As pickleball continues to grow and flourish in the States, many existing apparel companies are jumping on the bandwagon and taking notice of the limited apparel specific to the sport. With the pandemic spiking in popularity during the pandemic years, pickleball has gone mainstream. The exponential growth is also attracting a host of start-up companies trying to provide quality pickleball apparel to the rabid fanbase. Among the new brands jumping into the pickleball arena is dink.pro, founded by the couple Karen and John Whitaker.
The inspiration for dink.pro began with a chance encounter. John took note of a “life-size ping pong game” at the local recreation center in December 2019 and, being a self-proclaimed “impulse buyer,” immediately went online and ordered a complete pickleball set for their home. Karen remembers, “I rolled my eyes, lol. I thought, here’s another item to clutter up the garage!” Then everything changed. After the world shut down in March 2020 due to COVID-19, they had the time to give the game a try and it was instantly love. They both developed a keen interest in the sport and began to put in extra time to learn more about it. Karen became especially passionate about playing the game, spending hours every day, whereas John participated when he could after returning to his career in HR management.
Karen’s intense involvement in the emerging sport made her realize the need for apparel that was specific to pickleball, not a mishmash of clothing from other sports. “Pickleball has a personality” added John; “Karen wanted to capture that personality.” So the couple began to design a clothing line dedicated to the game. It took over a year to bring the concept into reality. Looking back, Karen says “At the time there were only a couple sites that even offered pickleball clothing. We knew that would change so we spent time making a line that would stand out.” As a result, Karen created unique, stylish, and easy-to-wear apparel and with John’s support they launched their line of clothing in November, 2022.
Choosing clothes that balance comfort and functionality is the right way to ensure you get the most fun out of pickleball. The duo’s pickleball brand has everything you need for your next game and checks all the right boxes. It is fashionable, fun, and snarky pickleball wear with personality. The one-stop shop offers a wide selection of shirts, tanks, hoodies, jackets and pullovers for both men and women. The Whitakers are committed to providing players with fashionable and functional pickleball apparel that enhances their performance on court. Follow Karen and John Whitaker to learn more about their pickleball journey!