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Padel vs Tennis: Which Is Your Game?

Padel vs Tennis: Which Is Your Game?


Padel vs tennis is quickly growing to a big debate as tennis has long been the dominant force in racket sports. However, padel, is quickly rising in popularity. While both sports share similarities, they also have distinct differences that appeal to various different types of people. In this blog we will into the world of padel and tennis, exploring there similarities, differences, and the transferable skills that bridge the two together.

What Are the Similarities in Padel vs Tennis?

When you are first introduced to the sports, padel and tennis appear quite similar. Both sports involve rackets, a ball, and a net. Players engage in rallies with the aim to outmaneuver their opponents and score points. Here are some key similarities:

  1. Scoring System: Both padel and tennis use the same scoring system, with games progressing through love, 15, 30, 40, and advantage points. Matches typically consist of best-of-three sets.
  2. Court Divisions: The court in both sports is divided by a net, and players must send the ball over this net within the confines of the opposing side’s court to continue play.
  3. Doubles Play: While singles is popular in tennis, doubles is the standard format in padel, similar to the doubles matches in tennis.

What Are the Differences?

Despite their similarities, padel vs tennis have several distinct differences that set them apart.

  1. Court Size and Structure: A tennis court is larger, measuring 23.77m by 8.23m for singles, and 23.77m by 10.97m for doubles. On the other hand, a padel court is much smaller, at 20m by 10m. Additionally, padel courts are enclosed by glass or mesh walls, which players can use to bounce the ball, adding a unique strategic element.
  2. Rackets: Tennis rackets are larger, strung, and have an oval head. Padel rackets, however, are solid, have designed holes in the face, and smaller in size and can come in three distinct shapes (round, teardrop and diamond). They lack strings and have a different weight distribution, impacting the style of play.
  3. Serve: In tennis, the serve is a powerful overhand shot that starts the rally. In padel, serves are underhand and must bounce once before hitting the opposite service box, making it a less intense start to the game.

padel vs tennis

How Are the Rackets Different?

The racket differences between padel vs tennis are notable and influence how each game is played.

  • Tennis Racket: Typically made of graphite, aluminium, or composite materials, tennis rackets have strings that allow for powerful, spin-heavy shots. The average racket weighs between 300-350 grams.
  • Padel Racket: Constructed from materials like carbon fibre or fibreglass, padel rackets are solid with carefully designed holes in the face of the racket to reduce air resistance. They are generally heavier, weighing around 350-375 grams, and have a more even balance, offering greater control but less power than a tennis racket.
What Are the Transferable Skills?

Transitioning between tennis and padel can be smooth due to several transferable skills:

  1. Hand-Eye Coordination: Essential in both sports for tracking the ball and making accurate shots.
  2. Footwork: Quick, agile movement is crucial whether you are covering the expansive baseline in tennis or moving around in the smaller padel court.
  3. Shot Techniques: Forehand, backhand, and volley techniques have fundamental similarities, although adjustments in power and spin are necessary due to racket and court differences.
Which Sport Should You Choose?

Overall, whether you gravitate towards the classic appeal of tennis or the emerging excitement of padel, both sports offer unique challenges and enjoyable experiences. The skills which are learned and developed in one can greatly enhance your performance in the other, making it a rewarding experience to explore both. Giving each one a try is the best way to find out which one is for you!

Geoff Fourie

Managing Director