Looking for the perfect padel racket: What should you look for?

The popularity of padel is growing at a rapid pace. Whether you are at the beginning of your padel adventure as a beginner or an experienced player looking to take your game to the next level, selecting the right padel racket is essential for both your performance and enjoyment on the court. In this blog, we will discuss in detail the steps you can take to find the perfect padel racket to suit your unique playing style and individual needs.

1. Know your playing style

A common mistake is that many padel players think a round racket is for beginners. But why do Beatriz Gonzalez (racket: Starvie Astrum) , Agustin Tapia (racket: Nox AT10 Genius 18k) and Marta Ortega (racket: Adidas Cross It Light) play with a round racket? You choose the shape of your padel racket based on your playing style. 

2. Weight and Balance of Padel Racket

Padel rackets vary in weight and balance, and these factors can have a big impact on your game. Lighter rackets are generally easier to handle and maneuver, while heavier rackets can generate more power in strokes.

Characteristics weight padel rackets:
- Light padel racket: <355 grams: less power, easy to maneuver, less strain on the arm.
- Standard padel racket: 356-369 grams: characteristics is in between light and heavier padel racket.
- Heavier padel racket: >370+ grams: more power, difficult to handle and more straining on the arm.

The balance of the racquet, whether it is low-mid, mid or top-heavy, also affects how the racquet feels while playing.

The main shapes of rackets are:

The most friendly shape racquet. The balance point is low-middle and the sweet spot is almost the entire blade. In this regard, it is therefore easier for beginners to play with a round racket than with a drop or diamond-shaped racket. But as mentioned earlier, plenty of pros also play with a round racket, so a round racket is NOT just for beginners. When this is your desired shape for a padel racket you can look at what softness or hardness you want, you can read more about this in this blog.

Many players who stay a bit more in the back and if possible seek out the net to throw out a smash find a round racket comfortable to handle. The racket's balance makes it agile and easy to play.

Examples of typical round shaped rackets:
- Starvie Kenta (Ultra Soft, Soft, Pro)
- adidas Metalbone CTRL 3.3
- Nox ML10 Pro Cup Coorp

With this shape of the racket, the balance point is mid-high. This makes the drop-shaped racket just a little less friendly than a round racket.  Because the balance point has a smaller surface area, the racket gives you more power when you hit it at the sweet spot. Again, you have various soft and hardnesses and you need to see which type suits you best.

A drop-shaped racket fits well with players looking for just a little more power in their game as well as players who like to play with a round racket. Padel players who seek the net more often and have good volley skills are more convincing with a drop-shaped racket.

Examples of typical drop-shaped rackets:
- Bullpadel Neuron 2024
- Starvie Basalto (Soft, Pro)
- Volt 900

A diamond-shaped padel racket is ideal for players who constantly seek the attack and are often close to the net. These players rely on powerful smashes and quick volleys as their main weapons. The balance point of a diamond-shaped racket is at the top, making it feel "top-heavy," so to speak. This makes the racket less forgiving and can be more difficult to handle.

The weight/balance point is at the top of the racket, putting extra stress on the arm, which is especially important to keep in mind if you already suffer from an arm injury. Despite these challenges, a diamond-shaped racket offers the advantage of a lot of power when you hit the sweet spot well. The ability to hit powerfully is a distinct advantage for players who master technique and are looking for an aggressive style of play.

Examples of typical diamond-shaped rackets:
- Bullpadel Vertex 04
- adidas Metalbone 3.3 
- Head Extreme Pro

3. Hard or soft padel racket? 

Rackets are often chosen based on their shape. In addition to shape, the hardness or softness of the blade and foam (is inside the racket) plays a very important role. 

All brands have a different approach to describe the hardness or softness with their rackets. We at PadelShop.com distinguish between four different hardnesses:
1. Ultra Speed Soft Foam (EVA28) = extra soft → gives a trampoline effect, Ultra Speed Soft Foam is best for the arm because the soft foam catches most of the vibrations for your arm. If you suffer from tennis elbow (padel elbow), Ultra Speed Soft or Soft Foam is the best thing to do in combination with a round racket (low balance point). 
2. Soft Foam (EVA30) = soft foam → comfortable and gives you more time between ball and racket
3. Pro Foam (EVA50) = hard foam → gives more power from racket and provides directness in strokes. Less comfortable for arm, gives more vibration due to hardness. 
4. Dual Foam = multiple layers of foam → Dual Foam is between Soft- and Hard Foam and consists of different layers of foam. 

Which foam suits you best?
This is, of course, personal. It depends on what you like playing best and what suits your game.

With hard foam (Pro foam or EVA50) in a padel racket offers distinct advantages for players. Firstly, it provides enhanced power and responsiveness to shots. The stiffness of the foam translates into greater energy transfer upon impact, allowing players to generate more powerful shots with less effort.

Secondly, hard foam contributes to improved stability and control over the ball. The rigid structure of the foam helps maintain racket stability during shots, resulting in more consistent ball placement and better overall control.

In summary, hard foam in a padel racket offers players increased power, stability, control, and responsiveness, making it a preferred choice for those seeking a dynamic and aggressive playing experience.

Soft foam in a padel racket offers several advantages for players. Firstly, it provides better impact absorption when striking the ball, resulting in increased comfort during play.

Additionally, soft foam aids in enhancing ball control. The softness of the foam contributes to a larger sweetspot, meaning even balls not struck perfectly can still yield good results.

In summary, soft foam in a padel racket offers players enhanced comfort, control, and playability, making it a popular choice for both recreational and professional players.

4. Test different rackets (if possible)

It is important to try out different rackets before buying one. If this is not possible, try looking at the information above to find out which racket best suits your level and playing style. You can also always contact one of our padel specialists at; support@padelshop.com or send a Whatsapp to +316 81161457

Some padel stores offer the possibility to test rackets before you make a final decision. PadelShop.com has an online shop as well as a physical Padel Experience Center in Alphen aan den Rijn (Hoorn 135, 2404 HH) with its own private padel court. During your visit to the Experience Center you will receive will be taken care of. All rackets offered online can be tested on the court. 

Take the time to try different models and feel how each racket feels while playing. Note the comfort, control, power and maneuverability of each racket to determine which one suits you best.

In conclusion
Finding the perfect padel racket match is a difficult task, but it is worth investing in a racket that suits your playing style and needs. With the right racket in hand, you can take your padel skills to the next level and enjoy this fantastic sport even more. Have fun and good luck on the court!

The best tips
Finally, it is essential to find the right grip size for your racket. A grip that is too small can lead to injuries to your wrist, elbow or shoulder. When do you have the right grip to hand?

When do you have the right grip to grip?
Our recommendation is to add an overgrip on every padel racket. The thickness of the grip varies from person to person. When holding the padel racket, there should be a pinky between them (see photo).

In addition, you can choose a fixed base grip, think a Snake Grip or a Hesacore. If you prefer a flat grip, choose a "normal" overgrip.

Noene Anti Shock, this is a basic grip which can help with padel elbow or other arm pain. With the anti shock grip, up to 96% of vibrations are absorbed. Therefore, less vibration goes to your wrist, elbow, neck and shoulder. Our advice: protect yourself and play with a basic grip from Noene

Note the Noene Anti Grip counts as a base grip, so you install it once and then leave it in place forever, over that you add an overgrip.

Another useful product to use while playing padel is Stop Sweat Extra. This is a gel that you put on your hands and ensures dry hands while playing. In combination with a sweatband it is ideal to use and provides a better grip. 

    February 22, 2024 — Jessy Tejero Loijens