Padel is a racket sport, played in pairs and using rackets and own balls. The field is rectangular, fully enclosed, 10 meters wide and 20 meters long, with a net in the middle. On the tops and part of the sides it has a glass or masonry surface. The field surface can be synthetic grass, carpet or porous concrete. The first two are the most common.
In neighboring Spain, the great engine of development of the sport, it is estimated that there are more than 4 million practitioners, with no signs of slowing down despite the crisis. In Portugal, after a somewhat discreet start, the growth in recent years has been significant, with around 80,000 practitioners, 7000 players and close to 400 fields spread across the country.
MAIN ADVANTAGES OF PADEL
It is difficult to find a team sport that has so many fans of both sexes and with such a wide age range (from 5/6 to 80). This is one of the most interesting features of the sport, which is often played in the family. Ease of learning is another advantage, as it is possible to exchange balls and dispute points from the first experience. With the support of specialized monitors and playing with some frequency (ideally twice a week) you can evolve a lot and in a short period of time. It is a fun sport, with many exchanges of balls and, being played in pairs, social.
The fact that it is easy to learn and can be played by women and men of all ages does not mean that Padel is a limited sport, either strategically or physically. On a competitive level, Padel is as physically demanding as other racket sports and has great tactical and strategic complexity. Finally, it is important to emphasize that the main reason for the success of Padel is the fact that it is highly “addictive”. The retention rate of first timers, ie the percentage of players who continue to play after the first time, is very high, probably in excess of 80 to 90%.
WHAT IS NEEDED TO START PLAYING?
To start you need a racket, balls, normal sports equipment, a partner and an opposing team. The racket and balls can be purchased at a specialist store, a large supermarket or an online store. Racquet prices range from 20 to 300 Euros. A can of 3 balls costs about 4 euros and the rental of the course about 20 euros/hour. Then you need to choose one of the fields that exist in your area.
According to FPP data, there are around 400 fields in Portugal. In Greater Lisbon and Greater Porto are located most of the courses, although they are spread all over the country.
Source: Portuguese Padel Federation, 6 February 2020
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