Pickleball player stops in ABQ during mission to break world record
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – As the pickleball craze continues around the nation, one man is making stops across the country on a world record mission.
“I just want to hit all 48 states in less than 48 days. We’re actually going to do it in about 26 days,” said Dean Matt.
Dean Matt is looking to break a world record in his “48-48-48 challenge,” 48 states, 48 pickleball matches, all under 48 days.
The idea was simple:
“Something to do,” said Matt.
Matt’s still fresh to the sport itself, he picked up a paddle last year when he moved to Sarasota, Florida.
Matt touched down in New Mexico – his 11th state on the trip – for a game with Mayor Tim Keller, the city’s parks, and other city workers.
So what makes this trek even more special? Matt’s not taking any old plane while traveling.
“I’ve been a pilot since high school,” said Matt. “I’m flying my own plane myself.”
His plane cannot fly to Hawaii or Alaska – keeping the challenge at 48 states. The strategy is to hit multiple states in a day.
“Up to now, it’s been two states a day, when I get out to the northeast where the states are smaller, we’ll be doing some three states a day stops,” Matt said.
But aside from this record attempt, Matt is bringing awareness to this growing sport across the country.
“The pickleball community is very welcoming,” said Matt. “It’s not really so much about my world record, my self-proclaimed world record. Every city has a different story to tell.”
The challenge kicked off on May 1. From Albuquerque, Matt left quickly to make his way to Scottsdale, Arizona.