*As long as you have a designated sober scorekeeper
Pickleball. Let me count the reasons that you are the sweetest sport for stoners.
For one, you are the only sport besides rowing and badminton that has a food I devour when I’m baked right in the name.
As for the competition …
Sorry, frisbee folk. Great sport, but way too much running for me. And we all know how hard it is to get 12 people who puff to the park at one time.
I also figured that some lax bros may want to lay claim to the title, but an extensive calisthenics regimen doesn’t exactly jibe with cannabis unless you’re young and spiking your team’s protein shakes with high sativas.
Whatever pro-pot jocks from other flocks contend, I say their time on top is over.
You may ask, what are your credentials to make such a declaration? I have a few. On the green side, I have been consuming and advocating for decades and writing about weed for half of that time.
On the pickle end, I have been swinging four to five times a week for six years, played in some tournaments, and even contributed several columns to InPickleball Magazine. For what it’s worth, I usually go out stoned, and have even played on mushrooms, but that’s a story for another column.
For now, my task is to simply make the point that pickleball is prime for puffing.
The slower you move, the better
A lot of rookie pickleballers struggle with swinging too hard, running too fast, and generally expending too much energy. Stoners, at least in my experience, are well equipped to meet the challenge of not trying too hard. In this sport, being calm, high, and collected can actually help you.
As competitive as you make it
As an adult, it’s hard to find a casual game of pickup basketball, hockey, or volleyball where at least one former high school hero isn’t out for blood and throwing elbows. It’s the kind of situation that hardly goes well with weed. As for pickleball, there’s so much action out there that you can easily find a group that plays at a level you can handle when you’re ripped.
Common courts, common ground
There really aren’t many things that people of all ages basically agree on. Cannabis and pickleball are two of them. Last year, I found myself on a court with a college tennis player, a 55-year-old, and an octogenarian veteran. And I got to thinking: the only other place I’ve ever had that much fun with such a wide range of people has been outside the entrance of weed conventions. So I figured, why not combine the two?
Bartenders already broke the ice
For some reason, and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, the pickleball explosion has come with a shot of liquor and a spiked seltzer. Many clubs and destination court facilities are being built with bars, which can only be interpreted as meaning that that this is a social sports environment, where people are encouraged to tie one on. If cannabis doesn’t fit into that equation, then dabs don’t get you stoned.
Downtime’s great for getting high
Unless you have a regular recurring date with three friends and the four of you go hard game after game after game, the pickleball standard seems to be that you play a game, then get off, sit in your folding chair, and decide on your own when it’s time to throw your paddle back into the queue. There’s no pressure whatsoever. When you’re finished puffing, you can get back to playing.
As for the downside, scoring can get tricky when you’re swinging stoned. And forget about remembering whose turn it is to serve. Don’t worry though, there’s a simple solution—have at least one player who abstains from smoking in your pack, a designated dinker.
Just remember to stay out of the no-volley zone. Unfortunately, there are no snacks or ice cream in this kitchen.