No matter if you are new to the sport or an avid regular, everyone can use a little guidance on how to choose the ideal padel racket to complement their game style. We’ve mapped out a step-by-step guide on how to determine “the one,” highlighting the different shapes and foams that are best suited for each playing level.
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR SELECTING A PADEL RACKET
Padel is an extremely popular worldwide sport, and it’s easy to understand why. The thrill of hitting shots off the wall and improving your game may make you never want to leave the court. The easy part is going out and playing. But then comes the hard part: picking out the best padel racket for your level and style. With so many available options, it can be quite intimidating and challenging to choose the one that’s right for you. Have no fear. This guide takes you through each step in the selection process so you can get on the court and enjoy this addictive racket sport with the best padel racket for your game.
Before making a selection, it’s important to understand how the shape of the racket enhances different playing styles. When it comes to padel rackets, there are three main shapes: round, diamond, and teardrop. The main difference relates to the size and location of the sweet spot and its weight distribution. Let’s take a look at each shape:
When you think of a round shape, think of precision and control. What’s great about this shape is its larger, more forgiving sweet spot and lower balance point. Both qualities allow players to easily maneuver the padel racket and hit more consistent, clean shots.
Diamond-shaped padel rackets, on the other hand, are all about power. This shape has a smaller sweet spot that’s located higher on the racket face, which allows players to produce devastating speed. It’s further complemented with a higher balance point that places more weight on the head of the racket. One thing to note is that this type of racket is a bit more challenging to hit with because of the smaller sweet spot and increased difficulty in maneuverability (we aren’t scaring you off, just letting you know).
This shape is the best of both worlds, where it blends the maneuverability and control of the round shape with the power of the diamond shape. The teardrop’s moderate sweet spot and medium balance point are the perfect balance for all-around playability.
Another key component of the padel racket is the foam used within the face. There are three main foam types, which include Core Foam, Soft EVA Foam, and Firm EVA foam. The differences between the three primarily deal with feel and playability. Let’s take a deeper dive into each.
Core Foams are typically lower-end foams found in cost-friendly, beginner padel rackets. They are extremely stable and provide a more comfortable, reliable feel. This type of foam is ideal for players learning the fundamentals of the sport and looking for an affordable starter racket.
Soft EVA Foam
Soft EVA Foams are, as the name suggests, made up of soft materials. The key benefit of this type of foam is its cushioning effect. Players can generate more power without putting as much effort into their swing with rackets composed of Soft EVA. Additionally, it’s the most comfortable of the three foams, and it's a great option for players who tend to suffer from joint pain. We recommend that intermediate and consistent padel players look for padel rackets that have a Soft EVA Foam because of their ease-of-use paired with a more forgiving, comfortable playability.
Firm EVA Foam
Firm EVA Foams consist of stiff, high-end materials that allow players to hit the ball harder and deliver peak power and control. Rackets using this type of foam are the most challenging to play with because they are not forgiving on off-center hits. While they are the most difficult to use, they produce the highest levels of power and control (depending on the shape). We recommend that advanced padel players look for rackets with Firm EVA to further enhance their playing style.
Now that you know the differences and benefits of each padel racket shape and foam type, it’s time for the fun part – choosing the perfect one for you!
STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR LEVEL
The first step in your padel selection journey is identifying your level. It is very important to choose a padel racket that suits your ability so you can enjoy the game to its fullest. Once you know your current level, it will help you narrow down the playing field.
If someone is new to the sport or just starting out, the best type of padel racket for their game is a comfortable, easy-to-use padel racket that allows them to learn the basic strokes and love the game. Some of the key features to look for in these rackets include the following features:
- Fiberglass materials = soft, comfortable feel
- Larger sweet spot = more consistent, clean hits
A few great options Wilson has to offer for beginner padel players are the Blade Team, Bela Team, Pro Staff Team, and Ultra Team.
Players that move past the beginner status and into the intermediate level work on establishing a specific playing style and improving their game. These individuals play 2 to 3 times a week, and they usually care more about the comfort and playability of their padel racket.
Advanced players, on the other hand, typically play multiple times a week, travel to tournaments, or are part of a league. They are more particular about the capabilities of the racket, and they are looking for the best option that complements their style and elevates their game to the next level.
STEP 2: IDENTIFY YOUR PLAYING STYLE
The next step is identifying your playing style so you can understand which padel racket will best suit your game. Let’s evaluate the different styles:
If you are a counterpuncher or defender looking to hit more delicate, controlling shots, the best option for you would be a round-shaped, lower-balanced padel racket. As we learned earlier on, round padel rackets are easier to maneuver and offer great precision and control.
For intermediate/consistent players, a few great options include the Pro Staff LT v2 or the Pro Staff Elite v2.
For advanced players, the Pro Staff v2 will give you the extra precision needed to hit those strategically placed shots.
If you are a more aggressive player looking for something that will give you the most power behind your shots, look for diamond-shaped, high-balanced padel rackets. Diamonds are a power player’s best friend, and it will give you the extra speed needed to hit through opponents.
For intermediate/consistent players looking for a powerful padel racket, the Bela LT v2 or Bela Elite v2 rackets are the ones for you.
For advanced players, try the Bela Pro v2, the padel-racket-of-choice of the legend Fernando Belasteguin.
If you are a balanced player who doesn’t lean heavily toward power or control, look for teardrop-shaped padel rackets. Great all-around padel rackets Wilson has to offer are the Blade LT v2 or the Blade Elite v2 for intermediate/consistent players, and the Blade Pro v2 for advanced players.
We hope you found this information useful as you decide what is the best padel racket for you. To design top-of-the-notch products, we involve our professional athletes, junior players, coaches, ambassadors, and customers in the process. This way, we can elevate our products' quality to new heights. We invite you to explore our entire collection of padel rackets, shoes, and accessories for a one-of-a-kind playing experience.