What Pickleball Looked Like in the 1970s

What Pickleball Looked Like in the 1970s

There's enough buzz surrounding pickleball now to trick the uninitiated into thinking it's only been around for a few years. Of course, true fans know that isn't true. And we have the pictures to prove it.

These images, sent to Sonoma County photographer Jim Johnson from a local OG pickleball player, tell an important story from the sport's early years. 

Ah, yes, "Pickle-Ball"

This was several decades before the use of advanced paddle materials like carbon fiber or Kevlar; or even fiberglass, for that matter.

No honeycomb cores, no edge guards...and does that ball even have 26-40 holes? I'm pretty sure it doesn't. 

Prepare for a smash 

Clearly, someone on the right popped one up. In fairness, I imagine that's pretty easy to do when you're playing with wooden paddles and a modified wiffle ball. 

But don't assume the game was primitive in the 70s...

Just look at these crossover steps!

We say: bring back this fashion. Imagine slicing a clean backhand while wearing a flannel.

James Ignatowich would be proud

Look at the guy in green. He's split-stepping, likely after movement, getting down low and readying himself for what seems to be a hard volley return. 

What a low stance considering how far apart his feet are! We're impressed with his form.

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