Starting Padel? – Here’s what you need!
So a friend has finally dragged you down to the padel club? Or a club has opened near you and a group of you are curious about this padel-ball-tennis-thing…?
You get down there and among your group of newbies are a few players who have been playing for a while…you notice the have a different size bag, that’s kinda cool! The have a racket with a “fully carbonized structure” and “power holes”, they are wearing a pair of neon green shoes with zigzags on the bottom and their shirt says NAVARRO on the back. You go home later and decide to look up the equipment online, seeing it is 50 euros for the bag, 280 euros for the padel bat, 120 euros for the shoes and 30 euros for the shirt. You then have a look at how they play and so you ask yourself: is all that necessary?
Could that money be better spent?
Here is what we think you should spend the money:
- A padel racket – this does not need to be a pro level bat at this stage and the price tag does not reflect how appropriate it is for you. To put it into perspective, the professionals’ bats are not usually the same as the ones in the shops (usually different materials). So instead of paying for the artwork you should try to find a bat you are comfortable with – this might help to find a padel bat. There are some very decent padel rackets in the price range 70-120 euros. If you are starting, find something light (360-365g) and medium softness.
- A padel bag – you do necessarily need the Ale Galan Tour bag that holds up to 8 padel rackets. But we do recommend something that will actually cover your racket to protect it from knocks as it is thrown about in the back of your car. A padel bat sleeve or smaller backpack would be fine. Many of the rackets come with sleeves from the shop.
- Padel shoes – if you have a pair of normal tennis shoes these will be absolutely fine for your first few times playing. You only really need to step up to padel shoes if the surface you play on regularly has a lot of sand on the surface and you find yourself slipping. If your court does have sand and you are slipping you can purchase a pair of padel shoes or tennis clay court shoes would do the job. Here is some help with this! Like with any sport shoes, go for something comfortable, light and flexible if you can!
- Apparel – the only apparel I feel is absolutely necessary is a pair of shorts with pockets, there’s nothing worse than having to go and pick up a ball between serves. The rest of the apparel, if you find it helps your confidence to wear a pro match shirt, then go for it!
Where else could you spend that money:
- Padel balls – it is such a different game with good balls. You do not necessarily need new padel balls every single match, but as soon as they go soft (which in padel this happens quite quickly), open a new can of balls!
- Invest in lessons – you might feel like you will “naturally” get the hang of padel and you are improving so you do not need lessons. But trust me, from someone who has spent most of their padel coaching career trying to change bad habits that padel players picked up when they started – it is better to get in good habits at the start when you are learning and the techniques will come much easier.
HAVING 3-5 GOOD LESSONS AT THE START IS THE SAME AS HAVING 10 LESSONS ONCE YOU HAVE PICKED UP ALL THE BAD HABITS A YEAR DOWN THE LINE.
- The Padel School + now obviously I am recommending this…I made it haha. But at the moment you can get a monthly membership for 27 euros – this is about half the price of an in-person lesson and you have access to over 100 coaching videos, all split into the different parts of the game, you have a community of players and coaches where you can ask questions and you get sent drills monthly. If you do not find the videos useful you can always cancel the membership at the end of the month. We have spent the last few years creating content to make you a better player, it makes sense that the best of that is in our community and you know it is our mission to make sure you improve your padel! Find out more about The Padel School +.
We are super excited you have found the sport of padel – you have such an amazing journey ahead of you trying to improve at this sport. The game gets more challenging the more you progress, so putting in the right foundations at the beginning are what make the difference to your game later on!
If you haven’t already watched our FREE TACTICS VIDEO (which is not on YouTube), then this is definitely worth a watch as it helps give you some direction when it comes to playing your matches!