Participation in pickleball has surged over the recent past, appealing largely to the elder population and former tennis players. Perceived as a threat by tennis industry professionals, pickleball continues to gain high traction among the aging demographic, particularly in developed nations of North America and Europe. On the coattails of the pickleball’s uptake of popularity, several recreation departments and parks are incorporating the sport in their programs, thereby influencing participation and equipment sales.
Easy-to-play rules of pickleball, similar to those of ping-pong, has attracted more individuals toward the sport, from beginners who want to learn new sports to seasoned players who crave the thrill of a competitive play. As the court of pickleball is compact, smaller than that of a tennis court, the gameplay makes participants to play in close proximity, and enables them to have proactive conversations during the play. This has made pickleball to gain popularity as a social activity, thereby fuelling participation in the sport.
A new FactMR study foresees the pickleball equipment market to record an impressive 8.9% value CAGR between the forecast period 2018 and 2028.
Pickleball Equipment Market: Efforts Toward Combating Noise Related Issues to Influence Participation & Demand
Noise issues stemming from pickleball sport have started gaining attention, with residents near pickleball courts even bringing lawsuits against the local government for resolving the issues. Development of quiet paddles is being viewed by manufacturers as a key solution to the problem. High noise from pickleball, on account of plastic ball and hard paddles employed, are being tackled by city courts and retirement communities who are retro-fitting acoustic barriers for alleviating the problem.
Several new pickleball courts are now being constructed with soundproof fences, for minimizing the noise. Moreover, cities and communities are strategically constructed courts far away from residential areas, while, in some cases, limiting late night and early morning playing hours. Recognizing the noise concerns related to pickleball, major stakeholders in the market are marketing their pickleball paddles as “Green Zone” and quiet approved for the noise restricted communities.
Although there are no official noise rating approval for pickleball equipment by relevant governing bodies, such as IPF or USAPA, pickleball clubs and communities have come up with the list of Green Zone & quiet-approved paddles for use in their facilities. These unofficial yet extensive approval lists will continue to influence pickleball paddle developments in the near future.
Opportunities Flourish in Pickleball Sport & Equipment
Pickleball is witnessing a boom, with nearly 40% increase in the sport’s participation in the U.S. alone, according to the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA). Companies manufacturing pickleball equipment, such as Pickle Pro, are opening their own retail stores to boost their sales. Numerous sports equipment manufacturers are leveraging the opportunity, as the sport of pickleball expands beyond Baby Boomers and the retirees. New pickleball peddlers are on the rise, meanwhile well-established sporting goods manufacturers are entering the game.
A number of leading tennis companies are also entering into the pickleball courts, for example, Franklin and Head have their own booths for promoting their products. With the rise in pickleball’s popularity, companies are eyeing to capitalize on latent opportunities that the sport holds. Facilitated game and low-impact attributes of the sport have enhanced its accessibility to participants across all age-groups and athletic skills. Companies, such as Clay, have commenced introducing and selling lifestyle clothing, and are barely keeping up with demand.