The short hop laser (also known as short hop blaster, abbreviated respectively to "SHL" and "SHB") is a technique usually performed by short hopping with Fox or Falco, using Blaster to shoot a laser, and fastfalling. The technique has two variants; the short hop double laser (SHDL) and the short hop triple laser (SHTL), for which two and three lasers respectively are shot during the short hop and no fastfall is performed. The SHL techniques were first utilised in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and have since carried into Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Kirby can also perform some of these techniques, by copying Fox and Falco's Blaster abilities using Inhale.
In Melee, Fox can SHL and SHDL, and both techniques are used to camp and "tack on" small amounts of damage, but are much less effective at stopping approaches, due to the lack of hitstun that Fox's lasers deal. Fox's SHL and SHDL are considered more safe and flexible than shooting lasers from the ground, for a number of reasons. Short hops can be maneuvered toward or away from the opponent, and the lag caused by landing takes less time than that which occurs during a grounded blaster's cool-down animation.
As Falco, the SHL is used to camp, disrupt and slow opponents' ground movement and approaches. Continuous strings of Falco’s SHL are faster to execute than continuous grounded lasers.
Moving and weaving
Fox and Falco are able to cover horizontal distance while airborne during the SHL and, in Fox's case, the SHDL. By pushing the control stick left or right shortly after tapping B, Fox and Falco can move forward or backward after firing a laser. With Fox, B can be pressed a second time during the control stick movement, in order to fire a second laser and perform a moving SHDL. While this technique allows for horizontal aerial movement, it prevents players from fastfalling; slowing the speed at which they return to the ground. The moving SHL and SHDL can be used to approach and retreat while shooting lasers at an opponent, and is often more effective for this purpose than the regular SHL and SHDL combined with ground movement. The technique can also be used to move swiftly in and out of an opponent's attack range while damaging them, a technique known as weaving.
In Brawl, Fox can SHL, SHDL and SHTL, the practical uses of which are very similar to those in Melee.
Falco can SHL and SHDL, and use of these techniques to camp and combo out of is considered a staple of his competitive game.
Wolf can SHL, but since his Blaster has a moderate amount of ending lag, he lands before it ends. Reversing short hop lasers is a common technique.