Grab Your Paddles and Get Your Game Face On!
Pickleball in LA is the latest craze taking over the United States. So, what’s all the racket about? This ping-pong-meets-tennis hybrid sport is fast and fun and involves a smaller court, a wiffle ball and special solid paddles. The signature “dink” sound the ball makes has lent itself to countless puns, and pickleball attire is now a category all on its own. Paddles have become personalized with brands like Rad and Recess getting involved; even big name artists like Gray Malin have done collaborations to create one-of-a-kind rackets. The best part about this sport is that anyone can play it. Really, it’s as competitive or fun as you want to make it, and the small surface area you play in makes it a great sport for athletes and non-athletes alike. It’s also perfect for people who like to dink and drink. So, where can you play in LA? Read on for everything but the kitchen dink.
Kimpton La Peer Hotel just opened up a one-of-a-kind rooftop pickleball experience for pickle enthusiasts who want to take their talents sky high. This private court is available Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Fridays from 7 a.m. till 3:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. After hours from Friday through Sunday, things go from dink to Disco with DJ sets, craft cocktails and modern fare. No reservations, no cover and open play—does it get any better? Be sure to order a Donna’s Summertime Slush from the courtside bar to cool down after a heated sesh. This is a unique night out with friends who are looking to switch up their weekend West Hollywood routine. It’s time to rally, folks!
Speaking of South Bay, the South Bay Tennis Center just came in hot with 17 new courts, making it a premier destination for pickleballers. Court rentals are currently $15 per hour for non-members and $10 per hour for members. If you are addicted to the dink, you can sign up for their adult pickleball league, which starts July 30 and is $350 per team (4-8 players). They also offer private lessons and group classes for those looking to improve their level of play. This family-run center has a variety of offerings for players of all levels, some of the family members being professional pickleballers themselves!
Local Insight: If you like to drink while you dink, don’t miss South Bay Tennis Center’s Dink ‘N Drink events, which take place on Friday nights!
Montecito Heights Recreation Center, located near Highland Park, hosts two outdoor hard courts that are first come, first served and FREE. The community center itself is fun for families with a great park for picnicking and a fun playground for the littles. There are plenty of places nearby to grab a bite like Mariscos El Faro food truck, Jeff’s Table for grab-and-go sandos, Pocha for a light bite or Macleod Brewery for a post-pickle pint.
There’s a million reasons we love the South Bay, and Kelly Courts is one of them. This pickleball pit stop a few streets from the sand in Hermosa Beach is available for free play or by reservation through the Pickleball Membership Program. There are two courts in addition to a tennis court that are open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Grab some pre-pickle fuel at Lucky 7 coffee or some post-pickle juice at Hermosa Brewing Company, both located right down the street from the courts.
Tarzana Recreation Center is another nice spot for families to venture together to enjoy some pickleball and playground time. These courts are hybrid wood indoor courts and are free to the public. BEWARE: the lines are permanent, but you’ll need to bring your own net. It’s worth it though to have climate-controlled fun.9/10
Offering $7 open-play sessions and $12 tournaments, Westchester Pickleball Club is the dink destination of West LA. One thing we love about this spot? They provide paddles if you don’t have your own. They also have Friday Night Cocktail Parties if you like to get a little pickled while you pickle. Located a hop, skip and a jump from the airport, travelers can also pop over to Westchester Pickleball Club to dink during a long layover. Plus, there’s an In-N-Out nearby for that post-dinking double double—animal style, obviously.