Windshield Wiper Serve

Table Tennis Serving

Last updated 5 years ago

Dirk Nonhoff

Dirk Nonhoff Asked 5 years ago

Hi Alois,

I saw and try a lot of variations for my serve. Last weekend I had an opponent who used the wiper in both directions and it was very hard to return the serve. Could you please explain this technique with a video as this serve is very effective and not often been seen - maybe that´s the reason why it is to effective---? 



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi Dirk,

Good idea.  I think we will add this to the list of videos to be made.  Anyone else want to see this video?

The basic movement is just as the name, like a windshield wiper with you bat. Turn your wrist back so that the bat is facing straight towards your opponent.  Then start either from the left or right and brush across the back of the ball going forward slightly to get the forward momentum.

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Thoughts on this question

mat huang

mat huang Posted 5 years ago

I have a friend in States who uses this serve quite frequently as well. If it is possible, i would also like to see a video on it :D

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 5 years ago

I guess we're talking about a forehand serve here? (it could be possible with the backhand as well, but it would probably be much more difficult to execute)

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

I suppose you can do it with the backhand as well.  Would be an interesting variation.

mat huang

mat huang Posted 5 years ago

great vid!

Noor Motani

Noor Motani Posted 5 years ago

I use this serve frequently and find it useful. However, I can only do it in counter clockwise. I can't swing it clockwise. Any advice. 


D K Posted 5 years ago


This is my coach's most powerful serve.
He wins 30-40% of points directly off this serve.

If you do it with backhand...wouldn't it be a move similar to Kenta Matsudaira's chopblock with bigger motion?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Hi Noor, just give it a try going the other way.  Do you mean clockwise from your perspective?

Des Ryan

Des Ryan Posted 5 years ago


i never knew this serve had a name!

i first saw this serve in the 70's from the Eastern bloc of Europe,Hungary I think.

very effective,and with experiment you can add several variations,spin and no spin.

im off to practice it now!!

Des Ryan

Ujjal Chatterjee

Ujjal Chatterjee Posted 5 years ago

Dear Alois & Jeff, Nicely explained the Windshield Wiper Serve. At different point of contact the server is imparting Side Spin / Top Spin / Back spin. Great.....

Mike Lauro

Mike Lauro Posted 5 years ago

This is a very effective serve when done well.  It takes a lot of practice to be able to control the placement.  There is one very good player I practice with who has a deceptive forehand windshield wiper serve even though the paddle only moves in one direction (he does not do a reverse windshield wiper serve).

The serve is particularly dangerous when the ball is kept low over the net and has its second bounce on the table.  Reading the spin in that situation is critical because there is less time to react.

When this type of serve comes long (second bounce off the table), my main response is to aggressively topspin or loop the ball back since I have more time to read the spin prior to my attacking stroke.

Hitting a no spin serve (or less spin) serve with the windshield motion is also effective, so try it out as you experiment with this serve.  To make no spin (or less spin), at the moment of contact, touch the area on ball as you would to make sidespin (as Alois shows in the video) and instead of "wiping" the ball sideways to impart spin, "gently bump" the ball forward.  Immediately after contact, continue the wiping motion to increase deception.  The entire wiping and bumping motion should look like a continuous wiping motion.  Even if you impart less spin on the ball (because you bump the ball while slightly wiping), if your opponent thinks it has more spin, you may provoke a mistake on which you can capitalize.

One challenge to this type of serve is with the knee bending.  When you lower yourself to do this serve, and your feet are close together, your bent knees will be out in front of your feet.  This puts a lot of stress on the knees.  To remedy this when I do the windshield wiper serve, I spread my feet out wider than shoulder width (as I do when I receive serve), and basically do a squatting motion so that my knees stay over my feet.  I've tried to keep my feet together, and it just doesn't feel good on my knees.  The wider stance helps me recover to a ready or attacking position immediately after I make the serve.

Rizalito Boligao

Rizalito Boligao Posted 5 years ago

Hi Alois,

Glad that this kind of serve is featured here. Having watched the big boys play table tennis, it is very uncommon to see a player employing this serve as an effective means of deceiving the opponent. Personally, I find this serve easier to execute than compared with pendulum serves. As a matter of fact I consider this as my secret weapon to score during tight games. However, I do it with a slight variation, instead of the wiper movement, I do it in a fast right to left brushing motion on the ball from my right lower quadrant to the upper left quadrant of my body, or a right to left swing across my body.

kathy mckelvey

kathy mckelvey Posted 5 years ago

The video looks challenging!! 

Andrew Pape

Andrew Pape Posted 5 years ago

I think female player ruta paskauskiene uses this serve almost always. I saw her play Li Xiaoxia and put the Chinese #1 in big trouble. The serves were going all over the place, and quickly, with almost no visual cues about where the ball was going. Xiaoxia struggled to react in time but her experience won the match in the end.

I had forgotten the woman's name so found an image on youtube, recognising both her and the serve action frozen. Not sure what country she represents or what event I saw.


ramesh subramanian

ramesh subramanian Posted 5 years ago

Dear Alois. That was a wonderful explanation. I had never used the Windshield serve to generate backspin. Invariably i had used only for top spin and side spin. Thanks that was wonderful info

Ujjal Chatterjee

Ujjal Chatterjee Posted 5 years ago

Very Good Discussions on Windshield Wiper Serve. 

Timo Salmi

Timo Salmi Posted 5 years ago

Hi guys, I have an opponent who used this serve and i was confused. I think he had some kind of an reverese serve too? And thats not all, he also backhand version too? Where can I see videos about those versions that I can see what shouls I have done?


Best Regards



Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Hi Timo,

The key to returning serves is to watch their bat closely on contact. Then you'll see the type of spin they put on the ball and once you know that, you are in good shape. You just need to execute the right stroke. If you don't know the spin then you are in big trouble.

We have a whole course devoted to this that will certainly help you in this area called Receiving Secrets. I hope it helps.

Timo Salmi

Timo Salmi Posted 5 years ago

Hi Jeff,


Thank you for your answer. I should watch more carefully that serve. Promlems was that he variated it all the time.


kathy mckelvey

kathy mckelvey Posted 5 years ago

Interesting!   thank you both!!

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