Padel Vs Pickleball

27 April 2023

Two new racket sports are taking the world by storm, bringing in new fans and players who are either looking for an alternative to tennis or discovering a love of racket sports for the first time. Both Padel and Pickleball share a lot of common ground. They’re both played on reduced-sized courts from traditional tennis and involve using rackets to hit a ball over the net to score points against opponents.

However, while the two games are similar, they are also very distinct in structure and form. And while both are great fun to play, you might find yourself leaning towards one of these exciting new sports once you know more about the history, development, rules and availability.

Below we’ll go into more detail about Padel and Pickleball, looking at how these games are rejuvenating racket sports worldwide.

What is Padel?

Padel is a hybrid of tennis and squash, played on an enclosed court about the same size as a singles tennis court. The rules and scoring are similar to tennis, although serving is under arm and the ball can be played off the walls. Also, it’s nearly always played as doubles, which gives it a much more social and fun element while still retaining the element of competition.

The Padel racket is made of high-density foam, and the balls are similar to tennis balls. However, thanks to the smaller court, doubles gameplay, and enclosed playing surface, it is both more accessible and more fun than other racket sports.

With over 20 million players worldwide, it’s one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. The game originated in Mexico in the late 1960s and grew into South America before crossing the ocean to Europe – particularly Spain and Portugal. Padel is now well established and developing in the UK, with support from big sports players from a variety of disciplines, including tennis, football, rugby, and Formula One.


Pickleball is another increasingly popular racket sport combining elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. It can be played indoors and outdoors on a badminton-sized court using a slightly modified tennis net. Two or four players use solid paddles made of a fibreglass composite material to hit a perforated polymer ball over a net.

Pickleball is fast-paced and fun and is proving to be very popular with older players and kids because of the more confined game player and lighter ball.

Which should you choose?

If you’re looking for a new racket sport to take up, either because tennis is physically demanding or inaccessible or simply because you want to try something new, Padel and Pickleball are great alternatives. Pickleball can be a great introductory sport but is still in its infancy in the UK, with courts and equipment still difficult to find. In contrast, Padel is a more established sport with roots going back over 50 years and a more comprehensive infrastructure and dynamic gameplay. It’s a good workout for the whole body and suitable for all fitness levels.

Here at Padel4all, each of our three centres has covered padel courts, perfect for games at any time of the day and year.

If you’d like to know more about Padel in the UK, then visit Padel4all.com to find out more about our courts, coaches and equipment. Book a court or training session today – we can assure you, you will never look back!

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