As ping pong players, our most important piece of equipment is the paddle. We need to care for it and monitor its condition to perform better so that our equipment will last longer. However, there is an expiring date for everything, and that includes our rackets.
This article will teach you all about table tennis paddles, how long they last, how to care for them, and some additional information that will be helpful to you in many ways! But first, how long do ping pong paddles last?
Ping pong paddles are made from the blade and rubber, and the rubber lasts less. In general, the paddles rubber will last both sides of 50-100 active playing hours, whereas the blade lasts for years if taken good care of. The time of the rubber will vary between quality, thickness, and pimple length.
The numbers above are common; however, they are still estimates. Personally, I play around 5 hours per week, and I change my rubber about once every year. My blade has lasted for many years, and it’s still functioning like the day I bought it, so it’s safe to say that it lasts well.
Now, let’s take an in-depth look at all the factors that determine how long a ping pong paddle lasts.
- 1. How much do play ping pong
- 2. Is your paddle of high quality
- 3. How thick is the sponge
- 4. What kind of rubber surface do you have
- How do you maintain a ping pong paddle?
- How often should you clean your ping pong paddle?
- When should ping pong rubber be replaced?
- How do I make my ping pong paddle sticky again?
- What makes a ping pong paddle illegal
- My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
1. How much do play ping pong
The first variable on the lifetime of your ping pong paddle is how much you play. Let’s take that rough estimate of 50-100 active play hours and do some math so you can see what to expect. Below you can see how long your rubber would last if you would play a certain time a week, and the rubber would last 50-100 hours.
- 2 hours a week: 25-50weeks
- 4 hours a week: 13-25weeks
- 6 hours a week: 8-16weeks
- 8 hours a week: 6-12weeks
- 10hours a week: 5-10weeks
As we can see, the differences are huge depending on how much you actually play. In addition to how much you play, it’s a matter of how you play.
If your play sessions are relaxed ones with gentle serving with friends and long pauses with chatting moments between the matches, the rubber and blade will last longer than expected.
On the other hand, if you play proper table tennis and take it seriously, and your play sessions are mostly active playtime with powerful strikes, then it will wear out far faster.
2. Is your paddle of high quality
Another major variable on how long everything in the paddle will last is the quality, brand, and material.
If you were to play table tennis with a low-quality paddle that costs less than $5, it would be destroyed in far less time than if you were to play with a high-quality paddle that has been made with thought and from quality materials.
A proper table tennis blade is made from quality wood and constructed to have many layers on it. Also, the rubber needs to be well designed and constructed if the paddle would last a long time.
There are major differences in the brands because some brands are more serious and want to provide only top-quality products. Such brands are Killerspin and Butterfly which like to provide nearly exclusively proper products. Quality often comes with a price, so if you are in the market for a product that will last well and perform well, you will need to pay more than $5.
3. How thick is the sponge
Between the paddle’s rubber and the blade is the sponge, and its different thicknesses of it determine how fast the paddle will strike. Also, the thickness will affect how long it will last.
In short, the thicker the sponge is, the faster the ping pong ball will go because the sponge works like a trampoline that shoots the ball from it. However, while the sponge is thicker and the ball goes faster, it will sacrifice the control and spin options.
Thicker sponges may wear out faster than thin ones because there are more of them when it’s thick, and they will need to withstand more force from the opponent’s strikes.
4. What kind of rubber surface do you have
Finally, the rubber will greatly affect how long it will last as well. There are different rubber surfaces available such as different types of reverse grips, orthodox, anti loop, and pimples.
If the paddle has rubber with pimps or pimples, it will wear out faster than a reverse rubber. Also, there are two kinds of pimps out there that are short and long pimps. Long pimp rubber will wear out faster than one with short pimps.
These 4 things considered, you will see drastic differences between the paddles and how long they will last. If you are a casual ping pong player who doesn’t take things seriously, a more modest paddle will fit you just fine. However, if you are a competitive table tennis player, you should consider these aspects and get a proper table tennis racket that will last a long time.
How do you maintain a ping pong paddle?
Taking good care of your ping pong paddle is important because this way, it will last longer in good condition. When thinking about maintaining and taking care of your racket, you need to have the proper means to carry it around, clean it, and fix it if the need comes. Let’s start with carrying the paddle.
1. Keep your paddle safe
An important thing about keeping your paddle in as good condition as possible is to keep it safe when it is in your backpack or gym bag. This means that you should have a proper table tennis paddle case so the paddle would be protected in your bag.
This may seem unimportant, but when you travel without one, your ping pong paddles edges and rubber will rub against your shoes and other items in the bag, opening the possibility for damaged edges or torn rubber.
2. Clean your paddle
Cleaning the paddle is really important if you want to keep it in condition as long as possible. I always clean my rubber by wetting a kitchen paper in water and wiping it gently. However, please don’t soak the rubber by any means, and be sure to dry it completely after wiping it. In the worst case, water could be soaked into your paddle’s blade, and it could become soft and ruined.
There are also ping pong paddle rubber cleaners that will rejuvenate the rubber and give it extra care and maintenance. If that is something you would be interested in, you should definitely give that attention to your paddle.
3. Maintain your paddle
Finally, maintaining your paddle when it needs fixing or improvements is as important as the previous things. For example, there will be a time when you need to change the grip on the paddle, and it’s important to do it with proper rubber glue. Also, you can add improvements, such as table tennis racket grip tape for the handle if you wish to get a better grip on it.
These things considered your paddle should be well taken care of, but you need to remember still to store it in a dry place because moisture will ruin the blade completely.
Learn more: 5 Best Table Tennis Glues: Helpful Guide
How often should you clean your ping pong paddle?
Generally, you can clean your ping pong paddle every week; however, this isn’t necessary by any means. You should clean your paddle every month so the rubber will serve your strikes well. Also, you want to wipe and dry the handle properly so it will be pleasant to hold on to without sweat.
When should ping pong rubber be replaced?
As a general rule, if you notice any alteration in your performance or some noticeable damage to the rubber, you should change it immediately. This is because the slightest fault can alter the course of the ping pong ball, which will worsen your strikes, aim, and spin considerably.
How do I make my ping pong paddle sticky again?
The best way to make your ping pong paddle sticky again is to change the rubber altogether. If this isn’t an option, you can clean the paddle and use some sunflower oil in the rubber.
The best way to keep a paddle sticky is to use a quality paddle with a proper rubber, take good care of it, and clean it regularly. You can also use a rubber protector at all times when you are not using the paddle. Finally, keeping it in a dry and cool location will keep the paddle sticky.
What makes a ping pong paddle illegal
It is forbidden to apply any substance in competitive tournaments and matches to increase the racket’s speed, spin, or grip. For example, such items are speed glue, booster, tuner, or similar ping pong players can’t use. Also, rules state that 85% of the racket’s blade needs to be made out of natural wood.
Also, one of the rackets rubbers needs to be black and the other red (Find Out Why). This is because you can use different rubbers with different characteristics, so the opponent needs to see which one you are using. Also, the opponent is allowed to examine the racket before the match starts.
Funny enough, there aren’t any regulations on how big the racket can be; however, enough time has passed that the table tennis industry knows the optimal size of a racket, and that’s why nearly all of them are within the same size range.
My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here you can find my preferred table tennis equipment that I believe you could benefit too!
- Racket: My favorite racket choice is the beautiful Killerspin Jet800 because it fits my offensive and speed-focused playstyle. The two carbon layers, 2.1mm sponge, and 190g weight makes this racket powerful.
- Ping Pong Balls: New technology and design have made the JOOLA Flash Seamless 3-Star Balls stand out from the other balls. These balls are seamless, meaning they are more durable than any ball with a seam! Even when these balls come at a higher price, they will pay themselves quickly. As a bonus, the design makes me excited!
- Table Tennis shoes: The famous Butterfly Lezoline Rifones is my choice as it is for many others because they are designed specifically for table tennis standards. I like the excellent support, comfortable cushioning, and lightweight sole with great traction, which gets you exploding fast to whatever direction you need to.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.
There are many variables to the racket’s lifetime that are how much you play, is your paddle of high quality, how thick the sponge is, and what kind is the racket’s rubber. With these 4 things in mind, you should determine whether the rubber lasts for a long time or not. Also, it’s essential to take care of your paddle properly and know when it is time to change the rubber or the whole paddle.