‘Fast feet, slow hands’: Playing indoor pickleball in Clackamas

Published: Jan. 8, 2023 at 10:58 PM PST
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CLACKAMAS Ore. (KPTV) - First played on Bainbridge Island, Wash. in 1965, pickleball has spread around the country. But what to do when looking to play the Northwest native game in the gloom of an Oregon winter?

A new indoor pickleball place, RECS, has opened in Clackamas where pros and Hall-of-Famers are ready to teach the tips of the trade.

The facility, located at 17015 Southeast 82nd Drive, off Interstate 205, is owned by Kevin Richards, a retired Hillsboro PE teacher.

“I realized it was, like, the perfect sport,” Richards said. “You could just socialize, have fun, not take yourself too seriously. It’s a little bit goofy, it’s called pickleball after all.”

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Richards said the end of the pandemic was a perfect time to sign a lease on the building.

“And open this concept which has just become this incredible community for people who can’t get enough pickleball, but you can see the people walk in with a smile and leave with an even bigger smile on their face,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

Richards said he wanted to create something that would build a sense of community.

“And it’s pretty special to be around it,” he said.

Cathey Armillas is a member of RECS and said she plays pickleball nearly every day.

“Make pickle-buddies, that is what I like to call them,” Armillas said. “There is a genesis of ‘oh, what’s pickleball?’ ‘It’s terrible,’ to, ‘oh, it kind of is fun,’ ‘oh my god! I want to play every day.’ [It] is a game of fast feet, slow hands.”

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Joy Leising is a professional pickleball player who also pays it back as a certified instructor at RECS.

“I come from a tennis background and love tennis but pickleball is just super accessible,” Leising said. “I don’t think anyone would just be like, ‘here, use my paddle and come play and I’ll teach you the rules.’”