Many players have transitioned from tennis to padel. What makes the sport so exciting and will Dennis make the journey from tennis to padel?
Tennis to Padel
The tennis enthusiast’s road to becoming a… padel enthusiast?!
Well, yes, I am a devoted tennis player. So much so that I even have a tennis court tattooed on my forearm.
But hey, padel is supposed to be fun, right? Well, fun it is… indeed it is.
I started as any tennis player with good volleys, somewhat acceptable overheads (although when I say this, in tennis, my overheads are as good as any), and pretty okay basic hits. What the heck is this back wall, and how come we have to serve underarm?
But it all makes sense. Padel is a fast sport, which is why they only have doubles in tournaments. I cannot see anyone trying singles. After seven occasions on a padel court, I definitely wouldn’t try it. Different shots and you have to be patient. And what I mean by that is no sudden moves. None. A few lobs, a few good smashes, but no, you won’t finish a smash. That is why the back wall is there. Use it, or lose it, I mean, the point.
Finding a good padel bat
The first three times, I borrowed rackets from the only padel court shop in Bristol (where I’m based and padel is just starting here), which were cheap, all plastic Adidas frames.
Ps. Dennis should have checked out our partner Total Padel Ds.
I felt after these three hits that I need my own racquet – or bat as padel players call it.
I went online, started searching and asked a mate of mine who is top 20 in the UK. He told me that the main point is that it has to be full carbon, so that is what I was looking at. And he also said that he uses Nox (which is ridiculously expensive).
As a guy who has been fairly knowledgeable in tennis rackets and gear, to pay around 150-200 quid for foam and supposedly carbon frame when we don’t even want to pay 150 for a masterly crafted graphite tennis frame? Am I out of my mind?
The first bat
Well kinda. I started by buying a Bullpadel frame (namely the Flow Light) for around 65 pounds, and though it felt nicer than the plastic Adidas, it wasn’t that good. The packaging and the small bits and bobs were amazing and it feels of quality, but something was missing. Somehow my plow-through of the ball wasn’t that seamless and the weight behind my shot was also lacking.
The second try went with DropShot Explorer Attack, which is a £100+ frame, but I got it for just a bit under through Black Friday and all. When I got it, it felt a bit less good quality than the Bullpadel, but it has ridges on the surface.
A great friend told me I would be experiencing a world of difference between the smooth and the not-smooth surface while playing.
Now that I did, I felt like I would give it a good hit around, but I believed that the BP (Bullpadel for short) would be my racket. Well, the DS (DropShot for short) was the winner… and by a landslide. I felt from the get-go that it was better in control (which was weird, while when I put it on a scale, it was lighter by a good 10 grams than the BP), and my down-the-lines and angles were just put better. I have to get used to it.
Okay, I know, it was the first time I played with it, so there is a long way to go with it, but I can say it’s not always the outlook or the quality of the bag, but what lies inside.
Summarizing my first experience
And to finish off my first experience with padel. Do play. It is fun—great runaround and amazingly fun to play with like-minded people. And the plan is that from here on in, there will be videos, articles and racket tests coming your way on Tennisnerd, and of course, do listen in to our weekly podcast on the platform you are using for getting your podcasts.
Stay tuned for a lot more!