Reverse Backhand Serve

Table Tennis Serving

Last updated 5 years ago

Marcin Lonak

Marcin Lonak Asked 6 years ago

Hello Alois and Jeff

why is it that you never see a reverse backhand serve. Means moving the hand (right handed player) from right to left. Actually it's easy to do and gives the opposite sidespin to the traditional backhand serve.

i did that kind of serves in my schooldays. But I never seen anybody doing it. Is there a disadvantage?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 6 years ago

Hi Marcin,

I think any changes in service can be good.  You could be the pioneer that makes it popular.

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Thoughts on this question

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 6 years ago

I do such a serve from time to time to confuse the kids at the club, but never in matches. I think the biggest problem with a backhand swing that goes from right to left is that you can't use your wrist much. Even if you bend it to the max in your preparation, your bat will just point downwards, and from there you'll can have about 90° angle to work with. From left to right you have much more wrist freedom, hence speed and spin possibilities. It could work as a surprise serve until a certain level though. Maybe a penhold player would have better chances to make such a serve efficiently.

John Vancott

John Vancott Posted 6 years ago

The reverse tomahawk serve has that same right to left movement. But most players who use that do it essentially from the forehand or middle position (e.g., Kenta). There is a guy in a nearby club that uses the the reverse tomahawk but actually starts it from the backhand side and kind of stabs at the ball and generates a pretty mean spin.

Marcin Lonak

Marcin Lonak Posted 6 years ago

Actually, my serve it's more what Alois talks about like this pendulum serve with the bat switched over. i named it backhand serve, cause the movement and the bat side is similar to the backhand serve. Just the leg position is different. More like for the tomahawk serve

An advantage of this serve for me is, you're automaicly close to the ready position after the stroke with my hand

Johan B

Johan B Posted 6 years ago

I use it occasionally too as a surprise serve, but mostly from a pendulum position stance

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 6 years ago

I think we're mixing up two types of "reverse" serves:

a) Similar racket swing (direction) with a different racket angle, using the other side of the racket to hit the ball. The closest to this definition is the tomahawk serve (very few differences between the two, which can make it so efficient to mix up). Pendulum and reverse pendulum fall into this category as well, even if they look much more different.

b) Opposite racket swing, using the same side of the racket and a similar racket angle to hit the ball. I think this it the type of "reverse" serve Marcin was referring to,and Alois demonstrated in the Ask the Coach show 2014.

An a) version of the backhand serve would be this. How crazy is that? BTW, I recommend to watch Mark Schinkel's videos. He has a very entertaining playing style.

Johan B

Johan B Posted 6 years ago

I meant a) :) I'll try to make a video sometime when I get home, hehe.


I have a clubmate who does b. It's a nice surprise serve when he does it, mostly deep and fast with topspin. Seems pretty hard to do it with backspin?

Marcin Lonak

Marcin Lonak Posted 5 years ago

There i found it!

at 28:15

Johan B

Johan B Posted 5 years ago

That's just brilliant.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Aha, now we all know which one you are talking about...

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