Coaches Corner: Smash Series - Unleashing the RULO

We’ve covered some of the more generic padel smashes such as the bandeja and vibora (remember what they mean) in previous Coaches Corner posts. We have two more niche smashes to discuss. In the world of padel, mastering unique shots can set you apart on the court. One of these unique shots is the rulo. Translated from Spanish to mean “roll,” this tactical smash, championed by Argentinian sensation Franco Stupaczuk, is a game-changer designed to use the side fence and create opportunities for a follow-up shot.


The Rulo: Tactical Awareness


The rulo is a shot used in a specific situation: Picture yourself at the net, your opponent just lobbed the ball over your backhand side, and it is hovering tantalizingly over your outside shoulder – not enough time to move into position to hit a regular smash – THAT is the moment to hit the rulo. The angle from your opponent’s lob gives you an opportunity to angle the ball down into the side fence with a slow, topspin smash. (Emphasis on SLOW.) By hitting it into the side fence, you force your opponent into a whirlwind of defensive manoeuvres from anticipating the ball's unpredictable bounce to trying to not let it hit the fence in the first place – this shot redirects the play, leaving your opponent scrambling to catch up. 


Rulo: The Technical Elements


The rulo is technically similar to a kick serve in tennis. The ball is over the left shoulder (for right-handed players,) and contact is made on the left-hand side of the body. The ball needs to drop lower than a regular smash contact point so that the racquet face can “roll” over the ball to get it to dip down over the net and bounce before hitting the side fence. The rulo is hit with “kick” or topspin so that it can jump up into the cage and disarm your opponents – but don’t hit it too hard! This is one of the slowest smashes there is. The angle you hit the shot dictates how hard you should hit it. 


The Art of the "Roll"


Despite its deceptive gentleness, executing a rulo is a high-level skill that demands a blend of flexibility and strength. It requires you to reach back and make contact behind the head, akin to executing a light topspin smash. It's a testament to the finesse and control that characterizes this advanced shot.


Master the Rulo: Coaching Sessions Await!


If you're excited by the rulo and eager to add it to your toolbox, you're in luck! Jump on a Coaching Session and receive guidance and hands-on training. The UK PADEL app is where you will find mor information on these sessions, or reach out to Jared at  Don't miss this chance to elevate your game and surprise your opponents with a move that could redefine your playing style.


CHALLENGES! Win 1 Years Supply of UK PADEL Kit


If you’re not following us on social media, you better start now! We have launched the CHALLENGE series in the build-up to the UK PADEL COUNTY CHAMPS. Each challenge will have its own individual prize and increase in difficulty. 


The first on is called: Serve it up!


Can you hit the side glass with a serve 3 times in a row? All you have to do is show us your skills for a chance to win a UK Padel NO.3 racket! Tag us on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok @uk_padel to enter. PS: If you enter all 3 challenges, you will be entered into the draw to win 1 year’s supply of UK PADEL kit!


Catch you on court soon!


Coach Jared




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