When your trusty old pickleball paddle has seen better days, don’t be quick to trash it.

Whether you want to pay it forward, earn some cash back, get creative, or recycle responsibly, there are plenty of ways to give used paddles a second life.

In this article, we’ll explore donation, resale, repurposing, and proper disposal options, so you can make the most of your paddles even after intense games have taken their toll.

With a little effort, those well-loved plastics and composites can bring joy to new players or turn into something unique and handmade.

Read on for tips to give your faithful paddle a fitting farewell or an exciting new purpose.

What Can I Do with Old Pickleball Paddles?

These are 8 things you can do with your old pickleball paddles:

  • Donate Them to a Club
  • Keep Them as Backups
  • Gift Them to Friends or Family  
  • Return or Exchange Them
  • Sell Them Online 
  • Dissect Them for Science 
  • Repurpose Them
  • Recycle Them Responsibly 

Donate Them to a Club  

One easy option is to give your used paddles to a local pickleball club or community center. They always need equipment for new players or extras for their programs. It’s a nice way to pay it forward and help grow the sport. Plus you might meet some new pickleball buddies!

Keep Them as Backups

It’s smart to have an extra paddle or two on hand – you never know when you’ll break a string or if someone wants to try pickleball with you. Used paddles make great backups since you’re already familiar with them. Break out your oldie but goodie if you’re in a pinch.

Gift Them to Friends or Family  

Got a pickleball-curious pal or family member? Surprise them with one of your pre-loved paddles! It’s a thoughtful way to get them hooked on your new favorite hobby. You can even teach them some basics and rallies. Sharing is caring in the world of pickleball.

Return or Exchange Them

If your paddle is still relatively new, check the retailer’s policy. Many allow returns or exchanges within 30 days of purchase. You can get a refund or swap out your paddle for a different model – no harm in asking! Just don’t damage it.

Sell Them Online 

Your trash is another pickleball player’s treasure! You’d be surprised what people will pay for used paddles in good condition. List them on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and pickleball forums – wherever you can find buyers. Make a few bucks and free up space.

Dissect Them for Science 

Feeling curious about paddle construction? Carefully take apart your oldie to peek inside and learn about materials like polymer cores, face guards, edge tape, and more. Just be gentle so you don’t break anything. Warning: This kills the paddle.

Repurpose Them

Get creative and transform your old paddle into something new! Wall art, serving trays, funny clocks, cutting boards – the possibilities are endless. Paint, decorate, and personalize to your heart’s content. Upcycling is satisfying.

Recycle Them Responsibly 

If your paddle is totally spent, do the earth-friendly thing and recycle it or toss it out properly. Many communities accept sports equipment plastics and composites. Check guidelines and keep those landfills empty!

What’s Next

There ya go – plenty of ways to give old paddles new life. If you’re looking for a new pickleball paddle, check out my How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle article. 


How do I know when my pickleball paddle needs to be replaced?

The three main reasons to replace your pickleball paddle are when it has dead spots, 

One of the main reasons to replace your pickleball paddle is when it has dead spots. Dead spots can affect your performance, accuracy, and the sound and feel of your paddle. 

Another reason to replace your pickleball paddle is when it is damaged or worn out from regular use. 

A third reason to replace your pickleball paddle is when you want to upgrade to a newer model with improved features or materials.

Paddle technology evolves constantly, and you may find a paddle that suits your playing style, skill level, or personal preference better than your current one.

How do I know if my pickleball paddle has dead spots?

There are a few methods to check your pickleball paddle for dead spots. 

First, tap the paddle surface with your finger or a small object, such as a pen, and listen to the sound and feel of the tap. If the sound is dull or the feel is mushy, it could indicate a dead spot. 

The second is to hit balls with the paddle and observe how the ball reacts. If the ball does not travel as far or as accurately as you expect, it could be a sign of a dead spot. 

Finally,  look at the paddle surface from different angles in a well-lit area and check for any visible damage or unevenness.

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