Popularity exploding for Pickleball at Lake Tahoe

People enjoying pickleball in Incline Village.
Provided photo

As another summer heads to Lake Tahoe, residents are finding ways to stay busy and one of the more popular activities to gain traction on both shores is pickleball.

Incline Village allows residents and visitors all over Lake Tahoe a chance to play the game at the Tennis and Pickleball Center, located at 964 Incline Way, adjacent to the Incline Village Recreation Center.

The sport is played with rackets on a tennis court between two to four people with a lowered net and a thick, plastic pickleball.

Incline Village General Improvement District Recreation Supervisor Kerrie Tonking said there has been a massive increase in playing over the last three to five years among residents.

“You can really see that not only here, but nationally, pickleball is blowing up, especially in our town,” she said. “Our primary goal is to serve our residents. There are a ton of homeowners in town who have picked it up.”

The center, which opens for reservations on Monday, May 10 for picture pass holders, is home to eight permanent pickleball courts, and offers a variety of events including clinics, socials and mixers, and tournaments throughout the summer.

Incline residents Bev and Doug Keil are excited to get back onto the courts. After recently publishing books about the sport during the pandemic and introducing new players, the team is ready to play.

“Doug and I started pickleball [at the Incline Tennis and Pickleball Center] nine years ago with two contemporary courts,” Bev said. “We have a dedicated group of players at all levels who enjoy the exercise, the camaraderie of the sport, and rotating into different games against partners against new opponents.”

Season long memberships, as well as drop-ins, and gear to purchase, will be available following open day at the Tennis and Pickleball center, as well as the Pro Shop or the recreation center.

The South Lake Tahoe Recreation and Swim Complex opened again for swim use on April 26, with no word on when the pickleball courts will open again. For those still looking to play on the South Shore, there is the Kahle Community Center.

Kahle is home to two indoor pickleball courts. Those looking to use the courts must have a valid membership to the community center, or can pay the daily drop in fee for adults of $7. While the center saw an influx of players during the winter months, during warmer weather more people are going outside.

“We were really busy,” Recreation Supervisor Traci Bill said. “And then we really slowed down when the weather started to get nicer.”

For more information, call the center at 775-783-5500.

Miranda Jacobson is a reporter for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.

The sun sets on a day of pickleball in South Tahoe.
Photo by Mike Peron


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