Frescobol – the Brazilian beach game

We believe Frescobol was born on the beach because of our strong connection with nature, movement and the spirit of freedom.

The game of Frescobol is an intense paddle ball game originated in Brazil in 1945, after the World War II, on the beaches of Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro. Even with some questioning of who invented the game, Lian Pontes de Carvalho is generally attributed as the creator.

Lian lived in Copacabana beach and owned a furniture factory. He stripped the outer layer of the tennis ball and made a wooden board paddle so he could play this tennis like game on the beach.

Rackets were sold on the beach with the help of the lifeguards. Those who could not buy or have their rackets made in sawmills, used to cut lumber from the buildings under construction on Avenida Atlântica, and gave them shape and finished them by trimming them with shards of glass, ceramic, and sandpaper. The rackets were rustic and heavy. The wood used was pine, cedar, angelin and araucaria. Over time, the handle became shortened and they began to paint or lacquer the rackets to better protect them from the water.

Players started playing the game in the shallow waters to stay cool from Rio’s hot sun and sand. The name Frescobol came from the word “fresco” meaning to refresh.

The successes of Frescobol came from its co-operative welcoming nature. It is a sport where everyone can play without worry of scoring points or winning and with no discrimination. That sense of community belongs to a common place where all people can go to: the beach.