It’s hard to believe that a game invented by three fathers in 1965 to entertain their bored children would become the fastest growing sport in America today, attracting 3.3 million players and counting. As it turns out, there is something about pickleball, a hybrid of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, that has proven widely appealing and even addictive.
Eric Ah-Yuen, a high-level performance coach who works with many professional and Olympic athletes, immediately fell under pickleball’s spell after moving to Jupiter in 2016. What he quickly realized, however, was there was a lack of organized play in the area. After much research, Ah-Yuen founded PickleBall Athletics Club as a local destination where pickleball lovers can find matches with players at their level and take instruction. The club currently boasts more than 350 members—including 25-year-old Kyle Yates, the top-ranked pickleball player in the world.
Ah-Yuen credits pickleball’s popularity in part to its inclusivity of all fitness abilities and ages. “You don’t have to be a super athlete to play,” he says. “I can take someone off the street and teach them the game in half an hour and they can have a fun time.” Unlimited monthly memberships are available for individuals, couples, and families.