Not all pickleball paddles are created equal — and not all come with warranties.
Staff at Racquet Network generally advise our customers to purchase pickleball paddles that come with warranties. Unfortunately, not everybody listens to us. Frequently, in fact, customers complain that we are only advising them to do so because paddles with warranties cost more.
Like everything else in life, quality costs money. So the more you spend on a pickleball paddle, the better the paddle you get. In fact, higher quality paddles are so well made that they don’t even need a warranty. The people who make them know this. So offering a warranty is a no-brainer for them. They know the paddle is so well made that they most likely will never have to replace it.
Low priced paddles (there is a lot of junk in the racquet sports industry) do not come with warranties. They cost less because they are poorly made with low quality materials. The manufacturers know this, too, of course because they are the people who make them. They know that cheap paddles are not durable and so they also know it would be foolish to offer a warranty on such a low quality product.
So why do these paddles exists if they are not worth buying? The answer is simple: demand. There is huge demand for low-priced paddles in the pickleball market. For every one player who understands that quality paddles cost money, there are ten who fool themselves into thinking that pickleball paddles should be cheap and that a cheap pickleball paddle is just as good as an expensive one.
A second explanation for the success of “junk” paddles is that most new pickleball players try the sport before committing to it. In other words, they buy a cheap paddle and see if they like pickleball first. Then a few months later, if they are still playing, they buy a better paddle.
Here at Racquet Network, we stock paddles at all price points. We carry low-priced paddles for players who are just trying the sport out and we carry high end paddles for players who are fully committed to the game. We also carry a variety of paddles for every price point in-between.
Whether you are a new player or an old veteran, though, our advice will always be the same; you are more likely to be satisfied with a quality paddle than a cheap one. So unless price is an overwhelming issue for you, choose a paddle with a warranty. You may never need the warranty, but having one virtually guarantees that the craftsmanship is worth the investment.