A Guide to Pickleball Gear: How to Get Set Up and Start Playing Anywhere

franklin pickleball mobile
Franklin Sports

Part of what's made pickleball so exciting—and popular—over the past year is just how accessible it is. While many sports require an established piece of equipment (basketball needs a hoop, tennis needs a proper court, etc.) with pickleball, you can create a pretty comfortable setup on almost any open area of concrete.

Ready to play? We want to help make the process even easier, so we compiled a guide to the pickleball gear you need and everything you should know to get your court set up. Let's get started!

Where to Set Up:

In order to have proper room for a true match, you'll need a playing surface of 30 feet by 64 feet. The court itself should measure 44 feet long by 20 feet wide, since it's good to have some extra room around the edges.

Hit up your local park to find a basketball or tennis court to repurpose, or even get set up on a cul-de-sac or quiet/unoccupied road in your neighborhood.

What You Need:

Finding a place to play is just the first step. To really get going, you'll need some essentials. As far as garb goes, wear anything you can comfortably move in, plus a pair of kicks with good traction and ankle support.

Last but certainly not least is the gear. Here are our four favorite picks, from the immediately necessary to those that'll help the pickleball-obsessed hone their craft.

1. The Paddles

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Franklin Sports

Paddles are arguably the most important piece of equipment you'll need. Our choice is Franklin's newest paddle series, the Carbon STK™. First off, Franklin has been creating innovative sporting goods products since 1946, so we trust they know what they're talking about when it comes to gear.

Second, a good paddle is important because—even without a proper court—you can get started working on the paddle's feel and your ability to juggle the ball. The Carbon STK's carbon-fiber textured surface and premium material means you'll be able to get some solid spin, all while reducing any intrusive vibration. Its non-slip, comfort grip makes it easy to control and the rugged edge protection band means this paddle will last year after year.

We like this option for beginners and pros alike.

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2. Pickleball Net

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Franklin Sports

In order to start playing a real, competitive game, you'll need a net. This option from Franklin is easy to assemble and convenient to transport thanks to its well-built carry bag with two built-in ball pockets. Its sturdy powder-coated steel frame is also super durable and weather resistant, so it can be left set up in most conditions (but it's still easy to take apart and bring with you on the go).

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3. A Court Marker Kit

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Franklin Sports

A great piece of gear that can take the headache out of finding a proper court, Franklin's court marker kit allows you to start playing almost anywhere. The bright, flexible markers can be laid out in minutes and easily transported to another location. Plus, the material is surface wipeable for easy cleanup. Reminder: All you need is a playing surface of 30 feet by 64 feet to create your own pop-up pickleball court.

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4. Pickleballs

franklin pickelballs
Franklin Sports

What's pickleball without the, uh, pickleball? The X-40 from Franklin is the official ball of USA Pickleball and the US Open Pickleball Championships. Using an advanced single-piece design, this ball will withstand hours of play and has a smooth flight path thanks to the precision of machine-drilled holes. Perfectly weighted and sized, these balls are our go-to for every game.

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5. Pickleballer

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Franklin Sports

“If you do the work, you get rewarded. There are no shortcuts in life.” This quote from Michael Jordan is a great reminder that playing the game is only part of honing your craft as an athlete. You've also got to spend some time in the lab.

Franklin's easy-to-assemble pickleball tosser can hold up to 15 pickleballs at a time and will automatically launch them every 8-9 seconds. Practice your topspin, sidespin, backspin, serve receive, volleys and dinks with ease. We also like the sturdy, lightweight design and that you can power it by either batteries or an attached adapter for at-home or on-the-go use.

Now, all that's left is to get that practice in and make sure you're fully prepared to take the court.

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