Diamond-shaped: With this shape, the racket’s weight and point of impact are at the top, and the shape of the racket makes the sweet spot (the surface for ball hits) slightly smaller, which means that the racket can be perceived as more difficult to control. A good alternative for players who want speed in their game, and also for those who have experience in other racket sports.
Round: Round padel rackets are more oval than round, and the sweet spot is in the middle of the racket. This gives the player more control and balance, but also less speed. This model is often recommended for beginners, as it is easier to play with, but there are also very experienced players who play with a round racket.
Drop-shaped: The shape is a mixture of round and diamond-shaped, which means that drop-shaped rackets are also known as hybrids. The point of impact is slightly above the middle of the racket and, thanks to its hybrid shape, the player gets both speed and control, with a focus on speed. A good option for the medium-level players and advanced players.
Most padel rackets weigh between 340–395 grammes, and the weight you should choose for your racket depends on both your playing level and playing style. A lighter bat makes it easier to reach balls that require you to move quickly, making it a good choice for beginners. A heavier racket is harder to handle, but also gives your strokes more power.
It is important that you choose a racket with the right weight, as a racket that is too light or heavy increases your risk of injury. Damage, such as tennis elbow, is often caused by having the wrong racket weight.
Padel rackets have either a soft or hard core, which determines the material that the base of the racket is made from. A hard core gives the player more control and less speed, which is recommended for beginners, or experienced players who simply value control above speed. A soft core works the other way around, giving the player less control and more speed.
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The choice is individual and depends on your style of playing and your level. There are three different types of padel rackets, as follows:
Apart from the shape of the racket, there are a few more specifications that can be good to know about when selecting your racket:
Imagine you are gripping a hammer when holding your padel racket. This makes the racket stable in your hand whilst your wrist is kept relatively straight. This ensures a good strike for both backhand and forehand without having to change your grip.
Yes and no. The more expensive rackets are often manufactured with advanced techniques and materials, which in turn can create a higher-quality product. But this doesn’t mean that it’s the better choice for you. A padel racket that suits someone else perfectly doesn’t mean it will be a good fit for you; it all depends on your style and skill level when you play.