Rackets, nets and ball: tennis and paddle have a lot in common. But only at first glance, because if you look closer, you quickly realize that there are many more differences than you think. Let’s take a closer look!
A standard paddle racket can be a maximum of 45.5 centimeters long, 26 centimeters wide and 38 millimeters thick. A wide range of materials can be selected for production: fiberglass, carbon, EVA rubber, FOAM or even more unusual materials such as Kevlar, graphene or even tungsten.
The frame of a tennis racket, on the other hand, must not exceed a total length of 73.7 centimeters and a total width of 31.7 centimeters. The striking or cord surface may measure a maximum of 39.4 centimeters (measured parallel to the longitudinal axis of the handle). In terms of material, most tennis rackets are made of carbon, boron or Kevlar, but they can also be made of aluminum, titanium or graphite.
The game ball in tennis and paddle is very similar, but there are also significant differences.
According to the official rules of the International Padel Federation (FIP), the paddle ball must be made of yellow or white rubber and have a diameter between 6.32 and 6.77 centimeters and a weight between 56 and 59 grams.
In tennis, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) distinguishes between three types of balls: fast, medium and slow. Your weight is between 56 and 59.4 grams and the diameter should be between 6.54 and 6.86 centimeters.
Tennis and paddle courts differ mainly in their dimensions, but that’s not all: While tennis courts are significantly larger, paddle courts are surrounded by four walls integrated into the game.
The paddle court is a 10 x 20 meter rectangle divided in the middle of a net. The field surface can be made of concrete and cement, artificial grass or carpet, in the colors green, blue or brownish. However, the most striking feature of paddle courts is the walls around (each with a minimum height of 3 meters). The walls that are actively played during a game can be made of glass, plexiglass or concrete.
The tennis court, which is also divided by a net in the middle, is also rectangular and measures 23.77 x 8.23 meters, where the field can be extended sideways to 10.97 meters for doubles matches. It is played either on sand, grass or artificial ground.
Scoring system and rules
Although the counting system is the same, there are some differences in the gameplay:
One of the main differences is in the serve. In Padel, the indication is given by jumping the ball, which must not jump higher than waist high before it is hit into the second field. In tennis, on the other hand, the serve is performed from above by throwing the ball up and hitting it in the air overhead.
The biggest difference, however, undoubtedly lies in the integration of the walls of the Padel, where the real magic of this sport lies.
Technique: In terms of technique, paddle is clearly lighter than tennis, which is also one of the reasons why it has been so hyped lately and paddle is played by many people at the amateur level.
While tennis moves the ball faster, more explosively and sideways, requiring a higher level of technique, paddle competitions are simpler and more dynamic. In addition, it is easier to get started and you will quickly improve.
Despite the less difficult technique, a good paddle match is an unbelievably worthwhile sight!
Trained: In paddle, the lower part of the body is used more because the game tends to be lower.
Unlike tennis, where the upper body is trained more due to the explosive nature of the shots. Depending on the intensity of the game, practicing both sports will naturally burn calories and strengthen the muscles.
Injuries: One of the most stressful joints in both sports is the knee. Extreme caution is therefore required, especially with the paddle, because obvious changes of direction occur frequently and abruptly. In tennis, the paths are usually longer and more often to the side.