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Step Aside, Pickleball: ‘Padel’ is the Latest Racket Sport to Hit New York City

Earlier this year, pickleball–aka tennis’ trendier cousin–made waves online as the latest sports craze to hit the United States. Celebrities are even getting in on the game, like LeBron James, George and Amal Clooney, and the Kardashians. But pickleball’s domination may be short lived because there’s a growing interest in another net-based sport called padel (pronounced ‘puh-dell’) that’s poised to give it some competition.

Already popular in Spain and Latin American countries, padel originated in Mexico in 1969. Today, over 25 million people across 90 countries play padel, making it one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Fortunately, you don’t need a passport to play.

In the latest episode of What the Wellness, Well+Good’s Ella Dove visits Padel Haus, a spacious club nestled in the south Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn that caters to the sport. Having just opened its doors this past summer, Padel Haus is the first club of its kind in New York City, and while it’s only been operating since June, it’s so popular, that Padel Haus has plans to open more locations in Long Island and Manhattan.

As with all unfamiliar activities, trying a new sport can be intimidating, but for Dove, padel turned out to be less challenging–and more rewarding–than anticipated. “It felt like it was pretty easy to pick up, and I feel like it was great cardio,” she says. “There are a lot of places to spend your money on a workout these days; why not learn a new sport while you’re at it?”

Ready to hit the court? Play the video above to get an exclusive peek inside Padel Haus, learn the rules, and see the game in action.

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