Once you get a good racket (paddle), protect your investment by keeping it in a racket cover when you’re not using it. Racket covers protect your paddle from dirt, sunlight, and physical damage from drops and similar impacts. The better a case you use, the better its protective qualities. Several manufacturers offer hard shell cases made of aluminum or other stiff material. They offer the most protection. Others have thick padding inside fabric shells that also do a good job protecting your racket. Inexpensive covers typically offer little or no padding, and may only cover the head, leaving the handle exposed. Covers typically accommodate either one or two rackets. If you play in sanctioned tournaments, it’s good to use a 2-paddle case, as you are required to have a backup racket nearby if your main paddle breaks, or is deemed illegal, during a match.