New or beginner level players!

We are excited that you are checking out pickleball! It's a fun game that is easy to learn, doesn't cost a lot to play, is healthy to play, and will give you a whole new community of friends!

 

We invite you to get in on the pickleball conversations online with Facebook (see links at bottom of page), Instagram or Twitter.

 

AND we would love to know you are playing! Please contact the La Crosse Area Pickleball Club at laxpickleball@gmail.com.

 

In addition you can:

1) get on the weekly email that goes out with all things pickleball and local pickleball communication. Your email is kept private and never shared.

2) get on the GroupMe app (it's free) to know who is playing and where on the iffy weather days. More info on our website here.

3) check out the Clinics page on our website to know when we are hosting our own learn to play clinics, when the city is hosting their clinics, and at times there will be professional players hosting clinics for various levels of play.  


 

This page has some of the key questions asked the most by new players.

Q: Where to play? Does it cost anything?

A:  Outside courts are FREE!

     Playing at the YMCA (Onalaska or La Crosse) requires a membership of $10 per session.

 

At Oak Park in Onalaska there are 4 outside dedicated courts (meaning they are made just for pickleball and won't have any additional lines from other sports). There are other tennis courts in La Crosse that have pickleball lines put on the courts for your use as well (like Bluffview Park). There are also two dedicated courts in Holmen at the Remington Hills Park along with 2 courts lined for pickleball but would need to bring your own net. (4 more courts are being built at Green Island Park south of Gundersen in La Crosse by fall of 2019 - with lights!)

 

To play at the YMCA in La Crosse or Onalaska you will need a YMCA membership or pay $10 per session to play. You may wish to check with a Y member friend on a free pass. There are 2 courts to play in La Crosse and 2-4 courts in Onalaska depending on gym availability.

 

On Sunday nights in November, there are 4 courts at First Free Church on Mason Street where you can play for FREE from 6-9 pm.

 

All play times, indoor and outdoor, are listed on our website under WHERE TO PLAY.

Q: When you list times to play, what does that mean?

A: Pickleball is a unique sport in that it is a come and go sport. The times listed are "drop-in play" times, in other words, you can come play with others during the time listed such as 9 am - 12 noon. Come for an hour, come for all three - it's up to you!

 

Due to a limited number of courts, you may need to wait your turn to play. That's the time that you get to chat and get to know a lot of people! You can also ask them about the rules of the game, etc. while you are waiting. 

 

When there are many people waiting to play, people often begin to "stack paddles" which means 4 paddles are stacked to go into the next game. Then another 4 paddles for the next game. On our WHERE TO PLAY, we also have a video on how to "stack paddles" at Oak Park using the paddle holder system.

 

Q: I'm nervous about coming to play. Will people let me play if I'm new?

A: Yes! We often have new people coming to check out our sport. Just let people know that you are new. We try to have people at every official designated time that would be willing to teach - it doesn't always happen but we try! And even then, this is a friendly bunch of people and I would assume one or more people would help you with the game and be willing to play with you.

 

It would be wise before coming to look over the Rules and How to Play on our website.

 

Finally, if you would like to attend a clinic before coming to play, those are also available through the Parks and Recreation departments (see our CLINICS page). In addition, our club will host free clinics on every other Tuesday evening throughout the summer. Please check that clinic webpage for that information and to sign up.

 

Q: What do I need to bring with me to play?

A:  I encourage you to wear good court shoes (not running shoes or walking shoes as it's easy to turn an ankle in those because they are only built for forward movement). Tennis shoes are made for lateral stability for those side to side steps as well as back and forth. Also important: bring a bottle of water, a towel to dry off, and if in the sun - sun lotion, sunglasses, hat - those type of things! And did I mention water?! Gatorade?!

 

If you have your own pickleball paddle, bring it. As noted in next question, if you don't have a paddle, we have paddles for you that you can borrow while at Oak Park or the Onalaska YMCA.

 

Note: there is a port-a-potty at the outdoor Oak Park location.

 

Q: I don't have a paddle or a ball. How will I be able to play?

A: Our club has paddles available for you to use at Oak Park! You are welcome to borrow and return them at the end of your play. In addition, many players have additional paddles to lend out and are happy to do so. Regarding balls, the players all come with balls that they share with everyone. Someone gets a ball and its used for the course of play or until they leave. There are plenty of balls. Plus, there are additional balls available in the lock box at Oak Park should they be needed.

 

The YMCA also has paddles and balls. Our club has additional paddles stored in our pickleball locker. Ask any player to get you a paddle - or they may let you borrow one of their paddles! Yep, many players are that nice!

 

BALLS! Our members use the new Onix Fuse G2 yellow ball for outdoor play as well as some Onix Pure 2's that many of us have.

For indoor play we use the Onix Pure 2 and Onix Fuse orange ball for indoor play (orange is easier to see on a gym floor).

 

Q: I want to purchase my own paddle. How do I do this? What ones do you recommend?

A: Paddles can be purchased for $30-$170.

  • For beginners, I recommend paddles in the $50-$100 range.
  • I recommend staying away from graphite and aluminum paddles for beginners for various reasons that I won't get into. Instead I recommend polymer core paddles. They have long lasting durability and will give you a great touch when you start to learn the essential dinking and drop shots for higher level play. 
  • In general, I recommend paddles from Paddletek, Engage, Selkirk in particular because they have 5 year to lifetime warranties on their paddles (see each company's warranty info). I also recommend Pro-Lite and Onix paddles -- my two favorite paddles are from them that I currently use (Onix Evoke Pro and Pro-lite Supernova). These five paddle companies have superb reputations for customer service. (Note: there are MANY new paddles coming onto the market so it is hard to keep up with all and trying them. Please read reviews online to help you in your decision.)

The links to the paddles I'm giving you go to the Pickleball Central website where you can get an additional 5% off the price, and another 5% goes to our club to help in the purchase of pickleball equipment and such. Use the code CRLacrosse in the discount code box and it will be applied to your purchase. In addition, you have 30 days to try out the paddle and if don't like it, can return it. They have outstanding customer service. For more pickleball supplies, check out our website HERE.

 

Some paddles I will recommend, I do have for you to try out first. I will note those. Also, read the reviews with each one and see what makes sense to you.

  • The #1 paddle I recommend the most for new players in teaching hundreds of clinics and is an outstanding all around paddle is the Paddletek Element. I do have that one available for you to try. I also recommend them because they come in the mid-weight division of paddles which is easier to learn to play with as well. It is $74 and then another 5% discount. 
  • Paddletek Phoenix is $60 and a nice all around paddle. I don't have this one. 
  • Selkirk's Latitude is $60. A nice all around paddle and a brand I respect. I don't have this one.
  • Selkirk's Neo is $50. Again, a nice all around paddle. I don't have this one.

I would also encourage you to read this paddle buying guide.