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What is Padel Tennis/Padel/Paddle Tennis/Pádel? Why is it Growing So Fast?

Updated: May 23

What is Padel Tennis? 

Introducing Padel Tennis: A Dynamic Sport for All

Padel tennis or ‘padel’, is a captivating blend of tennis and squash of Mexican origin. This sport is rapidly gaining global popularity since its inception in the late 1960s. Played on an enclosed court with walls, padel offers a unique mix of strategy, excitement and athleticism. Whether you're a seasoned tennis player or a complete beginner, padel training easy-to-learn yet challenging-to-master nature makes it an enticing option for all who wish to play a fun game of tennis-but-not-exactly-tennis!

Exploring the Essence of Padel Tennis

Padel, an elemental fusion of racquet sports has found its place among court played sports and it is here to stay! What padel is, is a fast-paced dynamic game played in 4s, as teams of doubles or even individually, one-on-one. 

All these exchanges and rallies make for an action packed, fun-filled game that arouse the crowds once you understand the rules that surround padel. Those familiar with match scoring for tennis and squash catch on faster on how points are calculated for padel. The agility, quick and precise shots volleyed back and forth, and the teamwork required by the players makes this an engaging game to witness, as a player or a spectator.

Understanding the Padel Court: Dimensions and Features

Played on roughly a third of the size of a regular tennis court measuring 20 meters long by 10 meters wide, a padel court features a specific type of carpet: synthetic grass or an artificial turf, providing consistent ball bounce as well as an underfoot that provides a comfortable yet grippy playing surface.

Padel is a very versatile sport since it can be played in various weather conditions, in an indoor or outdoor enclosed court with metallic mesh wired walls and glass– to help balls to bounce off, very strategical! A net divides the court in half just similar yet slightly lower than one found in a tennis court.

Mastering the Padel Equipment: Racquets and Balls

Padel racquets, rather, are solid-faced and lack the strings of a tennis racquet, resembling a larger version of a table tennis paddle racket with holes on them to make them lighter in weight. Composite materials such as carbon, fibreglass and kevlar are usually used for the frame, while EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) or foam is used for the core. This design allows for easier control of the ball.

Padel balls must have an exact diameter between 6.35cm and 6.77cm making it smaller than a regular tennis ball. This slightly lower compression, adapts best to the wall play enforced in the game.

Unlike tennis where the game is played with powerful serves and hits with force, an underarm service requiring the ball to bounce once is key for padel. This game is all about executing precise shots with measured control and power.

Navigating the Dimensions: Key Elements of a Padel Court

Understanding the dimensions and angles of the court is essential for mastering the intricacies of padel tennis and developing effective playing strategies. Learning how the ball plays off these walls is another vital aspect of padel experience as players must anticipate and utilize the walls to their advantage which incorporates a single back wall and side walls extending a portion of the court's length. 

The padel court layout features specific key zones:

  • The service area–  from which players must serve underhand. 

  • The volley zone or red zone (area near the net)– ideal for volleys and aggressive play.

  • The baseline zone, called the fondo de pista– is where players retreat for defensive maneuvers against powerful smashes.

Strategic use of these zones is crucial for effective play.

Deciphering the Scoreboard: Scoring and Rules in a Padel Game

A unique twist on scoring and gameplay that padel follows is strategy over power. 

Regardless, it retains a few similarities to the official tennis scoring:

  • Games are played to 6 points, with a 2-point lead needed to win (e.g., 6-4, 7-5).

  • If the score reaches 6-6, a tiebreaker is played (often to 7 points with a 2-point lead).

  • Sets can be played up to best-of-three or best-of-five.

  • Scoring uses the same terminology: 15, 30, 40, advantage, and deuce.

Points are scored when opponents fail to return a valid shot or commits a fault (e.g., hitting the ball out of bounds).

The power behind the underarm serve as well as playing the game smartly is heavily focused on when learning, and playing padel! 

These are key points to focus on when playing a game:

  • Using the Walls: Skilled players can utilize the walls to create trickier angles, force errors, or set up winning shots.

  • Shot Selection: Mixing up drop shots, lobs, volleys, and groundstrokes keeps the opponent guessing and prevents them from overpowering you.

  • Footwork and Positioning: Being in the right position to react to the opponent's shots and strategically maneuvering around the court are crucial for success.

Embrace the Excitement of Padel Tennis

Whether you're a seasoned athlete or new to racquet sports, what a padel game is, a thriller and accessible outlet for physical activity and social engagement. So grab a padel racket, hit the courts available at LaPadel Agency, and embrace the excitement of padel tennis today!

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