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Beginner Guide

Last updated: 9/27/23

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How To Get Started

You just heard about this wonderful new sport called Pickleball and you want to try it out but don’t know where to start…well here’s a quick guide to help you out!


  • The easiest and most efficient way to get started in pickleball is to find someone you know who is really into it. It’s incredibly likely that they will do whatever they can to give you a healthy start to the sport. Trust me; Pickleball players are always searching for new players to play with and usually have equipment you can borrow.

  • If you are starting from scratch, we recommend learning the basic rules before hitting the local courts to play. This will allow you to pick up on the game much quicker when you first get to the court. It’s ok to only know the basics. You’ll learn the rest as you start playing with others. See our overview of the Basic Rules

  • You’ll need basic equipment - this includes a paddle (~$50-$60 for a beginner paddle), pickleball ball (~$10 pack of 3), and some type of sturdy tennis or court shoe. If all you have are running shoes, that will work for the first few sessions but poses some risk to injury. More details on equipment down below.

  • Next, you’ll need to find a place to play - we’ve got you covered with our list of best places to play for a beginner in the Cleveland area. See below!


Basic Equipment

  • Starter kits - these kits typically come with two paddles, pickleballs and a carrying case. This can be great for a couple or family interested in getting started as it provides multiple pieces of equipment for a lower price point, rather than having to purchase everything individually, which tends to be more expensive.

  • Paddle

    • Composite - We recommend getting an entry level composite paddle (~$60). This allows for a better experience as compared to a wooden paddle, in control, power, weight and a sweet spot. 

      • Selecting a paddle as a beginner is more about what you should avoid, rather than what you should get. 

      • Here are some things you should avoid:

        • Nomex and aluminum core paddles.

        • Elongated or “blade” paddles. These are the skinny looking paddles.

        • Avoid wooden paddles of any kind.

        • Paddles that are under 6.5 oz, or over 9 oz.

    • Beginner recommendation

  • Pickleballs - A common mistake we see beginners make is using the wrong type of pickleball ball. Keep in mind there are indoor and outdoor types of pickleball balls. Check out the differences below…

  • Net - as a beginner you shouldn’t have to worry about buying a net right away but thought we would provide some insight anyways. Sometimes you can bring your own net to a tennis court that has pickleball lines or you can tape off a court in your driveway. If you want a beginner net, it will cost around $120 - $170. I’d recommend a net that has an aluminum frame and comes with a carrying case for easy transport. 

  • Shoes - Since in pickleball you’ll mostly do lateral movements, a proper tennis shoe or court shoe is best as they provide the most support and are sturdy. Running shoes are not ideal, as you run the risk of rolling your ankle. 

    • Here’s what you’ll find in a court shoe:

      • Flat soles and have very little treading if any at all.

      • Sometimes have a rubber or colorless sole to reduce scuffing.

      • Have support on all sides similar to a tennis shoe.

      • But often weighs less than a tennis shoe

    • A tennis shoe is similar but typically bulkier and heavier but still durable and does the job

    • Beginner recommendation - Men’s

    • Beginner recommendation - Women’s


Best Places To Play As A Beginner (in Cleveland)

Here are a few places to play (indoor & outdoor) in Cleveland-Akron area where beginner’s can get introduced to the game and where there are consistent groups of players or scheduled leagues and/or lessons.


For a full list of places to play for beginners check out this GUIDE.

If you think we are missing a location that would benefit a beginner, please contact us right away so we can add it.

For more Indoor locations

refer to our full list of Weekly Indoor Times and Locations document HERE


General Rules of the Game

We’ve put together a simple overview of the basic rules of the game, which includes videos demonstrating certain aspects of the game. Check out our How to Play page.


Take’s only ~10 minutes to read and watch all the videos

How to get started
Basic Equipment
Best place to play as a beginner
Generl Rules of the Game
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