-Swiss Express Light Pickleball Shoe

What do you want to know: Having a lightweight shoe for going back and forth on the pickleball court helps keep your legs cool as the game progresses.

What you will love: The rubber compound in the outsole provides excellent traction, even when you bend your foot to perform a quick movement. The integrated sock liner uses an open cell structure to wick 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 meet your needs.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Best pickleball shoes for the money

Best New Balance 696 V4 Hard Court Shoe

New Balance 696 V4 Hard Court Shoe

What do you want to know: This very comfortable shoe design is ideal for playing on hard courts.

What you will love: The rubber sole provides the grip and traction you need to make quick moves while gaming. You also get excellent cushioning from the sole of these shoes, keeping your feet cooler on the hard court surface.

What you should consider: Even though most models of this shoe are priced below average, some colors and models are priced above average.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

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

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