What Equipment Do You Need for Padel?
Padel is a popular sport that is now played around the world. It is a game that brings joy to most people because the sport is easy to play, social and comes with a relatively steep development curve. If you're new to padel, you may be wondering what equipment you need to get started. In this article, we'll take you through the most essential equipment you'll need to get started playing padel.
The most important piece of equipment you need for padel is a padel racket. The padel racket is different from the other types of rackets in other racket sports. However, there are a few key elements that make all the difference compared to other types of racket sports. The shape of a padel racket is quite different from tennis, squash and badminton and is in fact more similar to the shape of a beach tennis racket. Apart from that, the racket is typically made of either fibreglass or carbon and in some cases a combination of the two. If you're curious about how padel came about and what sports are related to padel, you can delve into the history of padel here.
What Are the Differences between Padel Rackets?
When choosing between padel rackets, it is important to consider factors such as headshape, weight balance as well as whether it is made of fibreglass or carbon. If you choose a racket with a diamond-shaped head, it will provide some more weight and weight transfer in your strokes. At the same time, it will also be more difficult to control and maneuver especially up at the net.
On the other hand, if choose a racket with a round head, you will lose some speed in your attacking strokes, but also gain more control in defensive situations. You should also look at the weight balance of the racket, as this can determine your output when hitting the ball. Weight balance is often connected to the shape of the racket head - here, as mentioned, we most often deal with round, teardrop and diamond shapes. You can learn a lot more about all of this in this in-depth guide to choosing the right padel racket.
Padel balls are another essential piece of equipment needed to get started. Padel balls are similar to tennis balls, but are slightly smaller and have a different bounce. The big difference between a padel ball and a tennis ball is the pressure. The pressure of a brand new tennis ball is around 14 psi, whereas the pressure of a brand new padel ball is only around 11 psi. It has been decided to reduce the pressure in a padel ball to match the dynamics and flow of the game.
The balls are typically made of rubber and felt and are designed to be durable enough to withstand the fast and intense game, as well as the surface which also wears down the balls. When choosing padel balls, it is important to consider the quality and durability of the balls. Cheaper balls tend to have a shorter lifespan and less consistent bounce than balls in a higher price range. Price and quality are therefore often linked when it comes to padel balls.
In addition, the type of surface you play on is also crucial when choosing the right padel ball. The surface of outdoor and indoor courts is not the same, which is crucial for wear and bounce. The Mondo surface is the typical surface on indoor courts, and on this surface most balls tend to hold pressure and durability for a longer time compared to the outdoor courts. Outdoor courts are made of materials that are more durable, mainly to withstand changing weather conditions. This type of surface wears the balls down quicker than the indoor court surfaces, and for this reason it would be more obvious to choose a ball with a higher pressure, as they bounce higher and can therefore better withstand wind and weather. Therefore, always coordinate the ball with the surface of the padel court to optimise the flow and dynamics of the game.
Padel shoes are specially designed for playing padel and can help you improve your performance on the court. Padel shoes are quite similar to tennis shoes, but there are a few important differences. They are typically lighter and more flexible than tennis shoes, which allows for better manoeuvrability on the court. However, some tennis shoes also work well for padel, with shoes with the herringbone sole pattern known from clay court tennis, for example, giving you a good grip on the surface of padel courts where the sand is visible at the top. In addition, tennis shoes with all-court soles can also work well on the many indoor padel courts where the sand is not visible but lies under the artificial grass.
Stability, Comfort and Shock Absorption
When choosing padel shoes, it is important to consider factors such as comfort, support and absorption. It's important to personalise your choice of shoe so that you end up with a padel shoe that helps you with what you need in a shoe. If you suffer from problems with your knees, back, shins, etc., you may want to look for shoes with extra support and absorption. The surface you play on is in most cases mounted directly on top of a concrete floor, so the hard surface of many padel courts puts extra demands on the shoe you play padel in.
Should I Go for a Lightweight or a Heavier Padel Shoe?
If you don't suffer from major injuries and you don't need to prevent them, consider looking for a shoe that is flexible and lightweight. A lighter shoe can help you move faster on the court, but if you play 2-3 times a week, for most people it will be wise to choose a padel shoe with good shock absorption and a sole that matches the surface you play on. With the above in mind, you'll see more elite players using a lighter shoe for matches and tournaments and a more solid and supportive shoe for the daily training sessions.
The Fit of Your Padel Shoe Matters
One last thing you should pay attention to is the fit of your shoes. Don't underestimate the importance of a good fit in padel, where you have a lot of changes of direction and fast movements. We are born with different feet that vary in width, some have bunions, others are flat-footed and so on. If it is possible to try the shoe before you buy it, this will be a huge advantage. It is almost impossible to assess how well the shoe fits your foot before you have tried it on. We therefore recommend trying on different padel shoes so that you have something to compare with. By the way, you can get even wiser about your future padel shoes by reading our ultimate shoe guide.
A padel bag is a great way to transport your equipment to and from the court. Padel bags come in many different sizes and styles and can range from simple sling bags to large backpacks. When choosing a padel bag, consider the size and number of rackets you'll be carrying, as well as any extra equipment you'll need to bring with you. Your needs will place some demands on the bag that you should consider before buying. By that we mean that an elite player/coach has some different needs than the recreational player who plays a few times a month.
Most padel bags are equipped with a separate compartment for shoes, as it can be nice to have smelly shoes and other items separated after 2 hours of play. However, not all bags are equipped with a separate compartment for shoes. So check this out if a separate compartment for shoes is an important parameter for you. The price of a bag ranges from approximately 30-140 €. - You can browse our selection of padel bags in all shapes and colours here.
Overgrip for Padel Racket
Fitting an overgrip on your padel racket is not a priority for everyone, but for most players it makes a crucial difference. Most rackets are fitted with standard grips from the factory. The standard grip is typically rather thin, and often has neither sweat-absorbing nor tacky properties. We recommend that you leave the factory grip on the racket and fit an overgrip on top of it. The thickness of your grip should of course match the size of your hand, but for many people playing with just the factory grip will be too thin, causing you to hold the racket too tightly and risk developing overuse injuries such as tennis elbow. The function of an overgrip is to ensure a firm grip on the racket. With a firm grip on the racket, you optimize your chances of performing better on the court and getting more consistent strokes.
We hope you've found some inspiration in this article and that you want to try out this amazing game. See you on the padel courts!