You’ve played with your new paddle for several months. It has great touch, your shots are going where you want them—then suddenly, the handle breaks.
Do you know how to avoid paying for new gear in this situation? Some people believe that damaged paddles are just a risk of the sport, and that’s true—but paddles should last longer than a couple of months with proper care.
Do You Know Your Paddle’s Warranty?
At PickleballCentral we offer a 60-day guarantee against defects, but beyond that you’re still covered by whatever warranty your paddle’s manufacturer offers.
If you weren’t aware of this until now, it’s worth checking out who your paddle was made by and familiarizing yourself with their guarantee.
Some companies have long-lasting warranties that stand behind the quality of their products. Others are more wary of mishandling and don’t provide customers as much leeway.
When you’re first selecting a paddle, the warranty is one of several “hidden factors” that can indicate how long your gear will perform. This makes it something you should carefully consider when making a purchase. If your paddle’s edge guard comes off, the handle breaks or the core goes dead, the warranty is the only thing that will prevent you from having to buy a replacement.
Note that warranties only stay in effect when damage is caused by an actual defect, not normal wear and tear, abuse, negligence or tampering. This means you should always avoid throwing your paddle, using it to hit anything other than a ball, storing it in poor conditions such as very hot, cold or humid conditions, or trying to fix an issue by yourself.
It’s also wise to avoid marking your paddle with anything permanent. If you want to put your name or some other identifier on it, use a sticker rather than permanent marker.
Delving a bit further into “normal” wear and tear—this includes faded graphics, small dents or scratches (which don’t affect play) and markings/residue left by pickleballs on the face. These things are all to be expected over time, but won’t prevent your paddle from playing well.
The Best of the Best
The companies that have the longest warranties are Selkirk, Paddletek and Engage. They all have limited lifetime warranties against defects, and both Paddletek and Engage have a 5-year no dead spot guarantee on top of that. If you’re concerned about buying a paddle that will last, these companies provide a high level of reassurance that you’ll get bang for your buck.
Soon we'll share a comprehensive guide we've put together on manufacturer warranties, but until then feel free to look up your manufacturer's website to see how long your paddle is covered.