I have a friend, Jose, and occasional padel partner who always seems to have two padel rackets. One is a cheap racket that he bought years ago, while the other is invariably a shiny new carbon racket.
Time and time again he will hit his new carbon racket into a glass or wire mesh wall, shattering it to bits. He then reverts back to his old, trusted padel racket until he gets to splash out another shiny new carbon racket, repeating the cycle.
That leads me to wonder if there is a correct way to take care of a padel racket. It turns out that there is.
How to take care of your padel racket? Protect the grip of your padel racket by adding an overgrip. The frame of your padel racket can be preserved by adding a protective strip to the top edge. Don’t expose your padel racket to excessive heat and if it gets wet, be sure to allow the foam core to air-dry.
Padel rackets tend to have a shorter life span than tennis rackets due to impact with the metal mesh on the side walls. By comparison, tennis rackets last for many years, needing periodic string and grip replacements. However, some frustrated and angry tennis players make sure that their rackets have very short lives before getting smashed.
Technically, padel rackets have a normal life span of between 12 and 18 months based on what the manufacturers tell us. That is unless they get smashed against the walls.
Luckily there are a number of tips that you can apply that will extend the relatively short lifespan of your padel racket.
Taking Care Of Your Padel Racket
Having a fully functioning grip on your padel racket is vital as this is your point of content with your racket during active play. The rubbery material of the grip can wear quite smooth fairly quickly. This can cause the padel racket to slip or spin in your hand while playing a shot.
My solution to this is to add an overgrip to my padel racket. Overgrips are reasonably cheap and can be replaced in just a couple of minutes.
Overgrips are much better at absorbing the sweat from your hands during the hot summer months. As an overgrip starts to wear a bit thin you will begin to feel it move slightly on the main grip of your padel racket while you are playing. When that happens you simply change out your overgrip for a fresh one you will keep in your sports bag as a reserve.
I have seen professional players at World Padel Tour tournaments change an overgrip in the 90-second break when they switch sides during a set.
To read more about the benefits of overgrips and the differences between the grip and an overgrip on a padel racket, here is the detailed article that I wrote about that here on World Padel Insider. That article also includes instructions on how to add an overgrip to your padel racket.
The Padel Racket Frame
The padel racket frame, especially the leading edge around the tip of the racket is the part of the racket that suffers most from both impacts with the floor of the court as well as the surrounding walls.
These impacts will chip and crack the frame of your padel racket over a period of time. Once one of those cracks extends all the way across your padel racket it will compromise the structural integrity of your padel racket and just hitting the ball will cause the racket to snap.
What I did with my padel racket is stick a protective strip around the tip of the racket as a way to guard against those small chips and cracks that eventually become something more serious.
You won’t see any of those protective strips on the padel rackets used by the professionals on the World Padel Tour. The strip would cover the brand logo across the end of the racket. For the sponsors, having the brand logo clearly visible is far more valuable than the cost of a replacement padel racket.
The Face Of The Padel Racket
The normal thing to do at the end of a game of padel is to put your racket in its cover, if you have one, and not think about it until the next game of padel rolls around. I know that is exactly what I do every week after my game of padel. I don’t give my padel racket a moment’s thought until I take it out the following week for another game.
It turns out that there are a couple of things that I ought to be doing, especially during the winter months.
Although I don’t generally play padel in the rain, because where we live our wettest months still have over 21 days of no rain at all. So if our padel day is wet and miserable, we know that within the following tow days it will be dry enough to play.
What I had failed to take into account is the high humidity and touch of dew that we have in the late evenings during winter as the temperatures drop.
The foam rubber that makes up the inner core of a padel racket apparently does a very good job of absorbing moisture when the humidity is high. Keeping the padel racket in a sealed bag when the core has been wet is not the wisest move. At best you will have a musty padel racket, but at the same time staying damp will shorten the life span of your racket’s inner core.
So if your racket has gotten damp, it will be best to let it air dry for a day or so before putting it back in its bag. This will be especially true if your padel racket has gotten really wet should you have been playing in the rain.
On the flip side, the foam rubber that makes up the core of your padel racket degrades really quickly in UV radiation, so leaving your padel racket out in the direct sun will be a bad idea.
In addition, high temperatures can cause the face of your padel racket to delaminate from the inner foam core. That will result in your padel racket cracking across the face next time you hit a padel ball. So don’t store your padel racket in the boot of your car, especially during the heat of summer.