For years now, the padel is a fun sport. Every year, new licensees appear, new clubs flourish and thousands of tournaments are organized throughout France. However, in this more than positive dynamic, a question arises: who really likes the padel ? In its annual analysis of the development of padel, the FFT highlighted the typical profile of the player, and the possible areas of development.
Men, the heart of the battle padel
Gentlemen, you have invaded the slopes of padel almost everywhere in France. Today, men represent more than 3/4 of the licensees who practice padel. Whether they are players padel only or multi-racket licensees, men are over-represented among those practicing our sport.
Among the players, one age group stands out very clearly: 19-35 year olds. It represents a third of the practitioners of padel In France. We can say it, young adults are boosting sport. However, two other categories stand out very widely and represent 55% of licensees padel.
Because while being a very popular sport among 19-35 year olds, padel also managed to attract older tennis players. For some, it is even the ideal transition to continue the sport, without experiencing the same traumas as in tennis. Smaller field, two-player game: the padel does less harm to organisms.
And above all, the padel pleases thanks to its playful aspect. At padel, we worry less, we keep this good-natured spirit. Games often end with a moment of conviviality in the clubhouse. Even if many fear that the “tennis” mentality is gaining ground on the tennis courts padel, the enthusiasm is mainly thanks to this spirit of conviviality.
A significant lack of women
Unlike men, women are much less present on the slopes. Despite strong and inspiring personalities among the best French players, the fervor of padel has not yet completely won the hearts of the ladies. In fact, only 18% of licensees are women in France according to FFT figures in 2023.
However, for years, the federation has been looking for solutions to create real enthusiasm among ladies. A feminization plan for the FFT was launched in 2019 and Marianne Vandaele, responsible for developing the padel feminine, organizes free initiations to promote the sport.
If the mayonnaise seems to be taking off, with a real success of this initiative and a lot of participation, the results are not yet visible in the community padel. We will have to wait until the 2023-2024 season is further along to observe improvements, if any.
Children and adolescents, the big absentees
Where the lack is most felt is among young people. The observation is clear: learning padel is not yet obvious among young French people. A very small proportion of minors have a license padel and schools of padel are not as full as their tennis counterparts.
This absence poses a real problem for the future of padel In France. If the rise of padel only grows and if it spreads more and more throughout the country, the lack of young people can create an imbalance in the future. The new generation has a real role to play in this expansion of padel. In a few years, the young people present on the slopes will be the competitors of tomorrow, the replacements of the best French players.
There is a real role to play in developing the practice of this sport among young people. An increase in tournaments reserved for certain age groups, as we can already see in tennis, can have a real positive impact on youth practice. Learning to padel in schools, through the UNSS for example, can become a real vector of development.
And despite an under-representation of children and adolescents, there is already young players full of ambition who hope to become the future of padel French.
Obviously, fever padel has not yet reached its climax. There is still a lot of work to do padel an inevitable in France.
And why not, make it an essential racquet sport, starting from childhood.
It was his brother who one day told him to accompany him on a track. padel, since then, Gwenaëlle has never left the court. Except when it comes to going to watch the broadcast of Padel Magazine, World Padel Tour… or Premier Padel…or the French Championships. In short, she is a fan of this sport.