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What is Padel?

Published on
Jo Vos
April 7, 2023

Padel is a fun and exciting racquet sport that is rapidly gaining popularity all over the world. It originated in Mexico in the 1960s and has since spread to countries such as Spain, Argentina, and Brazil, among others. 

What is Padel? 

Padel is a racquet sport played on a court that is about a third the size of a tennis court. It's played in doubles, with two players on each side of the net. The court is enclosed by glass walls and metal fencing, and players use the walls as part of the game. The objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net and into the opponent's court in such a way that they are unable to return it.

Padel differs from tennis in that it is not as heavily influenced by strength, technique, and serve, making it an ideal game for players of all genders and ages to compete together. Instead, an important skill in padel is match-craft, as points are often won through strategy rather than sheer power or strength.

A Brief History of Padel

Padel was invented in 1969 in Acapulco, Mexico, by Enrique Corcuera, who wanted to create a new racquet sport that could be played on a smaller court. From there, the game spread like wildfire to Spain, where it became extremely popular and continued to gain momentum throughout Europe. Today, according to the FIP (International Padel Federation), over 25 million people play padel in over 90 countries around the world.

What do you need to play Padel?

To play padel, you will need a few pieces of equipment. First, you'll need a padel racquet, which is similar to a tennis racquet but with a shorter handle and a larger head. You'll also need a padel ball, which is similar to a tennis ball but with a lower bounce. It's also recommended to wear padel shoes, which provide much better grip on the court.

Basic Rules and Scoring

The basic rules of padel are similar to those of tennis. The game starts with a serve, which must be hit underhand and must bounce in the opponent's court before being returned. After the serve, the ball can be hit back and forth without bouncing until one team fails to return the ball or hits it out of bounds. 

The ball can also be played off the walls, making for some exciting and unpredictable shots. The scoring system in padel is also similar to tennis. The first team to win six games with a two-game lead wins the set. If the score is tied at six games apiece, a tiebreak is played to determine the winner of the set.

Other tips to help you get started:

  • Take some lessons: If you're new to padel, it's a solid idea to take some lessons with a qualified instructor to learn the basics of the game.
  • Find a partner: Padel is played in doubles, so it's important to find a partner to play with. If you don't have a partner, most clubs (like ours) have a system in place where they can match you up with someone.
  • Practice your shots: There are several different shots in padel, including the forehand, backhand, volley, and smash. Take some time to practice each of these shots to improve your game.
  • Play regularly: Like anything, practice makes perfect. The more you play padel, the better you will become. Try to play at least once a week to improve your skills and enjoy the game.

In conclusion, padel is a fun and exciting sport that is growing in popularity all around the world. With its smaller court and unique rules, it offers a fresh and exciting alternative to other racquet sports. So grab a partner, some equipment, and get out on the court to experience the fun for yourself! 

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