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About Dink or Die


As many pickleball stories begin, Dink or Die is a brand evolved from a single moment in time. In the Spring of 2014, co-founder Jesse Blunt stood before a pickleball starter set in a department store and was transported back to his glory days of playing the sport in high school gym class. It was then that Jesse, a successful tattoo artist, rediscovered the perfect sport for personal challenge and the kind of activity that would bring his family and friends together for years to come. One of those long-time friends, included fellow founder, Kat Smalley.

For Kat, it had been 10 years since she hung up her cleats from a nearly 24-year softball career. Pickleball quickly became the only sport that could measure up to the physical and mental challenge of fastpitch softball. She began working to improve her game, develop her on-court playing style, and – as thoughts turned to a void in the market for practical, stylish attire – set out to create the Dink or Die brand. 

So, what is it about pickleball that captures us so quickly and fully? Pickleball presents an opportunity for athletes of all backgrounds to play a highly-competitive and challenging sport that doesn’t compromise on individuality. In pickleball, you don’t have to be perfect. You don't have to be the fastest or the strongest, and success can be achieved through creativity and individual style. With that sense of purpose, the Dink or Die team – Jesse, Kat, Steph, and Chris – wanted to produce fun, casual, and comfortable streetwear for the player who wants to showcase that style and attitude while proudly proclaiming to the world their love of pickleball.