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Can Pickleball Be Played on Asphalt?

An orange pickleball ball left on the court line.

Pickleball is the latest sporting trend, and it seems to be growing in popularity every day. I love the fast pace of the game and the chance to get together and play with friends. It seems just about every park, gym, and club is building pickleball courts, but what is the right surface to play pickleball?

It turns out several hard surfaces can be used for pickleball. While concrete is common pickleball court material, asphalt is a perfectly suitable alternative. Asphalt is excellent because it provides the right bounce for the ball. This material may also be a cheaper alternative to some other pickleball court options.

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What Are the Benefits of an Asphalt Pickleball Court?

Yellow Pickleball left on the court.

Pickleball is a popular sport that is very similar to tennis. You’ll need a hard and flat surface to play pickleball, so asphalt is often a perfect material. Building a pickleball court from asphalt has several advantages. Compared to other materials, an asphalt court may be cheaper and can be installed quickly.

Asphalt is also a fantastic choice if you have a large area to cover with several individual pickleball courts. Asphalt is also a fast material to install, drying quickly for immediate use.

If you are building an outdoor court, asphalt is a great option. This material is strong and durable and can withstand all types of weather conditions. Asphalt is commonly used in outdoor areas that see rain and snow. This material is popular because it is rugged and durable. Asphalt continues to stay in great shape, even with challenging weather, with some minimal upkeep.

What Are the Disadvantages of an Asphalt Pickleball Court?

Although there are several benefits to an asphalt pickleball court, there are also some disadvantages to consider. Asphalt may be a cheaper alternative to concrete, but chances are you’ll need a professional crew to install the courts, potentially incurring costs. Further, asphalt will need regular maintenance to keep the court smooth and flat, which could add up over time.

Asphalt can be tough and jarring on joints compared to some professional cushioned sport court materials. A hard surface can be painful, especially on sore joints. If you have knee or hip pain, playing pickleball on an asphalt court could worsen this pain.

What Are Common Pickleball Surfaces?

An open pickleball court near the river.

One of the appealing aspects of pickleball is that it is a versatile game that can be played on various surfaces. Pickleball is a great indoor or outdoor sport and can even be played on a standard tennis court with minimal modifications. Some of the most common pickleball surfaces you may see include:

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  • Concrete
  • Standard Tennis Court
  • Asphalt
  • Clay
  • Grass
  • Sport Court
  • Indoor Short-Pile Carpeting

Many professional clubs and courts will have pickleball courts made of cushioned sport court material. This material is friendly on sore joints. Parks will install asphalt or concrete courts, making them suitable year-round, holding up well in all weather conditions.

What Should I Consider Before Choosing a Pickleball Court Surface?

A man cleaning a pickleball court after the rain.

If you are in the wonderful position of choosing which material to use for your pickleball court, consider your available options. While asphalt and concrete are undoubtedly popular, there are pros and cons to using these materials in different situations. Before choosing the material to build your pickleball court, consider:

  • Is your pickleball court inside or outside?
  • How much use will the court see?
  • Is your pickleball court a DIY project, or will you hire a crew?
  • What type of budget are you working with to build your court?
  • Are you building a professional pickleball court?
  • How much protection do knees and joints need?

Some court materials, like concrete and asphalt, may be better suited for an outdoor court. While concrete is preferred, installing an asphalt court may be slightly cheaper but may require more upkeep. Hard carpeted surfaces may be selected for indoor pickleball courts, while polyurethane sports courts may be the best option for professional courts that see plenty of use.

What Is the Best Material for a Backyard Pickleball Court?

Pickleball court with permanent net.

Pickleball is the ultimate backyard game because the court has a small footprint compared to a tennis court. Installing a pickleball court is the perfect DIY project for a savvy homeowner. For many, a pickleball court could be installed in just a few weekends. Consider a backyard pickleball court that will likely be outdoors, uncovered.

Choose a material that is well suited to all weather conditions. Grass, clay, asphalt, and concrete are all excellent backyard pickleball court options. These materials are hardy, easy to maintain, and have a low price point making them ideal for a backyard pickleball court.

What Are the Best Materials for an Indoor Pickleball Court?

A vector illustration of people playing in an indoor court.

An indoor pickleball court is an option for some, like professional clubs and gyms. Not only are indoor courts protected from the elements, but they can also be climate controlled. When installing an indoor pickleball court, you’ll usually want to use a contractor to ensure the court is installed correctly.

In most cases, a sports surface made from polyurethane is a popular option. This type of surface is hard and rugged, allowing the pickleball to bounce. It also has a cushioned underlayer that reduces joint impact and stress. In some cases, you may be able to choose the amount of cushioning and the top coating used to create a soft, shock-absorbent surface.