Playing padel is much more enjoyable when you are using the best equipment. There are dozens of brands and unfortunately, a famous brand does not always mean good quality.
Here’s my choice of equipment for 2017:
Best Padel racket: Shooter STR-1
Excellent build quality and an amazing surface that facilitates effects like spins.
Best Padel Racket Overgrips
I suggest sticking to Wilson and Royal Padel, I also enjoyed the Vision grips. Wilson is considered the best readily available grip, while Royal Padel have a very similar grip. The absolute best I’ve found is the TopSpin Pro grip that comes in either black or white. The white one is better as the black pigment blocks the pores and therefore it is less grippy if you sweat. They are unfortunately not easy to find, and they come in two thicknesses. The thicker one is better.
Avoid Dunlop Sport grips especially if you tend to have sweaty palms while playing, they become really slippery. On that subject, to avoid sweaty hands you can use a wristband or carry a thin small towel in your pocket. Make sure you wipe down your arms from the elbow down in between games, and air your grip between points.
Best Padel Balls
Head Padel Pro Tour are my favourites so far. They have an excellent bounce and can last 4-5 games. Their texture quality is great too. They are the ones used on the World Padel Tour. They cost around 4.30 Euro.
Head Padel Bela are excellent intermediate balls that have a very good rebound and are great for players who want fast games with the possibility to smash and have a higher likelihood of the ball going over the side wall or even the back wall. They cost around 3.50 Euro.
You can also use the Head CS which are perfect for beginners & intermediate players as well as padel schools given their long lasting quality. They obviously don’t bounce as much as the more expensive models of Head balls, but they can be used for up to 3 matches before losing their condition. For training, they can be used for long periods. For example, a padel school might change them every 3 months. They cost around 2.70 Euro.
I have also bought a pack of Bullpadel Premium Pro balls which I will try out and write about here. Price is around 4.50 Euro. The feedback I have from coaches that have used them is that they are among the best.
I also gave the Wilson Tour balls a try but didn’t like them at all. They had less bounce than the Head.
Best Padel Shoes
After trying out various models, I still come back to the Asics 5 SG Bela shoe. It has stayed pretty much the same for the past three years save from cosmetic changes, and that means that it is a successful shoe. World champion Belasteguin uses this shoe so you can’t really go wrong here. You should be able to get it for around 99 Euro from online shops, while in traditional stores it is more likely to retail for around 135 Euro.
Best Shock Absorbing Soles
To protect your body from the many shocks it gets during a padel match or training session, you can use a Noene Thinsole shock absorbing insole, which can also fit underneath your custom insoles. World champion Fernando Belasteguin uses them too.