Padel is quickly becoming an extremely popular sport around the globe, courts are popping up absolutely everywhere to try to satisfy the huge demand from players that have been bitten by the Padel Bug. From being a sport with a broad popularity only in Spanish-speaking countries, it is now becoming a full-blown success all over Europe.
It has actually got quite a few things going for it, for example it is not very demanding physically. Skills are more dependent on technique and tactics, rather than strength, so anyone can learn how to play regardless of age – you can even see grandparents having a great time with their grandchildren on the padel court! It is also a social sport, perfect for hanging out with friends and even to play with your partner since mixed matches are very common.
If you have the space for it, here is an interesting article on how to turn your backyard into a padel court.
How to get started with padel
The only thing you need to get started are some good shoes – tennis shoes for clay work perfectly, they have the same kind of soles as padel shoes – and a proper racket that suits your type of game. A padel racket is actually called a shovel, and it hasn't got strings like a tennis racket. Instead it has holes in the surface, and it can be made from a wide range of materials such as carbon or fibreglass. The Swedish website Elitepadel has listed several different padelrackets, to help you get an idea of which type of racket would suit you the best the next time you go to have some fun on the court.
If you’re still not sure what padel is really about, you can just read our article “What is padel tennis? that will explain everything you need to know. This is what all your colleagues at work will be discussing shortly during the coffee break, if they haven’t already started, so it will come in handy. It definitely is a highly addictive form of exercise, since it doesn’t take long to be able to keep the ball passing from one side to another, and once that first obstacle has been crossed you can quickly improve your shots and technique to go to the next level. While you are playing with your friends you also get to know a lot of new people, players are known to form communities where they can discuss the latest equipment and share experiences. Another good resource is an article with 16 padel tennis tips for beginners.
I hope it conquers the US too. But Pickleball is just what it is rising here now.
Excellent sport for spreading Covid 19… There was a big outbreak here in Sweden traced back to a padel facility the other week. This successful Chinese export product CV-19 (countervail-19?) will be upon us for the rest of our lives, forever mutating ahead of the vaccines, just like the yearly flu viruses. So padel may have an obstacle ahead compared to tennis. The density of physical contact on a padel court is probably above some safe threshold value for spread of CV-19.
But – they could always equip the padel courts with UV-C lighting to disinfect everything. The players would have to wear cool sunglasses and they may get a tan as a bonus.
I look positive on the padel explosion though. If people choose it over tennis, it means the tennis courts become more accessible to those who prefers tennis. If some (new) people eventually progress into tennis, the sport will grow and there will be more tennis courts and activity in the long run.
I was watching some pro padel matches on youtube a while ago and studied the technique and footwork. Even the pros were seriously behind in footwork compared to the average tennis player today. I looked mainly on volley. A good tennis volley player should be able to make a killing in padel from what I could gather.
Not playing it (after doing it). I live in Spain and all people around me is playing it, but I stopped. I cannot see it as a sport, but rather as an entertainment. It is not physically demanding neither technically (although as in any sport you can improve it as much as you want), neither strategically not psychologically! Since all these factors are much less demanding than tennis, I stopped to feel attracted to it. I cannot feel padel as a challenging activity, but tennis is.
I tried padel before a tennis match not a good idea. My timing was off for more than half an hour. Padel needs 4 players so it is more social than tennis. In Denmark it is very popular, but i fear it is robbing some of the space available for tennis courts. Typically all weather courts are now half padel and half tennis, so it makes it harder to get a tennis court. If i am to play another bat sport i will rather play table tennis as it is so different from tennis that it does not ruin my tennis game.
I tried padel tennis a few times while living in Spain. I prefer tennis a lot more, but I can see the business case being more favourable for padel. You can fit roughly two padel courts in the same space as a normal tennis court. As padel is also mostly played as doubles, cost per player can still be kept reasonable even though price/h is quite high. Where I live, Helsinki (Finland), we have a shortage of tennis courts and it is extremely hard to find available tennis courts on short notice. No one is building new tennis courts here but I can see that new private investments have been made in padel courts.
Paddle has many good things for tennis, since it keeps the clubs open, since there will be more families practicing sports.
And most importantly, it makes tennis not sink, since the brands that sell tennis also sell paddle tennis. It turns out that the padel customer likes exclusive products, and does not mind spending money on it. They are a class of customer who values ??specialized product more, even if they are not an elite athlete. They are usually adults who take up a magnificent racket sport. If it weren’t for paddle tennis, most tennis stores in Spain would have disappeared (especially after the appearance of Decathlon). Thanks to the fact that a lot of paddle tennis is sold, these stores are still open and survive. The padel client likes to spend money on his hobby and brings together many teams, since belonging and integration in a team is not as demanding and frustrating as in tennis.
Do not forget that the wrongly called tennis is really “LAWN TENNIS” and the wrongly called paddle tennis is “PADDEL TENNIS”. They are two forms of tennis, and really the one that comes closest to original tennis is paddle tennis. This is how it was played in medieval courtyards (abbeys and convents), using walls and with paddles without ropes. What we call tennis and arrogantly refer to as true tennis is a trademark created by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield. Thanks Walter!!
Nice article, thank you ! I’ve tested head ultimate power 2 padel racket and it was very fun to play with. but currently i’m using another padel racket from babolat Air Viper which is excellent as well.