Do you like playing ping-pong outdoors? Then you probably like pickleball, a hybrid ball-swatting game that has seen a sharp rise in popularity in recent years. Participants use an underhand stroke to knock a wiffle ball over a net. It’s easy to play, but not everyone has easy access to a court.
Let’s say you’re up for a game of pickleball but the local public courts are packed—or there are no local courts. Using Swimply, you can search for private courts in your area and book some time. Like Airbnb, Swimply facilitates an exchange between the property owner and renter.
“The launch of Pickleball court rentals is a game-changer for communities that lack access to recreational spaces,” Swimply CEO and founder Bunim Laskin said in a statement. “We’re excited to offer this new opportunity for families and friends to have fun, exercise, and connect with each other in a safe, affordable, and convenient way. Our mission has always been about democratizing access to exclusive spaces and creating positive social impact, and we believe that court rentals are a natural extension of that vision.”
Pickleball was created in the 1960s by Joel Pritchard, a former Lieutenant Governor of Washington, to placate his son, Frank, who was looking for something to do over the summer. It remained in semi-obscurity for decades until the coronavirus pandemic prompted a surge in players.
For now, the courts are located in major metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles, and Austin. Swimply plans to offer options nationwide later in the summer. The service is also booking tennis courts, basketball courts, and other recreational spaces. Prices start at $25 per hour.