How Long Do Pickleballs Last? Play With Confidence (2024)

how long do pickleballs last

The more and more you play pickleball, one question starts to come up. That is, “how long do pickleballs last?”

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the various factors that determine how long pickleballs last and offer tips on extending their lifespan.

From the type of pickleball paddles and ball used, to the playing conditions and frequency of use, understanding these elements can help you maximize the life of your pickleballs.

In addition to looking at the factors affecting durability, we’ll discuss ways to extend your balls’ lifespan through proper care and storage practices.

Furthermore, knowing when it’s time to replace worn-out pickleball balls is important for maintaining the best possible playing experience for all involved.

In the end, it really is specific on many different factors, including the type of ball.

Read on to find out more on how long does a pickleball ball last.

Let’s get started.

Factors Affecting Pickleball Ball Durability

cracked pickleball

Pickleball balls are constructed to be able to endure the challenges of competitive play well, yet their life-span can vary contingent on multiple aspects. Understanding these factors will help you make informed decisions when purchasing and maintaining your pickleballs.

Indoor Balls vs Outdoor Balls

Outdoor pickleballs are made with a harder plastic material and have smaller holes than indoor pickleball balls. This makes them more durable for outdoor play, where they must endure rougher surfaces and weather conditions. However, indoor balls are a slightly softer ball and tend to wear out faster due to their softer composition.

Playing Surface

outdoor pickleball courts

The type of surface you play on also affects the durability of your pickleball balls. Rougher surfaces like concrete or asphalt can cause more wear and tear compared to smoother surfaces such as gym floors or dedicated pickleball courts.

Ball Quality & Material

The quality of materials used in manufacturing a pickleball ball plays a significant role in its durability. Higher-quality official pickleball balls usually last longer than cheaper alternatives.

See our list of the best pickleball balls to help make a decision.

Daily Usage & Intensity

  • If you’re an avid player who participates in competitive games and practices regularly, expect your pickleball balls to wear out faster due to increased stress from intense gameplay.
  • Conversely, casual players who only engage in occasional games may find their pickleballs lasting a long time.

Weather Conditions

Exposure to extreme temperatures, sunlight, and moisture can affect the ball’s lifespan. For example, leaving your outdoor pickleball balls in direct sunlight for extended periods can cause them to become brittle and crack more easily.

How to Maximize Pickleball Lifespan

colorful pickleballs
Lots of balls in this ball hopper

To extend the life of your pickleball balls, it’s helpful to follow some best practices and take care of them properly. Here are a few tips that can help you maximize the lifespan of both indoor pickleball balls and outdoor pickleballs:

  • Choose the right ball for your playing environment: Whether you play indoor pickleball or outdoor pickleball will affect you pickleball ball decision and wear. Outdoor pickleballs have harder exteriors, while indoor balls are softer with larger holes. Using an outdoor ball indoors or vice versa will cause premature wear.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Exposure to high heat or freezing conditions can damage the plastic material, causing cracks or warping. Always store your pickleballs in a cool, dry place when not in use.
  • Clean regularly: Dirt and debris on the court surface can affect how a ball feels during play and may lead to faster deterioration.
  • Rotate multiple balls during play: Instead of using just one ball for an entire game, rotate between several different ones throughout matches so they all experience even wear over time.

Paying attention to these simple yet effective measures will ensure that you get more enjoyment out of every game without having to replace your pickleball ball too often. By taking good care of both indoor and outdoor balls alike, you’ll be able to enjoy this popular sport for a long time, whether you’re an experienced pickleball player or just starting out in the world of pickleball.

When to Replace Your Pickleballs

Knowing when to replace your pickleballs is essential for maintaining optimal performance during play. There are several signs that it’s time to invest in new USA Pickleball-approved balls:

  • Poor Bounce: A worn-out ball will have a significantly reduced bounce, affecting the overall playability and making it difficult for players to execute their shots effectively.
  • Damaged Surface: Cracks, dents, or deep scratches on the surface of the ball can alter its flight path and make it unpredictable during play. Outdoor pickleballs tend to wear out faster due to exposure to rough surfaces and weather conditions.
  • Faded Color: Fading color may indicate prolonged exposure to sunlight or other elements, which can weaken the material of both outdoor and indoor pickleball balls over time.
  • Misshapen Form: If a ball feels uneven or out of round when held in hand, this could be an indication that its structural integrity has been compromised – potentially leading to inconsistent bounces and erratic flight paths.
  • Sound: A lot of times a balls that needs replacing will sound like it. It might have a dull sound to it instead of the usual pop. Something to pay attention to. Also, a bad sound when hitting it could also mean paddle delamination!

If you’re unsure whether your current set of balls still meets official standards for tournament play at events like the US Open Pickleball Championships, consider purchasing a fresh batch before participating in competitive matches.

Keep in mind that investing in high-quality pickleballs from reputable brands will generally result in longer-lasting equipment with better performance characteristics – ultimately saving you money by reducing how often they need replacing.

A lot of pickleball sets now come with balls, which is great, however, you will need to replace and upgrade often.

To ensure you always have suitable equipment on hand as a dedicated pickleball player, consider keeping track of each ball’s lifespan by marking the purchase date on them. This will help you identify when it’s time to replace your outdoor or indoor balls and maintain a consistent playing experience for both casual games and competitive matches.

Pete’s Point

Knowing when to replace your pickleballs is crucial for optimal performance during play. Signs that it’s time to invest in new USA Pickleball-approved balls include poor bounce, damaged surface, faded color, sound and misshapen form. Keep track of each ball’s lifespan by marking the purchase date on them to maintain a consistent playing experience for both casual games and competitive matches.

Best Practices for Storing Pickleball balls

To ensure maximum durability and longevity of your USA Pickleball-approved pickleball balls, proper storage is essential. By following these best practices, you can keep your balls in top condition and extend their lifespan.

Avoid Direct Sunlight and Extreme Temperatures

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause the ball’s material to degrade over time, affecting its bounce and overall performance. Similarly, extreme temperatures can also have a negative impact on the ball’s lifespan. To prevent this from happening, store your pickleballs in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Use a Proper Storage Container

Vulcan VPRO pickleball backpack

Rather than just tossing them into any random bag or box after playing with them, use a designated container specifically designed for storing sports equipment like a nice pickleball bag. Storing the pickleball ball in a proper container can help maintain its surface and keep it free from dirt or other particles that could impact performance.

Keep Balls Separate From Other Equipment

  • If possible, store your pickleballs separately from other heavy sports gear such as paddles to avoid potential damage caused by pressure or friction between items.
  • This separation also helps maintain each item’s cleanliness since dirty equipment may transfer grime onto other pieces when stored together.

FAQs in Relation to How Long Do Pickleballs Last

How often should pickleballs be replaced?

Pickleballs should be replaced when they show signs of wear, such as cracks or loss of shape. This can vary depending on usage and playing conditions but typically occurs after 15-30 hours of play. Since pickleball balls wear differently, sometimes it can only be a few games before you need replacement. Regularly inspect your balls for damage to ensure optimal performance.

Why do pickleballs break so easily?

Pickleballs may break due to factors like temperature changes, impact from hard surfaces, and repeated hits during gameplay. Quality also plays a role; higher-quality balls are more durable and less prone to breaking. Consider investing in top-rated pickleball brands for better durability.

How do you permanently mark pickleballs?

To permanently mark your pickleballs, use a permanent marker or paint pen designed for plastic surfaces. Write initials or draw unique symbols on the ball’s surface that won’t interfere with its aerodynamics. Allow the ink to dry completely before using the marked balls in play.

Is there a difference in pickleball balls?

Yes, there is a difference between an indoor ball and outdoor balls: Indoor balls have larger holes and are lighter while outdoor balls have smaller holes and are heavier for increased wind resistance. While they might look like the same ball, there are significant differences. Some popular brands include Onix, Dura, and Franklin.


Overall, the lifespan of a pickleball depends on various factors such as usage frequency, playing surface, and storage conditions. Pickleball balls wear differently and a new ball may be bad after only a few rounds. Pickle balls also lose their bounce and shape sometimes for no apparent reason but by following these best practices for storing your pickleballs and using them appropriately, you can maximize their durability and hopefully extend their lifespan.

For help on how to maintain your pickleballs and make them last longer, refer back here for advice. Remember that investing in high-quality outdoor pickleball balls and indoor pickleball balls will also increase their longevity.

Editorial Process:

In our reviews, we either test products personally or, when that’s not possible, base our reviews on research from trusted sources and customer feedback, ensuring unbiased and informed opinions. Read our editorial process here.

Affiliate Disclosure:

Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to us at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a product. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our disclaimer.

Table of Contents