The constant use in describing this as the fastest growing sport in the world, might start to come across a little overused or somewhat labored, but it is the ‘scratching’ on this point that makes the story that much richer-on where and how it all started.
It would be very befitting for it to have an intriguing ,historic and somewhat exotic origin…….
Which I am not saying that it doesn’t. But when I share with you one of the mythical legend stories of its beginnings, its hard for me not to envisage characters like Jack Sparrow waging his Loot side by side with Kiera Knightley as they defend their Mix Doubles Championship against the oceanic depths of doom.
Picture if you may a cargo ship ala ’The Black Pearl’ , shipment containers stacked and packed leaving a space the exact dimensions of what a Padel court is today, a handful of sailors and 4 unused life boat Oars/Padels ?!?!?!?!
For those of you who attended boarding school ……… connecting the dots is easy.
With the Oars/Padels being sawn down to their ’blade’ ; the containers supplying the rebounds and side walls ; a string net and VOILA !!!!!! …….although options for the ‘ball’ leaves us wondering.
But with a bottle of Captain Morgans , this can still stand as a very strong argument .
Until the break of dawn and endless research……….. the truth prevails and takes us to Puerto de Acapulco, Mexico reigniting our Adventure.
It was the late 60’s that Mr Enrique Corcuera set out to build his tennis court , but was considerably restricted with available space , and ended up building walls or at least having walls around this smaller court preventing the balls escaping.
This is where he named it Padel Corcuera, and our touch of romance is added with his lovely wife Viviana compiling the first rule book.
It then spreads as the proverbial “ wild fire” to Marbella, Spain where the courts were altered and adapted with wire mesh.
With high profiled visitors and friends the ‘blaze’ continued as everybody became Padel Addicts, being quickly picked up in Argentina where it uncontrollably rocketed to the second most popular sport behind Football.
Padel is played by around 10 million people in over 60 countries and is in fact still relatively small , but with recent International activities and serious Investments, we have the biggest Television Broadcasters like ESPN,SKY Sports, beIN Sport and our own pride and joy Supersport who will all be covering Padel ,every step as it grows .
Earmarked to potentially be recognized by 2028 as an Olympic Sport.
The gameplay is identical to tennis, but the game itself is a mixture between tennis and squash .It is a doubles game played on a synthetic court surrounded by glass walls and mesh fencing .
The underarm serve is played off a waist level high bounced ball. Once the ball has been served-crossed the net-landing in its designated square- the game is ‘on’, after its return, it can be volleyed , hit off the wall/mesh or even back into the wall for it to travel back over the net to land in the positions field of play. It then continues back and forth within these parameters. However a direct hit into any of the walls is considered a foul.
The scoring system is identical to tennis such as 15,30,40.
It is the best of 3 sets the set is won once the players get to 6 Games.
A padel racket is stringless bat ,made of a mixture of plastic, cork or carbon fibre composites.
The ball looks and feels exactly like a tennis ball but is slightly smaller and has marginally less pressure.
The court is about a third of the size of a tennis court surrounded by mesh netting and glass walls and a net that separates the two sides.
Because of the glass walls and the rebounds , it lends itself to great spectatorship.
The entry level of Padel is what highlights its compatibility for every man, woman, child - and truly makes this a sport for EVERYBODY.
It incorporates a multitude of benefits the biggest one being the ENJOYMENT FACTOR.
With all of us being so fortunate to be exposed to this amazing sport within the most phenomenal setting of Camps Bay , Join us and share the ENJOYMENT FACTOR.