Dink ‘n’ Dish: Chris Clark of Toss and Spin

Today you meet Chris Clark, the dynamic founder of Toss and Spin, an events company that breaks down barriers, making racquet and paddle sports available to all.

After a 9-year tenure in the corporate world, a furlough during the pandemic became the catalyst for Chris to take a different path. His lifelong passion for racket sports culminated in the creation of Toss and Spin, which began as a tennis-centric venture and soon expanded to include pickleball.

Pickleball Rookie: Introduce yourself. Please include a bit about your pickleball journey.

Chris Clark: My name is Chris Clark and I’m the CEO and founder of Toss and Spin. I spent 9 years in corporate and decided not to go back after being furloughed during the pandemic. I started Toss and Spin as a tennis company, but quickly evolved into tennis and pickleball. Currently, we are based in Chicago but doing events nationwide.

PR: Tell us about the very first time you heard the term “pickleball.”

CC: It was 2017. I was working for Wilson at the time and did a pickleball photoshoot; I had an amazing time playing.

PR: What were your initial thoughts when you played pickleball for the first time? How often do you currently play?

CC: It wasn’t until 2020 when playing with my mom that I realized this sport is going to be a monster. It’s so easy to play and a great way to connect with people.

PR: What was the motivation for starting Toss & Spin?

CC: Racket sports, in my opinion, are stuffy. I wanted to create a space where individuals could learn, have fun, and see groups of people who look like them.

PR: What makes pickleball the ultimate team-building event?

CC: It’s easy to play, connect, and it beats just going to the bar or the ballgame. It promotes health and wellness along with fun.

PR: Where do you see the sport of pickleball in 10 years?

CC: This is a very interesting question. The short answer is that the sport will continue to grow and gain international visibility – I will leave it there 🙂

PR: What advice do you have for anyone who is on the fence about getting started or is an absolute beginner?

CC: Find a fun local program to try. Pickleball is a low barrier to entry sport, meaning it can be played almost anywhere.

PR: If you could make one change to the sport, what would it be?

CC: I want it to become more inclusive and accessible in neighborhoods across the country.

PR: Where would your dream pickleball match take place? Give us specifics about the destination and why. Dream big!

CC: It’s going to take place at the 2024 Olympics – 🙂

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