Pickleball's popularity in 2021 isn't surprising--the game's simplicity and fun factor appeals to all ages. What is surprising is how long it's taken for pickleball to gain a foothold. It's been around for more than 50 years.
Increased media coverage has helped. The venerable New York Magazine recently published the March 12 story "Why Pickleball Is the Sport of the Year (Or Should Be, at Least)", by Rachel Kong in its "Strategist Investigates" section. Kong writes:
"Further investigation revealed that pickleball, created in the mid-1960s, combined elements of badminton, tennis, and Ping-Pong. It could be played using relatively inexpensive paddles and plastic balls, on existing tennis courts (though official pickleball courts are badminton-sized, if you play within the four quadrants that mark the service line, it was close enough for us). Though no prior experience is necessary, Danny and Eli came with Ping-Pong experience, Natalie with tennis, and I, my humble junior-varsity badminton. We were sold: Pickleball would be our game."
The story also provides great information about equipment and how to get started in pickleball. At RacquetWire, we say it is about time, and kudos to New York Magazine for its reporting.