Sln/cr Panels LLC, a firm based in Mission, Kan., has designed lightweight and customizable sound-absorption panels specifically for pickleball. Its panels absorb the 1.2kHz frequency of pickleball noise and reduce sound intensity by 60%, according to its website. Sln/cr recently teamed up with USA Pickleball for an event near Boston to showcase its solution. While pickleball grew significantly during the pandemic, the expansion of the sport also prompted noise complaints and lawsuits.
A Mission, Kan.-based startup wants to solve a nationwide nuisance — the erratic noise of pickleball, Kansas City Business Journal reported.
With a boost from the pandemic, the sport has surged in popularity, and in 2022 alone, 1,557 USA Pickleball-registered facilities were added in North America. That’s roughly 130 new locations a month. It’s now the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.
Pickleball’s expansion, however, has spurred noise complaints and lawsuits, Kansas City Business Journal reported. Locally, Mission Woods’ then-Mayor Darrell Franklin and his wife, Laurie, filed a lawsuit last year against Mission Hills Country Club to relocate its pickleball courts farther from their home. They alleged in the suit that the noisy courts interfered with their “tranquil and peaceful environment,” Kansas City Business Journal reported.
Club + Resort Business has reported on pickleball-related noise complaints at Birchwood Country Club in Westport, Conn., The Lake Club in Wilton, Conn., the New Canaan (Conn.) Field Club, Longboat Key (Fla.) Club, and Birchwood Country Club in Westport, Conn., among others.
The complaints could create a big opportunity for Mission startup Sln/cr Panels LLC, pronounced “silencer.” It designed lightweight and customizable sound-absorption panels specifically for pickleball, Kansas City Business Journal reported. The panels use best-in-class sustainable fabrics and proprietary nanotechnology that converts sound energy to heat. Its panels absorb the 1.2kHz frequency of pickleball noise and reduce sound intensity by 60%, according to its website.
Sln/cr recently teamed up with USA Pickleball for an event near Boston to showcase its solution, Kansas City Business Journal reported. USA Pickleball is the sport’s national governing body.
“USA Pickleball has been working closely with several vendors in the product and technology space that can help support our investment in acoustic research and initiatives, with Sln/cr being one of these,” Carl Schmits, USA Pickleball’s managing director of equipment standards and facilities development, said in a release. “Our Manchester-By-The-Sea event is designed to showcase how we plan to work with facilities across the country to develop guidance and resources that offer short- and long-term solutions that enhance the sport. We look forward to continued collaborations with the Sln/cr team as we continue to provide our community with solutions to sound mitigation.”
USA Pickleball recently launched its Quiet Category for pickleball products, an initiative that aims to reduce the sport’s sound output.