Building Your Own Pickleball Court Can Be An Easy DIY Project

Building Your Own Pickleball Court Can Be An Easy DIY Project

Randy Futty home court

Randy Futty home court

For years, pickleball players on a tight budget who wanted to build a pickleball court were forced to buy whatever exterior grade paint the counterperson at the local home improvement store recommended. Since the paint products sold in the consumer marketplace do not hold up to the foot traffic and UV degradation that pickleball courts experiences on a daily basis, this created many unsatisfying results.

When the USAPA asked California Sport Surfaces if they could formulate a ready-to-use, do-it-yourself, pickleball surface that homeowners, church groups, and pickleball clubs could use to turn their driveways, parking lots and patios into playable courts, California Sports Surfaces challenged their chemists to create a consumer-ready, easy to apply, and long lasting textured coating. The result was PicklePave Court Surfacing, the Official Do-It-Yourself pickleball court surface of the USAPA.

Randy Futty, VP of California Sport Surfaces, felt it was important to personally test out the new formulation when it was first created, so decided to use his own driveway as his “petri dish.” Together with his wife, he spent a weekend turning their driveway into a beautiful emerald green pickleball court.

Driveway prep

Driveway prep

Since a 22’ x 40’ pickleball court wouldn’t fit in their space, Randy scaled down the court’s playing lines to 16’ x 26’. To create the court, they first treated and scrubbed two oil spots from the asphalt.  A solution of Dawn dishwashing liquid and a stiff scrub brush did the trick. Then they power-washed the area to be coated, allowing the driveway to dry overnight.

First coat of paint

First coat of paint

The next morning they located the corners of the court and snapped chalk lines for the sidelines, service line and kitchen. After following the PicklePave mixing directions, they poured out some of the ready-to-use acrylic paint and rolled the first coat onto the court.

Final Coat and Lines

Final Coat and Lines

After applying a second thin coat and letting it dry overnight, they re-marked the playing lines with a chalk line,  then taped and trimmed the line tape, added a coat of Line Rite Tape Sealer, and hand-painted the playing lines. The only thing left was to peel up the tape around the lines and the court was complete!

While not tournament approved, the court turned out beautifully and has provided countless hours of fun for Randy’s family, friends and neighbors – so much fun that after playing on his court, two other nearby families installed driveway courts of their very own.

Picklepave Court Surfacing is an excellent surface for any pickleball court, whether indoors or outdoors. Pickleball Central’s sister company, Pickleball Station, selected a commercial version of PicklePave called PlexiPave for our four state-of-the art indoor courts. Since opening in May 2017, Pickleball Station’s courts have received excellent reviews from the many players making Pickleball Station their home court of choice.

Pickleball Station courts

Pickleball Station Courts

For people looking for a pristine, smooth, and perfectly level court, Randy recommends working with a certified court builder. But for those looking to create a place to play the game you love on a tight budget, you can quite easily turn your driveway into a pickleball court. To watch a video showing step-by-step instructions for how to surface your own courts, visit our PicklePave court surfacing product page to learn more.

 

Meet The Pros – Tim MacVinnie

Meet The Pros – Tim MacVinnie

Tim MacVinnie

Tim MacVinnie

Tim MacVinnie is seriously on the fast track to Gold at Nationals. Keep your eye out for him on the winners podium. Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

I started playing tournaments in January of 2016 at the 4.5 level. I won men’s gold and mixed silver at the Cascade Cougar Classic, followed that up with 2 more men’s golds at my next two tournaments (Battle of the Paddle and International Indoor Pickleball Championships). I then got my 5.0 ratings and won men’s Gold at a small but super fun tournament in Helix, Oregon. Since then I’ve won 3 more golds and 2 silvers in the local tournaments in the Vancouver, BC area.

What paddle do you play with and why?

I’ve pretty much been a Selkirk player only and started out with the Enrique Ruiz 30 PXL. I’m now currently using the Selkirk Pro S1G+ and love it.

Enrique Ruiz Signature 30P-XL Epic Graphite Paddle

Enrique Ruiz Signature 30P-XL Epic Graphite Paddle

What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

My racquet background is from squash. When I started working with our municipal Parks & Recreation department I was at a center running a squash league and quickly started playing. As the years went by I continued playing until about 2 years ago when I hurt my hamstring. It took about 6 months to recover from and combined with the wear and tear on my knees from squash I transitioned to pickleball. I had already been playing pickleball with patrons at the center for about 2 years but never took it seriously, rather just a way to have fun and socialize. Once I started taking it seriously I got hooked pretty quick and was playing as many tournaments as I could get in to.

What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?

Living in the Northwest we have to play inside, but usually can’t wait for the good weather to go outside. I don’t really have a preference, other than getting good, competitive and fun games in.

Team Selkirk at the 2017 Canadian Nationals

Team Selkirk at the 2017 Canadian Nationals

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I am pretty much only a doubles player as the singles game looks like it would just aggravate my knees/hamstring. The singles game is drastically different and without a tennis background I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

I’m still trying to learn the game and improve to the point where I can not only compete with the big fish, but start to beat them sometimes. As far as any tips, personally I try to tell players (especially newer ones) to really work on their footwork. I often find lazy or poor footwork leads to many of my errors in games and it’s always a challenge to constantly be focused (part of the lure of the game!).

What’s your day job?

Like I mentioned above, I work in a Recreation Center and I specifically run our gymnasium programs which obviously include pickleball!!! There are many days when I’m getting paid to play pickleball. : ) I also teach pickleball lessons outside of my work hours.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

I usually only play about twice a week on average for about 5 hours. I know others who play a lot more, but sometimes life gets in the way. I believe it’s important to have quality play over quantity so I feel like my game isn’t ever regressing.

Int'l Indoor Pickleball Championship Men's Doubles age 35+ winners: Shane Denning, Nicklaus Williams (gold). Tim MacVinnie, Patrick Williams (silver). Hillbilly Spivey, Sugar Shayne R. Johnson (bronze).

Int’l Indoor Pickleball Championship Men’s Doubles age 35+ winners: Shane Denning, Nicklaus Williams (gold). Tim MacVinnie, Patrick Williams (silver). Hillbilly Spivey, Sugar Shayne R. Johnson (bronze).

Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?

As far as personal goals, I really want to medal in a Nationals/State level tournament in the US. There are so many good players and deep draws in the bigger tournaments that medal in one of those would be a great accomplishment.

2017 Canadian Nationals Men's Doubles Open: Bronze, Tim MacVinnie/Marco Jankowiak

2017 Canadian Nationals Men’s Doubles Open: Bronze, Tim MacVinnie/Marco Jankowiak; Silver Tyson McGuffin/ Mat Goebel; Gold Ben Johns/ Kyle Yates

A New Age in Pickleball

Pickleball is unique in three ways:

1) It has the lowest barrier to entry of all paddle and racquet sports.

2) It largely removes advantages coming from age, gender and even athletic ability. And…

3) It has developed a unique culture where both friendship and activity intersect.

The paddle and underhand serve to lower the barrier to entry. The low bouncing ball and non-volley zone mitigate discrimination. The small court and preference for doubles and “groupy” nature encourage socialization.

But the aspect of age discrimination is eroding. And I think that’s good news for the sport.

Dave Weinbach

Dave Weinbach has won gold in Mens Doubles during both Pickleball US Opens

The inevitable rise of younger players to the top of this sport is near; this is wonderful for everyone and humbling for some, including me. Three years ago Brian Staub, at 56 years old, won Nationals with Phil Bagley (Phil was in his 40s). Two years ago Steve Dawson and his son Callam took silver in the Nationals. Steve was 50.

But in 2016, no player over 50 even medaled in the top three Mens Open tournaments in the nation. Dave Weinbach appears ageless on the court and demonstrates that a player in their 40s can still prevail in the highest levels of play.

I predict that, within 3 years, no player over 50 will ever medal again in the biggest men’s doubles events (except within age brackets). Sad for some. But great for the sport and for the many young players who enjoy it immensely. The sport which works so hard not to discriminate against age is finally giving way.

Kyle Yates

22-year-old Kyle Yates was Dave’s partner for both Opens

Even the USAPA cannot dictate a low enough bouncing ball to stop this train!

Kyle Yates, Ty McGuffin and Ben Johns love the sport and now own it. Seniors like me do our best to simply acknowledge and celebrate this trend. Younger players bring a thrill to the sport that is exciting. And I am a happy resident of Realville!

Pickleball rallies conclude with all four players at the kitchen line. Typically, a popped up ball and lightening fast exchange concludes the point. Suffice to say, youth will prevail in these exchanges.

What are your thoughts on pickleball’s growing trend of favoring younger players?

Meet The Pros – Matt Schiller

Meet The Pros – Matt Schiller

US OPEN Gold - Matthew Schiller and Chris Zeilinga

US OPEN Gold – Matthew Schiller and Chris Zeilinga

Found on Facebook, July 17: “Big thanks to Matt Schiller for putting together the Rumble tournament yesterday. I was thoroughly ‘rumbled’ and humbled with so many great games with awesome players. Lots of fun! Thanks to John and Matt for your hard work and to all the players who made it happen! What a fantastic social game we play – Cindy Carlson!”

Matt Schiller is another tennis pro turned pickleball pro. He knows how to put on a great tournament and he has a good sense of humor. Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

I finished 3rd in the 5.0 US Open last year with Rick Witsken, and we both had just started playing before the event. It was a great event and we really were just learning the rules and strategy as we were participating in it. This year I finished first in the U.S. Open 35 with Chris Zeilinga in his first tournament and my second. I’m new to the scene but hopefully can place well in the future.

What paddle do you play with and why?

I play with the Paddletek Tempest. I saw Dave Weinbach hit a shot with it that I hadn’t seen come off the paddle, so I thought I’d try it. Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to replicate his shot! But I like the paddle. It’s light and has some extra feel.

What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I was introduced to pickleball last year by Rick Witsken, John Moorin and Chris Zeilinga, all of whom are excellent players in the Indianapolis area. I played for about six weeks before the 2016 U S Open, then did not play again until near the beginning of this year because I also compete nationally in tennis. We have a great group of players 4.0 and above in Indy and I have since played more regularly.

What’s your preference: playing indoors or outdoors?

I think there are more dimensions and variables outdoors so I enjoy the challenge.

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

Definitely doubles. Singles is just a faster version of tennis and I’m not as fast as I used to be.

What’s your favorite place to play? Why?

I have only played a few tournaments. My first one was the US Open in Naples, Florida, which is hot with a ton of players, but there is a feeling of excitement in the air which makes it fun. Another plus is that the beach is close by. The Atlanta “Get off your… and play pickleball” tournament in May has a great venue as well.

What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

Just to stay relaxed when yo’are out there and compete hard. Sometimes easier said than done.

What’s your day job?

A pickleball pro! (I wish.) I am a personal injury lawyer and have several offices throughout the Midwest and am lucky to have a great support team of 7 attorneys and 15 admin.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

In the winter, maybe 8 hours a week. Summer not as much because I try to play some tennis too.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I try to be nice to my partner so they can carry me. 🙂 

Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?

I would like to compete at a high level with some of the better guys. I am patient with my game and this is my first year of competing but I intend to do my best.

Matt schiller, rick witsken chris zeilinga and john moorin

Indy Pickleballers: Rick Witsken, Chris Zeilinga and John Moorin and Matt Schiller

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

I just love the game and hope I can keep improving and stay young enough to compete at a high level. I think the game is changing, and it’s nice to be a small part of it.

Paddletek Offers Players More Reach and Stability with the Helo

The Paddletek Helo is an exciting new addition to the world of elongated paddles. Where similar styles use smaller grips, the Helo provides exceptional cushioning and sturdiness throughout the handle without slowing down response time.

Using a large 4-1/2″ grip with this paddle greatly improves durability since the head-dominant design can cause structural stress along face/grip meeting point. It also gives players greater stability when using a ping pong-style grip with a finger bracing against the face.

The Helo’s 17″ length is still its most notable feature, offering an extended reach that allows players to cover more ground in both singles and doubles. This makes it an ideal pick for intermediate to advanced players who want the ability to reach long shots, as well as beginners who want to become competitive despite limited mobility.

Individuals coming from backgrounds in other racquet sports in particular may find it easier to familiarize themselves with this style of paddle and enjoy the head-dominant design.

The Helo has an oblong sweet spot that runs from the middle of the paddle to the top of its face. Adjusting from a square-shaped paddle to the Helo’s shape can take some adjustment, but once players start hitting in its upper region, they tap into the full reactivity of Paddletek’s ProPolyCore.

This is the same core used in popular paddles like the Element, known for its vibration reduction. This helps prevent “pickleball elbow” and other stress-related injuries. It produces a quiet sound, making it a great fit for communities with noise restrictions. The sturdy polymer honeycomb creates consistency across the paddle and makes it easier to control than harder cores.

Compared to Paddletek’s other elongated paddle, the Horizon, the Helo has a slightly longer but thinner face, providing even more reach. It also weighs more than the Horizon but still lies in a medium range (7.6 – 7.9 oz), giving it extra power in every hit.

Paddletek has taken special care with the appearance of this paddle in addition to how it plays. Where earlier designs would cover the center of the paddle with paint, the Helo keeps the face clear so that it’s easy to tell where the sweet spot is at a glance. This also reduces the weight of the paddle overall to prevent it from running too heavy.Paddletek Helo

The dotted pattern along the sides of the Helo is elegant yet simple, providing a nice complement to Paddletek’s other offerings. It currently comes in blue, raspberry and red colors.

For fans of the Element who want greater versatility, or for those who love longer paddles and want a high level of durability in their paddle, the Helo will be sure to please.

Take a closer look at the Helo’s specs and high-quality construction at PickleballCentral.

Meet The Pros – Scott Moore

Meet The Pros – Scott Moore

Scott Moore is amazing on the pickleball court. He has the love, fear and respect of pickleball players all around the world. We are honored to share some of his pickleball story. Enjoy!

Scott Moore and Natasha Redd Tilley

Natasha Redd Tilley and Scott Moore at the 2017 Erich Schuette Memorial -PTSD awareness Tournament

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2016 USAPA Nationals
   Men’s Doubles with Scott Clayson – Gold
   Men’s Singles 50+ – Gold
   Mixed Doubles 50+ with Mona Burnett – Gold   
   Senior Open Men’s Doubles with Glen Peterson – Gold
   Senior Open Men’s Singles – Gold
   Senior Open Mixed Doubles with Kris Anderson – Gold
2016 Tournament of Champions
   Men’s Doubles Legends Open with Scott Clayson – Gold
   Men’s Singles Legends Open – Gold
   Mixed Doubles Legends Open with Hilary Marold – Gold
2016 US OPEN Mixed Doubles 50+ with Alex Hamner – Gold

Scott Moore with Hillary Marold

Scott Clayson/Alex Hamner, Silver, Hillary Marold/Scott Moore, Gold and Mona Burnett/Larry Moon at 2016 Tournament of Champions

I have won 12 gold medals at the USAPA Nationals, including all 6 events last year, and 7 in a row in the Senior Open divisions. I have won 6 gold medals in a row at Tournament Of Champions, as well as Senior Open Gold in Singles and 50+ Gold in Mixed Doubles with Alex Hamner this year at the US Open. My favorites though may be winning the 5.0 Open Doubles in 2016 and the 19+ Doubles titles in 2016 and 2017 at the Grand Canyon State Games against the young guys. 

What paddle do you play with and why?

I play doubles with the Paddletek Tempest because I believe it has the most feel and control of any paddle in the game, which is invaluable in doubles. I recently changed to the elongated Paddletek Horizon for singles, as I like the extra reach and additional pop I get from that paddle.  I needed something to keep my edge, as the competition keeps getting tougher and tougher every year.  

What’s your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I am extremely grateful for having been introduced to pickleball by my buddy John Foss and to have been given opportunity and the health to truly enjoy it! I got into pickleball about the time our youngest son, Stephen, headed to college, leaving us as empty nesters, and I was feeling pretty down and out about it honestly. The past 4 years of making numerous pickleball friends (from my little buddy Wilsy who is now 9, to several friends that are in their eighties), and all ages in between I have truly been blessed beyond what I could have imagined!  

What’s your preference – playing indoor or outdoor?

I only play outdoors. I always say I am “1 and done” indoors. I played and won the singles in Centralia in 2015, but felt like I had to work twice as hard to get a point, and am getting too old to work that hard. 

Scott Moore in action

Scott Moore in action

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

Until last year I would have said that I liked singles better, as that came very intuitively to me. I love the physicality and speed of the singles game.  But over the past year or so I have grown to love doubles as well, as it is so incredibly strategic. I enjoy more than ever having a partner out there to share the court. So now I probably would say that I probably prefer doubles, especially since it has also been a means of making lots of new friends and I don’t feel as much pressure.   

What’s your favorite place to play? Why?

My favorite place to play is a difficult question, as I have discovered some amazing places to play over the past few years, including the only dedicated court in all of Australia, outside of Brisbane, an improvised court in the south of Portugal, a couple of beauties in Big Sky, but my sentimental favorite would be Palm Creek, where they have 32 dedicated courts and I have won every match I have played over the past 9 national events there (haven’t counted but would guess that is about 45 matches in a row).

Scott Moore at Tournament of Champions

Scott Moore at Tournament of Champions

What’s your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My secret sauce is probably that I thrive on competition and tend to play better under pressure. My tip for players would be to play your heart out, never give up, fully engage mentally, and remember it is only a game and at the end of the day it is all about the relationships, not the wins and losses.  

What’s your day job?

My day job is being somewhat of a serial entrepreneur. I have a couple of businesses in or related to Japan, where we lived for 16 years, including an import company in Tokyo and a consulting business. We also have a decorative concrete business in Colorado Springs, which is perfect as we shut down for the winter every year, so I can travel and do more pickleball related stuff in warmer places during the winter. Lastly, we have a pickleball family business, you can find info about at pickleballtrips.com where Daniel and I conduct intensive camps, and clinics as well as take people around the world on pickleball adventures.  

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

I struggle at times finding enough time to play, and probably do more off court than on court training. On average, I play 6 to 8 hours per week.  I have a couple of guys in Colorado that I train with so I try to schedule the time with them early in the week in order to make sure it happens. 

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I am not big on luck so no rituals other than making sure I really hydrate, eat, and sleep well before big tournaments.  

 Do you have any pickleball goals you’d like to share?

Last year my biggest goal was to win 5 gold medals at the USAPA Nationals. Thanks to some amazing partners I was able to win 6 which was really just a dream.   For 2017 my primary goal would have to be to try to repeat and win 6 at the USAPA Nationals again, as now I realize it is possible.   My other goal would be to beat Simone Jardim in the Battle of the Sexes match that we are playing at Bobby Riggs on October 7th.    

She is truly a fabulous athlete and player, but I plan to rise to the occasion and win one for the old guys. We will have some special entertainment at the event and we will have a doubles battle as well. One more goal will be to make this Battle of the Sexes event the best event of the decade (see pickleballtrips.com for how to watch it live).  

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

Becoming one of the best players in the world, and everything that goes with it has been more fun than I ever thought it could be! “Pickleball has enhanced my life in more ways than I ever could have imagined.  The fact that I got to watch my son Daniel become the best player in the world, and now get to work with him some is truly indescribable. I am blessed beyond what I deserve and often feel like I am living a dream!”    

 Scott Moore, Carl Brumley, and Daniel Moore

The Moore’s have the Midas touch! Three generations of gold at the 2016 #USAPA Nationals. Left to right, Scott Moore, Carl Brumley, and Daniel Moore.

 

The Engage Elite Pro Pickleball Paddle Is Not Just For The Pros

Engage is a well-established manufacturer of pickleball paddles with a successful line-up including the popular Encore series. Recently Engage launched their new Engage Elite Pro pickleball paddle, which turned more than a few heads at the 2017 US OPEN, many of them belonging to pros.

Out of the 48 pro level medals won at the US OPEN, 21 were taken with Engage paddles.

The new Elite Pro was responsible for 9 of them. 

What makes the Engage Elite Pro different?

The Engage designers emphasize three key features that make the paddle unique: the paddle’s skin, shape and positioning of the sweet spot.

“Liquid Graphite” Skin

The Elite Pro was developed using their new “chemically bonded skin” (they call it “liquid graphite”), created to enhance playability, touch, power, control and spin.

This special composite fiberglass skin works well with all types of balls and court surfaces, whether playing outdoors with a Dura ball or indoors with a Jugs ball. With such performance and versatility, players enjoy a versatile paddle they can be used in any situation.

Longer Shape, Bigger Sweet Spot

The shape of the Engage Elite Pro is another distinguishing characteristic. The size of many previous Engage paddles was 15.5 x 8.25 inches. At 16 x 8 inches, the Elite Pro maximizes the USAPA size requirements, providing more length and a taller sweet spot.

The sweet spot was also moved higher on the paddle face, providing more power while still offering control. We’re hearing that this paddle provides a “feel” like no other.

Quiet Core

The Engage Elite Pro is constructed with a polymer core and engineered to create less vibration, helping to keep players healthy and minimize injuries such as tennis elbow. It is also designed to pass the most stringent community noise requirements. It has a 4.25 inch grip circumference, 5″ grip length and comes in a weight range of 7.8 to 8.3 ounces.

Created with input from top players, the initial idea for the Engage Elite Pro paddle began as the signature paddle for pros Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova. Matt and Lucy, along with pros Brian Staub, Ben Johns and many others, are using the Elite Pro with impressive results.

The Engage Elite Pro is currently available in red and white as well as the Lucy Kovalova edition (white with maroon fade) and the Matt Wright edition (navy with yellow fade).

Recreational players shouldn’t let the paddle’s name convince them they can’t use it. The Engage Elite Pro is designed for everyone–the touch player, the power player and those who just want to have fun with a high quality paddle.

Comment from our in-house pros at PickleballStation

“The Elite Pro is definitely a great paddle. It has a lot of power but still feels ‘soft,’ making it easy to control balls and counter slams.”

For more information about this innovative and versatile paddle, see the Engage Elite Pro technical specs.