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How the Spanish sport Padel is winning over the world

Padel, a cross between squash and tennis is one of the fastest-growing sports globally and is most popular in Spain.

How the Spanish sport Padel is winning over the world
Why exporting the Spanish sport of padel could make you rich. Photo: ALAIN JOCARD / AFP

Padel is a racket sport that is like a mixture between squash and tennis. It’s played on a court with glass walls on either end and metallic mesh on the sides, and is typically played as doubles. 

According to the International Padel Federation (FIP), padel is one of the fastest-growing sports globally and over 25 million people play it in over 90 countries around the world.

The sport was originally invented in Mexico in 1969, but it’s Spain where its popularity has soared. 

FIP states that Spain has almost six million padel players, more than 14,000 padel courts and over 1,000 officially registered padel clubs, making it the “spiritual home of padel” and the second-most popular sport in the country, just behind football. 

It’s also the country with the most federated padel players in the world. 

But if you want to make money from this increasingly-popular sport, it may be worth looking at the Spanish model and exporting it abroad. 

Demand for padel courts abroad has taken off, particularly in the last couple of years since the lockdown during the pandemic, according to the CEO of Manzasport, Juan Antonio Senent, one of the main Spanish companies exporting this sport.

His company has had an annual growth forecast of between 15 and 20 percent. 

According to Senet, Sweden and Italy as the most dynamic markets for padel, followed by countries in the Middle East.

The latest stats from FIP show that the term ‘padel’ is searched 968,000 times a month globally and that it’s Italy where people want to know about it the most, responsible for 180,000 monthly. 

Spain comes in second place with 149,000 searches a month for the search term ‘padel’, more than 15 percent of all global searches.

In third place, it’s the Netherlands with 74,000 online searches a month, almost 8 percent of global searches. Next is France with 64,900 searches, then Sweden with 58,100 and Argentina with 44,700. 

The UK is only responsible for 1.27 percent of online global searches, as it is still a relatively new sport there, but indicators point to the fact that it could grow in popularity. 

According to the latest data from the federation, Italy is home to over 5,000 padel courts, while the sport is also trending in Sweden where 500,000 people play it regularly. 

They estimate that around 15,000 new padel courts were registered in Europe in 2021.

The economic sports website Palco23 suggests, summer is the best time for opening or developing new paddle projects and states new courts are currently being built across France, Italy, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary and Sweden. 

The website pistas-padel.es says that it costs between €15,000 and €20,000 to build a padel court. Obviously, you’d have to factor in the cost of the land in the country you want to build it in too. 

A single paddle court, open from Monday to Sunday from 9am to 11pm with a price of €6 per person, which is occupied for 7 hours a day, will bring in around €168, the site calculates.

This multiplied by 365 days a year, comes out to more than €60,000 per year, which could make you a tidy profit when you take away costs for maintenance, which the site estimates as around €750 for three maintenance sessions throughout the year.

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WEATHER

Where are Spain’s warmest places in winter?

Looking for a winter sun escape or hate the cold at this time of year? Here are the warmest places in Spain in winter so that you can see in the New Year dining outside or strolling along the beach in the sun.

Where are Spain's warmest places in winter?

We may have had one of the hottest summers since records began in Spain and across other countries in Europe, but many people still don’t want to face the cold. Whether you’re looking for places to escape to this winter, want to avoid your heating bill or you simply want need more sun, here are 10 of the warmest places in Spain in winter.

Fuerteventura

The Canary Islands are known for their excellent weather year round and are popular winter sun destinations because of this. But the climate varies from island to island and one of the warmest in winter is Fuerteventura. This is because it’s the nearest island to the African continent. In December, the average high temperature on the island is 19C and the average low temperature is 14C, while in January and February the average high temperatures are 18C and 19C respectively with lows of 12C.

Lanzarote

Sticking within the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is another great winter pick and is definitely warmer than some of its neighbours at this time of year such as Tenerife and La Palma. Average daily temperatures can be even higher here than in Fuerteventura. December sees highs of 21C, while January and February experience average highs of 20C. This means that Christmas or New Year’s on the beach is definitely possible. The lowest temperatures at this time of year rarely dip below 13C.  

READ ALSO: Europeans are moving to Spain’s Canary Islands to avoid winter heating bills

Málaga

The southern province and city of Málaga are so warm in winter that you may not even need a coat during the middle of the day. Just slightly below the temperatures of the Canary Islands, winter temperatures in Málaga hover around a high of 17C, but it does get slightly colder here with a low of 8C or 9C when the sun goes down. As it stays mostly sunny and clear too, eating lunch outdoors at beachside chiringuitos (beach bars) is a popular pastime, even in winter.

Alicante

Alicante is the Spanish region most favoured by foreign home buyers and there’s a good reason. Not only does it have affordable properties and a spectacular coastline, but great winter weather too. Average winter highs here are around 17C or 18C, while the lows are around 7C. This means in the middle of the day it’s definitely possible to still dine outside or practice water sports, even though you may need a wetsuit.

Almuñécar

Almuñécar is located on Spain’s Costa Tropical, just below Granada and is known for having its own microclimate and growing tropical fruits such as mangoes and avocados. Daytime winter temperatures here are around 17C, but you’ll find that it rarely goes below 13C. This is one of the few places in Europe where you can go skiing in the morning and relax on the beach in the afternoon. Head up to Sierra Nevada for skiing and then come back down Almuñécar for lunch on the sunny beach in the afternoon.

Cádiz

Located on the Costa de la Luz on the southwestern coast of Spain, Cádiz rarely gets too cold. Winter here is perfect for walking along the beach in the sunshine or visiting the inland picturesque Pueblos Blancos or White Villages. Average winter highs are around 17C, while the lowest it gets is around 10C.

Murcia

In winter in Murcia, you’ll begin the day with your coat, but come lunchtime and you’ll feel fine in a light jumper or even a t-shirt. Like in Almuñécar average daytime temperatures are around 17C or 18C in winter, but the lowest temperatures are around 5C or 6C.

Melilla

Situated on the African continent, it’s not surprising that the enclave of Melilla is one of the warmest in Spain during winter. With direct ferry links to Málaga, taking around seven hours, it could make for a great short trip over the winter break to visit its old walled city and try some of its tasty fusion cuisine. Average winter high temperatures in Melilla are around 18C with lows of 10C or 11C.

Ceuta

Spain’s other enclave on the African continent is Ceuta, bordering Morocco. Its temperatures are similar to Melilla in winter with highs of around 17C or 18C. Spend winter days here exploring the vast Mediterranean Marine Park, visiting its historic museums, old city walls and Arabic baths.

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