Bandeja and vibora are two of the most famous padel shots. In fact they are specific to this sport which means you will only see them on padel courts. But do you know how to distinguish them ?
The bandeja, a “defensive shot” ?
First, let's talk about bandeja. Bandeja means tray in english. Indeed, when you realize a bandeja you prepare your shot with your arm parallel to the ground and with the head of the racket being open, just like the way a waiter carries a tray. By doing so, you make sure the ball will not bounce too much after it touches the glass, leaving your rivals in defense and forcing them to squat to play the ball. Fernando Belasteguin and Alejandra Salazar are the all-time masters of the bandeja and it was first created to allow the players who are attacking to maintain their position at the net. To make it simple, a bandeja was called a “defensive shot”, and was used in a lob situation when it was too risky to smash the ball.
Now, the bandeja has evolved, and a lot of players are trying to strike it stronger, with more effect, in an intent on taking the advantage or even on winning the point. In this search, an even more aggressive shot was created : the vibora.
The vibora, a more aggressive shot !
Vibora means viper in english. It's a variation of the bandeja, with your elbow bent when you prepare your shot. With the “pala” closer to your body, you will have the possibility to strike stronger and with more effect. Knowing the grip is a little more closed than with a bandeja, you will have the opportunity to put even more effect with your wrist.
One of the kings of the vibora among professional players are Ale Galan and Paquito Navarro. To put even more potency in their shots, these two champions take advantage of their power oriented rackets : Bullpadel Hack 03 and Adidas Metalbone 3.1. In fact, a well-realized vibora that will land close to the corner will be very difficult to defend. But if you try to do it too strong while you're not well positioned, it may give an attacking opportunity to your rivals.
You can try to manage both vibora and bandeja but knowing arm position and grips are not the same for these two shots, it will be easier for each of us to perform one or another. That's why some coaches will tell you to stick with the one that feels more comfortable. The only thing you need to remember, whether you use one or another, is not to force too much when you're not perfectly positioned !