Pickleball Made Me Do It!


Playing the game inspired three entrepreneurs to create products that make pickleball even more fun.

First Time: Things
An Innovative Vest

An avid pickleball player, Deirdre Gan of Huntington Beach, California, was troubled by the fact that none of her athletic clothes had room for her to hold balls while she played. As an accomplished seamstress who started making her own clothing at age nine, Gan decided to create “a way for players to carry their pickleballs while having freedom of movement.” She tested out fabrics, stitched together the prototype, and invented the Pickleball Pocket Vest, designed to be worn by people of any sex. Made of moisture-wicking polyester knit, with mesh fabric in the back, the vest has back pockets large enough to hold eight pickleballs and small side pockets for lip balm and car keys, and you get to choose between two versions—a white pullover and a black zippered front. ($50 for pullover, $65 for zippered front; pickleballpocket.com)

PLAY BALL The Pickleball Pocket Vest has got your back, thanks to a net-like design that holds extras while you play | Courtesy Rebecca Minna

Courtesy CRBN
The Paddle of His Dreams 

Garrett Gosselin of Newport Beach, California, has a 20-hour-a-week pickleball habit, and he wanted a paddle custom-made to fit his playing style. “I prefer an elongated shape,” he explains, to accommodate a two-handed backhand. “I decided to take matters into my own hands”—and the CRBN paddle was born. Available with a 13mm core for those who love power, or a 16mm core for those who want a bit of a softer feel around the net, the paddle weighs about eight ounces, so it gives players the stability they need at the net for blocking and returning hard-hit balls. ($180; crbnpickleball.com)

A Game-time Organizer 

Playing pickleball gave 72-year-old Barbara Whittaker a chance to flex her entrepreneurial muscles. The retired engineer noticed that when courts were full, “players would just stand around waiting for their turn,” she says, “leading to a lot of confusion” about whose turn was next. So she invented the Pickleball Paddle Play Organizer, which she makes by hand out of PVC board. “Users place their paddles in the holder as they arrive, and the ball slides to the next group of four each time paddles are removed, to indicate who’s next,” she explains. The organizer attaches to chain link fencing for outdoor use; her Tabletop Converter Kit transforms it for indoor play. (Organizer, 16 holes for $85, 20 for $95, 24 for $105; Converter Kit $15; facebook.com/bwhittaker48)

Courtesy Pickleball Paddle Play Organizer

Courtesy Baddle
a chic set

Serve up some style with a paddle that balances power, maneuverability, and design cred. In their first collaboration, Louisville-based Baddle Pickleball has partnered with the iconic brand on the Vera Bradley Collection by Baddle, a trio of floral paddles and cases in three classic Bradley patterns. With the same specs as Baddle’s Pro Circuit model, this USAPA-approved mid-weight fiberglass paddle features a honeycomb core for powerful shots, and hole ventilation for superior hand traction. The paddles and quilted case (sold separately) are only available through the holidays. (paddle $150, cover $30; baddle.com)

Courtesy Baddle