Build a glass or Perspex cage with two opposing open doors on either side, throw in a Tennis net in the middle, let two players (more commonly couple teams though) use rackets with solid hitting surfaces rather than strings combat each other, and mix up the rules so you can bounce the ball off the walls or even attempt to stay in the game by running through the doors to catch a ball that was knocked out of the ballpark…sounds crazy, right? Enter Padel!
Most easily explained as a mix between Squash and Tennis with a twist, Padel is developing an almost fanatic following in the Middle East and is a fast-paced, high-energy sport that challenges a player's skills and endurance to the maximum. Unlike Squash and Tennis, you can actually credit the invention of Padel to one single person in Mexico. In 1969 Enrique Corcuera decided to modify the Squash court at his home in Acapulco with elements of Tennis and when his Spanish friend Alfonso Hohenlohe-Langenburg tried it in Enrique's home he took the sport to Spain to create the first Padel court in Marbella in 1974…and the rest is history.
How does Padel work? The court is 25% smaller than a regular Tennis court, the net is 88cm high, rackets are without strings, to add speed balls are more pressurized than in Tennis, and the ball is allowed to bounce off the wall and can even be played from outside the court as long as it doesn't bounce twice on the field. All this creates incredible, sometimes crazy ball exchanges and is equally interesting to play and to watch.
Naturally, the sports industry has picked up on the trend and most tennis racket brands have their own offering of padel rackets and at ninjoo we could have picked any racket for you, but we wouldn't be…well ninjoo, if we didn't have our own opinion on the subject. For us, the element of style and design is a must-have complementary element to playability and technical specification. We wanted rackets that are equally professional equipment and distinguished design to help our customers stand out from the crowd, and the usual padels in the market just didn't make this cut. Random design patterns with oversized brand logos on the playing surface maybe great for a brand's visibility on court but they are not a showcase for individual style; and that is how Nordicdots caught our eye. True to the Scandinavian design principles of minimalism and functionality Nordicdots designs are mainly based on color and texture with complete absence of bold random patterns, and discreet branding that is visible on close up encounters but does not turn you into a flag-bearer for the brand. Also, and in true Scandinavian spirit, Nordicdots makes a point of respecting the environment and its inhabitants and therefore incorporates sustainable eco-friendly innovations in everything they do.
Nordicdots is a young brand, driven by the passion of its creators, and many of you will know by now that ninjoo has a weakness for passionate creators as these are the true pioneers that go where no man and woman has gone before (credit to the all-time classic captain Kirk).