There are three main reasons why padel rackets are expensive. The first reason is that the materials used are expensive. High-end rackets are made of carbon and kevlar. The second reason is that the research and development of new technologies are very costly and time-consuming. Thirdly, the production processes can be very long. There are multiple steps in the making of a padel racket and all this adds up.
I know that to a lot of you the prices of padel rackets may come as a bit of a shock. You can find cheap deals for less than a hundred dollars. More high-end models can cost up to several hundred. But I have learned that there is a valid reason why they actually are so expensive. It all depends on the materials, technologies, and production processes.
Rackets are made of expensive materials
Frames of the padel rackets are usually made out of fiberglass or carbon. Kevlar is another material that is used on some high-end rackets together with carbon. Cores are made with foam that is a softer material, or EVA rubber that is harder and less flexible. Some manufacturers have developed a third type of core (Polyethylene) which combines both EVA and FOAM.
Carbon is a more expensive material than fiberglass, so if you go for the more lower-end models, frames are usually made of fiberglass.
If the core of your racket is made of soft foam (Polyethylene) you feel every shot better and your shots will have more speed. You’ll also have more contact time with the ball, so you will get to control your shots better. The foam core is springy, so it is harder to have more power in smashes.
On the packaging or marketing materials, you might find a mention of “salida de bola” or “ball output”. This refers to the springiness of the material. If you have a racket with high “salida de bola” that means that the ball will bounce off the racket very actively. This is great for beginners and players who don’t have a lot of strength and arm/body technique to move the ball around with control and speed. It makes it easier for them to bounce the ball off the racket and get it to the other side. This applies especially from a defensive position further back in the court.
EVA rubber is hard and less flexible. It is more difficult to play with especially in winter when the balls are heavier. However, in high-speed matches rackets with EVA cores are ideal. There are players who play with hard foam in summer and soft foam in winter. EVA cores are more durable than Polyethylene ones.
Manufacturers have now developed a third type of core that combines both EVA and FOAM.
This soft rubber hybrid has longer durability. It has a core FOAM surrounded by exterior EVA rubber.It can be super hard to tell what is used in the racket’s core just by looking at it. But you will notice the difference by the sound it hits the ball. Sound is very different between separate materials.
Technologies used in rackets cost a lot
Big companies throw a lot of money to do research and development of their products. This costs a lot of money, and consumers are the ones who have to pay the price in the end. But this also means that every year products come better and better. They may have anti-vibration systems (AVS), multi-layered cores, Dynamic com-posit structures, Exoskeleton structures, Power grooves. These are just a few examples of the different technologies developed to improve the rackets and playing experience.
Production processes of rackets are long and expensive
There are multiple steps when creating a new racket. Creating a racket could include all these steps.
- Creating the mould
- Different hole patterns
- The grip
- Quality control and checks.
So it all adds up. Big brands invest a lot of time and effort into other things such as marketing, sponsorships, testing, etc. I