How do I find the right padel racket?
When looking for the right padel tennis racket, it first depends on what type of player you are and what level of play you have. Of course, both can change over time, especially with intensive padel training and tournament participation. Well, and of course it also depends on how much you want to spend.
Simple padel rackets are already available from 30 euros (e.g. from Artengo at Decathlon). But if you're looking for quality, it's better to start at 70 to 90 euros. Of course, there is no real upper limit. There are padel rackets for over 500 euros! Most professional rackets are priced at 150 to 250 euros.
Well-known padel brands are:
Adidas, Artengo, Asics, Babolat, Black Crown, Bullpadel, Dabber, Donnay, Dunlop, Enebe, Head, Lord, Nox, Wilson and many more regional brands that only play a role in individual or a few countries.
Padel racket shape
Basically, there are 3 different padel racket shapes: Diamond, Round and Drop.
- Padel rackets diamond shape: You get a higher stroke speed with these rackets.
- Padel racket round shape: You have more control with a round racket head
- Padel racket teardrop shape: Basically a mix of round and diamond - perfect for the balanced padel player type.
By the way, a padel racket is a maximum of 46 cm long and 26 cm wide. According to the official padel rules, the padel racket must not be thicker than 38 mm. The weight is usually between 340-395 grams.
Padel racket weight
Basically, the following applies to racket weight: A light racket (340 to 360 grams) simplifies ball control. But it has less hitting power. A heavy padel racket (370 to 390 grams) has more hitting power but less control. This means that heavier rackets are more likely to be found with good players.
The rackets in the 360 to 370 gram weight class are in the middle and often offer a good compromise between ball control and hitting power.
However, padel rackets tend to develop further due to new technologies, so that the rackets no longer have to be quite so heavy to have a lot of power.
Padel racket hardness
The harder the surface of the racket, the more control you have over the ball. However, this also means a loss of power. And if you have ever had tennis elbow, you will quickly notice that a hard surface absorbs less energy and puts more strain on your hitting arm.
If the racket has a softer surface, which absorbs more energy, this is also easier on the arm. At the same time, the ball stays "stuck" to the padel racket longer and you have a faster stroke or smash. However, compared to the hard surface, control is lost.
So soft rackets are more suitable for players with arm problems or advanced and tournament players.
The term sweet spot is used to describe the "most effective" zone in padel tennis. When you hit the Padel balls with the sweet spot, the stroke has the optimum efficiency.
Padel rackets with a large sweet spot in the middle of the racket have more control. Padel rackets with a smaller sweet spot at the end of the racket give you more power, so you can accelerate the padel ball faster - if you hit it right. If not, you lose a lot of control. Therefore, beginners should rather take a racket with a large sweet spot. Pro players more often take the version with a small sweet spot.
There are also rackets that have an elliptical sweet spot. These are a mixture of the two aforementioned features and represent a compromise between control and power.
Balance of the racket
The weight balance also plays an important role in padel rackets.
Rackets whose centre of gravity lies more in the grip area are easier to move, require less power and give you a lot of control. But: more control also means less power!
The situation is different with a rather top-heavy padel racquet. With these rackets, you can achieve much higher stroke speeds, but you also have much less control. These padel rackets are therefore more suitable for advanced players.
But there are also rackets where the weight is balanced. Here you still have good control and can play relatively fast. A good choice for the regular player who plays and practices regularly.
Ask your padel coach if he can give you a few padel rackets to test. Then you know beforehand what you are buying!