How to Grip a Padel Racket
There are different ways to grip a padel racket and knowing about them allows us to play to our full potential. While there are over ten different handles, in this article we’ll focus on the three most important. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Grip a padel racket: the basics
When we take the first steps (or blow) in this wonderful sport, the first thing we should know is that there are different ways to grip the paddle or racket. How do we choose each handle? Everything will depend on the circumstances of the game and the blow that you want to perform.
For this reason, professional players are modifying their shot several times in the same game or point. The tilt of the blade is related to the blow that’s given to the ball.
Although the versatility of different rackets is a step further in practice – that is, after having trained a little – it’s good to keep in mind that in the future we have the possibility of changing the way we grip the racket. This means that we can pass the ball more easily if we can instantly choose the best option.
Holding the padel racket
Now, how can we guide ourselves to get a good grip on the racquet? We should receive the racket as if we were shaking hands with someone. Ask your partner or trainer to pass the racket to you holding it by ‘the head’ (the wide part).
Leave your thumb on one side of the racket and the remaining four fingers on the other. Descend the hand following the line of the profile of the racket until you reach the handle (the lower part). Then, close your hands to hold on to the racket.
This option to grip a padel racket is the most basic. It’s the first technique that’s taught to beginners. It’s known as ‘continental’ or ‘hammer’ and allows us to hit more naturally and easily…ideal for beginners!
In addition, as we only have to worry about leaving the fist closed and moving the wrist to give direction to the blade, we can pay attention to other things that at the beginning can cost us points (such as displacements).
Don’t forget that you should feel comfortable with your wrist, hand, fingers and even your arm and shoulder: a forced posture can lead to contractures or injuries. Also at the beginning, we recommend that you don’t try to change the grip. Either you hit right (or drives) or left (or backhand).
Although it’s tedious to spend a couple of classes just practicing the grip and setting aside the emotion of the game, the truth is that if you don’t know how to grip the racket from the beginning then it will be more difficult to progress. Starting with an incorrect technique limits our ability to continue learning.
Two other basic ways of gripping the racket
We’ve already talked about the most common way to grip a padel racket, so, let’s look at some other ways: the forehand and the backhand. Of course, there are others, which are similar in tennis and have names such as ‘western backhand grip’, ‘semi-western backhand’, ‘eastern backhand’ and ‘semi-eastern forehand’, etc. But, we’re not going to detail each one. Instead, we’ll describe the two basic techniques.
1. The forehand
You can use this in various situations, including the flat right blows, the backhand blows (in very low balls) and the power shots (allowing us to hit very hard). To take the racket in the style ‘east right’ we must grip it with the left hand pointing forward, and then rest the right palm on the surface of the largest part of the racket. We descend the right hand to the hilt and close it.
2. The backhand
Although it bears this name (which originates from tennis), it doesn’t mean that we can only use it to perform a backhand or lefthand blow. It can also be used to ‘accept’ right-wing shots. There are four specific situations where it’s convenient to use: in the right defense with very low balls, in the backhand flat strokes, in the shots for three (feet) and in the ‘viper strike’ (ideal for those who do not have a good swing).
To grip a padel racket in this way we place the paddle parallel to the ground, we support the palm of the hand on the grip with the thumb pointing towards us and then we close the fist. With the opposite hand, we take the racket in the center part.