Your pickleball paddle is the most important piece of kit you need in your pickleball game.
A good-quality pickleball paddle can last up to five years. Paddles can wear over time, especially if you regularly play pickleball over years.
Although pickleball paddles are relatively affordable, it’s important to keep your paddle in good condition.
In this article, we find out how often you should replace your pickleball paddle and how you can extend the lifespan of your paddle.
How Long Does A Pickleball Paddle Last?
A well-made pickleball paddle can last between one and five years. However, this depends on your playing style and how often you play.
If you are a frequent player with a soft playing technique, then your paddle can have a lifespan of up to five years.
On the other hand, if you frequently play an aggressive game, then you can expect your pickleball paddle to last for a year.
Tournament players and professional pickleball athletes get through a new paddle every three to six months.
How Often Should You Replace A Pickleball Paddle?
You should replace your pickleball paddle every one to five years. How often you replace the paddle depends on the wear and tear of your paddle.
If you notice that your paddle looks extremely worn and it doesn’t play as it did in the past, then your pickleball paddle is “dead”. This means that it’s time to buy a new pickleball paddle.
What Is A “Dead” Pickleball Paddle?
Pickleball experts call an old, worn pickleball paddle “dead” because it doesn’t play in the same way anymore as when it was new.
You may notice dents, cracks or a worn surface on dead pickleball paddles(see also: What Is A Dead Pickleball Paddle?). These come from a long lifespan and a lot of use.
If you have a dead pickleball paddle, then this can affect your play and the entire outcome of a game.
These types of used paddles result in less powerful shots and also less accurate ball technique.
That’s why it’s important to replace a dead pickleball paddle as soon as possible.
Signs That You Should Replace Your Pickleball Paddle
There is no one-for-all rule when it comes to replacing a pickleball paddle. It depends on how often you play, your playing method and how you care for your pickleball paddle.
These three factors can influence the lifespan of your paddle significantly. However, you will notice quickly when your paddle is “dead”.
Here are some of the key signs that you need to look out for when you think you need to replace your pickleball paddle.
Less Ball Control
This may be easier for experienced pickleball players than beginners but if you notice that you hit the ball with less power than when the paddle (see also: Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners)was new, then your pickleball paddle is likely “dead”.
You may also feel that you have a lot less control over the ball and your shots are less accurate than with the original paddle.
Cracks Or Dents
One of the most obvious signs that tell you that you need to replace your pickleball paddle as soon as possible is dents, cracks, warping or a worn-away surface.
If the pickleball paddle surface feels smooth or cracked, then it’s time to buy a new paddle.
You may also notice that the handle feels flexible or close to breaking with a “dead” paddle.
With some pickleball paddles, you can even hear when the paddle isn’t suitable for a good game anymore.
If your pickleball paddle sounds the same wherever you tap or hit it with the pickleball, then it’s likely that your paddle is “dead”.
This being said, the sound of pickleball paddles varies widely. As a rule of thumb, a paddle sounds different when you hit it in the center than around the edges.
However, not all pickleball paddles have their sweet spot in the center, so when you buy a new pickleball paddle, just listen carefully and check where the best ball-hitting spot of your paddle is.
How To Extend The Life Of Your Pickleball Paddle
There are a number of different things that you can do to keep your pickleball paddle in excellent condition for a long time.
While you typically need to replace your paddle after five years, you can ensure that your paddle looks and works just as it should.
Treat Your Paddle With Care
One of the best ways to prevent any cracks, dents or warping in your pickleball paddle is simply by treating it with care.
You should never toss or throw your pickleball paddle as this could lead to cracks, dents and warping in your paddle.
Make sure that you use a pickleball bag or a paddle cover to protect the surface of your paddle during transit.
You should try to avoid leaving it in the car or anywhere with extreme temperature changes.
It’s important that you don’t expose your pickleball paddle to moisture, such as rain or heavy condensation.
The best place to keep your paddle is in a room with average room temperature.
Clean Your Paddle Regularly
It’s good practice to wipe your pickleball paddle with a soft towel or clean cloth after each game.
You can dip your cloth into warm water, then wipe the paddle including the grip. Make sure that you dry the paddle immediately with another clean cloth.
Keep in mind that you should not cover your pickleball paddle in water as this can damage the wood of the paddle.
It’s common pickleball etiquette (see also: Pickleball Etiquette [10 Things You Need To Know])for players to tap each other’s paddle before and after a game of pickleball. This is commonly known as clinking.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that this can cause damage to your paddle, especially when you clink with your paddle frequently.
Clinking can result in scratches and instability in your paddle over time.
If you don’t want to go without clinking, then make sure that you use the handles and simply clink them lightly.
Watch Your Playing Style
Your playing technique can play a big part in the lifespan of your pickleball paddle.
While everyone has their own playing style, it’s essential to keep in mind that an aggressive playing style will wear your paddle down much faster.
You can play in a smart way without overly using the paddle through hits or multiple tosses.
Regularly Maintain The Paddle Grip
The grip of your pickleball paddle (see also: How To Grip Your Pickleball Paddle (3 Examples))is the part of your paddle that you have the most contact with at all times during your game.
While new pickleball paddle grips have a rough texture so you don’t lose traction, you may need to replace the grip after a while.
If you notice that your paddle doesn’t feel solid in your hand and it’s sliding, then it’s time to get a new paddle grip.
You can replace the grip easily without the need to replace the entire paddle. Just buy a pickleball paddle replacement grip and you are ready for your next competitive game.
You may need to replace your pickleball paddle every one to five years. The exact lifespan of your paddle depends on your playing style, playing frequency and your paddle maintenance.