Padel VS Paddle - 3 huge differences

Padel vs Paddle, what is the difference?

One of the most commonly missed spelled word for our company and sport is padel. It is nearly always spelt p-a-d-d-l-e rather than p-a-d-e-l. 

It may surprise you that these are completely different sports all together.

Today I am breaking down Padel VS Paddle.


Let’s get started. 


1. padel Rules vs paddle rules

What is Padel? 

Padel is a doubles game ONLY, in which the objective is to force to opponent into a mistake with them not being able to return the ball before it bounces twice.

Padel is is played on an enclosed court about a third of the size of a tennis court.

The rules are the same as tennis, played with similar balls, although serving is under-hand and the walls are used as part of the game.

Serving is under arm as well, the serve is just to start the point off, not really to try and win the point from it.

As long as the ball bounces on the other side of the net in the court, it is good.

One crazy thing about padel is that you can also play the ball from outside the court back in to the court. It is worth checking some videos out of this.

Crazy shots from outside the court.


padel vs paddle
Padel Tennis court.

What is paddle? 

This sport is different to padel in many ways.

Paddle is a game adapted from tennis, it can be played singles and doubles, more frequently in doubles, with a small court and a smaller target space for the ball to bounce first.

Similar to padel, the objective is to force to opponent into a mistake with them not being able to return the ball that they hit to before it bounces twice.

A smaller target area, from the image on the left the ball has to bounce first in the target blue area.

padel vs paddle tennis
Notice the walls around the court, but the ball has to bounce first in the blue area.

2. popularity - Padel vs paddle

Without a doubt, padel is MORE popular than paddle. With over 20 milion players worldwide compared to paddle’s measly 25,000.

There are also 10’s of thousands of padel courts worldwide, however only hundreds of paddle courts.

But why?

Padel is more social, and the use of the whole court and the walls makes it more fun than paddle. Due to the high amount of players, the tournaments in Spain are very entertaining, with incredible players doing outrageous shots.

Padel is also the worlds fastest growing sport. 

Paddle has grown, but not at the rate of padel, it has mostly grown locally, in America. Padel exploded.

Paddle, was rebranded as pop tennis in 2015, to help it grow and stop the confusion…

In terms of popularity between padel vs paddle, padel is the winner.

padel vs paddle

3. Where is it played?

This links in with popularity, and padel once again winning the padel vs paddle battle, padel is played worldwide across 5 continents. 

Paddle tennis however, is only mostly played across America, in Florida and New York.

Padel is mostly played in Spain, with nearly 25% of all worldwide players coming from there. It is also largely popular in South America, it has not taken off in the UK as of yet.

Some more stats about padel vs paddle below!

  • Thick racket for padel, thin for paddle.
  • Low pressure tennis ball for padel, spongy soft ball for paddle.
  • Padel was discovered in 1965, paddle in 1915.
  • Thousands of courts for padel, hundreds for paddle.
  • Low pressure tennis ball for padel, sponge ball for paddle.
Here is an infographic showing this!



padel vs paddle

Thanks for reading, I hope you learned something! 

“Padel vs Paddle” – Ewan Ramsden

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