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What is the Pickleball Lob Shot?

The pickleball lob shot is a high arching, deep shot hit into the pickleball opponent’s backcourt. The pickleball lob shot may be hit as an offensive shot or a defensive shot and may be hit as a forehand or backhand.

In this article I will share my experience using the pickleball log shot offensively, defensively, and I recorded a video discussing a simple footwork drill to improve your ability to hit a pickleball lob shot.

Basic Pickleball Strategy: Zig When Your Oppenent Expects you to Zag!

Everyone in pickleball talks about the dink and every is typically expecting the dink, so when a pickleball player hits a deep arching lob it throws the other team off balance.

Watch the Wind

One thing to keep in mind is the wind. Since pickleball is played with a whiffleball the wind will carry the ball further than you may expect. The higher you hit your log shot the more influence the wind will have on it.

Watch the Sun

Another component of an effective lob shot is the sun’s position in the sky. Players facing the sun will have a tendency to lose track of the ball because of the sun. Conversely if you are facing the sun be aware that a lob shot is likely coming your way.

The Pickleball Lob Shot May be an Offensive or Defensive Shot

Offensive Pickleball Lob Shot

When your opponent is overplaying the non-volley zone line or is overly aggressive you can use an offensive log shot to drive the player back on the court.

Hitting a lob shot over the non-paddle shoulder or back corners of the pickleball court will be an effective offensive strategy that could win you the point.

Defensive Pickleball Lob Shot

Using the pickleball lob shot as a defensive strategy can help if you are a slower player on the court. 

Lobbing the ball into the backcourt will give you time to get into position. It may also cause your opponent to cover more ground resulting in greater fatigue.

Just as in the game of Chess, you should be thinking two and three moves ahead. If you can win the point now… awesome! But against a seasoned player you will need to play ahead and strategically using an occasional lob shot will give you that advantage.

Video Instruction

The following video is a great tutorial on how to hit an offensive lob from the Better Pickleball YouTube channel.

When to use an offensive pickleball log shot.

  1. Slower opponent
  2. Poor communiction
  3. Shoter opponent
  4. Weak overhead
  5. Sun is at your back


  • Open paddle face,
  • low to high arm motion,
  • Pushing the ball. 
  • Contact happens in front of your body,
  • It looks like a dink,
  • The apex of your lob shot should be higher than the opponent’s overhead reach

Pickleball Lob Shot Footwork Drill

In the following video you will see a “Y” shaped tape-line on the floor of my clinic. I use that line to help pickleball players improve their footwork in a consistent manner.

Man Demonstrating Pickleball Lob Shot Forehand
Man Demonstrating Pickleball Lob Shot Backhand