To date, no national study has targeted the French population of padel riders on the epidemiology of injuries and their management, even though this sport is growing exponentially in France. 

Only Pierre-Olivier Ferrand was interested in traumatic injuries occurring in his thesis. padel about 324 players from the Hérault department. He was able to highlight the importance of the injuries linked to the close environment of the player. padel, which was described in this article.

Therefore, it seemed interesting to us to extend this analysis to the entire French territory in order to obtain more representative results on a national scale. The results of this substantial work will be presented through different articles for Padel Magazine.

The main objective of the study was to establish the incidence of head injuries padel in France and to describe in detail the types of injuries, their context of occurrence and their current management.

The secondary objectives were to:

  • Carry out an inventory of the practice of padel in France and the profile of the players
  • Identify risk factors for injury to the padel
  • Compare injuries to padel with those described in tennis

For this, a detailed questionnaire was distributed online on social networks as well as in the centers of padel via a poster with QR Code relayed by the French Tennis Federation. 

In total, 645 people responded to the questionnaire between March 22 and May 16, 2023.
This is currently the largest global cohort in the scientific literature on head injuries. padel, after the Spanish study by Muñoz et al in 2023.

The padel riders French: who are they?

Among the 645 players who responded to the survey, 84% are men (542 players) and 16% are women (103 players). Our sample is representative of the population of padel riders French since 14% of licensees are women in 2022 according to the FFT. 
The average age is 39, with half of the players being between 29 and 47. The epidemic of padel has contaminated all generations, since our players are between 18 and 70 years old. Obviously, children are not spared, but scientific research does not allow data from minors to be studied without written parental consent. 

The average height is 177 cm with an average weight of 78,2 kg. This corresponds to a body mass index of 25 kg/m2 on average. 

Which regions are most represented? 

Without too much suspense, Occitanie is the first region of padel in France in terms of practitioners. We also know that this is the region with the greatest number of golf courses and clubs. padel. The influence of nearby Spain is not for nothing. 

Île de France is then the 2e region represented in our study. New Aquitaine completes the podium. 

Well, let's face it, these results also depend on the distribution of the questionnaire, although it was relayed in the national Facebook groups of padel as well as in groups of padel major cities in each region. 

What professions do padel riders French people practice? 

Executives and higher intellectual professions are the most represented, corresponding to 42% of the players in the study. We notice a statistically significant difference (p<0,001) in the professions practiced between men and women players of padel. There are relatively few students and retirees. 

  • Managers and higher intellectual professions : private doctors, dental surgeons, psychologists, veterinarians, private pharmacists, lawyers, notaries, chartered accountants, private architects, engineers, magistrates, associate professors, researchers, higher education teachers, journalists, authors, artists, business executives business. 
  • Intermediate professions : school teachers, sports instructors and educators, nurses, masseurs-physiotherapists, specialized educators, facilitators, religious, civil service administrators. 
  • Employee : public service, business administration, commerce or personnel providing direct services to individuals. 

What are the lifestyle habits of gamers? padel ? 

The players of padel 84% of them are non-smokers. Good, sport and smoking don't mix! 5% of players smoke between 5 and 10 cigarettes per day and only 4% smoke ≥ 10 cigarettes per day. 

When it comes to alcohol, 41% of players consume it once a week or less. The conviviality of this sport undoubtedly has a lot to do with it.

Yes, who has never had a drink with their partners after the match? Well only 8,5% of players never consume alcohol. Sore loser or diet rules? You choose. Among the most reasonable, we also note that 23% of practitioners consume alcohol once a month or less.

A sport that is still recent in France

Three-quarters of respondents practice padel for less than three years and almost a third for less than a year. 

Half (52%) took courses but lasted less than a month for 42% of them. Women take courses significantly more often padel than men and lasting longer (p<0,001).

The majority of French players do padel twice a week (35%)

24% play once a week and 21% practice three times a week. 

The sessions of padel lasting 1h30 for two thirds of them, otherwise 2h00.

The average weekly playing time is 3,3 hours with no difference between genders. 

Level 5 is the most common

According to our study, almost 8 out of 10 players have a level between 4 and 6 depending on the classification broadcast on Padel Magazine in 2023. . Thus, a third of French players would be level 5-confirmed (36%), with a bell-shaped distribution on either side. 

18 high-level players (level 9 and 10 elite) responded to the survey (2,8%), including 8 male and 5 female players in the French top 100.

Leisure rather than competition

The practice of padel in leisure predominates since 61% of players describe only playing matches without competitions or with friends (27%) or only a few tournaments without stakes (33%). Conversely, 39% are registered in competition, including 14 players in the sample who compete in competition at national or international level (2,2% of players or 36% of competitors).

Le padel, but not only…

8 out of 10 players practice another sport in addition to padel, at least once a week. This most often involves running (23%), then tennis (16%) and finally muscle strengthening or weight training (14%). 

Other racquet sports include badminton (4%) and squash (3%).

Only 20% of players do not play sports other than padel #padelonly

Racquet sports enthusiasts 

Before discovering the padel, 71% of respondents have played another racket sport, for more than 10 years for half of them (51%).
Unsurprisingly, the most frequent previous racket sport is tennis (79%), practiced as a licensee and classified for the majority (62,5% including 5,5% at a high level). 

Andy Lecler

Passionate about football and tennis, I discovered the padel during my medical internship. Now a rehabilitation doctor specializing in sports medicine and traumatology, I share with you the detailed results of my national study on the epidemiology of sports injuries. padel in France.