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Evolution of Pickleball Equipment

A Game Built On Creative Thinking

What started out as a backyard game relying on a hodgepodge of gear from other racket games like badminton and ping-pong, quickly evolved and came into its own. In the early days, the founders of Pickle-ball® soon jettisoned ping-pong paddles, and began creating their own rackets using wood and a jigsaw.

Paddles like the one above had what we call "first generation" improvements including a reinforced rounded grip that made the paddle stronger, and more comfortable.

In an effort to create an even better paddle, the founders of the game at Pickle-ball® Inc. began experimenting with different materials. We started acquiring scrap aerospace honeycomb materials, which were not only extremely light but exceptionally durable. Here is an example of early honeycomb panel material used in paddle design and construction.

As Pickle-ball® has grown, so has the demand for paddles made of high-tech materials. Now, instead of taking the scraps from big aerospace companies, Pickle-ball® Inc. is able to custom-order the most advanced materials specifically for Pickle-ball® paddles. In the 1990s we really started to see a demand for higher end paddles built with these aerospace materials. Below are models made around 5 - 10 years ago.

Innovation didn't just take place in paddle design, there has been exceptional innovation in balls and net systems as well. In the beginning, players simply lowered the nets of badminton courts and used plastic "whiffle" balls. Today, there are light, portable, durable nets made specifically for pickleball using advanced materials, and the ground breaking DURA Fast 40 Ball brought the game to a whole new level.