Carbons & Composites
All our materials are produced by global leading manufacturers in their respective fields and carbon is one of the key ingredients in producing world class padel rackets. We have a long-standing relationship with the Japanese company Toray, in our opinion, the best carbon manufacturer in the world. They have been producing yarns, composites and fibres since 1926 and have developed over the past 100 years into a global corporation that produces in 26 countries. We couldn’t hope for a better partner to produce our carbons and fibres.
A bit more information about carbon:
Carbon fibres are made from precursors such as rayon or polyacrylonitrile (PAN), these precursors are chemically treated, heated and stretched. Afterwards they get carbonised to get high-strength fibres.
A 3K fabric has 3000 strands of carbon in each tow, while a heavier weight fabric, like 6k for example has 6000 strands per tow. A standard tow is 125” wide, so that’s a lot of fibre packed into a small space. That is what makes carbon fibre such a strong material. Carbon fibre fabric comes in a variety of weaves and spreads that have different strength/weight ratios and offer different properties.
We have 4 options of carbon fabric weaves and tows that we use for our rackets.
3K biaxial twill weave carbon fabric is the golden standard in sports equipment manufacturing and we have created 100s of successful products over the last decade using this fabric. It’s strength/weight ratio is excellent compared to the relative cost of the material, and it weights 200 grams per square meter (200GSM).
18K Textreme® biaxial spread-tow carbon fabric is a relatively new type of carbon fibre fabric. It is very similar to a conventional woven cloth, but is manufactured using a special ‘spreading’ technology to make the individual tows of carbon fibre very flat and wide. The result is a fabric that is smoother and flatter than a conventional woven cloth with less of the ‘crimp’ that occurs each time warp and weft tows intersect each other. This reduced crimp means that spread tow fabrics can provide marginal stiffness advantages, it also results in a very unique looking bolder carbon fibre weave pattern. This fabric boasts an impressive 160GSM.
18K Gernitex® triaxial spread-tow carbon fabric is the latest revolution in carbon fabric manufacturing.
- Traditional carbon fiber fabrics and Kevlar fabrics consist in two sets of parallel yarns oriented in two perpendicular directions, for instance 0° and 90°. These fabrics are therefore called bi-axial.
- Triaxial fabrics are composed of three sets of parallel yarns corresponding to three directions: 0°, -60° and +60 °. Their structure is triangular. Triaxial carbon fiber do not exhibit the inherent deficiencies of biaxial reinforcement fabrics. Their strength is practically the same regardless of the stress direction and type. In addition to its superior properties, tri-axial fabrics also look incredibly futuristic and performant. Triaxial carbon finally has the best strength/weight ration and comes in at 120GSM.
Glass fibre has roughly comparable mechanical properties to other fibers such as polymers and carbon fiber. Although not as rigid as carbon fiber, it is much cheaper and significantly less brittle when used in composites. Glass fibers are therefore used as a reinforcing agent for many sports products. With 300GSM
Osaka EVA Foam
EVA foam is in high demand in the sports- and especially padel-market today because of its exceptional qualities and uses. EVA foam is produced by a copolymerization reaction between Ethylene and Vinyl Acetate, hence EVA. It is highly durable and sturdy even at extremely low temperatures. But more importantly for padel, it is able to withstand repeated stress and compression without obtaining cracks and recuperates at an incredible rate. It also maintains these properties for a long time and is considered a very resilient foam.
On top of all that it offers all these excellent properties in a lightweight package, making it the ideal choice for padel. All the above caused us to choose only EVA foam in our padel rackets in various densities and blends.
Osaka Snap® foam is an excellent lightweight foam we developed with our supplier to specifically increase sweet-spot size and help players achieve higher ball-speeds with less effort. The foam is designed specifically to help you get the ball back across the net with little effort, this is achieved through the excellent recuperation rate of the EVA foam, which in turn creates a trampoline effect in the sweet-spot area. We use this foam in the majority of our range since it is an ideal foam for a wide variety of players.
Osaka Touch® foam is marginally heavier than its Soft counterpart, but offers some very similar properties. It was also designed specifically to increase sweet spot-size, but Touch® foam seeks to offer more control and precision. We achieved this through developing a slightly less-bouncy foam that allows players to place the ball where they want it wherever they are on the pitch. Touch® foam is used in parts of our range where we feel players will be looking for a bit more precision.
As of this season all Osaka rackets are produced using a carbon frame system. This means that the outer edge of the racket is formed carbon frame that increases the strength and durability of all Osaka rackets. There is a difference between the rackets in how this frame is formed. We have a single stage process for the more budget friendly rackets and a 2 stage process for our high range. One of the major benefits of a double stage process is the width of the frames we can achieve, the thinner the frame, the larger the foam area and the sweet-spot.
Single-stage Osaka rackets are produced in a single go, so the frame and face of the racket come out of the mould in a single go. This allows us to produce rackets in higher volumes, while still offering the benefits of a racket with a frame system. The width of these frames varies between 10-12mm.
Double-stage Osaka rackets have 2 distinct stages. In stage 1, the frame is formed using a twin-tube frame moulding process which creates the stiffest, most durable frames we have been able to produce to date. In the second stage, the foam is added into the frame and the face fabrics are applied. This double stage process also allows us to produce thinner frames with the same properties as their thicker counterparts. The width of these frames varies between 6-9mm.
Racket Surface Treatment
Over the last years we have experimented greatly with surface treatments. These 3D structures on the face of the racket allow players to put more spin on their ball, especially with shots like the bandeja, achieving great backspin is critical for your success on the court. This experimentation resulted in 2 proven methods we apply separately, or sometimes in combination on our different models.
The Quantum Spin® system has been implemented on our rackets since the first generation, but we have fine-tuned this technology over the last 3 years. 3 Dimensional shapes on the face of the racket create drag on each contact with the ball and result in a drastically improved rotational force. In dry conditions this rotational force can increase by up to 7% giving you a distinct advantage, in wet conditions this can even go up to 9%.
Sand Surface coating is a finishing process we have been using for over a decade, in this process resin coated sand particles are sprayed onto the surface of the rackets. These sand particles form tiny holds for the felt fibres on padel balls that further increase the spin applied to the ball with each contact. This surface treatment can generate between 3-5% depending on playing conditions.
Our Pro Tour and Pro Tour Limited Rackets will be delivered with an especially designed and beautifully shaped TPU bumper, this bumper has a maximum depth of 2,5mm and weighs around 11 grams. The sand surface on the rackets allows for excellent adhesion with the glue, so the bumper will never come off unwanted after you apply it. The balance of your racket will be slightly altered after application, so the bumper can always be removed if you prefer the playstyle of the bat without it. The choice is yours!
Our Vision Pro rackets will be delivered with an applied see-through PU bumper. While still allowing the beautiful graphics to shine, your edge will be protected by an extremely lightweight bumper.