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  • Writer's pictureMarc Ebinger

The Making of 'Texas Pickle Hall' with Handz Pickleball & Urban Earth

Updated: Feb 28

The parallels between sports and business are striking—both demand dedication, teamwork, and a passion for turning obstacles into stepping stones toward success. In this blog, follow the dynamics of Jesse 'Handz' Diaz and David Komet in their element as they collaborate to breathe life into the Texas Pickle Hall—a project set to make waves in the San Antonio community, capturing the hearts of both existing sports enthusiasts and those on the brink of discovering a newfound love for the game.

This blog is a companion piece to the Let's Talk Business podcast episode hosted by Marc Ebinger and co-hosted by Kyan Frith. To catch the full episode visually, click here:

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a hybrid sport, that blends with the best elements of tennis, badminton, and Ping Pong into a unique and exhilarating experience. Jesse "Handz" Diaz, the Founder of Handz Pickleball, describes it as a sport accessible to all, regardless of age or skill level. Its rapid growth across the United States underscores its appeal, drawing in enthusiasts from diverse sporting backgrounds. This fusion of familiar elements creates a dynamic and engaging activity that continues to capture the hearts of millions.

Distinctive Features of Pickleball & Its Growing Popularity in San Antonio, Texas

Jesse Diaz delves into the popularity rise of pickleball, highlighting its irresistible allure, especially in regions like San Antonio. With user-friendly rules and accessible equipment, pickleball serves as a gateway for people of all ages, providing both physical activity and social interaction. Diaz emphasizes the sport's addictive nature, a result of combining enjoyable aspects from various sports, transforming it into a lifestyle embraced nationwide. The popularity of pickleball extends beyond accessibility, with distinctive features such as calorie-burning potential and unique gameplay dynamics, attributed to the smaller court size that demands quick reflexes and agile footwork, creating a fast-paced and engaging experience. These unique characteristics contribute significantly to pickleball's widespread appeal and continued growth.

Handz Pickleball: Bridging Passion with Entrepreneurship

At the heart of Handz Pickleball lies Jesse Diaz's unwavering passion for the sport and his entrepreneurial spirit. Diaz's journey from player to founder reflects his commitment to sharing his love for pickleball with others. Through Handz Pickleball, Diaz envisions not just a business venture but a platform to nurture a thriving pickleball community in San Antonio. His dedication to meeting the rising demand for pickleball facilities underscores his belief in the sport's potential to transform lives and bring people together.

Collaboration with David Komet & Urban Earth on Building the Texas Pickle Hall

The partnership between Jesse Diaz and David Komet of Urban Earth marks a significant step towards realizing the Texas Pickle Hall indoor facility. Diaz's approach to collaboration emphasizes thorough analysis and consideration of critical factors such as site selection and air quality—a reflection of his commitment to ensuring an inclusive and accessible space for all players. By pivoting towards the development of the pickleball facility, Diaz and Komet demonstrate their shared vision of creating a hub for pickleball enthusiasts to come together, play, and thrive.

Dispelling Misconceptions: The Affordability of Green Building

In the realm of construction, there's a common misconception that Green Building comes with a hefty price tag. However, David challenges this notion by shedding light on the strides made in the field. With advancements in materials and a deepening understanding of sustainable practices, Green Building has become increasingly cost-effective. David emphasizes that knowledge and skills play a pivotal role in achieving sustainability goals without breaking the bank. By debunking the myth of its expense, Green Building emerges as not only an environmentally conscious choice but also a financially prudent one.

High-Performance Building: Prioritizing Air Quality & the Player Experience

Jesse's commitment to air quality in the venue, shaped by his and his son's struggles with asthma, is complemented by David's detailed exploration of high-performance building techniques. From continuous thermal insulation to high-performance windows, each element is meticulously designed for enhanced energy performance and occupant satisfaction. The airtight construction and mechanical ventilation are underscored as crucial for maintaining optimal indoor air quality within the holistic approach of high-performance building. Crafting the pickleball venue in a hot and humid climate goes beyond conventional approaches, focusing on a multifaceted strategy that ensures comfort for players and spectators alike. The project stands out through its reliance on passive solutions, prioritizing air quality, insulation, and thermal mass over mechanical equipment, promising enhanced performance and lower maintenance costs. The pickleball venue aspires to be more than functional, aiming to cultivate a unique atmosphere by seamlessly blending aesthetics with the players' experience through innovative construction methods and careful attention to acoustics, transcending the ordinary to offer an unparalleled setting where sport and ambiance harmoniously converge.

Community Involvement

At the core of the pickleball venue's mission is a dedication to nurturing an inclusive and lively community centered around the sport. By employing considerate design practices that cater to players of all skill levels, the venue ensures a welcoming environment where everyone can feel included and empowered to participate.

According to David, focusing on the process rather than the end product is key in creating a unique venue proposition that is challenging to replicate, showcasing the uniqueness in how they approach things. This commitment to uniqueness is evident in their approach to building culture, starting from the site, extending to the building, and reflecting in their interactions with the team, showcasing community values in both virtual and physical aspects.

Jesse emphasized that the community values they uphold include inclusivity, sportsmanship, learning, and collaboration. These values define what the Texas Pickle Hall represents and endeavors to sustain.

Exclusive Founding Membership

As anticipation mounts for the opening of the pickleball venue, plans are underway for a spectacular groundbreaking event to mark this momentous occasion. From special ceremonies to vibrant fanfare, the event promises to be a celebration unlike any other, drawing in members of the local community and beyond. By involving the community in the festivities, the venue aims to foster a sense of shared excitement and pride in this significant milestone. As the countdown begins, excitement builds, fueling anticipation for the grand unveiling of this innovative and inclusive pickleball destination. Joining the pickleball venue's membership program comes with exciting benefits designed to enhance your experience both on and off the court. Members not only receive stylish branded merchandise, including a t-shirt, cap, and backpack but also gain access to exclusive events through the coveted founding member coin. Additionally, the inclusion of guest passes provides an opportunity for members to extend their love for the sport to their community, fostering engagement and camaraderie among players of all levels.

Types of Membership

For those looking for the best pickleball experience, Handz Pickleball offers two membership types: Addicted Membership and Aspiring Membership. The Addicted Membership is the premium choice, providing advanced perks and privileges. Members at this level can reserve courts 15 days in advance, offering flexibility in planning their games. Aspiring members have a seven-day window for court reservations, while non-members get two days.

Addicted members also benefit from cutting-edge video camera systems, allowing them to create high-quality video content. The membership includes audio capabilities, including the use of a PA system, enhancing the potential for engaging and immersive content.

The Art of Pivoting

According to David, pivoting is about freeing yourself from your thoughts, paying attention to what's going on around you, and staying awake to what's floating by. In the business world, he suggests learning to let go of the outcome because, as David puts it, "The upside takes care of itself with good risk management."

Connect with Jesse "Handz" Diaz and David Komet

For inquiries or further information about the exciting developments in pickleball, Jesse Diaz can be reached directly by phone at (210) 446-9649 or through the Handz Pickleball website at Similarly, for inquiries related to innovative construction and collaborative projects, David Komet is readily available via email at or through his website at Additionally, stay tuned for the upcoming launch of the Texas Pickle Hall website, where you'll find more details about this groundbreaking venture and how you can get involved.

The forthcoming opening of the pickleball venue in late summer or early fall 2024 marks the beginning of an exciting chapter for both enthusiasts and the wider San Antonio community. With plans for tournaments, leagues, and corporate events, the venue promises to be a hub of activity and camaraderie for players of all levels. The introduction of memberships, complete with exclusive perks and discounts, catalyzes building community involvement and anticipation leading up to the grand unveiling. As our conversation comes to a close, there's an undeniable sense of optimism surrounding the project's success and its potential to deliver lasting benefits to the San Antonio community, solidifying its place as a premier destination for pickleball enthusiasts for years to come.





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