If you’ve lived in Spain for a while now, you’ve probably heard the word padel. You may have assumed it was something to do with rowboats, or just tennis’ incomprehensible younger cousin, and moved on with your life. Citylife is here to tell you it’s worth taking the time to learn the rules of Spain’s third most popular sport.

padeleditPadel actually originated in Mexico in the 1960s. It spread rapidly through Central and South America and eventually made its way to Europe via the Algarves in Portgugal and Spain’s southern Costa del Sol. Padel courts are smaller than tennis courts and typically surrounded by wire mesh and plexiglass walls. It is played in a doubles format, though if you just want to hit the ball around with a friend, one-on-one is fine too! It uses the same scoring system as tennis, but the strategy is very different. For one thing, you get the satisfaction of smacking the ball with all your might against a glass wall in the hopes that it’ll bounce out of play and win you a point.

As with many sports, the best way to learn is to play! Padel is an incredibly fun way to get some exercise with friends and release your post-workday aggression on a hapless tennis ball. At Barcelona Padel Club (Carrer Masnou) you can rent a court for just €6.50 an hour. For more locations with padel courts in Barcelona, check out DiR’s informative article!

– Emilia


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