Pickleball is one of the most enjoyable games to get involved in right now. It allows you to get a boost to your health while basking in the glow of social activities needed to fill your event calendar. This provides plenty of learning opportunities and challenges for beginners all the way to the pro elites.
Of course, not every pickleball court is created equal. There are some locations that might be better than others for you to get the optimal experience. That is why we have put together a quick overview of where to play, what to look for, and how to maximize your overall pickleball volley so you and your friends will want to come back to the court time and time again.
Can Pickleball Be Played on Grass?
Not every home will have the space or financial resources to install a pickleball court in their backyards. Even the earliest games of tennis didn’t have the well-groomed areas we see at Wimbledon every year. That is why many players are turning to grass lots and lawns for gameplay.
Grass courts are an ideal space for outdoor play and nostalgia-inducing photos of you and your best friends enjoying pickleball. They offer a much softer surface in case you trip or fall and don’t take massive amounts of money to maintain. Even if you don’t have an electric mower, you can swing by a resale shop and find a push mower for next to nothing.
The only downside is the ground may be a bit more cushioned. That can cause the pickleball ball to bounce differently, causing some learning curves as you get started.
Can Pickleball Be Played on Concrete?
Concrete pickleball courts are probably the most well-known because they can be a driveway, a basketball court at your local park, or a platform that was built for a development that never got off the ground. These are ideal surfaces for players that prefer hard contact between the ball for bounces. It offers a higher drop in serve potential and a bit more flexibility in how you return during a volley.
The obvious downside is the strain concrete places on your knees and joints. While concrete is easy to maintain, they have a much higher potential risk of injury or road burn if you trip and fall. We do not recommend concrete pickleball courts for seniors, especially those just starting out in the game.
Can Pickleball Be Played Inside?
First off, no – please don’t play pickleball in your living room. You are bound to run into knick-knacks, expensive artwork, or the family cat before perfecting your serve. As for other indoor facilities like community halls, college rec centers, and the like, then yes, these are perfect for pickleball.
Most of these courts will be made out of wood, rubber, or vinyl. They offer exceptional control for your footwork and are soft enough that you won’t get too messed up if you trip and fall. The ball bounces tend to be more consistent, and you don’t have to worry about sudden rainstorms.
Can Pickleball Be Played on a Tennis Court?
Yes, not only are tennis courts great for pickleball, but they also tend to be where most people first get their initial experience. The lines are already marked, and tennis is still more popular, so the courts are usually better maintained than other dedicated pickleball courts.
However, playing on a tennis court does have some challenges. They are much larger than a standard pickleball court, causing you to run a bit more than you would want. Additionally, the tennis net height is higher than a regulation pickleball court, so that will shift your gameplay overall.
What to Consider in an Optimal Pickleball Court
If you’re wondering, can pickleball be played as singles or doubles? It depends on the court size. If you have a tiny space to train, singles may be better. The goal is to find an optimal pickleball court first and then invite your friends as space permits. Try to look for a pickleball court with:
- Location & Accessibility: Look for a court that is close to home or work, so you don’t have to go far from your usual route.
- Availability to Players: You want a space where you can ensure other players frequent so you can build new relationships and training partners.
- Quality: The type of surface matters. Find a court with a surface material you prefer, like concrete, wood, rubber, clay, or grass.
- Amenities: Of course, look for a pickleball court near a restroom, water fountain, and maybe a decent snack shed for when you are done. It also helps if there is lighting for nighttime games.
Where to Find the Best Pickleball Courts
There is no magical formula for the best pickleball court. You may be surprised at how many unique locations offer incredible solutions for your gameplay. Star with:
- Research Local Spaces: You should contact the parks and recreation centers of your city or town to see if they already have dedicated pickleball spaces.
- Online Maps: Many schools, universities, and local USA Pickleball chapters have unique spaces for free as long as you sign up ahead of time or use their Pickleball scheduler apps.
- Ask Around: Find more players, and they will connect you to the best possible resources for gameplay in your area.
- Join a Group: Most cities across the US have clubs, organizations, and pickleball teams already in existence. Joining up will expose you to incredible courts for playing.
The trick is to stay open-minded. You never know when a remarkable space will open up because someone moved, or a new park initiative has been created by your chamber of commerce. Ask around, and you’re sure to find a bunch of like-minded peers, at the very least.
Finding the right pickleball court is essential for enjoying the wildly popular sport of pickleball. Hopefully, this article has introduced some new and unique surfaces for you to consider when you grab your P-One elongated pickleball paddle and head out for a new game.
Whether you prefer grass, concrete, or indoor surfaces, there are definitely some fantastic courts just for you and your team. Get out into the world and try out some different pickleball courts to find the one that works best for your needs. Have fun!