We will start this guide by answering the basic question to address this topic:
What is the balance of a paddle tennis racket?
"Balance is the distribution of weight along the mold of a blade"
How does it affect the balance in our game?
The balance mainly affects two factors in our game: the force or power that we can give to the ball, and the manageability of the racket.
To explain this in an informative way, we are going to use the example of using a hammer to drive a nail:
Imagine that we take a hammer by his head. When it comes to moving it, it will be very easy for us, since most of the weight (the head) is in our hands.
Now let's take the hammer by its natural position: the handle. If we try to move it now, we will see how it becomes more complicated, since most of the weight is far from our hand.
Now let's ask ourselves the following question: if it is easier to move a hammer by holding it by the head, why don't we hold it that way when we use it to drive a nail? We find the answer in the force that we can apply to the nail: the force that we exert when we hold the hammer by the handle is infinitely greater than the force that we would exert by holding the hammer by the head.
The padel rackets do not escape the laws of physics, and they behave exactly like a hammer. The balance of a shovel would be the simile of holding the hammer by the head or by the handle.
What elements influence the balance of a blade?
The balance of a paddle tennis racket is mainly determined by two elements:
- The shape of the blade: is the main cause of the balance of a blade. Diamond-shaped blades will balance more towards the head than round-shaped blades.
- The materials of the racket: the rackets that use denser rubbers, will have more weight in the head, giving rise to a balance more towards the head of the racket.
How do we measure the balance of a shovel?
To measure the balance of a racket, what we will do is place the racket on the edge of a table, with the head facing away from the table and the fist on top of the table, and we will move it away from the table, until reaching the farthest possible point where the paddle is in balance on the table and does not fall. Once this point is reached, we will measure the distance in centimeters from the edge of the table to the end of the fist, and that will be the balance of the blade.
The balances of most padel rackets on the market range between 25 cm (lower balance rackets) and 29 cm (higher balance rackets).
Types of shovels according to their balance
We can distinguish three types of paddle tennis rackets based on their balance: Racks with high balance or towards the head, rackets with medium balance and rackets with low balance or towards the fist.
Head balanced or high balanced rackets
Head-balanced rackets are also known as high-balanced rackets, or colloquially "bighead" rackets. We understand by balance towards the head balances from 28 cm onwards.
This type of balance, displaced from the fist, is characteristic of diamond-shaped rackets, and rackets that use denser rubber.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of blades?
The main advantage provided by this type of racket is the same as holding a hammer by its handle: when hitting the ball, this balance is what allows us to transmit more force in blows such as auction, making it easier for us to bring the ball to our field and take it out by three.
Rackets with this balance, therefore, will be an ideal option for those players who seek to exploit the offensive aspect of the game.
The main disadvantage of this balance is that, since the weight is very far from the grip, it becomes more difficult to move the racket, greatly reducing maneuverability.
Rackets with this balance, therefore, are not recommended for more defensive players who seek comfort and lightness from the back of the court.
This reduction in maneuverability means that rackets with a high balance are only recommended for players with an advanced level or good physique. In players who do not have a correct techniqueta or a worked arm, these shovels can lead to injuries in the shoulder or elbow due to forcing these joints when moving the shovel.
Rackets with balance towards the fist or low balance
Racks balanced toward the fist are also known as low-balanced rackets. This type of balance concentrates the weight as close to the grip as possible, and is characteristic of round-shaped blades and/or blades with sparse rubber. We understand by balance towards the fist balances of 25-26 cm.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of blades?
The main advantage of this balance is the same as holding the hammer by the head: having most of the weight in our hand, moving the shovel becomes much easier.
The second advantage of low-balance rackets is their suitability for preventing injuries to the shoulder, elbow or wrist: the ease of moving these rackets means that we do not have to force these joints, thus minimizing the chances of injury.< /p>
The rackets with low balance, therefore, are the ideal choice for those more defensive players, who seek to work the point from the bottom of the court, as well as for the most beginner players, since they will allow them to work on the technique without strain the arm, and prevent injuries.
The main drawback of rackets with a lower balance is the same reason why we do not use a hammer by holding it by the head: when it comes to making power shots such as finishing, these rackets do not allow us to transmit the maximum of power to the ball, as it is much more complicated to leverage.
Racks with intermediate balance
The blades with intermediate balance represent the point of balance between the blades balanced towards the fist and the blades balanced towards the head. We find this type of balance mainly in tear-shaped blades and/or in blades that use medium density rubbers. By intermediate balance we mean balances of 25.5-27.5 cm.
Advantages and disadvantages of the intermediate balance
The main advantage and/or drawback of blades with intermediate balance is their balance:
- The intermediate balance provides more power in hits such as finishing than the rackets balanced towards the fist, but less power than the rackets balanced towards the head
- Racks with an intermediate balance move more easily than racquets with a balance towards the head, but have less maneuverability than racquets with a balance towards the fist.
- The intermediate balance will help us more to prevent arm injuries than the high balanced rackets, but they will not be as good in this aspect as the rackets balanced towards the fist.
Racks with intermediate balance are aimed, mainly, at medium-medium/high level players who are looking for versatility in their game. They are rackets that have superior offensive performance to rackets with balance towards the fist, but without reaching the technically demanding levels that a racket with balance towards the head requires.