Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / China / Society

Gansu factory plays key role in China's pickleball industry

China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-07 09:23
Share - WeChat
Yang Kai checks a pickleball paddle in the showroom of his factory in Liangping village in Ningxian county, Gansu province, on Jan 21,2024. CHENG NAN/XINHUA

LANZHOU — With the whir of machines in the background, workers manufacture pickleball paddles made of carbon fiber in a workshop.

Wearing glasses, 55-year-old Dou Xincai carefully inspects different batches of paddles that his colleagues bring to him. After a while, the pile of paddles on his table grows so large that it obscures him.

The factory where Dou works was established in 2020 in Liangping village in Ningxian county, Qingyang city, on the Loess Plateau of Northwest China's Gansu province. The village sits at an altitude of 1,200 meters.

The factory has played an important role in the pickleball industry in Northwest China.

Originating in the United States and Europe, pickleball has been described as a combination of tennis, table tennis and badminton.

"It appears to be a game for all ages. The ball is lightweight because it's full of holes," said Yang Kai, the factory's owner, adding that there is much less impact on the body than when striking a tennis ball.

The factory has always been a contract manufacturer for other brands throughout the country.

"Last year, the factory's output value exceeded 10 million yuan ($1.39 million), and pickleball paddles were mainly exported to markets in Europe, North America and South America," Yang said.

A pickleball paddle is smaller than a tennis racket, larger than a regular table tennis paddle and rectangular.

"A paddle made of carbon fiber is also lightweight, which makes it easy for all ages to use," said Yang, adding that the production process consists of 10 steps, including cutting the carbon fiber, molding, polishing and spraying.

The factory is only responsible for manufacturing. The procurement of materials and sales are handled by other companies.

Yang said the villagers in Liangping had never seen a pickleball or paddle before his factory arrived. The factory now employs over 120 workers.

He and his staff have built a pickleball court for villagers and workers to play in the factory courtyard. Employees such as Dou receive a monthly income of over 3,000 yuan. The factory has also attracted 890,000 yuan of investment from the village and other governments.

More than 70 countries and regions have established pickleball associations. The United States has launched professional competitions, attracting many athletes from other sports to participate in recent years.

Pickleball was introduced to China over 10 years ago and has been continuously developed in many parts of the country. There are over 200,000 people who play the sport year-round in Guangdong province.

China's pickleball sports working committee was set up at the end of last year. The committee, led by the General Administration of Sports of China, will actively promote the popularization and development of pickleball across the country.

Pickleball practitioners such as Yang have more confidence in the industry after the establishment of the committee. He plans to run local pickleball associations and hold competitions on campuses in the future.

"This year, I will continue to establish more factories to expand production. I will try my best to promote pickleball in China," he said.


Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349