What makes up the perfect padel racket? We speak to Wilson’s designers
With padel emerging as the fastest-growing sport in the world, the rush to find the perfect racket to enhance your new-found sporting passion is on.
The range of prices and products on the market can be confusing for consumers, so we spoke to Wilson Sports’ padel design team in Chicago. Their Padel Global Product Line Manager Jonas Schaefer gave us this run-down on what goes into making the perfect padel racket…
What are the primary goals when you begin to design a new padel racket?
When starting to design a new Padel Racket we always take a look at current color and design influences, the sport as a whole and also what other brands are doing. We also like to take a look at other non-sport brands to see if we can bring new and exciting design innovations to the table. We’re always looking for the next big thing to bring to our racket and Padel design.
So always keep and eye on us and what we’re doing, because we’ll always try to do it different and better!
What products go into making up a padel racket?
A Padel racket is made out of several components. The Frame and Face are usually either made out of Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass or a combination of these materials. The core of the racket consists of Foam which varies in hardness. We are constantly looking for innovative materials in all areas of the racket to give the consumer a clear benefit and also into sustainable materials to help our planet.
Do you speak to professional players about what they want during the design phase?
Yes, we do not only involve our professional athletes but also we do speak to our Wilson Advisory Staff network which consists of Junior players, Coaches and Ambassadors. When it comes to professional athletes, Bela (Fernando Belasteguin) is a true help when it comes to developing Padel products. With his experience, we are able to elevate the quality of our products to new heights.
Therefore we launched his own Wilson Bela Line which consists not only of rackets but also Bags, Footwear and Apparel. On top, it is critical for us to involve consumers in to every step of the process, from the idea to the final Design. We do that through focus groups, research studies but also in discussions with our retail partners.
Are there different requirements in what is needed in a padel racket compared to a tennis frame?
A Padel Racket is fundamentally different than a Tennis racket. While some material is used in both products such as Carbon Fiber or fibreglass, a Padel racket has no strings but foam inside the Core and carbon fibre/fibreglass faces.
Moreover, the process of making a Padel racket is rather complex and takes more time. A Padel racket is also heavier than a tennis racket and the spec range is very tight in Padel rackets.
Are you always looking for the next big development to take padel rackets to the next level?
Wilson as a Brand is known for several big innovations in different sports, no wonder the brand exists over 100 years and is a leader in several sports such as tennis, baseball, basketball, American Football or golf.
Latest game-changing product launches besides many others are the Clash racket in 2019 and now the Shift racket in Tennis or the 3D Airless Basketball.
In Padel, we are working hard on innovations as well. If this will be the next big thing is up to the consumer to decide.
READ MORE: Jamie Murray insists padel should not be viewed as a threat to tennis
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