If you love playing tennis or other court-based games but you feel they are a bit too tough on your body, then pickleball may be a great alternative.
Pickleball has increased in popularity over the years, and that’s because many people believe that it’s much easier to play than tennis.
But is that really the case? We find out if pickleball is really easier than tennis and what makes them different.
Is Pickleball Easier Than Tennis?
While pickleball may be similar to tennis, it isn’t particularly easier. Both of these sports have their challenges as well as pros and cons.
The Differences Between Pickleball And Tennis
The best way to judge if either tennis or pickleball is easier is by looking at what makes both these sports different.
The Playing Court
One of the (literally) biggest differences between tennis and pickleball is the size of the playing court.
A standard tennis court is 78′ x 27′ which is a lot more ground to cover for players than the much smaller pickleball court at 20′ x 44′.
Saying this, a pickleball court is a similar size as a badminton court, so if you are playing badminton, you may find a transition to pickleball easier.
When it comes to the different playing courts of both sports, you will also need to consider that pickleball is typically played in doubles.
This means you will need to fit four people on a small court. In comparison, there is a lot more space in tennis where you do not always play doubles.
As the size of a pickleball court is so much smaller than a tennis court, you will also have a smaller net.
Saying this, the goal of both games is to get the ball over the net, and the small size of a pickleball field makes for a much more frantic play.
Different Power Output
There is a lot of debate in the pickleball community about hitting the ball as hard as you can.
However, it’s not all about powerful shots. Pickleball also requires its players to hit the ball accurately to land a good shot.
This strategic approach is similar to that of tennis, so there aren’t many differences in the exact power output for tennis or pickleball.
Racquets And Paddles
A pickleball paddle is a solid surface, whereas a tennis racquet has strings that compress when you hit the ball.
This means that the ball can instantly jump off a pickleball paddle, providing a much more powerful shot. Plus, the ball doesn’t stay on the paddle surface long enough to spin (see also ‘Best Pickleball Paddle For Spin‘).
In comparison, the ball stays on a tennis racquet for slightly longer, allowing the ball to spin.
In addition, the typical honeycomb construction of a pickleball paddle has a different feel to a tennis racquet.
However, it’s worthwhile noting that there is no real weight difference between a pickleball paddle and a tennis racquet.
Differences In Complexity
Pickleball seems a much simpler game than tennis. However, there are some complexities with pickleball that don’t make it quite such a straightforward game.
For example, you may win or lose games based on unforced errors. When you play pickle, you need to consider avoiding double faults as well as the no volley zone.
This more strategic approach makes it similar in complexity to tennis.
The Type of Balls
Another big difference between pickleball and tennis is the types of ball you use for both sports.
Pickleball can be played both outdoors and indoors. This means you have two types of balls available which are designed for the right playing area.
However, pickleballs are made of light, durable plastic which has large holes. This design means that a pickleball can be carried away by the wind.
Unlike tennis balls, pickleballs are basic plastic shells that don’t contain any solid material. This makes them also prone to cracking, with a much shorter lifespan.
While pickleball manufacturers started making extra-durable balls, pickleballs are by design less durable than solid tennis balls.
When it comes to the type of movements in pickleball, then it’s a much easier game than tennis.
Saying this, you will still need to move with a lot of agility and flexibility to get to the ball, regardless of whether you are playing pickleball or tennis.
Differences In Physical Activity
With the smaller size of pickleball course, there is a lot less running involved for players. This means that you won’t exert yourself as much as you would with tennis.
While you may not need the same level of physical fitness for pickleball as when playing tennis, you will still need to be careful with how you serve and place your shot.
Differences In Risk Of Injuries
Another difference between the two sports is the way in which you can injure yourself, and how often injuries can occur.
As pickleball isn’t quite as physically active and intense as tennis, players don’t have such a high risk of causing injuries.
However, any type of sports where you need to run around and try to catch the ball can lead to overstretching yourself at that moment. This applies to tennis as well as pickleball.
Differences In Endurance
Both tennis and pickleball require a certain level of fitness and endurance. You will need to move around the court for a specific length of time.
Saying that, many people find tennis easier when it comes to endurance because you can focus on the way you are playing.
However, you will need to run a lot more on a tennis court, so you will need a greater endurance level for tennis than for pickleball.
When it comes to choosing whether pickleball or tennis is easier, then this comes down to what you find easy.
If you prefer to play in a small court and move a little less, then pickleball is better. However, if you want to play with a ball that’s more weather resistant, then tennis is the best option.
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