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Pickleball making a racket in NZ having taken off in the US

It's one of the fastest growing sports in the United States and now pickleball is making a racket here in New Zealand.

A combination of tennis, ping pong, and badminton, pickleball is fast, fun and seriously addictive.

The snap and crackle of plastic on paddle is now being heard across the country as word spreads about the sport.

""It's really all over the place and growing like crazy," Jeff Parke, Pickleball Auckland Central president told 1 NEWS.

"It has flavours of making popcorn, it's just a lovely noise. People talk to each other while they play. It's a very social game."

It's social, because of the smaller space pickleball is played in. For the competitive, that just means closer combat.

The game is played on a badminton-sized court with a net slightly shorter than one used for tennis.

Overseas, pickleball has gone professional in recent years.

Recent converts here are putting the 'pop' into the sport's growing popularity.

"It's quite addictive. I hate to say it. I'm a former tennis player but I absolutely love pickleball," one player said.

Another said:  "I like to exercise but gyms are not for me. So I started playing, called up a couple of mates and said 'hey come down here, try this game'."

The advice to new players is - find yourself a skillful teammate who knows what they're doing.

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The combination of tennis, ping pong and badminton is fast, fun and seriously addictive. Source: 1 NEWS