How To: Buy a Padel Bat/Racket

Buying guide

Buying a Padel bat can be a real challenge, as there is not a lack of brands, types, shapes and styles out there. Over 75 different brands, including sport giants names like Head, Wilson, Vision, Drop Shot, Slazenger, Varlion, Sane, have all tapped into the Padel market. When buying a bat it is very important to choose wisely, as the wrong bat doesn’t only hurt your game, it can also hurt your body.

In this Padel England official buying guide we will first explain the difference between kids and adults bats, including grip sizes. We will follow this up below with Bat Characteristics (weight, shape, balance).

First and foremost you should think about your own characteristics before picking a brand, colour etc. Scroll down where we will explain more about the padel bat, the materials, the characteristics, etc.

You can buy Padel bats in some specialized sports shops and there are also lots of online retailers. In 2012 the sport will rapidly develop, making sure you can find equipment in most specialized sport shops across the country.

Alternatively you can try an online specialist Padel shop, in the UK like www.padelshop.co.uk or search your web browser for other options. Large clubs often have a pro shop, so it’s worth checking with some of the clubs in your local area. You can use our find a court search to find contact details for clubs near you.

Grip Sizes

One of the most important things to get right when buying a bat is the grip size. If it’s too big or small you can sustain injuries like tennis or Padel elbow. There’s a simple way to test that you’ve got the right grip size – when you hold the handle, there should be a 1cm gap between your thumb and first finger. In other words, you should be able to slide the forefinger of your free hand between the tips of your fingers and your thumb. If the grip isn’t quite the right size then you can buy an overgrip to put over the top which will enlarge the grip size slightly.

Minis & Juniors
You also need to make sure you get the right size of bat for children. We advise to have starting kids pick up with a children’s bat first, to master the strokes, feel comfortable on court and to prevent injuries. These bats have got a thinner handle, for more control, and also have a thinner surface (35mm Kids to 38mm Adults)
Please note that our guideline is just a guide and it’s also a good idea to ask a coach if possible.

Adults
There is a wealth of bats on the market for adults. If you’re new to the sport, you don’t want to get an advanced bat. It’s best to start off with a bat designed for beginner or intermediate players. Most of the major brands produce bats like this, which provide a good balance of power and control. It’s worth doing some research on the internet about what’s available. Some things you might want to consider are how heavy you want your bat to be, how large a head you would like and the size of sweetspot and the shape (Round, Diamond, and Raindrop).
It’s also a really good idea to try before you buy wherever possible. Padel England qualified coaches offer a demo service where you can take the bat away for a few days to try it out and make sure it’s right for you.
If you’ve never bought a Padel bat before, it’s a good idea to go to a specialist shop or a club pro shop. Make sure they are offering you with expert advice, and not trying to push their sponsored bats, making sure that the bat will be right for you.

The Padel Bat:

Profile: The outside shape of the bat providing the strength and endurance of your racket. Usually made up of tubular laminated layers of Fibreglass, Carbon Fibre, or Graphite. Impregnated with wax or Epoxy Resin.

Core: The ‘inside’ of the bat, the core. Either Foam or EVA Rubber (a shock absorbing rubber). The core can differ, which will create a difference in stiffness and playability.

Surface or Skin: The area where you hit the ball. This is usually a 1,2 or 3 layer surface of Fibreglass, Carbon Fibre or Graphite. The materials change the strength, power and endurance of the bat. The bat will be impregnated with wax or Epoxy Resin.

Weight: There is no ideal weight for a Padel bat, yet there is an ideal weight for any individual Padel player. This weight depends on player characteristics. Is the player a quick mover (dynamic), a strong player (strength) or a technical player. Lighter blades are easier to handle/move, making them useful for the attacking net player, but will be more difficult to guide to a hard/fast shot. A heavier blade will help you in the pace of a shot, putting real force behind it, but will cause your movement towards the ball being slightly delayed.

TIP: Play to the maximum weight you feel comfortable with, it will increase your shots, and technique. Don’t go over your ‘comfort weight’ as it will make you vulnerable for injuries.

Balance: 

If you pick a well-balanced Padel bat, it will give you the rest your wrist will require. Shifting the balance of the weight to a higher point, will increase your power on the shots, but you will notice that after a while, you will tire your wrist, and it will be more difficult to create a perfect shot every time and arriving late to perfect impact (resulting in unforced errors).
A lower balance (weight towards the handle) will make it easier for controlling your bat. It will result in less pressure on the wrist, and increased easiness of shot play. You might find a lack of strength in the follow through of the shots, making you force power by using your wrist and arm incorrectly to attempt a power shot.

Thickness: Rulebook states the Padel Bats are not allowed to be more than 38mm thick. Thicker bats give more strength behind the shot (although this equally depends on the layers on the ‘skin’). Usually adult bats are between 36mm and 38 mm. Kids bats start at 35mm.

Hardness: The softer the Padel bat, the more bounce it will create on the surface, catapulting it with greater power back into the opposite direction. This means it will give you great power at the net, and will make it good for control from the background. If you are physically strong, we would advise to use a stronger bat, as you will have a lot more control on the shots, especially at the net. The lack of force will be complemented with your own physical strength.

Changing Factors:

Level of play: The better you get or the more experience you gain, the more comfortable you will be using a heavier bat.

Weather conditions: Its save to say that when you will play outdoors in the UK, there is a chance of playing in wet conditions or on a damp surface. This will create the balls to soak up water, making them heavier. The heavier the ball, the more strength you will need to play the same shot (as under dry conditions). When using a heavier bat, this will increase ease of play and control. When playing in dry or high conditions, you can use a lighter bat, as the game will be automatically be quicker, and a heavy bat will take away your control over the shot.

Sex/Age: As a guideline women are comfortable with bats between 360-380 grams, and men are more comfortable with bats between 375-400 grams. For children between 5 and 10 years old we would advise to start with bats 280-340 grams, and adjust accordingly when skills and strength are being acquired.

Clothing

You don’t need specialist padel gear to play, but you should wear sports clothes. However, please note that if you start to compete in PEA sanctioned events then you will need to have recognised padel clothing (which still includes T-shirts) to meet with our tournament regulations. The tournament organiser should specify if there are any other restrictions on clothing. Local, non-sanctioned leagues and tournaments may also issue their own rules and guidelines on clothing so it’s worth checking with the league secretary or competition organiser.

Footwear

You can start playing in ordinary trainers, but if you begin to play more seriously then you should invest in some padel shoes. Running shoes are not designed for the quick changes of direction that you need to make in padel. Also clubs will often ask that you wear padel shoes as other footwear may damage or mark the courts.