Africa Padel – join the sports revolution!
Not quite tennis and not quite squash, but a nice hybrid of the two, the sport is known as Padel, and it’s universally regarded as the fastest growing sport in the world, with more of 10 million people participating in more than 60 countries. Today, Africa Padel gives those on the African continent the opportunity to be part of the global phenomenon.
Padel Africa describes the sport as a mix between “tennis with walls” and “squash in the sun”. Padel is currently most popular in Spain, Sweden, Portugal, UK, Argentina and Mexico and with the World Padel Championship scheduled for 2021, we may be looking at a new addition to the Olympics in Paris 2024!
The most important skill for poses in a padel game is not strength or speed but match-craft, as points are earned through strategic play. Padel is played mostly in doubles format on an enclosed court, surrounded by walls of glass and metal mash about a third the size of a tennis court. The rules are mostly the same as tennis, although you serve underhand and the walls are used in the game as in squash.
The resulting gameplay of this mix of tennis and squash leads to long and exciting rallies, as the walls prevent the ball from going out of play and therefore points are more difficult to win through brute force. The sport’s growth explosion is a combination of the fact that while it’s a great workout, it’s also low-impact and gentle on the body while still being highly competitive and incredibly social.
Clubs provide the social aspect of Padel Africa, where players and spectators are encouraged to network and socialize while having fun through the game. There is also a Padel Africa social app, which players can use to connect with each other, manage reservations, record their sessions and keep up to date with international news and statistics.
There are five different Padel Africa clubs in Cape Town that you can visit. You can book to play once or become a member. The courts are located at the following locations.
- Camps Bay
- Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
- Fishing hook
The material used for Padel also differs slightly from the material used in tennis or squash. A padel racket is short, without strings and has an elastic face surface perforated by a pattern of holes. The biggest brands are Adidas, Head, Wilson, Nox, Bullpadel and Babolat.
Padel shoes are similar to tennis shoes but offer ankle support and rubber reinforcements for durability.
Padel balls have less pressure, so the ball bounces less than a tennis ball, and they are also slightly smaller and softer than tennis balls.
The vision of Africa Padel does not only concern South Africa, but the whole African continent. The South African-Swedish consortium responsible for this exciting new sport wants to keep pace with its international growth on South African and African soil.
To visit Africa padel to find out more about court reservations, memberships, equipment and the nuances of the rules, or download the Padel Africa app and set up your player profile.
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Photo: Photo: @africapadel / Instagram