MEASUREMENTS AND MATERIALS USED IN THE RACKET

According to the official FIP regulations, padel is played with a racket (also known as paddle) which is constructed according to the following rules. First of all, the racket is made of two parts: the head and the handle. The handle has a maximum length of 20 cm and maximum width of 5 cm. The head can be of varying lengths. The maximum length of the head and handle cannot be greater than 45.5 cm, the maximum width 26 cm, and a maximum thickness of 38 mm. In the event of an official check on the dimensions of the racket, a tolerance of 2.5% is permitted for the thickness. The hitting surface of the racket is perforated by a variable number of cylindrical holes, each measuring from 9 - 13 mm in the central area. Around the border in an area not more than 4 cm (measured from the external edge of the racket), these holes can be of greater diameter or even a different form with variable lengths and widths, as these do not directly affect the essence of the game.

Each face of the racket must be flat, but they can differ in texture (rough or smooth). The racket must not have any foreign object or devices attached to it and not specifically used to limit or prevent its wear and tear, vibration, or the distribution of its weight. If these are present, they must be of a reasonable dimension and position. The racket must also have a non-elastic cord no longer than 35 cm which is anchored to the handle and is wound round the player’s wrist to prevent any accidents. The cord must always be used when playing. The racket cannot be attached to any device that can communicate, warn, or give instructions to the player during the game.

Initially wood was the most widely-used material which was subsequently substituted by graphite. Today, various materials are used such as carbon fibre, high–carbon, glassfibre, aluminium, and now the latest material to be introduced is basalt. The specific compositions and properties of these materials attribute resistance to the racket while keeping it as light as possible and guaranteeing certain characteristics of control and power that the player seeks. The average weight of a racket is 360 - 380 grammes. The inner part of the racket is made of rubber material; initially polypropylene – a very comfortable material – was used but over time this tended to expand thus deforming the frame of the racket and modifying its compactness. The last generation of frames use an elastomer-based product known as EVA Smart which remains comfortable to use and maintains other characteristic unaltered over time.

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