Pickleball popularity picks up in Surrey (with video)

Editor’s note: Summer is here and it’s time to get out and enjoy this special time of the year. In this series, the Now offers you some unique sporting ways to experience summer without leaving town.

SOUTH SURREY — What would you get if you created a sport like table tennis on a badminton or tennis court? That’s exactly what you’ll find if you play pickleball.

The sport was invented by a senator who lived on Bainbridge Island, WA, who was playing tennis with his grandchildren when he noticed the court was too big. They found there was too much ground to cover and they spent more time getting the ball than playing the game.

By making the court six to eight times smaller and lowering the net to three feet, the senator created a game that doesn’t restrict players on age, height or gender.

Chuck LeFaive, founding director of the B.C. Pickleball Association, said it is a very fast game that requires quick thinking and movement.

"Pickleball is a very active, fast-paced game…. You are able to hit the ball back and forth with tremendous pace. You have to have very fast reflexes to return it," he said.

(Scroll to bottom to view a pickleball instructional video posted to Youtube)

Pickleball is a good sport for people looking to maintain or lose weight, he said, because it has equal or better calorie burn than similar sports, such as badminton or squash.

The sport is played with an oversized table tennis paddle attached to the handle of a tennis racquet. Also, instead of using a tennis ball, pickleball is played with a wiffle ball.

Similar to tennis, you also use a number of techniques to hit the ball into an area where your opponent is not.

"The emphasis is on the rally," said LeFaive. "You use forehands and backhands and you use overhead slams and you use lobs and you use all sorts of different moves so you can confound your opposition."

The founding director of the association also said that seniors have taken strongly to the game, and that it doesn’t have limitations to people who suffer from certain illnesses.

"Some of them have medical issues, like Parkinson’s and whatnot. They come and play and they play well. They don’t have Parkinson’s when they’re hitting the ball," LeFaive said. "We’ve had people with early Alzheimer’s come and play. It’s a very good sport for them if they’ve had some background."

Games generally take around 15 minutes to play, depending if players are playing up to 11, 15 or 21. There is also a win by two points rule.

British Columbia has about 60 pickleball tournaments every year, while there are 10 times as many events in the United States.

GETTING STARTED

The Gear

LeFaive said athletic clothing isn’t necessary to play pickleball and that people could play in trousers if they wanted.

He did say running shoes are needed if playing inside a gymnasium.

The key tool to play pickleball is the racquet. They can be signed out from the registration desk at rec centres, or purchased online or at Docksteader Source for Sports in South Surrey. The cheapest racquets will cost around $80.

Official pickleball wiffle balls can be bought online or at Canadian Tire for $1.50 per ball.

Where to go

Every recreation centre in Surrey except Chuck Bailey has a pickleball program. The largest facility is South Surrey Recreation Centre, where drop-in players can play in the gym or on the outside courts.

Cloverdale and Guildford rec centres also have large pickleball programs.

For more information, see Surrey.ca for program listings or visit Bcpickleball.com.

kyle.benning@gmail.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thomas Dawson Peacock
Surrey man, 32, charged with sexual interference

Incidents alleged to have happened in Surrey and Abbotsford

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region over the last week.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
CHARTS: Weekly COVID-19 case double in Fraser North health area, up 50% in Vancouver

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region.

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Three more Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Elections BC has received a little more than 42,000 vote-by-mail packages from Surrey voters. . (Black Press Media File)
Elections BC has received about 56,000 mail-in ballots from Surrey voters

Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’: Animal activists set to enter not guilty plea in Abbotsford hog farm case

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Dennis Cholowski shows off a Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Blue sneaker, the type of shoe only a true sneakerhead would appreciate. (Facebook photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack Chiefs alum Dennis Cholowski shows off ‘sneakerhead’ collection

The Detroit Red Wing has been spending his NHL paycheques building up an impressive closet of shoes

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Maestro Otto Tausk. (Photo: vancouversymphony.ca)
50/50 lotto players buck up for Metro Vancouver musicians hit hard by COVID

‘Rapidly growing jackpot’ for VSO’s 50/50 draw as they go online with TheConcertHall.ca

Most Read