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Is pickleball Baton Rouge’s new favorite pastime? Here’s the scoop.

Move over, tennis. There’s a new top sport in town.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the game of pickleball has taken the world by storm. Similar to tennis, the game involves a court, ball and good company. But what makes it so much fun? To find out, pickleball connoisseur and entreprenuer Destin Thibodeaux is giving us the scoop. Keep reading to see what he has to say, including some insider information about what might be coming to Baton Rouge soon.

What makes pickleball so much fun? 

Pickleball is fun for a wide variety of reasons. It’s a sport that brings people together, promotes active living, and, in my opinion, is easy to get into. Whether you’re a beginner or a skilled player, there’s a place for everyone on the pickleball court. The learning curve is small, so you can get started playing right away. Just pick up a paddle, find a court near you, and start dinking!

Why do you love to play pickleball? What inspired you to play and how do you encourage others to play? 

I love pickleball because it’s much more than just a fun game. As a parent, I’m always looking for activities that my daughter CC and I can enjoy together. When we stumbled upon pickleball, we were immediately hooked. It’s a great way to spend quality time with loved ones while staying active and healthy.

Sharing our own experiences and inviting friends to join us on the courts is how we spread the pickleball love. I love introducing others to the game and watching their faces light up with excitement as they discover the joy it can bring.

Why do you think pickleball has become such a phenomenon?

I think people are drawn to it because it’s easy, fun and a great way to connect with others. I think a lot of pickleball’s charm lies in its accessibility and inclusivity because anyone can play, regardless of skill or age. It’s also an amazing social experience. Every time you visit the courts, you’re sure to make new friends.

Can you give a breakdown of the basics for someone who’s never played?

Pickleball is like a combination of tennis and ping pong. The ball gets served to start the point, and points can be won by someone hitting the ball in the net or out of bounds. There are other fun rules such as avoiding the “kitchen line.”

There’s a line 7 feet from the net, and you can’t hit the ball out of the air without it bouncing in the “kitchen.” So don’t be surprised if you hear your partner yell in fun, “Stay out of the kitchen!”

Are there any plans in the future for pickleball here in Baton Rouge?

Destin and his partners meeting with SASSO Agency on their new pickleball venture.

I’ve teamed up with a great group who share a common interest in bringing something new and exciting to Baton Rouge. Gordon McKernan, Ozzie Fernandez, Bob Barton, Clay Fur and I are motivated to make this a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Baton Rouge, but most importantly, a place for local residents to have a safe and fun environment filled with great food, yard games, music and of course, pickleball. The venue will also serve as an event space for corporate gatherings. Our vision goes beyond just creating a pickleball facility; we’re building a place where family, friends, colleagues, and more can come together to eat, play, and make memories.

Stay tuned for more information regarding this new pickleball destination in Baton Rouge. For all things pickleball style and fashion, see this story from the inRegister archives.