Frederic Oudeville, product manager Kuikma Padel takes stock of the year 2023 and gives us the 2024 objectives of the brand Decathlon.

In France, sustainable growth

“We are ending 2023 with growth, even if it is lower than what we have experienced in recent years. We have seen a lot of new entrants in the market and overly optimistic forecasts from existing players. When everything comes up against markets which have had exponential growth post-pandemic (with the first purchase effect) and an economic crisis, 2023 will have been a year of transition with a significant drop in the average selling price of products, especially on the snowshoe part. France continues to do well: in recent years, growth has not been exponential but continues, which makes it more sustainable.”

Confident for the future

"The padel is growing in all countries, so we are very confident for the future. 2023 was an important year for Kuikma: we launched our pro range (rackets, bags and shoes) and we are delighted with the enthusiastic feedback from players. This is beyond our expectations and we have proven that we are capable of making products that match the best, both in terms of performance and design. We are very proud of these products which reflect our know-how.”

A total renovation of the 990 range

“2024 is going to be another key year because we will transfer technologies that we have co-developed to our pro products with Maxi Sanchez and Lucia Sainz. We are going to renovate our entire 990 range. Our six racquets have been hugely successful and can be seen in numbers on the slopes, but it is time to bring something new.”

“We will keep the three shapes with two levels of hardness but our objective will be to offer six new innovative rackets, even more efficient and with unbeatable value for money. The launch is scheduled for early March and we can’t wait to have them tested by Stéphane Penso, your in-house tester!”

A unique construction concept to come

“We will rely on two innovative technologies found in the pro models: 

  • The Air Foam Frame: injection of EVA foam inside our double-tube frame, in order to strengthen the frame and increase durability.
  • The Shock Block System: an exclusive anti-vibration system in the handle that allows us to reduce vibrations by up to 38% for optimal comfort. We are also going to offer a unique construction concept on the three soft racquets, but we will tell you more at the launch!”

Ivan Ramirez, the new jewel of the brand

Smash Ivan Ramirez pala Kuikma FIP 2023

“2023 was a rich year because, in addition to our two former world number 1 and current top 20 players, we signed a young player on whom we are banking a lot: Ivan Ramirez. Ivan is top 40, he is 22 years old. We share a lot with him because he very often comes to train in the club where we have our offices. He helped us develop our new line of racquets.

In France too, 2023 will have been synonymous with two new players, Julien Seurin and Dylan Guichard, who had a great season, climbed the rankings, and raised their level of play.”

Xan is a fan of padel. But also rugby! And his posts are just as punchy. Physical trainer of several padel, he unearths atypical posts or deals with topical subjects. It also gives you some tips to develop your physique for the padel. Clearly, he imposes his offensive style as on the field of padel !