Pickleball Xpress opens in Islip with more on the way for LI, Brooklyn


Four partners from the South Shore have gotten together to launch a chain of pickleball complexes across the Island, starting in Islip.

The first Pickleball Xpress opened earlier this spring at 181 Freeman Ave., adjacent to Gold’s Gym.

And two more are on tap for Brightwaters and Red Hook, Brooklyn.

“The thing I love most about pickleball is just the fact that every age can play it,” said Quadir Russell, 24, of North Babylon, a former IBM engineer who launched the business alongside longtime businessmen Charlie Ferraro, Michael Khoury and Mitchell Sloan.

“There’s really no sport where you could all go with your family and have it be a competitive game,” Russell said.

There are some features that set Pickleball Xpress apart from its business competition, though.

For one, Russell pointed out, the place has 18-foot ceilings.

“Other places have low ceilings and [the ball] is constantly hitting the ceiling,” he said.

Then there’s the flooring; it’s soft, with four millimeters worth of padding.

“Lots of places have painted concrete, which tends to be hard on the knees, hard on the joints,” he said. “Whereas we went with a pro cushion system, which is pretty expensive but it’s really good for the older crowd, too.”

There are four regulation courts in all at the 10,000-square-foot facility. Click here for membership details, pricing, hours and more.

Russell points newcomers to the Beginner Clinic and urges them to use the promo code PBFIRST. It’s a 60-minute session.

“If it’s your first time playing, it’s free,” he said. “We’d like to get people into the sport who’ve never played before, get them to come down and learn, but a of times people are too scared to take that first step.

“We’ll provide you with a paddle and come down to play with Coach Gus.”

[Note: This original report mentioned only three partners.]

Top: Quadir Russell, 24, of North Babylon, at Xpress Pickleball, which opened in March in Islip. (Credit: Nick Esposito/GLI)

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