Manayunk nets padel, 'a perfect mixture of a lot of racquet sports'

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It became a popular in Europe, and now padel has come to Philadelphia.
When you think of this sport, think tennis meets racquetball with a side of squash ... and throw in a pickle — pickle ball that is.

Went to check out Padel this morning, a new racquet sport that popped up in Manayunk recently. It’s tennis meets squash with a side of pickleball. Hear all about this unique activity on @KYWNewsradio @ManayunkDotCom

— Andrew Kramer (@Philly_Kramer) July 13, 2019

"It is a perfect mixture of a lot of racquet sports," explained Marcos del Pilar, promotions manager at the padel pop-up in Manayunk. "So if you take the best things of tennis, squash, racquetball and platform (tennis) you'll discover padel!"

Right outside the Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center in Manayunk are two padel courts. They're smaller than a typical tennis court, and in the back of each court are walls, similar to those used in a game of racquetball or squash.

"So when the ball is coming to your feet, it probably makes sense letting the ball go to the wall and hitting it after the bounce," del Pilar advised.

Padel is only in Philadelphia for a limited time, but it has already made history.

"This is the very first pop-up we built in the country," said del Pilar. "This is the first time that something like this is happening in the U.S." 

Bob Watts decided to try out a beginners course. 

"I thought it was great," he said. "I think for anybody who is a racquet sport player it's really easy to pick up."

A big reason anybody can play — regardless of age or skill level, is because of the court surface.

"(They are) made of turf, with a lot of cushion," added del Pilar. "The good thing is you can play for hours, and your knees are safe."

Padel, pronounced "pa-DEL," is in Manayunk through October.