Chances are that you will answer in the affirmative when asked “have you heard of padel?”, and chances are that you will have confused “paddle”, which is played on water, and “padel”, a racket sport halfway between tennis, squash and Basque pelota!
A fun racket sport…
Yet, this new sport from Mexico is becoming increasingly notorious and garnering more and more fans, first in South America and the Iberian Peninsula, and now in the rest of Europe. The reason for this is that the sport which is only played in doubles is fun, friendly and easily accessible: it is easy to learn its rules and to send the ball back and thus have fun. The court, which is smaller than in tennis (20m x 10m) is surrounded by walls and fences like in squash, and the ball can be played after bouncing off the walls.
… accessible to all
Like its illustrious elders, padel is played with a racket and a ball: a racket without strings but with large holes that make it look more like a beach racket. But this is where the similarities end, as the padel racket, whether it is round, diamond or waterdrop-shaped, is extremely technical and made up of high-performance materials such as carbon or glass fibres, EVA, polystyrene, polyethylene, Kevlar, epoxy, and more. A single racket will be made up of a combination of several of those materials which will make it more flexible, more powerful, lighter, more resistant, and more, and in short adapted to each player’s level and requirements.