Pickleball vs Tennis

Pickleball vs Tennis

There are several racquet sports, with tennis and pickleball being just two of them. These two are often compared because of their general similarities. However, there are quite a few differences, especially when you break it down to the details. 

If you have ever wondered how they compare or are trying to decide which to take up, take a look at this comparison between the main components of pickleball and tennis. 

Pickleball Court Vs. Tennis Court

The court is a good place to start when comparing pickleball and tennis because though they may look the same to the untrained eye, the court size is one of the biggest differences between tennis and pickleball. 

Pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts. A tennis court is 60 feet wide and 120 feet long, while a pickleball court is only 20 feet wide and 40 feet long. 

Another difference is that while both singles and doubles pickleball are played on the same size court, tennis singles and doubles are played on different sized courts. For tennis singles, the court is 27 feet wide by 78 feet long, and a doubles court is 36 feet wide by 78 feet long. 

Pickleball Net Height Vs. Tennis

Of course, pickleball and tennis both have a net in the middle of the court, but there is a key difference between the two nets. They are slightly different heights! A tennis net is 36 inches in height all the way across, while a pickleball net is only 34 inches at the center of the net. 

Pickleball Shoes Vs. Tennis Shoes

There are not many differences between pickleball shoes and tennis shoes as they are both court shoes. Court shoes have ankle protection and a stiff cage around the foot to aid in lateral movement. They also have a great grip for court traction. 

One consideration you should make before getting court shoes is whether you will be playing on an indoor court or an outdoor court. Indoor court shoes tend to be lighter, and outdoor court shoes are heavier with more durable construction. 

Pickleball Vs. Tennis Calories

The difference between the number of calories burned in pickleball versus tends depends heavily on the singles versus doubles element. Of course, in a singles game in either sport, you will burn more calories because you have to lunge and play every ball across the whole court. 

Additionally, the number of calories burned in both sports depends on how intensely you play. A casual match with a friend will burn fewer calories than a competitive tournament match. 

Weight is also another factor, meaning that the heavier you are, the more calories that you burn when you exercise. 

Pickleball Ball Size Vs. Tennis Ball

Pickleball Ball Size Vs. Tennis Ball

Though both pickleball and tennis balls are played with a ball, the balls are actually very different! 

Tennis balls are heavier but smaller in diameter compared to pickleball balls. Regulation size tennis balls are 2.5 inches in diameter and weigh 2.1 ounces, while pickleball balls are 2.7 in diameter and 0.8 ounces in weight. 

These are minuscule differences, but the big difference comes when you talk about the materials they are made from. Both balls are hollow at their core; however, a tennis ball has a solid felt covering with a rubber compound layer, but pickleball balls have evenly spaced holes and are usually made from a smooth composite material. 

Pickleball Vs. Tennis Ball Cost

Pickleball Vs. Tennis Ball Cost

The cost of equipment is always something to consider between two sports because you do have to make sure it is within the budget if you want to play. 

Starting with something simple, the pickleball balls and tennis balls cost roughly the same within a few dollars, but there is a big price range depending on quality and brand. 

For instance, entry-level balls for Pickleball can be as low as $15 for six, and entry-level tennis balls can be around $4 for three. However, professional brands and higher technology equipment are more than double the entry-level equipment price. 

The overall cost of tennis equipment can be a bit higher than pickleball, but both are affordable compared to other sports like golf to get into.

Pickleball Noise Vs. Tennis Noise

Pickleball Noise Vs. Tennis Noise

Noise might not be your first consideration when thinking about tennis and pickleball, but it is interesting to look into. Pickleball is louder than tennis due to the popping noise that the hard surface of the pickleball balls makes when it has contact with the solid paddle. 

Since tennis has a wire paddle and a fibrous felt covering on the ball, tennis is much quieter when the ball hits the paddle. However, playing both sports can be just as loud if the match is quite competitive. 

Pickleball Injuries Vs. Tennis Injuries

Pickleball Injuries Vs. Tennis Injuries

Pickleball and tennis tend to have a similar number of injuries. While they share some similar injuries just because they are played in a similar fashion, there are also different injuries between them. 

For instance, tennis has an overhand serve, so shoulder injuries are more common in tennis than pickleball. In fact, players who have messed up their shoulders with tennis often switch to pickleball. 

Pickleball Racket Vs. Tennis Racket

Pickleball Racket Vs. Tennis Racket

Besides the ball, and the net, the racquet is another large component of these two sports, and the racquets have a few major differences. Pickleball paddles are an overall smaller size and weigh less than a tennis racquet. 

Of course, tennis racquets are also known for a frame with a cross string pattern, while pickleball paddles have a solid head on them like with a ping pong paddle or table tennis. 

Pickleball Popularity Vs. Tennis

Pickleball Popularity Vs. Tennis

Tennis is far more popular worldwide, but pickleball is the fastest growing sport, especially in North America. 

That is likely because, unlike tennis which has roots back to the 12th century, pickleball was only created in 1965 when a group was trying to play badminton on their old badminton court but didn’t have the equipment, so they improvised and later named the game. 

Since pickleball has had much less time to gain popularity than tennis, there are far more tennis players than pickleball players globally. Though hopefully, one day, tennis and pickleball will be equally as popular since they are both just as fun. 

Pickleball Vs. Tennis Similarities Between

Pickleball Vs. Tennis Similarities Between

Despite key differences between tennis and pickleball, there are some similarities. They can both be played in singles or doubles, the scoring is similar, and can be played indoor or outdoor. 

Additionally, overall they are both played on a rectangular court with a net, ball, and racquet. Each sport also has official rules so that the games can be played the same all around the globe. 


Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about playing pickleball and tennis.

Is pickleball easier than tennis?

Pickleball is only easier than tennis in terms of the among-of-court size. When playing tennis, you have to cover more court than pickleball, but they are equal in terms of agility, strategy, and skill. 

Is pickleball more fun than tennis?

Pickleball is a lot more dynamic when it comes to volleying than a tennis rally which makes it a lot more fun. 

How is pickleball different from tennis?

There are four main differences between pickleball and tennis. In pickleball, there is less ball bounce, serves are done underhand, there is a non-volley zone extending from the net, and singles and doubles are played on the same court.

Will pickleball hurt my tennis game?

No pickleball will not hurt your tennis game. In fact, it hones skills such as hand-eye coordination, netplay, and volleying. 

Give Pickleball a Chance 

Even if you have played other racquet sports like ping pong, Wiffle ball, tennis, or badminton, you’ll likely enjoy pickleball, too, since it is a great combination of other sports. 

Also, if you have played tennis or are a tennis player, it is easy to switch to play pickleball because you can use a tennis court to play pickleball; just grab some tape for lines, a few balls, and a pickleball paddle, and you’ll be ready. If you are a tennis player, get some pickleball paddles and see how it feels to be a pickleball player!

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