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Callie Smith pumping her fist in celebration with an orange ribbon in her braided hair.
Callie Smith at the 2023 Selkirk Red Rock Open. PPA Tour

The "Rapunzel" of pro pickleball

DALLAS, TX – Anna Leigh Waters has her eyeglasses, Jessie Irvine has her space buns, and Callie Smith has her braided hair woven with a ribbon. 

Pickleball pros have their shticks and go-to looks, but Smith’s is definitely one of the most notable. 

“I’ve been adding ribbons in my hair for a good two years now,” shared Smith.

Callie Smith beaming with her hair braided with a white and blue ribbon
Callie Smith at the 2023 Tournament of Champions. PPA Tour

The Utah native has perfected her ribbon braid. She pulls her hair back into a ponytail and secures it with an elastic hair tie. Then, she adds in her ribbon of choice, which is usually a bright color that stands out against her brown hair. Finally, she weaves a traditional three-strand braid and secures it with another elastic hair tie. 

On tournament days, Smith usually finishes off her look with a baseball hat for sun protection and looks like a sporty chic Rapunzel.  

“I got sick of just doing the plain old braids every day, so I decided to add some color and match them to my outfits. It was super fun and I loved the way they looked. I haven’t stopped since,” said Smith.

Callie Smith with a pink and blue ribbon woven into her braid
Callie Smith and Lucy Kovalova at the 2023 Takeya Showcase. PPA Tour

These ribbons are a tournament staple for Smith. She has already experimented with just about every color of the rainbow, always matching the ribbon color to her outfits. The other pros on tour took notice, and a nickname emerged rather quickly. 

Ben Johns started calling me “Rapunzel” and it stuck,” mentioned Smith with a laugh. 

It’s no wonder Johns called her that. Smith's hair is so long that it reaches her waist.

Needless to say, it’s a formidable braid. 

Smith’s braids are so iconic, in fact, that fellow pro Irina Tereschenko even wore a faux braid woven with one of Smith’s ribbons to support her friend at the 2023 Tournament of Champions.

Irina Tereschenko wearing a hat and a braided yarn headpiece with a blue ribbon that mimics Smith's hair
Irina Tereschenko and Jessie Irvine at the 2023 Tournament of Champions. PPA Tour

Smith’s braids always get my attention, and now I need to braid ribbons in my hair when I go play pickleball.

Hopefully, it'll help me play just as well as her.

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