If you’ve played tennis next to a padel event, you start asking yourself the question: Is padel daycare for adults?
Because when you need like a “boombox” or a Bluetooth speaker as I guess they call it these days, to create a “vibe”, it feels more like daycare than sport. But maybe I’m just a jealous tennis player because padel is getting a lot of hype in Europe these days! And I have played padel a few times and it’s not bad. It’s not nearly as fun, engaging or complex as tennis, but it’s great as a social fitness activity. (Padel players, go easy on me).
Since you always play doubles, the social element is more pronounced. You can also create different pairings, mixing it to get even teams even if everyone has a different playing level.
So there are good things with padel, for sure. I sometimes think we tennis nerds get a little sad when tennis courts are removed for the benefit of padel. It has happened at two clubs I play at, so maybe I’m a little salty.
What padel bat should you get?
I’ve tried a bunch of different padel bats and they’re more diverse than I had thought at first. The more advanced player frames are stiffer and more powerful, while the recreational bats are more flexible. I do prefer a more flexible racquet in tennis and I also felt like I could feel the ball better with a more flexible padel bat. But I think the durability of a more flexible racquet might be an issue for players that hit the ball hard (I need a padel expert to verify this, though).
My friends at Tennis Warehouse Europe have set up a specific padel site called Total Padel, where you can get some guidance on bats and some good offers.
I have a padel bat, but I kind of bought the first one I could find. Now some of my non-tennis playing friends want to play, so maybe I need to get four different ones and padelnerd it out?