While buying a pickleball paddle, the thing that keeps hitting your mind is how long it will last, and here is all that you need to know.
Pickleball paddles are the most essential part of pickleball gear as they lead the charge. Pickleball has emerged as one of the best recreational sports, and a wide variety of gear is available on the market. While buying it, the thing that keeps hitting your mind is how long do pickleball paddles last.
Well, it is a little hard to say something specific as it depends upon various factors. In this post, I’ll give you an insight into how long pickleball paddles last.
How Long Do Pickleball Paddles Last?
Construction Of the Paddle
The service life of the pickleball paddles depends upon how well it is made. A wide range of materials is used in making the core and face of pickleball paddles. Since the face is directly exposed to the impact energy, the damage signs appear on the face. However the core also wears quickly and you can feel a big drop in the touch, feel, control, and speed of the paddle.
Wood, graphite, carbon fiber, fiberglass, and composite are the materials used for face construction. Wood paddles are the sturdiest paddles but they have very limited application. Beginners and some recreational players use wood paddles and they tend to last for up to 5 years.
Paddles with graphite faces are the most expensive and usually, pro players use them for big tournaments. Graphite is thin face material that offers class-leading performance but tends to damage easily. Graphite wears out quickly with constant play and therefore pro players use more than 1 graphite pickleball paddle for a single tour.
Fiberglass and carbon fiber are among the most rugged options. These paddles are equally popular among players of all levels and last longer than graphite paddles. Fiberglass pickleball paddles are highly flexible and offer impressive impact resistance.
For an average player who plays 2 to 3 times a week, a fiberglass or carbon fiber paddle will last for 2 years. However aggressive players need to replace these paddles every year.
The core of the paddle also wears out. A dull sound, unresponsiveness, and lack of feel indicate that the paddle core is worn out. Most of the advanced paddles use polymers in the core. The lifespan of the core depends upon the quality of the polymers it uses. Premium-grade paddles use high-quality polymers and they can resist the impact for a long duration.
A paddle with polymer (carbon fiber) has an average lifespan between 2 to 3 years depending upon the frequency and style of play. Aluminum and Nomex are other materials used in core construction. Aluminum cores cannot resist the impact for a longer time and they tend to wear out very quickly.
A paddle with an aluminum core starts losing feel and responsiveness after a few hard matches. Nomex or composite core construction is an inexpensive option and most beginners use these paddles for training sessions. These paddles tend to last for a year or two depending on how frequently they are used and how well they are maintained over time.
How Often Do You Play?
The service life of pickleball paddles highly depends on how often you play. Recreational players who take part in two to three games per month can expect their paddle to last for 3 to 5 years. Beginners and intermediates who play and practice 3 to 4 times a week are most likely to change their paddles once in 2 years.
Related: Serving rules in pickleball
Pro players who take part in hard training sessions followed by tournaments may need to replace their paddle after every game or season.
How Do You Maintain Your Paddle?
Pickleball paddles are expensive and if you want them to return the investment you made, you must use them carefully. I’ve seen beginners and some intermediates using their paddles to lift balls from the ground. Also, some players hit their paddles hard and drop them on the ground at the end of the game.
All these practices can shorten the lifespan of your paddle. You need to be gentle with your paddle if you want to make it last longer.
Storage conditions play a key role in the paddle’s wearing process. Extreme temperatures are like poison for pickleball paddles. If you expose your paddle to the hot sun for a long time, the core material will get soft and the paddle will lose the feel. Also, extremely low temperatures can cause cracks and dents on the paddle.
Pack your paddle right after the game to reduce the climate impact on it. Also, you need to maintain the grip of the paddle regularly.
Yes, pickleball paddles wear out. The lifespan of the pickleball paddle varies between 1 to 5 years depending upon the construction quality, frequency of use, maintenance, and style of play.
You can see the signs of damage on the paddle face. The damage on the face can be seen in the form of cracks, dents, and unevenness. The core of the paddle also wears out. A dull sound, low response, lack of touch, lack of feel, and low power are all signs of a damaged core.
Pickleball paddles with fiberglass faces and carbon fiber cores are the most durable paddles. Also, premium-grade paddles with graphite faces and premium-grade polymer core stand among the sturdiest pickleball rackets.
Dents and unevenness on the face and dead spots on the sweet spot largely impact your performance. You can't generate desired spin and power with a worn-out pickleball paddle and therefore you need to upgrade your paddle when you see signs of damage.
So we can say that most pickleball paddles last for 2 to 3 years if maintained properly. Pro players upgrade their equipment at least once a year since they play serious games on a regular basis. If you are not on a budget I highly recommend you buy paddles with a fiberglass face and carbon fiber core as this is the sturdiest material combo I’ve ever seen.
You should avoid aluminum and low-quality composite core construction as they tend to wear out very quickly.
I’m Amelia Cole, a passionate writer and sports enthusiast specializing in pickleball and tennis. With years of experience on the court, I offer valuable insights and practical tips for players of all levels. My articles provide expert guidance, breaking down complex techniques into easily understandable concepts. Join me as I share my love for these exhilarating sports, helping you unlock your full potential and enjoy the thrill of pickleball and tennis.