If you are an enthusiastic pickleball player, nothing can be more heartbreaking for you than the sight of your broken pickleball paddle.
Despite the durability guaranteed by the manufacturers, most pickleball paddles start to break and undergo wear and tear within a span of a few months. It certainly seems foolish to invest in a new, expensive paddle when you look at the growing stack of broken paddles gathering dust in your shed.
Moreover, good pickleball paddles that offer a quality gaming experience along with durability are exorbitantly priced. So it’s a better option to improvise with your old worn-out paddles than upgrade to a new one, especially if you are a recreational player. And the good news is that most of the time pickleball paddles can be easily fixed using a few simple supplies.
In this article, you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to fix a broken pickleball paddle handle and edge guard.
- 1 How Can a Pickleball Paddle Break?
- 2 How to Repair Pickleball Paddle Edge Guard?
- 3 How To Fix a Broken Pickleball Paddle Handle?
- 4 How Often Do Pickleball Paddles Break?
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 The Bottom Line
How Can a Pickleball Paddle Break?
Pickleball paddles can either break due to playing excessively on a daily basis or accidentally hitting your paddle on a hard surface.
The most common issue that players face is related to the edge guard. A broken or loose edge guard fails to protect the core and as a result, the entire paddle starts to delaminate. Edge guards come in a variety of materials that offer varying degrees of quality.
Plastic edge guards are more likely to break than rubber ones. But how strongly the edge guard is glued to the paddle is the real determiner of its strength. The edge guard can either come loose through rough use, or it can break if you hit your paddle on the court while dinking.
Apart from the edge guard coming loose, many players complain of having the handle of their paddle broken. This is very frustrating because a pickleball paddle loses all function when the handle is broken. Although rare, the paddle handle is most likely to break if you accidentally step on it or smash it into something hard, for example, your partner’s paddle while playing doubles.
Other than this your paddle surface might form cracks or chip away from the edges which is mostly due to the effects of use.
How to Repair Pickleball Paddle Edge Guard?
Depending on the severity and type of damage, you can find a long-lasting fix for your pickleball paddle. Structural damage such as a broken handle and a cracked surface might be impossible to repair on your own and can badly affect your performance if not repaired. However, you can easily fix a broken or loose edge guard using a few simple tools.
If your edge guard is coming off from one side, you simply can glue it back. But if your paddle’s edge guard is broken or is coming loose from multiple areas, it might need to be replaced.
Repairing a Loose Pickleball Paddle Edge Guard
Follow the following steps to fix your pickleball paddle’s loose edge guard by yourself.
- First, get rid of the old glue from beneath the loose edge guard. You can simply do this by rubbing or scraping it off. Try to clear out as much as you can.
- Next, place a smooth coating of clear glue on the edge of the paddle beneath the loose edge guard. Make sure to apply a thin layer instead of big blobs.
- Then firmly attach the guard to the paddle edge while applying pressure. Be careful to precisely attach the guard over the edge of the paddle. If you fail to do so, it might stick to the wrong place and cause mishits while playing.
- After that, use a blow dryer to quickly dry off the glue. Make sure to set the blow dryer on low heat to avoid bubbling the glue. This will stabilize the guard in less time.
- Finally, apply some more glue over the surface of the broken edge guard to strengthen it completely. Fill the broken gap in the guard using glue.
Replacing a Damaged Pickleball Paddle Edge Guard
If the edge guard on your pickleball paddle is damaged to a great extent, you might need to replace it. However, you’ll need to purchase a replacement edge guard for this. Alternatively, you can use lead tape for this purpose.
- First, peel off the old edge guard. This is fairly easy if you start from the broken part.
- Next, scrape off the old glue from the paddle edges.
- It is better to work at a warm temperature or use a blow dryer to heat up the edge guard before sticking it onto the paddle. This softens the stiff edge guard and allows easy installation over curves on the paddle.
- Then apply an even coat of glue over the edge guard. Use glue generously, but avoid making puddles of glue. Make sure not to leave any spot without glue. It is better to use a strong adhesive.
- After that, start sticking the edge guard to the paddle, starting from the bend near the handle. It is important to secure this part firmly because it will facilitate the remaining process.
- Continue wrapping the edge guard around the paddle while applying pressure over the adhered parts.
- Once you reach the other end, cut off the extra edge guard using pliers. You may need to use a little more glue to firmly attach this end.
- Wait about 10 minutes to let the glue dry completely. Then scrape the excess glue off the surface of the paddle. Your paddle is now as good as new.
How To Fix a Broken Pickleball Paddle Handle?
Unfortunately, there is no way you can fix a broken pickleball paddle handle yourself, as it won’t be strong enough to play and might break again. This is because all the power you generate to hit the pickleball is concentrated at this point. You should consider using the warranty that came with your paddle, and most likely you will get a replacement for your paddle.
However, a better option is to get a new, better paddle with a strong handle. A good choice in this regard is the Rogue 2 pickleball paddle. Rogue 2 uses throat reinforcement technology which not only strengthens the handle-face junction but also dampens vibration.
In addition, to avoid breaking the handle of your pickleball paddle, you must handle your paddle carefully. Try not to clink your paddle to celebrate victory, and be careful not to hit the paddle on the ground while going for a dink.
How Often Do Pickleball Paddles Break?
Pickleball paddles generally last around 1-5 years, if used with care. The lifespan of a pickleball paddle greatly depends upon its quality, degree of usage, and playing style. Usually, within a year, a paddle starts to wear out if used regularly but is still usable.
However, the lifespan of your paddle might be cut short to a few months if broken through reckless use. But if you handle your paddle with care, it will never break on its own.
Professional players replace paddles quickly to ensure the quality of the game, while recreational players can improvise with old paddles. To have a better idea of how long pickleball paddles last, you can take a look at our article on do pickleball paddles wear out.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to Take Care of Your Pickleball Paddle?
If you take care of the general upkeep of your pickleball paddle, it will last a much longer time. Firstly, make it a point to always clean your paddle with a damp cloth after playing.
Secondly, always tuck your pickleball paddle back into the paddle bag after playing. Make sure not to keep any sharp object in the same bag as it could scratch and damage the surface. Always store your paddle indoors as extreme weather conditions can damage the paddle.
Lastly, always keep your paddle off the ground to avoid any accidental stepping which might result in breakage. Check out our article on how to clean a pickleball paddle.
2. Can You Play With a Broken Pickleball Paddle?
Whether you can play with a broken paddle depends on the extent of the damage. If the handle of your pickleball paddle is broken, then you can definitely not use it for your next game.
But if the level of damage is small like a loose edge guard or chipped corner then you can use it. As long as the damage is not affecting your scores, it’s good to go.
However, if you play competitive games, do not take risks and upgrade their paddle as soon as you notice a minor fault.
The Bottom Line
With the production of high-quality, durable pickleball paddles nowadays, it’s very rare to have your paddle broken. But even if your paddle does break, it’s most likely you’ll be able to fix your broken pickleball paddle on your own.
Most of the time it’s the paddle edge guard that is broken and can be easily fixed. But if the handle or surface is broken, you’ll need professional help to get your paddle fixed. Keep in mind, sooner or later, paddles are bound to break. If your paddle is damaged beyond repair, you can take it as an opportunity to try out a new one. Our list of the best pickleball paddles can help you, in case you’re not sure about the model.