Buying Guides

How to Test a Padel Racket Before You Buy It: Rental Programs

Updated May 28, 2024

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The world of padel rackets is vast, with a myriad of options varying in balance, hardness, and design.

Making an informed decision can be challenging without firsthand experience. Thankfully, there are ways to test padel rackets before committing to a purchase.

In this article, we will explore rental programs that allow you to test rackets before buying them so you can determine which racket suits you best before making the purchase.

Rental Programs

Our preferred test and buy and rental programs are below.

Program Price and duration Availability
Padel Point Test €8/racket, up to 3 rackets for 14 days Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden
Decathlon €6-12 per week, pick up and drop-off Limited availability outside of Italy and Spain
Stiga Test and Buy 14 day trial period use PADELFYI15 Across Europe
Padel Nuestro 5 day test period, €6.95 restocking fee Mainland Spain
Zona de Padel 7 day test period, €25-80 restocking fee in mainland EU, higher elsewhere Globally

The Challenge of Selecting the Right Padel Racket

The nuances of padel rackets can greatly impact your performance on the court.

Should I play with a high balance or a low balance racket? Do soft or hard rackets work better for me?

These and other decisions can leave you scratching your head.

To truly understand the dynamics of different rackets, you need to experience them firsthand in various playing situations.

At Padel.FYI, I have dealt with countless inquiries from players eager to understand the tangible differences between various rackets. Having reviewed over 100 padel racket models, Timo recognized the pressing need for players to test these rackets before making an expensive purchase decision.

Racket Rental Programs: Your Solution

Enter the solution: racket rental programs. These programs allow you to experience the feel and performance of rackets with different characteristics without the commitment of buying them outright. Let's delve into the different types of rental programs available and the benefits they offer.

1. Startup Rental Programs

Startup rental programs are emerging as a convenient way for players to test padel rackets. While these programs may come with a slightly higher price tag, they often provide access to high-quality, well-maintained rackets.

These programs can be particularly helpful for players seeking a short-term experience with a specific racket model.

Image courtest of Instant Systems

There are even some brands providing service through vending machines!

2. Brand-Specific Test and Buy Programs

Leading padel brands like Varlion and Stiga offer unique test and buy programs through their shops. These programs allow players to try out their rackets before committing to the purchase.

While Varlion doesn’t allow for enough time to properly determine the suitability of the racket - only 3 days - Stiga’s program grants a trial period of 14 days.

3. Aggregator Test and Buy Programs

Aggregator programs like those offered by Padel Nuestro and Zona de Padel consolidate the rental process by offering rackets from many different brands under one umbrella.

The process is similar to the other Test and Buy Programs. You can test the racket for 5 days (Padel Nuestro) or 7 days (Zona de Padel).

You pay the normal racket price if you decide to keep the racket and a restocking fee if you do not - e.g. €6.95 at Padel Nuestro.

Padel Nuestro’s program is, unfortunately, only available in mainland Spain. While Zona de Padel’s program is available basically across the globe, their fees for return shipping from some locations are high - e.g. €400 from Latin America.

4. Proper Rental Programs

Decathlon and Padel Point provide comprehensive rental programs that allow players to choose from a wide range of rackets.

Decathlon Rent

Decathlon’s program allows you to select your nearby store and then a racket which is you must pickup and drop off at that store for a fee of €6-12 for the first week. Availability is limited outside of Spain and Italy.

Padel Point’s Test program

Padel Point’s program allows you to try up to three rackets for up to 14 days for €8-10 per racket. Allowing you to form a nuanced opinion based on the comparison between your target rackets over multiple matches.

The program is the key markets from Padel Point: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden.

They cover return shipping and grant you a €20 coupon to use on the purchase of your next racket with them.

How to test your rental racket

We recommend running a few tests when you receive your rental racket.

  1. Weigh it
  2. Measure its balance, and
  3. Determining its hardness

Then when you understand what you liked or disliked about how this racket scores on those key criteria you can better describe your preferences for future racket selection.

We also recommend playing with your rackets on multiple days to see how it feels in different conditions. I like to test mine in both trainings and matches to get a comprehensive understanding of its performance.

Hello and welcome!

I'm Timo, and I'm here to help you find the right padel racket. If you want help, let me know! If you find this page helpful, please use our affiliate links, e.g Padel Nuestro, Racketspecialisten, 10% OFF at PadelFreunde,

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Why trust us?

Padel FYI is the Metacritic for padel rackets. To help you find the best padel racket, I have cataloged 360 reviews of 106 of the most popular padel rackets to create the most comprehensive padel racket database.

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