5 tips for buying a padel racket
Padel is one of the fastest growing sports worldwide and this is reflected in the huge variety of padel rackets available. There are constantly new ones being introduced, featuring the latest and most advanced materials. Padel rackets are designed for beginners, intermediate players, advanced players, experienced players, and even professional players. They are even designed to support various playing styles, such as defensive and offensive styles. But what makes a good padel racket? We understand that it can be difficult to choose the right padel racket from such a large selection. In this blog post, we offer 5 tips on what to look for when purchasing a padel racket.
Choosing a padel racket is not an easy task
Choosing the right padel racket involves many factors. There are differences in shape, balance, weight, material, thickness, etc. Additionally, your own level and playing style are important factors in choosing a particular type of racket. It is important to consider all of these factors in your racket selection so that you can feel comfortable on the court and experience optimal ease of use.
Tip 1: Look at the shape of the racket blade
The most important factor to consider when purchasing a paddle racket is the shape of the blade. There are four different blade shapes, each with their own advantages and disadvantages during play. The four different shapes of paddle rackets are round, diamond, teardrop, and hybrid rackets.
Beginners often choose round paddle rackets. This is because a round racket often has a larger surface area for hitting the ball well. This desired area for hitting the ball is called the "sweet spot." The balance of a round racket is usually lower in the blade close to the handle. This makes it easier to hit the ball perfectly from all angles and positions. A round blade racket provides more control, making it easier to get started with padel. However, there are also plenty of experienced players who feel more comfortable with a round racket. These are often more defensive players who let the opponent make mistakes by playing very controlled.
Diamond-shaped paddle rackets are the favorite of true attacking players who want to produce powerful strokes. The sweet spot of a diamond-shaped paddle racket is smaller and the balance is higher in the racket. It therefore requires some technique to hit the ball well, but if you have this technique, you can also give a lot of power to your strokes.
Teardrop-shaped paddle rackets are very popular because they offer a nice mix between a round and diamond-shaped racket. The racket has a mid-high balance with a relatively large sweet spot. You can therefore hit the ball fairly hard with this racket without losing much control. This paddle racket is therefore a perfect choice for versatile players who want to switch between attacking and defensive play.
Hybrid paddle rackets are a mix between a diamond and teardrop-shaped racket. A hybrid racket is suitable for the advanced player who wants to choose more attacking play with controlled, precise strokes. With a hybrid racket, you can give a little more power to your strokes than with a teardrop-shaped racket, and it is easier to hit the ball in a controlled manner than with diamond-shaped rackets. This racket offers a good solution for versatile players who want to take a step further than a teardrop-shaped racket but do not consider themselves technically ready for a diamond-shaped racket yet.
Tip 2: Look at the material
As mentioned, padel rackets are made from a variety of materials. The core of a padel racket consists of foam, and this type of foam determines the hardness or softness of the racket. One racket may be softer, while another may be harder. You can feel this difference in hardness when hitting the ball.
A softer racket is generally recommended for beginners. Soft rackets are often more elastic, and this causes the balls to bounce back faster, making it easier to generate more speed. Another advantage of soft rackets is that you're less likely to experience aches and pains. The soft foam absorbs a large portion of the vibrations caused by the impact of your shots. Because the racket absorbs these shocks, your arms and shoulders don't have to.
A disadvantage of a softer racket is that the soft foam also absorbs some of the ball's speed. So, if you're receiving hard balls, the foam will absorb some of that speed, making it more difficult to hit the ball back with the same speed. At a high level, your shots are generally less powerful with a soft racket than with a harder one.
More experienced players often prefer a racket with hard foam because they can use the speed of the ball coming towards them to hit the ball back with a lot of power. The contact of the ball with the racket face is very short with hard foam, so the ball essentially shoots off the racket. It does require more technique to execute this short contact correctly and place the ball where you want it.
A disadvantage of a hard racket is that your arms will absorb most of the shocks and vibrations, rather than your racket. For experienced players who are prone to injury, a padel racket with softer foam is more recommended.
Tip 3: Look at the balance
The balance of a padel racket refers to where the weight is distributed within the racket and is usually related to the shape of the racket head. There are three different types of balance: high, medium, and low.
A low balance means that the weight is concentrated near the handle of the racket. This gives the player more control and makes the racket easier to handle. For beginners, it is recommended to choose a racket with a low balance, as it is easier to play and get used to the game and techniques. The downside is that you may not be able to hit the ball as hard, but as a beginner, the focus should be on developing skills and control. Even many experienced players prefer rackets with a low balance because they offer greater control and accuracy.
A racket with a medium balance is a good choice for players who have some experience playing padel. With a medium balance, you still have good control, but you can also hit the ball harder.
A high balance means that the weight is concentrated towards the top of the racket head. This allows for more power when hitting the ball and can make for a more aggressive playing style. However, it requires more skill to handle the racket properly. Padel rackets with a high balance are generally recommended for more experienced players who are comfortable with their technique and looking for a more aggressive playing style.
Tip 4: Look at the grip
A proper grip for your padel racket is invaluable for an optimal padel experience. A good padel grip absorbs moisture, so that your padel racket doesn't slip out of your hands due to the sweat produced during padel. If you don't have a good padel grip, it has a negative impact on your playing pleasure. This results in you gripping your racket harder to avoid losing your grip on your padel racket. In addition to the fact that you will likely lose points because of this, it also increases the risk of blisters and injuries.
We distinguish between two types of padel grips: the overgrip and the undergrip. It is important to apply the correct size padel grip. A grip that is too narrow can cause you to grip the racket more tightly, which can lead to wrist and elbow injuries. You know that you have the right size padel grip when there is enough space between your fingertips and the bottom of your thumb to place a index finger between them. The right size padel grip depends on the size of your hands. If you have very large hands, you may need to place two overgrips on top of each other because the grip would otherwise be too small.
Tip 5: Look at the weight
The weight of a padel racket is an important element to consider when purchasing it. A lighter racket is easier to handle because you simply experience less resistance from the racket. This allows you to turn and move around the court faster and also move your racket to the ball more quickly. A disadvantage of a light racket is that it requires more energy to put power into your strokes. Beginning padel players usually opt for a lighter racket because it is simply easier to handle. For beginners, powerful strokes are not as much of a priority and it is more important for them to first gain control of the technique. More experienced players who already have this technique under control may want to eventually go for a slightly heavier racket. If you already have the necessary technique, you want to take the next step and hit the ball harder to make it more difficult for your opponent.
In addition to your level, your own weight is also a factor to consider. If you are a bit heavier and have a lot of strength in your arms, it is logical to choose a slightly heavier racket so that you experience less resistance from the racket weight. Conversely, if you are lighter in weight, a lighter racket is better for you so that your speed and agility are not lost.
Racket advice tool
Each padel racket on Padelstore.com comes with a product description and specification. All the above-mentioned features of padel rackets can be found in them. If you are still unsure, Padelstore.com has a special racket advice tool. This tool has been created by experts and provides you with personalized advice.