Last Updated on May 11, 2023

Padel is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world and it’s a mix of tennis and squash, i.e. kind of a mix of the two. It’s a great sport to try and it can be very social as you tend to play two against two in Padel.

In the post below, I will explain what padel is, how you can get involved with it, and how to learn more.

What is Padel

Padel is a combination of tennis and squash and is played with similar rules to each sport but with some unique twists.

The court size is smaller than a regular tennis court but larger than a squash court (a padel court measures 20 meters by 10 meters).

Two teams of two players stand on either side of the padel court and use padel rackets to hit a padel ball across the net.

A padel ball looks a lot like a tennis ball in that it is a similar size and weight, but with slightly different properties. It is made of rubber, covered with felt, and has a higher bounce than a tennis ball.

The padel racket is also different from a regular tennis or badminton racket, and measures about half the size of a tennis racket at around 65 cm long.

Points are scored in two ways:

  • by your opponent hitting the padel ball out
  • or failing to return it in less than four attempts.

Games can either be played as singles matches (one against one) or doubles matches (two against two).

Scoring is similar to that of a tennis match, with each set lasting eleven points, and three sets being required for victory.

Who Invented Padel? Where Does it Come From?

Playing padel

Padel started in the late 1960s when Mexican brothers Alberto and Alfonso Grimalt created the game in Acapulco, Mexico.

In the early days of Padel, it was largely played by upper-class Mexicans, who found it enjoyable and accessible.

However, its popularity began to grow beyond the country’s borders in the early 1990s, when it made its way to Europe.

Since then, padel has seen a surge in popularity with over 12 million players worldwide now enjoying the sport.

The driving force behind Padel’s growth has been its ability to appeal to a wide range of age groups and skill levels.

It’s also a great way for people of all ages and abilities to get together, have fun, and stay active.

Furthermore, with the padel court being smaller than a tennis court, it’s an ideal sport for those with limited space or access to an outside court.

This has enabled Padel to grow in popularity faster than any other racquet sport in the world in recent years.

How to Play Padel Explained

The rules for playing padel are not too difficult but as with any sport, there are nonetheless some rules to learn.

The video below does a great job of explaining the basics.

Finding People to Play Padel Against

The easiest way to find others to play padel against, no matter where in the world you are, is to simply use the Playtomic app.

Playtomic is used for anyone who plays tennis or padel, who wants to play against someone else locally and at the same ability level.

I do not work for Playtomic 🙂 but I mention it as it means you can travel to a new city on holiday for example, and just so easily connect and play others.

What Does a Padel Court Look Like?

One key difference between a padel court and a tennis court is the size.

A padel court is much smaller than a traditional tennis court, measuring around 10 x 20 meters compared to 23 x 10 meters for a full-sized tennis court.

This means that padel players have less room to move and must act quickly if they want to make successful shots.

The layout of the court is also different for Padel. The court features two glass walls that act as backboards, allowing players to hit off them rebound shots much more easily.

Additionally, there are netting panels around the court which allows players to use creative shots and angles to outwit their opponents.

5 Places for Learning Padel for a Sports Holiday or Vacation Training Camp or Clinic

If you want to learn padel as a beginner or take your padel game to the next level, going on a padel training camp vacation is a great option. Alternatively, there are certain destinations that are great for easily finding others to play padel against and these places are detailed below.

1. Padel Vacation and Holidays

Some companies who offer Padel training holidays and vacations include:

  • Padel Tours Malaga – a chance to combine Padel with a holiday in the sun.
  • Barcelona Experience Padel breaks
  • Padel Marbella – Padel Marbella has been offering padel holidays for over a decade and they have a great reputation and is a great option if you like Spain and want to combine a vacation with learning and playing padel.
  • If you are visiting or spending time in Lisbon then Clube de Padel is worth visiting.
  • In Miami, Real Padel Miami is a great place to hook up to find games and get tuition

2. Costa de la Luz, Spain

One of the most popular padel vacation spots in Europe, Costa de la Luz is close to the Mediterranean Sea.

It is possible to play padel whilst also enjoying stunning views.

Padel courses in Spain are arguably one of the best options because Spain really is the land of padel, i.e. the place where it has really developed and taken off.

3. San Sebastian, Spain

Located on the northern coast of Spain, there are a number of world-class padel courts, top padel schools, and padel academies, in San Sebastian.

4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Padel is popular in Brazil and thus it’s a great destination for you if you are looking to learn and practice Padel.

In Rio de Janeiro there are numerous padel courts and using the ‘Playtomic’ app as discussed earlier, you can easily set up matches at your own level.

5. UK

If you are UK based there are some locations where you can learn padel including with Just Resorts.

5 Tips for Beginner Padel Players

1. Get quality padel gear. Invest in good padel rackets and padel balls so that you have the right equipment to start out with. You can normally buy a Padel racket cheaply.

2. Watch Padel matches on YouTube to learn better techniques and strategies. Watch a few YouTube videos and learn the basics.

3. Work on improving your footwork, as it is key to padel. Practice different footwork drills to help you move more quickly and accurately around the court.

4. Improve your padel strokes by practicing different shots such as blocks, volleys, smashes, and drop shots until they become second nature to you.

5. Play padel with people of different skill levels so that you can gain experience playing against different opponents and styles of play.

More About Padel

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