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Understanding the Basics: A Guide to Padel Vocabulary for Beginners

3 min read

Understanding the Basics: A Guide to Padel Vocabulary for Beginners

If you’re new to padel, it can be overwhelming to learn all the terms associated with the sport. Understanding the padel vocabulary is crucial if you want to communicate effectively with your partner, coach, or fellow players. In this article, we’ll go through some of the essential padel terms to help you get started.

The court

The padel court is significantly smaller than a tennis court, measuring 10 meters wide and 20 meters long. There’s a net in the center that divides the court into two halves. The net is 88 centimeters high at the edges and 92 centimeters high in the center. The area on either side of the net is called a “square,” and each player has a “service box” on their side.

The ball

The padel ball is similar to a tennis ball but with a lower bounce. You can find padel balls in different colors, but the standard color is yellow. The balls come in three categories: slow, medium, and fast. A slow ball is used in cold weather or by beginners, while medium and fast balls are used in tournaments or by advanced players.

The racket

The padel racket is smaller and lighter than a tennis racket, and it has holes in the surface. The holes reduce the air resistance and increase the racket’s speed. The rackets have a grip size that ranges from 4 to 5. The grip size determines how comfortable the racket is to hold, and it varies depending on the player’s preference.

The shots

There are several types of shots that players use in padel, and it’s essential to know their names if you want to understand the game. Here are some of the most common shots:

  • Serve: This is the shot that starts the point. The server stands behind the baseline and hits the ball diagonally to the other side of the net.
  • Forehand: This shot is hit with the dominant hand on the same side of the body as the ball.
  • Backhand: This shot is hit with the non-dominant hand on the opposite side of the body to the ball.
  • Volley: This shot is hit before the ball bounces on the court. It’s usually hit near the net.
  • Smash: This shot is hit with power, and it’s designed to hit the ball downwards with force.

The scoring

In padel, the scoring system is similar to tennis. Each game consists of points, and the first player or team to reach four points wins. However, if both players or teams reach three points, the game enters a “no-ad” situation. The next point won determines the winner of the game. The first player or team to win six games wins the set. The first player or team to win two sets wins the match.


Now that you understand some of the basic padel vocabulary, you can start practicing and get comfortable using these terms. Don’t worry if you don’t grasp everything at first; like most things, padel takes time and practice to master. Focus on improving your technique, and you’ll soon find yourself speaking padel fluently.

We hope you enjoyed our guide to padel vocabulary for beginners. Keep an eye out for more articles that will help you get started with the sport.

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