Backhand tomahawk wobble return

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 7 years ago

Rory Goulding

Rory Goulding Asked 7 years ago

Hello Alois and Jeff,

I use a BH tomahawk side/top long serve at my opponents cross over point, and as I use this as a variation to my regular Tomahawk.

This serve almost always surprises my opponents and they usually just block or push it. Both with their BH in front of their right hip (I am a right hander and most of my opponents are right handers). The return is usually an out right winner that gets popped up high and quite wide of the table to my BH side or if they adjust for the side spin it will often get popped up and come right at my head and drop deep on the table. When it comes at my head I often see a very distinct wobble when it is at the top of the arc. The wobble seems to go from my right to my left. None of my opponents are using LP and I have had this return from several different players.

Is their racket angle cancelling the side spin, but obviously not the top because of the pop up, and sending back a no spin knuckle ball?

I have mixed results with this return. As I don't get to work on my third ball against this return.

Mostly because this serve seems to freak people out and they pop it off the side of the table. It's actually a relatively easy serve to return if you get comfortable with it. They're just not used to seeing it. I'm the only one at my club that uses it.  So I only use once or twice a game so they don't get to see it very often.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Rory,

It could be that they are contacting it a little on the side and getting the ball to curve.  It could also be literally a ‘knuckle ball’ and hitting a bit of their hand because of the angle of their racket and the path of the serve.

Keep using it and make sure that you always move into position after you hit the serve even if you don’t think it is going to come back on the table.

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Rory Goulding

Rory Goulding Posted 7 years ago

Thanks Alois,

Getting into position after my serve is definitely something that I need to focus on.  The wobble doesn't freak me out anymore as I see it about 50% of the time that it gets returned.

love the new show format! by the way.


Rory, from Canada.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Thanks Rory.  Glad you like the new format.

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