Frustrated By Crowded Pickleball Courts? Now You Can Play Pickleball At The Beach, Park, And Even Your Own Back Yard!
What was once considered a retirement activity, pickleball has become popular among Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X players, joining their Baby Boomer parents & grandparents on the courts of what is now the fastest growing sport in America.
As pickleball has exploded over the past several years, city planners have scrambled to keep up with demand for public courts, and private pickleball clubs seem to be popping up everywhere. Even posh tennis clubs are answering the bell, responding to the steady decline in tennis popularity by converting some of their courts to accommodate the “new kid in town“.
Meanwhile, three friends in Provo, Utah had become frustrated waiting their turn on the overcrowded local courts. In an attempt to solve the problem, they bought a portable pickleball net and set it up in the grassy park next to their office. Because a pickleball doesn’t bounce well on grass, a few modifications would have to be made. As they experimented on the grass and in the park’s sand volleyball court, they adjusted the standard pickleball rules to accommodate for these soft surfaces. It soon dawned on them that they had just created a modified version of pickleball that could open up virtually unlimited court-space, and it was in that moment that the new sport “Sandy Pickle” was born.
Why “Sandy” and not “Grassy” Pickle?
Two of the three partners grew up near the beach, one in Destin, Florida, and the other in Orange County, CA. While they agreed that their new game was equally as fun on grass, the beach has always been a “happy place” for the trio. In essence, a successful Sandy Pickle launch could be their ticket to spending time on beaches all over the world. Can you blame them?
Business or Hobby?
To be fair, the three friends were originally just looking for a way to get outside and play pickleball without competing for courts. It was only after friends and passers-by showed genuine (and sometimes passionate) interest in their new game that they realized what was happening. Somebody suggested launching a Kickstarter campaign which they did, and after reaching their funding goal, it was game-on. They formed a company, vetted manufacturing partners, and turned crowded court lemons into a lemonade business!
For more information about Sandy Pickle, upcoming events, or to order a game set, please visit sandypickle.com.
Play Beach Pickleball with Sandy Pickle!
On our first introduction to pickleball, we were hooked. The only complaint was that our local courts were too crowded, so we bought a portable pickleball set with the intention of playing in the office parking lot. As we set it up for the first time, we wondered out loud what it would be like to play pickleball on the grass or at the beach. As we sought to find out, the game now known as “Sandy Pickle” was born!
The two biggest issues we faced as we began our test were, 1) A pickleball doesn’t bounce on grass or sand, and 2) Without a bounce, kill shots were too easy on a 3 foot net. We began modifying the court size, net height and official pickleball rules, and before long we had created a version of pickleball that was fun to play on ANY surface.
“So You Want To Play Pickleball On The Grass?“
Sandy Pickle was actually the result of our experience trying to play pickleball during the pandemic. The public courts were always busy, so we bought a portable pickleball game and set it up on the park grass. We immediately learned that without a bounce, a 3′ net was too low…kill shots were too easy. The next day we raised the net height by replacing the poles from our set with a couple 6′ sections of sprinkler pipe (PVC). With a taller net the game was fun, but it was no longer “pickleball”.
As we continued playing we made a few more modifications and soon realized what had just happened…we had just modified pickleball into a game that could be played anywhere…in the park, at the beach, and in the yard!
“So, It’s Like Pickleball?“
Yes and no. Both games are played with standard pickleball paddles and a regulation outdoor ball, but Sandy Pickle is played on the grass or sand. While many of the rules remain the same (or at least similar), the primary differences are outlined below:
The following instructions and tips are intended to help our new game owners set up, play, and pack up their Sandy Pickle set. If after reviewing the information on this page you still need help, or if you have tips that you’d like to share with other players, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org