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What is Padel Tennis?

by Tennisnerd
What is padel tennis?

The relatively new sport padel tennis is taking the world by storm. It looks like a mix of squash and tennis. But what is padel tennis?

Padel tennis is growing every year. You have probably seen the courts. The size is a third of a tennis court and the walls are made of glass. The ball can bounce on any wall but can only hit the ground once before being returned. Similar to tennis.

The padel racquet is short, stringless but with holes on the surface. You use a low compression tennis ball and always serve underarm (Kyrgios might like it!). Shots are played either before or after the ball bounces off the surrounding glass walls, adding a unique dimension to the sport over conventional tennis.

Have you tried padel tennis?

Confession: I have not tried padel tennis myself. I want to of course, but tennis has a special place in my heart and will take priority. But many of my tennis playing friends rave about it. Especially some of those guys that were really good tennis players but never made it to the pro tour. It sure looks like a lot of fun, especially since most points are won through tactics and clever play, not so much power.

I do also like the idea of not having to restring a racquet (!). Stringing can be nice therapy, but stringing 3-5 racquets in a row can be quite tedious and boring. Padel players don’t have this problem.

Since you mainly use the slice shot and volley in padel, I thought it would have fewer instances of elbow injury, but it actually seems to be quite common based on my research.

Do you want to try padel tennis?

If you like to try padel tennis, I am sure there is a court somewhere not too far from you. In my home country, Sweden, they have really bought into the padel craze. You will soon see more padel courts than tennis courts. This breaks my heart a little bit for the sake of tennis, but it is, of course, good that people exercise in whatever way possible.

Let’s look at some pros and cons of padel versus tennis.

+ It is much easier to learn than tennis
+ You don’t need to worry about strings
+ Always being four players create a social element
+ A court is smaller so you can fit more courts into a smaller space
– Tennis is arguably more varied since you can overpower opponents, play a slice and dice game or anything in between.
– You only need two players to play tennis, but you can also play doubles so more options.
– Tennis has a rich history as a sport.

Are there any other pros and cons of padel vs tennis that I have missed? Please comment below!

Summary

I think padel tennis or “padel” as it is more often called, is a great new addition to racquet sports. It is easier to learn than tennis and you don’t need to be as fit as you the court is smaller. You don’t need to choose one sport over the other but can obviously play and excel at both.

I will not create “Padelnerd” any time soon, but I hope to try the sport as we just had our first court installed in Malta!

If you are looking for padel racquets, you can check out one of our affiliates and advertisers below.

Padel racquets in Sweden (padelracketrea.se)
Padel racquets on Amazon (affiliate link)

What do you think about padel tennis?

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6 comments

AJ November 15, 2019 - 4:27 pm

For me, the beauty of tennis is that it is difficult to master all kind of strokes and skills, beside strategy, tactics and dealing with different undergrounds and circumstances. Padel is fun to do, more accessible (more easy to get to a level that is satisfactory to play) but is also quite ‘flat’, somewhat similar to squash. It’s just what you are looking for in a sport of course.

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Matheus Ferro November 15, 2019 - 4:29 pm

I play tennis since I was 4 y/o (am 23 now, almost 24) and I have tried padel last week. I must say it is fun as hell. The walls add another dimension to the game and the short racquet made me look like a great net player (I am not). It takes a while to grt used to the walls and runing forward instead of back when your opponents have a smash opporyunity, but tennis players get the hang of it pretty fast.
That being said, tennis is a more diverse and rich sport, whith more elements and faces, hence the fact that it is way harder to play.
If you play too much padel, it may compromise your strokes in tennis, so I might play it once a moth or so. Tennis is my priority!

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Tennisnerd November 16, 2019 - 7:50 am

Sounds like you had a good experience, but you appreciate the richness of tennis more. Thanks for the comment.

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Laurean November 18, 2019 - 12:55 am

I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds like lots of fun and I surely want to try it. But for me, it seems more like a fun activity than a sport, but that’s just me. By the way, has anybody tried the “soft tennis” version that is popular in Japan and I think other Asian countries? It is played on the same court with tennis, but the balls are very soft, and the racquets smaller. You can hit very hard and still keep the ball inside, and being so “soft”, no worries about injuries.

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Eduardo Gavira Crespillo November 18, 2019 - 10:44 am

Tennis isnt tennis. Tennis is LAWN TENNIS. And Padel isn’t paddle is PADDLE TENNIS. Both are tennis. Medieval tennis had more similarities to paddle or padel (Spanish) than Lawn Tennis.
The problem with Paddel Tennis is that STILL HASN’T BEEN BORN THE PERSON THAT DON’T KNOW HOW TO PLAY PADDEL TENNIS.

Remember, both are versions of the same game… TENNIS, as Royal Tennis, Soft Tennis, Table Tennis, etc.

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Luis G November 18, 2019 - 3:20 pm

There are smaller padel courts for just to players, although they are very rare. You can also just play cross court. Also, it’s nice to have frequent conversations over the net, something that you can’t do at tennis because the courts are so big. Padel is son fun because its social component and great learning curve.

When I was living in Spain (where I am from) I would rather play padel than tennis, eyes closed. Now that I moved to the US and padel courts are so freaking hard to find, I went back to play tennis (more than ever, I have to say). Americans have a very popular tennis sport called “pickleball”; it’s similar to padel (similar racket, but played in tennis courts with its own lines). Jonas, you might want to do some research and write a post about pickleball, now you are resting your elbow. Hope you are recovering well!. I sprained my ankle a month ago and I am also off tennis courts ?

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