How Long Does a Pickleball Paddle Last?

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While some people take meticulous care of pickleball paddles to preserve their brand-new glory, others don’t really care about a few spots and scratches on their paddles. Whether you’re a professional player or a pickleball enthusiast, your pickleball paddles can endure heavy abuse before they need to be replaced.

But, exactly how long does a pickleball paddle last?

Generally, a pickleball paddle should last around 2-3 years in the hands of average recreational players. There are several factors that contribute to the lifespan of a pickleball paddle, including the way it is stored! Read on to find out more.

Factors to Determine How Long a Pickleball Paddle Lasts

Do pickleball paddles wear out? Well, of course! Just like any other equipment or tool, a pickleball paddle does wear out with use over time. Here are a few factors that determine how long will a pickleball paddle last.

Your Level of Pickleball Skills

It’s a no-brainer that professional players who play pickleball regularly will replace their paddles more frequently than average players. Although at least a year of heavy usage is required for a pickleball paddle to be deemed worn out, competitive players may receive new paddles by then from their sponsors.

If you play pickleball once or twice a week, your paddle should last at least 3 years, given that you clean it regularly and store it properly.

How You Store Your Paddles

The biggest threat to the durability of a pickleball paddle is the climate temperature. High temperatures are bad for pickleball paddles and can cause damage. Leaving a paddle under the sun softens its core material, which will eventually mark the end of its lifespan.

On the other hand, extremely cold temperatures can cause cracks in a paddle, and it will have to be replaced in no time.

The Material Your Paddle Is Made from

Generally, there are two types of pickleball paddles available in the market. Wooden pickleball paddles are the cheapest and ideal for beginners and children. It is also the most durable type of paddle as it won’t show signs of wear and tear even after years of usage; you could use one for more than 5 years!

Graphite or composite pickleball paddles have microfilm of carbon and are usually made for pickleball professionals. However, the graphite-facing film tends to wear out quickly with use and may require replacement only after a few months.

Tips to Increase Longevity of Your Pickleball Paddle

It is possible to surpass the average lifespan of a pickleball paddle if it is maintained properly. It isn’t time-consuming nor difficult to maintain a pickleball paddle. Here are a few tips for increasing the longevity of your paddle.

1. Replace Grip Regularly

The grip of a paddle loses its ‘grip’ with constant use. If your paddle grip offers poor traction, you should replace its grip immediately. It should feel tacky and fresh in your hands at all times, as it will allow you to hold the paddle firmly.

This helps in increasing the longevity of your paddle as it won’t easily slip out of your hands and get damaged from falling on the ground.

2. Avoid Clinking with Paddle

In the world of pickleball, players tapping their paddles before, after, or during a match is a common sign of respect or a type of high-five on the court. Also referred to as clinking, as cool as it is for players, it is detrimental to the health of a paddle. Even with light taps, the paddles are still at risk of scratches or other damage.

With regular clinking, the scratches will lead to dents, and you’ll need to replace the paddle sooner than you expect.

3. Clean the Paddle Regularly

After a match of pickleball, you should wipe the paddle clean with a soaked towel or any other cloth. Once you’re done wiping it, you’ll have to dry it with another dry piece of cloth. However, do not submerge the paddle in the water as it will cause more damage.

4. Store Adequately

Most players can be seen tossing their bats somewhere after they’re done with a match; this is highly discouraged. Instead, you should store the paddle in a padded case. Even a sling bag should do the job. Moreover, it should be kept in areas that aren’t exposed to extreme heat or cold temperatures.

5. Go Easy on the Paddle

Last but not least, your style of gameplay determines the lifespan of your pickleball paddle. If you have an aggressive style, it is only natural that your paddle will need to be replaced sooner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do pickleball paddles wear out?

Yes, with constant use, the facing surface of a pickleball paddle wears out. High-quality paddles can last at least a year before they require replacement.

When should I replace my pickleball paddle?

There are several factors that deem a paddle dead and unusable. All paddles have a poppy sound when they are new. Eventually, the poppy sound subsides with use, and you’ll hear a duller sound when taking shots. The dull sound indicates that the paddle has started developing dead spots on the inside. Another factor is the paddle’s responsiveness. All paddles have a sweet spot from where you can get the most power for your shots. If your shots start to feel dampened or aren’t going as fast as they should, this could indicate the lost potency of your paddle. One other way of telling if your paddle needs replacement is its visual condition. If it looks too damaged or out of shape, you’ll know when to get a replacement for it.

How can you tell if a pickleball paddle is bad?

If your in-game performance seems to be affected, it could be due to a faulty paddle. You’ll first have to check your paddle for uneven surfaces or any other visible damage. If it isn’t enough to deduce the paddle’s condition, you should observe the sound from the paddle when taking shots.
If it sounds dull and hollow, it indicates that the paddle has dead spots on the inside. Similarly, you should also check the responsiveness of the paddle when taking power shots. If the ball isn’t deflected as you expect it, the paddle probably lost its potency and has gone bad.

How long should pickleball paddles last?

Although it depends on the usage, most wooden paddles should last at least 2-3 years. The same cannot be said for graphite-facing paddles, as their carbon film tends to wear out much quicker, and professionals need their paddles replaced within only a few months of usage.

How long do pickleball balls last?

An outdoor pickleball should last at least 10 games before it starts to show cracks and other signs of damage. On the other hand, indoor pickleball last much longer as they aren’t exposed to outdoor elements and usually don’t crack. However, they do develop soft spots when used for extended periods.

Final Thoughts

So, how long does a pickleball paddle last? You should now realize that there isn’t a definite answer to this question. It solely depends on the usage and the care the paddle receives from its users. We hope to have helped you with our article on pickleball paddles. Best of luck!

I'm Dave Ogden, a professional pickleball player from Ogden, Utah. When I'm not dominating the court, I pour my passion into writing a blog, sharing pickleball trips and tricks. Join me as I take you on an exciting journey through the world of pickleball. Let's improve our game together!

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