What Is Padel?

What is Padel?

Padel seamlessly blends exciting action with enjoyable social interaction, making it a hit with players of all ages and skill levels. Its easy-to-grasp nature allows most newcomers to get a handle on the basics within just 30 minutes, ensuring quick enjoyment of the game.

Differing from tennis, padel isn’t primarily about strength or serve prowess. Instead, it’s a game where men, women, and youth can equally compete, emphasizing strategic play over physical power. Winning points in padel relies more on smart match-craft than raw strength, making it a balanced and inclusive sport.

Table of Contents

The Padel Court Explained

A padel court is a distinctive feature of the sport, blending aspects of tennis and squash. It’s an enclosed space, smaller than a tennis court, usually one-third its size, surrounded by walls made of glass and metal mesh.

The design of this court adds a unique strategic element to the game, as players can use the walls for ball rebounds, similar to squash.

However, the ball is allowed only one bounce on the turf before it must be returned, leading to a fast-paced and engaging style of play. Points are scored when the ball bounces twice on the opponent’s side.

Padel Racquet and Ball Dynamics

Padel is known for its swift and straightforward gameplay, offering an enjoyable and captivating experience. Players use a short, stringless racquet paired with a low-compression tennis ball, distinct with its elastic surface and perforations. Serving in padel is done underarm, differing from traditional tennis.

The game’s uniqueness is further highlighted by the ability to play shots both before and after the ball rebounds off the glass walls enclosing the court. This feature adds an extra layer of strategy and excitement, differentiating padel from conventional tennis.

Padel Court Dimensions and Scoring:

Dimensions: A standard padel court measures 20 meters in length and 10 meters in width. The back walls are typically made of glass, reaching up to 3 meters in height, while the glass side walls extend for 4 meters. Beyond this, the court is enclosed with a metallic mesh up to a height of 4 meters.

The court is divided into two equal halves by a net at the center. The net’s height is 88 cm in the middle, increasing to 92 cm at the sides. Each half is further divided by a line, and another line 3 meters from the back wall denotes the service area.

Scoring: Scoring in padel closely mirrors that of tennis, with the primary distinctions being the underarm serve and the use of glass walls for ball play, akin to squash. The game’s rules permit the ball to rebound off the back and side walls, often leading to longer rallies compared to traditional tennis. Strategy, rather than pure strength and power, plays a key role in scoring points in padel.

History and Origins of Padel

Padel Tennis originated in the late 1960s in Acapulco, Mexico, due to Enrique Corcuera’s space constraints. He created a smaller court with walls for a rebound, using solid paddles, forming the sport’s foundation.

Global Spread and Recognition:

The sport gained international popularity, especially in Spain and Argentina, becoming a hub for enthusiasts and top players. Tourists and expatriates played a significant role in spreading Padel globally.

Modern Development:

From its backyard beginnings, Padel Tennis has evolved into a widely recognized sport with professional circuits, federations, and world-ranked players. Its transformation highlights its broad appeal and accessibility.

Best padel racket for men

Padel Gear 101: What You Need to Hit the Court with Confidence​

Padel Rackets for All Skill Levels

Beginner Rackets:
These rackets usually feature a balanced design with a large sweet spot, ideal for new players, ensuring ease of play and a forgiving nature.

Intermediate Rackets:
As skills develop, players might opt for rackets offering a blend of control and power with more focused weight distribution.

Advanced Rackets:
For seasoned players, advanced rackets provide enhanced features like increased stiffness for power or softer materials for control tailored to individual playing styles.

Footwear: Specialized Padel Shoes

Quality padel shoes are essential for optimal court performance. They offer superior grip, necessary for quick lateral movements and sudden changes in direction. Shoes designed specifically for padel also provide the right balance of support and flexibility.

Balls: The Heart of the Game

Padel balls differ slightly from traditional tennis balls, typically with lower compression. This affects how they react off the racket and walls, making the choice of the ball a key factor in gameplay.

Accessories for Comfort and Safety

Grips and Overgrips: Ensuring a firm hold on the racket, these can enhance comfort and reduce the risk of blisters.

Wristbands and Headbands: Useful for managing sweat, keeping players comfortable and focused.

Protective Eyewear: Especially for beginners, protective glasses can prevent injuries from stray balls.

Bags and Backpacks: For conveniently carrying gear, with compartments designed to store rackets, balls, and personal items.

Apparel: Functional and Stylish

Padel apparel should offer comfort and flexibility, allowing for free movement. Breathable fabrics help in maintaining an optimal body temperature during play.

Investing in the right gear, suited to your level and style, not only enhances your performance but also adds to the enjoyment of the game. Whether you’re just starting out or competing at a higher level, the correct gear can significantly impact your padel experience.

What is padel ball

Padel vs. Tennis

  1. Court Design: Padel courts are enclosed with walls and smaller than standard tennis courts, affecting player movement and shot choices.
  2. Scoring and Balls: Padel uses balls with less pressure and more bounce compared to tennis.
  3. Rackets: Padel rackets are stringless and have distinct head shapes, differing from regular tennis rackets.
 Padel                  Tennis  
RacketNo strings, different head shapesRegular tennis rackets
Court Size10×20 meters ,Enclosed court with walls10.97×23.77 meters ,Open court without walls
BallsLess pressure compare to tennis balls and it is bouncierRegular tennis balls
Serving                                   Must serve underarm, need to bounce before hitting     Can under or upper

Padel Rating System

The Padel rating system is a method used to assess and classify players’ skill levels in the sport of Padel. It helps determine the appropriate competitive level for players to ensure fair and balanced matches. While specific rating systems may vary, here is a general overview of a common padel rating system:

Skill LevelDescription
Beginner LevelPlayers who are new to Padel and have little to no experience. They are still learning the basic rules, techniques, and strategies of the game.
Intermediate LevelPlayers who have a solid understanding of padel fundamentals and can execute basic shots with consistency. They are developing their game and improving their skills in various areas.
Advanced LevelPlayers who have a higher level of proficiency in padel. They possess strong technical skills and tactical awareness and can execute a wide range of shots effectively.
Professional LevelPlayers who have reached the pinnacle of the sport display exceptional technique, strategy, athleticism, and consistency. They compete at the highest level of national and international tournaments.


Padel Rules

Padel follows many of the same rules as regular tennis – such as scoring is based on sets and points. However, there are a few key differences that set padel apart from other racquet sports:

  • The court is enclosed by glass walls and a net, meaning the ball must be kept within these lines throughout the game.
  • Games are typically played in teams of two people, either as doubles or mixed doubles.
  • The serve has to bounce once before it can be hit back over the net.

Overall, padel is an exciting sport that combines physical agility with strategic thinking to make for some thrilling matches. With its growing popularity, there’s never been a better time to pick up padel and join in on the fun!

Padel Scoring System

The scoring system in padel follows the same basic principle as tennis – it’s based on sets and points. 

  • First point in a game is 15.
  • Second point in a game is a 30.
  • Third point in a game is 40.
  • If you won 4 points with at least 2 point lead, you won a game.
  • In case of 40-40 a game will continue until 2 consecutive points.
  • Note that in some tournaments in 40-40 situation a game will be decided by golden point.
  • Once a team Won 6 games with at least 2 games lead they win the set.
  • In case of 6-6 , the first to win 7 points will win the set.
  • Win 3 sets ( 2 in some cases ) will win the match.

Benefits of Playing Padel

  • Padel is an incredibly fun sport to play.
  • Not only does it require physical fitness and skill, but it also offers a great mental workout as players must think strategically in order to outwit their opponents.
  • Padel is a very social game – making it perfect for spending time with family and friends alike! Other benefits include improved hand-eye coordination, increased strength and agility, and overall improved well-being thanks to regular exercise.

With all these benefits combined, it’s no wonder that so many people around the world are picking up this exciting sport!

The World Padel Tour

The World Padel Tour (WPT) is the official international circuit for professional padel players. Founded in 2008, the WPT organizes competitions in Europe, North and South America, and Asia.

These tournaments feature some of the best padel players from around the globe competing for prizes and ranking points. The tour has various different levels of competition ranging from Challenger Series to Primera Division – giving all levels of players a chance to experience top-level padel.

With such an exciting mix of competitors, high-quality facilities, and thrilling matches, the WPT continues to be one of the most sought-after events in padel! So why not check it out next time you’re looking for some competitive padel action? You won’t be disappointed!

Premier Padel

Premier padel is a dedicated padel series that brings together some of the world’s top players for an intense competition. Founded in 2019, Premier Padel features five tournaments held across Europe – each of which offers players the chance to win points and climb up the rankings ladder.

It also provides viewers with exciting matches as well as live commentary from experts. With its thrilling matches and top-quality facilities, Premier Padel has quickly become one of the most popular padel events around – making it perfect for anyone looking to experience true professional padel! So why not give it a try today? We promise you won’t be disappointed!          

Padel - Frequenly Asked Questions

How do you win padel?

In padel, the objective is to win points by hitting the ball over the net and into the opponent's court in such a way that the other team cannot return it. The game is won by the first team to reach 3 sets.

Can you hit the ball twice in padel?

No, in padel, you cannot hit the ball twice in a row. After the ball bounces off your racquet, you must wait for it to bounce off the opponent's racquet.

Is padel harder than tennis?

It is subjective whether padel is harder than tennis as both sports have their own unique challenges. Padel requires more teamwork, quick reflexes, and strategic thinking due to the enclosed court and walls, while tennis requires more individual athleticism and endurance.


Why is padel so expensive?

The cost of padel can vary depending on factors such as court rental, equipment, and coaching fees. In some countries, it may be more expensive due to its popularity and demand.

Why is padel so addictive?

Padel can be addictive due to its fast-paced nature, the ability to use walls for strategic shots, and the social aspect of playing doubles with friends or family.

What country is padel most popular?

Padel is most popular in Spain and Latin America, but it is also gaining popularity in other parts of Europe and Asia.

Why is padel not popular in USA?

Padel is not popular in the USA because it has not been widely introduced or marketed in the country yet. However, there are efforts to expand the sport in the US.

Can you play padel 1 vs 1?

Yes, you can play padel 1 vs 1, but it is not the standard format of the game. Padel is typically played in doubles.

Why are padel rackets so thick?

Padel rackets are thicker than tennis rackets to provide more power and control due to the shorter length of the padel court.

How fast does a padel ball go?

The speed of a padel ball can vary depending on the player's technique, but it typically ranges from 80-110 km/h (50-70 mph).

How much does 1 hour of padel burn?

Playing padel for 1 hour can burn around 500-600 calories, depending on the intensity of the game and the player's weight.

What happens if you hit your opponent in padel?

If you hit your opponent with the ball in padel, it is considered a point.

Why is padel only doubles?

Padel is primarily played in doubles because it allows for more strategic shots and creates a more social atmosphere.

Why is there no topspin in padel?

There is a topspin in padel, but it is not as common as in tennis due to the shorter court and the need for more control over shots.

Why is padel not in the Olympics?

Padel is not yet an Olympic sport, but there are efforts to include it in future Olympic Games.

Does padel use normal tennis balls?

No, padel uses special balls that are designed to be slower.

Is padel the same as pickleball?

 No, padel and pickleball are distinct sports. While both are racket sports played on smaller courts than tennis, their court design, rules, and equipment differ. Pickleball uses a paddle and a perforated ball with no walls around the court, while padel uses solid rackets and an enclosed court.

Is padel the same as racquetball?

 No, while both sports involve rackets and walled courts, they have distinct differences. Racquetball is played on a fully enclosed court, whereas padel is played on an open court surrounded by glass and mesh walls.

Can a tennis player play padel?

Yes, many tennis players find it easy to transition to padel because of the similarities in ball movement and racket technique. However, there are unique rules and strategies in padel that tennis players would need to learn.

Why padel is not popular in the US?

Padel, originally from Mexico and popularized in Spain and Argentina, is still in its growing phase in the US. The US already has a strong tennis and racquetball culture, which might have delayed padel's introduction. However, its popularity is increasing in recent years.

Where can I play padel in the USA?

While padel is less common than tennis or racquetball in the US, its popularity is rising, and more courts are being built. Major cities and certain tennis clubs might have padel courts. It's best to check local sports facilities or specialized padel clubs.

Why does padel have sand?

Sand is sprinkled on the artificial grass of a padel court to provide better grip, reduce the risk of injury, and control the ball's bounce.

How many padel players are in the US?

Exact numbers might vary, but as of my last update in 2021, padel was still emerging in the US, with a growing but relatively small community compared to countries like Spain or Argentina.

Do you use tennis balls for padel?

No, while padel balls are similar in appearance to tennis balls, they are slightly smaller and have less pressure, resulting in a different bounce characteristic.

What is a padel racket?

A padel racket is solid (without strings) and is usually perforated. It's typically made of composite materials and has an oval or round shape with an ergonomic handle.

What are padel balls?

Padel balls resemble tennis balls but are slightly smaller with different internal pressure, resulting in a unique bounce. They are designed specifically for padel and the court conditions of the sport.

What year was padel invented?

Padel was invented in 1969 by Enrique Corcuera in Mexico.


Is it Hard to Learn Padel?

No. Padel is generally easier to learn than tennis or squash. Its basic rules are similar to tennis, with the added twist of playing shots off the court's walls. Beginners need to learn some additional strokes for effective court movement.

The simplicity of learning padel makes it ideal for novices, yet it also offers technical aspects for those seeking a challenge. With quick matches and a social vibe, padel is an increasingly popular choice among racquet sports.

What Makes Padel Different From Other Racquet Sports?

Padel, differing from tennis and squash, features an enclosed court with netting, creating dynamic gameplay with challenging shots. The sandy surface leads to fast-paced games. Played mainly in doubles, padel is social and suitable for all ages and skill levels.

What Year Was Padel Invented?

Invented in the early 1970s by Enrique Corcuera in Mexico, originally as ‘Squash Tenis’.