In 1984 PROLITE Sports was born and created an industry.
So began the production of the very first composite pickleball paddle.
This paddle was the first of its kind - an innovation that revolutionized the sport of pickleball and the industry in general. While our original company name has changed from ULTRA-LITE Paddle Co., the steadfast commitment to building innovative products made from the finest, made in the U.S.A materials, has remained the same.
PROLITE is a family owned business led by owner, Neil Friedenberg – himself a 5.0 player. The company manufactures pickleball paddles along the scenic shores of Lake Michigan in Port Washington, Wisconsin. A strong dedication to the sport, it’s players and Midwestern work ethic were founding principles and continue to drive its growth.
At PROLITE, the goals are crystal clear; produce paddles geared for a variety of player types, made of the best materials available, supported by stellar customer service, and back it all with a solid warranty and distinct identity. PROLITE never backs down from being different and thinking much differently than the competition. The "Be a leader, not a follower" is imbedded in every ounce of their identity and it shows in the distinct feel and look of the PROLITE products.
As true ambassadors of the game we love most, PROLITE gives back to its community in a number of ways. We teach the sport at all levels including numerous free clinics, are a proud sponsor of many grassroots clubs across the United States, back dozens of smaller regional and state tournaments, help grow the sport internationally and donate gear to schools, veterans programs and other worthy causes.
The First Time I Played Pickleball
The first time I ever played pickleball was in the 1980’s at the Weyerhaeuser Fitness Center in Federal Way, Washington. They had just installed one pickleball court. My father, Mark Friedenberg, was a computer analyst there and would often play during his lunch hours. Shortly after, he introduced me to this fairly new game.
I was an avid tennis player and followed my dad to racquetball tournaments so I picked up the game quickly. I remember the variety of paddles on the rack above the courts. Most were wooden, but I was drawn to the one made out of a different material with a ball and lightning bolt in the sweet spot. It played better than all of the others and felt great in my hands.
My father taught me the rules of pickleball, the boundaries, and the strategies. What did I learn? At the time…that I really wanted to beat my dad. Looking back at it now…I learned patience. I learned shot selection. I learned never to underestimate my opponent. Most importantly, I learned how this game can bring enjoyment to players in the purest form. That this game can bridge the gap between all generations creating a positive social atmosphere. If there was ever a lifelong sport to be enjoyed by everyone, pickleball is it. I am proud to be involved in such a great game.
Neil Friedenberg, Owner PROLITE Sports