Why Should You Be Playing Padel
Tennis with walls, Squash in the sun. Padel is neither of these things but is something of both, combining the best elements of tennis, squash and racquetball. Padel is fast becoming one of the most popular sports in the world. Thanks largely to its exhilarating, social, and inclusive nature.
Padel is easy to learn. Most people could have a good game going within the first 20 minutes of play, and strength isn't the deciding factor. You can have an enjoyable game whether you are playing against men, or women, young, or old. Whilst the court size (1/3rd the size of a tennis court) makes conversation easy and gives the game a more social feel. The more competitive may want to get involved with the British Padel Tour, and see the game at its most fast-paced and exciting.
Beginning in Mexico, Padel has grown to have over 8 million players globally. Now widely considered the fastest growing sport in the world. In 2014 Padel overtook Tennis to be Spain's 2nd largest participation sport after football, and with many elite Tennis players now enjoying Padel there is no sign of slowing as Padel begins to take hold here in the UK.
How It's Played
Padel is always played in doubles on an enclosed court 20m by 10m. Whilst the scoring is the same as Tennis, the ball has less pressure and a solid racket (or paddle) with holes is used. The service is less of an advantage in Padel as it must be played underarm. The walls of the court add a great dynamic to the game, allowing for trick shots and some massive rallies. Padel is a great solution for declining participation at clubs, it isn't expensive to start and it's great fun to learn! Read Our Quick-Start Padel Rules here.
The History of Padel
Padel in its modern form is considered to have been invented in 1969 by Enrique Corcuera, although the roots of the game are said to come from British and Irish sailors who would play with a ball and wooden shovel within the hull of the ship. Corcuera adapted a Fronton court he already had (giving us the 20 x 10m measurements) and enclosed the court with walls in order to stop the ball from entering his neighbours land. He called his sport Paddle Corcuera. Padel was taken to Spain via the Marbella Club where it spread rapidly. In 1975 the sport was brought to Argentina, where there are now more than 2 million officially licensed Padel players. In Argentina more people are playing Padel than football! With the International Padel Federation (FIP) forming in 1991, 1992 marked the birth of British Padel when a group of British expats went to compete at the first ever Padel World Championships. The World Padel Tour was formed in 2013, to provide professional tournaments for Padel players, mostly consisting of tournaments in Spain and Argentina, the world of Padel is just being embraced by the rest of us.
Padel in the UK
Over the past year Padel participation has increased by 76% in the UK, unsurprising when you consider that the sport is easier on the joints and is enjoyable regardless of each player's ability. With the advent of the British Padel Tour (now recognised by the World Padel Tour and the International Padel Federation) British Padel members continue to rise. Jamie Murray is one high profile name now involved with the British Padel Tour, in an interview in 2015 he described the sport as social, and competitive, with amazing rallies. Padel appeals to so many by being incredibly accessible, without limiting competitive play.