Why pickleball might be easier (and more fun) than tennis

Pickleball is easier than tennis

Some people dive right into playing pickleball because they think it may be easier than playing tennis.

But that’s not a reason to play or try a sport – because it is easier than another sport. Bowling may be easier than pickleball too but would that be the reason you started to play?

See: Why you shouldn’t be hesitant to start playing pickleball

In fact, pickleball is not easier than tennis, it’s just a different game that requires a unique skill set. Both require some upfront learning for sure.

Playing pickleball is about having fun, getting some exercise and socializing, but it’s also about being part of a community. So even if you love tennis and are really good at it, that doesn’t mean you will be good at pickleball.

There is something to be said about trying something that millions of people find fun, addictive and very good for your health.

How to Get Started at Playing Pickleball: Tips for Beginners

Is Pickleball Easier to Learn?

Yes, pickleball is easier to learn than tennis. The court is smaller, it requires less strength or intensity to hit the ball. The paddles in pickleball are lighter and, as a stretch, even the pickleballs are lighter.

Since pickleball has a smaller court than tennis there is less moving around. That make sense.

Advantage goes to pickleball

advantage pickleball

Smaller Court in Pickleball

Pickleball may be easier for just the court size alone.

In pickleball you don’t move around as much on a tennis court which is much larger than a pickleball court.

A pickleball court size is the exact size of a badminton court – 20′ by 44′. A tennis court measures 78′ in length.

Matter of fact…

You can fit up to four (4) pickleball courts on just one (1) tennis court; that’s one of the many reasons communities are putting pickleball courts on tennis courts in droves.

Advantage goes to pickleball

advantage pickleball

Physical Activity of Pickleball vs Tennis

Since pickleball has a smaller court than tennis there is less moving around. That make sense.

Pickleball players can get to the ball quicker and reach the far corners of the court with greater ease than tennis. Conversely, tennis mandates players have [relatively] fast twitch muscles to assist in sudden movements to get to greater lengths across their bigger court.

Don’t get us wrong – both sports require agility and quickness to get the serve and volley.

Pickleball may be believed to be easier, since you don’t move around as much on the respective court; a tennis court is much larger than a pickleball court. Nonetheless, with regards to agility and speed, you need to play at the same level as would you in both tennis and pickleball.


In both sports you need to be able to react quickly when the ball comes your way. Both games are play at the same pace but in a smaller space.

Considering how pickleball is played as far as placing shots and serving, the overall nature of the sport can be difficult – but perhaps not more difficult than tennis.

Advantage goes to pickleball

advantage pickleball

Rules and Scoring of Tennis and Pickleball

This is unfortunate we have to head down this path as most folks think playing pickleball is picking up a paddle and whacking around a whiffle ball for fun. Well, it’s none of that. It can, of course, if you’re in your driveway and want to get a feel for the fastest growing sport. But jump on a nearby pickleball court with friends in and you’re in for a ride.

See Pickleball 101: 5 tips for beginners to get started

The rules and scoring of pickleball can take a bit to get used to. Many games are lost or won because of unforced errors leaving you and others scratching heads.

See the dos and don’ts of pickleball: etiquette tips for new players

FREE download of the rules of pickleball

But that’s not all:

There are same basic pickleball rules that just about everyone forgets.

Advantage goes to tennis

advantage tennis

Injuries in Pickleball and Tennis

We did not want to have a tie so we’re going with pickleball as having fewer injuries overall. Lots of debate on this.

Pickleball is not as intense or long ranged as tennis, which explains why, almost always, it’s less likely to hurt you as you play it than tennis. Though there are many common tennis injuries. Less motion is involved, and more games are controlled at the same pace.

But hold on:

That doesn’t mean you’re invulnerable. One of the most common injuries in pickleball is a sprained ankle. This can occur when landing awkwardly after a jump, or from stepping on an uneven pickleball surface (think of a resurfaced basketball or tennis court).

Shin splints are also a common pickleball injury, especially among beginners who are not used to the repetitive motion of the game. OK one more: plantar fasciitis is another pickleball injury, caused by inflammation of the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot.

pickleball shin splints gif

See more: 5 Common Pickleball Injuries in 2022 and How to Avoid Them

Watching tennis players, you will note that they need to be able to run in any direction they can and need to take risks and overstretch their reach to hit shots.

Does that make pickleball seem easier and make picklers less prone to injury? Not really, as both have similar principles and require stretched out muscles and ligaments. Both are sports… many people forget this.

Advantage goes to pickleball

advantage pickleball

Which is “easier”, pickleball or tennis? Our summation:

Easier to Learn

yellow pickleball

Smaller Court

yellow pickleball

Physical Activity

yellow pickleball

Rules and Scoring

green tennis ball


yellow pickleball
Pickleball vs Tennis: FAQ

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