What is padel? The sport of Padel (Padel Tennis) is becoming more popular all the time. Our introductory course teaches you all you need to know about this wonderful sport. Let’s get started!
What is Padel?
Tennis and squash are combined in a sport called Padel (or Padel tennis). Combined with social interaction and fun, it is a racket sport. Regardless of age or ability, it’s an ideal game since points are won by strategy more than sheer power and strength.
On a glass and mesh court that is about one-third the size of a tennis court, players play doubles. Family members of all skill levels can easily play the game since it is easy to learn.
Paddle tennis or paddeltennis are sometimes used instead of the correct name, padel. Would you like to know how the most popular racket sports differ? Check out our article Pickleball vs. Paddle Tennis vs. Padel
The History of Padel
The sport was created in 1969 in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco. Padel was created by wealthy businessman Enrique Corcuera, who did not have the space to install tennis courts. In its place, he built smaller courts inside walls. He chose wooden paddles to play due to the smaller surface and their smaller size compared to traditional tennis rackets.
When Padel was first invented, it was mainly played by the Mexican elite, until Alfonso De Hohenlohe, a friend of Corcuera from Spain, became enamored with the sport. Almost immediately thereafter, the Hohenlohe built the first two padel courses in Europe in Marbella.
As a result of the King of Spain and Manolo Santana’s promotion of the sport, its popularity quickly grew. A friend of De Hohenlohe, Julio Menditengui, introduced the sport to Argentina, gaining further momentum for the sport.
It has grown rapidly and in conjunction with the rapid growth of the sport in Europe, South America, and North America, it is today considered one of the world’s fastest-growing sports. The country of Spain, with its more than 20,000 paddle courts and four million active paddle players, is today considered the dominant country in the sport.
An international federation for padel was founded in 1991. In addition to promoting the sport globally, the organization is a non-profit organization.
The Padel Court
Glass walls and metal mesh surround a Padel court 10 * 20 meters in size. A 4-meter high wall encloses a 3-meter wide court. There is a net that separates the middle and sides of the court, whose maximum height is 88 cm.
In our Ultimate Guide to Building a Padel Court, you can learn how to build a padel court or start a padel club.
Padel is a simple game to learn. Tennis rules share many similarities with those of the game, but there are still some differences to remember. The article Padel Rules: How to Play Padel provides more information about the rules of padel.
How to Play Padel
- Padel is a doubles game
- There is no difference in scoring between Padel and tennis
- Underhand serves start each point. It is bounced first, then the server hits it below the waistline
- There are two chances to serve
- As in tennis, neither the ball nor you may hit it more than once during your side’s bounce
- When the ball is in play, any ball that crosses the net must first bounce on the opponents’ side before striking the wall
- On your side of the court, you may return the ball by first punching it into the glass wall
Similar to tennis, padel uses a scoring system. Padel is traditionally played as a best of 3 or 5-set game with 6 games in each set.
There are 15 points, 30 points, 40 points, and a game point. There must be a winning margin of two points. In competitions, “Golden points” have been introduced recently. An outcome of 40-40 will result in a decisive point. Amateur games do not require the Golden Point.
Sets are won by winning six games with a minimum two-game difference. In the event of a tie score, you go to seven games. After a score of 6-6, you play a tiebreaker. You must win by two points in a tiebreaker.
Here’s how to win a point in Padel
- Two consecutive serves are failed by the opponent
- There is a double bounce off the ball on the opposite side of the goal
- A teammate hits the ball into the net
- If your opponent hits the ball out of bounds without first hitting the ground on your side of the court
- One of the walls on your side is hit directly by the opponent’s ball
- During the game, the opponent hit the ball into the metal mesh on his side
- Before the ball hits the ground, it hits the opponent
Tennis rackets and pickleball paddles are different from padel rackets. Strings are not attached to it and it is made of a composite material with holes. Padel rackets have a thickness of 38 mm and are equipped with a safety cord attached to the grip that must be used during play.
For more information on choosing the right padel racket, please see the article Padel Racket – The Complete Guide
Padel Racket Shapes
Padel rackets come in three major shapes, namely round, diamond, and teardrop. However, each one of the shapes has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Padel racket recommendations can be found in The Best Padel Rackets for 2022.
Round Padel Rackets
For beginners, round-shaped rackets are usually easier to handle and provide more forgiving play.
Diamond Shaped Padel Rackets
It is more difficult to play with diamond-shaped padel rackets, so they are more suitable for advanced players. However, they provide more power in exchange for less control.
Teardrop-Shaped Padel Rackets
A teardrop-shaped padel racket is recommended for players looking for the right balance between speed and control. In general, they can be played with a bit less difficult than diamond-shaped rackets and offer a bit more power than round ones.
Unlike tennis balls, padel balls are softer because they have lower pressure.
It is a good idea to replace padel balls fairly often after they lose pressure after a while. Padel Tour games for men, for example, feature ball replacement every seventh game. The same balls can be used for several matches on an amateur level before they need to be replaced.
It is your responsibility to bring padel balls when you play. You can normally purchase them at the padel club.
The game of padel is a fast-paced sport that involves many turns and jumps. Choosing the right pair of shoes is essential. To try out the game for the first time, a pair of regular training shoes should work. The best way to avoid becoming injured while playing padel is to invest in a pair of padel shoes.
There are often herringbone patterns on the soles of shoes designed for pickleball, padel, or clay tennis. These shoes are also more stable than, say, running shoes.
We recommend that you try several different models since shape and construction differ greatly between brands.
A world championship was held in Seville and Madrid in 1992 after the International Paddle Federation was formed in 1991.
The first professional padel tour was created in 2005, the Padel Pro Tour. As of 2013, the tour’s name has been changed to World Padel Tour, and today it is played around the world.
In response to the growing popularity of padel, more countries are organizing professional tours. There are also local padel clubs that have amateur tournaments.
What is Padel – Final Thoughts
Tennis and squash can be compared to Padel (or Padel tennis). Padel is an action sport with a social component. The game of Padel is played in doubles on glass and mesh enclosed court. The court\ is a third the size of the average tennis court. Playing Padel is easy.
Padel rackets are different from tennis rackets. Neither it has strings nor does it have holes. It’s composed of composite material. A padel racket is made up of three different shapes; round, diamond, and teardrop.
Padel balls are similar to tennis balls but are softer due to their lower pressure. It is important to wear the right shoes. When playing the game for the first time, you can wear regular training shoes. Padel shoes can help reduce the risk of injury if you plan to play the sport regularly.
This is the first professional padel tournament, which was started in 2005. A world tour of padel began in 2013 and is now called the World Padel Tour.