If you play ping pong (or more properly, table tennis) and are at all proficient, you will love the game of Pickleball! I took an old ping pong buddy of mine out for his first introduction to Pickleball the other day and after about ten minutes he exclaimed, “Wow! It’s like playing ping pong, but I’m running around on the table!” While he was planning on building a tennis court on his property, he has switched his plans to a Pickleball court after only a half hour of play.
Why was he able to embrace the sport so quickly? Because a decent ping pong player already has several skills that are basic to Pickleball.
- Familiarity with handling a paddle which is similar in shape to a ping pong paddle and has a solid face, unlike most other stringed racquet sports. (A Pickleball paddle is larger however.)
- Pickleball baseline shots (both chop/drop shots and topspin pace shots) are similar to ping pong shots and come easily to good ping pong players.
- If spin shots are a part of your ping pong game, they will be a helpful part of your arsenal in Pickleball.
- While you can’t “come to the net” in ping pong, your ping pong chop shots and top spin pace shots will come in very handy at the Pickleball net.
Advantages Of Pickleball Over Ping Pong
- Pickleball is better exercise since it is played on a much larger surface than around a ping pong table. It also requires more range of motion since you are regularly making shots both at your feet and over your head.
- Pickleball is played in the great outdoors! (It can also be played indoors, of course, and ping pong can also be played outdoors, but that is the rare exception.)
- Meet lots of fun people! (This is also possible with ping pong. But as a rule, Pickleball is an extremely social game where it is easy to show up as a single player and immediately be invited in to the rotation among other players. This is one of the best aspects of the “culture” of Pickleball.)