They say trends are cyclical, and that’s true of social sports, too. For instance, shuffleboard has officially left the retirement home and found a place amongst hipsters. And if a bar has darts, you can’t not play.
Let’s be honest — what we’re looking for is the ideal ratio of skill and sociability. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that playing means we can stay active. Add in the ability to take your game anywhere and we’re really onto something.
Enter: pickleball, your new favorite social sport.
Pickleball isn’t anything new. It has actually been around since the 1960s. But you could say it’s re-emerging. Combining all the best elements of paddle sports like badminton, tennis, and ping pong, the game has a universal appeal. It’s so popular that dedicated pickleball courts are quickly sprouting up across the nation and the USA Pickleball Association’s annual tournament in Indian Wells, California is growing.
But if you’re thinking you don’t have the time or energy to learn a new sport, then you’d be wrong. Played with four players, the classic perforated ball, and paddles, pickleball has virtually no learning curve and can be as competitive as you want. Go hard in “the kitchen”, pickleball’s coined term for the space right up by the net, or take it easy and leisurely volley the ball—and conversation—back and forth.
You’ll need to get geared up first, though, and our friends at GAMMA have the pickleball game on lock. So, pick out a paddle that fits your personality (perhaps your alma mater?), grab three of your favorite friends, a cooler of your favorite beer, and hit the pickleball court.