Are you going to play padel for the first time? You don’t know anything about this sport and you need some advice? Here is a brief and concise explanation of all the basic knowledge a player needs to jump on the court for the first time.
In this text, we will talk about the basic rules of padel and all the elements that make up the equipment, such as the padel racket, padel racks and shoes. Also, a small guide to choosing the right padel racket is presented.
What you need to know if you are going to start playing padel
The origin of padel
Padel is a racquet sport, played in a similar way to tennis. The objective is to hit the ball with a padel (the official name of a padel racket) so that it crosses to the other side of the court.
This sport was born in Mexico, specifically in the city of Acapulco, in the hands of Enrique Corcuera, who is known as the inventor of the modern padel.
Many do not know it, but, padel emerged in a very casual way. Corcuera had a small court very similar to a fronton court, and he was tired of losing balls.
Therefore, he decided to build walls surrounding the court, so that the ball would bounce and never leave the court. This is how the first padel court was born.
The characteristics of a padel racket
As mentioned at the beginning of this text, the padel racket is the official racket for playing padel. It has unique characteristics that make it different from the rest of the tennis, squash or badminton racquets.
Unlike a tennis racquet, the padel racket does not have a stringing, but the hitting surface is made of glass or carbon fibres. In addition, it is shorter, approximately 45cm long, from the handle to the head. In addition, it has a thickness of 38 millimetres.
A fundamental characteristic of padel rackets is that their interior is made of a soft material, which can be foam, rubber or polyethene.
In the beginning, the blades were made of wood, but now, softness is sought for the player’s comfort.
Despite being thicker and with more solid material than a tennis racquet, they have the same weight, which can be between 300 and 370 grams.
In order to be sure that the racket meets the necessary characteristics for the game, it is best to choose a recognized brand with a good reputation.
In the market, you can find many, such as Bullpadel, Siux, Adidas, Nox, Royal Padel, Vibora padel rackets like Star Vie, Wingpadel, Akkeron, Dunlop, Enebe and many more. All of them are a guarantee of quality and performance.
The court and the basic rules of the game
The padel court is unique, with specific characteristics to practice this sport. The most essential is that it is surrounded by four walls, where the ball can bounce.
These walls can be made of concrete or glass, although, if it is a professional padel court, it will always be made of glass.
The court is divided in two, with a net very similar to a tennis net. This division marks each of the sides of the participants. If we talk about the official measures of a court, recognized by the International Padel Federation, they are usually 10 meters wide by 20 meters long.
Regarding the basic rules of padel, this sport is always played in pairs, there is no such thing as individual padel teams will be formed by two players, who will stand on a specific side of the court.
The scoring system is the same as in tennis, counting as follows: 15, 30, 40 and then the advantage point or equals. Official matches are played to the best of three sets. After three games in each set, there is a change of side of the court.
For a point to be counted as correct, the ball must first bounce off the floor and then off the walls. If the ball goes straight into a wall without first touching the floor, it will be considered a lost point.
For the service, the ball must be hit at waist height. The ball must cross to the other side of the court without touching the net, landing directly in the opponent’s box, but if the ball falls outside the serving line, it will be a bad point.
How to choose a padel racket?
This is probably the most important question for any player. The right choice of a padel racket is essential for the player to develop his technique properly and improve his level.
There are thousands of padel rackets on the market, with different materials, technologies, shapes and playing styles.
First of all, the most advisable thing to do is to look for a racket that matches your level of play. Padel brands usually categorize their blades by their level of experience.
There is a padel for beginners, intermediate, advanced and professional players. We recommend approaching an expert who can guide us on the road to choosing our first padel.
In addition to the level of play, the style must also be considered. There are control, multipurpose and power blades.
Generally, beginner padel tends to be control padel, because they are easier and easier to handle and are perfect for learning. However, you can also find beginner padel that focuses on offensive play.
The best thing would be, if you have the possibility, to try different padel bats until you find one that you feel comfortable with. The great advantage of attending classes at a padel club is that they can lend you different padel blades so you can try them out.
The right equipment to play padel
In addition to the padel racket, it is also important to have the right shoes and clothing for the game. Footwear is one of the essential parts of the equipment.
It is important to know that there are specific padel shoes, and they are recommended to have a good grip on the court, to improve performance and to reduce the likelihood of injury.
The most important characteristics of padel shoes are cushioning, stability and traction. It is recommended to look for a model that has soft materials in the midsole so that the footprint is comfortable and the impact is less aggressive.
But, the most important thing about padel shoes is the sole. Padel shoes need to have the ability to grip the artificial grass of a court. That is why the sole is made with specific materials and technologies for grip.
Three types of soles are available on the market: herringbone, Omni and mixed. Without a doubt, the most recommended is the herringbone, because it is the one that offers the best grip on the surface.
However, other types of soles have also become fashionable as players look for shoes that can adapt to different types of surfaces.