Let’s start with a sentence we have written dozens of times in the past year — pickleball is “the fastest-growing sport in America.” Indeed, a recent report from the National Sporting Goods Association stressed that pickleball growth isn’t slowing down as it showed the highest percentage increase year-over-year for the fourth consecutive year. What other sport is up 54 percent in 2023 versus 2022?

So as run specialty retailers discuss whether to add the product category to their sales floors, word comes that Selkirk Sport, the leading manufacturer of pickleball equipment, has entered into a collaboration with Rhone, the performance lifestyle brand dedicated to championing mental fitness. The partnership underscores both brands’ dedication to providing top-notch gear to athletes. 

Rhone is venturing into the pickleball market with a new product line called The Backspin Collection. With the help of Selkirk Sport, the line features apparel and paddles designed specifically for pickleball enthusiasts. 

“We are eager to welcome Rhone to the pickleball arena,” says Mike Barnes, co-founder and co-CEO of Selkirk Sport. “This collaboration signifies a pivotal movement for both brands as we join forces to cater to the specific needs of pickleball athletes. We are excited to pair Rhone’s authority in performance apparel with Selkirk’s leadership in pickleball to bring top-tier products to the community.” 

Launched to coincide with the recent U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, the collection features Rhone-designed men’s shorts and T-shirts alongside two of Selkirk Sport’s most sought-after pickleball paddles. The offerings will be available in black, white and stormy sea green. 

“We love working with great people who make incredible products. When we fell in love with pickleball we knew we needed equipment that would match the quality of our clothing and for us, the only choice was Selkirk,” adds Ben Checketts, co-founder and creative director of Rhone. “The craftsmanship of their paddles is second to none, and the people behind the brand are just as high quality. We are thrilled to bring this partnership to life.”

The collection will be divided between the brands’ websites, with each offering exclusive items. 

Rhone will feature the SLK x Rhone EVO 2.0 Control Max paddle, Men’s 7” Backspin Shorts and the Men’s Backspin T-shirt.

Selkirk Sport will offer the Selkirk x Rhone Luxx Control Air Epic paddle, along with co-branded versions of the shorts and T-shirt. 

Pricing and product details: 

  • At $100, the EVO 2.0 Control Max is a paddle choice for beginners and intermediate players because it is designed with a large sweet spot and spin-friendly materials. 
  • The Luxx Control Air Epic, which costs $250, is a premium control paddle designed for advanced players who prefer to play with finesse rather than sheer power. 
  • Designed for comfort and performance in mind, the shorts feature all-way stretch fabric and cost $84. 
  • Crafted with moisture-wicking technology, the Backspin T-Shirt is designed to keep players dry during the most intense matches. It retails for $68.