Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the US and there are new pickleball courts popping up all over. But with so much demand for court space, players are coming up with new ways to play pickleball on temporary courts.
Some players adapt existing tennis or badminton courts while others use any available piece of flat ground to set up a game.
For both of these scenarios, you need a portable pickleball net that can be easily put together and then packed away after play.
Are you looking for a net so you can set up games in your yard or local tennis courts?
Or maybe you own or manage a facility and want to add pickleball to your offering?
You might even be a PE teacher looking to introduce your students to the most entertaining game they’ll ever play!
But with so many pickleball nets out there, how do you pick the right one?
Read on for our full rundown of everything you need to know before you buy.
How to Choose the Best Nets for Pickleball
As there are so many different pickleball nets on the market, it’s important to make sure you have an idea of what to look for before you make a purchase.
There are a number of important criteria to keep in mind, so we’ve distilled our advice down to seven top tips for buying a pickleball net.
- Regulation size
First up, make sure the net you choose is actually made for pickleball.
A regulation size pickleball net is 22 feet long from end to end. The height off the ground must be 36 inches (3 feet) at the side posts, and 34 inches in the middle. This 2 inch difference in height is caused by a small amount of sag.
Unless you’re specifically buying a mini net, then your pickleball net should match those measurements.
- Ease of assembly
It’s crucial that the pickleball net you choose is easy to assemble. It should also be easy to disassemble and pack away after a session on your newly-made court.
Some fold-out systems are more complicated than others. So bear this in mind, or you’ll regret it when you’re entangled in a half-dismantled pickleball net as the thunderclouds roll in!
- Portability and weight
The point of this type of pickleball net is to be able to move it around and set it up anywhere, so portability is key. The lighter the better, as you’re going to have to move it in and out of your car and out onto the courts.
The whole net assembly should fit into its carry bag neatly and without a struggle. Many offerings also incorporate wheels in the carry bag, so you can save all your energy for game play.
- Quality of materials
Before you invest in a pickleball net, make sure that the materials used are up to the task. For example, aluminum is super lightweight, but not suitable for load-bearing areas as it bends easily.
Look for systems that have a mix of steel for structural stability and aluminum to keep the overall system light and easy to assemble.
Sports equipment can get lots of use, and the day-to-day action of folding up a portable pickleball net causes a lot of wear and tear on the hinges and other moving parts.
Look for systems made from durable materials and be sure to follow the care instructions for proper storage and maintenance.
Also, If your pickleball net is likely to be outdoors a lot of the time, look for one that is weather-resistant. But beware that even if a net is labeled weather resistant, you should put it away after each use and avoid excess exposure to the elements for best life.
- Customer reviews
You check the ratings before you watch a movie or TV series, right? Well, do the same when researching which net to buy!
Trust in your fellow players and study the reviews, they are the best place to find out about how each pickleball net performs in the real world. You’ll soon find out if a particular offering has any weaknesses or faults, and you’ll be fully informed of what to look out for when it comes to choosing.
- USA Pickleball approval
Finally, it’s a great idea to check that the pickleball net you’re going to buy is USA Pickleball approved. USA Pickleball is the national governing body for pickleball, whose mission is to promote the sport and provide players with official rules, tournaments and rankings.
If they give a net their seal of approval, you can trust that it meets high standards..
We’ve kept all these factors in mind when creating our own line of OnCourt OffCourt pickleball nets. They’re the result of years of careful design and testing – and made for serious players.
Over the years, our flagship PickleNet Deluxe has become the best selling pickleball net in the country, and is not only approved by USA Pickleball, it’s their official net. OnCourt OffCourt’s patented PickleNet Deluxe on wheels has become a favorite for players because of its portability and quality construction.
Weighing in at only 42 lbs, but built with high-quality powder coated steel on the end components and aluminum oval shaped frames, this net is built to last. It’s also easy to assemble, and packs away neatly into a durable bag.
But don’t take our word for it, have a look at our customer reviews – remember it’s one of the keys to success!
Choosing the Best Pickleball Net
That concludes our tips on how to choose the best pickleball net on the market. To recap, make sure the pickleball net you choose is easy-to-assemble and portable if you need it.
Choose nets that are durable and made from high-quality materials. And always check to confirm that they are regulation size and approved by USA Pickleball.
And remember to read customer reviews, often those will give you the best insights from fellow players. You’ll be able to confirm the pickleball net is easy-to-use and that it holds up over time.
So whether you’re setting up a makeshift court on your driveway or playing at the local tennis club, we wish you many hours of happy pickling!
Kalindi Dinoffer is trained in multiple aspects of mindfulness in life and in sports, sharing on her blog MindfulKalindi.com. She is also certified to teach yoga, fitness, reiki, and MFR. Kalindi also serves as VP marketing at OnCourtOffCourt.com, a leading supplier of tennis, pickleball, fitness and yoga training aids and equipment and has been published in Tennis industry Magazine and Pickleball Magazine, and has conducted workshops at conferences around the world. In her spare time, Kalindi plays tennis, pickleball and table tennis and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and biking and cross country skiing in the winter.