Packed your paddle?
If you're hoping to play pickleball in Winnipeg, you won't have to look too far. There are plenty of places to practice your groundstrokes, dinks, and lobs throughout the city.
Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, and in the last few years alone, pickleball lines have been added to a dozen of Winnipeg’s outdoor courts, along with plenty of indoor court spaces available for rent and local shops where you can purchase a paddle or balls if you're in a pinch.
Not familiar with the sport? Think of it as a cross between tennis and badminton. It’s a great way to work up a sweat and enjoy Winnipeg’s warmer seasons.
Before you head out to the nearest pickleball court for your match, here are a few quick things to remember:
* Bring sunscreen and plenty of water with you!
* You can always use a tennis net for pickleball if you don't have a portable net. The height difference isn't much—a pickleball net should be 34 inches at the centre compared to the 36 inches of a tennis court—and it will work perfectly fine for a few recreational games.
* Check the wind speed before you head out—pickleballs are fairly light and windy conditions are not ideal for playing.
* Be courteous and kind. There are many tennis players in Winnipeg who share these same courts. If you see someone waiting for your court, keep your time on the court to 30 minutes or less (or invite them to play—we are known as being friendly Manitobans, after all).
* The best post-pickleball treat is brunch or beers, of which Winnipeg has many. Check out our list of breweries in Winnipeg and our top brunch spots to visit.
Where to buy pickleball paddles and balls in Winnipeg
Forgot to pack your paddle? No problem. There are a number of awesome local sporting goods shops that sell pickleball paddles, balls, apparel, and more.
Royal Sports (750 Pembina Hwy) in Southwest Winnipeg sells pickleball paddles and balls in its expansive sporting goods storefront. They also happen to share a parking lot with Brazen Hall, a tasty brewpub with a big beer list and one of the best burgers in the city if you need some fuel before your next pickleball match.
For a central shopping experience, pop into the Racquets Pro Shop at the Winnipeg Winter Club (200 River Ave) for a new paddle or a sleeve of extra balls. The facilities at the Winter Club are reserved for members only, but you don't need to be a member to purchase paddles here. You can also order online.
You'll find Winnipeg's only dedicated pickleball shop in sunny St. James, not far from the Winnipeg James Richardson Airport and Assiniboine Park. Prairie Pickleball is run by pickleball enthusiasts Don and Gloria Kropla, and offers a wide selection of paddles, balls, nets, shoes, and other pickleball apparel. If you're looking for a specific paddle type or piece of equipment, this is the best place to look!
You'll need to phone ahead to set up a visit to their showroom, but you can also shop online anytime.
Pickleball courts in Winnipeg
In November 2022, a beautiful new outdoor pickleball complex was built at the St. James Memorial Sports Park (417 Sackville St), close to CF Polo Park Shopping Centre and the Winnipeg airport.
The complex features eight competition-sized, individually fenced outdoor courts with Plexipave surfaces and a center access plaza. There are washrooms nearby and ample parking. Certain hours may be reserved for Winnipeg West Pickleball members, so be sure to phone ahead or visit Winnipeg West Pickleball for more information.
Nearby you’ll also find Sir John Franklin Park (1405 Wellington Cres) and Bourkevale Community Centre (100 Ferry Rd), both of which have outdoor courts with added pickleball lines.
Further west still is La Flèche Park in Charleswood (17 Sinnott St), which is home to three dedicated pickleball courts, and Kirkfield-Westwood Community Centre (165 Sansome Ave).
If you're searching for pickleball in the south end of the city, visit Alex Bridge Park (685 Dalhousie Dr), which isn't far from the University of Manitoba and IG Field where the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Valour FC play.
You can also play at Centre Scolaire Léo Rémillard (1095 St Anne's Rd) and Jonathan Toews Community Centre (1188 Dakota St).
The closest pickleball courts to downtown Winnipeg are at McFadyen Park (416 Assiniboine Ave) where two tennis courts have been marked with pickleball lines. Due to its central location, this is a fairly busy park that is popular with tennis players. It also happens to be right next to Fête Ice Cream & Coffee and a short walk to The Forks, making it an ideal spot for a full day of activities!
Just south of The Forks, Norwood Community Centre (87 Walmer St) has also added fresh pickleball lines to one of their tennis courts.
The courts at Jill Officer Park (1410 Rothesay St) in North Kildonan were recently upgraded and reconfigured into two tennis courts and four pickleball courts with a Plexipave playing surface, new benches and trash cans, as well as fencing, parking lot repairs, and landscaping.
Where to play pickleball indoors in the winter in Winnipeg
Winnipeg's snowy winters make playing pickleball a little more difficult—although if you're brave enough, you could strap on your skates and play pickleball on ice like local radio host Ace Burpee.
Pickleball can be played throughout winter in Winnipeg at a number of community clubs, indoor rinks, and gyms. There is usually a small drop-in or membership fee to play, and many indoor locations have limited hours for pickleball (usually weekday mornings).
For a complete list of indoor locations, visit Pickleball Manitoba. It's also a good idea to phone ahead and check to ensure the facility will be open for pickleball on the day of your visit.
Pickleball Tournaments in Manitoba
Manitoba hosts a number of pickleball tournaments each year. In 2023, the following pickleball tournaments will be taking place:
Manitoba Provincial Tournament - Dakota Community Centre / May 31-June 3, 2023
Manitoba Seniors 55+ Games - Pickleball Event / Portage La Prairie June 20-23, 2023
South Interlake 55+ Pickleball Tournament - Stonewall, MB / September 8 - 10, 2023
Gimli Recreational Centre - Fall Tournament / September 15-17, 2023