Le lob part of the panoply du good player padel. Several types of lobs exist and the lob candle can get you out of circumstances sometimes good complicated.

Before going into detail, let's define the candle lob: it is a ball played from the defense zone, which will gain a lot of height. The objective will be either to calm things down, or to disturb the opponents with external elements (like the sun), or to give you time to reposition yourself.

How does it play?

Since it is a blow that must go very high, our gesture will be broad and carried out from bottom to top. If you need to step out of your comfort zone (maison) and you opt for the candle, the idea will be to calm the opposing ardor. Having height and therefore time will allow you to breathe, reposition yourself and break the opponents' attack rhythm. And if you have a little luck, you can even push the players in front of you to the back of the track and go on the attack. 

Please note: the candle lob is played in the center to avoid mistakes.

When you are in your comfort zone, your home, and you choose this candle lob, you are no longer under pressure. The idea is therefore to disrupt, hinder, in short “break the feet” of the opponents to prevent them from playing. It's very disturbing to face players who don't accept “normal” play. Ultimately, it's a weapon like any other to try to swing the match.

So often, this type of tactic only lasts a few points or games, but these few points can cause mentally fragile players to disconnect from the match. If they start to foil by making bad choices of shots, ball speeds, or areas of play, this can revive the pair who have chosen this “candle” tactic.

RIera lob icardo WPT Marbella 2023

How to defend?

The very first thing to understand and above all to accept is that your opponents have the right to “pollute” the game with this type of lob. Tell yourself that if you can defend them, they will change their strategy and stop this tactic. On the other hand, if it annoys you or you make a move that allows them to attack and win the point, you won't have finished rolling your eyes.

So two solutions are available to you: either you volley the ball, or you let it bounce.

I let it bounce.

This may be the right choice, because after a bounce, the ball will be easier to negotiate. TRUE. On the other hand, after the rebound, the ball may come out in 4s above the bottom grid, bounce on the grid or even remain stuck to the bottom window. And this is where the biggest problem appears. Going to negotiate these difficult balls will most certainly force you to come away with a lob, and who knows if this lob will be effective or not? In most cases, this difficult lob will encourage opponents to take the net. So let it bounce yes but if and only if you know that the ball will be easily negotiable live with an attacking forehand or after coming out of the window for a well-handled lob.

I volley the ball.

This would amount to playing a bandeja except that this will not be so simple to achieve. The goal here will be to open the pala towards the sky so that the ball bounces on it. By doing this you won't be able to miss it. Then don't look for anything extraordinary. Try to play the ball right in the middle of the service square. You put the ball back into play, you limit the opponents' possibilities of attack and above all, above all, you no longer lose the net.

The candle lob is a very good way to swing a game in your favor. Don't hesitate to use it. But be careful, know that you may face players who use the same tactical plans. So take your time, stay calm and Vamos!

Julien Bondia

Julien Bondia is a teacher of padel in Tenerife (Spain). Columnist and advisor, he helps you play better through his tutorials and tactical/technical articles padel.