This once-obscure sport is booming in South Africa – here are all the places you can play and how much it costs

 ·18 Feb 2023

Padel tennis has become a fast-growing sport in South Africa, with hundreds of well-established courts nationwide in 2023, despite the first court only arriving in the country in late 2020.

Being a fun mixture of tennis and squash, padel can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels.

The growing popularity of this sport is not unique to South Africa, as it has garnered over 25 million players across 90 countries worldwide.

According to, padel is now Spain’s second most popular sport after soccer, with 6 million players and 20,000 courts countrywide.

Argentina is estimated to have over 2 million players, while Italy boasts around 5,000 courts countywide. In 2023, there will be 15,000 new padel courts currently under construction across Europe, the group said.

While the sport has a similar scoring system to tennis, its plays, courts and racquets are very different. The courts are enclosed and gameplay allows for the ball to be played off them. The racquets, meanwhile, are solid and stringless.

The sport has become so popular that it is increasingly being included in international events, with the aim of getting it into the Olympics.

Despite its rapid growth, however, it has been virtually unknown in South Africa until very recently.

South Africa 

The first padel court arrived in South Africa in late 2020 when Action Padel SA built two courts in Cape Town.

More courts followed shortly after across South Africa – including in Johannesburg, KwaZulu Natal, the Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

Speaking to Daily Maverick, the CEO of Africa Padel, James Baber, said there are roughly 176 padel courts nationwide as of the end of 2022 – with more courts opening up in Gqeberha, Knysna and Ballito, among other places, in 2023.

According to his estimates, South Africa’s player base is in the hundreds of thousands.

Bader noted that a court currently costs up to R1 million to build, and most of them have already paid themselves off.

How to book and the costs to play 

The best way to book is through the global app Playtomic, which most padel companies, including Africa Padel – South Africa’s largest Padel company – uses as their booking system.

Using Playtomic, those who want to play can set up an account and easily book a court closest to them.

The app also allows players to create private matches with friends, make them public to find partners or search for games to join.

According to the app, a court booking generally costs around R400 to R500 per hour – working out to R100 or R125 per person.

Players will also need a racquet – these typically cost between R2,000 to R7,000, Baber said

However, racquets can also be rented for R40 to R50, depending on where you play.

You’ll also need padel balls, which are similar to tennis balls but smaller with less bounce. A can of balls must be bought; however, once you’ve bought them, you can use them for future games.

All the places you can play padel in South Africa right now and their respective cost per session are listed below, as outlined by the Playtomic app.


Club Area Price (per hour)
Padel Lab – Clubview Centurion R200* | R400
Padel – Clearwater Crossing Roodepoort R244
Padel Lab – Ruimsig Roodepoort R300
Proactive Padel – Irene Country Club Centurion R400
Gayle Padel Club Raslouw R400
Padel Lab – Rivonia Sandton R200* | R400
Moove Motion Fitness Club – Sunninghill Sandton R400
Africa Padel – German Country Club Paulshof R400
Padel Perfect – Morning Glen Mall Gallo Manor R200* | R400
Africa Padel – Sandton Sandhurst R500
Padel Quip – Old Ben’s Sports Grounds Benoni  R250* | R300
Africa Padel – Old Parks Sports Club Randburg R400
Epic Padel – Huddle Linksfield R600
The Wanderers Club Illovo R300* | R400
Ten By Twenty – Killarney Country Club Houghton R450* | R500
Padel Plus – Benoni Country Club Benoni R250* | R400
Houghton Padel Houghton R500
Club Padel – Pirates Greenside R280* | R400

Cape Town

Club Area Price (per hour)
Africa Padel – V&A Waterfront Green Point R500
Ten By Twenty – Camps Bay Retreat Camps Bay R600
Epic Padel – The Glen Sea Point R300* | R400
Africa Padel – Camps Bay Camps Bay R400
Epic Padel -Epicentre Paarden Eiland R300* | R500
Africa Padel – Claremont Claremont R400
Action Padel Century City R240* | R300
Atlantic Padel – Table View Bloubergstrand R350* | R450
Ten By Twenty – Welgemoed Welgemoed R400
Epic Padel – Durbanville Pinehurst R320* | R400
Club Padel – Stellenbosch Devonvallei R400
The Padel Club Lourensford Wine Estate R300* | R380


Club Area Price (per hour)
Al Falaah Durban Padel Springfield R400
PadelNation – Umhlanga Umhlanga R200* | R320
Gayle Padel Club – Morewood Activity Centre Hillcrest R320
Africa Padel – Kloof Country Club Kloof R400
Africa Padel – Salt Rock Country Club Salt Rock R400
Eden Padel Salt Rock R280
Station Padel Umhlali R400
Padel HQ Sheffield Beach R260* | R340


Club Area Price (per hour)
Africa Padel – Plettenberg Bay Plettenberg Bay R400
Padel Park – East London Beacon Bay R200* | R280

*These prices are offered during off-peak hours, which are typically between 10h00 and 15h00.

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