What is Padel?

September 9, 2021

Despite being the world’s fastest-growing sport with 8 million active players across the globe, like many people, you may not yet have heard of padel, but this is set to change! Already hugely popular in Spain, it is the country’s second most popular sport after football and the sport’s popularity is also expected to grow in the UK.

Why is Padel so popular?

In Britain there are currently around 6000 active padel players, a number which is expected to rise in the coming years. Padel is known for its simplicity and reduced physical demand that is associated with other similar racket sports such as tennis and squash. Along with this, it is an extremely fun sport with a strong sociable aspect, so it is easy to understand why the sport is so popular! 

Is Padel easier than tennis?

The simplicity of padel is one of the main contributors to the game’s success and rising popularity, with padel being largely easier than tennis. Beginners can pick up the game swiftly due to padel requiring less skill and power (with the ball travelling at a much lower velocity) than tennis as padel is played with an underarm serve as opposed to an overhead serve, as played in tennis. This allows beginners to enjoy the game without hours of practice and has the added benefit of being better for you than tennis due to the underarm serve reducing the possibility of a shoulder injury – which you are more prone to when playing tennis!

Where can I play Padel? 

Amongst the popularity of padel growing rapidly, there is now a total of 107 courts across 52 clubs in Britain. With 91 of these courts in England alone as well as in 10 in Scotland, you can also find padel courts in Wales along with the Channel Islands. You will find some clubs offer both indoor and outdoor courts, allowing gameplay to commence regardless of the weather conditions. See our blog Where To Play Padel In The UK for a complete list of padel courts. 

Can you play Padel singles?

Although tennis is often played in singles, more often than not, a game of padel is played as doubles. With a regular padel court measuring only 10 x 20 metres, this may come as a surprise due to a padel court being much smaller in size compared to a tennis court. However, due to the fast-paced nature of padel, singles play would detract from the simplicity of the game and make for a much more challenging game. 

What are the rules of Padel?

The rules of padel are easy and quick to learn! One of the few similarities between padel and tennis is that the scoring is the same, with a set being won after a team wins six games with at least a two-game difference. A match is the best of three sets. However, this is where the similarities stop. The game starts with an underarm serve into the opponent’s box which must bounce once of the floor before hitting from waist height or below. Like squash, a padel court is surrounded by walls from which shots can be played off, however, the ball must bounce once before hitting the wall and is considered “out” if you hit the wall directly. To find out more, read our blog What Is Padel Tennis And How Do I Play?

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