Pickleball is a fun and engaging sport that’s gaining popularity among people of all ages. If you’re an avid pickleball player, you may be wondering how long your pickleballs last and when it’s time to replace them. In this guide, we’ll explore the factors that affect the lifespan of a pickleball and how you can get the most out of your equipment.
How Long Do Pickleballs Last?
The lifespan of a pickleball can vary depending on a few factors. These include the type of pickleball, the playing surface, the frequency of use, and the storage conditions. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.
Type of Pickleball
There are two main types of pickleballs: indoor and outdoor. Outdoor pickleballs are made of harder plastic and have thicker walls, which make them more durable and resistant to cracking. However, they’re also more prone to going out of round after extended use. Indoor pickleballs, on the other hand, are made of softer plastic and have thinner walls. While they’re less durable than outdoor balls, they tend to last longer because they’re exposed to less extreme conditions.
According to Pickleball Land, outdoor pickleballs usually last around 9-10 games before starting to crack [pickleball.land]. However, some balls may need to be replaced before this. Indoor pickleballs typically last longer than outdoor balls because they’re exposed to less extreme conditions [pickleballunion.com].
The surface on which you play pickleball can also affect the lifespan of your balls. Rougher surfaces, such as asphalt or concrete, can cause more wear and tear on your balls, leading to faster degradation. Softer surfaces, such as indoor courts or grass, are less abrasive and can help prolong the lifespan of your balls.
Frequency of Use
The more often you play pickleball, the more quickly your balls will wear out. Pickleballs are designed to withstand a certain amount of use before they start to lose their bounce and flight characteristics. As a general rule, a pickleball seems to last for 3-5 games at maximum performance before it’s ‘recommended’ to be switched out [justpaddles.com]. However, with careful use and proper storage, you may be able to extend the lifespan of your balls.
Finally, how you store your pickleballs can also affect their lifespan. Pickleballs should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Excessive heat or cold can cause the plastic to become brittle and lead to cracking or deformation. Additionally, pickleballs should be stored in their original packaging or in a container with a tight-fitting lid to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating on the surface.
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Signs That Your Pickleballs Need to be Replaced
Even with proper care and maintenance, your pickleballs will eventually need to be replaced. Here are some signs that it’s time to retire your old balls and invest in new ones.
- Cracks: As pickleballs age, they may develop cracks or fractures that can affect their performance. If you notice any cracks on the surface of your ball, it’s time to replace it.
- Flat Spots: Over time, the surface of a pickleball can become worn down or flattened, leading to an uneven bounce. If your ball has flat spots, it’s time to replace it.
- Deformation: If your pickleball has become misshapen or deformed, it won’t fly straight and may be more difficult to hit accurately. This is a sign that it’s time for a new ball.
- Loss of Bounce: As a pickleball ages, it may lose some of its bounce and become less responsive. If your ball isn’t bouncing as high as it used to, it’s time to retire it.
- Fading or Discoloration: Over time, pickleballs may fade or discolor due to exposure to sunlight or other environmental factors. While this won’t necessarily affect their performance, it’s a sign that they’re getting old and may need to be replaced soon.
Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Your Pickleballs
Now that you know how long pickleballs last and when it’s time to replace them, let’s look at some tips for extending the lifespan of your equipment.
- Store your pickleballs in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
- Keep your pickleballs in their original packaging or in a container with a tight-fitting lid to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating on the surface.
- Rotate your pickleballs regularly to ensure even wear and tear.
- Clean your pickleballs with a damp cloth or sponge after each use to remove dirt and debris.
- Avoid using your pickleballs on rough or abrasive surfaces, as this can cause more wear and tear.
- Invest in high-quality pickleballs from reputable brands to ensure maximum durability and performance.
By following these tips, you can help prolong the lifespan of your pickleballs and get the most out of your equipment.
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In summary, the lifespan of a pickleball can vary depending on a few factors, including the type of ball, the playing surface, the frequency of use, and the storage conditions. While pickleballs are designed to withstand a certain amount of use, they will eventually need to be replaced due to wear and tear. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can help extend the lifespan of your pickleballs and get the most out of your equipment.