900 million to survive

Pickleball’s ‘Florida Man.'

PCKL

Good morning. Here’s a stat: we need 23 million square feet of pickleball courts to keep up with demand.

But that’s nothing - just wait until you learn about how much that will cost…

Editor’s notes:

  • We incorrectly attributed Monday’s Tales from the Court; it should have said “courtesy of Paula M.” not Greg K.

  • We want your pickleball opinions! If you have an amazing blog or newsletter segment idea, send us an email.

In This Issue:

🧠The high ball change-up
💸We need more money
🌴Pickleball’s ‘Florida Man’

Let’s get cooking.

Hit ‘em With the Change-Up

It's tough to bury a ball in the summer heat. The hard plastic turns to mush when temps near triple digits.

You can swing at overheads like John Henry driving a nail, but these days it seems like every ball is coming back.

While you've got the other team on the ropes, it can be a good idea to mix in a change-up. Throw an off-speed attack that emphasizes placement over power.

  • Picture this: you've pushed them off the line and are forcing pop-ups.

  • While resetting overheads they are in a defensive posture, ready to block the ball.

  • They use the momentum of your shot to push the ball back over the net.

After two or three go for broke smashes, try slowing down the pace and putting a ball directly at their ankles.

Instead of just blocking the ball, they'll be forced to generate the pace, something that is tough to do while on defense.

Catch them on their heels and end the point without breaking a sweat.

PCKL Pro Series 13 & 16…and Free Balls!

We love a good deal and our friends at PCKL have a heck of a deal for you today. For $135.99 you can get one of their latest carbon face paddles in 13mm or 16mm AND they're throwing in a pack of Elite 40s for FREE.

Use this link exclusive to Dink readers to take advantage of the deal!

Calling All Billionaires

Look, I’ll give it to you straight: we need about $900 million. And by ‘we,’ I mean everyone who wants to play pickleball.

Sports & Fitness Industry Association's (SFIA) research says that’s the amount (in construction costs) needed to keep up with current and future pickleball court demand.

Their estimates say 25,784 courts should do the trick - or over 23 million square feet. That’s 23x the size of this giant warehouse:

Surely we can find room for that? As long as we find the money…

Speaking of which, we have ideas for fundraising. But in the meantime, LA and NYC are going to have to pick up the pace.

According to SFIA’s study, they’re 98% below the national average in terms of dedicated courts per 10,000 people (more city rankings here).

A Historic Stop in Utah

The Tournament of Champions is one of the most storied stops on the pickleball calendar. Hosted in Brigham City, UT it’s a staple in some players’ calendars and one that others have fallen out of love with.

No matter which pros attend, it is hard to find a crowd that represents at an event like the Utah faithful.

This year's TOC will be missing Ben Johns, Anna Leigh Waters, JW and Jorja Johnson along with a couple other top pros. Their loss however could be a gain for the viewer.

The draws will be wide open. It’s an opportunity for those players waiting in the wings to claim PPA gold. Read more about some intriguing matchups here.

  • All events move one day ahead in Utah with singles starting today and the finals on Championship Saturday.

  • Catherine Parenteau returns to play after taking off the last few events. She can make a splash in her return with a triple crown opportunity in play. CP is paired with Tyson McGuffin in mixed and Parris Todd in women's.

  • Riley Newman also has a chance to break his drought of PPA gold. He'll be saddled next to AJ Koller in men's and Jessie Irvine in mixed.

Throw up the stream after you finish the newsletter. Here is where you’ll find it.

Pride of Tampa

Why is it always “Florida Man” who has the best stories? Tampa’s Buddy Hall has one that’s hard to beat.

Buddy’s story begins with a tragedy: a tree stump grinding accident in the 90s left him without a leg.

Now, he’s going through carbon fiber feet every 6 months from how often he plays pickleball. They’re supposed to last 3 years, he tells ABC Action News.

“When you’re his partner, it’s great. When you are not, it’s bad,” a local player said of his skills on the court. Suffice it to say, it’s hard to sneak a ball by Buddy.

Another badass Buddy moment: before receiving health insurance and a high-quality prosthetic, he had to build his own leg.

"I made a PVC leg and cut a furniture leg, and made like a pirate leg. I stuck my stump in there.”

After a couple years playing softball and tennis, and 5 years of convincing from his tennis buddies, he finally gave pickleball a try. The Tampa drop-in scene hasn’t been the same since.

Make Money off Your Home Court

As if you need another reason to add a homecourt to your backyard, now you can share your court with local players when you aren’t using it.

Swimply allows court owners the chance to rent out homecourts and players the opportunity to reserve a private court for their game.

Be the Best Pickleball Host

It’s mid-August - your opportunities for outdoor eating are slipping away, along with your chance to play pickleball outside (unless you’re in the South).

Why not combine interests? It’s prime time for a pickleball-themed barbecue or potluck.

We’re not in the catering business, but these menu possibilities write themselves:

  • Baseline bruschetta

  • Serve and sizzle fajitas

  • Smash sliders

  • Nasty Nelson’s nachos

  • Shake-n-bake grilled chicken

Don’t forget: plenty of dink drinks. We’ll leave those to your imagination.

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