Paddle Care Guide
Some people are absolutely anal about their paddles and preserving it in pristine condition. Others may take care of their paddles, but don’t really care about the dings and marks that are going to naturally come on a paddle that is well loved. And then there is a third group that you may be in along with myself, where we are lucky not to buy a new paddle every year with the lack of care that we put into our paddles.
When I get out to play Pickleball, it is usually with my family, which means all babysitters are playing. We take turns playing and watching the little ones. But everytime I hear a cry I am having to check on her, feed her, change her, or any number of other things. By the time we leave, she has usually had enough, so I am tossing my paddle into my diaper bag and hustling out to the car, where I leave my paddle in the backseat. If my little one decides she doesn’t want to be in the car that night, then we are usually scrambling to get her into the house and out of the car seat. Which means the paddle usually gets left in the car in freezing or blistering conditions.
I have worked as a customer service manager for Selkirk Sport and have spoken with a plethora of customers in each of these categories. Those who do their best to responsibly take care of their paddles, and the few who could care less about what happens to their paddles.
There are a few easy habits you can make a part of your Pickleball routine to keep your paddle looking new and performing at its prime.
Clean your paddle. The face and edge guard of your paddle can be cleaned with a glass cleaner and lint-free cloth. Graphics are going to wear over time, it’s the nature of any sport where you make constact with a ball. So do not worry if that happens to your paddle; it is a sign of a well-loved and well-used paddle.
Preserving the Grip
The handle is going to build up grime from your sweat and dead skin. Just take a moment to wipe it off with a towel or damp cloth after play. This will help to preserve the life of your grip. At some point though, you may want to replace the grip. Depending on your particular grip, you will be able to tell over time if the grip has lost its tackiness or cushion and should be replaced. How often you replace it really depends on how much you play and how much it matters to you.
Try to keep your paddle from extremes temperatures. If you live in colder temperatures, try not to keep your paddle in the trunk of your car or in your garage, unless it is heated. Cold air can make objects more brittle, and therefore more likely to break. You also do not want to leave your paddle sitting out in extreme heat. The paddle face can become softer after laying on a searing hot court with the sun beating down on it. It is also not a great idea to submerge your paddle in water or any liquid for that matter. Most paddles have a honeycomb core that could trap water inside of your paddle.
The final tip for taking care of your paddle is to be gentle with it. Take a moment to look at your edge guard. The amount of wear and tear along your edgeguard is indicative of how often you hit the ground with your paddle. Most paddle manufacturers have lifetime warranties for their paddles, but these typically just cover manufacturer defects, not user error.
If you are about to take a tumble, treat your paddle like you would your wrist. In other words, don’t land on it. Paddles were not designed to prop up 140 pounds of dead weight.
Sometimes in the heat of the moment, someone, not you of course, but someone may get a little hot-tempered. Paddles were also not designed to be smashed against the ground in fits of fury. Maybe try to find another, less destructive way of cooling off.
Be mindful of wear you place your paddle when not in play. Is it in your bag? Make sure your keys or metal water bottle are not scraping against it. This can cause undue wearing down of the graphics. Is your bag laying somewhere where other players can step on it? Or where people might just toss their own bags right on top of it?
How Long Should My Paddle Last?
Most paddles will last between 1-5 years depending on use and how well it is cared for. Selkirk offers a lifetime warranty on any manufacturer defects, however, paddles will have natural wear and tear and may suffer from negligence. In addition, with the fast pace paddle technology advancements, paddles become obsolete about every 2-3 years.
Just add a couple of these suggestions into your daily Pickleball routine to keep your paddle looking and feeling pristine. And if you ever do have an issue with your paddle, just contact Selkirk. They are more than happy to help you with any issues.
By Lauren Barnes