Padel vs Pickleball: Differences & Which is Easier

When it comes to picking up a new racquet sport, simplicity matters. Padel and Pickleball are popular racquet sports, but which is easier? Choosing the right racquet sport can be daunting for those stepping onto …

When it comes to picking up a new racquet sport, simplicity matters. Padel and Pickleball are popular racquet sports, but which is easier? Choosing the right racquet sport can be daunting for those stepping onto the court for the first time. Let’s explore the differences between these games to find out which might fit you better. 

Court Dimensions and Setup


Padel courts measure 20 meters in length and 10 meters in width, slightly smaller than tennis courts.  The net is 88 centimeters at the center and 92 centimeters at the sides.  The court is surrounded by walls usually made of glass or fencing, typically 3 meters high. The padel court also includes service boxes marked by lines 6.95 meters from the net on each side.  Each service box is 3 meters wide and 6 meters deep.  Padel courts can be made of various surfaces, including artificial grass, turf, or carpet. 


Pickleball courts are much smaller than padel courts, measuring 20 feet (6,096 meters) wide by 44 feet (13,4112 meters) long.  The net height is 34 inches (about 0.86 meters) at the sidelines and 36 inches (about 0.91 meters) at the center, which is 7 feet from the net.  The court is divided into the kitchen (non-volley zone), service areas, and sidelines.  The kitchen is a zone where players cannot volley the ball on both sides. The service area is divided into two boxes, measuring 15 feet by 10 feet each. Pickleball courts are usually made of asphalt or concrete but can be constructed with other materials. 



Padel courts are larger and more similar to tennis courts, providing more space for movement. Pickleball courts are smaller, making for faster gameplay and requiring less physical exertion. 

Net Height

In Pickleball, it is lower than in Padel, allowing for different play styles. 

Boundary Lines

Both sports have specific boundary lines. Padel’s enclosed court with glass walls adds a distinct element not found in Pickleball.  These differences contribute to the distinct experiences and strategies required for success in each sport. 

Padel and Pickleball equipment



Padel racquets are similar to those used in tennis but have no rings and a shorter handle. They are usually made of composite materials such as carbon fiber or fiberglass. 


Padel is played with a depressurized tennis ball, but the balls for Padel have a lower bounce. The reduced bounce allows for better control and longer rallies. 


Players usually wear tennis shoes or court-specific shoes. These shoes provide stability and traction for quick movements.



Pickleball players use solid paddles made of lightweight wood, graphite, or composite materials. These paddles feature a solid hitting surface and a handle similar to that of a table tennis paddle. 


It’s played with a plastic ball with holes, similar in appearance to a wiffle ball but slightly larger.  


Players often use court shoes or athletic sneakers with good grip and support. 



Padel racquets are more similar to traditional tennis racquets in shape and construction, while pickleball paddles are distinct and have a solid hitting surface. 


Padel uses a tennis ball with a lower bounce, and balls for Pickleball are made from plastic and have holes.


It depends on the players’ preferences, but athletes typically choose tennis shoes or court shoes in both sports.  These sports have similarities and differences; both are dynamic, interesting to play, and provide a good time. What is the difference in the scoring system?

The scoring system in Padel

Typically played as the best of three sets.  To win a set, teams must win six games, with a margin of at least 2. If the score is 6-6, a tiebreaker is played to determine the winner of the set. The scoring system in games is a traditional points system: 15,30,40 and game points. If both teams reach 40-40, the game must be won by a margin of two points. 

Scoring system in Pickleball: Matches are played to 11 points, and teams must win by a margin of at least two points.  Only the serving team can score points. If the receiving team wins a rally, it doesn’t earn a point but gains the serve.  The serving team continues to serve until they commit a fault. Padel uses a traditional tennis scoring system similar to tennis; in contrast, Pickleball uses a rally scoring system where only the serving team can earn points. 

Rules and Gameplay

Padel:  Padel is usually played on a glass-enclosed court in a doubles format. One team serves the ball to the other team to start the game. The serve must be hit into the opposite service box underhanded and diagonally. Players must give the ball one bounce on their end of the court following the serve before returning it. Players try to strike the ball into their court to make it tough for the opposition to return. The ball’s ability to bounce off walls gives the game an additional layer of depth and permits strategic shots. Players can hit the ball before it bounces if not inside the service box. Points are scored when the other side makes a mistake, like striking the ball into the net or out of bounds, or fails to return the ball.

Pickleball:  Pickleball can be played in singles or doubles on a smaller court, which includes designated zones, such as a non-volley zone (kitchen) next to the net. One team serves the other, and the ball is thrown diagonally across the court to begin the game. Before the serve may be volleyed, it must be hit underhand and bounce once on the receiving team’s side. Keeping the ball from bouncing twice on their side, the players try to return it over the net. Players cannot volley the ball while standing inside the non-volley zone, which encourages smart positioning and shot selection. The kitchen is one such area. When the serving team prevails in a rally, points are awarded. The serving team keeps serving until they make a mistake; the opposing team then takes turns serving.


Serving Rules: The serve in Padel is made underhand, and before it can be returned, it must bounce once on the receiving team’s side. The serve is likewise hit underhand in Pickleball, but before it can be volleyed, it must travel diagonally across the court and bounce once on the receiving team’s side.

Volley Rules: Players in Padel are free to volley the ball at any time during the rally as long as they are not inside the service box. Pickleball players are not allowed to volley the ball when standing in the kitchen or other non-volley zones, which encourages more tactical play close to the net.

Other Gameplay Mechanics:  In both sports, players must rally back and forth to outwit rivals and collect points by hitting winners or inducing mistakes. Walls are used in Padel, allowing players to place shots and take advantage of them strategically. With its smaller court size and designated zones, like the non-volley zone, Pickleball adds another level of strategy to gameplay near the net. Both sports share similarities but also have differences that make them unique. 

Skill Level and Learning Curve in Padel and Pickleball


Because of its similarity to squash and tennis, Padel is frequently characterized as simpler for beginners. Because of the larger court and wall arrangement, beginners may have more opportunities to make mistakes and return shots. Thanks to the game’s slower tempo than tennis, beginners can concentrate on positioning, shot placement, and strategy without being overwhelmed by speed. Padel’s doubles structure promotes cooperation and communication, allowing new players to understand the game’s rules. It could take some time and practice to become proficient in the subtleties of Padel, such as manipulating the ball off the walls and creating efficient volley methods.


Many people claim that Pickleball is one of the simplest games to learn, especially for newcomers who have never played racquet sports. Pickleball is easier for novices to learn because of its smaller court size and slower tempo of play, which helps them pick up the basics of the game quickly. For players of all ages and fitness levels, Pickleball’s simplified scoring system and emphasis on strategy over power make it more approachable. Pickleball is a great sport for newcomers seeking a fun and social pastime because of its doubles structure, which encourages social interaction and a sense of camaraderie. However, mastering advanced pickleball tactics like lobbing, dinking, and spin mastery can still be difficult as a beginner’s skill level increases.

Inherent Aspects

Padel is easier to pick up for players with experience in squash or tennis because of its larger court size and usage of walls, which may provide beginners more opportunity to return shots and greater forgiveness. Beginners, especially those unfamiliar with racquet sports, find Pickleball appealing because of its less complicated rules, smaller court, and slower-paced gameplay. Pickleball and Padel offer accessible starting places for novices but also have different difficulties and learning curves. Pickleball’s slower tempo and less complicated rules make it a great choice for beginners of all ages and abilities. In contrast, Padel’s similarities to squash and tennis may make it easier for players with prior expertise to pick up. The ideal sport for novices comes from personal tastes, passions, and past racquet sports experience.

Padel and Pickleball: fitness benefits. 


Padel provides moderate physical activity that mixes strength and agility training with aerobic exercise. Padel players must move frequently because of the longer rallies and larger court, which enhances their endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Padel also incorporates fast lateral movements and speed bursts, which enhance coordination, agility, and balance. Padel’s rhythmic swinging motion helps build stronger arms, shoulders, and core muscles, enhancing the upper body’s strength and stability. Padel additionally tests players’ reflexes and decision-making abilities by requiring them to react to incoming shots and modify their positioning swiftly.


Compared to Padel, Pickleball offers a lower-intensity workout but still has significant fitness benefits, especially for beginners or those seeking a less strenuous activity. Pickleball is a game that people of all fitness levels can play because of its smaller court size and slower tempo. Pickleball nevertheless has cardiovascular benefits despite its reduced intensity, particularly in longer rallies or more competitive bouts. Pickleball can enhance fine motor skills and reaction times since it strongly emphasizes hand-eye coordination, rapid reflexes, and accurate shot placement. Pickleball works the arms, shoulders, and core muscles, encouraging muscular endurance and toning, even if it might not provide the same intensity of upper body strength training as Padel.

Comparison of Fitness Benefits


Because of its bigger courts and quicker play speed, Padel typically provides a greater-intensity cardiovascular workout that raises heart rate and burns more calories. Pickleball offers a mild cardiovascular workout for all Fitness levels. Strength: Padel uses longer rallies and focuses on power shots, which work the arms, shoulders, and core muscles, strengthening and stabilizing the upper body. While Pickleball concentrates more on muscular endurance and toning, it still works these muscle areas to some degree. Flexibility: Pickleball and Padel both require fast direction changes and dynamic movements, which, over time, can increase the range of motion and flexibility. While Padel and Pickleball offer valuable fitness benefits, Padel generally provides a higher-intensity workout and greater emphasis on strength and agility training. 

Accessibility and Cost: Padel vs Pickleball


Padel is becoming increasingly common in other areas, like North America and Asia, and is well-liked in many parts of Europe and Latin America. Padel courts are available in many places; public parks, clubs, and specialized facilities provide places to play. However, in certain places, especially those where the sport is less popular, access to padel courts may be restricted. In the past several years, Pickleball has grown quickly, and courts are now seen in parks, community centers, schools, and other leisure facilities worldwide. Pickleball courts are typically easier to reach than padel courts because they are often free or inexpensive at many public parks and recreation centers. Due to their small size, pickleball courts can easily fit in various locations, allowing greater court design and use flexibility.


Padel. Depending on the racquet’s brand and quality, padel equipment might range in price. Higher-end models can cost $200 or more, while entry-level devices can cost anywhere between $50 and $150.

Pickleball. Compared to padel racquets, pickleball paddles are typically less expensive. Higher-quality pickleball paddles can cost anywhere from $50 to $150, while entry-level paddles can cost as low as $20 to $50.

Court Fees

Padel: Depending on the venue and location, Padel may incur different court costs. The cost of renting a court can vary from $20 to $40 per hour, and certain clubs may offer hourly rates or memberships. For example, you can rent courts in municipal sports clubs in Spain, which cost around $7.

Pickleball: Numerous courts are available in public parks and recreational centers for free or at a minimal cost. Clubs or indoor facilities charge $5 to $15 per hour for court rentals.


Private Padel lessons normally run between $50 and $100 per hour, depending on the coach’s skill level and location. Lessons in groups could be offered for less money. Pickleball: Lessons for Pickleball are typically less expensive than those for Padel. Group classes or clinics can cost anywhere from $10 to $30 per participant, while private lessons can cost anywhere from $30 to $60 per hour. In conclusion, while Padel offers a dynamic, traditional racquet sport experience, Pickleball provides accessibility and affordability. The decision between the two ultimately depends on personal preferences and circumstances. Whether drawn to the power and strategy of Padel or the social atmosphere of Pickleball, both sports offer enjoyable ways to stay active and engaged on the court.

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