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    1. Top | #1
      Archosaurus is offline
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      "Corkscrew" vs side top loop

      Hello.

      Which is more preferable in the forehand loop, corkscrew or side top? I understand that it's quite difficult and not really practical or effective to produce pure topspin, and that good loopers hit the ball more on the side than on the back.

      I don't think it's practical to produce a nearly pure corkscrew, unless there's some super advanced method of propelling the ball forward that I don't know of, but I've heard that a spin that's more towards corkscrew than side/top is preferable.

      The way I define a corkscrew loop is a contact that's enough in the side to produce a topspin that's spinning downwards with a nearly or completely vertical spin axis, but it's offset so that it's not facing you. I think if you know what corkscrew spin is, you know what I mean.

      The way I define a side/top is a contact where the ball is spinning away from you, but the vertical axis is crooked a bit to one side. So the spin could be facing you, but it won't be straight vertical

      First off, if my definitions are wrong, correct me.

      Secondly, what is the practical benefit of corkscrew vs side/top? I usually generate corkscrew, and I've found that when I screw up the contact, it's side/top, more towards sidespin.

      One phenomena I've noticed is that a corkscrew loop (Although I doubt I'm really producing as much corkscrew as I think I am) will fly relatively straight and dip heavily, but it'll curve violently and dip to one side after it hits your opponent's side. It's quite satisfying, and looks really quality, but apart from the sudden adjustment needed for the opponent, are there any other benefits?

    2. Top | #2
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by Archosaurus View Post
      The way I define a corkscrew loop is a contact that's enough in the side to produce a topspin that's spinning downwards with a nearly or completely vertical spin axis, but it's offset so that it's not facing you. I think if you know what corkscrew spin is, you know what I mean.
      This actually isn't corkscrew. I know a lot of people use the term corkscrew and think they are using it incorrectly. Including guys I know and like.

      Corkscrew is technically a spin where the axis is parallel to the flight of the ball and also parallel to the ground. Sort of how a football (American Football) is thrown with what is called a good spiral.

      When a table tennis ball actually has real corkscrew spin, it will fly pretty straight. It won't curve left or right. It won't float up like chop and it won't curve down like topspin. The corkscrew spin keeps the ball going straight and the arc on the ball will be purely from gravity. Not from the spin. Although a corkscrew ball will fly straight and not arc, when it bounces, it will kick significantly to the left or right depending on the direction of the corkscrew spin.

      Lets see if I can find the video that shows what corkscrew spin is. NextLevel posted it in the thread where Shuki said my loop was corkscrew.

      In the video, the front to back "sidespin" is what is referred to as "corkscrew":

      Spin Everything.

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    4. Top | #3
      Archosaurus is offline
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      That is the corkscrew spin I am talking about.

      With all logic, if you have varying degrees of corkscrew, you will produce some dip along with the corkscrew effect upon hitting the table. A pure corkscrew won't be affected until it hits the table, correct?

      A pure sidespin is a topspin flipped 90 degrees either side, right? So a side/top would be a topspin flipped anywhere from 1 degree to 89 degrees. But, you can also add some corkscrew to it, and that's what seems to usually come out in practice.

      What is more desirable in a normal rallying shot, more corkscrew or more side/top? Is a pure corkscrew achievable while still making the shot travel forward with good pace?

    5. Top | #4
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      Carl, Archo,

      In practical terms in table tennis, all corkscrew means is that the ball kicks sideways when it hits the table because of how it is spinning. What sidespin means is that the ball curves in flight in the air sideways.

      Getting too technical about it is what causes you to think that people are using it incorrectly, but the ball spins in only one way and spin affects how the ball travels, so all these terms are really just used to describe elements of how how the ball is travelling, not everything about how it is travelling. The ball will obviously get pulled in the air by the Magnus effect towards wherever it is spinning and there is always the forward direction force as well as the change upon hitting the table, so looking for anything pure is fairly misguided.
      Cobra Kai TT Exponent - No mercy in this dojo, no matter your rating or the score. All spin, no power or footwork.

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    7. Top | #5
      Archosaurus is offline
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      @NextLevel

      I'm curious, because people keep talking about side/top loops and how corkscrew loops are superior.

      I fail to see how it's possible to achieve a "pure" corkscrew with a table tennis bat, while still having any forward speed. Taking practical human mechanics into account, of course. At the same time, producing a side/top without any corkscrew seems like a real task and would perhaps be painful. So all shots will have varying degrees of all, and you can just change the ratio a bit.

      I understand generating pure topspin in a loop, that's viable with human mechanics. I don't understand how you would generate a very significant corkscrew spin.

      Maybe I just don't see the high level technique or something, though.

    8. Top | #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Archosaurus View Post
      @NextLevel

      I'm curious, because people keep talking about side/top loops and how corkscrew loops are superior.

      I fail to see how it's possible to achieve a "pure" corkscrew with a table tennis bat, while still having any forward speed. Taking practical human mechanics into account, of course. At the same time, producing a side/top without any corkscrew seems like a real task and would perhaps be painful. So all shots will have varying degrees of all, and you can just change the ratio a bit.

      I understand generating pure topspin in a loop, that's viable with human mechanics. I don't understand how you would generate a very significant corkscrew spin.

      Maybe I just don't see the high level technique or something, though.

      IT's not high level technique. IT's just logic. Look at my loops in this video. The ball kicks sideways when it hits the table That's corkscrew. If it was sidespin, it would be curving in the air massively and that is not what the ball is doing. A true hook is sidespin.




      Most pros loop with a kind of corkscrew. IT's just that when you hit the ball really hard, the spin effect is less visible but the real benefit of corkscrew is the spin avoidance. Plenty of the corkscrew comes from just making the right contact and folding over the forehead or just facing the paddle towards the opposite wall. It's just built into a good loop in a way many people who don't notice.

      Last edited by NextLevel; 04-01-2016 at 02:35 PM.

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    10. Top | #7
      Archosaurus is offline
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      You are still generating more topspin than corkscrew, right? And perhaps a little bit of sidespin that doesn't really affect the flight too much? Or is the majority of the spin corkscrew?

      I can remember looping onto someone's paddle, it flying up and spinning in a very significant corkscrew spin towards where I had swung. I don't understand how I'd be able to propel the ball forward sufficiently without tiling the spin axis, so I just assumed that the ball got moved around a bit after contact with his paddle.

    11. Top | #8
      NextLevel is offline
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      The most basic and obvious form of corkscrew in a TT stroke is called the "snake" or "wiggly" when people make the ball kick sideways by brushing the bottom of it.


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    13. Top | #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Archosaurus View Post
      You are still generating more topspin than corkscrew, right? And perhaps a little bit of sidespin that doesn't really affect the flight too much? Or is the majority of the spin corkscrew?

      I can remember looping onto someone's paddle, it flying up and spinning in a very significant corkscrew spin towards where I had swung. I don't understand how I'd be able to propel the ball forward sufficiently without tiling the spin axis, so I just assumed that the ball got moved around a bit after contact with his paddle.
      Like I said, the ball spins in only one way. If you continue to hang over how much of this or that the ball has, you will miss the practical point and get hung up on things that will not help your TT.

      IF you mean that you can treat the ball like a topspin ball and have few problems if any at all, that is correct.

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    15. Top | #10
      Archosaurus is offline
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      I am specifically talking about the practical application.

      So in practice, it's not really viable to try to strive to perform a "corkscrew loop" and it will happen as long as your arm mechanics are any good?

      Playing against a topspin loop and a "corkscrew" loop is also not really different, just the way the ball bounces after contacting the table, but you yourself want to return it basically the same way?

    16. Top | #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Archosaurus View Post
      I am specifically talking about the practical application.

      So in practice, it's not really viable to try to strive to perform a "corkscrew loop" and it will happen as long as your arm mechanics are any good?

      Playing against a topspin loop and a "corkscrew" loop is also not really different, just the way the ball bounces after contacting the table, but you yourself want to return it basically the same way?
      Yes, in practice, most proper loops that have good and complete form will end up as corkscrew if the right contact is made. Nothing extra needs to be done. Of course, sometimes, for amateurs who hit too hard into the back of the ball, it might help for them to be made conscious of the fact that there is no need to do so. By knowing that they don't always have to hit the ball on the face and can avoid the main spin equator or path of travel, new ideas may open up. But some players hit the ball this way consistently already and have never heard of corkscrew or spin avoidance etc. You may just figure out that there is a contact point in relation to the ball that works for you and you use it rather than hit the ball elsewhere.

      In general, to return any ball in table tennis, you must rapidly identify the spinning equator, the amount of spin/speed and the ball trajectory to make proper contact. You know this already but I just want to re-stress the basics.

      Usually, most of the same positive strokes will work, but of course, one must always be actively even if subconsciously reading the ball and trying to find the face of the motion and the spin equator and then trying to figure out what kind of return one wants to play and then adjust.

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    18. Top | #12
      Archosaurus is offline
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      I found as my loop mechanics became better and I moved away from a flat hit to a more brushing hit, (The video I posted was an example of a very bad day, though, so there I was smacking it right on the back) I also started contacting it on the side.

      Then I heard about spin avoidance and started consciously doing it, and suddenly my spin increased because I wasn't eating everyone's topspin so much. I don't think the spin itself has increased much, just the amount of spinny shots, because I'm thinking "brush the side" instead of "hit the back".

      I feel that my kill is still banging on the back of the ball, but my rallying strokes and fast topspins from close the table have really improved. Especially my penhold loops, because my mechanics with penhold contact very, very much on the side and I rarely smack it hard on the back.

      Back in the day when I was even more terrible than I am now, I used to play a shot where I step around my backhand, squat very low and contact the ball with a short, rapid sweeping motion upwards and forwards, so the ball lands on their forehand corner. I stopped doing that because A: They kept returning it hard to my forehand and B: My backhand is way better now so I can achieve essentially the same thing.

      Now I've started doing that again with slower, far spinnier loops with a lot of corkscrew on them, so the ball kicks away from the middle of the table. It's very effective, especially with penhold. It's a slow enough shot that I can recover without having amazing footwork, and the corkscrew kick draws them away from the table, so I can easily perform a kill to their wide backhand after. The game's a lot more fun now that I've consciously thought about this and pushed it a bit.

    19. Top | #13
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      Archo,

      We play this game at a subconscious level, so even when we know what we are supposed to do, it takes forever to do it. And then when we practice a lot against a certain level of ball, we get shown up by a different kind or level of ball. IF you do a magic trick in slow motion, everyone can see the sleight of hand. But when it is done fast, then it is harder to pick up what is happening. TT is like that. Doing things faster is a skill, not just knowing them.

      Hitting the back of the ball is easy because you are giving your racket maximum exposure to the ball. IT just keeps your game where it is for a long time, that's all, if you are using inverted.

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    21. Top | #14
      Archosaurus is offline
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      Ah yes, because I don't feel like making an entirely new thread:

      @NextLevel
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      Tell me what's wrong and what's not so wrong but needs improvement. Bear in mind it IS just a shadow, so it's probably a little nicer than what I actually perform in a match situation, but I think it's a bit more accurate than my last video.

      Yes, I am sliding to the left. Socks and floor are slippery. It's not part of the technique, per se.

      The rhythm is a bit off because I'm concentrating on how it feels. Although I could probably be more relaxed and smoother anyway.

      I think my follow through is too much across my face, but I'm not tensing my arm or lifting my shoulder, and it seems to work. Even with my junk rubber, I can follow through like that and get spin without it flying off the edge.


    22. Top | #15
      NextLevel is offline
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      The paddle is probably starting much too low to loop a topspin ball but it looks like a good swing.

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    24. Top | #16
      Archosaurus is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel View Post
      The paddle is probably starting much too low to loop a topspin ball but it looks like a good swing.
      This is a loop played on a more passive return. I'm not good enough to loop a very spinny shot with a bigger swing, unless it's backspin. Although I can do a very short counterloop near the table, it's very high as you mentioned.

      When I play higher level people, I will need to adjust my stroke anyway, so it doesn't matter much: I care about the mechanics.

      And talking about mechanics: Is it really a good swing? I'd not think a 2000-some player would think my swing is any good.

    25. Top | #17
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      Yes, it is a good swing and 2000 is not that high a level anyways. IT doesn't mean you can use it properly in a match or you know how to time the ball with it and it doesn't mean it is a world class swing with 100% efficiency. IT just means that it is a swing that has nothing majorly wrong with it that would prevent you from getting better as player as long as you learned to adjust it to the incoming ball. That's the way I think of strokes - I don't think of them as things that need to be done perfectly in very single detail for then to work. At the levels we play, people focus on a lot of things that don't matter. Whether you would miss or make the ball with your swing is NOT only about the quality of the swing. But to cut a long story short, the swing is a good swing.
      Last edited by NextLevel; 04-01-2016 at 05:37 PM.

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    27. Top | #18
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      You have the swing of a FH vs an underspin ball. Your FH vs incoming topspin will of course be more compact and forward... something you can still do.

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      @NextLevel

      I'm happy I'm on the right track, then. Even if 2000 is not that high a level, it's still higher than mine and you won't get there with a bad foundation. Usually.

      So even if my swing might not be amazing in it's results of spin, placement, efficiency and speed, it's still working for me and improving all the time, along with my footwork, timing and anticipation to play it. I can definitely play with this swing in match situations against similar skill opponents, so it's not that I can only shadow it.

      @Der_Echte

      I am guessing less body rotation and a little less follow through and backswing, with more forward action. A bit tighter, but same swing?

    30. Top | #20
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      "Corkscrew" vs side top loop

      Here are my thoughts on the term corkscrew.

      First off, NextLevel has given such good information that the information was worth it.

      Second off, our only disagreement is a semantic one. If we are just using the word to mean slightly different things, I am not going to worry about it.

      But here is how I would parse things out myself.

      A vertical axis is one kind of side spin. It is rare for this to occur in a pure form in table tennis just as it is rare to have any axis of spin be geometrically squared to 90 degrees in any plane. A front to back axis is also a side spin and the effects of this kind of sidespin are very different from the vertical axis version.

      In the flight of a ball, there is only one axis of spin and it can be at any angle.

      A loop with sidespin will curve and dip. Regardless of which version of sidespin or what the exact angle of axis is, a loop with sidespin will curve and dip (in referring to a ball curving down I usually use the ter: arc). Most loops with sidespin will curve to some extent and also kick to the side to some extent.

      For me to consider the term corkscrew as a useful term, it would have to be close enough to that front to back axis to display the major characteristics of that axis of spin. And if it displayed those characteristics I wouldn't consider the shot a loop because part of the characteristics of the forward to back axis of spin is that the spin will not pull it up or down, and the spin will not cause the ball to curve in the air much. The arc on this kind of ball is caused by gravity not the Magnus effect. So the main feature of this shot would be that the ball would fly fairly straight and kick to the side in an exaggerated manner. The video with the lob that really kicks to the side, that is what I would call a corkscrew ball.

      But a loop that curves a bit, arcs and kicks to the side a bit....I would just call that a loop or a sidespin loop.

      Further characteristics of a corkscrew ball: the term spin avoidance has been used. And I know that NextLevel knows what he means by spin avoidance. But I get the sense that Archo may not entirely understand it.

      On a backspin ball, contact on the side of the ball, near either point of the axis of spin, would be useful spin avoidance. On a sidespin loop that has a lot of curve, spin avoidance would mean covering the topspin enough while hitting the INSIDE of the ball for a fade shot. Because that is the easier side of the axis to get your racket on.

      Often when someone hooks to me, instead of spin avoidance I go right to where the spin is strongest and hook back the incoming hook which actually gets me massive hook. When I do this shot I will direct the ball towards the BH side but it will still end up leaving the FH side of the table before the end-line.

      What am I trying to say: spin avoidance obviously ends up relying on a fairly accurate read of spin.

      Spin avoidance for a true corkscrew, that would be to just contact the back of the ball. But if you misread corkscrew and read it as the other kind of side spin or as topspin you are going to be in a world of trouble.

      If you misread a corkscrew as a sidespin loop and try to do a fade loop and are compensating for side and top, and trying for spin avoidance, your ball will go straight down as if the ball was massive backspin. This is because of the fact that the inside of the ball on a corkscrew ball IS ACTUALLY heavy backspin. Now, to that same ball that I will often just go right at the sidespin, the outside of the ball will be pure top. And the ball will go straight up.

      As I understand the kind of spin I am talking about, the main value of it would be in serving. If you can do a good corkscrew serve, and a good regular sidespin serve and make them look somewhat similar, if you mix these well, you can drive your opponent crazy. If you give him the corkscrew serve and he reads it as the other side, and touches the the inside of the spin for spin avoidance, the ball will go straight down because that is the backspin side. If he starts reading the ball as corkscrew and then you switch it to the other side/top, the ball will shoot up and to the side because it was the other kind of side/top. But the corkscrew really bounces like a topspin ball. And the kick to the side at the pace of a serve really looks like curve in the air. So, the few people who can make a REAL corkscrew serve have a real powerful weapon as long as their opponent is high enough level to read it as side top.

      Michael Landers taught me all that I just explained when he taught me his corkscrew serve.

      That corkscrew serve, when I use it against my sister who is maybe 1100, she has no trouble returning it if she can adjust to the lateral curve and put her racket on the ball.

      But serving that same serve to a guy who is 2500-2600, after he missed the second one, I asked if he knew what spin it was. He acted like it was a stupid question and said it was side top. And I just said, "okay." Two more and he figured it out and asked how come I could do that.


      Sent from Deep Space by Abacus
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 04-01-2016 at 10:20 PM.

    31. The Following 3 Users Like UpSideDownCarl's Post:

      Archosaurus (04-01-2016),SpinQuark (04-02-2016),ttmonster (04-01-2016)

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