Why Padel is the Hottest Game of the Summer

As we launch padel courts at The Green Quarter, we tell you everything you need to know about this fun, fast-paced and social sport.

Somewhere between tennis and squash, padel is the fastest-growing sport in the world right now with over 25 million players across 110 countries. It’s become the hottest way to work up a sweat before chilling afterwards with your fellow players. 

In the UK participation has grown from 6,000 to 150,000 active players since 2019, while it’s so popular in Spain it’s now second only to football (yes, really) with six million players. Naturally, sporty celebrities have got in on the action including the likes of David Beckham, Serena Williams and Lionel Messi, the latter of whom has installed his very own padel court at home. Indeed, it’s hardly surprising that #padeltennis currently has over 56 million views on TikTok. 
Padel at The Green Quarter

How Do You Play Padel?

Social but strenuous, all that’s required to play are four people (it’s a game of doubles), padel rackets (sometimes referred to as bats and smaller than tennis rackets), a ball (lower in pressure than the one used for tennis) and a dedicated court (divided by a net and surrounded by glass walls). 

“Padel is an exciting and fast-paced sport that offers a fantastic full-body workout incorporating several key fitness aspects, from cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength to core stability and aerobic exercise,” says Victor Perez, AKA ‘The Padel Coach’ @victorperezpadel on Instagram.

Played like squash but scored like tennis, the aim of the game is to win two out of three sets that constitute a match with each set made up of six games. Games are started by an underarm serve that’s required to go diagonally into the opponent’s court, while all following shots need to bounce once on either side of the net during rallies. 

Pairings win a point when the ball bounces twice, hits a person or comes into contact with something else before going over the net and into the opponent’s court. But the best bit? You can play your shots off the walls – even those on your side as long as you can get the ball to land back over the net – to find creative ways to outsmart your opponents. Fantastically wicked.  

“Padel also thrives on its inclusive and social aspects. The doubles format encourages communication, teamwork and camaraderie on the court to strategise, volley and score; the enclosed court and easy rules make it accessible to a wide range of ages and skill levels; and the game often extends to socialising afterwards,” says Victor.

Padel at The Green Quarter

Parkside Padel Club at The Green Quarter.

Padel Courts at the Green Quarter

The first-ever padel court was built by Enrique Corcuera, the Mexican entrepreneur who invented the game, in Acapulco, Mexico, in 1969. According to the Lawn Tennis Association, whose mission it is to drive participation and growth of padel in the UK, there are now 400 dedicated courts in the UK with plans for more.

This year, Berkeley Group was the first major residential developer to incorporate padel courts into one of its developments at The Green Quarter in west London. Opened this spring, Parkside Padel Club is part of a partnership with Game4Padel – the UK’s leading padel operator – and offers residents and the community access to equipment as well as three courts. There is also a padel court in the pipeline at Oakhill in Hildenborough, Kent. Sure to stoke competitive spirits. 

Elsewhere, padel courts are springing up anywhere operators can find the space, including The Padel Yard in Wandsworth, London – just across from Wandsworth Mills, another of our developments – and at Beaverbrook, the luxury country-house hotel in Surrey, which has installed a dedicated court accessible to hotel guests and spa members.

“Padel is proven to be more than just a sport,” says James Purton, Berkeley Group’s Operations Director. “It’s a catalyst for creating vibrant communities and fostering social connections. As an avid player myself, I’ve seen first-hand how it brings people together and provides an opportunity for a new generation of players.”

Our Pick of Padel Kit

An image of a Padel kit

As with any sport, padel comes with its own equipment and clothing, so upgrade your kit with the latest and greatest pieces. After all, if you appear like a star player, you may just play like one. 

The Padel

From round (suitable for beginners) to tear-dropped (intermediate) and diamond (experienced), choose a racket that’s best suited to your level of play. Just starting? Then Nox X One Evo Red Padel Racket 2023 is just the thing. Play like a pro? Invest in the truly inspired Prada Black Padel Racket.

The Ball

From designer splurges like the Versace Allover Padel Ball Set to high-street buys such as the Wilson X3 Performance Padel Ball Can, there’s a ball for every budget.

The Shoes 

Because of the surface of a padel court and the way you move during play, you’ll need shoes that offer support, grip and speed. Luckily, an increasing number of brands are designing styles made specifically for the game, including Adidas, Head and Wilson.

The Bag 

Keep your kit together in a stylish but practical Esserly Padel Bag