In December, 2019 a timely visit to our local rec center provided us a look at what appeared to be some sort of life-size ping pong game for senior citizens. "What in the world is THAT?" I muttered. "THAT...is Pickleball" came the reply. Mental note taken, but life carried on as before.
March, 2020 the world shut down. My weekly commutes to Florida were a thing of the past, my wife saw her start-up company go under (after receiving a commitment to fund just one week earlier), and now after 20 years of balancing two careers, business travel, kid commitments, and general chaos, we were homebound. Remembering our discovery of Pickleball just two months earlier, we ordered a full pickleball set from Amazon, found an empty parking lot across the street and began smacking a yellow whiffle ball around for fun. It was instant love. Ignoring the fact we were clueless about strategy, rules and the crazy scoring system, we encouraged friends and family to try this "new" sport we had discovered. Our weekends turned into five, six, seven hour days playing, learning, and getting hooked on the sport. "Pandemic Picklers," we laughingly called it, but the stats back that term up - in the last two years Pickleball has grown over 39% and shows very little sign of slowing.
Today, we are charter members of the North Texas Pickleball Association and Southlake Paddle Club and we will continue our efforts to expand the footprint of this great sport ~ and while we're at it, let's wear some awesome gear, how 'bout it?
"Pandemic Picklers" Go Legit
March 28, 2020 - Bicentennial Park, Southlake, TX. This is Ground Zero in our Pickleball history (that's Karen in the foreground.) Little did we know that this original parking lot game of Pickleball would lead to a passion, a tribe, and maybe even a business.
As we continued to research, we found one fact undeniable - as great as the sport is, the options for Pickleball apparel were gimmicky, low-quality, cartoonish and really not anything we wanted to wear.
While discussing the idea to a friend in the promotional marketing game, he realized what we did ~ this idea had legs ~ and we added a partner.
One week later, "dink.pro" was purchased, "Sluggo" was born, and we started designing the first dink mock-up shirts.
Here's the actual doodle that saw the birth of our little buddy "Sluggo" and the first rendition of our "dink" logo. Not quite the work of cro-magnon man, but suffice to say these relics do indicate intelligent life was involved with the creation of our line.
Now, if you're paying attention you probably see "dink" played out in several pickle-related ventures. We get it, it's a natural term for anyone familiar with the sport, but how many times can people play off the "dink responsibly/designated dinker/dink and drive as their "original" idea? We're the real deal baby, come on in the water is fine!