How Long Do Pickleball Paddles Last | The Complete Guide on Paddle Lifespan

How long do pickleball paddles last? Well when you’re paying top dollar for the latest and greatest pickleball paddle, you want to get your money’s worth. And you want to know how long that paddle will last.

In this article, we go deep into how long pickleball paddles last. We explain how long your paddle should last. And what impacts the lifespan of your pickleball paddle? And what can you do to protect the lifespan of your most prized possession?

Feel free to read through or jump ahead.

Pickleball is the greatest sport taking the world by storm. Millions of players are taking up Pickleball. And after they pick up a paddle for the first time, they look to invest in a paddle to call their own.

New paddles are expensive but are necessary for any player looking to level up their game. The latest paddles can give you more power, more spin and more wins. But the latest in pickleball technology has also made improvements in paddle durability.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how long a paddle will last depending on what type of player you are.

How Player Types Can Impact Paddle Life

In theory, a pickleball paddle could last 20 years if you played once a year and stored your paddle in a dry cool room. But if you were more of a McEnroe-type player, throwing paddles and raging most games… Maybe that paddle wouldn’t live very long.

Let’s take a look at the most common player types and how long a paddle could and should last.

Casual PlayerFor those that play pickleball on special occasions, a paddle could last for years. A casual player will play for fun and their paddle will not be used in intense gameplay and power-hitting rallies. Which means the paddle is destined to live a long, happy life.
Casual Player Paddle Lifespan: Estimated 5-10+ years.
Regular PlayerFor those that hit the court at least 2 or more times a week. These players compete against various opponents that differ in ability. They could see a reduced lifespan on their paddles. More play will increase wear and tear on the paddle face and handle. And the paddle may start to lose its touch.
Regular Player Paddle Lifespan: Estimated 1-2 Years
Competitive PlayerFor those that take part in competitions and compete against elite players. They really hit hard and their play style is intense with extended training sessions and tournament play. This high level of play can expect serious wear and tear on a paddle. And for this reason, paddles won’t last too long in the hands of a competitive player.
Competitive Player Paddle Lifespan: 6 months – 1 year.

Now player type will affect the lifespan of a paddle. But paddle materials and design have a part to play in paddle lifespan. Modern paddles are designed with durability in mind. So let’s take a closer look at how materials and design can impact how long a paddle can last.

How Paddle Material and Design Can Prolong Paddle Life

The paddle materials and design play an important part in how long a pickleball paddle can last. For example, a basic wooden paddle will degrade over time. And the edges can get damaged or chip during a pickleball game.

1. Pickleball Paddle Material

Modern pickleball paddle materials are designed for durability despite the player type and level. For example, the latest carbon-framed designs maintain the paddle’s strength and durability. This ensures a consistent playing experience game after game. And enhanced edge guards can reduce the impact or risk of damaging the edge of your paddle.

The latest innovation in pickleball is poly-core paddles. These paddles use plastic blend Polymer cores that are known to be less defective than other cores. As pickleball technology evolves, lighter and stronger paddles are being designed to ensure an extended paddle life. Which is great news for all players.

2. Pickleball Paddle Design

Pickleball handles are also a huge consideration. Wear and tear can make paddles feel wobbly and then, not as solid when playing. The latest innovation has a paddle handle made of a single molded piece connected to the paddle’s face. Making it stronger and more durable, such as the Selkirk Paddles that are improving pickleball technology. Which is a fantastic innovation.

As you can see, paddle materials and design can impact the durability of your paddle. Regardless of the type of player you are, this technology improves and evolves. And these top brands continue to perfect the art of building durable paddles.

But these durable paddles are safe from their biggest enemy… The one thing that can severely impact your paddle lifespan is…

How Environmental Factors Can Impact Paddle Life

There are various environmental factors that can impact how long your pickleball paddle will last. The safest option is playing pickleball indoors. No sun, no UV, no worries. An indoor court is a controlled environment and a perfect place for your paddle.

That all changes when you step outside.

Playing pickleball outside is more likely to produce wear and tear on your paddle. These environmental factors will definitely impact the durability of your paddle. Let’s take a closer look at the main environmental factors.

  • Extreme Temperatures: Your pickleball paddle is susceptible to extreme temperatures. Any extreme temperature can warp and distort your paddle. When playing outdoors, UV can also harm your paddle and it is recommended to not leave your paddle unattended to bake in the sun.
  • Playing Outdoor Pickleball: When playing pickleball outside, some surfaces may be rougher than an indoor court. Playing on these rough surfaces can impact the actual ball, making it rougher and potentially jagged. And this more abrasive pickleball can impact your paddle surface every time you play. Playing street pickleball, for example, is a great way to have a hit. But be aware that the road surface could damage your paddle.

It can be difficult to protect your paddle from the elements. But it is worth being aware and limiting any outdoor playing, especially on hot days. Now let’s take a look at how to love and care for your pickleball paddles.

Pickleball Paddle Care & Maintenance to Extend Lifespan

Extending the Lifespan of your Paddle: Paddle Care and Maintenance

Taking good care of your pickleball paddle is essential to improve its lifespan. And luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep your paddle in perfect shape while not playing. Let’s take a look at a few easy ways to maintain your paddle.

1. Cleaning Your Paddle

Playing pickleball outside, especially when damp can leave dirt and residue on your paddle. Not cleaning your paddle after outdoor matches will harm your paddle, as dirt and residue will sit, fester and cause damage.

After every outdoor match, use a damp cloth and give your paddle a quick clean. Remove any residue and ensure there is no build-up around the paddle edges. And avoid any harsh cleaning products, as these can damage your paddle’s surface.

Indoor Pickleball matches shouldn’t require too much paddle care. But it’s still a good idea to give your paddle a once-over after play. At least wiping sweat and other residue off your paddle will help your paddle stay in top condition.

2. Protecting Your Paddle

It’s important to store your paddle in a protective case or paddle cover when not in use. Bumps, scratches and exposure to any moisture or dust can be avoided by using a cover to protect your paddle.

And it’s also recommended to store your paddle somewhere dry and cool, when not in use. Preferably, not under a pile of stuff in a cupboard. But upright, safely on its own. This will reduce the potential of accidents that can harm your paddle.

3. Avoid Extreme Heat

A cover can protect your paddle, but it won’t help when it’s in the back of your car on a summer’s day. Extreme heat will cook your paddle and it will adversely impact the materials. Pickleball paddles are held together with various types of glue. And the paddle surfaces can warp and distort under extreme heat. Beware – extreme heat will ruin your paddle!

And if you have tried your best, and your paddle has lived a good life, when do you replace that paddle? Well, let’s find out.

When to Replace Your Pickleball Paddle

Looking after your paddle will extend its lifespan. But one day, despite your best efforts your much-loved paddle will need to be replaced. Ideally, you could play with your paddle for years. But it could be negatively impacting your shots and your game. Here are some signs that your paddle may need to be replaced.

  • It doesn’t feel right: Does your paddle feel different when playing? Are your favorite shots not coming off? Do you feel like your game is inconsistent? It could be a sign that your paddle needs to be replaced. Over time, the feel just isn’t what it used to be. Experienced players will know when their paddles are letting them down and will need to be replaced.
  • The handle is broken or the paddle is damaged: Does the paddle not feel solid in your hands? Does the handle feel loose and wobble? Is the paddle face dented or damaged? If you have taken your paddle to pickleball war, you will know when it’s broken. A damaged face and wobbly handle will severely impact your game. And really, it could be one power shot away from breaking in your hand while playing.
  • The paddle doesn’t POP like it used to: A new paddle has an incredible pop when playing. You can feel and hear it, it’s really satisfying. Over time, the surface can deaden and the Pop is inconsistent. The surface will see some wear and tear, and unfortunately, this means the surface has been compromised. And your shots may not come off as intended. The paddle won’t sound right or feel right. This means the paddle is done.

With time and experience, most players will just know when it’s time to retire their paddle. After racking up hours of playtime with a paddle, you can feel the magic has gone away. That’s when you know it’s time to splash on a new paddle.

Now you know How long Do Pickleball Paddles Last, feel free to take a look at Why pickleball paddles are so expensive.

Final Thoughts

Pickleball Paddles are designed to last, but they won’t last forever. A casual player could get 5-10 years out of a paddle if it is looked after. While a competitive player could get 6 months to a year depending on how they play.

How long do pickleball paddles last depends on what level you play, how often you play, and where you play. The lifespan of a pickleball paddle depends on these factors, alongside how you maintain and store your paddle.

It may be sad to replace your favorite paddle. But with so many new paddles hitting the market, it’s also an opportunity to try new paddles and level up your game.

So keep playing and be good to your paddles. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to the latest and greatest paddle when needed. Because you deserve it.

Pickle On.

The Aussie Pickleball Bros.

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