Pickleball Paddles

How Long Does a Pickleball Paddle Last? – Here’s How Many Years

How Long Does a Pickleball Paddle Last
Written by Alex

Pickleball is no longer considered a child’s play as it has sailed from its recreational theme to a more coherent competitive playstyle after plenty of big names have stepped onto the court and enlisted this sport for professional purposes.

This is why, nowadays heated sessions in the court are pretty common which exponentially increases the wear and tear effect on equipment, especially pickleball paddles. 

We all know that these paddles don’t come in cheap and taking care of them and looking for ways to prolong their lifespan is something every pickleball player seeks out the most. But the bigger question usually arises “How Long Does A Pickleball Paddle Last”, can they go on forever if proper precautionary measures are taken? Let us find out.

Paddle Categorization

Paddles come in many shapes and forms and some are even made from different materials, which is why they tend to have variable lifespans. To provide a general perspective, I will be categorizing Paddles into three types.

1. Entry Level Paddles

These are the type of paddles that barely make the cut and aren’t considered for professional use, which is why you would often see them in recreational sessions. Due to their forgiving yet bulky nature, many players use them only for practicing or for building muscle memory.

Since, paddles aren’t made cheap, entry-level paddles which are often made from wood with soft pulp-like material known as poplar, are made to absorb shock and compensate for the impact whenever it is hit directly with the ball.

Considering their fragile and unstable nature, wooden paddles can withstand recreational sessions as long as the players don’t treat them harshly or misuse them for aggressive blows.

Nevertheless, the shelf life of this entry-level wooden paddle can range from 1-2 years with moderate use cases. However, there are some variations where wooden paddles with graphite cores are used in order to strengthen its core, these variants may last up to 2 years even under intense use.

2. Mid Tier Paddles

Mid-tier paddles are the most sought-after choice in the market right now because they hit the sweet spot between power and price-to-value ratio. In general, they are either made from graphite or fiberglass material or a bit of both which is why they are termed as hybrid paddles.

They often have unique texture patterns for added grit and to provide strength and stability, they are equipped with cores made from aluminum material. These sorts of paddles can easily last 2-3 years even under extreme duress.

These paddles are coated with a special finish to prevent them from suffering integrity loss due to atmospheric changes, allowing them to withstand the test of time even in extreme heat or humidity.

Even though often equipped with top-of-the-line technologies, it isn’t necessary that this paddle might follow official league specifications, so you might still see some of them used in casual or recreational matches.

3. Expensive, Signature, Premium Paddles

The top-of-the-line and the most expensive in the bunch, even going forth as a collectible item if they are signed by a professional player. These paddles are often sold as limited edition paddles since it is being made from top-of-the-line aircraft-grade aluminum materials as well as graphite blends, allowing them to have a perfect sweet spot. 

In order to protect your investment, these paddles have gone through extreme levels of laboratory tests and even have protection layers and edge guards from inevitable chip damage. These paddles are also shipped with their own proprietary bags, so players can easily carry them without mishandling them.

To sum it up, such elite-level paddles can withstand the test of time for up to 5 years, however, if kept in mint condition, they can easily last up to 10 years.

How to Clean a Pickleball Paddle?

It’s in your best interest that you follow these tips to ensure your investment doesn’t go in vain, here are a couple of things you will need,

  • Lukewarm Water
  • Cleaning Brush ( with soft bristles)
  • Cleaning spray
  • Microfiber cloth

Cleaning Your Paddles

  • First of all, you are going to need a bucket full of lukewarm water, clean cold room temperature water could also do the trick, water with higher temperatures tends to perform better in removing excess debris, sweat, and even oil settled on the grip and the face of the paddle.
  • Never place your paddle directly in the water as it may oversoak and possibly ruin the fabric and the special polish of the paddle. 
  • Scrub the debris and oils from the face of the paddle in a circular motion until you visibly see the grease being unearthed, if your paddle has grit or special texture, make sure you are gentle with your scrubbing otherwise you might ruin the paddle quality.
  • Never use harsh chemicals, especially bleaches even if they claim to clean your paddles as they will eventually ruin the integrity of the paddle.
  • Additionally, you could use a tweezer to remove grime that might be stuck on the paddle grips, try to dig in too much, a simple swipe would clean out pretty much all the junk and oily goo.

How Would I Know My Paddle Is Out Of Order?

Here are a couple of signs that might indicate that it is time to invest in better options,

  • If you see or notice visible cracks on the face of the paddle.
  • If the grip is worn out or the tape of the grip has lost its elasticity, causing it to become loose.
  • Edge guard getting damaged, although, in some scenarios, you could swap out an edge guard but in extreme cases, it will ruin your sweet spot.
  • Loss of pop or power might indicate that your paddle has suffered enough wear and tear.
  • Loss in grit or abrasiveness which could be felt with touch or texture being worn out could indicate you are in dire need of replacement.

How Long Does a Pickleball Paddle Last? – Bottom Line

By following the tips I have mentioned above, I am fairly certain that you could maximize pickleball’s paddle lifespan and even get the most out of it so you could reign supreme in the court.

So go ahead, grab your favorite Paddle and even a snack or a drink, and hit the court with peak confidence, let the world know who’s boss!

Good Luck 🤞.

About the author


Hello, I'm Alex, and welcome to PicklerSpot – your ultimate resource for all things pickleball! I've curated this blog to share my 5 years of expertise and tips to enhance your pickleball skills.

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