Stéphane Penso has established itself as a key figure in the field of padel, earning a reputation that extends far beyond our borders. His in-depth expertise in the racket and various equipment sectors led him to join the team of French Padel Go to Shop in 2019.

The reputation of the official tester Padel Magazine extends internationally thanks to its neutrality and sense of objectivity.

Benefiting from unanimous recognition for its know-how, it has embarked on an ambitious project aimed at guiding you in the informed purchase of your next racket, as well as all the accessories that could accompany it.

This file will be divided into three sections : one dedicated to understanding phase, another intended forexplication (in two stages), and finally a last one dedicated to the conclusion so as to provide complete guidance. Here we go for the second part.

The core

Rubber density choices may vary depending on the player's playing style, skill level and physical condition. Some foams offer greater tolerance for mistakes, while others are less forgiving. In the middle of this spectrum, there are options that combine the benefits of both extremes.

Soft foam

The advantages of a soft foam are as follows:

Comfort and shock absorption : Softer foams tend to provide better cushioning and shock absorption. This can reduce the feeling of vibration in the racket during powerful hits, which can help prevent arm and elbow injuries.

Controlled power : A soft core generally allows for greater deformation of the faces upon impact, which can result in a better feeling of contact with the ball. This can help players generate power in defensive or low-intensity shots while maintaining a good level of control over the direction and trajectory of the ball.

Effet : soft foams can also facilitate the generation of effects (topspin, slice, cut effect, etc.) due to longer contact of the ball with the racket during impact.

Tolerance : due to the softer hitting surface, hitting errors are less penalizing (larger sweet spot), which can be useful for players whose technique is still developing.

However, there are also some potential disadvantages associated with snowshoes with soft foam:

Less precision : rackets equipped with soft foam can generate an accentuated “bounce” sensation, thus making precise control of the ball difficult, particularly for experienced players seeking great precision.

Less responsiveness : the deformation of the core can restrict the responsiveness of the racket, which prolongs its presence on the faces and may not be suitable for all playing styles.

less power : Although racquets with soft foam generally provide decent power, they may not be suitable for players who rely heavily on raw power in their approach to the game.

Semi-rigid foam

Semi-rigid foams are very versatile. They are particularly suitable for intermediate players looking to improve. As they progress, they will be able to better define their playing profile (attacker or defender) and choose between soft or hard foam depending on their preferences. This versatility of intermediate foams makes them suitable for players in the process of changing who are looking for a racket that will evolve with them.

Here are some potential benefits of a snowshoe padel equipped with “mid” type foam:

Balance between control and power : “mid” foams are designed to offer a balance between control and power. In general, they allow players to maintain a satisfactory level of control over the ball while enjoying a certain amount of power when hitting shots.

versatility : rackets equipped with this foam are often appreciated for their versatility. They are suitable for players of different skill levels and playing styles, making them popular among intermediate players.

Responsiveness and sensitivity : they generally have appreciable reactivity and good sensitivity to the ball. This allows players to better feel the ball when hitting, which can contribute to more precise shots and better spin control.

Precise control : this type of foam is often favored by players looking for a little more precise control. They might be more suited to those who emphasize precision over raw power.

Vibration reduction: “mid” foams can also help to reduce the vibrations felt in the racket when hitting (compared to hard rubbers). This can improve comfort and reduce the risk of vibration-related injuries.

Adaptability : Players in the development phase often opt for rackets with “mid” foam, as they offer the possibility of adjusting and fine-tuning their game according to their changing needs.

There are few downsides to opting for an intermediate foam, as these rubbers combine the best of both extremes while eliminating their specific drawbacks. This is why “mid” foam is the ultimate choice for those who want to avoid big compromises.

Hard foam

A hard foam provides the bespoke following:

Precise control : Hard foams generally offer better control over the ball. They may be suitable for players who place great importance on the precision of their shots and want to be able to direct the ball with great finesse.

Stability and responsiveness : they offer greater stability and responsiveness, which can be advantageous for players who want to have immediate feedback from the ball at the moment of impact. This can also facilitate volleying and quick reactions.

Controlled power : Although hard foams may not generate as much ball release as softer foams, they generally allow good players to control the amount of force they apply to the ball. This can help maintain controlled power while minimizing errors.

Sustainability : Racquets with hard foam tend to be more durable, as the foam retains its structure and resilience longer. This can be an advantage for players who prefer to invest in a racket that is durable for the long term.

Here are cons to play with a hard foam:

Less comfort : snowshoes padel with hard foam are less comfortable to use than rackets with soft foam. This is because the hard foam transmits more vibrations to the hand and arm when typing.

Less spin : snowshoes padel with a rigid core allow you to generate less spin than rackets with a soft foam (for players without too much technique). This is because hard foam does not stick to the ball as well as soft foam.

Punto dulce reduced : Racquets with a “restricted sweet spot” may be less forgiving of hitting errors. If the ball is not hit perfectly you can have a loss of control and power.

Beginners and less experienced players may find it difficult to hit the ball accurately on a “small sweet spot”. This can lead to frustration and slow down their progress.

The risk of injury is also multiplied, because the stiffer foam actually produces more vibrations, which can have negative consequences on your arm.

Dual-density foam

Recently, technological advances have introduced methods of combining various densities of foams into a single block. An internal layer, less dense, which amplifies the sensation of balls at reduced speed within the racket. A more compact outer layer that increases responsiveness to fast balls and intensifies power output during powerful strikes. We are therefore dealing with hybrid characteristics.

In summary, it is important to note that the choice of racket foam ultimately depends on the player's individual preferences. The main thing is to try different options and find the one that best suits your playing style, skill level, and personal preferences. If possible, try different rackets from your partners or test in your Pro Shop with foams of different hardnesses to determine which one suits you best.

The form

Stephane Penso test Nox WPT Nerbo Tempo 2023

Round shape

Snowshoes round shape are characterized by a higher level of control. For beginner players padel, they represent the most appropriate choice.
For what ? Essentially because they have a more extensive “sweet spot” (the optimal impact zone of the racket) than other types, as well as increased maneuverability because the balance is ideally distributed, which results in comfort. and superior control on the ground. This does not mean that high-level players completely rule out this type of racket, as they are also suitable for experienced players looking for advanced maneuverability and control.

These rackets are ideal for beginners, as they offer easy handling. They are also ideal for defensive players as well as those with arm problems thanks to a more balanced balance.

Water drop shape

Once you have developed a little more technique and confidence, you may consider upgrading to a racquet. teardrop shape (or drop of water).
Everything changes subtly with this configuration, which offers (generally) a slightly firmer foam density, a balance raised towards the deck, and a point dulce located above the center of the racquet, with a generally higher weight.

This is a perfect option for those who don't want to make any concessions and want to keep all their options open.

With this racket, you won't need to make any sacrifices in terms of control, power or maneuverability.

This transition step will help you determine whether you want to continue with a round shape or whether you feel ready to upgrade to a racquet with more head weight. However, if you really feel comfortable with the teardrop format, it is definitely possible to choose it permanently.

Diamond shape

Finally, we have the snowshoes diamond format, which take the previously mentioned characteristics even further, and which considerably increase power and precision.

With this type of racket, maneuverability is reduced, balance shifts towards the head, weight and vibration increase, and the ideal sweet spot becomes even more restricted.

As you will have understood, this type of racket is preferred by players who already have a certain technical mastery, generally powerful hitters who like to play close to the net (left gunner) and who are passionate about ball releases and play. attack.

Hybrid?

Black Crown Stephane Penso three palas 2022 Piton Hurricane

Nowadays, many manufacturers offer palas with hybrid designs which are very popular.
Mediafixer hybrid structures are a mixture of fiberglass and carbon fiber, while the hybrid forms combine features of different racquet shapes.

Hybrid structures offer a compromise between the power of carbon fiber and the ball release of fiberglass, allowing players to benefit from a balanced combination of both materials.

As for hybrid shapes, they combine the advantages of different racket shapes.
For example, a hybrid round-teardrop shape provides better handling while still maintaining some power, while a hybrid teardrop-diamond shape can provide a balance between control and power.

These composite designs give players more options for choosing a racquet that perfectly suits their specific needs and playing style.

Carbon vs. fiberglass

In the universe of padel, a multitude of materials are available, each responding to the incessant quest for new sensations to offer fans more precise sensations... However, even with the introduction of kevlar, graphene, basalt or aluminum, a constant remains: carbon and fiberglass remain the most widespread.

At the moment, fiberglass is a common choice for making snowshoes. padel aimed at beginners and intermediate levels. In contrast, carbon will be preferred in the manufacture of highly competitive palas, due to its advanced technical properties which also vary depending on the type of fiber used.

The main advantage of fiberglass is its elasticity. Therefore, a racket designed with this material promotes better ball release and more pleasant contact thanks to a more pronounced flexion, generating an increased rebound effect. However, this elasticity can be detrimental to power, as more energy is required for the ball to reach a higher speed after impact. Furthermore, the use of fiberglass is economically more advantageous than that of carbon, which translates into a lower cost for fiberglass rackets.

Carbon fabric, for its part, stands out for its durability, because it quickly returns to its original shape and offers increased resistance, thus reducing the risk of breakage during impacts with walls or partners' rackets.

On the court, carbon delivers more power to the ball, especially on fast shots, because it does not dissipate the force we exert and the bounce is more direct. Due to its rigidity compared to fiberglass, efficiency in slow shots, such as low balls, is less with carbon fiber, thus requiring additional effort to obtain the necessary power in the movement.

Carbon fiber offers greater strength and lightness.

Fiberglass is more affordable but less rigid than carbon fiber.

The choice depends on playing style and personal preferences.

Carbon fiber can offer more power, while fiberglass offers more comfort.

The cost of carbon fiber is generally higher than that of fiberglass.

Beginner players might prefer fiberglass for its versatility.

Experienced players might opt ​​for carbon fiber to maximize their performance.

*Recently, several manufacturers have begun to cleverly mix carbon and fiberglass to improve performance, taking advantage of the advantages of each material. This approach offers an additional alternative for those seeking excellence in performance. In the same way as we observed with the different shapes and foams, these creations hybrid are gaining popularity, providing an optimal combination to generate a surface that is both flexible and has dynamic power.

The K case

It is likely that you have noticed numbers on the technical specifications such as 3K, 12K, 24K, which indicate the number of carbon fibers interwoven with each other. These numbers correspond to the number of times the carbon fiber is wrapped around itself (3 times for 000K, 3 times for 12K, etc.) In principle, an increase in the level of interweaving leads to stiffening increased surface area.

However, the number of “K”s does not automatically guarantee a specific stiffness. Many other factors, such as weave, weight, carbon quality and many others, also have an impact on the final result of the product. Excessive focus on “K” metrics in marketing strategies often leads to confusion when it comes to choosing a racket. padel. This emphasis wrongly suggests that the higher the number of “K”s, the stiffer the racket will be, which is not always the case.

In reality it is the foam which occupies the primordial role, by far, in defining the rigidity of a racket. A racket with extremely soft foam and 24K faces will always remain more flexible than a racket with firm foam and 3K faces.

The balance

A balance and the greater, like that found on diamond-shaped rackets, favors power at the expense of maneuverability. These racquets are more suited to expert players due to their relatively high weight, high balance, and reduced sweet spot.

A balance socks, for its part, promotes maneuverability and ball touch, making it an ideal choice for beginner players who want to progress quickly.

Finally, a balance medium is often associated with the teardrop shape, allowing for the best compromise between power and control. Intermediate and experienced players will generally find this type of racket a consistent option adapted to their level of play.

Change the balance yourself

Recently, some brands have offered models with an innovative design that allows the balance to be changed dynamically. Through the addition or removal of specific screws or plates, players can adjust the racket's balance in real time to achieve optimal pala suited to specific playing conditions.

This unique feature provides remarkable flexibility to players, as they can change the balance of their racket as needed during the match. For example, they can opt for a racket head balance for more power during offensive phases or choose a lower balance for better control during defensive phases.

This ability to adjust balance on the fly allows players to quickly adapt to different situations encountered on the court and optimize their performance based on the demands of the game. It is an attractive option for those looking for a racquet versatile and adaptable, offering a higher level of customization for an optimal gaming experience.

The weight

In the universe of padel, weight constitutes a decisive element, exerting a direct influence on the playability and performance of the racket. Palas come in a diverse range of weights, from lighter models to heavier options.

For beginners, it is advisable to choose a racket weighing around 350 grams. This allows you to have better control, thus promoting faster progress. A lightweight racket generally provides increased maneuverability, facilitating quick movements and instant reactions. This can be an advantage for players who prioritize speed and responsiveness in their game. However, lighter racquets can sometimes lack raw power and stability, which can be a disadvantage for those looking to deliver powerful hits and to block on the fly like Paquito Navarro.

From 375 grams, the racket becomes heavier, which increases power and stability at the expense of maneuverability. Heavier palas tend to offer more power, thanks to the greater inertia generated upon impact with the ball and a more pronounced kick effect. This feature can be beneficial for players who focus their game on powerful, deep shots. However, heavier racquets may also be less maneuverable and require more effort for quick movements.

The choice of weight depends on individual playing style and personal preference. Some players prefer a mid-weight that provides a balance of maneuverability and power, while others may opt for light or heavy extremes depending on their on-court strategy.

*Remember that despite weighing the same when weighed, two racquets can provide quite different playing experiences due to altered weight distribution (as factories cannot guarantee 100% perfect uniformity on all models leaving production).

Resin

In the world of padel, resin plays a significant role as a key component in racket manufacturing. Resin is a polymer material, often in the form of epoxy, that is used to bond and reinforce the different layers of carbon fiber or composite materials that make up the structure of the racket. It is involved in the overall strength, flexibility and durability of the racket.

The application of the resin to the striking surfaces of the racket is particularly decisive. This layer of resin acts as a sort of protective shield, providing protection against wear and tear from repeated ball and court impacts, as well as the stress that occurs when hitting. The quality and quantity of resin applied directly influences the performance of the racket.

An adequate amount of resin, combined with a proper curing process, ensures a strong bond between carbon fibers or composite materials, allowing the racket to maintain its shape, responsiveness and stability. However, excessive application of resin can lead to excess weight and potentially alter the expected playing characteristics.

In summary, the resin padel is a crucial element in the manufacture of racquets, contributing to their strength, flexibility and durability. Regrettably, this information is still missing from the technical specifications of a racket. However, I wanted to inform you of this to ensure the greatest possible completeness of this file.

Roughness

An often overlooked aspect when choosing a racquet is the roughness of its faces. You might wonder why this matters. The answer lies in the fact that the finish of the racquet has a direct impact on its behavior and your style of play. So, if you print a lot of spin during devastating volleys, racquets with a rough surface are the best option for YOU.
Manufacturers use a variety of methods to provide you with an experience that is as close as possible to what you are looking for.
Silica sand tends to wear out more quickly over time, while 3D reliefs directly integrated into the mold of the racket are practically indestructible.
Between these two options, there are also ribbed prints, stickers that are applied just before the racket painting phase.
Indeed, each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages.
For example, using 3D relief elements can cause balls to wear out more quickly compared to a smooth surface.

Racquets with a grainy surface have become extremely popular these days, and many brands choose this type of finish for most of their racquets.
This raised texture has been shown to actually improve ball spin. Players who love spin shots particularly appreciate this quality, because it allows them to obtain better spin in their shots.
Roughness can be beneficial for all levels of play, but it is particularly useful for players who struggle to control the ball or provide spin.
Obviously, other surfaces are offered, in order to find the maximum sensations in what we are really looking for.
In fact, it is crucial to note that surfaces are not limited exclusively to rough textures, this is where the finish comes in.

There are therefore rackets with finishes smooth, matt or lacquered, offering different sensations and meeting various specific needs of players.

Some people prefer smooth surfaces for their softer feel and crisper power when typing.
Others may opt for matte surfaces for better grip and ball control.
Racquets with lacquered finishes can offer a sleek aesthetic and are also favored by some players for their explosiveness and characteristic noise.

The choice of racket finish will therefore depend on the personal preferences and playing style of each player.
It's important to try different finishes to discover which one gives you the best feel and best suits your game.
Whether you're looking for a rough surface for added effect or a smooth finish for a soft touch, the market offers a variety of options to suit everyone's needs and preferences.

Design

A captivating design can also play a role in triggering the purchasing decision. This is an aspect that will not disrupt your game, but will usually reflect your personality. An eccentric person might opt ​​for vibrant hues, while a more subdued person might prefer a more subdued aesthetic. Cosmetics is the shortest chapter of this file, but is of capital importance during the purchasing process!

*The main trigger for a compulsive purchase often lies in the design.
Compulsive racquet purchasing may result from a decision driven by intense emotions, rather than rational thought. This behavior can be driven by various factors, such as huge promotions or eye-catching aesthetics. In such cases, the buyer may feel pressured to purchase the racket without necessarily thoroughly evaluating whether it meets their actual needs. This compulsive buying tendency can lead to feelings of later regret if the buyer realizes that the racquet does not meet their expectations or playing style.

The

In addition to the gaming features you are looking for, your choice of pala will also be influenced by your financial situation. Snowshoe prices padel can vary greatly, from a few dozen euros to over €450, and the amount you are willing to invest will depend on your personal preferences.

It is essential to choose a racquet that is priced within your budget and makes you feel financially comfortable. It is not pleasant to play with the fear of breaking an expensive racket every time you hit the ball near the windows or the grid. Thus, a good balance must be found to avoid any excessive financial constraints while allowing you to take full advantage of your equipment without unnecessary fear.

As is frequently observed everywhere else, the cost of snowshoes padel is closely linked to their level of quality. Entry-level models are generally priced between €50 and €110, while mid-range rackets are around €120 to €230. When it comes to high-end rackets, prices can even exceed the €400 mark.

This difference is explained by the quality of the materials used, the integrated technologies, the place of production and the small details present in the best snowshoes. padel. More expensive models may offer higher performance and increased durability, justifying their higher price.
However, it should be noted that even lower grade racquets can provide an excellent playing experience for many players, and it is not imperative to spend an extravagant amount to find a quality racquet that meets your needs and needs. level of play.


Stéphane Penso

Fan of padel, Stéphane has become the official tester of the planet padel in Europe. Everything goes through his expert hands. Thanks to his extensive experience in the snowshoeing world, he is able to scan your gear from head to toe!