Le padel is a young sport in France, as such, it evolves, it adapts…. Pierre and Arnaud Loubic have been present since the beginnings of padel In France. Through the club Padel Touch Bassin d'Arcachon and the online store padelreference.com, they are as close as possible to the players and have been able to observe the latest major changes and adaptations of our sport. Through their experience, here is their view of these changes and those still to come!

Reservations, attendance, audience…

Booking tracks or slots at clubs is becoming increasingly complicated due to high demand and limited facility capacity. With the growing popularity of sporting activities, more people are looking to book slots, increasing competition. Although many clubs have implemented online booking systems to make the process easier, these slots often fill up within minutes of opening, making booking even more difficult. Today, the occupancy rate is extremely high compared to just a few years ago.

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To meet this growing demand, numerous projects to open new clubs are underway in towns and cities. Local investors and entrepreneurs also see an opportunity in opening new clubs to meet demand in regions less supplied with padel. Many clubs are adopting a franchise model or partnering to quickly expand their network and geographic reach. New clubs often emphasize modern equipment and high-quality facilities to attract members upon opening. The overall goal is to make clubs more accessible to more people.

Level and styles of play

The average level of players padel gradually increases. This improvement is visible through greater technical skill and a better understanding of game strategies among amateurs and competitors. Several factors contribute to this trend. First, increased access to quality training, qualified coaches, and structured training programs allows players to improve their skills more quickly. Then, increased participation in tournaments and competitions encourages players to push themselves and raise their level of play to stay competitive. Finally, the rise of online content (like training videos and tutorials) provides players with additional tools to perfect their techniques and strategies. We work with Léo Poulain and Kev Tatz, you just have to observe the growth in their number of subscribers to measure the enthusiasm generated by these new media.

The style of play evolves towards a model inspired by the Spanish game, characterized by greater patience and strategic use of lobs as a real attacking move. French players are increasingly adopting this approach, understanding the importance of regularity and patience in rallies. Rather than seeking to quickly conclude points with powerful blows, they favor prolonged rallies, seeking to exploit the opponent's mistakes. Players, coming from tennis, gradually manage to lose their tennis reflexes to adopt shots padel.

Significant growth in France

Le padel is experiencing significant growth in France, particularly among young people. The new generation of athletes is attracted to padel thanks to its accessibility and its fun aspect. In response to this growing popularity, many academy projects padel will see the light of day. We fervently hope that these academies will succeed in training our future players for the French team and will offer them an educational and padelistic of the level of those offered by Spanish structures.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) is increasingly structured around padel, recognizing its potential as a growing sport. This structuring includes the creation of dedicated commissions, the organization of national and international competitions, and the development of certification programs for coaches. padel. By investing in infrastructure specific to padel and by promoting the sport through events and initiatives, the FFT aims to support the growth and popularity of the padel In France. This structured approach makes it possible to standardize practices and ensure coherent development of sport throughout the country. Support for the FFT is essential in an ecosystem where the largest centers of padel are private.

The level of tournaments padel in France is gaining respect and recognition. The proof is with the P2 in Bordeaux and the Major at Roland-Garros which offer us two dates in France. The media coverage of these two dates will allow our sport to develop and attract new practitioners.

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Concerning amateur tournaments, the P100, P250, P500… we see that players rush into them and register as soon as they open to secure their places. The non-weekend slots for tournaments are also increasingly emerging and... are also full a few days after registration opens!

The new expectations of players

Sports clubs are investing more and more in high-quality infrastructure to offer their members optimal playing conditions. We are thinking of the ceiling height greater than 9m, spaces between the courts either to leave the court and recover smashes or simply to allow players to have sufficient space to sit between games. The quality of lighting is also an important criterion today. Many players complain of being dazzled during certain shots. The quality of the carpet and the windows are among the other elements that can guarantee good playing conditions. Players looking for more and more playing stability in clubs are also increasingly requesting good level installations.

Sports clubs are also modernizing their social infrastructure, with an emphasis on relaxation and conviviality spaces such as club houses. These spaces allow members to relax and socialize after their matches. Club houses are often equipped with restaurants or cafes, offering a variety of refreshments and meals. They can also include comfortable lounges, outdoor terraces, and entertainment areas with televisions and games. These amenities help create a community atmosphere and strengthen ties between members, making the club a place to meet and share.

The number of tournaments and competitions organized by sports clubs is constantly increasing. This trend reflects players' growing interest in competition and the desire to measure their skills in a structured setting. Clubs offer tournaments for different skill levels, allowing both beginners and advanced players to participate. These competitions are often well organized, with clear tournament structures, qualified referees, and attractive prizes.

In addition, clubs organize regular competitions, such as leagues and championships, providing members with multiple opportunities to play and progress throughout the year. These events also strengthen the attractiveness of the club and promote member engagement. We work with Blue Atletic, which has created a new format: a league, a closed championship in the biggest clubs. It's a very interesting format which allows players who don't have time for tournaments to find the excitement of competition in their favorite club.

New purchasing habits

As we said above, players are more and more passionate, their level is improving and their racquet culture has increased. They therefore have increasing expectations about their online shopping experience. We have just released our new site padelreference.com where we pay particular attention to the choice of snowshoes padel. Many club players have encountered difficulty finding the right information/features on e-commerce sites. padel In France. We therefore built directly with our club players the interface that would best meet their needs. Diagram the two key pieces of information, the level of play for which the racket is intended and its type; powerful, versatile, control. This allows players to do an initial sorting for themselves.

Then directly on the product sheet, we asked our experts at the club, (as a reminder PadelTouch was a finalist in the 2023 edition of the Interclubs) to rate each characteristic out of 10 to allow customers to better gauge and thus be able to navigate independently.

If you want to be guided step by step to find the best racket, you can use our PalaMatch, a tool we designed to help you buy your first racket or change for a better one!

Snowshoe brands padel are in perpetual innovation, constantly seeking to develop new ranges to meet the diverse needs of players. They invest in research and development to create rackets with cutting-edge materials and advanced technologies. For example, some racquets are designed to provide a better balance of power and control, while others are made to reduce vibration and prevent injuries. Innovations include improvements in racket lightweight, ergonomic handles, and aerodynamic designs. Thanks to these developments, every player, whether beginner or professional, can find a racket suited to their playing style and personal preferences. This customization allows players to maximize their performance on the pitch. All these innovations and the ones to come show that brands have understood the benefit of meeting the new needs of players.

Brands from tennis are taking up more and more space

Major tennis brands, such as Wilson, Babolat, and Head, extend their influence and presence on the market padel. These brands invest heavily in marketing and sponsorship of large-scale events, which increases their visibility and appeal to players of all levels. By partnering with renowned athletes and participating in international tournaments, they strengthen their brand image and credibility. We can think of Wilson, who has been investing in all these areas for a while now. Further proof that brands have understood the importance of positioning themselves on the padel at the same time as tennis.

So, was it better before?

No ! For all these reasons we are happy to see the padel and its entire environment improve day after day and... contribute to it!

Team Padel May

Team Padel Magazine tries to offer you since 2013 the best of padel, but also surveys, analyzes to try to understand the world of padel. From the game to the politics of our sport, Padel Magazine is at your service.