The first Executive Director and President of U.S.A.P.A. was Sid Williams who served from 1984 to 1998. He was followed by Frank Candelario who kept things going until 2004.
The first composite paddle was made by Arlen Paranto, a Boeing Industrial Engineer. He used the fiberglass/nomex honeycomb panels that commercial airlines use for their floors and part of the airplane’s structural system. Arlen made about 1,000 paddles from fiberglass/honeycomb core and graphite/honeycomb core materials until he sold the company to Frank Candelario.
Currently, the sport of pickleball is exploding in popularity. There are now nearly 8,500 locations on the USA Pickleball’s Places2Play map. The spread of the sport is attributed to its popularity within community centers, PE classes, YMCA facilities and retirement communities. The sport continues to grow worldwide as well with many new international clubs forming and national governing bodies now established on multiple continents.