Opening Day at the Port Townsend Farmers Market image Port Ludlow’s Trail System

The Resort’s Newest Activity…Pickleball

It is truly all here in Port Ludlow.

As the spring weather gets nicer (a record 83 degrees in Seattle today!) you see more and more people kayaking Ludlow Bay, hiking & biking Port Ludlow’s 26 miles of maintained trails, beach combing and searching for beach glass, and so much more. The Resort is thrilled to add a new activity to that list – Pickleball!

I will show you where

Pickleball is a sport that was created in my hometown of Bainbridge Island, WA in 1965. It is a combination of ping pong, tennis, and badminton. I grew up playing on courts on the island and in PE class throughout middle school and high school. I feel extremely nostalgic writing about the sport, thinking back to games played with friends outdoors and heated PE competitions.

As the story goes, three fathers whose children were bored with the typical summer lawn games created what would become known as pickleball. Some say that it was named after one of the family’s dogs – Pickle, and others say it came from the concept of the pickle boat “where oarsmen were chosen from leftovers of other boats”.  No matter how the sport came to be named, it is fun and easy to pick up quickly.

My friend and co-worker Claire and I rented pickleball paddles and balls from the Front Desk at the Inn and went to the courts to paddle it out. Pickleball paddles are smaller than a tennis racket but bigger than a ping pong paddle. Not sure how to play? No worries. The Front Desk Attendant gave Claire and me a packet with rules and strategy.

pickleball balls and paddles

I hadn’t played in years and Claire had never played so we knew there would be lots of laughs as we tried to figure out what the heck we were doing. We briefly referenced the packet and we started to paddle it out.

In this racket sport, you serve under handed. The tennis player in me kept messing that up and Claire and I laughed as we enjoyed the beautiful spring evening and each other’s company. Once we got past that, Claire and I got in a great rhythm of volleying the ball back and forth.

The game is played to 11 points and the winning player must win by two points. Well…Claire and I didn’t exactly keep score as we were too busy having fun, chatting, and enjoying the weather. We wrapped up our outing after about an hour of play and ended the night with a glass of wine and dessert at The Fireside.

wine and dessert

So whether you’re a seasoned pickleballer or a beginner, give it a try. You’re sure to have a great time. Pickleball equipment can be rented at the Inn’s Front Desk for $5/person.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

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