The weather with you: racket performance

Could this be the best excuse yet for having an off-day on court – the weather (quite literally) puts a dampener on your racket. It’s padel’s equivalent of leaves on the line – and not helpful when you’ve spent hours choosing the perfect racket to play the perfect game. It’s something GB player and Babolat ambassador Amy Cairns knows a bit about. Here’s her advice to help you negotiate the weather with you.


In colder, drier climates the material used in the construction of a racket becomes more significant. Some materials, such as fibreglass and carbon fibre, tend to become stiffer and more brittle, which can impact the racket’s ability to generate power and make them more susceptible to breaking.

Cold also amplifies vibrations and impact feel on contact with the ball, resulting in discomfort and potential arm injuries. Look, therefore, for rackets that incorporate vibration dampeners or integrated systems to reduce vibrations and provide a more comfortable playing experience.

In wet conditions the durability and water resistance of a padel racket become crucial. Moisture can seep into its foam, leading to a drop in performance and potential damage. Grips are also important – opt for grips that offer good water resistance to maintain control in damp conditions.

The ball and court surface may become heavier in wet weather due to water absorption. A heavier ball can reduce the racket’s power (a slightly lighter racket can compensate for this) and a heavier court surface can impact manoeuvrability. Having a second racket isn’t feasible for most people so it’s often enough to acknowledge that the ball and court will feel different and take more care moving around.

Amy Cairns


Excessive heat and humidity can cause the foam structure of a racket to expand, leading to less control and an increase in power. Slightly firmer carbon fibre rackets compensate for this.

In humid conditions racket grips can become slippery. To counteract this use a grip with a moisture-absorbing surface and an overgrip that provides better traction and moisture control. I like the Babolat Pro Tour 2.0 overgrips because I prefer a ‘tacky’ feel to my handle. 


Rackets are generally designed to perform best at room temperature. It’s therefore recommended that you keep them indoors. A car boot – in winter or summer – is probably not advisable!


Understanding how heat, humidity, cold, dry and wet conditions affect racket performance allows you to make informed choices when selecting your equipment and when playing, whether you’re on court in a tropical paradise, braving the cold winter months or battling rain-soaked courts. 🎾