KEY BISCAYNE, FLA. (WSVN) - Padel is a sport gaining popularity across the world and is now finding a community in South Florida.
It is played professionally throughout Europe, South America, and Asia and is now gaining a following in the U.S.
Padel originated in Mexico over 50 years ago and will have the possibility of becoming an Olympic event for the first time in 2024.
Professional padel player Marcos Del Pilar is now bringing the game to Miami.
“You can pick it up in less than five minutes,” said Del Pilar. “I’ve done it so many times that I’m sure just in five minutes with me on the court you’ll be able to play on your own, having a lot of fun.”
Padel is played on turf on a court enclosed by glass.
“It’s a great combination of tennis, squash and racquetball all wrapped up into one,” said Lee Sponaugle, President of All Racquet Sports. “I say it’s a Swiss Army knife of racket sports.”
The game is played in singles or doubles where players use a fiberglass paddle with small holes.
The ball used in padel has slightly less pressure than a tennis ball.
“Even because of the size of the court, just to put the ball in play is very easy,” said Del Pilar.
Del Pilar said the sport is a great for people of all ages, and he has a great advantage teaching padel at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne court.
It is the only resort in the world with three new state-of-the-art courts open to guests and the general public.
“You can pick it up easily, you can play in teams, all the time,” said Del Pilar. “It’s very social, easy to pick up, a lot of times addictive. It’s the sport for the U.S.”
Plans are being made to bring national and international tournaments to the facility at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne.
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