Buying Guides
How to

What is my padel level?

Updated Nov 26, 2023

By
Full name
Share this post
(swipe left to view more)
Pitón 11 Soft
Pitón 11 Soft
PR990 Precision Soft
PR990 Precision Soft
Counter Vertuo
Counter Vertuo
Ultimate Tour
Ultimate Tour
Air Veron
Air Veron
Raptor Evolution
Raptor Evolution
Adipower Multiweight CTRL
Adipower Multiweight CTRL
Delta Pro
Delta Pro
AT10 18K Luxury Genius
AT10 18K Luxury Genius
Price
Best for
Beginner to advanced players looking for a versatile racket with medium touch
Players seeking a comfortable, maneuverable round racket
Intermediate or beginner defense-oriented players
Intermediate point builders seeking versatility and agility
Intermediate players seeking an agile racket for their aerial game
Intermediate players seeking good power and a large sweet spot
Versatile players looking for a racket with balance and weight customization
Advanced smashers with strong arms seeking maximum power
Players seeking a versatile, medium-hard, maneuverable racket
Score
Overall
Power
8.0
Control
8.9
Sweet Spot
8.8
Maneuverability
9.0
Overall
Power
7.2
Control
8.2
Sweet Spot
8.7
Maneuverability
9.0
Overall
Power
6.3
Control
7.5
Sweet Spot
8.5
Maneuverability
9.0
Overall
Power
8.3
Control
7.6
Sweet Spot
7.9
Maneuverability
9.0
Overall
Power
8.1
Control
7.8
Sweet Spot
7.4
Maneuverability
9.0
Overall
Power
8.3
Control
9.0
Sweet Spot
8.4
Maneuverability
8.0
Overall
Power
7.8
Control
8.5
Sweet Spot
8.3
Maneuverability
8.0
Overall
Power
9.1
Control
8.1
Sweet Spot
7.9
Maneuverability
7.0
Overall
Power
8.3
Control
8.4
Sweet Spot
8.4
Maneuverability
9.0
Pros
No items found.
Cons
No items found.
Score
No items found.
No items found.

Table of Contents

Get a racket suggestion!

Subscribe to receive the latest blog posts to your inbox every week.

Take it now

Introduction: Importance of knowing one's padel level

Are you wondering what your padel level is?

If you’re reading our reviews, you will notice that at Padel.FYI, we categorize our racket review suggestions based on player level. This is because advanced rackets offer additional control and power to players who have sufficient precision and strength to play with these rackets.

Maybe you have a tournament coming up and you need to determine at which level you should enter.

Or maybe you’re traveling and you’d like to be able to enter the right Whatsapp group at the new club.

Or maybe you’re just getting started with padel as your first racket sport and you’d like to see what your level is to focus on where you can improve.

In all of these cases, it’s very helpful to be able to indicate what level you play at. In this article, we’ll go over the different levels, and styles of play, and guide you and how to improve your level.

The following is partially a translation and adaptation of Padel Münster’s Wie beurteile ich mein Spielniveau? (How do I judge my playing level?).

Padel levels overview

The proliferation of different level systems in padel is a joke. I’m in a different level schema for each padel club Whatsapp group I’m in. A similar mess exists in tennis. We’ve tried to summarize and unite in the image above.

There are 4 broad categories of players: Recreational beginners, intermediate players, advanced players, and professional players. The most common international system categorizes players on a scale from 1.0-7.0. This system is borrowed from the USTA-created National Tennis Ranking System (NTRP).

In summary, beginners focus on getting their shots in, intermediate players focus more on technique, advanced players focus on tactics, and pro players focus on psychology and fitness.

Summarizing all the levels in one table is hard, but here's our attempt!

Padel levels overview

The proliferation of different level systems in padel is a joke. I’m in a different level schema for each padel club Whatsapp group I’m in. A similar mess exists in tennis. We’ve tried to summarize and unite in the image above.

There are 4 broad categories of players: Recreational beginners, intermediate players, advanced players, and professional players. The most common international system categorizes players on a scale from 1.0-7.0. This system is borrowed from the USTA-created National Tennis Ranking System (NTRP).

In summary, beginners focus on getting their shots in, intermediate players focus more on technique, advanced players focus on tactics, and pro players focus on psychology and fitness.

So are you a pusher or a troll? ;)
CategoryLevelPlay
Beginner1.0Trying to keep the ball in
Beginner2.0Able to keep ball in, but problems with the walls
Intermediate3.0Able to keep long rallies, problems with walls, point construction mistakes
Intermediate4.0Consistency, strong overhead game, able to attack from the back of the court
Advanced5.0Consistency in attacking, unpredictable tactics
Pro6.0A1, WPT professional players, daily exercising with professional trainers, psychologically strongd
Pro7.0Top 50 professional players in the world.

We will focus our discussion on the recreational level.

If you’re reading this article, you likely sit somewhere in beginner or intermediate, so we’ll dive into those now.

Styles of play

As a player develops, they naturally develop a strength toward a particular style of play. Maybe they come from tennis and they have a tendency to rush the net and smash every ball or maybe they came from ping pong and they play with a lot of slice.

These characteristics will naturally be accentuated as a player improves their abilities, so we’ve borrowed thinking from the Essential Tennis Youtube channel to place playing style into our rating chart.

Because players generally gravitate toward developing their game more in either the attack or defense and consistency, we’ve included this in the rating chart. Of course, as a player improves, in general, they will become better in both the attack and the defense, but because players generally favor one over the other, we included it in the visualization.

Disclaimer

The rating scale can therefore only provide guidelines and serve as a basis for discussion. You get a better assessment by playing many matches against different opponents. If you know their level, you can classify yourself relative to it.

Of course, any summary list like this is a simplification and thus should be taken with a grain of salt as most players excel at certain categories of the game before or after others.

Our top rackets for beginner padel players

{{racket-card="/racket-reviews/piton"}}

{{racket-card="/racket-reviews/pr990-precision-soft"}}

{{racket-card="/racket-reviews/counter-vertuo"}}

Characteristics of beginner padel players

Level 1.0

Level 1.0 players have just picked up a padel racket. These players are working through the basics of hand-eye coordination, footwork, and shot familiarity.

CategoryDescription
ForehandHas trouble keeping the ball in play with his forehand, even at low speeds
BackhandNearly always mistakes
ServeStruggles to hit the serve in
VolleyHas no volleying ability, so player remains at the back of the court
WallNearly always mistakes when trying to hit balls rebounding off the wall
OverheadsNearly always mistakes
LobsNot played correctly or intentionally
TacticsKnows the basic rules of the game, but does not understand how to play tactically

Level 2.0

At level 2.0, players are familiar with the types of shots in the game but are very inconsistent. The walls are very difficult.

Backhands are challenging. Timing on volleys and overheads is challenging.

They try to target open spaces in the court to varying degrees of success. Shots are generally bouncy.

CategoryDescription
ForehandBetter positioning, few mistakes at slow playing speeds
BackhandAvoids the backhand most of the time because it is inconsistent
ServePlays a more aggressive first serve
VolleyUncomfortable at the net, but some success with easy forehand volleys
WallProblems but some success on slow balls
OverheadsSmashes often with inconsistent success
LobsTries lobs, but they are often not hit properly
TacticsImproper positioning, frequently in no man's land

Characteristics of intermediate padel players

Level 3.0

We consider jumps from one major level to the next logarithmic, like the Richter scale. And there is a big jump from 2.0 to 3.0. These players have dramatically improved their consistency while adding control and power to their shots. Many good tennis players who start padel enter the game around this level as they have brought with them their footwork (looking at you, split steppers), hand-eye coordination, and strokes.

3.0 players have started to use flat, slice, top spin, and side spin shots to their advantage.

There is still room for growth in the consistency of their volleys and overheads.

They use the lob extensively to various aims.

CategoryDescription
ForehandUsually hits medium-fast balls successfully; tries to put pressure on the opponent
BackhandCan hold long rallies with simple backhands at medium pace
ServeConsistent well-placed (glass or on the "T") first serve
VolleyUses the split step, and can keep up volley battles at medium speed
WallComfortable with flat medium speed balls
OverheadsBandeja played with consistency, sometimes smashes winners
LobsFew mistakes on forehand lobs
TacticsMoves ok with their partner, but sometimes creates gaps in the court for their opponents to exploit

Level 4.0

Another large jump to reach 4.0. These players have improved their consistency around the court. They are especially capable of turning defensive situations into attacking opportunities. Their game has transitioned from one to get the ball in to “be unpredictable” while consistent.

Their overhead game is diverse and leveraged with intelligence. They take advantage of the split-second hesitations of their opponent. Fitness is important.  

Our top rackets for intermediate padel players

{{racket-card="/racket-reviews/ml10-pro-cup-luxury"}}

{{racket-card="/racket-reviews/ultimate-tour"}}

{{racket-card="/racket-reviews/raptor-evolution"}}

CategoryDescription
ForehandAppropriate use of the chiquita and aggressive forehand slice
BackhandMasters backhand blocks and becomes increasingly comfortable on defense at medium pace
ServeConfident serves with variable speed, spin, and placement
VolleyVaries volley direction, depth, speed, and spin
WallSkillful play of the walls and corners
OverheadsComfortable with the Bandeja and the Vibora
LobsEffective and frequent use of lobs
TacticsUnderstands the difference between the right and left side of the court; constructs points with patience

Characteristics of advanced padel players

Level 5.0

Level 5.0 players are playing at the highest recreational level. These players have a nearly perfect technique in all of the shots of the game. They know how to apply all of the strategies.

Here the game becomes increasingly about psychology and tactics compared to technique. Games are planned

CategoryDescription
ForehandReturns balls placed by opponents with increasing control and power and/or spin
BackhandReturns difficult balls played with speed and spin safely and purposefully
ServeSecond serve also has pressure and rarely double faults
VolleyAttacks opponents' weaknesses with aggressive volleys
WallComfortable with the wall, chooses shots judiciously based on opponents' position
OverheadsEnds rallies with a kick smash (x3) or flat smash (x4)
LobsPlays well-placed lobs with a low error rate
TacticsRecognizes and anticipates opponents' tactics and adjusts accordingly with their partner

Our top rackets for advanced padel players

{{racket-card="/racket-reviews/metheora-dual"}}

{{racket-card="/racket-reviews/at10-18k"}}

{{racket-card="/racket-reviews/head-delta-pro"}}

Professional

Level 6.0

CategoryDescription
ForehandMaster of all forehand variations, including precise blocks and slice shots
BackhandMakes few unforced errors and can attack with the backhand
ServeOver 80% successful first serves, nearly 0% mistake on second serves
VolleyPower at the net to immediately exploit the smallest inaccuracies of the opponent
WallTakes advantage of the wall defensively and offensively with very few mistakes
OverheadsMasters all overhead shots including fake smash, backhand smash, rulo, and flat smashes
LobsCan confidently play a lob from any game situation that forces the opponent onto the defensive
TacticsFlexibly adapts the playing style to external factors (age of the balls, temperature, sun, shape of the partner, etc.)

Level 7.0

Level 7.0 is composed of the top 30-50 players in the world. Our table doesn’t represent their game play as it exists in unpredictability and extremes.

Psychology, fitness, and adaptability are more important than technique because the perfect technique is assumed across all shot categories. They create new shots only the fly for new scenarios they find themselves in.

They quickly understand and exploit the weakness of their opponents.

Their combination of perfect technique, tactical genius, and strong psychology makes them the most entertaining players to watch.

Advantages of knowing your padel level

Now, it should be clear: what level you have and what you can work on to take your game to the next level. It should be easier now to register for the appropriate group in upcoming tournaments. Additionally, you can search for a partner at your level who complements your abilities.

Improving your level

Contrary to what many players do, training is usually required to improve your level. While at the beginning of your time playing padel, you can improve quickly if you have experience in racket sports, this improvement can also bring in bad habits that you will have to work to fix later on.

To improve your padel level, you should train nearly as much as you play matches. Only in training can you fill in the gaps in your abilities and improve on your strengths. A coach should provide personalized observations and suggestions to help you improve your game. Also, there’s nothing like hitting a certain shot 50 times in a row to build the muscle memory to do it correctly on match day.

Also, don’t skip training outside of the court. Physical fitness becomes increasingly important as players get closer to an advanced level.

Playing style

So are you an attacking player or a defending player?

Even at the beginner level, many of us find our natural tendencies take over, and we find ourselves falling into either a tendency to attack or struggle to keep the ball in play.

Essential Tennis describes beginner attacking-oriented players as “Trolls”. You know, the guy that smashes with a 10% success rate, but is still smiling about his one successful smash from the last match.

Beginner defense-oriented players are called “Pushers”. These players just pop the ball over the net all day long and wait for their opponent to make a mistake.

Martin di Nenno is an example of a professional defense-oriented player, while Paquito Navarro is an example of a pro attacking player.

In Padel, you’ll note that with two right-handed players, the left-side player will get the balls in the middle, so they will take the lobs there, smashing when they deem appropriate. As a result, many attacking players naturally gravitate to playing on the left side. Nevertheless, many of these “Trolls” cannot smash.

Being aware and honest with yourself regarding your strengths and weakness will help you improve your game.

The right racket

We recommend players select their racket based on their level and playing style.

Rackets are made for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Beginners will struggle with the small sweet spot and low ball output of advanced rackets.

Rackets are also targeted for control, versatile, and power-oriented playing styles. Normally indicated by their shape, respectively, round, hybrid/teardrop, and diamond.

All else being equal, we suggest players choose their racket based on these criteria.

Read more in our article, How to Choose a Padel Racket (link below).

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,

This page may contain affiliate links. Learn more

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.

We're also linking to deals from the most popular shops across the globe to help you find the best place to get your gear!