Updated 9 March 2022

Padel racket: 8 models tested

Have you started playing padel and now want to buy your own racket? We’ve tested padel rackets from brands such as Babolat, Dunlop and Wilson. To select a padel racket as our Best in Test, it has to be well balanced, durable and have a price that feels reasonable given the quality of the racket.

How we did the test

Our tests are carried out independently, and consist of the tester’s honest, objective opinions. The product selection is carried out and the test results decided without influence from manufacturers, resellers or other internal or external parties.

We carry out our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. We have tested padel rackets suitable for beginners, amateurs and advanced players. All rackets have been tested over a long period by players of all three levels.

We have assessed and evaluated the following characteristics:

  • Weight: Here we evaluated how the weight affects the racket’s playing properties. In the evaluation, we have also taken into account the effect of the weight on different playing styles and the physical size of the player.

  • Control, speed and balance: We have evaluated how the racket’s composition affects its characteristics. We have evaluated the mixture of control and speed in relation to the intended target group. We have also evaluated the position of the balance and how it affects the feel of the racket.

  • Material: We have evaluated how materials in the core and impact surface affect the racket’s primary characteristics, such as control and power. We have also taken into account the materials’ durability and lifetime.

The results in the test have been assessed against what the product costs before a final score has been awarded.

1. Babolat Veron Counter – BEST IN TEST PADEL RACKET

Stable padel racket in top class for the amateur player

Weight: 365 g Form: Round Balance: Top heavy (270 mm) Frame: Carbon Impact surface: CarbonFlex (Carbon and fibreglass) Core: 38 mm Level: Amateur

Babolat Counter Veron 2021

The Babolat Veron Counter is a top-class padel racket that distinguishes itself with an excellent mixture of precision and speed. This is a stable racket with a large impact surface which gives the player good conditions to return hard strokes from their opponent.

Well-balanced racket

The Veron Counter is a racket with good balance, where the majority of the weight is in the top of the racket. This means it’s easier to smash the ball. The racket balances nicely in the hand, but we recommend that you decide for yourself how much overgrip you need to apply to the handle, because it’s a very individual thing. It’s best to try it out for yourself, but we strongly recommend that you replace the overgrip relatively often because a good grip helps you to get the best out of the racket.

Light but durable padel racket

The Veron is manufactured from carbon and fibreglass, which produces a light but durable padel racket. These materials also make the racket a little softer, and that makes it easier to exploit the opponent’s speed on the ball. The textured impact surface improves the racket’s grip on the ball, making it easier to spin the ball.

The Babolat Veron Counter is an excellent padel racket for anyone looking for the perfect balance between precision and speed. The slightly softer material of the impact surface and the racket balance makes it easy to exploit your opponent’s force, and we designate the Veron Counter as our best in test.

Well-balancedgood controltextured impact surface
Less power than diamond-shaped models

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2. Dunlop Speed Ultra

Excellent padel racket with good control and lots of spin

Weight: 365 g Form: Round Balance: Medium Frame: Graphite Impact surface: Pro EVA Core: Pro EVA 38 mm Level: Amateur

Dunlop Speed Ultra 2021

The Dunlop Speed Ultra has a textured impact surface that really gives the ball spin if you hit it just right. The graphite frame makes the racket light and gives a good balance between control and speed.

Central balance in the racket

Our test racket has an attractive design with a rounded shape and the balance is central in the racket. This contributes to increased control, which makes the Speed Ultra suitable for beginners as well. The materials in both frame and core are high quality and are usually found in much more expensive models.

Good speed on the swing

Even though the Speed Ultra isn’t the racket that provides the most power, the aerodynamic design helps boost your swing. As a player, you can benefit from this in both the offensive game and the defensive game, especially at the net, where reaction speeds are important. To provide maximum power, the Ultra would need a diamond-shaped impact surface with the balance higher up the racket and a harder material in the sweet spot to help utilise the power of your opponents' blows.

The Dunlop Speed Ultra is an excellent racket if you prioritise spin and precision over power. It’s an advantage if you have played padel before, because otherwise the textured surface can feel a bit strange. This is an attractive and easily played padel racket that we consider to be very good value for money.

Good controlexcellent spinhigh value for moneyattractive design
Lacks power

3. Babolat Viper Counter

Powerful padel racket for an aggressive playing style

Weight: 365 g Form: Round Balance: Top heavy (270 mm) Frame: Carbon Impact surface: Carbon 3K Core: 38 mm Level: Advanced

Babolat Viper Counter 2021

The Babolat Viper Counter is a fast padel racket with a lot of power. It has a textured carbon impact surface that gives explosiveness and excellent spin. The strength of this racket is effectively utilising the opponent’s speed, combined with relatively good control.

Three layers of carbon

The Viper Counter is made of carbon in three different layers, one of which is a slightly softer layer for increased comfort. This makes the racket a great mix of power and great touch. But it’s the speed and power that dominate, which means you should be a regular padel player to take advantage of the Viper’s main characteristics. A beginner may find it difficult to keep the ball inside the court when there’s a harder shot from their opponent.

Well-balanced racket that fits well in your hand

The racket is well balanced and sits nicely in the hand. The top-heavy balance helps the player, above all, get good speed on the ball with overhead strokes. The frame absorbs vibrations in a comfortable way, which is particularly good if you tend to suffer from tennis elbow.

The Babolat Viper Counter is ideal if you’ve played a lot of padel and have a predominantly powerful playing style. Yes, the price tag is high, but you’ll also get a well balanced and really good quality padel racket.

Powerfulexcellent spin
Less control for the beginner

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4. Wilson Ultra Elite v2

Upgraded version with excellent spin and great grip

Weight: 361 g Form: Diamond Balance: Medium (258 mm) Frame: Carbon fibre Impact surface: Carbon fibreglass composite Core: Soft EVA Foam 38 mm Level: Amateur

Wilson Ultra Elite V2 2021

The Wilson Ultra Elite v2 is a really attractive upgrade from its predecessor with the same name. The predecessor left a lot to be desired when it came to the design, and the playing experience has also been improved in the new version. The V 2 is a sleek all-round racket with a large impact surface that generates a lot of speed. A diamond-shaped racket usually has the weight further out on the racket, but the Ultra Elite v2 has the balance in the centre, which gives better control.

Concave shape gives a larger impact surface

The frame of the racket is an unusual concave shape, which is not only interesting to look at, but also gives a slightly larger impact surface. The frame is made of carbon fibre, which is the most common material for padel rackets. The impact surface has a mixture of fibreglass and composite. In addition to the material being very durable, the racket also gives a slightly softer strike and plenty of speed. The disadvantage is that the shot can become more difficult to control, which is particularly noticeable when returning hard volleys. If you’re also used to slightly harder rackets, there’s a risk that you’ll find this one to be spongy.

Pebbled surface and good spin

The Ultra Elite v2 has an exciting, rough surface that resembles the material of a basketball ball. It gives excellent spin and above all an extra dimension to the serve. At first touch, the grip felt very ordinary, but the more sweaty our testers’ hands became, the better the grip was!

The Wilson Ultra Elite v2 is a nice all-round racket and is suitable for those who don't have a very powerful playing style. If you like to spin balls a lot and feel comfortable with a slightly softer racket, the new Ultra Elite is a really good choice.

Good gripexcellent spinattractive design
Slightly soft

5. Dunlop Rocket

Lightweight padel racket for the beginner with good control

Weight: 360 g Form: Round Balance: Medium Frame: Graphite Impact surface: Fibreglass Core: Pro EVA 38 mm Level: Beginner

Dunlop Rocket 2021

The **Dunlop Rocket **Red is a great value padel racket that helps the player to make controlled shots with good speed. This is a good value model that works very well for beginners and players with smaller hands. If you have big hands but still want this padel racket, you can easily add several layers of overgrip until you achieve the thickness you want.

Durable material

The Rocket Red is made of durable material and feels lightweight in the hand. The fibreglass impact surface is relatively stiff but gives good control when playing from the back of the court. The balance is in the middle of the racket and contributes to a great playing experience. Unfortunately, it’s lacking real power in the smash and, to some extent, control during volleys.

Good padel racket for the beginner

The Dunlop Rocket Red has characteristics that work very well if you’re a beginner and you want to continue developing the basic strokes. The racket is at an attractive price level and has the potential to be follow the player from the beginner level into the amateur class.

Good controlgood value for moneylow weight
A little stiffnot much power

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6. Wilson Bela Elite

Balanced racket with excellent control and great spin

Weight: 365 g Form: Diamond Balance: Medium (260 mm) Frame: Carbon fibre Impact surface: Fibreglass Core: Soft EVA Foam 38 mm Level: Amateur

Wilson Bela Elite 2022

The Wilson Bela Elite is an exciting padel racket that offers a fine mix of control and speed. The Bela series has been developed with the padel player Fernando Belasteguín, a legend in the sport of padel with a full 16 years as world champion!

Racket for amateurs

The Bela series is available in three levels, Team, Elite and Pro. Elite focuses mainly on amateurs, but players from the other two levels can also benefit from the Bela Elite's abilities. The Elite is slightly lighter than the Pro racket and has characteristics that are more forgiving, such as a softer impact surface and a larger sweet spot. This provides more control but slightly less speed and power, which is rare for a diamond-shaped racket.

Very well-balanced padel racket

The Bela Elite is well balanced and the textured impact surface allows for great spin. The Elite performs well even in the more powerful overhead strokes, although of course it’s not comparable with Babolat’s Viper, for example, where the main characteristic is power. The Wilson overgrip offers a first-class grip that our testers feel gets better and better the sweatier their hand gets.

The Wilson Bela Elite is a great padel racket for those who just left beginner level and want to move up to a racket with more speed while still aiming to maintain control. The textured impact surface will give you plenty of opportunities to develop an exemplary Bandeja or a killing Vibora!

Sharp spingood controlexcellent grip
Slightly less speed and powerexpensive

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7. Dunlop Galactica

Advanced padel racket from world star Juani Mieres

Weight: 370 g Form: Teardrop Balance: High Frame: Carbon Impact surface: 6K Carbon Cärna: Pro EVA 38 mm Level: Advanced

Dunlop Galactica 2020

The Dunlop Galactica is an advanced padel racket for the regular player who prioritises control over power. It has a soft, textured impact surface that offers both high spin and high precision. This model was developed together with Argentinian world star Juani Mieres, a legend in the padel world.

High quality padel racket

The Galactica is permeated by high quality in both material selection and design. The racket has a carbon frame and is slightly heavier than other models in the test. The impact surface also uses a special carbon variant called 6K, which is both stronger and more wear resistant. Just above the grip is a module Dunlop calls Tri-Max, whose task is to capture vibrations and give the player a more comfortable playing experience. The function seems to fulfil its task as our testers feel they have minimal vibrations in all types of stroke.

The padel racket with a broad sweet spot

The model has a high balance and a broad sweet spot that sits high on the racket. The impact surface is soft but simultaneously forgiving, giving the player a good feeling of control. The Galactica does its best when playing at the back of the court, where precision and control are important factors. The soft impact surface makes shots with a lot of power, such as volleys and above all smashes, more difficult to control. Another thing that makes it stand out is the sound. It sounds a bit like you’re hitting the ball with a cardboard box, which sounds very odd before you get used to it.

The Dunlop Galactica is an exciting padel racket for the regular player who prioritises control over power. It has characteristics that differ from other models in the price class and we strongly recommended that you test this racket before buying.

Well-balancedgood control
Heavyball impacts produce an odd sounddifficult to control hard shots

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8. Babolat Vertuo Counter

Easy to play, lightweight padel racket with large impact surface

Weight: 350 g Form: Round Balance: Neutral (265 mm) Frame: Carbon Impact surface: Fibreglass Core: 38 mm Level: Beginner

Babolat Counter Vertuo 2021

The Babolat Vertuo Counter is a padel racket with a great design and a large impact surface. Unlike its bigger siblings, the Veron and Viper, this model is much softer and weighs slightly less. This makes it better suited for players who are at the beginning of their padel career. A large and soft sweet spot makes the racket easy to play with.

Good beginner’s racket

The frame is made of durable carbon, while the impact surface is made of a softer fibreglass material. The latter can make the racket feel a bit spongy and this is especially noticeable if you’re used to playing with a racket that has a harder impact surface. The Vertuo is a good beginner’s racket, but it’s also suitable for the amateur who prioritises control over speed.

A forgiving racket

This model from Babolat has a neutral balance, which means it’s somewhat harder to kill the ball with power compared to a racket that has the balance further out. However, the central balance, together with the larger sweet spot, makes the racket more forgiving, which, as a player, you’ll appreciate when technique fails you. The Vertuo lacks control when the ball comes from the opponent at high speed – because the impact surface is so soft, it becomes difficult to place the ball where you want to.

The Babolat Vertuo Counter is a good value option for those looking for a first padel racket with good control and low weight. It works really well if you’re playing opponents where you both prioritise longer volleys over killing strokes with lots of power. The Vertuo is a good buy in the beginner category.

Low weightlarge impact surface
Lacks the mix of power and precision

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Useful information about padel rackets

A padel racket can come in three different shapes. Round, diamond and teardrop shaped. The rackets we tested mainly have round and diamond shapes.

The rounded models have a larger impact surface. The balance in the racket is from the middle and down toward the handle. A rounded racket provides slightly less speed than the other shapes but more control.

A diamond-shaped racket suits players who want more power. The balance is higher, which means you get a lot of power in smashes but less control. The diamond shape is most suited to advanced players.

A teardrop-shaped racket is a mixture of the above shapes. A little less power than a diamond racket, but a slightly larger impact surface.

6 things to think about when buying a padel racket

1. Weight The weight of the padel rackets in our test is between 335 and 370 grams. If you’re a beginner or junior, it’s wise to go for a lighter racket. A heavier racket is more suitable for a more advanced player who wants to exploit the power of the weight.

2. Control It’s the shape and material of a padel racket that determines how much or little control the player has. A rounded shape provides the best control, and most of the rackets in our test are of that shape. In general, it can be said that a hard impact surface produces more control than a soft one. Some models in the test have a textured impact surface, which makes it possible to get good spin on the ball.

3. Speed The same laws of nature apply here as with control. A diamond-shaped, heavier racket gives significantly better speed than a lightweight round shaped racket. Often the more expensive rackets are made of a rigid carbon material and a plastic called EVA, which has characteristics that give the ball good speed.

4. Price Padel rackets are usually divided into three different price levels. Beginner, amateur and advanced. This means that the most expensive racket is rarely the best for a beginner. The reason for this is that advanced rackets become far too difficult to manoeuvre for a beginner and you can’t take advantage of the characteristics you pay extra for, such as speed and power. We tested rackets in different price classes.

5. Balance Round shaped rackets usually have the weight placed from the centre down toward the handle. This gives the player better control. The opposite is a diamond-shaped racket that has a higher balance point, with the weight further out on the racket. This gives greater speed and power to the ball. Most of the rackets in our test have a rounded shape.

6. Material Cheaper rackets for beginners are often made from lighter materials such as graphite and fibreglass. The more expensive models usually have a harder core of EVA foam (ethylene vinyl acetate). EVA is a kind of rubber mixture and the composition determines how hard the core is. The higher price class often has an impact surface in carbon fibre, and in some cases carbon, which gives a lot of power to the stroke.