Because it’s a relatively new sport that is rapidly increasing in popularity across Europe, many people ask us “what is padel tennis?”.
A fair question. In this complete guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about padel.
What is padel tennis?
Padel tennis (or padel) is a racket sport that is similar to tennis but played on an enclosed court with walls.
The game is played by two teams of two players each, with the aim of hitting the ball over the net and onto the opponent’s side of the court, while also trying to prevent the opponent from returning the ball.
Padel is played with a smaller, solid ball than tennis, and the walls of the court can be used as part of the game, allowing players to hit shots off the walls to score points.
Its history as a new sport is fascinating. We have a full guide to the history of padel that you can check out.
What are some key padel tennis statistics?
- Padel is experiencing a surge in popularity worldwide, with over 25 million players in over 90 countries.
- In Spain, it has become the second most popular sport with 6 million players, surpassing even tennis in popularity and ranking only behind football.
- Padel is known for its longer rallies, which last 60-70% longer than in tennis, making it an exciting sport to watch.
- Last year, 900,000 rackets were sold, and the sport is particularly popular among women, with 30% of players being female, compared to just 15% in tennis.
We have a full article on all the latest padel statistics here.
What are the rules?
The rules of padel tennis are similar to those of tennis, with a few key differences. Some of the main rules of padel include:
- The ball must be served underhand and must bounce on the server’s side of the court before bouncing on the receiver’s side of the court.
- The ball can be hit off the walls of the court as part of the game, and players can use the walls to create a variety of angles and shots.
- The ball can be hit with any part of the racket, including the frame and strings, as long as it is not hit with the handle.
- A point is awarded when the ball hits the floor on the opponent’s side of the court, or when the opponent commits a fault (such as hitting the ball out of bounds or into the net).
- You can run out of the court to play the ball back onto your opponent’s side.
- Padel tennis uses the same scoring system as tennis, with games scored as “love,” “15,” “30,” “40,” and “game.”
- The first team to win six games wins the set, and the first team to win two sets wins the match.
Where can I play padel tennis?
Padel tennis is a popular sport in many countries around the world, including Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and Portugal.
In these countries, it is common to find padel courts at sports clubs, community centres, and other recreational facilities.
The sport is also becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world, including the US and Asia.
Use this tool to find the nearest padel court to you.
What equipment do I need?
To play padel, you will need the following equipment:
- Padel rackets: the rackets are smaller and lighter – you can view our racket recommendations for 2023 here.
- Padel balls: they are smaller and harder than tennis balls.
- Comfortable clothing and shoes: It is important to wear comfortable clothing and grippy shoes when playing padel
Why is padel tennis becoming so popular?
Padel tennis is becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons.
One reason is that it is a fun and exciting sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
Padel is also a social sport, with many players enjoying the camaraderie and competition of playing with and against others.
In addition, padel is relatively easy to learn and can be played in a variety of settings, making it accessible to a wide range of people.
Finally, padel is a low-impact sport that is easier on the body than other racket sports.
This makes it a good option for people looking for a less strenuous form of exercise.
But what is padel tennis really about? – Fun for everyone
People often ask ‘what is padel tennis about?’ ‘is it right for me?’ ‘should I care?’ etc.
And the answer is that it’s a fantastic social sport that anyone can play including your grandma so you should care about it – especially because of how big it will be in the next 3-5 years.
It’s also not a sport reliant on powerful smashes and serves so women and men can compete at similar levels.
Soon everyone will be talking about it. But what’s better than knowing about it? Playing it.
Imagine if you could be a dab hand at padel before your mates have heard of it. Once they do, you’ll be a popular doubles partner.
Who are the best padel players?
There are many talented padel players from around the world, with some of the best players hailing from countries such as Spain, Argentina, and Mexico.
Some of the top padel players include Juan Martin Diaz, Fernando Belasteguin, and Alejandra Salazar.
These players have won numerous titles and have become known for their skill and athleticism on the padel court.
What’s the difference between padel and paddle?
Padel and paddle are two different sports, although they both involve hitting a ball with a racket.
The key difference is Padel is a doubles-only racket sport played in an enclosed court with walls.
While paddle is a racket sport that is similar to squash and is played on a smaller court with walls.
Padel and paddle have some similarities, but they are distinct sports with their own unique rules, equipment, and strategies.
Since 2015, Paddle is also now known as pop tennis.
What do I say next time someone asks: ‘what is padel tennis?’
After reading this guide, if any of your mates ever come to you and ask ‘what is padel tennis?’ you can simply send them here to read this too!
Or if you have a good memory try to recite as much as you’ve learnt to help spread the word about this exciting innovative sport.