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Is it paddle or padel?

Is it paddle or padel?

Jul 09, 2018 PLAY

The game known as padel in Spanish and paddle tennis in its semi-official English translation is a fascinating mix of conventional tennis and squash. The balls, net and scoring are those of tennis, while the presence of a back wall that extends for a quarter along both sides is more typical of squash.

Paddle tennis is a fast and exciting game that is easier to get going and enjoy than tennis but hard to excel in, and it is usually played as a doubles sport. The fast movement requires good coordination and does much for your fitness levels, yet you don’t need to be either a gifted tennis player or experienced in squash to pick up a paddle racquet and enjoy this lively sport.

Unlike tennis, serving is done underarm, though for the rest the aim of getting the ball in the quadrant of the player diagonally across you is the same. The net has the same function too, and you are not allowed to hit the walls directly, but you can let the ball bounce off the wall via the court (which is usually rubber or astro turf), before returning it.

In extremis, you can even hit the ball off the back wall and over the net, and where tennis favours a good top spin shot, paddle tennis rewards a player who can slice a ball with mean back-spin.


Popular and sociable

Though it is a sport that favours and enhances fitness, and is most popular in countries such as Spain and Argentina, paddle tennis can be enjoyed to a ripe age and has become a runaway success among the Costa del Sol’s large expat community. So much so, in fact, that many have taken this intrinsically sociable sport back to their home countries and introduced it to a growing legion of fans.

The sport is now also played in the UK, Scandinavia, the Benelux, Germany and France, but Spain remains its number one representative in Europe, with the coastal regions particular hotspots. One of the top centres for paddle tennis on the Costa del Sol is the Reserva del Higueron Resort, whose state-of-the-art courts, coaching and facilities are among the best in Andalucía.

Not surprisingly, Reserva del Higueron Resort has an active membership and plays host to local, regional, national and also international tournaments, making this a beacon of paddle tennis between Marbella and Málaga. One of the fastest growing sports here and across Europe, you’ll have to experience it for yourself to see why padel or paddle is so popular.