Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the USA right now and very popular on the Oregon coast. A combination of Tennis, Ping Pong and Paddle Tennis, it is played on a badminton court with the net lowered to 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic baseball (similar to a whiffle ball) and wood or composite paddles.
The sports is being played at every age from a child young enough to hold a paddle to elders spry enough to move a bit on the court.
It’s a fun sport and it’s very social, many people laugh together because it is not only a competitive sport, pickleball is fun.
Lauren Fisher, an avid pickleball player and my winning doubles partner in a tournament a few years ago shares this:
I like that at the beginning, Pickleball had a very short learning curve so that you can get good enough quickly to be able to play with better players. Within a year I felt pretty confident, every time I played I felt like I got better and felt comfortable playing against good players. It’s a game that anyone can play. There is a community around it.
My husband and I went to take a sailing class recently and Dee Turner, the Pickleball tournament organizer of the Seaside Tournament at Thousand Trails RV Park (which has 4 dedicated courts) the last decade was the instructor.
No matter where you go, you can find a pickleball game on public or private clubs (for a $5ish fee) that you can play. Because this writer travels so much I have been able to play all over Oregon and California from Portland to Medford and Yreka to Monterey on dedicated outdoor or indoor Pickleball courts.
In Southern Oregon recently I walked up to the pickleball courts that were adjacent to the tennis courts. There were people walking up to the courts next to me with their tennis racquets asking me why the pickleball players were laughing so much more. I handed one of them my extra paddle and said, come find out. They were hooked in 2 minutes.
Here on the coast, we are still trying to encourage the cities from Astoria to Nehalem to put in public courts or lines on their tennis courts because there are so many locals that live here that have to travel to play on actual pickleball courts.
Other small towns have built entire sets of pickleball courts indoor and outdoor alike with permanent nets. Many Tennis Clubs and Facilities have converted all or a portion of their tennis courts into pickleball courts because of the growing demand that exists.
The biggest complaint is that they are not providing a actual public recreational spot for the growing community of pickleball players here on the coast
In Seaside the Sunset Empire Parks have drawn lines on the public basketball court, and you can rent a net and paddles for $5 per person from the Sunset Empire Parks and Rec to play if there are no basketball players on the court. You may also play on Tuesdays from 10am-noon. Thousand Trails RV Park in Seaside has 4 dedicated courts and it costs $5 to play daily. Manzanita has a growing group of players along with other towns on the coast.
Enthusiastic Pickleball tourists from AZ, WA and CA coming to the Coast are surprised to find that they have to travel to Camp Rilea indoors to play on more than one court on Weds and Sat only on taped basketball courts with portable nets. Yet they are grateful this opportunity exists! The idea of having more than one court and rotating your partners is what helps your skill level grow and have more social interaction with new people.
On a rainy Wednesday this past week at Camp Rilea there were 22 players rotating in on the courts and socializing when they are not playing.
Alice Lane, our North Coast Pickleball Ambassador has worked tirelessly to grow the sport of pickleball here on the coast. She looks forward to working together with the local coast city Mayors and Parks and Recreation districts to continue to grow the sport as the demand from the public and tourists continue to increase.
Someday there will be dedicated courts in a few towns on the coast with white boards of players waiting lists to play just like California and Florida has 7 days a week.
This Weekend is the 1st Annual Beaches and Breakers Pickleball Classic tournament at Seaside Middle School (corner or Hwy. 101 & Broadway) from 9-3pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday if you would like to check out the sport and some of our local players competing.
Today, here is a list of where you can play on the coast:
This website shows where you can play all over the US when traveling:
National Pickleball Organization to learn about the sport.
Sarah Ansboury, a Vancouver, WA based professional player is one of my favorite instructors who holds academy’s and has a ton of videos on YouTube.