Ready for a game of pickleball?
January 20, 2024
Have you heard of the fastest-growing sport in America? Pickleball, a cross between tennis, badminton and ping-pong, exploded in popularity during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as a safe way to socialize and stay active while in lockdown. However, the biggest allure of pickleball has long-been its accessibility. Being easy to learn, low-impact and highly social, the sport has become a favorite pastime for individuals of all ages and skill levels. And with over 900 courts in California alone, some of your neighbors are likely avid participants.
Tehachapi pickleball enthusiasts have several options when it comes to playing. While most places locally do require players to bring their own nets, the Latter-Day Saints (LDS) Church has courts where community members often provide nets for shared use. Those seeking an indoor experience can go to the Stallion Springs (SS) Community Center, which is the only facility with indoor courts and free nets to use. West Park has newly painted pickleball lines on the tennis courts, but players need to bring their own nets. Bear Valley Springs (BVS) boasts four courts with permanent nets and often hosts inter-state tournaments, however accessing these courts requires a BVS resident pass, limiting entry to residents and their friends.
Key Budge, Tehachapi City Engagement Specialist and just recently, Tehachapi's official ambassador for USA Pickleball, one of the organizations overseeing the growth of pickleball in America, is a long-time advocate for growing the community's interest in and access to the sport. With a rapid-growing interest in the sport and the smashing success of the city's "Pickleball with Police" event, Budge shared the city's aspirations to establish five permanent pickleball courts in the parking lot of the police station.
For those wondering about the initial investment of getting into pickleball, starter paddles and equipment can range from as little as $30 to $50. Nets run closer to $100, however places like LDS and the SS Community Center already have nets and are a great way to start making pickleballing friends.
To learn more or get involved with the local pickleball scene, visit http://www.tapickleball.net/ or join the Tehachapi Area Pickleball Facebook page. For more information on the BVS courts and club, visit http://www.bvsa.org/amenities/tennis-pickleball.