Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleball: How to Prepare for Each Setting
Pickleball is one of the hottest sports in the United States because it’s easy to learn and easy to play. It doesn’t require a lot of strength, skill, or reflexes. And like other racquet sports, there are different kinds of environments when it comes to the courts.
If you’re new to pickleball, you first should know that there are two common types of pickleball: indoor and outdoor. What’s the difference between these two games? How can you prepare for each setting? Which one is best suited to your style of play?
1. Indoor Pickleball
Indoor pickleball is played inside (duh), but there’s more to it. There’s a big difference between the balls used for both games. For indoor pickleball, the ball is lighter and softer. It has larger holes than an outdoor pickleball ball. It’s also easier to control because of its lightness and texture.
However, it cannot be slammed. If you want to play power shots, you’ll struggle to have fun. Indoor balls have more drag, which makes them unsuitable for aggressive, intense play. However, they have more texture. This makes them excellent for spin. You can play longer rallies since the balls are smaller and lighter.
2. Outdoor Pickleball
Outdoor pickleball is played outside (again, duh). The ball is made of smooth plastic and has a heavier, harder build. Owing to its heavy construction, it’s excellent at tackling wind. You can easily play outside without worrying about the wind ruining your game.
Outdoor pickleball balls have more holes in them, usually 40. As a result, they have less drag. You can hit them as hard as you want! Since the ball will come off the paddle faster, you’ll get the satisfaction of delivering kickass power shots.
Recommended: The Rules of Pickleball
3. Preparation, Suitability, and More
Preparation for each setting is very different. If you’re playing inside, set up the court and get right to it. For outdoor play, you’ll need a total playing surface of 30' x 60'. This is the minimum recommended size. You can also go up to 34' x 64'.
Most courts have a concrete or asphalt base. If you’re playing just for fun, these won’t make much of a difference. However, if you plan on competing, review the surface before the game so you have an idea how the ball will react. You can also check out the USA Pickleball Rule Book for more guidance.
If you’re just starting, opt for indoor play, but if you prefer aggressive, intense play, outdoor pickleball is probably your cup of tea. Both games are exciting and fun; however, pickleball is known as an outdoor sport—especially during the warmer months.
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