The good people at Statistica refer to Padel as ‘the biggest Sport you’ve never heard of’. However, they are writing for a global audience and if you have spent any length of time in Ibiza or anywhere else in Spain, chances are you will have heard of it, seen it, and perhaps played it.
As shown in the Statistica infographic below, the game is still very much a specialist sport of Spain and Argentina, but the signs are that Padel is set to become a global success, perhaps putting Padel superstars such as Fernando Belasteguín, Paquito Navarro and Maxi Sánchez on a par with the household Tennis names of Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Ibrahimović and co.
And there is no division of rivalry between the established tennis world and the new padel kids on the block either. Zlatan Ibrahimović loves it and Andy Murray recently invested in a company advocating the game in the UK. Padel has plenty of celebrity fans too. Jürgen Klopp refers to it as “the best sport of my life”.
Conceived in Mexico in the 1960s, when a man named Enrique Corcuera added a back wall to a fronton court in his garden, padel is a unique mix of tennis and squash, played on a 10 by 20-meter court enclosed by glass walls and metal fencing.
Normally played in doubles, padel is less physically demanding than tennis, much easier to pick up but just as difficult to master.
Thanks to the glass walls and fences surrounding the court, the ball rarely goes out of play, creating longer rallies and making it harder to finish off points with brute force.
You will find more infographics at Statista
As the Statistica chart shows, Spain and Argentina are at the forefront of the padel revolution, with thousands of courts available to players in both countries.
However, in recent years, the sport has grown beyond the borders of its homelands and spread rapidly to other countries. The number of rackets sold worldwide grew roughly fivefold between 2002 and 2017, and with new courts popping up left and right in countries like the Netherlands, Sweden and France, that growth will likely continue going forward.
Find out more about the sport from the International Padel Federation’s website.
The following directory (of sorts) is compiled with the assistance of the helpful folk on Facebook’s Ibiza winter residents, hence some have descriptive locations in lieu of a full address.
We will update these as we go on in the web version of this article, and if you have any more courts or contact info to add please let us know.
Our thanks to Iben Sigaard Mikkelsen who told us that the larger clubs all have coaching facilities, mentioning that Andy Mari speaks fluent English. Also that all locations require advance booking of courts, and bookings can be made through the app Reservaplay, available on IOS and Android at https://www.reservaplay.com
Ibiza Club de Campo
Carretera Ibiza-Sant Josep km. 2.5
Sant Josep de Sa Talaia
Tel 971 30 30 30
Es Viver Pàdel Club
Facebook: Es Viver pàdel club
Padel Club Cebo
Opening hours 9-12am 5-11pm
Tel 657 41 12 14
Andy Mari Padel Academy at Sirenis Vital Spa
Av. Pere Matutes Noguera, s/n, Figueretes
Others with no contact information
Punt Groc in st Eulalia
Sports Center by Ushuaia.
St Josep (by football pitch)
Sta Eulalia Marina, at back of hotel Ses Estaques
Vista al Puerto in Cala de Bou
Our thanks to statistica.com for the data and infographic