# Thread: Spinning serve

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## Spinning serve

Has anyone here tried spinning the shuttle during a low serve?

The idea is to perform an ordinary, straight low serve, but using a different action. Instead of pushing the shuttle with a flat racket face, you slice across the shuttle. You are not trying to change the direction of the serve.

This can be done without breaking any service laws. The cork is hit before the feathers.

I've tried slicing from left to right; I've also tried slicing by cutting underneath the shuttle, and a combination of both these actions. Since this is the first time I have practised this technique, it is not perfectly consistent. But it is surprisingly easy.

I noticed two interesting results:

1. My serves seem to land closer to the front line. With a normal service, my serves tend to land a few inches past the line.

2. The shuttle swerves and wobbles slightly in flight

I think the reason for (1) is that the trajectory of the shuttle is different. With my normal serves, the shuttle seems to reach its highest point AFTER it crosses the net. With the spin serve, it seems to reach the highest point either before or roughly as it passes the net.

The next question that occurs to me is this: is it possible to produce the service variations (wide serve, flick serve) using the same preparation? The value of this spinning serve would be diminished if your opponent knew that you could ONLY serve low and straight!

It would also be interesting to measure how long the shuttle is in the air (how long to the net? How long to the ground?). How does the time compare between a spin serve and an ordinary serve? Clearly, it would be an advantage if the spin serve was quicker.

This might be similar to a fast sliced drop, where the shuttle speed is reduced part-way through flight by the spin. This causes the shuttle to reach the net more quickly, but then to slow down, so that it falls in the same place as the unsliced, slower drop.

Of course, it might also be the opposite. Maybe the spin serve is slower; that would be a disadvantage.

Let me know if you have tried this method of serving. What do you think about it?

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I've come across a couple of players who served this way most of the time. They could often use the serve very effectively against a lot of players. Once I got accustomed to their serves, they didn't burn me very often with it.

With practice, you might be able to get pretty good at this type of serve. One of the players that used it, would sometimes become erratic with this type of serve. Since it was his only service style, he didn't really have another service actio to fall back on if his super-slice serve was off.

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Okay - so I searched for "spin serve", but not for "spinning serve"

Here are a couple of relevant threads. I think there is still plenty of life in the discussion, however!

There are also lots of irrelevant comments about the "S" serve. Please note that the "S" serve is illegal only because it does not strike the cork before the feathers. A sliced serve, that strikes the cork first, is legal
Last edited by Gollum; 02-03-2005 at 04:18 AM.

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i use this kind of slice serve from time to time. i noticed that with this kind of serve, if i do it properly that is, the shuttle just manage to clear the tape and seem to drop abit faster.

After a few times, my friend got the hang of it and the serve was quite ineffective.

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Originally Posted by Arcos
i use this kind of slice serve from time to time. i noticed that with this kind of serve, if i do it properly that is, the shuttle just manage to clear the tape and seem to drop abit faster.

After a few times, my friend got the hang of it and the serve was quite ineffective.
When you say that it became "quite ineffective", what do you mean?

a) It was less effective than before, but still more effective than a normal serve
or
b) It was less effective than a normal serve

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For the first few times, my opponent just stand there, thinking that the shuttle would not reach the service box, or reacting at the last moment when he realized that it was going to land within the service box. After a few times, he got used to it and managed to return the shot.

it seems more effective then a normal short serve, what seems like a faster drop. my opponent could only clear the shuttle, but bear in mind that a better player may be able to give a net return. A drive is pretty hard since the shuttle begins to drop after it cleared the tape.

i found that this kind of serve was hard to execute, but if execute properly, it is pretty nice, just barely clear the tape and landing within an inch of the service line.

Sad to say, i'm not very consistant with this kind of service, so i tend to do a normal service during games.

i'm pretty sure that i contacted on the cork and not feathers, so this is legal service right?
Last edited by Arcos; 02-03-2005 at 07:56 AM.

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There's a guy at my club who puts spin on his serves. They do give the impression of falling short due to the different flight but I don't find that's much of a problem. The biggest advantage that I can see when returning them is that the spin makes soft hit replies difficult to control. If I try and do a close net return or gentle push I find a lot go into the net - I don't normally have this problem. I guess if I could work out which way they were spinning I could use it to my advantage but that's way beyond my abilities.

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I know a few people who like to throw a slice serve in occasionally (me included). They are very handy for getting into the front corners of the receiver's area, looking like they are going out. Did a good one on Tuesday night. You can always tell they're good when your opponent swears at you

One of my favourite slice serves is a long high one. Serve them slightly wide and, if you've spun them enough, they gently curve in again, much to the dismay of your opponent .

Then there's the mid-height, mid-court teaser which is crying out to be smashed back in your face, but suddenly falls shorter than expected and ends up smashed into the net. Nasty, but they all count!

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Originally Posted by Arcos
i'm pretty sure that i contacted on the cork and not feathers, so this is legal service right?
Yes. You can even hit the feathers if you want - so long as you hit the cork
first.

I tried doing the illegal "S" serve too, just for fun. Sometimes, the shuttle swerves in utterly bizarre ways - it just changes direction! I can see why they changed the rules.
Last edited by Gollum; 02-03-2005 at 09:20 AM.

10. i want to point out a variation of what Gollum has said. instead of cutting left or right, a very effective service i had used is to cut down (ie. downspin).

to illustrate, see the diagram. service A is the regular service where the path of the racket head aligns with the shuttle initial travel direction. that's what most ppl do. the problem with this type of service is what Gollum has mentioned, the shuttle reaches it peak after the net, giving the opponent an opportunity to push the shuttle down.

type B is what i mentioned, a downspin of the shuttle, the racket head is travelling almost parallel to the ground, but pointing at an upwards angle. the effect is that a spin is introduced into the shuttle, cause it to lose momentum after it passes the net and drop down faster than service type A.

the change of direction, while slight, is quite effective when combined with the sudden change in speed due to the spin. i have been practicing this type of service and found it to be quite effective. the flight path is tight and peak at around the net, and then the sudden lose of speed often catches the receiver off-guard.

if you watch the Chinese doubles players, you will notice that's how they serve.

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Very interesting comments, Kwun, with clear illustrations. Thanks I will try this variation too.

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cutting under the shuttle mentioned back here also (in places)

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Originally Posted by kwun
i want to point out a variation of what Gollum has said. instead of cutting left or right, a very effective service i had used is to cut down (ie. downspin)./.../
Add a slight sideways movement of the racquet, and that is my regular short backhand serve in doubles. The spin or cut is not obvious to the opponent, as too much will slow the trajectory.

To me there are two advantages with this cut serve:
* the shuttle reaches its highest point earlier
* I serve with a slightly bigger movement, which gives me more consistency and better disguise of flick serves

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i was taught to grip with the thumb on the diagonal to have a automatic slice serve.

15. Originally Posted by Gollum
Let me know if you have tried this method of serving. What do you think about it?
Yes, I occasionally spin my serve. I do it when the opponent has a good return of serve and is pressing me and I cannot effectively flick serve him.

But if the opponent is "honest", I just do a normal low serve.

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I never succeeded in making this spinning serve consistent enough.

I now think there is an easier, more reliable way to get the same result:

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Originally Posted by Gollum
Yes. You can even hit the feathers if you want - so long as you hit the cork
first.
I am afraid it is not correct.

If you hit feathers (you can hear it) the serve is illegal. If you hit cork first and then feathers you have double hit and there is fault.

regards

dzgdz

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