How weather affects the game…

How weather affects the game…

All players prefer to play padel (and any sport I imagine) in perfect conditions. At any level adverse conditions can have a negative effect on the performance and even the best games can look scrappy if the players are dealing with the elements.

Here is what you should expect with different weather conditions:

  • Bright Sunshine or Low Sun

While it is often the best conditions playing in beautiful sunshine, players should always have in mind where the sun is located in the sky. There is likely to be at least one player on the court that will have the sun in their eyes when you lob them. Assuming the court is North-South facing, the sun will move across the court, but quite often courts are built without this consideration so sometimes the sun might move lengthways on the court. If you know your opponents have the sun in their faces, that could be a good time to lob…

  • Hot Temperature

In hot conditions the glass (or concrete) will be warmer and marginally more responsive, but the bigger difference is with the balls. In hot conditions the balls are bouncier and can slightly change the dynamic of the game. 

  • Cold temperature

Cold conditions would have the opposite effect in that the balls are less responsive, meaning the your topspin smashes might not exit the court for example. Volleys might die near the back glass, where in hot conditions they would rebound more.

  • Playing in the Rain

One of the advantages to having artificial grass as the surface is that a little rain means it will not necessarily be more slippery and the bounce will not change radically (with a lot of rain it probably would). But where rain has its biggest effect is with the glass. When the glass gets wet it can really change the rebound, balls that would otherwise bounce away can hit the glass and slide straight down. Balls with topspin often have the opposite effect on wet glass. This also applies to high humidity when moisture can form on the glass. The easiest fix for this is to wipe the glass with a towel and unless the rain if continuous you should be able to continue unaffected.

  • Windy days

Most players find this the most frustrating condition to play in as it effects the 2 most important parts of the game: the lob and the overheads. This is made trickier in padel, because often the wind effects the ball more above the height of the glass. So, you could feel the game is normal and then when you hit a lob the ball moves halfway across the court. Like the sun, as long as you are always aware of the direction of the wind you can adapt your game. One consideration – your opponents will dislike the wind as much if not more than you, so if you can keep positive and adapt your game, it is likely you will be in the advantage.

Many players can get really bothered by the weather and it affects their game. But unless they have special powers the weather is completely out of their control, so a positive mindset is usually the best way to deal with it.

Sandy Farquharson

Sandy focused his attention from tennis to padel in 2010, learning the game with several trips and courses in Spain. His education in Sports Biomechanics, combined with playing and coaching at an international level (both in tennis and now padel) puts him in a great position to share his insights in the sport, hopefully helping others learn in the process.

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