The Magic of the Padel Bandeja

Padel, an electrifying racquet sport that combines elements of tennis and squash, has been captivating players and audiences worldwide for decades. One of the shots that truly defines the beauty and strategy of the game is the bandeja.

As easy as it might look when executed by pros, mastering the bandeja takes time and understanding. But fret not! This guide will lead you through the ins and outs of this iconic padel shot.

Bandeja | Source: WPT

What is the Bandeja?

In Spanish, “bandeja” means “tray.” But in the world of padel, it’s a soft overhead shot that offers control over power. This shot is characterized by its unique combination of spin, trajectory, and pace, making it a strategic weapon in a player’s arsenal.

Unlike the aggressive smash which aims to win a point outright, the bandeja is more subtle. It’s about setting up the next move, putting your opponents on the back foot, and reclaiming the net position.

When to Use the Bandeja

The beauty of the bandeja lies not just in how it’s executed, but also in when it’s played.

Here are some prime scenarios

  1. Defensive Position: If you find yourself pushed back by a deep lob from your opponent, the bandeja can be your best friend. Instead of attempting a risky smash, a well-placed bandeja can allow you to regain a net position without surrendering the point.
  2. To Push Back Opponents: If your opponents are too close to the net and you wish to push them back without giving away an easy return, the bandeja is the answer. Its controlled pace and trajectory will force them to the back of the court.
  3. Over High Nets: Sometimes, the ball might be too high for a standard volley but not quite right for a smash. This is where the bandeja comes into play. It gives you the control needed to place the ball while keeping opponents guessing.
  4. Changing Game Tempo: If you notice that the game is becoming too fast-paced and it’s not in your favor, using a bandeja can change the rhythm, forcing opponents to adjust their strategies.

Executing the Perfect Bandeja

Step-by-step approach to nail the shot

  1. Prepare Early: As soon as you spot a lob, prepare for the bandeja. Shift your weight to the back foot and hold your racquet high and behind your head.
  2. Use Continental Grip: This grip allows for a mix of control and spin, which are crucial for a good bandeja.
  3. Hit at the Peak: Striking the ball at its highest point will ensure that it gets the required height and depth, making it difficult for opponents to attack.
  4. Follow Through: After hitting, your racquet should naturally follow through towards your target, ensuring that the ball travels deep and bounces high.
  5. Reclaim the Net: The primary purpose of the bandeja is to help you get back to the net. So, after executing the shot, move forward aggressively to take control of the net.


The bandeja in pádel is not just a shot; it’s a statement. A blend of precision, strategy, and control, it can turn the tide in a match when used aptly.

While it might not have the outright power of a smash, its value lies in its versatility and ability to dictate play.

Whether you’re pushing back aggressive opponents, defending against a deep lob, or simply trying to change the tempo of the game, the bandeja is the shot to master.

So, next time you’re on the court, give the bandeja a shot – literally, and watch how it elevates your game.