Capital Area Pickleball Association
Serving Dane County Wisconsin

How Long Do Pickleball Paddles Last & How Do You Know When It’s Time for a New One?

1 Jul 2024 12:18 PM | Abigail Darwin
If you are an avid pickleball player, you may have wondered how long your trusty paddle will last before it may be time to replace it. Unfortunately, the answer isn't as straightforward as you might hope. Although the lifespan of the average pickleball paddle is 1-3 years, the specific lifespan of a particular paddle will depend on many variables, including the materials it is made of, the frequency and intensity of play, and how well it is maintained and cared for. Let's dive into these factors and then explore some telltale signs that it may be time for a new paddle.

Factors Affecting Paddle Lifespan

  • Paddle Materials. Paddles made from higher-quality materials like graphite and composite tend to last longer than wooden paddles. These materials are more durable and less subject to warping from heat and humidity, which translates to a longer lifespan.

     Having said that, the materials in the higher-end paddles, including the core           material – the most common one being “polymer” – and the overlaying thin           layers of carbon fiber, graphite, or other composite material, will also start to         lose performance after several thousand hits against a pickleball.

  • Frequency and Intensity of Play. Players who play every day and hit the ball super hard are likely to wear out their paddles much faster than someone who hardly plays and only hits the ball softly. So, if you're an occasional player, your paddle may last several years. However, competitive players who engage in high-intensity games may find their paddles wear out significantly faster, sometimes within a year.                                                                                                                       
  • Maintenance and Care. Properly caring for your paddle can extend its lifespan. Some tips include:
     o   Do not store your paddle in extreme temperatures (hot or cold). Be sure to         store your paddle in your home rather than your car/trunk, since your car can       experience extreme hot and cold temperatures.
     o   Prevent your paddle from getting wet. Try to avoid playing in the rain (both         to keep your paddle from getting wet and to avoid slipping and falling).
     o   Keep your paddle in a case or cover to avoid surface damage.

Signs It May be Time to Replace Your Pickleball Paddle

  • Failing edge guard. If the edge guard of your paddle is starting to peel off or come undone, it could be a precursor to more serious issues like delamination. Delamination occurs when the layers of material of the paddle face separate from each other or from the core. If your pickleball paddle is delaminated, you may notice soft spots, bubbling, peeling, or unevenness on the paddle’s surface.
  • Chips, cracks, or dents. Visible chips, cracks, or dents in the paddle surface can significantly impact its performance and may indicate it's time for a new one.
  • Loss of texture. As you play, the texture on the face of your paddle will naturally wear down, resulting in a significantly smoother surface. This will make it much harder to grip and add spin to the ball, signaling that it is probably time for a new paddle.
  • Dead spots. If you notice areas on the paddle face where the ball doesn't bounce off as well, this could be a sign of irreversible wear and tear.
  • Reduced power and control. If you're struggling to generate power or maintain control during shots, it may be a sign that your paddle's performance has deteriorated.


Many high-quality paddle brands have warranties that guarantee that the company will replace the paddle if it wears out or shows defects within a certain time after purchase. Most warranties last about 6 months to one year, depending on the paddle. Be sure to register your paddle as soon as you purchase it to take advantage of the warranty, if necessary.


The lifespan of a pickleball paddle depends on various factors, including materials, playing frequency and intensity, and maintenance and care. Keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear, and don't hesitate to replace your paddle when the time comes. Ultimately, playing with a paddle in good condition is key to enjoying the game and performing at your best. Happy pickling!

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