Is Pickleball Easier Than Tennis?

Does pickleball genuinely live up to its reputation as the “easier” option? The age-old debate of pickleball vs. tennis is constantly stirring up the racket. If you are also wondering about the increasing buzz around pickleball, this article is for you. We’ll look deep into the dynamics of these two sports to see what sets them apart. Explore with us what makes pickleball so accessible and whether it really gives tennis a run for its money.

Comparing Pickleball & Tennis: Ease Of Play

Yes, pickleball is often seen as more accessible than tennis due to equipment differences, smaller courts, lower net, and underhand serves. Pickleball is also less physically demanding and has a reduced risk of injury. All these aspects make it more beginner-friendly and suitable for people of various ages and fitness levels. Here, we have explained these reasons in detail:

1- Learning Curve

Is pickleball easy to learn? Yes, pickleball is often considered easier for beginners to pick up because it has a simpler set of rules and a smaller court. The lower net height and the use of a paddle, rather than a tennis racket, can make it more accessible to newcomers. In contrast to tennis, where top players often need to begin training in their youth, pickleball allows people to start playing at any stage of life.

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Whereas tennis has a steeper learning curve when it comes to developing advanced skills. The serves, groundstrokes, and volleys in tennis can be technically challenging, and it may take longer to become proficient at these aspects of the game.

2- Equipment & Physical Needs

Pickleball paddles are generally easier to handle than tennis rackets for beginners, and the ball is slower, which can extend rallies. Regarding physical demand, pickleball is generally less physically demanding than tennis. If you have weak knees, your first query will be, “Is pickleball easier on the knees than tennis?

The answer is yes. Pickleball is generally kinder to the knees compared to tennis. The smaller court size means less running and fewer abrupt direction changes, reducing knee strain. Moreover, pickleball’s inclusivity allows individuals of various physical abilities and skills to participate, making it more accessible. In contrast, tennis can be more physically demanding in terms of running, endurance, and agility.

An Apple Health study discovered that pickleball is good for the health of players of all ages. The study revealed that pickleball sessions typically lasted around 9 minutes longer than tennis, totaling 90 minutes. In addition, the study also noted that pickleball’s popularity had been steadily climbing since 2001 and officially overtook tennis workouts in July 2023.

3- Strategy & Control

Tennis and pickleball both require strategy, but tennis can be like chess on a larger board with more shot options. Pickleball’s strategies are more straightforward to get your head around. Moreover, the pickleball’s lighter weight at only 24-25 grams makes it simpler to handle. This significant difference in weight is a big factor in the varying speed capabilities of this game.

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Its hard surface doesn’t spin much, prioritizing bounce and robustness, especially in different weather conditions. In contrast, tennis balls come in at 57-59 grams, with a light and fluffy feel which helps them spin. Considering these differences in strategy and ball characteristics between tennis and pickleball, it’s worth exploring the question, “Is pickleball taking over tennis?”

Is Pickleball Taking Over Tennis?

As the Association of Pickleball Professionals reported, in 2022, over 23.6 million people in the US enjoyed tennis. However, that’s a good chunk less than the whopping 36.5 million who played pickleball. Also, many tennis players are switching to pickleball for various reasons. Tennis can be tough on the body, especially as you age or when injuries come into play. These statistics say a lot about the growing popularity of pickleball.

Wendy Wilmers Longpre, the Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation in East Lansing, has also confirmed the pickleball’s growing popularity. She has stated that pickleball isn’t just gaining popularity locally and nationwide. It’s also kind to the joints, which is great news for the mostly older people who love playing it. Some people also ask whether pickleball might beat tennis as the go-to racket sport.

The number of pickleball players has shot up by nearly 40% in the last two years, and towns are building more pickleball courts, so it’s definitely on the rise. But whether pickleball is really taking over tennis depends on how you look at it. However, no one can deny that pickleball is increasingly favored by older individuals, beginner players, and busy individuals. The game provides them an opportunity for competitive enjoyment without extensive learning, time, expense, or physical strain.

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Is Pickleball Easier Than Badminton?

We have already established that pickleball is popular and easier to play than tennis. But is it more accessible than a popular sport like badminton as well? Let’s see:

1- Court Size, Rules, & Scoring

Pickleball is typically played on a smaller court compared to badminton. This can make it easier for beginners, as it requires less running and covers a smaller area. Moreover, pickleball has simpler rules and scoring compared to badminton. In pickleball, you only need to win points when serving, and there’s less complexity in terms of serving rotations and rules. This simplicity can make pickleball easier to pick up.

2- Equipment & Physical Demands

Pickleball paddles are typically larger and easier to handle than badminton rackets. This can be an advantage for beginners as it provides better control and makes it easier to hit the ball. Furthermore, badminton is known for its fast-paced rallies and requires agility, speed, and good hand-eye coordination. Pickleball is physically less demanding and doesn’t require as much running and jumping, which could benefit those with mobility or fitness limitations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do People Like Pickleball More Than Tennis?

Many people like pickleball more than tennis for a few good reasons. It’s simpler to pick up, suitable for all ages and skill levels, has fewer rules, and works well in smaller spaces. Plus, pickleball is a social, body-friendly, and beginner-friendly sport that’s easy to grasp.

Is Pickleball Easier On Joints Than Tennis?

Yes, pickleball is easier on the joints than tennis. It’s mainly because the pickleball court is smaller, so you don't have to run around as much or make rapid direction changes. This means less strain on your joints compared to tennis.

Is Pickleball The Easiest Sport?

Pickleball is considered the easiest sport for beginner players and older people. It’s simple, has a smaller court, and moves at a relaxed pace. The game’s popularity comes from how easy it is to pick up and how it suits people of various fitness levels.

Is Pickleball Hard To Learn & Play?

Pickleball is a piece of cake to get into. It’s simple, has a smaller court, and goes at a leisurely pace, making it open to everyone, regardless of their age or skill. Moreover, it’s popular because it’s easy to learn, and its social vibe encourages more people to hop in and have a good time.


In the ongoing discussion of whether “pickleball is easier than tennis,” we’ve looked into what sets these two racket sports apart. While personal preference plays a big role, it’s pretty evident that pickleball stands out as a more open and welcoming sport. This is mainly for people worried about knee strain and looking for a game that suits different skill levels. So, whether you’re into tennis’s finesse or pickleball’s magnetic appeal, both have unique attractions, and the final call is all yours to make.

Emma James

A distinguished writer with an impressive 8-year track record of contributing to various prominent informational websites.

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