STURGEON BAY (NBC 26) — "It's exploding and not only here but across the nation,"said Jay Renstrom, the president of the Door County Pickleball Club.
Ranstrom says the club was started around 2015, but he says it really has seen rapid growth in the last few years.
"They really started to come into fruition about 2017-2018 and since then, we've just grown exponentially," said Ranstrom.
This season they have almost 400 active members, which is more than three times the numbers they had two years ago.
That's about the same growth pickleball has seen nationally.
According to the Association of Pickleball Professionals, in 2022, 36.5 million pickleball players were estimated in the United States.
The Sports and Fitness Industry Association says the game has grown an average of more than 158% over the last three years.
Door County Pickleball Club members say the growth is one of the best parts.
"You just meet a ton of people. Just right here, you know, we have 30 or so people and they're all rotating with different partners after each game and that's the fun of it," said Ranstrom.
No experience is required for people to join the Door County Pickleball Club. If you show up, they have someone who can teach newcomers.
The club says many of its members learned the game's rules after joining.
One of them is Deb Sorenson. She says she got some help from more experienced players... and then just tried it.
"Just play it you know! We've all we're all beginners and so we all understand when some ways take a little bit of time to get to know the game," said Sorenson.
Once you master the game; members also say it's a great way to socialize.
"I love it. I love the social. I come out for the social aspect, come out and have a great time, I laugh," said Ranstrom.
As for Jay he says he's not planning to stop playing anytime soon.
"I think I’m going to play until my body says stop and I probably will be in the grave at that point."
A schedule with times and locations is available on the Door County Pickleball Club website.