Which padel racket should I choose?
Choosing a padel racket isn’t easy, especially if you are new to the sport and want to quickly develop your skills. There are many aspects to consider and opinions are frequently divided. We believe that it’s more important to make sure you don’t have the wrong racket rather than trying to endlessly find the perfect one. Actually, there are probably numerous rackets that are right for you, you may just have to get properly acquainted with them first.
We also offer a quick recommendation test via Racket Advisor™, a unique tool that gives you personalized suggestions in just 3 minutes.
There are three primary shapes, along with some rackets that fall somewhere in between.
Generally the easiest type to play with. The optimal hitting area (called the “Sweet Spot”) is larger and located in the centre (positioned slightly further down than on Diamond and Teardrop types). Round rackets provide increased control and precision and are often well-suited to more defensive players. This is also not to say they are only for beginners! Many of the top rackets are round and are used by hard-hitting elite players such as Franco "Stupa" Stupazcuk.
For the versatile player who likes to vary between defensive and aggressive play, the teardrop-shaped racket is usually a good choice. The Sweet Spot sits a little higher up but still has a relatively large hitting area. Stars like "Sanyo" and "Bela" use teardrop-shaped racks.
The Sweet Spot on this shape sits high up on the racket and very close to the frame. This makes diamond-shaped rackets more difficult to play with as the risk of making an error is quite high. But once you learn how to hit correctly, the shape delivers a very high speed. Many players known for their powerful strikes such as Maxi Sanchez and Juan Lebron use diamond rackets.
An adult racket weighs between about 330–390 grams. One rule of thumb is that the lighter the racket, the easier it will be to maneuver. That said, using a heavier racket will typically give you more speed. Lighter rackets can also be used to minimize pain in the elbows and wrists. Junior rackets and specific women’s rackets also usually weigh a little less.
Surface / Core
The distinction here is usually between a hard or soft core. A hard core usually gives more control and less speed while the opposite is true for a soft core. However, this is only true to a certain extent: a hard core racket can generate a fantastically hard blow if you hit the material properly. The surface of a racket consists of fiberglass or carbon fiber (or a mixture of the two). A slightly knobbed or roughened surface is sometimes used on certain rackets; these are designed to generate more spin and screw on the ball. The edges of the holes can also affect the spin — the “sharper” the edge, the more spin you can create on a hit.
Balance is divided into categories of Low, Medium and High.
The balance is often associated with the shape, where round rackets usually have a low balance, teardrop rackets have a medium balance, and diamond rackets have a high balance. This is not always the case, however; there are certainly round rackets with a high balance, for example. You want to find the combination that works best for you.
The weight of the racket is situated further down, towards the shaft. This weight distribution makes the racket easier to maneuver at the expense of some power.
As the name suggests, the balance is evenly distributed over the rack. This weight distribution gives a mixture of control and power.
The weight of the racket is situated higher up; often this makes the racket feel heavier since the center of weight is farther from your hand. The upshot, however, is that it generally gives you more speed on your strikes.