Is fashion a big deal on the pickleball court? Shorts and an old t-shirt are the common pickleball attire in our neighborhood. What matters more than fashion when playing pickleball is social chemistry. That’s the conclusion I came to after talking with Suzanne Schell, owner of Laguna Del Sol, a clothing-optional resort in Northern California.
Pickleball was introduced at Laguna Del Sol two years ago by two couples who discovered the game in Arizona and brought it back home to share with friends at Laguna Del Sol. They taped off a portion of a tennis court, rigged up a net and started playing. This new sport attracted attention and soon spare paddles were made available for “newbies” to pick up and learn the game. To keep up with the growing demand, more courts were soon necessary. Just like new pickleball communities everywhere, there was concern from the tennis players around the issue of pickleball noise. Now, two years later, there are four beautiful pickleball courts that are fully used every weekend with a group always waiting on the sidelines to play.
Laguna Del Sol is a family resort. Just like pickleball playing families across the USA, at Laguna Del Sol kids play pickleball with grandparents. The only difference is what people are wearing, or not wearing.
The friendly pickleball spirit combined with the freeing and equalizing effect of nudity tends to make for a very welcoming accepting pickleball community. The Laguna Del Sol pickleball group will regularly have pot lucks together after resort tournaments. They collaborated in purchasing and sharing pickleballs for the resort and have worked together to build several shade structures near the pickleball courts.
I asked Suzanne about playing pickleball without an athletic support for men or running bras for women. She said there are many variables in what people wear playing pickleball. Depending on the weather, the pickleball players are often a mix of clothed and unclothed people. On a cool day she may wear a pickleball t-shirt and when she’s warmed up, she may take it off. Other days it’s very hot out and more people wear clothing to wick the moisture away from their bodies. Of course in the winter, everyone is clothed.
Pickleball is growing and more people look for resorts that offer pickleball. If you’re in Northern California and looking for a place to play pickleball and a little adventure, consider a visit to Laguna Del Sol. They have an orientation tour and you can purchase a day pass to try out a nudist experience. Laguna Del Sol also offers a variety of overnight accommodations and RV and camping sites.