The origins of Padel or Padel Tennis are not entirely clear due to various stories in about the early development.
1920's FROM BRITISH CRUISE SHIPS TO USA
It has been suggested that the game was devised many years ago on British cruise ships to keep the passengers amused. Then around the mid-1920s an American called Frank Beal brought what he called 'paddle tennis' into the parks of New York City. A decade later saw changes to the courts, adding wooden floors and high surrounding fences to avoid losing the ball in the winter snow. This became known as 'platform tennis' and is remotely the basis for the design of the courts today.
FROM MEXICO TO MARBELLA AND ARGENTINA
However, many people believe that it comes from Mexico. It is said that Enrique Corcuera, who lived in Acapulco, did not have enough space around his home to build a tennis court, so with an area of 200 square metres he constructed a 20x10m court, enclosing it with walls three and four metres high. Instead of a tennis racquet, the game was played with a short handled wooden bat. In 1974, when his friend Alfonso de Hohenlohe, travelled from Spain to visit Corcuera in Acapulco, Hohenlohe enjoyed this new game so much that he brought the idea back to Marbella.
After much study and deliberation over the correct design of the court and rules of the game, the first two Padel tennis courts were built at the Marbella Club. Alfonso Hohenlohe was then delighted to share his new found passion for pádel with the Marbella jet set. It soon caught on and since then has gone from strength to strength along the coast and across Spain.
Very quickly the tennis fraternity, including big names like Manolo Santana, were attracted to Padel tennis or Padel and soon tournaments were being organised along the Costa del Sol as more and more clubs built their own courts.
A millionaire friend of Hohenlohe who regularly visited Marbella was so impressed with the game that he took the idea with him back to Argentina. Now, more than two million Argentinians have taken up the game, over eight million Spanish players are making it one of the most popular sports played in the country. More recently, Padel tennis has taken off in other South American countries and is very big in America and Canada.
TO COMPLETE THE CIRCLE - PADEL BACK TO ENGLAND
And now with the full time dedication of Padel England Association, and the passionate players and fanbase the game is finally developping in England.