Published: June 8, 2023 (Originally seen in Spoke Magazine) | Read Time: 2.5 Minutes
If you’ve walked past a tennis court lately, you’ll notice that almost every tennis racket has been replaced by a Pickleball paddle. Pickleball as a sport has grown to 38 million players in 2023. There were only about 5 million players in 2021, the sport has experienced unprecedented growth. It seems like everyone from professionals to total beginners have been captivated by the sport. Why is that imperative to know in regards to Seabrook? Because this beach town has decided to embrace pickleball with open arms and create exciting new ways to get involved with the help of part-time resident, Scott Smith.
Smith grew up playing competitive tennis since age 12 and like many others with a tennis background, picked up Pickleball about 5 years ago. As an ambassador for the USA Pickleball Association, certified Pickleball instructor, and tournament player, he’s very passionate about expanding pickleball in Seabrook.
“I kind of envision a small version of “Field of Dreams,” says Smith. “If you build it, they will come.”
And build it, we will! Seabrook plans on adding three additional pickleball courts as well as a small grandstand-type seating area this summer, so if playing isn’t your thing, watching the games will be an additional activity to keep you leisurely busy during your stay. Supporting the pickleball culture and creating yet another reason to visit, is something the entire community is excited about. Smith adds that Casey Roloff and team have been extremely supportive of growing pickleball in Seabrook. There is more exciting news to share in the near future (hint – indoor courts are being considered). Stay tuned.
“Many serious Pickleball players across the country will only vacation at destinations where there are a good number of Pickleball courts,” says Smith. “For me personally, there are a good number of homeowners who have recently embraced the sport and with the new courts coming, are excited to play more.”
The perk and one of the reasons for its rising popularity, is that pickleball is easier to pick up than tennis. It’s not as hard on the body and the consensus is that regardless of your skill level, it’s just plain fun!
Never played before? No problem. Smith, again this year, plans to hold lessons to teach beginners the basics of the sport, as well as have designated time slots for more experienced players. The courses are open to both Seabrook homeowners and guests, free of charge!
Scott’s sons are also newly addicted to the sport. “Both my boys, Trevor (31) and Brody (28) jumped into pickleball about two years ago,” says Smith. “We play every time we are together, and even played a sanctioned tournament with both Trevor and Brody in San Diego and Arizona, respectively. To be fortunate enough to compete on a similar level together was an experience I will never forget.”
With plans to hold tournaments at some point in the future, everyone from serious to casual players, and beginners, will be able to join in on the fun! With Smith’s help and his contagious passion for the sport, we are beyond excited to bring Pickleball to Seabrook. So, grab your paddle and we’ll see you on the court!
Pickleball paddles and balls can be checked out year-round for free at The Dugout, located by the South Crescent Indoor Pool. Just ask the pool attendant for assistance with checking out items.