What’s in a Pickleball Set and What’s Different in a Bundle

A Pickleball Set and a Pickleball Bundle explained – first up and hands down pickleball is fun and it’s the people who combine to make it so. It happens for players and spectators alike and for those waiting for a turn to rotate in the play. You will find wherever you go that pickleball people just want to play pickleball. 

So what is a Pickleball Set?

A set is complete with all the things you need to just unpack and play. It is an out of the box community builder if you like. Have set and players – let’s play. You can buy a stock economy set version or you can opt for a slightly upmarket upgrade set or indeed you can custom build your own set contents.

All standard sets include a net, 4 paddles, balls (6 or more) and often court tape and a rule book. Important to note is that economy sets only contain wooden paddles which incidentally are perfectly adequate to get you started playing pickleball.

Pickleball Set Upgrade

If you are ready to upgrade your paddle and need a ‘SET’ or new SET, why not include four top-of-the-line paddles of your choice. Most Sets also have a purchase carry bag option also which certainly makes it easier for portability and worth consideration if you need to travel with it anywhere.

So How do you Pick the Perfect Pickleball Set?

While indeed there are many starters in pickleball who are more than happy to get in on the economy end, it is often the way that after a game or two you will be hooked because this game really is more addictive the chocolate. That means that you all of a sudden go from a wooden paddle will be good enough for me to naturally wanting a state of the art paddle which is all of a sudden where the confusion comes in – paddle selection. 

With so many Pickleball Set ‘Paddle’ options, where do you start?

Well you could go to a pickleball store either online or in person to read all about the marketing of paddles or you could get a really good handle on it by reading our page on what the Best Pickleball Paddle really means to you. 

So what’s the difference between a Pickleball Set and a Pickleball (paddle) Bundle?

A Pickleball Set includes everything you need to play and you can opt for a standard set or an upgrade set which normally means an upgrade to the paddles that are included. A bundle normally just refers to paddles x 2 or 4.

Both a Set and a Bundle (of paddles which normally includes a number of balls) is normally the best way to buy at a discount as opposed to buying all items separately.

The key differences are based on what it is you actually need; convenience and sometimes a value bargain. A set comes with everything you need to play pickleball. You get a net, 4 paddles, 6 or more balls and often court tape and a rule book.

Paddle Bundles are a step up if you like in paddle quality and are more for people who play the game already and are looking to buy some better quality paddles and gear. Most paddle bundles come with balls and sometimes with a carry or duffel bag case to put them in.

Personally I think sets should include only top quality gear but it is all about horses for course. What do you want? Low entry price or quality gear?

Again personally I’d look for recognized brands in Bundles and Pickleball Sets. Set net brands to look for would be  the Rally Net, which by the way at the time of writing is the only net system that comes with a ball holder (if that is a bonus to you) or the USAPA Portable Net System which we highly recommend. 

When it comes pickleball balls, as a newbie to the game you will be confused to say the least at the variety of balls on the market. However, there are just two categories of balls:

  • Indoor balls


  • Outdoor balls

Yes there are lots of brands but only small differences between the two categories. Sampler balls often included in sets are ideal for trying out the different types of pickleballs available for both indoor and outdoor to get a sense of how the balls bounce and play.

To most players who have played more than one game and find themselves now hooked on the game (silent laugh) – you will now look to paddles as arguably the most important part of any set or bundle.

Yes some Pickleball Sets start at the economy end which means they come with wood paddles and prove a solid entry point if you’re on a budget. Wood paddles where the only paddles available when this game first stated and are just as durable and inexpensive as they always were and will provide hours and hours of fun. 

The next step up in paddles is in the materials used to make a paddle which can include any combination of aluminum, graphite and composite materials. All have their claimed benefits to playing better and are aimed at players eager to take their game to the next level. The off-shoot to this step-up of course is price.

It is recommended for new players in the game to start with paddles that are stock-standard sizes that make the game as easy as possible for newbies. This would see a paddle with a ‘standard’ wide face which is generally around 8”. A wider paddle is useful to beginners because it gives you a fat or wide hitting surface which makes it easier for starters and little kiddies to hit the ball with.

By default they also have a larger “sweet spot” which can be a big help to new players. With a little practice however, rest assured that hitting the ball well will become the norm. A good thing to look for in a paddle also is for it to have ‘balance’ and the correct grip size for your hand.

If you like a particular paddle but want a bigger grip, this is really easy to do simply by adding an over grip to increase it’s size a bit.

And that is just about it for Sets and Bundles – in summary the key differences are based on what it is you actually need; convenience and sometimes a value bargain. A set comes with everything you need to play pickleball. A paddle bundle is basically a package of upgraded paddles (normally 2 or 4 paddles) with some balls included and often a paddle bag or bags.

You can option to upgrade or include anything you want with price being the real dictator of what you actually include with paddles attracting the largest variation to cost.

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