The racquet sport of padel has a little of tennis, badminton and squash in it. It’s played doubles, both indoors and outdoors. Courts are about a third the size of a tennis court, and the walls are used in the game, like they are in squash. The ball is very similar to tennis balls, so you may substitute with tennis balls if you like. But the racquet used is a stringless paddle that may or may not be perforated. The racquets also come in several shapes and weights. If you’ve played padel before, you might have some ideas of what you want from a padel racquet. Beginners, however, will be starting from scratch.
- List of Best Padel Rackets 2018
- How to Choose a Padel Racket?
- Top 5 Best Padel Racket Reviews
List of Best Padel Rackets 2018
|Best Padel Rackets||Reviews||Price|
|#1 GRANDCOW Pro Power Lite Padel Racket||Read Review||Check Price|
|#2 Optima FLEX Carbon Platform Padel Racquet||Read Review||Check Price|
|#3 Optima ELITE Carbon Platform Padel Racquet||Read Review||Check Price|
|#4 PITON Professional Padel Racquet||Read Review||Check Price|
|#5 RP Cross Professional Padel Racquet||Read Review||Check Price|
Also Checkout:- Top 3 Best Padel Shoes For Men
Before comparing rackets, it’s a good idea to get one thing clear. That there is no perfect paddle racket. Given price and performance, the best you can do is to find a racket that suits you. You may also want your racket to look good. But the most important factors to decide which racket you buy will be your level of play and what the racket will bring to your game.
How to Choose a Padel Racket?
When shopping for a padel racquet, you’ll want to think about a number of things. How heavy or light is the racket? What material is it made of? What thickness should you go for? What shape should you choose? Let’s take a look at how to answer these questions for yourself.
Which shape is for you?
Padel rackets come in three shapes. Some shapes are better for players of certain skill levels.
Round shape: Round shaped heads are best for beginners. The round racket has quite a large sweet spot, so that you can actually hit quite a lot of your shots and don’t get demoralized into quitting the game! The sweet spot is located right in the center of the head, so it’s relatively easy to use. The racquet has a low balance, meaning the weight is a little towards the handle, away from the head. The round head means the racket has its weight evenly spread across the head. Overall, this racket shape is easiest to handle for the beginner.
Teardrop shape: As you can imagine, the teardrop shape will have its weight largely balanced in the center of the racket. It will neither be head heavy nor head light. The sweet spot of this racket will be higher towards the top of the head. The racket will have a faster swing than a round racket, because of aerodynamics. This type of head will give you a good balance between power and control. Overall, the teardrop racket is for players who have played padel for a while. It’s also the most popular type of racket among padel players.
Diamond shape: The diamond or arrow shaped head has a sweet spot that’s higher up the racket. Advanced or pro players find it easier to hit the ball hard with the diamond shaped head. Beginners will not be able to handle the diamond racket.
In general, padel manufacturers will label their racket as designed for pros, beginners or regular players. If you play against those who are at a similar level as you, the type of rackets that you use will affect the style of the game. Round rackets will make the ball come at you more slowly and with less fancy effects. When you’re just starting out, this is what you want. When you slowly graduate and upgrade your racket, you’ll be playing a faster game with more effects like topspin, cut, etc.
Consider the Weight
Rackets come in three weights: heavy, medium and light. Lighter rackets will be lighter and better for control. But you won’t have as much power in your shots as you will with a heavier racket. The right weight for you will depend on your height, your sex, weight and fitness level. But here are some ballpark figures.
Most rackets range between 365 grams and 396 grams. A heavier racket will be between 385 grams and 395 grams. A lighter racket would weigh between 365 grams and 375 grams. Women will find a racket between 355 and 370 grams will be lightweight and easier to handle, with better control. Men will find rackets between 365 and 385 grams good for a balance between control and power.
What material is good for you?
Rackets come in a variety of materials. You want a combination of durability, firmness and elasticity. A padel racket has a frame, the surface where the ball hits, and the shaft. The frame gives the racket strength and firmness. The impact surface, depending on what it’s made of, will affect our performance and “feel”. The shaft will usually be wrapped in a grip or rubber for comfort while you play.
Carbon frame rackets give a good combination of firmness and strength. Some rackets will have a plastic guard protecting the frame. This feature is good for beginner rackets, since these may often get scraped against the floor or hit the walls.
Overall, padel rackets are tough to repair, unlike tennis rackets that can be restrung if they snap. So it’s important to make sure that you get a durable racket at the outset.
Softer rackets are best for power, because they are more elastic. These rackets are good for the back court and for powerful volleying. Of course, they are less durable. Harder rackets are good for power and control, but you will be making more effort to hit powerful shots. They are best for advanced players who have developed technique to make the most of their shots.
Top 5 Best Padel Racket Reviews
Let’s go on to take a look at 5 top padel rackets available in the market today.
This padel racket from Grandcow comes with a EVA memory foam hybrid core and a carbon fiber exterior, for a balance of power and control. The frame as well as the core are important in a racket. The core is usually a rubber coated or elastic material with other linings on top. EVA rubber, foam or hybrids are popular core materials, covered with carbon fiber or fiberglass.
The EVA foam hybrid in the Grandcow racket is softer than EVA rubber, so you get more elasticity out of your padel racket. It is also harder than foam, so the core is more durable. The core foam is surrounded by EVA rubber for compounded strength and control. The carbon fiber exterior is high quality and makes the racket light, strong and rigid.
The racket is lightweight, at 350 grams. This makes it great for women looking for a lightweight bat that is easier to handle. It is of course, better for maneuvering the ball towards the front of the court rather than volleying powerful shots from the back. However, overall, the racket offers great feel, a soft feel and stable performance. It’s comfortable to play. The holes are also precision-drilled for better aerodynamics.
- Lightweight carbon fiber
- Good power and control from teardrop head and EVA foam core
- Good feel
- Comfortable to play
- Not powerful enough for hard-hitters
- Not for beginners
When it comes to specifications, the Grandcow racket is top quality. It is a good padel racket for those looking for lightweight rackets. If you’re serious about your padel game and don’t mind the sub-$80 price tag, you’ll appreciate the comfort and feel the racket offers. This racket is best for those who have played padel for a while.
The Optima FLEX padel racket is a lightweight 330 grams and 20 mm thick. It is thinner than most padel racket, which also makes it more lightweight. The inner core is made of EVA foam for a durable, stiff yet soft feel. The core makes the racket comfortable to play. The composite carbon exterior makes the racket light and strong enough for a beginner. The sweet spot is reinforced for more power than you’d expect from such a lightweight racket.
Players with small hands may find the handle a little thick. They may prefer to shave the handle down before they play. The surface of the racket is smooth rather than textured. This means the racket won’t give you great grip over the ball, which is necessary for playing close to the net. As a result, the racket is not the best option for intermediate or pro players. Overall, you’ll find the Optima FLEX a comfortable, lightweight and solid racket to play with.
- Lighter than many padel rackets
- Comfortable to play
- Good for beginners
- Smooth surface not suitable for grip on ball
The Optima FLEX is an affordable racket that is lightweight and comfortable to play a casual game of padel. It’s a good racket for beginners who don’t put it through heavy duty use.
The Optima ELITE is an attractive racket that is lightweight at 360 grams and feels much more comfortable to play than the wooden rackets many players are used to playing with. It’s a good racket for women, as well as for men who want to explore the finesse of padel with a lightweight racket. The head is diamond shaped, so it’s best for advanced players. If you’re transitioning from a different shape, you’ll need a little time to get used to the racket. The ELITE weighs 360 grams, which is lightweight for good control. It is also 38 mm thick, which is not a factor that will affect your choice.
It features an eva foam core and the exterior is reinforced carbon. The quality of the racket is top-notch, and only pro players will be likely to shell out the $250 up price of the racket. The head is reinforced for a larger sweet spot. Some people have found the grip a little narrow. If you feel the same way, you can bulk up the grip for greater comfort. The grip size will suit the average player.
- High quality build
- Built for control and power
- Larger sweet spot
- Price is on the expensive side
Overall the Optima ELITE has a good performance and price balance. You’ll find the larger sweet spot likely to improve your game. It is lightweight and comfortable to play with. It has a smooth surface, so you may miss the grip on the ball that the older ELITE model had. But overall, a great pro racket for many good games of padel.
Black Crown’s new pro padel racket is designed with a round head, so even beginners can enjoy the excellent performance the racket offers. However, it’s designed ideally for intermediate players. The Piton weighs a satisfying 365 grams to 375 grams, which will suit a broader group of players. The frame is 38 mm thick and the structure is constructed from three layers of reinforced braided carbon fiber. The racket is also built with an eye for detail. The grip is perforated for better grip and comfort.
Black Crown rackets are used by pro padel players like Marta Marrero. The Piton is built for control and power. It has a wide sweet spot. The racket is designed for control. You can play precise shots as well as strike with power. The EVA rubber core offers a stiff core good for control.
- Round shape with large sweet spot
- Built for control with power
- Durable carbon fiber frame
- Attractive design
- Value for money
- Stiffer core will feel uncomfortable for beginners
The PITON, manufactured by a respected brand in padel equipment, will be an excellent addition to your padel equipment cabinet if you’re an intermediate or pro player. The racket looks great, performs well and has a good $$$ price.
The RP Cross racket by Royal Padel is a tear drop shaped racket weighing between 360 and 390 grams. It’s a medium weighted racket that intermediate and pro players will appreciate. The thoughtfully designed pattern of holes on the head will keep drag to a minimum and enhance your performance. The frame is made of tubular bidirectional fiberglass with fiberglass weave reinforcements. Fiberglass is more commonly used in padel construction than carbon, and it’s less expensive. It is slightly heavier than carbon, but is also more flexible. This makes it good for power players. The inner core is polyethylene, a hybrid of EVA and foam that is soft and durable. A layer of woven aluminum glass and titanium dioxide reinforced resin protect the core, enhancing the recovery time from impact.
- High quality build
- Attention to detail
- Low drag
- Value for money
- Offers power and control
- Hard to find online
The racket is designed for performance, with a large sweet spot, great control and good power. The soft inner core absorbs vibrations and allows you to take powerful shots without feeling the impact on your arms. Overall, a great racket designed with technical details that pros will appreciate.