Man playing tennis with orange shirt

Here’s How to Play Pickleball On Your Next Vacation

Pickleball has arrived! A year and a half ago, Seaside built its very own pickleball courts. Three new hard courts were built on the site of old Court 1 for tennis. Although one tennis court is technically enough room for four, we spread out three courts in the space. We also have a shady viewing area for players and spectators.

I am a die-hard, old tennis pro. I have to admit, however, that the new courts are bringing us new clients we would have likely never met without pickleball. The game is more user friendly than tennis. First, the court is smaller, so less movement is required. The net is also lower, and the ball is slower, so in general less running is needed. Unlike tennis with its learning curve, pickleball is a game participants can typically play immediately.

Rules are the big challenge. You can’t step into the kitchen, the area closest to the net, for volleys. You have to serve underhanded and cross court. You have to allow the return to bounce. You have to be serving to win points. And then in doubles play, both servers serve before it is side out. It’s not completely complicated, but different enough to confuse the first-time players. Just come do our Intro Clinic or a schedule a private lesson. Our Pros will explain it all and teach you how to play.

What I love seeing are the new pickleball players. Some have never played any racket sports at all. A new activity is always a challenge, and I think most of the time it’s fun. We have had multiple groups come in for play and lessons. Different abilities blend very well in pickleball. Bachelorette groups seem to be our new biggest market. We’re also hosting pickleball events for corporate retreats, family reunions, wedding-weekend festivities and for any group that just wants a fun activity while in Seaside.

This fall, due to popular demand, we will be expanding our pickleball programming. We currently have an Introduction to Pickleball Clinic each Monday from 10-11 a.m., and starting after Labor Day, we will conduct more advanced clinics and round robins. We are also offering pickleball group packages. Check with us in the Pro Shop for the new pickleball schedule.

The bottom line is Seaside has added a new activity for you. Call or come by the Pro Shop to book time for your new Seaside memories. See you on the courts!

Schedule:

Tennis Eye Opener Clinics, Mon-Sun. 8 – 9 a.m., Mon.-Thurs. 9-10 a.m., and Mon-Thurs. 10-11 a.m.

Tennis Round Robins, Fri.-Sun. 9 -10:30 a.m.

Intro to Pickleball, Mon. 10-11 a.m. (except holidays)

Courts are open for play daily 8 a.m.- dusk. Please call (850) 231-2214 to reserve courts, book lessons or sign-up for clinics and round robins. Find 30A TENNIS and SEASIDE TENNIS on Facebook for weather updates, news and events.

Family running at the Seaside beach

All the best summertime activities in Seaside, from pickleball to lap pools

Summertime means time to unwind. But it also means you can try out new activities that you love or have never experienced before. Luckily, Seaside offers plenty of different fun fitness trends and classics. Whether you’re a regular tennis player or want to pick up pickleball, love sand volleyball and want to start shuffleboard, or are ready to ditch the beach for the lap pool, there’s truly something for everyone. Read on to discover the best ways to embrace all the activities our town has to offer.

Tennis

450 Forest Street

Seaside is famous for its tennis, thanks to director Tracy Townsend, who has been on the courts for more than 20 years (he even writes his very own column for this newspaper). Tracy’s great with both beginners and all-stars, so make an appointment.

The town offers five Har-Tru courts – one of which is lit for night play – and three brand-new Pickleball courts for guests, members, and the public. And if you didn’t bring your tennis whites (or your racket) simply stop by the Pro Shop to stock up on whatever you’ll need to play.

For lessons, contact Tracy at tracy@30atennis.com or call (850) 231-2214.

Pickleball

Rent a court and get ready to play. It’s $48 an hour for rental guests and $50 for walk-ins. Club members get one hour complimentary daily with their membership card, based on availability with reservation, and then pay $50 for every additional hour. If you’ve never played before, mark your calendar for Monday from 10am to 11 am Intro to Pickleball Clinic.

Fitness Center

If you’re staying in town and feel like working out, head to the fitness center. It’s open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Swimming

If you don’t feel like a dip in the Gulf of Mexico, head to the lap pool. But if you’d rather lounge, there are three community pools available to both Club members, homeowners, and guests staying in Seaside. All of the pools are open from 8 a.m. until dusk. Pool towels are available for use and seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. The adult pool is for guests 16 & up.

Surfing

Austin Magee’s Surf School has been teaching kids to surf for years. Head to Seaside Beach behind the Coleman Pavilion for lessons. Just call Austin first at (850) 217-4042 or email him at austin.magee@rocketmail.com.

Yoga

Get your downward dog on! Classes are daily unless there’s inclement weather – follow @seasideflyoga on Instagram to keep up. Simply bring your own mat or towel and a bottle of water and get ready for Gulf views while you practice your poses. Classes are at the Seaside Pavilion right behind the Pop-Up district. Vinyasa Flow starts at 8:30 a.m. with talented instructors who have been leading classes for years. There’s no need to register in advance, but feel free to e-mail seasideflyoga@yahoo.com if you have questions. Classes cost $25, and you can pay by Venmo, by cash or with a check.

Seaside's Tennis Director Reflects on Program's Pinnacle Moments

Seaside’s Tennis Director commemorates the program’s best moments

I graduated high school in 1978. Yep, I’ve been around a while. My high school tennis career was a good one. It was built around wooden rackets and steady ground strokes. Of course, the foot speed I had in those days helped a lot. That too is in the past.

During my college career, tennis was ever-changing. I started and finished my four years with a wooden racquet, but the transition to racquets made of aluminum, metal and other components was rapidly occurring. The change to a serve and volley game was also taking over. With emerging stars like McEnroe, Ashe and Navratilova having great success with it, my game also changed to this more aggressive style of play.

The great rivalries over the next few decades kept tennis fans immensely entertained: The ground game of Borg versus the net game of McEnroe. Everett’s mastery of the baseline versus the athleticism of Navratilova. The return game of Agassi versus the incredible serve of Sampras.

Seaside Tennis itself was started by teaching pros Charlotte and Dave. I arrived in 2000 to take over and put in new programs. Seaside was still an oasis during my first few years. The now surrounding resorts were just getting started, and there truly wasn’t a big tennis community at the time. I wondered if I could build this into a program worth staying for.

I remember days when no one would show up for my new morning clinic. Over the years, we built the program to a steady level. Now, you have to sign up in advance to reserve your space. Our Eye Opener Clinics and Round Robins sell out regularly all year long. I am so happy I endured the lean early years to develop this tennis program. It is successful beyond my wildest dreams.

One of the most exciting events we’ve held at Seaside Tennis was when Jim Courier did an exhibition with me in 2005. We built a stadium court on the croquet lawn and brought in stands to seat the sold-out crowd. He and I played a round of golf the day before and talked about all the changes tennis had gone through and how it was still changing. He had such incredible insight and shared the changes he thought were coming. I must say, he knew what he was talking about. It was the highlight of my career getting to play with a former world No. 1!

The community of Seaside itself was different then. There were small kiosks in the middle of town center for fun local vendors. The building that houses Great Southern Café now was then called Shades. Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant, my favorite watering hole, was smaller, with J.B. and the Blinders playing music in the upstairs bar most nights. I knew the playlist by heart. It was such a special time in Seaside.

I am so proud of the Seaside Tennis program that I have built. Over my years here, I have met the most amazing people. Most of them come back to see me year after year. Even the ones who aren’t currently playing tennis stop by to say hi when they’re in town. I have the best clients that any tennis pro ever could ask for.

I’m grateful to be a part of Seaside’s history. The Seaside story is ever-changing, and I am happy to be along for the ride.

Spring Pro Shop Hours:

Mon.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Fri.-Sat., 9 a.m.-noon; Sun., 9-10:30 a.m.

Schedule:

Eye Opener Clinics, Mon.-Thurs. 9-10 a.m.

Round Robins, Fri.-Sun. 9-10:30 a.m.

Courts are open for play daily 8 a.m.- dusk. Please call (850) 231-2214 to reserve courts, book lessons or sign-up for clinics and round robins. Find 30A TENNIS and SEASIDE TENNIS on Facebook for weather updates, news and events.

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