View Full Version : How do you banana flick?

08-26-2016, 03:30 AM
Ok. I know a video here would be the best but I am not comfortable posting a video. But how do you do the banana flick. I have tried doing it tons of time today. How do you execute it against the reverse pendulum assuming the spin is all side spin? How do you execute it against pendulum serve aussiming it's all side spin? How do you do it against some variation for example if there is a bit of underpin along with some side spin for both reverse and non reverse pendulum? How do you execute its against underspin? How should the angle be, where should I contact the ball how fast should the racket speed be? I have watched a ton of videos but none of them have helped. If you guys could use the videos as an example and explain using text that would be great.

Thank you everyone.

Ilia Minkin
08-26-2016, 04:01 AM
Roughly, here it is:

1) Once you decided that you're going to banana flick a short ball, you step in forward with your right foot forward (for a rightie). The shorter the ball the deeper you need to step in.
2) As you step in, you move your forearm all the way to the back, you also move your wrist back. Ideally, the handle of your racket should point to the opposite wall. You also tilt your racket to the left side slightly so that you brush other the side. Here is how the proper starting position looks like: https://www.flickr.com/photos/henrylee888/24135833284/in/album-72157661875590584/
3) At the top of the bounce, you brush the ball with full commitment as fast as you can. Don't try to brush it slowly, try to move your racket fast even if you make mistakes at first.

If it is sidespin, no-spin, topspin, or slight backspin, you brush over the side and top of the ball with slight adjustment and finishing forward. This will generate a lot of pace. Against heavy backspin you have two options:

1) Brush over the side-top as it is like no-spin, but finish a little bit higher. This will generate a bullet-like shot, but it requires tremendous racket speed. It is a risky option.
2) Brush over the side of the ball but go all the way upwards. You will generate a slow, spinny ball that can be surprisingly effective as it throws off the timing of your opponent.

The best way to practice it is to ask your friend to feed you a lot of no-spin or light backspin short balls because those are easiest ones to spin. Practicing with a robot can also be good, but only after you have an idea how to do it, because robots usually generate ridiculous amount of backspin that can be tough to overcome.

I personally enjoy this tutorials by Ovtcharov, he discusses many of the questions you ask (e.g. racket head speed in Part 2 at 4:00):



I can post my own video of this shot if you want to see how an amateur player does it.

Ilia Minkin
08-26-2016, 04:11 AM
One point I forgot to mention is that before learning the banana shot, you have to make sure that you can do a nice, wristy BH loop both against block and underspin ball generating a plenty of topspin. You can also try learning the BH hooking sidespin loop, it is easier as you have more space to do it away from the table. Then learning the BH flick is just matter of footwork and proper timing.

08-26-2016, 04:22 AM
On a simple level, you are back and bent knees, you see the ball about to be short, you step in, stick your elbow way out in front, and let it rip. You are balanced and have leverage with your low stance, kinetic energy transfer, timing of independent muscle groups, and take ball on the rise at or above net level, impacting the ball with a side swipe that negates the spin.

Wow that was a mouthful, go watch a vid and have someone who knows show you.

08-26-2016, 04:29 AM
I have a solid bh loop. But I always have trouble banana flicking a reverse pendulum serve. Why is that? Do I just have to work on the timing and get confident?

08-26-2016, 04:31 AM

Does zjk just topspin the ball or does he flick the ball with side spin?

08-26-2016, 04:36 AM
Based on what you guys said all I need to do is get the right angle and the right racket speed. I believe my racket speed was way too slow.

08-26-2016, 04:39 AM
Hard to say without seeing you live or a vid, but there is a good chance that you are not accurately reading the depth and the break of the ball. That makes you tentative and out of position... those are poor ingredients for a quality response.

Time, understanding, better recognition of spin and more practice with time will help you out immensely. Don't give up the fight.

Ilia Minkin
08-26-2016, 04:40 AM

Does zjk just topspin the ball or does he flick the ball with side spin?

In the first part it is straight loop, starting at around 1:20 he banana loops the first ball on his FH.

I have a solid bh loop. But I always have trouble banana flicking a reverse pendulum serve. Why is that? Do I just have to work on the timing and get confident?

Everybody's service is different. Does it have a lot of sidespin? What kind of errors do you make? Do you struggle to lift backspin-sidespin over the net? Can you read the spin well enough?

If the ball has heave reverse sidespin, it can be tricky to loop, since it diverts away from you, so you need to adjust your footwork and arm position.

08-26-2016, 04:41 AM
When you step in and get close to the ball over it with good leverage, you SEE it better and subconsciously do a much better job of adjusting the bat angle. Still you still need to see where the ball is going and get there, plus read the spin.

TT isn't easy or we would all be pimps.

08-26-2016, 04:45 AM
Wonly waldner can flick with La Banane

Ilia Minkin
08-26-2016, 04:45 AM
Based on what you guys said all I need to do is get the right angle and the right racket speed. I believe my racket speed was way too slow.

There is one tricky part that many people miss. It is best to contact the ball with the tip of your racket, rather than the middle. Since the tip of the racket moves faster, you will generate more spin and speed.

08-26-2016, 12:10 PM
I can read spin really well but I struggle to get any sort of ball over the net and when I get it over the net it off the side of the table.

08-26-2016, 12:44 PM
The most important two things for me when doing banana flick:

- Stand very low, close to the table and as close to the ball as possible. You have to be VERY fast to achieve this in time.

- Banana flick is a 100% stroke. If you feel insecure doing it you end up doing something like a weak sidespin-backhand-topsin with low success rate. As described above your wrist, arm etc. have to snap as fast as possible with as much power and energy as possible. If you want to banana flick then throw in 100%. There is no plan-b.

08-26-2016, 12:49 PM
First, we need a video from you.

Second, judging from your comment on not getting the ball over the net, I HIGHLY SUSPECT ONE OF TWO THINGS (or maybe it's both):

1) your backswing to be a little too high and a your body is little too close to the ball, especially if the ball is underspin. Your racket should almost be as low as the table, almost touching the table. Most people don't understand how low you have to be.

Also, you can't be too close to the ball, or else you can't accelerate and gain the speed you need. A lot of people say step in, but make sure you don't step in too close. The comment above me says to get as close to the ball as possible, and that's bullshit. As soon as the ball goes past your elbow, it's too late to make a good quality flip, because you don't have enough space.

2) your just not spinning the ball with your wrist. This is more of a banana flip rather than a banana flick. Don't try to smack it over. Spin it on to the table. If you are going to the net, spin it more upwards.

If there was a dislike button for the comment above me, I would use it. This isn't a 100% stroke. If you were actually using your 100%, that's probably the reason why you're missing a lot.

If you already know how to spin the ball, then it's probably the first reason. Also, a lot of people have this notion that you can do this shot with a closed paddle. You can do this if you are fast enough, powerful enough. If you are not fast and powerful enough, open your damn racket.

08-26-2016, 01:13 PM
My two favorite backhand sidespin flick videos.



08-26-2016, 01:13 PM
Songdavid98 what do you mean my backswing might be a little to high?

08-26-2016, 01:42 PM
Impossible to know for sure what's going on without video. That should be step one.

What NL posted should be all you need but just in case, here's another.

No shortage of videos on how to perform this stroke.


I've been using this stroke (RPB) at club with success. I try to keep my mind clear of too many step by step instructions (= robotic stroke) so my approach is this if it helps.

1 - I try to make sure I take the ball at the top of the bounce. That's pretty important. Make the shot as easy as possible on yourself.

2 - I look for heavy backspin. If it is, my blade will certainly be more open and my swing is a little more from head down to up. Not as much forward is it might normally be. If I read the spin as anything else, top, side/top, pure side, no-spin, etc, I have confidence in my shot that I can easily put that ball in play and my swing is relatively similar across all those. That just seems to work for me.

3 - Lastly, confidence is a big deal in this shot for me. If I hesitate, no chance. It's good to have in your back-pocket a push you can quickly transition into from the the banana flip position. Just in case you're reading the backspin is super heavy or the ball is bouncing pretty low. Both of which could make the shot more difficult.

08-26-2016, 01:52 PM
Songdavid98 what do you mean my backswing might be a little to high?

He means that your stroke starts from too high. Which isn't a problem if the ball is dead and high enough, but against sidespin/backspin ball you need to start the stroke from near the table's level.

The Omega Man
08-26-2016, 02:48 PM
Very informative thread, keep it up guys, there is more to the banana flick than meet's the eye, everybody sees FZD banana flicking everything and start copying his motion without really understanding the finesse and timing behind the technique.
Then most of serves done by amateurs are long and you have people trying to practice banana flick against long serves that require a different stroke.

08-26-2016, 07:20 PM
I don't have time to watch/ thoroughly digest all the post but i look forward to doing so soon. Banana flick seems for me to be a feel shot and if I have not practiced for a while it's the first thing to go, loosing the proper timing and reliability In match play. I have noticed a few key things when I'm not executing the shot. When concentrating on reading the spin I can loose the timing taking the ball after its peaks. You can still flip this ball but it requires an adjustment as stated above better to take it at its peak. Also for me it's important to start with a higher elbow. When I let my elbow drop in the beginning my stroke angle can be to up and with the same contact point I will send it long. You can see the high elbow in fan zhendong flip above. william' henzell's elbow is slightly lower but it's still higher than mine when failing to execute. This is something I real want to become confident in at all times because when it's reliable it really changes the way the game is played often making the opponent change serve strategy and decreasing comfort lel. Nice thread!

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08-26-2016, 10:04 PM
Your racket should almost be as low as the table, almost touching the table. Most people don't understand how low you have to be.

This whole post is top notch but this piece right here is pure gold.

You can actually do it without getting the racket low like what David is talking about. But it won't be a high level shot. When you add this piece that your racket almost touches the table, then all of a sudden, your shot has much better spin and pace. All of a sudden, the shot quality goes way up because no matter how low the serve or push is, you will be coming up from under the ball how you need to on a loop.

I confess I don't usually get low enough on this. But Edmund was making me get the racket to almost touch the table and be almost all the way closed on Wednesday when I hit with him, and those were different than my usual over the table BHs by a long shot.

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08-26-2016, 10:28 PM
A note from a previous post, yes the bat speed is higher at the tip of the bat, but it is darned difficult to consistently impact the ball there high percentage no miss. Safer to try to impact the ball center of bat. Easier to impact near tip if you are taking it immediately off bounce.

Still, if you do not step in, stick that elbow out, be in position and use leverage, your shit will be weak or a fail.

Getting the bat tip way down almost touching table is a good preload. If you do this, stick elbow out and step in, you have excellent leverage.