When To Replace Pickleball Paddles


As a pickleball player, your pickleball paddle is your best friend. Several people get attached to their pickleball paddles and find it difficult to replace them when it’s time. If you want to be a good pickleball player, knowing when to replace your paddle is essential, as it impacts your performance significantly.

When your pickleball paddle loses efficiency, you should get a replacement soon. How do you know when to change your pickleball paddle? Pickleball paddles give various signs when they require replacement. You need to be conscious of these signs to identify them quickly.

If you keep using your pickleball paddle even after showing signs of degradation, you will have a dead paddle. Playing with a dead paddle will affect your performance and reduce efficiency. How can you tell when your pickleball paddle needs replacement? Here are some signs you should look out for. 

What Is A Dead Paddle?

A dead paddle is a term players use for pickleball rackets that are overly damaged. When your pickleball paddle wears down till it starts affecting your game negatively, it can be said to be dead. That means it has no more use to you. A dead paddle will perform terribly, making it uncomfortable to use.

Since the paddle is dead, you must exert more effort when using such a paddle to play. Many things can lead to a dead paddle. It could be that the paddle wore down with time, or you often dropped it on the ground. Either way, it is crucial to replace your pickleball paddle once you notice it is dead. 

Aggressive players will most likely find themselves replacing their pickleball paddles now and then. This is because every time the paddle hits the floor or wall, some damage accumulates quickly. Treating your pickleball paddle with care is advisable so you don’t need to replace it often. Click here to learn how to care for your pickleball paddle.

How Can You Tell When Your Pickleball Paddle Is Dead?

Typically, it is straightforward to identify if a pickleball racquet needs replacement. When pickleball paddles start to lose their responsiveness, they wear down and will need replacement soon. However, sometimes it can be challenging to know whether your paddle needs replacement. Here are some ways you can tell if your pickleball paddle is damaged.

Dull Sound From Your Paddle

The easiest way to know if there is something wrong with your pickleball paddle is by listening to the sound it produces anytime it hits the ball. Each pickleball gear has a particular sound they produce. Some make sharp popping sounds, while some are more muffled.

If you know the sound of your pickleball paddle, it is straightforward to detect when it changes. Most pickleball paddles produce a hollow sound when they come into contact with the ball. Hence, if your pickleball paddle is giving off a different sound from what it usually produces, it probably needs replacement.

You should also consider getting a replacement if the sound from the paddle sounds duller than before. The pickleball paddle might retain its unique sound after it gets damaged; however, the sound might be muffled or duller. If such is the case, your paddle has dead spots and needs to be replaced.

The Response From Your Paddle

Pickleball paddles are very responsive when they are brand new. The reason for this is that pickleball rackets lose responsiveness over time. Most people enjoy the best of their pickleball paddle in the early days after purchase. This is because that is when they get the best response from their paddle.

Pickleball paddles start to lose their responsiveness from the edges and the side closer to the handle before closing in on the sweet spot. This is because those parts suffer more impact than other paddle areas. However, this can differ based on the design of your paddle. 

The sweet spot of most pickleball paddles is close to the middle. It is that particular spot where the balls seem to hit easily. If the response from your paddle’s sweet spot dampens, it is ready for replacement. If you don’t get a new paddle, you might end up with a dead one.

Uneven Paddle Face

One of the surest methods to tell when you need a pickleball paddle replacement is if your paddle has an uneven surface. Pickleball is a game where precision is vital. Having a pickleball paddle with an uneven surface is detrimental to your accuracy and ball control.

Damage that you can see should never be ignored. If you notice any uneven patches on the face of your pickleball equipment, you should get a new one immediately. The uneven surface will not only affect your pattern of play; it will make it harder for you to direct the ball.

To check if the surface of your paddle is smooth, you must examine the racquet under a bright light to see the face. You need a new one if you see any uneven parts or dips on the paddle. You might not notice the damage right away when playing. However, with time, its performance will decline.

The dips in the paddle will keep getting bigger and deeper if you continue using the paddle. Once it reaches a certain point, the paddle will become dead, and you won’t be able to use it. If you note that your pickleball paddle has an uneven surface, your best option is to change it.

Broken Parts

Another thing to check for to know if your paddle needs replacement is broken parts and chips on the paddle. Pickleball paddles become less efficient when they have chips and broken parts. You may need a replacement if you notice broken edges or pieces on your pickleball paddle.

Rub your hands on the paddle’s surface to check for broken parts. Also, remember to check the handle region to see if it is broken. If you feel the handle becoming weak or brittle, it is only a matter of time before you need a new paddle.

How Long Does A Pickleball Paddle Typically Last?

Pickleball paddles can last between one and three years, depending on how often you play the game. Most recreational players that don’t play too often can use the same pickleball paddle for about four years if it is kept in good condition. This is a very reasonable lifespan for a racket.

However, this only applies if you don’t play often.

People who play pickleball often tend to require a paddle replacement faster than people who play for leisure. The reason for this is apparent. They spend more time utilizing the pickleball paddle; hence, it will wear down faster. A paddle that someone uses daily will get damaged sooner than one used weekly.

Your playing style also matters a lot regarding the lifespan of your pickleball paddle. If you are an aggressive player, your shots will be more powerful, and your paddle will bear more impact. Hence, it will get damaged quicker than the paddle of someone that plays a conservative style.

How you treat your pickleball paddle will also influence how long you will use it. If you’re the type that likes to leave your paddle lying around on the floor somewhere until you need it, your paddle is very likely to get damaged sooner. The treatment you give the paddle will determine how long it will last.

Professional pickleball players usually change their paddles within a couple of months. They play more intense and high-paced games than regular players. Hence, their paddles wear out faster. As a professional player, it is customary to change your pickleball paddle after a few months of usage.

Tips On How To Prolong The Life Of Your Pickleball Paddle

Many people grow attached to their pickleball paddle, so it is perfectly normal to find ways to prolong your paddle’s life. There are various ways you can prolong the life of your pickleball paddle. Here are some tips on what you can do or avoid to extend the life of your pickleball paddle.

  • Cover your pickleball paddle adequately anytime you’re not using it. This will keep it safe from different factors.
  • Avoid clanking your paddles with that of other people when playing. This can damage the paddle and reduce its efficiency. You can gently rub the paddles against each other instead.
  • Don’t keep your paddle under the sun or locked in the car. Too much exposure to extreme temperatures can compromise the integrity of your pickleball paddle.
  • Avoid leaning against your paddle anytime you’re tired, which can reduce lifespan.
  • Don’t toss your paddle on the floor when you get home. Instead, find a suitable spot to keep it.
  • Clean your paddle regularly to avoid uneven surfaces. Dirt residue can lead to bumps on the face of the paddle.


Pickleball paddles can last long if you take proper care of them. Various factors can lead to a damaged pickleball paddle. If the damage on your paddle piles up, its efficiency will decline and become a dead paddle. It is easy to determine when your pickleball paddle needs a replacement. Once you notice signs of damage on your pickleball paddle, you might need a replacement soon.

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