What To Do With Your Old or Broken Pickleball Paddle

Pickleball paddles can be reused or recycled. Paddles stacked with recycling logo on top.

With balls that inevitably crack and plenty of resource-intensive packaging, the pickleball industry creates plenty of non-recyclable waste. But some things can be recycled, and, even better, re-used, including old pickleball paddles.

At some point, your paddle is going to break, wear down, or be shelved in favor of a newer, shinier investment.

But retired paddles don't belong on the shelf or in the trash, they can be recycled or re-used in creative ways that make a statement in your home.

Below are five ways you can reuse old pickleball paddles. BUT first, consider donating paddles that still have some life in them to schools, YMCAs, or other programs that provide spaces for pickleball.

That's truly the best thing you can do with still-useable paddles that you don't need anymore. It helps other people and it helps you clear out some space. Win-win.

Idea #1: For the Pro Pickleball Fan or Famous Local Player

If you're a pro pickleball fan, and old paddle is the perfect to bring to the next tournament near you.

Why? To have your favorite players sign it, naturally. 

Of course, this idea could work for those who don't care about pro pickleball, as well. Instead of pros' signatures, consider marking your local club's 5-year anniversary with all of the member's signatures and gifting it to the founder.

Idea #2: For the Dinner Party-Thrower

If you're planning on inviting your pickleball crew (or future crew) over for dinner, consider serving your cheese & fruit spreads on a modified pickleball paddle.

Thoroughly clean the paddle's surface, then cover its face with clear (or colored), food-safe epoxy resin.

Idea #3: For That Empty Spot on Your Wall

Following these safety instructions for cutting mirror glass, create an outline of your paddle's shape and use high-strength glue to attach your new mirror to the paddle. Be sure to hang it securely, too.

If your paddle has a raised edge, you'll want to use paper to form an outline of the interior's face shape and use that to cut the glass.

Idea #4: For the Chronically-Disorganized

We're going out on a limb here to predict that at least some of you have been too busy playing pickleball to keep up with all the things you need to remember to do.

So assist yourself in style: apply white dry erase paint to the face of your old pickleball paddle and hang it in an high-traffic area. If you'd like, you can add a magnet to it's handle to hold a magnetized dry erase board marker.

Related: Beginner Pickleball Player? These Paddles are for You

You've just created a whiteboard to hold your day's laundry list.

Idea #5: For the Keyholders

Depending on how thick and sturdy your old paddle is, you can either use small screw-in hooks or adhesive-backed ones to apply hooks to your paddle for easy, stylish keyholding. 

Have you ever done something clever with an old paddle? We want to see it. Send a pic and a description here.

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