The best ping pong serves have one thing in common. And, contrary to what you might think, it’s not speed or ball placement. As it turns out, spin is the real key in making your best ping pong serve unhittable. Over the years, countless serving techniques have been developed by professional ping pong players. Some have worked well, and others have worked masterfully. Read on to see those masterful ping pong serves, and learn how to do them for yourself.
- The Forehand Underspin Serve. The underspin serve is designed to make your ping pong opponent hit the ball short of the net, resulting in an immediate point for you. What it does, in a physical sense, is put backspin on the ball to make your serve land shorter than your opponent expects. To perform this ping pong serve, toss the ball in the air about 3-6 inches, and come at it using a chopping motion with your paddle. The paddle should strike the lower side of the ball, and you should snap your wrist as soon as the ball and paddle make contact. This ping pong serve is especially effective when you’re up against defensive players with softer strokes.
- The Backhand Sidespin Serve. As you could probably guess by its name, you’ll be using a somewhat unconventional backhand stroke for this tricky serve. To start, adjust your serving position so that your hips are square with the table. Cross your paddle and tossing hand so that you will have room to make a crossing motion with your paddle hand as the ball is in the air. Once you’ve tossed the ball up, come towards the ball with the back side of your paddle (palm facing your body), and complete a motion towards the paddle hand side as you strike the ball. This will give your serve a tough-to-hit curving motion, and will likely make your opponent lunge for the ball.
- The Forehand Topspin Serve. This final technique is perhaps the best ping pong serve to intimidate your opponent right off the bat. When given topspin, your ball will actually speed up significantly after its first bounce. To perform it, get in a forehand serving position, toss the ball six inches up (as always) and use the paddle hand to make an upward motion as you strike the ball. AS it hits, flick your wrist so that the paddle curves over the top of the ball. In combination with good ball placement, the forehand topspin ping pong serve is downright deadly.