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what is padel tennis?

man tossing padel ball in air
FAQ
All the answers to your padel questions

If you can't find what you need then contact us and we will come straight back.

which padel racket should i buy?

It's a question which everyone asks. We have a blog HERE to answer the basics and below a quick summary showing you what to look for. 

Also, here are some videos which are well worth a watch from the always brilliant Sandy at The Padel School.

rackets on floor_edited.jpg

If you want more videos and information like these then  highly recommend 

Choosing a padel racket

Things to consider -

Cost

Everyone has different budgets. At BoblPadel we are aware of that and have ensured we have a range of quality rackets across the price spectrum. This will be your single biggest decider on which racket to purchase and rightly so.

The main issue which determines price is construction, with newer technologies and materials costing more.

Balance

If you have played racket sports before then you probably have a view on balance. This is the pivot point of a racket and describes which end would drop if you placed a pivot in the centre of the racket.

Shape

The shape of a padel racket is very important to understand. The distinct characteristics of the face will determine power and control which are the two key points of the game.

Frames and cores

Faces come in carbon, fibreglass and sometimes Kevlar.

Cores are perhaps the most complicated part to understand.

If you want a detailed analysis on how to decide then read our Blog piece here.

What is padel tennis?

Padel players smiling

Padel tennis is the fastest growing sport in the world over the last 20 years and should be your new favourite sport.

 

We discovered it some years ago and we want to spread the word of this amazing social sport and offer you the best selection of Padel equipment in the UK. 

A tennis/squash hybrid generally played in a doubles format. The court is 1/3 the size of a tennis court and is surrounded by a wall/fence which the ball can be played off.

Scored like tennis but so much simpler to play with just getting going easier due to serving underarm. It’s a great sport for couples, families and friends to play.

It is taking over Europe, from Spain to Italy, across the low countries and into Scandinavia. It is finally getting traction in the UK and the LTA has taken it under its wing to really promote and grow the sport.

If you want to start your padel journey, then you have come to the right place. Boblpadel want to build a community to get you playing, get you kitted out and help introduce this brilliant sport to the next generation.

To give you a flavour of padel watch these clips below.

what is padel tennis

How can I get better at padel?

There is nothing like playing a sport but to seriously get better we would suggest finding a local coach. Take a few lessons, go on court and practice what you learn and then go back and take some more lessons.

We have a wonderful coach who we see regularly. She has helped us really identify what we are good at, (as well as bad at).

 

When we are not on the court we also like to watch padel coaching videos. These can be found on YouTube and we really like Otronivel and The Padel School as both are entertaining and we have found them very informative.

We also follow Jean Galea, who is on a journey that includes Padel and he has an interesting blog which details his Padel journey. You can find it here.

Check these videos out for some tips and if you want more visit the you tube channels below.

What are the rules of padel?

Below is a fairly straight forward summary of the padel rules but to keep it simple check this video out.

The Basic Rules

Format 

Padel is usually played as a doubles format however there are a few singles courts available. 

 

Scoring

Padel uses the same scoring system as tennis. 

 

Service  

Play begins with an underarm serve from the right hand side of the court into the opponent's service box, diagonally opposite. 

The server must allow the ball to bounce once behind the service line before hitting it and the ball must be struck below waist height. 

The serve must land in the opponent's service box. If the ball bounces in the service box and strikes the side or back wall, it is a valid serve and must be played. If the ball lands in the service box and hits the wire fencing, it is considered a fault. 

The server must keep at least one foot on the ground when hitting the serve. The server's feet may not touch or cross the service line while serving. 

Similar to tennis, the server has two opportunities to complete the serve. 

 

Lines & Walls

The lines on the court only matter during service.

All players are permitted to play a ball off any of the walls on their own side of the court. 

 

Winning

You win a point when:

The ball bounces twice in any area on your opponents' court.

Your opponents fail to get the ball over the net.

The ball leaves the court without bouncing on your side. 

The ball strikes either of your opponents while in play. 

The ball hits the wire fencing, net posts or any other fixture before going over the net or landing in your court. 

The ball, before bouncing, hits the wire fence or wall in your side of the court. 

The opposition return a serve by volleying the ball. 

Here is a link to the LTA website with additional information about padel plus a link to the detailed rules from the global governing body but be aware it's a dry old read! - LTA PADEL

If you have any queries on rules, etiquette or disputes please do not hesitate to contact us here. We are happy to research and answer any questions you may have.

How to prevent padel elbow

Lets face it, sport can sometimes bring on injuries. From the innocuous back click picking up that ball to the calf tear as you lunge. That actually happened to me 65minutes into a 90 minute match so I was pretty warmed up but was probably hampered by the calf raises that week in the gym.        Here is a link to our ever popular "padel elbow" piece. 

Tennis elbow pain
Who plays padel?

Padel is coming to the UK but is it as cool as we think it is? Check out our video gallery below of people who play it around the world.

What is the history of padel?

Padel as a sport is relatively new, invented in Mexico in the 60’s from which it spread across to Argentina and Spain by 1974. This new sport was played by the elite in those countries as all courts were in private hands. 

Due to this it took a while to get established within the general public but like all good ideas its uptake started to increase. By the 1990’s there were believed to be 2million players in Argentina and Spain had formed their padel federation.

Spain’s growth was unprecedented and went from 1.25million tennis players and a handful of padel players in 1990’s until, by 2020, the numbers were 6million padel players and 350,000 tennis players. People do ask how this can happen, but we just suggest they play padel and then they will understand.

In 2012 the world padel tour (WPT) was created which went on to become the preeminent professional tour globally after backing from the FIP in 2013.

In the UK there has been a padel federation since 2014 and this was absorbed into the LTA in 2019 at which point it became a recognised sport in the UK which allows funding by local authorities via central government.  In 2020 the LTA put out its padel growth plan. This sets out a route map for 400 courts by 2023. This is a very exiting prospect as this will allow access to the game to a much wider audience. 

What’s our view of padel in the future?

We have seen the growth of padel over the last two years with our own eyes, but sometimes you can be wrapped up in something and it appears to be everywhere but when you step outside of the bubble you realise that it’s a mirage. Currently in the UK there are a real lack of courts, but these are rapidly being built or construction is being applied for.

The vast majority of people are still not aware of padel, so if you want the sport to grow so that there are more courts, spread the word. 

This is a brilliant sport; the size of the court means you are much closer to your opponent/playing partner and that really fosters the social side. 

The ease of playing, the very starting of the game with an underarm serve, means it is enjoyable for families and the need for control over power means the game is never dominated by more aggressive players.

Also, the balls are contained within the court. This is a big thing when playing with younger children as no one enjoys the walk of shame across courts to retrieve wayward tennis balls.

Is padel an Olympic sport?

At the time of writing padel is not an Olympic sport and to be included would need to be supported by 75 national sports federations to be considered, currently it is at 45-50 federations.

Olympic sports are only chosen every 4 years with the 2024 sports already chosen and 2028 applications already in, this means the earliest it could be an Olympic sport is 2032 in Brisbane.

Even though the reasons for inclusion are that a sport must be played across the world, we all know it’s the TV audience numbers that really matter.

Sky sports sometimes show it but the best way currently in the UK is to stream it from the WPT website. They have a calendar of when their events are on. 

This a link to the WPT site. Click here

Olympic medals on the floor
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