Padel + more things

9 minutes estimated reading time


The racket sport padel seems to have got the zeitgeist, if not the player numbers yet. We haven’t really seen a surge in sports fads since the 1980s. During that time skateboarding rose from a peak in the late 1970s, to a more stable underground sport that we have today. The closure of a squash racquet factory in Cambridge, saw the sport globalise manufacture and playing. In a few short years rackets went from gut strings and ash wood frames to synthetic strings and carbon fibre composite rackets. It was as much a symbol of the striving business man as the Filofax or the golf bag. Interest was attracted by a large amount of courts and racket technology that greatly improved the game.

Squash had its origins in the late 19th century and took the best part of a century to reach its acme in the cultural zeitgeist. Skateboarding started in the late 1940s and took a mere 30 years to breakout. Padel falls somewhere between the two. Padel was invented in 1969. But it took COVID-19 to drive its popularity in Europe and North America.

There is a new world professional competition circuit for 2024. And it has attracted the interest of court developers looking to cater to what they believe is latent consumer demand.

Finally, you can get three padel courts in the space for one tennis court. More on the padel gold rush from the FT.

The challenge is if padel is just a fad, or has it longevity? Skateboarding is popular, but many councils didn’t see the benefit of supporting skate parks built in the 1970s around the country. Squash still has its fans but doesn’t have the same popularity that it enjoyed in the 1980s.

How to play padel

More on the basics of how to play padel here.


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