How many of you playing pickle ball switched from Tennis?

Crocodile

Legend
As the title states, I’m interested in getting a picture of who the typical pickle ball player is, whether you came from tennis, whether you play both, or is it a new sport that you took up from another form of recreation or something else.
 

tennytive

Professional
Play both. Typical player is retired, non athletic and banger who really has no interest in improving and has no idea of how to play doubles, let alone little if any court etiquette.
Tennis players are the best at pball, but a few pretty good players I know come from racquetball. If you can find four like minded similar skillset players, you will enjoy the game a lot more.
 

louis netman

Hall of Fame
I was introduced to P-ball around 2017. I'm a tennis player/competitor since 1970, coach since 1985-- As a tennis serve & volleyer, I became addicted, quickly excelled and started coaching P-ball. I think P-ball can become a true sport when the paddle-ball combination can exert more player directed spin. As it stands, it's just too much like stick-ball. If it doesn't evolve, it will continue to be a backyard pastime...

But, as it's raging in terms of sales and $$, perhaps nobody gives a hoot...
 
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etd

Rookie
I have been playing pickleball for 2 years. It will never replace tennis for me, but it is a fun diversion.

Took up pickleball as one of my friends who is just a novice tennis player wanted to be able to play a racquet sport competitively with me and some friends who all have tennis backgrounds.
 

CHtennis

Rookie
So I am a 5.0 level tennis player and I play with some of the best players in our area. Most are tennis players or former tennis players, but we have a former professional baseball player and a former professional hockey player who are in the top level group.
 

TennisDawg

Hall of Fame
Play both. Typical player is retired, non athletic and banger who really has no interest in improving and has no idea of how to play doubles, let alone little if any court etiquette.
Tennis players are the best at pball, but a few pretty good players I know come from racquetball. If you can find four like minded similar skillset players, you will enjoy the game a lot more.
Fairly accurate description of a typical pickle player. I play both tennis and Pickleball. Lately as tennis activity has waned in my area, I’m playing more pickle than tennis. I prefer tennis but you can only do solo tennis for so long. I could drive 50-60 miles but we have a lot of Pickleball courts here so no reason to do that. Pickle is social and a lot of fun. It’s also good exercise. I don’t enter tournaments just social play.
 

treo

Semi-Pro
I've been playing tennis for 25 years and started playing pickleball in April. Pickleball is more fun because it is new and different and more social. Where I play on Saturday mornings 9 courts are overflowing with doubles pickleball while the two tennis courts might have four players.

I've played two PB tournaments and from my perspective my 4.0 USTA rating doesn't equate in PB. Got smoked in 3.5 doubles and was at the right level in 3.0 singles. I haven't seen any pushers in PB which is refreshing.
 

srvnvly

Hall of Fame
PB full time now, haven’t played tennis in over 3 years due to injuries - lower back spinal fusion, right and left hip replacements. I might get back to tennis, time will tell.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Changes needed in pickle-ball to attract me over the fence:

1. Change the ball so it doesn’t make such an awful thwack sound.
2. Allow paddles with better grip surface so that you can apply spins better for more creative shot making.
3. Abolish the stupid 7-foot line!!!!
4. Lift the ban on S&V!!!!
 

treo

Semi-Pro
Changes needed in pickle-ball to attract me over the fence:

1. Change the ball so it doesn’t make such an awful thwack sound.
2. Allow paddles with better grip surface so that you can apply spins better for more creative shot making.
3. Abolish the stupid 7-foot line!!!!
4. Lift the ban on S&V!!!!
Spec Tennis solves all those problems. I bought 4 Spec paddles but have a hard time finding people willing to try it out. Tennis and Pickle players are mostly not interested.

If you play pickleball you would realize #4 and #5 is necessary or else a tall server would win 90% or more of the points.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Spec Tennis solves all those problems. I bought 4 Spec paddles but have a hard time finding people willing to try it out. Tennis and Pickle players are mostly not interested.

If you play pickleball you would realize #4 and #5 is necessary or else a tall server would win 90% or more of the points.
I’m sure they can figure out a rules system that doesn’t require artificial interventions like the 7-foot line rule and the no S&V rule. The beauty of tennis is that once the ball is in play, anything goes. Pickle ball rules feel forced.
 

louis netman

Hall of Fame
Changes needed in pickle-ball to attract me over the fence:

1. Change the ball so it doesn’t make such an awful thwack sound.

2. Allow paddles with better grip surface so that you can apply spins better for more creative shot making.
3. Abolish the stupid 7-foot line!!!!
4. Lift the ban on S&V!!!!
I agree.
I contacted the USAPA about #1 and #2 (the paddle and ball combination) explaining how this prevents P-ball from becoming an Olympic sport - no true control on every shot, unlike tennis or ping-pong which are both Olympic sports.
Got no answer. Things aren't gonna change cause there's no reason - too much $$ going on in this "racket" as it stands.

In addition, it will create a bigger gap in playing circles.
 

louis netman

Hall of Fame
If you play pickleball you would realize #4 and #5 is necessary or else a tall server would win 90% or more of the points.
As it stands, yes, but not if the paddle and ball combo was changed to allow more control and variety in shot making.

I'll take on Goran Ivanisevic!

Remember the serve is still under-hand. Also, I've found most P-ballers, even the better players, have average serves and appear to just get the ball in play. This may be due to the no S/V rule. When I played P-ball back in 2017, I had a bunch of different serves that frustrated the heck out of players. The big topspin (as much as I could get with the paddle/ball combo), the crazy angle short topspin on the deuce side, the big righty sidespin, the crazy short sidespin out-wide on the ad side, and the big lefty sidespin (using the opposite side of the paddle/backhanded).

Yes, it was risky as you only get one try, but it payed off in many free points against the majority of non tennis players, as well as the lesser-accomplished tennis players.
 
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travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
It’s been 30 years since I competed in a pickle ball tournament. The honeycomb paddles were a new popular thing, but wood ones were still available.

I preferred the wood ones because the extra weight gave me a noticeable advantage in depth control over my honeycomb-wielding opponents when skill level was comparable.
 

treo

Semi-Pro
Remember the serve is still under-hand. Also, I've found most P-ballers, even the better players, have average serves and appear to just get the ball in play. This may be due to the no S/V rule. When I played P-ball back in 2017, I had a bunch of different serves that frustrated the heck out of players. The big topspin (as much as I could get with the paddle/ball combo), the crazy angle short topspin on the deuce side, the big righty sidespin, the crazy short sidespin out-wide on the ad side, and the big lefty sidespin (using the opposite side of the paddle/backhanded).

Yes, it was risky as you only get one try, but it payed off in many free points against the majority of non tennis players, as well as the lesser-accomplished tennis players.
The trend now with the pros is putting spin on the ball during the toss to get even more spin on the serve. I've tried it and it doubles the amount of side movement with sidespin and receivers will get caught looking with the topspin.
 

louis netman

Hall of Fame
The trend now with the pros is putting spin on the ball during the toss to get even more spin on the serve. I've tried it and it doubles the amount of side movement with sidespin and receivers will get caught looking with the topspin.
I can see how that would help because there is diminishing returns in play with the current paddle/ball combo.
After a certain level of spin is achieved, more effort, swingspeed, etc has no effect on the shot.
 
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treo

Semi-Pro
Since a pickleball doesn't bounce high you can't get the topspin to kick up like a tennis ball but you can get lots side movement with it, maybe more than tennis even though it is underhand. These guys could get more spinning away from the receiver forehand if they did a backhand serve with the spin toss.
 

srvnvly

Hall of Fame
I'm so glad there aren't too many of us switching to pickleball by the looks of this thread
Not sure I’d base playing pickleball or not based on this thread, but if you’re curious, just try it. The sport needs feedback from people who have played racquet sports, to improve it.
 

TennisDawg

Hall of Fame
Not sure I’d base playing pickleball or not based on this thread, but if you’re curious, just try it. The sport needs feedback from people who have played racquet sports, to improve it.
I play both tennis and pickleball. Although lately I’m playing more Pickleball than tennis. Mainly because in my city of about 30-40 thousand tennis is on the decline. It takes way too much planning and coordination to arrange practice matches, unless I want to drive 120 mikes round trip to a larger city. If I want to enter a tournament or league I could be driving 4 to 5 hours. There’s a few tennis partners here but a good share of my tennis is solo. Solo tennis gets boring. So, I am regularly now meeting up with a dozen or so pickkeballers 2 to 3 times a week. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of them are former tennis players. The pickle courts are 10 minutes from my home and I just show up and start playing in minutes. The game at the advanced level is dominated by tennis players. If you compare pickle at the advanced level to 3.5/4.0 it doesn’t even look like the same sport. I’m probably going to be playing more Pickleball than tennis. I’ll still occasionally play tennis if asked but will no longer arrange matches.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
Not sure I’d base playing pickleball or not based on this thread, but if you’re curious, just try it. The sport needs feedback from people who have played racquet sports, to improve it.
If you want to improve it get rid of that annoying sound.
(n)
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I was introduced to P-ball around 2017. I'm a tennis player/competitor since 1970, coach since 1985-- As a tennis serve & volleyer, I became addicted, quickly excelled and started coaching P-ball. I think P-ball can become a true sport when the paddle-ball combination can exert more player directed spin. As it stands, it's just too much like stick-ball. If it doesn't evolve, it will continue to be a backyard pastime...

But, as it's raging in terms of sales and $$, perhaps nobody gives a hoot...
I absolutely hate the ball chosen for this sport. Chosen by a masochist? Not a fan of the sound or the lack of spin or, especially, the lack of bounce. Even with a bad hip I could cover the court reasonably well but my lower back could not handle the low bounce.

Do you foresee any change in the official ball for p'ball. Even tho' it doesn't bounce super high, I might be okay with the oversized foam training ball used for tennis.
 

louis netman

Hall of Fame
If you want to improve it get rid of that annoying sound.
(n)
I glued table tennis rubber on one side of my pball paddle and it changed (improved) the sound as well as greatly improving spin potential. However, my paddle was already 8.5 oz, and the added rubber made it a little over 12oz and head heavy. I have TE and I had issues on the BH side so I had to tear off all my precision work :-(

I think this would be a simple fix for the industry for both getting rid of the noise, and for creating more ball control.
Just make the bare paddle lighter and add the rubber!
 

louis netman

Hall of Fame
I absolutely hate the ball chosen for this sport. Chosen by a masochist? Not a fan of the sound or the lack of spin or, especially, the lack of bounce. Even with a bad hip I could cover the court reasonably well but my lower back could not handle the low bounce.

Do you foresee any change in the official ball for p'ball. Even tho' it doesn't bounce super high, I might be okay with the oversized foam training ball used for tennis.
Indeed, pickleball is played with a much lower center of gravity than tennis (if playing with proper technique) and I exacerbated an old knee injury and was in PT for 9 months. It's even lower playing indoors. Constant split-stepping with this lower stance is brutal on the knees.

The USAPA and the industry want Pball to become an Olympic sport, but IMO, the slippery paddle & ball combo keep it in the "stick-ball" or "backyard pastime" stage, even though it keeps growing in popularity.

I don't think any changes will take place because there's already too much profit being made selling ridiculously priced polymer (otherwise known as plastic) paddles and balls. The pickleball racket is even more of a racket than tennis racket is, pun intended.
 
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TripleB

Hall of Fame
I've played tennis for 49 years (currently 54) and was introduced to pickleball about 3 years ago. The amount of pickleball I play is gradually going up (at least it was before I had 5.5 hour Mohs surgery to remove skin cancer from my nose, now I'm on a healing hiatus) and the amount of tennis I play is gradually going down. In fact, I have no plans to play tennis again for the foreseeable future.

I prefer pickleball because it's more social because you switch partners/teams every 15 minutes or so, there's more of a level playing field (the best player on the court can be a banger, a finesse player, 20 yo, 70 yo, uses a lot of spin, uses no spin, a man, a woman, a child, etc), I don't get beat by people who can outpower me like in tennis, and comparatively speaking I'm better at pickleball than I am tennis because all my tennis skills carried over to pickleball.

TripleB
 

treo

Semi-Pro
The sound of a pickleball is music to my ears except when playing with someone using an Onix Z5 paddle which is obnoxiously loud. Most people like to play with the loud Franklin X or Durafast 40 balls but there are softer, quieter ones with a higher bounce like the Onix Pure which I buy at Walmart. A silent ball is the Tourna foam tennis ball which is fun to play with because you can go for body shots without guilt.
 

SteveI

Legend
Great Thread. I have played a few times and most of what I have read above is spot on. I have watched a few different levels of play. The game really fits for many folks for various reasons. Great social game and keeps many folks active. For me it does not really fit as my chronic conditions knees and lower back are not helped at all by playing PB. I get way more exercise bike riding, hiking and drilling in tennis. I also hate the sound of the ball and all the talking on the side lines. If can only play tennis a few hours a week or PB a few hours a week.. it is tennis of course. I do think if they adapt the rules and ball .. I might give it a serious try. If I was without my chronic conditions.. I would play tennis more often and never think about PB. PB just does not speak to me like tennis. Playing tennis is like a religious experience to me. PB is like bowling in a handicap league or playing corn-hole / darts etc. There is just so much more skill to tennis.. etc. One of my 4.0 plus USTA tennis partners plays PB once a week.. never played and is now on the top level court .. it took 2 days. He is not taking it seriously.. just does it for the social interaction. Cheers..
 
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