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Play (Pickle)Ball!

Want the Ultimate Backyard Playground? There’s Lots of Ways to Make That Happen—but a Pickleball Court Has Become a Winner

If you’re looking for ways to make your backyard summer fun-ready that goes beyond sprucing up your pool, you’re not alone. And one of the most sought-after ways to do it is by adding an at-home pickleball court to your abode.

For three consecutive years, pickleball has been the fastest-growing sport in the nation, a vast departure from its previous stereotype as a non-serious leisure activity rather than a bona-fide sport. And as more people get introduced to it at a recreational center or pickleball facility, the urge to bring it home can be quite persuasive, leading them to reach out to professionals to make it happen.

“Pickleball is the most popular sports court we do,” says Joe Valcik, owner of AZ Outdoor Lifestyles, a one-stop shop for those seeking to transform their backyard into a luxury customized paradise spanning water features, bar and grill hubs, and courts for just about every sport imaginable. “It’s appealing to every age group. It can keep you as active as tennis, but it’s much less strenuous and not as hard on the body.”

The fact that a pickleball court needs much less space than a tennis court, requiring just 30 feet by 55 feet on a level surface, adds to the appeal. It’s also versatile when it comes to accommodating other sports. It’s possible, Valcik explains, for a pickleball court to also become a spot for badminton, volleyball, and a half-court for basketball, all with a few easy adjustments and additions. 

“It’s fully customizable, and we can put any game lines you want,” says Valcik, whose team does lines in different colors to correspond to each sport. The courts themselves can be done in any combination of nearly two dozen colors with logos, too, if desired.

The use of VersaCourt tiles provides added value and durability. Assembled and manufactured in the U.S., they come with a limited lifetime warranty, which comes in handy with the Arizona sun and heat. They are also made specifically for pickleball with rubberized coating, which provides the same ball response as a traditional concrete surface but with an added ½-inch-thick padding to reduce the shock on the body. 

In addition to pickleball, other popular options include playgrounds and sandboxes for the little ones and splash pads and putting greens complete with sand traps for older kids of all ages. 

Whether the reason is to play basketball with the kids or extend their indoor living to the outdoors, Valcik says more homeowners come to him because they wish to transition away from the prevalent desertscape rock and gravel to a more lush and inviting haven for relaxation or play. 

“People want an oasis with palm trees, soft surfaces, and areas to enjoy themselves,” Valcik says. “And putting it all in their backyard makes that space much more usable.”

“It’s fully customizable, and we can put any game lines you want.”