Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America, with player numbers growing approximately 40 percent between 2019 and 2021. Municipal authorities across the country are building dedicated public pickleball courts and converting underused tennis courts and roller-hockey rinks to cater to the growing demand for playing space.
Pickleball was invented in the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, blending elements of tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong, and played with a wiffle ball. While pickleball was previously played in retirement communities, country clubs, and the homes of the Hollywood elite, the sport has become increasingly mainstream in recent years.
There are now over 4.8 million “picklers,” or pickleball players, in the US, according to a 2022 study by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. The majority of occasional players are under 55, and the under-24 age group represents the most rapidly expanding segment of the pickleball player population, according to the USA Pickleball Association.
As pickleball continues to surge in popularity, it’s clear that this sport once considered a niche pastime, has firmly established its place in the mainstream American sporting landscape. Its appeal lies not just in its simplicity and accessibility, but also in its ability to bring together people of all ages and backgrounds, from the young to the old, from the casual player to the celebrity enthusiast.
The rise of the “pickleball economy” is a testament to the sport’s growing influence. Major brands and corporations are investing in the sport, with televised pro tournaments and leagues, and a booming online market for equipment.
One of the reasons behind pickleball’s popularity is that it is a relatively inexpensive sport to play. And with bargain-priced kits from online platforms like Temu or Amazon, the entry barrier is even low compared to many other sports.
Pickleball equipment is one of the bestselling sporting goods on Temu, the online shopping site known for its direct-from-factory bargains. One of the popular choices on the platform is a pickleball paddle set that comes with two paddles, four balls, and a carry bag, for the price of $16.91 (or $8 per paddle), making it an economical and enjoyable sporting activity for the family.
Customer reviews on Temu highlight the satisfaction of players with their purchases, reinforcing the value and quality that these products offer.
As more people discover the joy of pickleball, it’s clear that this once-fringe sport is here to stay. Whether a seasoned athlete looking for a new challenge, a young person seeking a fun activity, or a family looking for a game everyone can enjoy, pickleball is fast becoming a game for everyone.
M&F and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.