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Evade Your Opponent with the Banana Shot

by The Dink Media Team on

Pickleball is already a goofy enough name to turn people away. Thanks to Zane Navratil you’ll have to explain to your friends that you hit a banana shot while playing pickleball. Yikes.

He peels back the layers on the banana shot in a new video.

The banana shot is used to curve the ball around your opponent and land it into the backcourt behind them.

The shot was made famous in tennis by Rafael Nadal. As paddle technology has advanced to provide more spin the banana shot has also become a possibility in pickleball. 

The banana shot is most commonly used to hit the ball down the line, either for an ATP or passing shot.

Zane recommends three tips to give your ball the banana shape:

  • Make contact with the ball at your side instead of in front
  • Drop the paddle head down so you can curl around the ball
  • Brush around the outside of the ball to create side spin instead of slice

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Banana Shot in the Wild

One pro that has mastered the banana shot is Federico Staksrud. He played college tennis so his groundstrokes are some of the best in the game.

Fed cut his teeth in pickleball playing singles against JW Johnson on the APP Tour. In order to pass JDub, Fed had to get creative. He started using the banana shot to curve the ball out of Johnson's reach.

This year, Fed's doubles game has caught up and he is still using the banana shot as a weapon. At MLP Atlanta Fed fired off two backhand banana shot ATP winners. What a sentence. Here's a look at one of them.

This shot won't be easy to master but it will certainly be worthwhile.

Make a stop in the produce section and drop the banana shot into your cart. Not only is it effective but it is one of the most fun shots to hit. Watch your opponent turn their head to see the ball land in and their dreams crushed in the process.

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