How Long Do Pickleballs Last?
How long do pickleball last? While on average, a pickleball seems to last for 3-5 games at maximum performance before it starts to lose its bounce and become less effective, there is no definitive answer as to how long a pickleball will last. It greatly varies as the lifespan of a pickleball depends on several factors. Most outdoor pickleball balls, for example, will last between 10 and 20 games before they need to be replaced.
Factors Affecting the Lifespan of a Pickleball Ball
When it comes to the lifespan of balls pickleball, several factors come into play. Understanding and recognizing these factors is crucial for any pickleball player. Here, we will outline the key factors that can affect the performance and lifespan of your pickleball balls.
Many factors can affect the lifespan and performance of a pickleball ball, and understanding and recognizing these factors is crucial for any pickleball player. Below you’ll read about different factors that have an impact on these balls.
Here’s a quick tip: keep these factors in mind while purchasing your new set of pickleball balls to get long-lasting ones.
Outdoor pickleball balls tend to last longer than indoor ones. For starters, an outdoor ball is made with tough material that is suitable for the hard surface of the outdoor courts.
On the other hand, an indoor pickleball ball is made with a soft material as the surface of an indoor court is not that hard or textured. There are many other differences such as different sizes and amounts of holes in both of these balls.
By combining all of the factors, we get a hard outdoor ball and a soft or somewhat fragile indoor ball. Since the outdoor ones can bear more hardships, they have a longer life. However, the lifespan varies from few rounds on the field to a long duration, depending on how often and how intensely you play.
While shopping for pickleball, keep these types in mind. If you play on the indoor courts and want to have a ball with longer life, go for an outdoor one. But keep other factors in mind as well to avoid any issues.
Read more: “Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleballs: Differences between 2 Pickleball balls?”
While purchasing pickleball balls, you might have noticed different sorts of materials such as polymer, rubber, or plastic. These materials show the quality of the balls. The material used in the construction of a ball pickleball plays a significant role in its quality and durability.
For instance, high-density polymer or rubber is used in making the harder balls. These harder ones have a larger lifespan as compared to the balls that are made with low-quality material.
Also, some balls are made of weather-resistant materials. For instance, a ball that is made with a UV-resistant material lasts longer than one that doesn’t have this material.
There are various ways through which weather can act as another factor that affects the longevity of pickleball balls.
- UV rays – Exposure to UV rays can cause the ball to craft. Resultantly, it will lose its bounce. Most outdoor balls face this problem.
- Surface – The outdoor surfaces are hard while the inner ones are not. Also, rain can cause the outdoor surface to be slippy which may damage the ball.
- Moisture – If the wall gets wet many times, it might crack. Also, if you store your ball in a moist area, it will get damaged.
- Temperature – Both extremely hot and cold temperatures can shorten the lifespan of a pickleball Ball. High temperature causes the ball to expand while cold temperature may cause it to be too brittle and crack.
Proper storage of the balls will lead to a better life. Be careful of the moisture and temperature of the area where you’re storing your balls.
So store the pickleball in a clean and dry environment such as a closet, bag, or cabinet to avoid dust, UV rays, moisture, and temperature issues.
It’s a no-brainer that the more you use the ball, the more damage it will get. It’s the law of nature that things wear out eventually.
Also, the intensity of using the ball matters. If you’re someone who likes to hit a lot of smashes and other hard shots, you must purchase a lot of pickleball.
Again, if you’re using the ball in a humid and extremely hot environment, get ready for damage to the ball.
The Lifespan of the Outdoor Pickleball Balls?
A high-quality outdoor usually lasts for 50-100 hours of gameplay. The exact number varies from person to person as everyone has different strengths and styles of playing.
Although outdoor balls usually last longer than balls indoor ones, some balls can get damaged due to certain conditions.
For instance, if a pickleball is exposed to harsh rain, heat, or sunlight, it may wear out quickly. Similarly, if the surface is too harsh, the outdoor balls get damaged easily.
Heat is the major issue that is faced by outdoor balls as they may expand under harsh temperatures. This way, they become less durable over time.
However, if you play the game carefully and hit more smooth shots, they can last even longer.
For making the most out of your outdoor pickleball balls, it’s a good idea to store them in a dry or cool place.
Warning Signs of a Worn Outdoor Pickleball Ball
A visible crack or any deformation of the ball is a clear sign of damage. This is usually caused by exposure to certain elements, heavy usage, or even just age.
A ball with visible cracks might even damage your paddle so it is better to purchase a new outdoor ball in this case. Another visible sign is the egg-like shape of the balls.
The ball that’s in good condition should bounce consistently and with a decent amount of height. So a decrease in bounce is another important indicator of a worn outdoor pickleball ball.
The balls have to face a lot of heat and UV rays. That is why the color of the outdoor balls may wear out quickly, which indicates the wearing out of the ball.
High-quality balls usually come in bright colors. So if you notice the color fading, it’s likely the ball has been used a lot of times and is begging you to replace it.
Once you see these warning signs in your outdoor balls, replace them as soon as you can. Otherwise, you might see damage on the paddles, and hitting the pro shots would also be difficult.
How Long Do the Indoor Pickleball Balls Last?
On average, Pickleball indoor lasts for nearly five games before it is recommended to be replaced which is way less than the lifespan of outdoor pickleball.
There are several reasons for this. The indoor balls are designed to be played on the inner courts which are smooth and don’t require hard balls.
Therefore, the material used in making the indoor balls is not heavy and we know that the heavier the material, the better the product.
Therefore, the quality of the indoor balls matters a lot. The high-quality but expensive ones last longer than the cheaper ones. So, you have to make wise decisions while buying the best pickleball.
Another important thing to consider here is the usage. If you are an avid pickler, you might feel a need to replace the indoor ball more often. However, if you’re a casual player, pickleball will last for a long time.
Warning Signs of a Worn Indoor Pickleball Ball
Knowing when to replace your indoor pickleball balls can be a bit tricky, however, there are a few signs that will pose a danger.
Like the outdoor balls, you must check for visible wear and tear on the indoor ones.
Look for signs of cracking or other damage on the surface of the balls. If the ball has any of these visible signs, it’s likely worn out and needs to be replaced.
The second sign is the decreased bounce. To check it out, drop the pickleball from a large height and check its bounce. If the ball is worn, it will bounce much lower.
Sometimes the ball might have the bounce, but it can still be worn out. This situation is usually seen when the ball feels too soft and is squashed easily.
Another subtle but noticeable sign is the sound of the ball. The normal balls are supposed to make crisp and clean sounds. So if you hear a dull or muffled sound, the ball is worn out.
The indoor balls are usually light and travel faster. But if they don’t do this and are not traveling as far as they should, it’s time to replace it.
To summarize this section, it is important to keep an eye on the ball and keep on inspecting it regularly. If you notice any noticeable signs, replace them immediately.
How Often Should You Replace Your Pickleball Ball?
The question ‘how long do pickleball balls actually last?’ is a common one among both avid and casual players. If you’re an avid pickleball player who plays frequently, you would have to replace your pickleball balls after 2-5 games. However, casual players get a chance of using the same ball for a long time.
You must keep in mind that several factors affect the lifespan of sports equipment. So if your previous ball lasted for ten games, a new one might last for 2-3 games.
Therefore, keep all of the factors in mind while purchasing them. Try to get high-quality ones if you want the best results.
Also, there is no exact time for when you must replace the pickleball balls. If you see any of the warning indicators we mentioned earlier, then replace the ball.
How to Tell When Your Pickleball Is Bad?
It can be easy for you to see the warning signs such as cracks on a worn ball, but it can be difficult to see the issues while purchasing the pickleball.
To determine if a pickleball ball is bad, there are a few signs to look out for:
- Deformation: If the ball is deformed, it may be time for a new one. One way to check for deformation is to gently spin the ball into the air using your hand
- Cracking: If the ball cracks, it’s a sign that it’s time for a new one
- Egg-like shape: Another visible sign is the egg-like shape of the balls. An outdoor ball that’s in good condition should bounce consistently and with a decent amount of height. If the ball is misshapen, it may be time for a new one.
Also, there are a large number of sellers of pickleball in the market and everyone is trying their best in marketing terms. So how do we spot a bad pickleball?
To solve this problem, let’s check the instructions of USAPA, which is a pickleball organization in the United States.
Instructions of USAPA
Follow these USAPA specifications to get good pickleball;
- The weight of the ball must be 0.78 to 0.9 ounces.
- It must be made with durable material and should have 26-40 holes.
- The diameter of the pickleball must be between 7.29 cm to 7.54 cm (2.87 inches to 2.97 inches).
- The ball must have a bounce of between 76.2 cm and 86.4 cm (30 to 34 inches) when dropped from a height of 78 inches (198cm) onto a concrete surface.
Does Weather Have Any Effect on the Longevity of Pickleball Ball?
Do Pickleball Balls Wear Out?
Can a Pickleball Ball Lose the Bounce?
To conclude, the lifespan of a pickleball varies greatly as many factors are involved here. It is important to note that high-quality balls tend to last longer.
So make wise decisions while purchasing if you want to save some bucks. Thanks for reading and happy pickling!