How To Maintain Your Pickleball Equipment
How to maintain your pickleball equipment?
is a question our editorial staff was asked.
As curators and even narrators to our all sports audiences, the only SportsEdTV contribution we have made even obliquely to the subject was a blog about removing the stink from an athlete’s shoes and sports gear.
So, with apologies to our pickleball folks who want to know how to maintain your pickleball equipment and similar apologies to the wide berth of all other sports that we’ve failed to offer equipment maintenance support.
That's our bad. There's more of that to go around. Lots more.
It turns out that as we look we find little on the topic, a condition we hope to fix a bit here. Even the astute coaches and producers who build an endless library of sports instruction seem to treat equipment maintenance sparingly if at all.
It is easy to find accomplished athletes who obsess about maintaining their equipment.
Golfers we know obsess about well-maintained clubs, especially grips, shafts, and heads. A pole vaulter, we expect would share the same level of a personal obsession with the pole and gripping area.
We could go on and speak of equipment maintenance in lacrosse, baseball, soccer, fencing, and swimming, though it feels like we're overstating the point.
Barefoot Kenyan marathoners maintain their headbands, and NFL footballers' equipment maintenance goes without saying is a life and death situation.
Much of the support we did find is common to most sports; number one is shoes as they are ubiquitous to most sports and the consistent cleaning of tops and bottoms and in the case of spiked shoes, removal of surface debris after each play is advised. Shoe trees extend the life of shoes substantially, as does indoor storage.
How to maintain your pickleball paddle?
In pickleball the paddle is the most important element, so here is what the experts are saying this is the best approach to cleaning the paddle:
Use Magic Eraser to scrub the dirt on the surface away. Scrub lightly then wipe the paddle with a cloth that is damp, then let it dry. Try not to use a heavier cleaning solution, which can leave a slippery residue on the paddle.
While the same effort may apply to your paddle’s handle, there is nothing like the tackiness of a fresh handle or wrap, so change frequently.
Common to most sports we find these equipment maintenance fundamentals.
1. Clean Equipment
Routine cleaning is key to protecting your equipment from the elements. Some sports equipment includes leather or other weather-affected parts. Be sure to always wipe after use.
If at home storage in a place that is temperature controlled if possible. A garage without temperature control can result in warping, and even melting of some equipment. Also, be wary of mold.
3. Hang or Shelve
Be aware that how equipment stands has potential issues. Long-term leaning tension may permanently bend equipment.
These storage options will also help you avoid stacking training and practice gear, which could warp or bend if you pile too many things on top of them.
4. Keep It Dark or Cover It
Many pieces of sports equipment contain rubber and plastics, which can deteriorate and crack with prolonged sun exposure. The higher the intensity of the light, the faster the deterioration.
5. Stop Corrosion
When sunlight and rainwater begin to take their toll on your equipment, it’s essential to stop deterioration and corrosion right away to prevent further damage. Sand and repaint equipment at the first sign of trouble and apply corrosion inhibitor spray.
6. Apply Oil
If equipment or parts of it are made of wood and leather, remember to apply mineral oil to protect the material from becoming dry and splintering. This step is especially important if you frequently use this equipment in hot, sunny conditions.
7. Get a Professional Cleaning
Sometimes equipment gets clogged with dirt, other fine elements like lyme from playing lines, and bacteria that would call for professional cleaning tools and solutions that only pros have.
To our pickleball friends who asked how to maintain your pickleball equipment, we appreciate the nudge toward this first effort that not only covers pickleball equipment but is fundamental to equipment maintenance in most sports, if only partially to skeet, biathletes, and others.