How Much Do You Spend on Pickleball Annually

How much do you shell out every year for your pickleball hobby? With paddles, balls, shoes, and court time, costs can really add up! 💸 But pickleball doesn’t have to break the bank. Read on for pro tips, average spending ranges, and ways to save! 

Primary Pickleball Expenses

Below are the main items pickleball players spend money on annually:

♦️ Court Time

Gaining access to a pickleball court is typically the biggest expense for casual and competitive players alike. There are several options to secure court time:

  • Public Courts – Free outdoor courts at community parks, schools, rec centers. May require membership.
  • Private Clubs – Join a club with indoor/outdoor pickleball courts. Average monthly dues $50-$100.
  • Court Rentals – Reserve a court at an hourly rate. Indoor around $20/hr, outdoor around $10/hr.
  • League Registration – Structured match play against others. Registration fees average $50-$100 per season.

A dedicated pickleball player may spend $500-$2,000+ per year on court time by utilizing a combination of these options. Those who play multiple times per week will be on the higher end.

🥏 Paddles

Quality pickleball paddles range widely in price from $50 for a basic wood paddle up to $300 for a high-end graphite or composite paddle. The average paddle costs around $150. Avid players may own 2-4 paddles for different playing styles and conditions. Replacing 1-2 paddles per year would cost $100-$600.

🎽 Apparel & Shoes

Moisture-wicking shirts, shorts, skorts, shoes and other gear make playing more comfortable. Expect to spend $100-$300 annually on apparel basics. Higher for frequent players or those wanting more premium styles. Shoes average $50-$100 per pair if bought specifically for pickleball.

⚽️ Balls

Outdoor pickleballs get damaged frequently, so players consistently purchase replacements. Buying a dozen new balls every 1-2 months would cost $100-$300 per year. Bulk packs bring down the per ball price.

🧳 Tournament Expenses

For competitive players, traveling to pickleball tournaments triggers additional expenses like registration fees, hotel, airfare/gas, food, etc. Even regional tournaments may run $500+ for a weekend when including all costs. Nationals and other destination tournaments cost considerably more.

📝 Lessons

Taking lessons from a certified pro is a smart investment for rapidly improving skills. Lessons range from $50-$100 per hour. Taking weekly or bi-weekly lessons could easily exceed $1,000 annually. Group lessons are most affordable.

Additional Pickleball Costs

Here are other miscellaneous expenses that can increase spending:

  • Net system – $100-$200
  • Ball machine – $900-$2,500
  • Club membership dues – $100-$300
  • League registration fees – $50-$100 per season
  • Protective eyewear – $20-$40
  • Grips, overgrips, and edge tape – $20+
  • Bags and backpack – $50+
  • Coolers, towels, hats – $50+
  • Pickleball instructional books, videos – $30+

What Is the Average Annual Spend?

With so many variables, pickleball budgets vary widely. Here are some estimates for average annual spending based on player type:

  • Casual Player – Plays 1-2 times per month, mostly outdoor free courts. Basic equipment. $200-$800 per year.
  • Intermediate Player – Plays 2-3 times per week. Uses paid court time. Participates in a league. Has proper gear. $1,000 – $3,000 per year.
  • Advanced Player – Plays 4-6 times per week. Belongs to a private club. Owns high-end equipment. Plays regional tournaments. Takes lessons. $3,000 – $7,000+ per year.
  • Elite Player – Plays daily. Top-tier equipment. Frequent destination tournaments. Intense training. $10,000+ per year.

As your skill progresses, so will your expenses. But getting started in pickleball can be very affordable. Opting for public courts, inexpensive equipment, and playing mainly for fun will keep costs down.

7 Tips for Saving Money on Pickleball

Here are some savvy ways to enjoy pickleball on a budget:

  • Use free public pickleball courts whenever possible
  • Start with an inexpensive wood paddle
  • Buy bulk packs of basic indoor balls
  • Wear general athletic clothes and cross-trainers instead of specialized gear
  • Split court time and share balls with other players
  • Borrow or buy used equipment from other players
  • Take advantage of low-cost group lessons

Frequently Asked Questions: Pickleball Costs

Here are answers to some common pickleball budget questions:

How much does a good paddle cost?

A good beginner or intermediate paddle costs $75-$150. High-end graphite or composite paddles for advanced players run $150-$300+.

What is the average cost of pickleball lessons?

Private lessons from a certified pro average $50-$100 per hour. Group lessons typically cost $25-$40 per person per session.

How much do pickleball balls cost?

Outdoor balls cost around $3 each, or less when buying bulk packs. Indoor balls cost $1-$2 per ball.

How much does it cost to build a pickleball court?

Outdoor pickleball courts cost $15,000-$25,000 on average. Indoor courts cost $35,000-$60,000.

Do you need special shoes for pickleball?

While any athletic shoe works, shoes designed for pickleball provide better traction and support for $50-$100 per pair.

How much does it cost to enter a tournament?

Local and regional tournament entry fees are usually $25-$75 per event. Larger national tournaments cost up to $200+ to enter.

Should I take private or group lessons?

Group lessons are more affordable at $25-$40 per session. Private lessons provide focused 1-on-1 instruction for $50-$100 per hour.

Final Takeaways: Budgeting for Pickleball

Pickleball can fit any budget. With free public courts and basic equipment, new players can get started for under $200 per year. At the high end, passionate competitors spend $10,000+ annually on premier gear, lessons, court time and tournament travel.

Know your goals and playing frequency. Be smart about choosing paid court time and instruction to improve your skills. Take advantage of bulk pricing on equipment. Focus first on proper technique before expensive paddles and gear. With the right balance, pickleball can be enjoyed affordably for exercise and recreation.

Summary of Pickleball Costs

  • Court time is the biggest expense, ranging $500-$2,000+ annually
  • Quality paddles average $150 each, replacing 1-2 yearly
  • Apparel and shoes add up to $100-$300 per year
  • Budget $100-$300 annually for new pickleballs
  • Tournaments cost $500+ when including fees, travel, etc.
  • Lessons to improve skills range $50-$100 per hour
  • Expect additional expenses on accessories and equipment
  • Casual players spend around $200-$800 per year
  • Intermediate players average $1,000-$3,000 in annual costs
  • Advanced players spend $3,000-$7,000+ due to frequent play
  • Elite competitors invest $10,000+ per year on their sport

With smart choices, pickleball can fit into any recreational budget. Prioritize free public courts, take some lessons, buy quality paddles and balls, and enjoy rapid improvement in this fun, social sport.

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