What equipment is best for me?
The first time you play will most likely be in your running or tennis shoes, borrowing or renting a racket from the club, using some old balls the club coach has given you…and if you are like most of the “newbies” you will absolutely love it! A couple of sessions in, you will likely decide that it makes sense to get your own racket (rather than share the sweaty grip with the other players), a couple of games more and you’ll have noticed the difference between using old balls and new (or relatively new)…then finally when you are really enjoying the game you’ll think it is time to make the investment in some shoes…
So where should you start?
Players have different preferences when it comes to rackets. For the vast majority of players, they will not notice a major difference in the balance, they might notice a minor difference in the weight (as long as junior and ladies are using rackets are designed for them), but they almost certainly will spot a difference between a hard and a soft racket.
The softer rackets provide more control and harder rackets more power, although most rackets will combine both elements.
The only way to know is to… TRY THE RACKET. This really is the best way to find out which works better for you. Because even within brands, different models will range from very soft to very hard…
There are a few different brands that produce balls, some more successfully than others. It is fair to say Head is leading the market when it comes to balls, but many coaches and players around the world use other brands. Head has 2 professional level balls – Head Padel Pro & Head Padel Pro S (which is more pressurized and therefore faster). For the recreational player, you do not necessarily need new balls everytime you play, the game often deteriorates when the balls have gone flat. You will likely only get a few matches use out of a can of balls.
At the beginning you will get away with a hardcourt tennis shoe, but for better grip it is worth looking for a pair of padel shoes. Clay court tennis shoes will often do a good job for the majority of players. The only difference between the clay court tennis and the padel is that the grooves (shaped in zigzags) are often slightly deeper in padel shoes.
With the right tools, it is now time to start working on your game…