What equipment do my kids need to start playing pickleball?

Discover essential pickleball gear for kids and tips on selecting the right equipment for a safe and fun experience on the court.


Photo by Ben Hershey / Unsplash

Congratulations on introducing your kids to the wonderful world of pickleball! This unique and engaging sport is a fantastic way to keep your kids active and entertained. To get started, it's important to make sure they have the essential equipment to play safely and effectively. The good news is that the equipment needed for pickleball is relatively simple and affordable, making it accessible for families of all backgrounds. In this guide, we'll walk you through the key items your kids will need to start playing pickleball and offer some tips for choosing the right gear. You'll be setting them up for success and ensuring they have a blast on the pickleball court!

Key Takeaways:

  • Paddle: Investing in a lightweight paddle with a comfortable grip and a soft, responsive core is essential for your child's success in pickleball.

  • Pickleball balls: Opt for indoor or outdoor pickleball balls, considering where your child will mostly play. Make sure to have a set of balls ready for practice and games.

  • Proper footwear: Encourage your child to wear supportive athletic shoes with good grip and lateral support to prevent injuries and enhance performance on the pickleball court.

Understanding the Basics of Pickleball Equipment

Some of the basic equipment that your kids will need to start playing pickleball includes paddles, balls, and appropriate footwear. Understanding the basics of pickleball equipment is essential for ensuring that your kids have everything they need to enjoy the game to the fullest.

Essential equipment for pickleball

When it comes to essential equipment for pickleball, the first thing to consider is a paddle. Pickleball paddles are typically made of wood, composite materials, or graphite. It’s important to choose a paddle that is the right size and weight for your child's comfort and playing style. Next, balls are an essential part of pickleball equipment. Pickleballs are similar to wiffle balls, but specifically designed to perform well in the game. Lastly, footwear is crucial for pickleball. Look for shoes with good grip and support to ensure safety and comfort on the court.

Factors to consider when choosing pickleball equipment for kids

When choosing pickleball equipment for your kids, there are several factors to consider. The size and weight of the paddle are important to ensure that it’s comfortable for your child to handle. Additionally, the grip size should be appropriate for your child's hand size to prevent discomfort or injury. The material of the paddle can also affect its performance and durability, so be sure to consider this when making your choice. When it comes to footwear, look for shoes that provide good traction and support to prevent slips and falls on the court. The color and design of the equipment may also be important to your child, so consider their preferences when making your selections. The right equipment can make a significant difference in your child's enjoyment and performance on the pickleball court.

How to Select the Right Pickleball Paddle

Keep in mind that choosing the right pickleball paddle is essential for your kids' success in the game. There are a few key factors to consider when selecting a paddle, such as weight, size, and grip material. Take the time to research and test out different paddles to find the perfect fit for your child.

Tips for finding the right size and weight

When it comes to the size and weight of a pickleball paddle, it's crucial to find the right balance for your child's playing style. You want to choose a paddle size that allows your child to maneuver it easily, without feeling too heavy. A lightweight paddle can help your child maintain control and reduce the risk of injury. As for weight, a light paddle (7.3 to 8 ounces) can offer more maneuverability, while a mid-weight paddle (8.1 to 8.4 ounces) can provide more power. A heavy paddle (8.5 ounces and above) can deliver more force behind each shot. This will ultimately come down to personal preference, but it's important to consider the age and strength of your child when making this decision.

  • Paddle size should allow for easy maneuverability

  • Lightweight paddles can reduce the risk of injury

  • Consider your child's age and strength when choosing weight

This will ultimately come down to personal preference, but it's important to consider the age and strength of your child when making this decision.

Understanding grip size and material preferences

When it comes to the grip of a pickleball paddle, there are different grip sizes and materials to consider. The right grip size ensures that your child can hold the paddle comfortably and securely, allowing for better control and accuracy in their shots. Similarly, the grip material can impact your child's gameplay, with options such as cushioned grips for added comfort and moisture-wicking materials for enhanced grip in sweaty conditions. It's important to consider factors such as your child's hand size and playing style when choosing the right grip for their paddle. Experimenting with different grip sizes and materials will help your child find the perfect match for their playing needs.

Essential Pickleball Apparel and Footwear

Unlike many other sports, pickleball doesn't require a specific uniform or attire. However, it's essential to wear comfortable and safe apparel as well as proper footwear to enhance your game and prevent injury. If you're unsure about what type of apparel and footwear to choose, you can also consult other experienced players on platforms such as Reddit to get some advice from the experts.

Choosing comfortable and safe apparel

When it comes to choosing apparel for pickleball, it's important to prioritize comfort and flexibility. You want to wear clothing that allows you to move freely and doesn't restrict your movements during the game. Look for moisture-wicking fabrics that keep you dry and comfortable, as pickleball can be quite a fast-paced and energy-intensive game. Additionally, wearing appropriate sports bras and supportive innerwear is essential to prevent any discomfort during gameplay. Make sure to also consider the weather conditions and choose apparel that can protect you from the sun or keep you warm in colder temperatures.

The importance of proper footwear and how to select it

Proper footwear is crucial when playing pickleball, as it can significantly impact your performance and reduce the risk of injuries. Lightweight and supportive shoes with good traction are ideal for pickleball, as they allow you to move quickly and make sudden stops and turns on the court. Look for shoes specifically designed for indoor court sports, as they provide the necessary stability and cushioning. Avoid using running or tennis shoes, as they may not offer the lateral support needed for pickleball. When selecting footwear, make sure to consider your foot type and any specific concerns such as arch support or ankle stability. Investing in a good pair of pickleball shoes will not only enhance your game but also keep you safe on the court.

Additional Pickleball Accessories and Gear

Now that you have the essential equipment to start playing pickleball, let's discuss the additional accessories and gear that can enhance your playing experience. While these items may not be necessary for beginners, they can certainly add value to your game and provide you with added convenience and safety on the court.

Must-have accessories for beginners

Not only do you need a paddle and a ball to play pickleball, but there are several must-have accessories that can make your playing experience more enjoyable and efficient. The first accessory you should consider is a good quality pair of pickleball shoes. Pickleball shoes are designed with specific features to provide you with the right amount of grip and support, helping you to move quickly and with agility on the court. Additionally, investing in a lightweight, moisture-wicking performance shirt will keep you comfortable and dry during intense rallies. Lastly, don't forget to protect yourself from the sun with a hat and a pair of sunglasses that have UV protection.

Optional gear that can enhance the playing experience

While the must-have accessories are essential for beginners, there are also optional gear items that can further enhance your playing experience. One such item is a pickleball bag to store all your equipment and accessories in one place. This will keep your gear organized and easily accessible. Another optional but beneficial gear is overgrips for your paddle. These can improve your grip and absorb sweat, providing you with better control over your shots. Furthermore, protective eyewear is a safety precaution that you may want to consider, especially if you play in outdoor or high-intensity environments. It is essential to protect your eyes from fast-moving balls and potential collisions near the net.

Where to Purchase Pickleball Equipment for Kids

To ensure that your kids have the best equipment for playing pickleball, you should consider where you can purchase the necessary gear. The Pickleball equipment guide by LTA will provide you with a comprehensive list of equipment needed for kids to get started with the sport.

Tips for finding the best deals and quality gear

When shopping for pickleball equipment for your kids, it's important to prioritize quality over price. Look for reputable brands that offer durable and high-quality gear. You can also keep an eye out for sales, discounts, and clearance offers to find the best deals on pickleball equipment. Additionally, consider purchasing pre-owned gear from reliable sources, as long as it is in good condition.

  • Look for reputable brands

  • Consider sales, discounts, and clearance offers

  • Explore pre-owned gear options

This approach will ensure that your kids have the best equipment without breaking the bank. Remember, investing in quality gear will enhance your kids' experience and reduce the need for frequent replacements.

Online vs. local shopping options

When it comes to purchasing pickleball equipment for your kids, you have the option to shop online or at local sports stores. Online shopping offers the convenience of browsing through a wide range of options from the comfort of your home, and you can easily compare prices and read reviews. On the other hand, shopping locally allows you to physically inspect the equipment and seek advice from store staff. You may also find exclusive deals and promotions at local stores.

Ultimately, consider the balance between convenience, cost, and the ability to assess the quality of the equipment. This approach will ensure that you make the best decision when purchasing pickleball equipment for your kids.

Preparing for the First Game

After getting your kids all geared up and excited to play pickleball, it's time to start preparing for their first game. This not only involves familiarizing them with the rules of the game but also teaching them basic techniques and tips to help them excel on the court.

Quick overview of pickleball rules

Pickleball is typically played on a badminton-sized court with a lowered net. The game is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes, similar to a wiffle ball. The serve must be underhand, and it is made diagonally crosscourt and must clear the non-volley zone. The game continues with the ball being served from the right-hand court and each player taking turns hitting the ball until a point is scored.

Basic techniques and tips to teach your kids

When teaching your kids how to play pickleball, it's important to start with the basics. Show them how to hold the paddle correctly, emphasizing the importance of having a firm grip and good control. Teach them the proper stance and footwork, focusing on keeping a balanced and ready position to react to the ball. Additionally, emphasize the importance of communication and teamwork with their playing partner. After mastering the basic techniques, you can move on to more advanced strategies and shot techniques.

  • Hold the paddle with a firm grip for better control

  • Keep a balanced stance and be ready to react to the ball

  • Focus on communication and teamwork with your playing partner


From above, you now know the essential equipment your kids need to start playing pickleball. The paddle, balls, and proper footwear are all necessary to start enjoying this fun and engaging sport. Making sure your kids have the right equipment will not only enhance their playing experience but also ensure safety on the court. Whether they are just starting out or looking to improve their skills, the right equipment will set them up for success and enjoyment as they learn and grow in the sport of pickleball.


Q: What equipment do my kids need to start playing pickleball?

A: To start playing pickleball, your kids will need a paddle, a whiffle ball, and appropriate footwear. The paddle is typically made of light materials such as wood or composite, and the whiffle ball is similar to a perforated plastic baseball. As for footwear, it is important to wear athletic shoes with good grip to minimize the risk of slipping on the court.

Q: What size paddle should my kids use for pickleball?

A: Paddles for pickleball come in various sizes, but for kids, it is recommended to use a smaller and lighter paddle that is easier to handle. Typically, paddles for kids range from 6 to 7 inches in width and 15 to 16 inches in length. It's important to choose a paddle that your kids can comfortably hold and maneuver on the court.

Q: Are there any specific clothing requirements for playing pickleball?

A: While there are no strict clothing requirements for pickleball, it is advisable for kids to wear comfortable athletic attire that allows for ease of movement on the court. This typically includes moisture-wicking shirts, shorts or athletic pants, and proper athletic shoes with good traction. It's also a good idea to wear a hat and apply sunscreen for outdoor play to protect against the sun's rays.