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by Kelly Campbell 

Pickleball is heading down the aisle––or, rather, a “pickleball-proof” ring is. By this point, we’ve witnessed the pickleball obsession infiltrate so many areas of our lives ––but this is a new one!

At the end of December, People Magazine published an exclusive article about Guy Fieri’s son Hunter Fieri––“Hunter Fieri Says He Designed Fiancée Tara Bernstein’s Engagement Ring with Pickleball in Mind”. The story has had numerous headlines in People Magazine, Yahoo, Parade, and more, once again thrusting pickleball into the limelight for an unexpected reason. 

Read on for everything we know about Bernstein’s pickleball career and how her pickleball passion inspired her engagement ring. 

A Match Made in Pickleball Heaven

You might be wondering why anyone––even a diehard pickleball lover––would want a pickleball-themed engagement ring. The idea is not as intense as it might seem. The ring does not make an overt pickleball statement––it has a pickleball-proof design that is less about looks and more about strategy. While we likely won’t see a pickleball-shaped diamond cut on Bernstein’s finger, the ring is designed to withstand Bernstein’s matches without getting lost or damaged (single picklers and partners take note).

In an interview with PEOPLE, Frieri mentioned that he kept Bernstein’s pickleball career at the forefront when choosing the ring. His goal was to make a ring that she wouldn’t have to take off––even in intense pickleball matches. 

“[The designer] made it a little thicker band, with the crown being a little bit thicker, so that if she did hit it on a ball, or on a paddle, you’re not kicking that rock off,” he told PEOPLE. “So I made it a little extra durable, a little bigger, just for the fact that I don’t want her to take it off.”

We have to admit that this is a practical idea for any pickleball lover. Even beyond the realm of dinking, the idea for customizable, practical athlete-approved engagement rings is a great one, but we’re especially thrilled that it’s being highlighted through pickleball.

More on Tara Bernstein & Her Pickleball Career 

If you’re not familiar with Tara Bernstein, you likely know her soon-to-be father-in-law Guy Fieri. Guy Fieri is a Food Network Star, most known for his television series Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. He has over two million followers on Instagram. His 27-year-old son, Hunter, is a chef, restaurateur, and internet personality with more than 155k followers on Instagram.

Fieri met and began dating Tara Bernstein, a professional pickleball player and social media influencer, in 2022. Bernstein is from Queens, New York, and has an impressive track record in the professional sports world. Before her pickleball career, she was a student-athlete on the Pace University softball team, then worked for the New York Mets for nearly a decade. Now, she has a strong focus on her passion for pickleball and has a flourishing online pickleball career. 

In the pickleball world, Bernstein is most known for pickleball content creation but has an impressive professional track record. She boasts 35k followers on Instagram, where she primarily posts pickleball content, including paid partnership ads with numerous pickleball companies, training drills, resources, tournament information, workouts, pickleball brand deals, and more. According to Naluda Magazine, she is qualified to participate in 5.0-or-higher-rated national tournaments. 

On her Instagram account, Bernstein has garnered attention from celebrities like Eli Manning, other pro pickleball players, and numerous pickleball companies and organizations like PPA Tour and Franklin Pickleball. 

What do you think about Fieri’s ring choice? Did this pickleball star just unlock a new––and sparkly––market for pickleball?