Almost uniquely among racket sports, the Padel racket has no strings. Instead, the impact surface is generally made of fiberglass or carbon fiber, resting above a rubber core in a carbon or fiberglass frame. But, as with most sport equipment, there is quite a lot of variation. allow us to take you through it, step by step.
The Core is a remarkably important part of the racket, as its control and its power originate here. By and large, there are two main types of core: those made of Eva and those made of Foam. Eva is the rubber typically used in Padel rackets and it comes in three different varieties. The hardest is Black Eva rubber, designed for players looking to maximise the power of their shots. The softest is Eva Ultra Soft rubber, which has more limited power, but gives the player more control over their touch.
In between these rubbers is Eva Soft, the most common core material, finding a happy medium between power and control. This is the material found in most rackets aimed at beginners. Though foam is less common, similarly to Eva Ultra Soft, it is designed to give maximum control, but it arguably sacrifices less power in doing so.
The Impact Surface tends to be made of fiberglass or carbon fiber. Unlike with the core, the surface material has more to do with the quality of the racket than individual playing styles. There’s no two ways about it – more advanced players are going to go for carbon fiber-dominant rackets all day long. It’s very light and very strong. Just to paint a picture of the current trends in Northern Europe, the Scandinavian markets are currently obsessed with this extra strong impact surface and a desire to be able to hit the ball out of the court at a whim.
It is, however, not on the cheap side, so if you’re just starting out it’s probably best to test the waters of Padel armed with fiberglass first. And hey, most players say they find fiberglass more comfortable to play with because it’s softer and absorbs shocks better. It is the most common surface material after all and we would definitely recommend you start there for control
The Frame and the Shape of the racket also vary. In terms of the materials used in frames, the logic follows very similar lines to that of impact surfaces – beginner rackets have fiberglass, while more advance players tend to use carbon fiber. The only difference is that players tend to transition to carbon fiber in the frame before they get a racket with a carbon fiber impact surface.
When it comes to shape, the important thing to note is where the sweetspot is in relation to the player’s hand. The further away the sweetspot, the better suited the racket is for power, whereas a racket with a sweetspot near the hand will give the play a greater degree of control. From nearest sweetspot to furthest sweetspot the shapes follow this order:
While racket shape is a matter of personal preference, as a loose guide advanced players go for the diamond shape with teardrops and round rackets being more common among those in the earlier stages of their development.
Hopefully, you’re now equipped with all the knowledge you need to go and explore our online shop!! https://shop.ukpadel.org/collections/padel-rackets
If you need more information about Padel, we also have articles on The Court, The Ball, How you score, and How much time you can take. You can also find you local court here.