It can be incredibly difficult to find the right padel racket. Sometimes you can’t find the right one, often they are quite expensive, and even when you get the perfect racket, they can break or deteriorate over time. Here we have 9 golden tips that are guaranteed to prolong the life of your prized racket.
#1 Common sense
Maybe sounds cliché but it still deserves to be said: be kind to the racket. It might sometimes feel like it but remember it’s not actually the racket’s fault when you make a bad play. So let’s stop throwing the racket on the ground or use it to hit anything other than padel balls.
#2 Remember — it isn’t a tennis racket! Part 1
For padel players who are coming over from tennis, some old habits may survive on the court that they can’t quite kick. Hitting your racket with your hand to “feel its elasticity” is one particular habit that doesn’t translate well. It’s fine to do with a tennis racket because the palm simply hits the strings. But a firm palm against the sweet spot of a padel racket is going to do some real harm. Cracks and holes can start to appear from hitting the racket against your palm, even if it’s not a super hard tap. Even lighter taps can weaken the racket which can make it break during a moment of impact during the game. This also applies to blows against the knees and feet!
#3 Remember — it isn’t a tennis racket! Part 2
Hitting the ball with your racket when the ball is in the air is rarely ever harmful. On the other hand, hitting the ball while it is on the ground to “bounce” it upwards (like you might in tennis) is not recommended. Pressing the ball between the racket and a hard floor is basically asking for cracks. Trust us on this. Just pick up the ball with your hand or possibly with your foot and racket together if you can make sure to be careful.
#4 Do not leave your racket in the car
The material in the racket does not fare well in extreme temperatures. High heat or cold can dehydrate the racket which leads to both internal and external cracks. This applies to both the summer as well as the winter — don’t leave your racket in the car!
#5 Minimize risks on the court
Most of the time we play padel for fun. Winning a play at any cost may feel right but it can do more harm than good. Are you conscious of how you’re swinging your racket? Don’t try to hit the ball if you risk slamming your racket against the glass/concrete/net post/etc. That wonderful feeling of scoring a point would disappear pretty quickly if you also realised your favorite racket is totally out of commission!
#6 Use a frame protector
The purpose of a frame protector is pretty self-evident. It protects your racket from scratches and can even stave off cracks. There are lots of variants out there to try, so just choose your favourite. Put on more than one if you want to protect the entire frame. There are lots of different variants here. NB: Frame protection will not help with the scenarios described in tips 1–5 listed above, so make sure to follow those, too!
#7 Keep a firm grip
Do you often drop your racket? Usually the wrist cord ensures it won’t fall on the ground but sometimes the racket can fly off anyway. If you find yourself dropping your racket often, make sure you are keeping a firm and stable grip. There are numerous wraps that can help you with this, too. Hesacore, Gorilla Grip, or even a classic grip wrap — it’s up to you!
#8 Use case and/or a good padel bag
A good case or bag does more than store your racket — the material has been specially designed to protect rackets from bumps and other damage. A bag or case ensures your racket won’t be exposed to large temperature differences, shocks, or errant dirt and debris.
#9 Moisture in the air? Dry your racket properly!
During the outdoor season you may experience many days when the air is extra humid, especially in the morning and evening. When you’re done playing for the day, make sure to wipe your racket thoroughly with a cloth before putting it back in your bag or case. You can even let it air dry a bit if you have the opportunity. A damp racket placed directly in a dark bag without fresh air can really shorten its life!