Ale_Salazar_padel

Pádel (or paddle tennis) has proven itself to be more than just a poor man’s squash in recent years, as its popularity has skyrocketed.

Adding to the already-impressive list of important sporting events held in Málaga province this year to date, next week’s Cervezas Victoria Mijas Open 2018 will bring the World Pádel Tour’s best players to the sunny climes of our very own Mijas Costa

For those of you reading this and thinking what on earth is pádel?, you will be forgiven for not being aware of the hype surrounding this sport. Pádel – or paddle tennis – is essentially a hybrid racquet sport, played in doubles format, which incorporates elements of traditional games such as tennis and squash and is played on a court roughly double the length and width of a badminton court.

Special, non-stringed, foam-filled bats are used to exchange rallies over the central net (as in tennis); however, the ball can also rebound off the walls of the court (as in squash) after bouncing in the opposing team’s half of the court.

For a beginner’s guide to pádel, watch this short video!

The sport, originally invented in Mexico in the 1960s and still widely played in Latin America, enjoyed a huge boom in Spain during the late 1990s and early 2000s and profited from a decline in the popularity of squash, which is played on a court with similar dimensions and had been a regular fixture in gated communities up and down the country until that time.

Nowadays, besides specialist private pádel clubs, courts have sprouted up all over the place: in municipal sports facilities and leisure centres, private residential complexes and specially-renovated industrial warehouses.

The sport has proved incredibly popular due to its accessibility – there are over 1,000 federation-registered pádel clubs in Spain and many other non-affiliated centres – and its appeal to players of all abilities. The average game does not bring a huge cardiovascular demand and is not overly technical, so it does much to encourage the casual player.

Data from the Spanish Pádel Federation suggests that 68,850 individuals are officially registered with the organisation this year, while overall participation in Spain is thought to be as high as five million.

Getting back to the professional event… the world’s best doubles teams will battle it out from next Wednesday 8th until Sunday 12th August at the fairground in La Cala de Mijas and tickets are available from just €4! To get your ticket, click here>>

If you’re thinking of trying out a new sport and want to do something sociable, yet not too strenuous… why not give pádel a go? If you want more information about the sport or want to share a pádel meet-up, please leave us a comment below!