Playing Pickleball in Mazatlan

By Simon Lynds, June 2024

Pickleball in Mazatlan

[Simon arrived from the UK in Mazatlan in 2004. He quickly became fluent in Spanish and was immediately in high demand for his marketing skills. In 2014 he created the rock and roll event, Mazatlan Rocks the Beach, and today he consults with various companies [too many to name.] and contributes to many fundraisers [too many to name.] Simon is currently the president of the Mazatlan Pickleball Club. If you would like to read more about Simon and his journey, please click here.]

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport globally. The 2023 APP Pickleball Participation Report claim that 36.5 million people have played pickleball at least once in the last year. It’s no surprise that Mazatlan with its year-round snow-free weather has become a haven for pickleball players. Slowly the lines on tennis courts are being converted to pickleball standards.

I used to be an avid tennis player but to be fair, my game wasn’t improving and I needed to play with different people. I started playing pickleball in 2022 having been introduced to the sport at the Mazatlan Pickleball Club by a fellow tennis player who thought I would enjoy it. She was right! I was immediately hooked! Now I had a chance to be involved in something new [for me]and be part of a really terrific group of people who played for the enjoyment and the socializing. The rules were a bit of a challenge but the more I played the easier that part became. There was something else that I found really interesting – I was able to progressively learn and get better among peers with no pressure and no expectations.

An unexpected bonus with joining a club is the organized [but fun] tournaments, sunset drinks, fundraisers for under privileged children, seasonal parties and just generally celebrating, as a group, a really great sport. I’m a competitive person as well as being social  – the club provides opportunities to develop your skills and raise the level of your play. You don’t need to wear white, or have a fancy outfit. Decent footwear obviously and I prefer a Selkirk halo paddle [the rep here is Manuel Altamirano, monoallen@outlook.com] but there many cheaper options too online.

So, where can you play pickleball in Mazatlan?

I’ll start with my club: Mazatlan Pickleball Club – it’s located in Iguana Park and Marlin park in Sabalo. Contact mazpball19@gmail.com or join the FB page, Mazatlan Pickleball Club. 2025 membership is open in October for a limited number of people, again mazpball19@gmail.com. It’s a not-for-profit and runs all year long with about 300 + international members.

Sahop also runs all year long and it’s located behind UAS university east of aquarium. It’s mainly Nationals, and for more details you can contact Manuel Altamirano, monoallen@outlook.com.

El Cid Pickleball Club, mostly international members, and you can get all the details through the El Cid Country Club – elcidgolfclub@elcid.com.mx

I am aware of three pay-as-you-go spaces that have pickleball courts. I suggest you visit the players early in the morning – they would be happy to fill you in on times, rules and regulations etc. Sister City Park, at Zaragoza and the Malecon -A quote from a player regarding Sister City Park/Parque Ciudades Hermanas: “…during the high season (roughly November through April) a Mexican man named Eduardo Tapia runs pickleball games at Sisters starting around 8:00 am and ending around 10 am. It’s drop-in play for all levels. He provides nets and balls and keeps the games moving along. I think he charges 40 pesos per day, and there are games Monday through Friday. He has a Faceboook group called PickleMaz.… in the low season there are games at Sisters starting at 8:30 am. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. It’s drop-in play, no fee, and no one’s really in charge. Those of us with nets bring them, and everyone contributes balls. If you decide to check it out in low season ask a regular player if you can join their WhatsApp group so the you can see who’s playing on any particular day.”; Cerritos, just past the second bridge in the Marina; Marlin Early Birds in Marlin Park, Sabalo.

This sport is growing so quickly other groups/spaces may open up. If you see a new court that’s not listed here, please contact the editor of MazatlanLife so it can be added to this article – editormazatlanlife@gmail.com

Formalized clubs and pay-as-you-go courts have their own rules and drop-in policies. It’s best to reach out to existing members and discuss the etiquette of their “court”.  I play three times a week, sometimes more, so I am well and truly hooked on pickleball. Here are some quotes people are saying:

  • You don’t play pickleball – pickleball plays you.
  • It’s not that pickleball is BETTER than tennis, it’s just a lot more fun.
  • Anyone who says pickleball is boring clearly hasn’t sustained a 40 shot dink rally.
  • “One more game!” – Famous Last Words
  • Pickleball: It’s not just for old people!
  • Some people don’t spend time drilling and it shows.
  • Sorry tennis, I’m with pickleball now.
  • The day I hit my first Erne was the day I fell in love with pickleball.
  • Drive, drop, dink — repeat.
  • Funny how a little yellow wiffle ball can completely take over your life.