FALLS CHURCH, VA. (7News) — If you’re going back and forth on ideas for a new hobby, America’s new favorite game might just be your match.
Pickleball – a cross between tennis and ping pong – is blowing up nationally. It’s a fun activity that doesn’t take as large a toll on your body. Perfect for people in their 50s, 60s, and teens?
"I'm a professional pickleball player...but if I were to go back to school to catch up with a friend that's my age, they'll definitely look me in the eye think that I'm crazy," Truong said.
At just 18 years old, Fairfax County’s Alix Truong is one of the top pickleball players in the country.
"Pickleball is a sport where age doesn't matter and so when I'm hanging out with all the people in the pickleball community, I don't fit really feel like I'm 18 years old. I feel like I'm older than that," she said.
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A multi-sport high school athlete, Truong took up pickleball with her dad during the pandemic, realized she was a natural, and is now winning tournaments on the APP pro tour.
"And everybody was telling everybody, 'Pickleball is not a sport. It's not a career, like you're not gonna make money off of it,'" she said. "I'm like, 'okay, maybe I'll get some spare change here and there,' which is what I thought back then. And then I hit the pro tour and I started winning a couple hundred, couple thousand -- just the money started to rack up and I was like, 'okay, as a 16, 17-year-old, that's that's good.'"
With millions of new players each year, pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. And Truong says that as more people her age give it a shot, the bigger the hit it will become.
"Recently, an article came out where 36.5 million people played pickleball last year, which is huge. They're huge numbers, and they're just going to keep increasing each year," Truong said.