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How long do padel rackets last and how to make your racket last longer?

Updated Nov 26, 2023

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PR990 Hybrid Soft
PR990 Hybrid Soft
Alpha Pro
Alpha Pro
Equation World Padel Tour
Equation World Padel Tour
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All levels of players seeking a versatile medium touch racket
Intermediate players seeking a versatile, control racket
Players looking for comfort and maneuverability
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Overall
Power
6.6
Control
8.4
Sweet Spot
8.1
Maneuverability
9.0
Overall
Power
7.8
Control
8.6
Sweet Spot
8.3
Maneuverability
8.0
Overall
Power
6.6
Control
8.3
Sweet Spot
8.5
Maneuverability
8.0
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How long do padel rackets last?

Padel rackets last up to 100 sessions for recreational players, so 6-12 months for players at the court 2-3x per week. This lifetime scales up or down depending on the amount used, the style of play, as well as the materials used in, and the quality of the racket’s construction.

The reduced absorption of the foam of an old racket will send strong vibrations to your arm, so players with a history of tennis elbow, or epicondylitis, in particular, should replace their rackets regularly.

Racket anatomy

Briefly, a racket is made of 3 main parts: a tubular frame, a foam inner, and a carbon fiber (or fiberglass) wrapping. The tubular frame is usually 2 tubes of hollow carbon fiber forming the shape of the racket into which a polyethylene or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) rubber foam cutout is placed. The foam makes up the majority of the volume of the racket. A “skin” of carbon fiber or fiberglass is then wrapped around the frame and foam. Any of these materials may be damaged by a traumatic blow to a wall or another racket or gradually over many shots.

Symptoms of an old racket

Old rackets display a few symptoms you should look out for. They have lower ball output as the compressed foam has lost many of its elastic properties and doesn’t recover its original shape as it was manufactured to. Testea reported that after just 500 test shots, racket behavior had changed - some rackets softened, while others hardened.

The sound from an old racket will have a deeper thump in its tone.

The ball may die despite contacting it in an old racket’s sweet spot. And as mentioned above, old rackets with compressed foam will send more vibrations to players' arms.

Factors impacting a padel racket’s aging

Advanced players with aggressive styles of play with frequent smashes and otherwise strong shots will place more stress on their rackets and thus want to replace their rackets more frequently. Professional players, for example, playing 4 hours or more per day change their rackets every month or two.

Moreover, rackets with harder materials, such as 3K or otherwise low thread count carbon fiber and hard EVA foam will last longer than softer fiberglass and soft polyethylene foam that beginner players often play with.

When do you need to replace your padel racket?

There are a few signs that a racket needs to be replaced.

Major cracks in the padel racket face or frame

Firstly, and perhaps the most common reason for replacing a racket is when there are cracks through the surface. Chips in the paint job or small cracks on the exterior are cosmetic and will not affect your game. However, cracks through the surface will, on the other hand, create a dead spot where the ball will bounce off the racket in unpredictable ways.

These cracks usually occur in three places. In order of severity, these places are: on the racket face from one hole to another, on the racket face from one hole to the edge of the racket face, and along the edge of the racket frame. Usually, these dead spots reduce force transferred to the ball.

Players can finish the match with a racket with a crack like this but should try to have a new racket by the next match.

The padel racket frame is broken

The second and most traumatic way that a padel racket is broken is when the racket frame is cracked. The frame provides the structure to the racket, and the racket is thus no longer able to hold its shape after damage to the frame.

Broken frames often occur as a result of two players hitting their rackets together. The rackets usually make a loud cracking sound when this occurs.

Players should switch their rackets immediately when possible as rackets with cracked frames will have unpredictable behavior.

The padel racket core’s foam is compressed

The last sign a racket should be replaced is when the foam has compressed too much. This happens gradually over a lot of shots, so it is difficult to perceive. If you have access to an unused model, push into the racket face to compare the compression in the old racket versus the new one. If that’s not possible, check the compression in different areas of both sides of the racket face. Compressed cores lose their "spring" and will compress but feel harder. If that doesn’t give you clarity, go with your gut, your hand will perceive the additional vibrations resulting from a compressed core.

How to make your padel racket last longer?

The simplest and most effective ways to increase the lifespan of your racket are not difficult, so we recommend doing the following in order to make your racket last as long as possible.

Store your racket away from the sun, temperature swings, humidity, and heavy objects

The padel racket’s rubber foam core is the most delicate part of the padel racket and it is sensitive to its environment. Storing your racket in a dry place at room temperature will prevent your foam core from deteriorating prematurely.

Do not leave your racket in the sun or in low temperatures below -15° or high temperatures above 40°C. Cars are greenhouses, so avoid keeping your racket in the car.

Temperature swings and being left in the sun result in the racket materials, especially the foam core, expanding and contracting. This shifting causes the foam to age quickly. The foam absorbs water present in its environment, which causes it to swell up, and then when it dries and contracts, it has again aged significantly.

Store your racket vertically away from heavy objects that can compress the face. A padel racket bag will deliver ease of packing for padel while extending the lifetime of your gear. A racket cover with thermal insulation can be found for roughly €10, this one for example.

Play with conscientiousness

Players should behave on the court as they feel most comfortable, of course, but there are two important considerations regarding the lifespan of your racket.

One, the easiest way to destroy your racket is by slamming it into your partner's on a shot in the middle. After breaking a racket this way, I am careful on ambiguous balls in the middle of the court when I don’t know where my partner is. Proceeding with caution in these situations and maybe missing a point or two here or there may be better for your game in the long term.

Second, taking your frustration out on your racket on off days in addition to prematurely aging your racket likely makes the people you are playing with uncomfortable. So consider another way to blow off the steam in a competitive match. Be a fun player to invite to matches!

Stopgap supergluing

Players cracking their racket surfaces may be able to extend the useful lifespan of their rackets somewhat by supergluing the surface together.

Results from Testfakta-Testea's study on racket durability

Mentioned rackets

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{{racket-card="/racket-reviews/graphene-360-alpha-pro"}}

{{racket-card="/racket-reviews/equation-world-padel-tour"}}

People also ask

Do expensive rackets last longer than cheap rackets?

In short, no. Some inexpensive rackets have been tested to be more durable than more expensive ones. The most important considerations are the rackets materials and the quality of construction, which are not directly correlated with price.

Harder materials, such as low thread count carbon fiber and high density foam cores lead to more durable rackets, but these rackets are also harder to play with so we do not urge all players to play with them.

Can padel rackets be repaired?

Padel rackets can be repaired by a specialist or at home with a DIY repair kit, such as this one on Amazon. These repairs won’t have the racket working as new, but it can extend the racket’s lifespan for the mid-term.

Will a padel racket protector extend the life of my racket?

Padel racket protectors are thin pieces of plastic stuck to the top of the racket frame.

Their use is more controversial than one would think. Not all protectors are made the same, some do provide significant protection, while some seem merely decorative.

Additionally, some players use them only to increase the balance of their racket. Some change the texture of the racket on the glass and fence, which can reduce the player's ability to dig balls out of the corners. Many are so thin and delicate that they provide slightly more protection than a paint job. They can help prevent a racket’s surface from falling apart along the top of the frame for a short time.

Will upgrading my padel racket improve my game?

Upgrading your padel racket will only help you improve your game if you are currently playing with a damaged padel racket that responds in unpredictable ways, or otherwise feel uncomfortable with your padel racket. If you would like help in finding the right padel racket for your style of play and level reach out, or check out How to Choose a Padel Racket or our List of Best Padel Rackets in 2023.

What is the most durable padel racket?

As a result of the destructive nature of testing durability, unfortunately, there is very little objective data regarding the durability of padel rackets. Nevertheless, the aforementioned Testfakta study, wherein racket response was measured before and after being hammered with balls and metal weights, is the best study of padel racket durability. Their study determined that the Kuikma PR990 Hybrid Soft was the most durable racket of the 8 intermediate rackets selected.

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