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How to Execute a Deadly Table Tennis Serve

Some techniques covered are different types of serves, the importance of deception, paddle/blade quality, and several other table tennis concepts.

In this guide, I will be going over several table tennis several techniques that will improve your game. Some techniques covered are different types of serves, the importance of deception, paddle/blade quality, and several other table tennis concepts. Without further ado, let’s jump into the wonderful world of table tennis!

Table tennis serve

In this section, I will include essential types of serves. The single most important stroke in table tennis is the serve. With a correctly performed serve, you can easily turn the game into your strength, and be the attacking player. In addition, you must always follow through your serves. Without the action of a follow through, your serve will be incomplete. Moreover, a serve that lacks follow through will not produce a significant amount of spin.

Pendulum serve

The most essential type of serve is the pendulum serve. The pendulum serve derives it’s name from the action of a clock’s pendulum. When performed correctly, the pendulum serve with generate a lot of sidespin+back or top spin. The pendulum serve is extremely powerful against beginners/intermediate because you can easily disguise a backspin/topspin.

– Pendulum back spin:

In order to generate a backspin on the pendulum serve, you must slice through the ball with the entire surface of the paddle. By maximizing the rubber’s distance, you will generate a full backspin. After contact with the ball, keep your paddle parallel to the table. This follow through action will ensure that your ball has side-spin +backspin.

– Pendulum top spin:

The pendulum top spin requires more practice than the backspin because it requires a more flexible wrist. In order to correctly perform the pendulum top-spin, your paddle must curve upwards at the end of the contact of the ball. The last motion of the wrist will force the ball to spin in a forward manner.


If you are correctly able to execute a pendulum serve, then constantly switch up between your top-spin and back-spin serves! Throw in some deception when serving a backspin by faking the upward movement of your wrist after the contact.The constant alternation will keep your opponents guessing, and when they make a mistake, you can punish them dearly!

Reverse pendulum serve

Why take extra steps to learn the opposite motion of a pendulum serve? For one, when you have variation in your pool of techniques, it can only benefit you, never hurt you. Moreover, it gives you the chance to see if your opponent can correctly return your reverse pendulum serve. In my experience, the reverse pendulum serve generates tremendous side-spin, and often leads to an easy smash when they return the ball.

To correctly perform the reverse pendulum serve:

The main thing to remember is that you must keep your arm and wrist relaxed with performing this serve. Slight tension in your movements can completely shut down the effectiveness of this serve. Since this serve has a unique motion, you must always stay focused, and no stray your attention from the ball.


1) Throw the ball up into the air (not to high for the reverse pendulum serve)

2) As the ball dips down, bend your wrist and point the head of the paddle towards your body

3) Quickly snap your wrist outwards as your paddle brush pass the ball

And that’s it! With enough practice you can correctly execute the reverse pendulum serve without problems. In the next part I will show you how to perform the reverse pendulum topspin and backspin serve. Remember, variation is always key!

Reverse pendulum topspin serve

When the ball dips down from the apex, point your head of the paddle towards the ground. When your strike the ball, your paddle should be at around 90 degrees. The vertical contact will brush the ball sideways causing it to spin forward+side in a rapid direction.

Reverse pendulum backspin serve

Without a doubt, the reverse pendulum backspin serve is the harder of the two to correctly perform. To do this serve, your paddle must be parallel to the table when you brush the ball. It’s more difficult to maneuver because your entire arm and wrist must wrap around the ball. Without the wrapping motion, you cannot have control when you snap your wrist, which leads to an ineffective backspin serve.

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