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When should I replace my padel racket?

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

using a padel racket to pick up a ball from the floor

How long does a padel racket last?

This is no easy question. I would love from a business perspective to say change your racket when you change your balls, but this planet is knee deep in throw away purchases and anyway, who has that sort of disposable income.

I think the sensible thing to do is look at reasons why you may need to replace a racket and then go here, which padel racket blog, and make an informed decision.

Reason 1.

Your padel racket is deteriorating. It’s not damaged as such but the centre feels a little spongier than it did when you bought it and some shots are getting wayward. You know those times, when you mis-hit the ball even though your approach was perfect and all you can do is stare at the racket face expecting to find a pebble stuck in one of the holes that could explain you burying that shot straight into the side glass.

Deterioration of a racket can happen for several reasons but generally it’s an age thing, a bit like my knees. Perhaps you left it in the car during that cold spell or left it in the car during that hot spell. Maybe you have developed your smash so much that every fibre of your being is put into each one.

The internals of a racket are foam/rubber which the constant beating of a ball will slowly break down. The big factor in deterioration is how often you play, once a week, twice a week, three times a week(don’t you work? you lucky so and so).

As with all sporting equipment the more you use it the shorter its lifespan.

You have to make a judgement call but at least you have a little time unlike the case below.

Reason 2.

Your padel racket is broken or at least breaking. Let's say it got dropped or you picked a ball off the glass so aggressively that the racket got a crack in it.

You have to accept your beloved padel partner is no more. Fibreglass and carbon are very good materials but their strength lies in their bonded structure. Once that’s compromised it’s game over for your trusty old padel racket.

You will of course still be able to use it but the crack will widen, the racket will start to flex and suddenly your sweet spot is misshapen, shots will come off at an angle or with spin you don’t want and your confidence will decrease with each lost point.

We urge you to replace the padel racket before your confidence goes completely. We can get you a new racket in less than 4 business days, but confidence is a much harder thing to replace, and anyway we don’t sell it!

Reason 3.

The best reason, your personal development. This is perhaps the most important thing because instead of needing to replace your racket from breakage it is actually something you need to do as you get better.

Lets take my skiing as an example. I went skiing, I loved it. I went often enough that I decided to buy my own skis. I knew nothing about skis, apart from the longer the better.

It was the late 80’s/early 90’s and to look the part your skis had to end way way above your head. Tall and skinny was the fashion (which interestingly is the exact opposite of my body shape).

I made my purchase and skied on them but as I got better I ventured out of my comfort zone to much steeper runs and off piste touring. I realised these weren’t the best skis for me. As mentioned I am not tall and skinny and neither should my skis be, what I needed most was float and for that you need fatter skis. Think dad bod rather than greek god.

It’s the same with a padel racket. You will notice we give recommendations for your level as a player, beginner, intermediate and advanced. These are important not only for your first racket but as you get better. As your game changes so should your racket. Do you have perfect control but fail to produce spin, can you spin but have no power? Perhaps the next level of your game needs a racket that helps provide what you lack.

As previously promised in the, Padel and me blog, I will fill you in on personal experience. I am dreadful at spin, there I said it. When it appears it is as much a surprise to me as it is to my opponent. I played for a long time without even trying to produce it, I had so many other things to worry about. I now play with a rough faced racket and it helps. Am I as good as Pete, who we play with? No, but he produces so much that he can’t stop himself giggling. Like a small boy going over a humpback bridge, I can only assume something happens internally and he likes the feeling.

Reason 4.

It’s that time of year(October?) and the shops are full of decorations. Maria Carey is everywhere and Johnny Depp is endlessly digging a hole in the desert. Someone will eventually ask what you want for Christmas.

Think about what you need and what will give you enjoyment. Think about the excitement of a decent present waiting for you under the Christmas tree. Think about showing it off at the court on Boxing day when you have sneaked out to burn off the previous day's excesses. This might be the best time to buy that new racket. Add in the fact that someone else might be paying or contributing towards it and suddenly this is a great time to bite the bullet.

Great Youtube video from The Padel School which gives advice on a damaged racket and when to change it.

How much to pay for a new padel racket?

This is a more delicate issue, and is such a personal choice that it would be disingenuous of us to put a number on it.

We have rackets across the price range, and all of them do the job. We have tried to bring quality products to the UK and we hold them all in stock so there is no waiting for delivery from abroad. This allows us to ensure you get the racket as soon as possible.

Simply put, a more expensive padel racket could last longer but it depends on your usage as mentioned above and how you treat it when not playing.

Does a £70 racket become more expendable and get treated badly, meaning it damages quicker or does a £270 racket become too expensive to even contemplate scraping on the glass thereby becoming detrimental to your game.

When replacing a paddle racket you should judge your playing ability, the area you want to improve and find the range of models that will suit you. We try to have several in a price bracket so you have plenty of choice.

If you are playing and getting better then trade up slightly or try another brand that gives you something different for your money.

Padel is a new sport to the UK with new brands to learn. They are the leaders in their field because like you and I, first and foremost, they are padel players!

You are not married to the new racket or your old racket brand, and you will have many different rackets over your padel playing career.

Just remember that if your racket is still usable, you can send it back to us free of charge when you purchase your new one and we will utilise it for our Padel for Schools Scheme.

Care for your padel racket

Some basic rules:

If you played in the wet or even very humid conditions remove your racket from the bag when you get home. The cores are susceptible to moisture absorption and this needs to dry out. Firstly the moisture will deteriorate the core but even before you realise that is happening you could be met by a nasty musty smell when you next go to play. No one likes a Musty racket!

Don't leave it in the car! In Spain they talk about the heat destroying the racket when left in cars. Here in the UK it's going to be the cold. Whichever country you are in take your racket indoors with you.

Put a bumper on it when you buy it.

Use a cover or bag, although as above let the racket dry first if it has got damp.

Padel Bags!
Drop shot padel racket bag with caged stone background
Stunning Drop Shot Mylar bag

We would always recommend a bag or cover for the racket particularly if you are going to the top of your budget. This will give some protection to the padel racket from innocuous knocks when you aren’t on court so budget for one if you can.

My last racket was placed on the floor once and a chap stepped back on it. No real damage but it scraped along the floor. That scratch bugged me for weeks. Now I have a bag and my new racket goes straight in there when I finish, no scratches yet!

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