Beat them with the Bandeja
Bandeja is a Spanish word that loosely translates to “Tray.” It’s a stroke that falls between between a smash and a forehand. To start off: hold your Padel racket in such a way throughout that you may set some glasses on top. In the same way as a waiter does.
Hold your horses because we’re just getting started! At the end of this article, you’ll get the basics of the bandeja.
The bandeja (tray-smash) is a popular version of the smash. What makes it special is that the contact point of the ball is at a lower level (about head height) and somewhat in front of you. Apply underspin to the ball so that it stays low after it bounces. The ending is a high, over-the-shoulder kind of thing.
You’ll have a better chance of hitting the ball into the goal if you finish low. It should feel like throwing a ball a long distance.
Watch this video to learn the bandeja move from scratch:
The goal here isn’t to win the point outright, but to keep the pressure on and reclaim your net position. You should be prepared to go up to the net as you hit the bandeja.
Stay low behind the service line, knees firmly bent, and prepare to strike a ball off your shoe laces if you notice your opponent about to hit a tray-smash…
If you already know how to play this move check out this video to see if you can still improve your form:
Your aim is to retain the pressure on your opponents and your team’s position near the net, not to try to end the point. Because it’s the longer shot, the safest tray-smash is directed diagonally towards the opposite corner. Furthermore, when the ball approaches the corner, it is likely to bounce off two walls, making the returner’s job more difficult.
If you’re feeling confident, go for the side wall. This bandeja will result in a more complicated bounce.
Here’s a quick video on the common mistakes that you might be doing while trying to execute this move:
When you’re at the net, the Bandeja is a shot to counter your opponent’s lobs. In Padel, one team usually attacks while the other defends. A defensive lob is frequently used by the defending side to force the attacking team to the back of the court.
If you ever find yourself in a pinch like this, the Bandeja is the solution to these lobs.
When the shot includes some slice, the ball does not bounce up as much. This move will also not hit as quickly as a smash, and it is frequently placed toward the rear of the opposing team’s court into the corners.