KAYSVILLE, Utah (ABC4) — Pickleball, a sport that is a mix between tennis, ping pong, and badminton, is the fastest-growing sport in the nation. And Utah, according to one local professional player, is one of the best places to play.
ABC4’s Kayla Baggerly went to speak to players at The Picklr in Kaysville to find out why this sport is all the rage.
“There’s something about it that’s different from other sports,” pickleball player Mubarak Ukashat said. “It’s the feeling, it’s the energy, you can tell, everybody is getting into pickleball.”
Ukashat said he started playing in 2019 in parks with his family, and now he plays in tournaments regularly.
According to Pickleheads, this is the third year in a row that it’s been the fastest-growing sport in the nation.
“It’s all the rage right now, it’s extremely popular. Here in Utah is one of the best places in the world to play Pickleball,” said Tyler Loong, a professional pickleball player.
Loong said he’s been playing for close to a decade and that he was drawn to it after years of playing tennis at BYU. In singles play, Loong was ranked number seven globally in 2022, according to Backcourt Pickleball.
“They are converting tennis courts to pickleball courts, converting parks and even malls to pickleball courts,” said Ukashat.
Utah is a hotspot for the sport, with hundreds of courts popping up around the state. While other states, such as California and Florida, may have more courts, Pickleheads ranks Utah as the number state in terms of interest in the sport.
One aspect Ukashat said he loves about the game is how you can get the whole family involved.
“There’s this welcoming attitude by everyone and you meet a broad range of people, like people as old as your grandad and young as your kids,” he said.
Getting started is not too hard, you just need a paddle, a ball, and some friends — or you can easily make some new ones as you step out on the court. Kaysville Pickleball players said it’s that supportive community that is the heart of the sport.
“I think one thing you’ll really notice as you go and play in the community and tell them ‘hey I’m trying to learn, I want to grow’ is they’ll grow with you and allow you to grow with them,” said Jorge Barragan, co-founder of The Picklr.
So if you’re looking for a new sport to try this summer, you might want to pick up a paddle and give Pickleball a chance.
“Trust me, try it, you’re gonna love it, it’s one game that keeps your day going,” said Ukashat.
The Picklr, an indoor Pickleball company, has six locations in Utah and one in Colorado, with the Kaysville location being the newest facility. The Picklr recently announced five new facilities coming to Utah and three to Arizona.