How Is Padel Different To Tennis?

June 9, 2021

Padel is a radical new sport to feature on the UK racquet scene, which is having a significant impact on young people taking up the sport. Padel is a great gateway sport to help young people develop their court skills, enabling them to learn the techniques needed to get into tennis. Tennis can often be an intimidating sport at first for many, because it can be seen as quite elitist and the skills needed usually takes years of practice. However, padel is breaking down those barriers and is providing a sport that can be played across different age groups, but still has the intensity of a competitive sport. Padel’s history is entwined with tennis, but this article will explain the main differences between padel and tennis. 

The Technique Of Padel

People often say that padel is the game for frustrated tennis players, but this is far from the truth. There is a reason why padel is becoming more popular than tennis in recent years. This is because padel can be played straight from picking up a racket and it only takes a few games to master the sport. Tennis is more technical than padel and requires the player to have a good level of endurance because the games are longer. Also, tennis requires more strategy than padel because it’s a psychological game, rather than just relying on quick reactions which is the main skill needed for padel. 

The game is usually played in pairs. This can be unpopular in tennis but is best suited for padel, because of its intensity. This might be difficult for players who are used to playing tennis on their own, but it adds a new dynamic to your game as it forces you to use another player to win points. You will have to play with a smaller racquet in padel, so you will need to get used to having a smaller surface area to hit the ball with. In padel, most shots are performed as slices and you won’t have the option of a paddle lift because of the fast pace nature of the game. 

The Padel Court

The padel court markings are the same as a tennis court, but there are two main differences. The court you will be playing on in padel is smaller than a tennis court. The padel court sizes are usually 20M (L) x 10M (W) which gives you less room to play with, especially if you’re playing with a partner. You will be playing in a confined place, so you will need to focus on where you place your shot and you will need to focus your spatial awareness.

One of the biggest differences between padel and tennis is the cage that features on the outside of the court. The cages often consist of glass, metallic mesh, net or sometimes concrete. You can use the walls of the cage to score points (similar to squash), which gives players a new dynamic to play with. In padel, you have to prepare for complicated shots and for balls to hit the corners of the court, which creates games that are harder to predict. This makes games of padel more even because unlike tennis, you can’t always rely on your experience. 

Padel Is A Social Game

Many people have gravitated towards padel, because it’s very family orientated and easily accessible. Although it has its competitive side, the game can be played casually and it’s a very community-based game. There are many padel courts around the country and membership is often pay as you pay, which tennis court access usually has to be obtained from joining a paid membership club. A lot of padel clubs are open to new members and they actively encourage players to bring guests along to have a go.

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