As pickleball gains in popularity, more and more people are buying paddles. But do pickleball paddles wear out? How long do they last? And what can you do to make them last longer? These are questions that many people have, so I decided to find out the answers.
Do Pickleball Paddles Wear Out?
Pickleball paddles do not wear out in the way that you might expect. Paddles are made from a hard composite (plastic and rubber or other man-made materials) and will never “wear out” like a pair of running shoes or an old tennis racquet.
What can wear out, however, is the rubber surface. I’ll explain what causes this to happen and also talk about how to take care of your paddles to make them last longer.
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What Causes Rubber To Wear Out?
The main reason pickleball rubber wears out is because of the repeated impact between the ball and the paddle face. Every time you hit a pickleball, it impacts with about 20 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure. If you play 10 times each week, that’s 200 shots per day or 60,000 shots per year! That has a lot of impacts.
What does this mean?
It means constantly hitting the pickleball with this much force will wear out the rubber. Add in the dirt, sweat, water, and other contaminants, and you have a recipe for accelerated rubber wear.
The good news is that it has been found that an abundance of these contaminants helps to rapidly form the new rubber surface on a paddle.
How To Care For Your Paddles
Now that you understand why pickleball paddles wear out, here are some tips for how to care for them:
• Clean your paddles
It is important that you regularly clean your paddles with a damp cloth to remove contaminants from the surface. If not cleaned, these contaminants can cause accelerated wear on your paddles.
• Buy a backup paddle or two
A backup paddle is an insurance that you do not have to stop playing because of a worn out rubber surface. When considering back up paddles, consider buying the same model of a paddle as your main one. This way you get the same sweet spot and feel from your paddles.
• Keep your paddle out of the trunk
Don’t leave a damp and dirty paddle in your car trunk or other closed-up storage areas for extended periods of time. This is a sure way to accelerate rubber deterioration.
• Replace rubber – but not too often
If you play 2 hours each day, it is safe to say that the life of your rubber would be about 1-2 months. After this time, you will likely need to replace it due to wear and tear.
• Be careful with water
Water is great for hydrating pickleball paddles (and picklers), but it can also cause accelerated deterioration if left on the paddle face for extended periods of time. Try to dry your paddle face off after each use.
So, do pickleball paddles wear out? Yes, but not as fast as you might think!
Be sure to clean them regularly and replace rubber when it wears down too much. If you do this, your paddles should last many years before you need to consider buying a new one.
Do you have any questions about the life of your pickleball paddle? Leave me a comment below and I will respond as soon as possible.