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How often should you change your pickleball paddle?

The truth behind how long pickleball paddles last

A pickleball court in the U.S.
John Beagle / Flickr

Since it was first invented in 1965, the durability and wear of pickleball paddles have improved greatly. What began as improvised ping-pong paddles have evolved into sleek sporting instruments made from composite materials. Nowadays, pickleball paddles are constructed to last, but this doesn’t mean they will last forever. This begs the question: How often should you change your pickleball paddle? In this blog, we’ve answered this question and a few others you might have in mind if you’re considering when to replace your pickleball paddle. 

How often should you change your pickleball paddle?

Group playing pickleball
bhpix / Shutterstock

How long does a pickleball paddle typically last? This is a question many players ask whether they play at the beginner or professional level. In terms of how often you would need to change your pickleball paddle, you would need to consider a few factors. 

These factors can include:

  • How often you use your paddle.
  • How intensely you play the game. 
  • How you store your paddle. 
  • The core durability of your paddle. 
  • How you maintain your paddle. 
  • The material of the paddle. 

Considering this, professional players may need to replace their paddles often. It is recommended that they be replaced at least quarterly, if not earlier. This means that professional players should replace their paddles every three to six months. For recreational players, their paddles may only need to be replaced once every one to three years, depending on how often they play. The less they play, the less often they need to replace their paddles. 

The signs your pickleball paddle is on its way out

person showing pair of blue-and-white running shoes
Joan Azeka / Pexels

Although we all wish our pickleball paddles could last forever – since we easily get attached to them – this is unfortunately not the case. But how will you know your paddle is on its way out? There are signs. The following points are some of the key signs that your pickleball paddle is at the end of its life and you may want to consider replacing it as soon as possible:

  • Wear and tear: If the surface of the paddle is rough or if you find dead spots, it is usually a strong indicator that the paddle needs to be replaced. Dead spots are typically found on the paddle’s corners, center, and handle.
  • Handle problems: If the handle feels loose or slippery, it’s a sign that your grip is worn out. This may affect the control and power behind your swings. It is also a pretty good indicator that your paddle is on its way out.
  • Chips and cracks:  Numerous obvious cracks or chips on the paddle will compromise its structural integrity and may affect your gameplay if you continue to use it. If you notice chips and cracks, you must get another paddle soon. 

Top ways to lengthen your paddles’ lifespan

A group of people playing a game of pickleball.

Pickleball paddles can be expensive, so it’s normal to want to extend their lifespan as long as possible. If you don’t have a budget for a new paddle often, you may want to remember the tips listed below that detail how to lengthen your paddle’s lifespan:

  • After Care: After each game, wipe down your paddle and remove any dirt and sweat that may have collected on it. Then, use a paddle cover to protect it as you transport it.
  • Storage: The paddle should be stored in a cool and dry environment. If it gets wet, dry it as much as possible immediately. If you leave it when wet, you risk structural damage. 
  • Cleaning and maintenance: Purchase a pickleball paddle eraser and use it once a week to keep your paddle in good nick. You should also routinely check your paddle for any concerning damage and address it as best you can. 

That’s it. Caring for your paddle is really that easy. Eventually, you’ll need a new paddle, but if you look after yours, you might not need to replace it as often. 

Jason Collins
Jason is a busy writer, avid traveler, and a car fanatic.
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