Charles Messow and Coulter Wright, the founders of redPADEL, were interviewed by the Globe and Mail in August 2023 after they launched The Pad, a padel club on Cherry Street in Toronto.

“Padel attracts the person that wants immediate validation,” said Messow. “We’re hard-wired to want to get better and chase a dangling carrot. Tennis is hard for beginners, while Padel is easy to learn but very hard to master. It just has such crazy momentum.”

According to the International Padel Federation, more than 25 million people play padel in 90 countries. And it seems other countries will follow, with North America, Asia and the U.K. expected to see a rise in courts and players over the next 10 years. A 2023 report conducted by Deloitte and Playtomic predicts that by 2026 there will be 84,000 courts worldwide and that padel will become a $6-billion industry.

After founding redPadel, Messow and Wright approached the United States Padel Association, which governs the sport down south, and signed an agreement to be the organization’s rating system of choice.

In early 2023, they sold Ultra – their first padel club, located in Miami – and openedthe Pad in July. Other co-founders of the Canadian location include Chris Ritchie and Grayson Frazier, and the pop-up club is located in the industrial blocks of Toronto’s Cherry Beach.

Pickleball’s growth in the U.S. was sharp as there’s little heavy lifting needed to set up a court and play. Padel can be played both outdoors and indoors, but it takes more time to build a court, and the challenge for indoor clubs is finding a space with 25-foot ceilings that can accommodatelobs.

“Landlords still don’t know what it is in Toronto. They might see padel as a risky tenant. In Miami that has changed,” said Messow. “It’s going to be a slow build. Not for lack of demand. It’s harder to get space in Toronto. But I just don’t see the difference between here and everywhere else. It’s exploding.”

Read the full story at the Globe and Mail.

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*this story was published on Aug.24, 2023.