Sometimes we come across phrases like “In Finland, they don’t play padel,” “In Finland, tennis is played on a padel court,” or “Finns only use powerful shots.” These statements seem to underestimate the playing style in the country.

In this blog post, we will explore why Finland, a country where padel has gained massive popularity in the past two years, has a distinct playing style compared to countries like Spain or Argentina.

As enthusiasts of complexity, we believe that players’ actions are influenced by their environment. Let’s analyze some characteristics of the Finnish padel environment and draw conclusions about the type of game that emerges in this country.


Finland experiences cold weather for most of the year, making it convenient to play indoors. Indoor clubs allow players to avoid disturbances caused by rain, snow, cold, sunlight, or excessive brightness.

Court conditions

The majority of courts in Finland are new, indoor facilities with high-quality features such as professional or semi-professional carpet, LED lights, and spacious doors that allow for outdoor play. These conditions promote a fast and spectacular style of play.

Background in racket sports

Finland has a rich background in racket sports, primarily tennis, badminton, and squash. Additionally, sports like hockey, ringette, floorball, and Finnish baseball involve striking a ball or disc with a tool. It is reasonable to assume that many padel players in Finland have a background in these sports, which influences their game.

Lack of experience

Since padel is a relatively new sport in Finland, there are limited experienced coaches and players. As a result, many players are self-taught or learn through online resources.

Top players with a tennis background

In the early years of padel development, players with a tennis background often progress quickly. Consequently, when observing high-level matches in Finland, it becomes apparent that most top padel players have a history in tennis.

Consequences of this context: The Finnish style

When all these factors and many others are combined, the “Finnish style” emerges. Watching matches in the Finnish circuit reveals a prevalent fast and aggressive gameplay, characterized by short points, numerous smashes, door exits, and constant transitions. Overall, it is a visually captivating style of play, as long as the players minimize unforced errors, which is not always the case.

Is this style of play good or bad? Neither. It simply reflects the playing style that has developed within a specific context and the players’ relationship with that context.

Will this style change in the future? It appears that change is already underway. Making predictions in complex environments is challenging, but it seems reasonable to assume that players will adapt their style when certain contextual aspects change. For instance, what if Spaniards and Argentinians began competing with Finns regularly and consistently defeated them? What if the official ball used in the circuit no longer favored fast gameplay? What if the top-ranked players were no longer former tennis players but dedicated padel players?

If the context were to change, we cannot predict precisely how the playing style would evolve. However, we are certain that players would adapt to the new circumstances, leading to an evolution in the style based on the demands of the updated context. Gradually, changes can already be observed in the game, especially with the introduction of the 2023 official ball, which is not as fast as the previous ball.

Therefore, let us refrain from judging whether the prevailing game style in Finland is “true” padel or whether it is beautiful or ugly. Instead, let’s understand that the type of game that develops is a result of the complex relationship between the context and the players themselves. The actions performed by the players on the court are highly influenced by this relationship and the prevailing conditions.