Stephen Moyer Serves Up His Pickleball Passion

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By Jacob Jackson

Actor Stephen Moyer has made a name for himself starring in hit shows like “True Blood”, but he has another obsession taking over his free time: pickleball. The 53-year-old celebrity can’t get enough of the popular paddle sport, which he plays at least 4 times a week.

What Draws Stars Like Moyer to Pickleball?

Pickleball has been growing rapidly over the past decade but exploded in popularity when the pandemic hit. With over 4.8 million players in the U.S. alone in 2022, it’s now considered the fastest-growing sport in America. Celebrities like Moyer love that it’s social, fun, and easy to learn. Plus, it’s a great exercise that’s easy on the joints.

Stephen Moyer Pickleball
Los Angeles Times

The sport has a reputation for being popular among active adults and seniors, but now everyone from teenagers to those in their 30s and 40s is grabbing paddles too. Even those with zero racquet sports experience can pick up the basics in a session or two.

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Inside Moyer’s Pickleball Habit

For Moyer, his obsession started when he first tried pickleball a few years ago near his home in New York State’s Hudson Valley. He instantly took to the sport’s quick volleys and strategy. Now he plays 4 to 5 times a week at a local community center near his home.

“I’m not kidding when I say it is truly addictive,” Moyer told People Magazine in an exclusive interview.

He loves meeting other pickleball addicts from his community and getting a great workout in at the same time: “It’s inexpensive, super fun, and a real workout,” he said.

The former vampire Bill Compton from HBO’s True Blood often watches pickleball videos before bed, checking out the latest paddle tech and pro match highlights.

Pickleball Gives Moyer a Sports Community

Another perk of pickleball for the actor is that it helps fulfill his competitive drive and need to be part of a team.

“I love the communal team spirit and camaraderie since acting can be quite solitary with all the line learning,” Moyer explained.

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Smashing pickleball not only offers a healthy outlet for stress but has become Stephen Moyer’s favorite hobby. He can’t imagine life without it, although he jokes that his wife, fellow actor Anna Paquin, is still warming up to the sport.

Pickleball Basics: Rules, Scoring and Gear

For those not familiar with pickleball, it’s similar to a smaller version of tennis played on a badminton-sized court with a wiffle ball and large paddles. Games are usually doubles and scoring goes up to 11 points with a win by 2.

Some key pickleball rules and lingo to know:

Moyer’s Pickleball Habit
  • The serve must be made underhand and kits the ball diagonally cross-court.
  • Only the serving team can score a point – the returning team must win back the serve to score.
  • “Dinking” refers to soft shots landing just over the net to set up a putaway shot.
  • Equipment needed includes paddles, balls, court shoes, and comfortable athletic gear.

Top brands for gear include Selkirk, Franklin, Onix, and Gamma to name a few. Paddles run from $50 to $150+ for graphite ones preferred by experienced players.

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Pickleball’s Popularity Translates On and Off-Screen

With A-listers like Stephen Moyer embracing it and retiree communities booming, pickleball’s buzz just keeps growing. Even the best tennis academies like famed coach Nick Bollettieri’s IMG Academy now offer pickleball training.

On-screen, pickleball plotlines have popped up on shows like “Teen Mom”, “The Connors” and “Cobra Kai” as it enters mainstream pop culture. Some pro athletes like NFL legend Drew Brees have bought into pickleball, investing in events and Gearbox paddles.

So whether you’re already pickleball obsessed like Stephen Moyer or looking for a new hobby, grab a paddle and welcome to the fastest-growing sport in America!

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