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  • Writer's pictureTeam Game-Set-Match

When to Replace Your Pickleball Paddle: Paddle Maintenance and Lifespan

Updated: Mar 4

If you want to play your best on the pickleball court, you need to make sure your pickleball paddle is also playing at its best. 


You likely already know that the pickleball paddle you play with affects your performance on the court. However, even the best pickleball paddles need to be well maintained and replaced in time. 


3 Selkirk pickleball paddles hanging in store next to each other

Pickleball Paddle Maintenance Tips 


If you love your pickleball paddles as much as we do, you want to keep them at their best as long as you can. Here are few tips for maintaining your pickleball paddle: 


1. Use edge guard tape on your pickleball paddle 

Edge guard tape is an adhesive, thick layer of tape that you can put over the edge guard of your pickleball paddle. This helps preserve your paddle from scrapes and dings. Game-Set-Match, Inc. Carries edge guard tape from all the most popular pickleball manufacturers.  


2. Put overgrips on your pickleball paddle 

Frequently replace the grip on your pickleball paddle for hygiene and comfort. If the grip of your paddle is wearing thin, you can add overgrips to add a fresh layer of cushion and tack.


Many players like to add one or more overgrips to increase the thickness of their grip. If you prefer a less thick grip, you can use a replacement grip instead to refresh your paddle without added thickness. 


3. Clean your pickleball paddle with a carbon eraser 

If you have a carbon fiber paddle, you can use a carbon fiber eraser to clean off your paddle. Clean off your paddle after games or any time you see scratches or residue on your paddle. It’ll feel like you have a fresh paddle each time! 


Pickleball Paddle Lifespan 


The lifespan of your pickleball paddle will vary based on how often you play pickleball and what type of pickleball paddle you use. In general, your paddle should last roughly six months to a year. Higher end paddles may last longer, and lower end paddles may last less long.  


Your paddle’s longevity will also depend on your frequency and style of play. If you play six times a week, your paddle may need to be replaced in less than a year. However, if you play more casually, it may last longer than a year. 


Do pickleball paddles have warranties? 


Many high-quality paddle brands have warranties that guarantee the company will replace the paddle if it wears out or shows defects within a certain length of time.  


One of the benefits of investing in a high quality pickleball paddle is that many come with warranties. These warranties can vary from about six months to a year depending on the paddle. 


Make sure you register your paddle for its warranty as soon as you purchase it to ensure it can be replaced if needed. 


When to Replace Your Pickleball Paddle

 

Here are a few key signs that it’s time to replace your pickleball paddle:  

  • Your pickleball paddle’s bumper guard/edge guard is coming loose. 

  • You can hear something move inside your paddle when you shake it. Note: some paddles do contain sand, so if you hear sand in your paddle, that could be expected for that model.  

  • You have indentions or cracks on the face of your paddle. 

  • Your paddle handle is loose.  

  • Your paddle is delaminated. See details below on how to know if your paddle may be delaminated. 


In addition to general damage or issues with your paddle, you may also want to consider replacing your pickleball paddle if: 

  • You started playing with a lower-end paddle and are ready to get more serious about your pickleball game. It’s time to upgrade! 

  • You’re looking to improve your game and are ready for a paddle with: 

    • More control 

    • More power 

    • More spin 

    • Larger sweet spot 

What is a Delaminated Pickleball Paddle? 


When the layers within a pickleball paddle become detached or separated, that pickleball paddle is considered delaminated. It’s illegal to play with a delaminated pickleball paddle in official tournaments and can increase the likeliness of injury for others on the court. 


There are a few key signs that may imply your paddle is delaminated: 

  • Sound: A delaminated paddle produces a different sound compared with a regular pickleball paddle. You’ll likely notice a hollow sound if your paddle is delaminated. It also may make a whistling sound when you hit the ball.  

  • Hit: If you’re playing with a delaminated paddle, you’ll notice a very inconsistent hitting experience. A delaminated paddle can also cause you to hit the ball much harder and faster than usual, which can be dangerous for others on the court.  

  • Surface: If your pickleball paddle is delaminated, you may notice soft spots, bubbling, peeling or unevenness on the surface of the paddle.  

If you think your pickleball paddle is delaminated, you need to have it inspected and likely replace it before continuing play. If it’s still under warranty, the paddle company will likely replace the paddle for free. If not, it’ll be time to invest in a new paddle.  


How to Choose the Best Pickleball Paddle  


Is it time to upgrade your pickleball paddle? We’d love to help you find the best pickleball paddle for your game.  


Stop by one of our four locations in Colorado or Nevada, and one of our pickleball experts can help you select your next paddle. If you want to do some research on your own, check out our blogs on how to choose the best pickleball paddle or our blog on our favorite pickleball paddles.  


You can also subscribe to our weekly emails for more pickleball tips, discounts, local happenings and more. 

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