Pickleball Revolution in Berkeley: Where to Play & Why You Should

Join the pickleball revolution in Berkeley!

Berkeley is known for many cultural revolutions; the Free Speech Movement and California Cuisine quickly come to mind. There's a new movement in town, and though it didn't start here, pickleball fever is spreading.

Some call it the fastest-growing sport in America. Its gone from grassroots DIY courts to millions of players, two pro tours, and National Pickleball Month (April). The East Bay even has its own official U.S. Pickleball Ambassador, Darlene Vendegna, and many places to play.

If you're looking for a new sport that’ll unleash your competitive spirit, look no further than pickleball. It's the game that’s taking Berkeley – and the rest of the country – by storm. And when you're traveling to Berkeley, make sure to pack that pickleball racket and read on to find out more about the sport, as well as the best places to play in Berkeley.

A woman moves to hit the ball during a pickleball match

What Is Pickleball?

The rise of pickleball across the country in recent years is meteoric. A staggering 36.5 million US pickleball players embraced the game in 2022, making it the fastest-growing sport in the US. It's often described as a fusion of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, easy to learn and incredibly addictive.

  • Players hit a small, perforated plastic ball over a low net with solid paddles, trying to score points against one another. Both its paddles and nets are smaller than tennis.
  • Pickleball is often played in a doubles format, although singles games aren’t uncommon. Unlike other racket sports, Pickleball offers exhilarating action while being kind to your joints, making it an excellent option for players of any fitness level.
  • Along with its easy-to-learn rules, the less strenuous pace of play makes the sport particularly accessible, and ensures that people of all ages can quickly learn how to play pickleball.

Berkeley offers fantastic opportunities to learn and play. Like all pickleball communities nationwide, players will be eager to welcome newcomers and share their passion for the game. And yes, Berkeley even has its own pickleball ambassador, Darlene Vendegna.

two men compete on an outdoor Pickleball court in Berkeley

Pickleball Courts Galore in Berkeley

Whether you're looking for introductory lessons, friendly matches, or competitive tournaments, Berkeley's pickleball scene has it all. To ease your search, check out this list of the best pickleball courts near you.

Click for Berkeley Pickleball Reservations.

Cedar Rose Park Pickleball Courts

This park hosts some of the city's best pickleball action. With four outdoor hard courts featuring permanent lines and nets, it's an inviting space to play.

The courts can be used for free, but you can reserve them in advance. Amenities include restrooms, water access, and wheelchair-friendly facilities.

James Kenney Park Pickleball Court

This outdoor hard court, complete with permanent lines and a net, is completely free to use! Amenities include accessible restrooms and a place where you can refill your water bottle.

Join Berkeley's vibrant pickleball community and see why this sport is capturing the hearts of locals and newcomers alike. Whether you're aiming to hone your skills or simply keep fit, pickleball is an experience you won't want to miss. Grab a paddle, hit the court, and let the games begin!

Guest blog by Brandon Mackie, co-founder of Pickleheads. Once a competitive tennis player, Brandon can be found on pickleball courts these days in Scottsdale, AZ. Brandon is a 4.0 player who plays multiple times per week, and tests many pickleball paddles as part of his job at Pickleheads.