Backspin on Reverse Pendulum serve

Table Tennis Serving

Last updated 2 weeks ago

Yap Zhi De

Yap Zhi De Asked 3 weeks ago

Hi Alois/Jeff,

I recently started to learn the reverse pendulum serve and I am having difficulty generating backspin for the serve. I have tried to brush underneath the ball but it always seems to have more sidespin than backspin. For the pendulum serve I can get the ball to spin back ('ghost' serve) but for the reverse pendulum serve I can never achieve that. Appreciate your advice on this!


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 2 weeks ago

Hi Yap Zhi De,

The reverse pendulum serve is indeed a more complex serve to master when it comes to generating backspin compared to the traditional pendulum serve. There are a couple of key points to focus on to get that elusive backspin on your reverse pendulum serve.

In the reverse pendulum serve, the quality of the spin is heavily influenced by where on the ball you make contact. To generate more backspin, you want to contact the lower half of the backside of the ball—much like you would for a standard backspin serve.  The difficulty is that it is difficult to get your wrist into the position to make this contact happen.

The angle of your racket at the point of contact will greatly affect the type of spin imparted on the ball. If you're generating sidespin rather than backspin, your racket angle might be too open (facing more to the side of the table rather than downwards). Try adjusting the angle so that the surface of your racket faces more downward at the point of contact, with a brushing motion from low to high.

Finding the right balance between sidespin and backspin can take quite a bit of practice and slight adjustments. Take your time experimenting with different angles, contact points, and speeds until you find what works for you.

Watch your own serve and the ball's behavior closely or record a video of yourself serving, this way you can analyze what's happening with the spin. Also, the feedback mechanism of seeing how your opponent receives the serve can give you clues about the quality of your spin.


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Yap Zhi De

Yap Zhi De Posted 2 weeks ago

Hi Alois,

Thank you so much for your advice!



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