Do Pickleballs Crack In The Cold?

“Do pickleballs crack in the cold?” This is a frequently asked question among pickleball players, and in this blog post, we are going to answer this question. However, before answering this question, let’s delve into the potential impact of cold weather on pickleball balls and explore the various types of cracks found on pickleballs.

Afterwards, we are going to answer whether pickleball balls crack in the cold weather and discuss the factors that contribute to their cracking in such conditions. Furthermore, we are going to provide essential tips on how to protect your pickleball balls from getting cracked in the cold weather.

Do Pickleballs Crack In The Cold?

Impact of Cold Weather on Pickleballs

Cold weather can significantly affect pickleballs due to temperature changes and the properties of the materials they are made of. Here are some key impacts that can arise as a result:

Ball Hardness: Cold weather can make pickleballs harder and less bouncy. Most pickleballs are made of plastic and polymers, and these materials become stiffer in colder temperatures. The stiffness caused by cold weather makes the pickleball harder, resulting in reduced bouncing ability and decreased responsiveness compared to warmer conditions.

Reduced Ball Performance: Cold weather can impact the usability of pickleballs. The reduced resilience and bounce of the ball can impact the speed and trajectory of shots. Players may find it harder to generate spin or control the ball accurately. Additionally, the harder surface of the cold ball may result in increased vibration and discomfort when hitting the ball.

Crack Formation: Extreme cold temperatures can lead to the formation of cracks in pickleballs. The plastic materials used in pickleballs can become brittle in very cold conditions, causing them to develop cracks or even break upon impact. Cracked balls not only impact the gameplay but also poses safety risks.

Grip and Feel: Cold weather can also impact how players grip and feel the pickleball. When temperatures are low, the ball’s surface may feel smooth or slippery, making it more challenging for players to maintain control and touch. This can result in reduced shot accuracy and overall performance during the game.

Players can take certain measures to minimize the impact of cold weather on pickleballs. Storing the balls in a temperature-controlled environment when not in use is advisable. Moreover, warming up the balls before play, either by rubbing them together or using a ball warmer, can help to restore their resilience. It is important to note that different brands and models of pickleballs may respond differently to cold weather, so trying out various options can help to identify a ball that performs well in colder conditions.

Types of Cracks Found in Pickleballs

Pickleballs, which are used in the sport of pickleball, can develop various types of cracks over time due to wear and tear or improper use. Here are some common types of cracks found in pickleballs:

Surface Cracks: Surface cracks are shallow cracks that appear on the outer surface of a pickleball. They are usually caused by hitting the ball with a paddle or when it comes into contact with the court surface repeatedly. Initially, these cracks may be small and not very noticeable, but over time, they can become deeper and more prominent.

Structural Cracks: Unlike surface cracks, structural cracks penetrate deeper into the core of the pickleball. They can occur due to heavy impacts, collisions, or misuse of the ball. Structural cracks may affect the ball’s performance, causing it to bounce irregularly or lose its durability.

Seam Cracks: Pickleballs are manufactured by joining two halves together, which creates a visible seam around the middle of the ball. Seam cracks emerge at the point where the panels of the pickleball ball are joined together primarily due to the stress and pressure applied on the ball during gameplay. These cracks can affect how the ball moves during play and how long it can be used before it needs to be replaced.

Splits: Splits refer to the cracks that extend from the surface to the core of the pickleball, often dividing the ball into two or more sections. Splits can occur due to excessive force, hard impacts, or inadequate quality control during manufacturing.

Weathering Cracks: Prolonged exposure to harsh weather conditions, such as extreme heat or cold, can cause pickleballs to develop weathering cracks. These cracks are typically caused by the expansion and contraction of the ball’s material due to temperature variations.

Crack On The Pickleball Ball

Does the Pickleball Balls Crack in the Cold Weather?

Pickleball balls are commonly crafted from plastic, with polyethylene being a prevalent material in their construction. They are purposefully engineered to withstand regular gameplay and possess a durable structure. Nevertheless, it is crucial to consider that excessively cold weather conditions can influence their performance and increase the risk of cracking.

In colder temperatures, pickleball balls experience increased hardness and brittleness. As a result, they become more susceptible to cracking when subjected to forceful impacts. Furthermore, repeatedly hitting cold pickleball balls gradually weakens their structure over time. This ongoing weakening process can ultimately lead to the formation of cracks or even cause the pickleballs to break.

To ensure the best performance of pickleball balls in cold weather, storing them in a temperature-controlled environment before playing is recommended. This practice helps to maintain the quality of the pickleballs and reduces the risk of cracking. Moreover, you can enhance the flexibility and durability of the balls by gently warming them indoors for a while before your game.

It is crucial to remember that the temperature threshold at which pickleball balls may crack can vary based on their quality and composition. If you observe any visible damage or cracks on the pickleballs, it is recommended to replace them to ensure a safe and enjoyable game experience.

Factors Influencing the Cracking of Pickleballs in Cold Weather

In cold weather, several factors can contribute to the cracking of pickleballs. Here are some possible reasons:

Temperature: Cold temperatures can make pickleballs more brittle, increasing the likelihood of cracking. When the temperature drops, the plastic used in pickleballs becomes stiffer and more prone to breaking upon impact.

Material Quality: Pickleballs can vary in quality due to the use of different materials, resulting in variations in durability and susceptibility to cracking, particularly in cold weather. Cheaper balls usually use lower-quality plastic, which increases the risk of cracking, particularly in cold weather. Conversely, higher-quality balls are specifically designed to withstand a broader range of temperatures, making them less likely to crack in colder conditions.

Storage Conditions: When pickleballs are stored in extremely cold environments, such as unheated garages or sheds, their brittleness increases, making them more susceptible to cracking. The cracking of pickleballs can also be influenced by significant temperature changes, such as transitioning from a cold storage area to a warmer playing environment.

Ball Age: Over time, pickleballs can deteriorate and become more vulnerable to cracking, regardless of the temperature. If you’re using old or worn-out balls, they may be more prone to breakage, especially in cold weather.

Impact Force And Increased Brittleness: Strong hits or collisions with hard surfaces like paddles, walls, or floors can increase the risk of pickleball ball cracking. In cold weather, the ball’s brittleness is heightened, making it more prone to cracking even with less forceful impacts.

How to Protect Your Pickleball Balls From Getting Cracked in the Cold Weather?

To protect your pickleball balls from cracking in cold weather, follow these measures:

Store Them Properly: To prevent pickleball balls from cracking, it is advisable to refrain from storing them in excessively cold environments. Instead, select an indoor area with temperature control, ideally at room temperature, to store the balls. By following this practice, you can maintain the structural integrity of the pickleball balls and significantly reduce the risk of cracking.

Store Your Pickleballs In An Indoor Area With Temperature Control

Warm Them Up: To prevent the cracking of pickleball balls in cold weather, it is recommended to let them warm up indoors before use. You can accomplish this by placing them in a warm room or utilizing a ball warmer. When pickleball balls are warmer, their brittleness is reduced, decreasing the likelihood of cracking when they experience impact.

Minimize Impact Force: To protect pickleball balls from cracking in cold weather, it is crucial to avoid strong hits or collisions with hard surfaces like paddles, walls, or floors. In cold conditions, the balls become more brittle and are more likely to crack, even with less forceful impacts. Playing with controlled shots can reduce the risk of pickleball cracking.

Inspect The Balls: Regularly inspect your pickleball balls for any signs of cracks or damage. If you notice any cracks, replace them immediately to prevent further damage during gameplay.

Avoid Extreme Temperature Fluctuations: To prevent pickleball balls from cracking, it is recommended to avoid subjecting them to abrupt temperature changes. Instead, allow the balls to acclimate gradually to the playing environment. This approach reduces the stress on the balls, minimizing the likelihood of cracking.

By following these guidelines, you can protect your pickleball balls from cracking in cold weather and ensure their longevity for enjoyable gameplay.


Can Pickleballs Crack In The Warm Weather Too?

While pickleballs can be more susceptible to cracking in cold weather due to increased brittleness, they can also crack in extreme heat or if subjected to excessive force.

How Often Should I Inspect My Pickleball Balls For Cracks?

To maintain the condition of your pickleball balls, it is recommended to inspect them before every play session or conduct a monthly check for any signs of cracks or damage.

Do Pickleballs Crack In The Cold? 

Yes, pickleballs can crack in cold weather. The cold temperatures make the balls more brittle and less flexible, increasing their susceptibility to cracking upon impact. Factors such as the ball’s hardness, reduced ball performance, and impact force contribute to the risk of cracking in cold weather conditions. It is important to take proper precautions and protect pickleball balls from extremely cold temperatures to minimize the chances of cracking.

Can I Still Play With Slightly Cracked Pickleball Balls?

It is not recommended to play with cracked pickleball balls as they may affect the ball’s performance and pose a safety risk. Ensure the integrity of the game by promptly replacing any cracked balls.

Can I Use Pickleball Balls Designed For Indoor Play In Cold Weather?

It is not recommended to use pickleball balls designed specifically for indoor play in cold weather. Indoor pickleball balls are typically designed to perform optimally in controlled indoor environments with moderate temperatures. 

When exposed to cold weather, these balls may become more brittle and prone to cracking. For optimal durability and performance in cold weather, it is advisable to use pickleball balls specifically designed for outdoor play. These balls are engineered to withstand a broader range of temperatures and environmental conditions, ensuring their suitability for cold weather gameplay.


Do pickleballs crack in the cold? Yes, the pickleball balls crack in cold weather due to cold temperature, increased brittleness, quality of materials used for its manufacturing, storage of pickleballs in extremely cold environments, and impact force. Cold weather has a negative impact on the pickleballs as it leads to reduced ball performance, cracks formation, and reduced shot accuracy, and it makes your pickleball ball harder and less bouncy.

By storing them properly, warming them up, minimizing impact force, inspecting them regularly, and avoiding extreme temperature fluctuations, you can enjoy pickleball without worrying about cracked pickleballs. Remember, taking care of your pickleball balls ensures their longevity and optimal performance, even in cold conditions.

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