A: The most fun you can have while sweating.
One of the most delightful discoveries I’ve made since moving to the South Carolina Lowcountry is Pickleball, the fastest growing sport in America. Best described as being “like ping pong played on the table,” Pickleball uses a badminton-sized court with a net slightly lower than in tennis. The paddle is much smaller than a tennis racquet and made of high-tech plastics, and the ball is similar to a wiffle ball. Although popular among all ages, Pickleball has particular appeal for active older adults, since the ball is not as fast as a tennis ball. Strategy is more important than power, and fun is more important than anything.
As the story goes, Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, outside Seattle Washington, by a couple of dads trying to amuse their bored kids with whatever equipment they had on hand. Legend has it that one of the founders had a dog named Pickles that liked to chase the balls. I don’t know if that’s true, but players do indeed shout “Pickle!” if one of them hits the ball out onto another court.
Google Pickleball and you will get hits galore – articles, videos, ads for equipment, training tips, etc. Chances are Pickleball will make its way to your community. The US Pickleball Association, whose membership has increased a whopping 84% in the past three years, sends out volunteers to teach the game to new players. Down here in SC, I checked out a makeshift Pickleball clinic in a Hilton Head Island rec center, where tennis courts were modified to accommodate more than twenty prospective Pickleball recruits. If this sport were listed, I’d tell you to buy stock.
What I will suggest is that you get out there and play it. Pickleball is a lively, frisky, sociable
way to get your cardio workout. I’ve lost ten pounds since I’ve been playing. Who needs the
treadmill? To learn more about what Pickleball can add to your life, check out the following
Oh, and by the way: Look for a future novel from me about murder and Pickleball!