Hook serve vs reverse pendulum for "outside spin"

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Which serve do you prefer to create "outside" side spin? You can use a reverse pendulum or a hook serve to create this spin, so what are the advantages of each?

When I still play SH I had a decent (for my low level obviously) reverse pendulum serve but since I went to penhold I don't like it as much anymore and prefer to create that kind of spin (opposite of pendulum serve) with a hook serve that hits the outside of the ball. It works decently but I feel it has a little less bite than my old reverse pendulum which Doesn't work as well for me with PH.
 
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I guess everyone is different. I can create pretty decent spin with reverse pendulum. But I can create wildly good spin with a hook serve. It is also really easy to vary the spin with a hook because it is just subtle changes in how you touch the ball; this also makes it really hard to read the spin on the serve. And I can serve 1,000 hook serves and not miss one. Whereas, to me, it feels easy to miss or mishit on a reverse pendulum.

Hard to show or teach, but I have a friend (a pretty darn high level friend) who showed me how to make really wild backspin with a hook serve. So, you can create massive backspin with a hook if you know how.

All that being said, I am not sure how any of what I am talking about would translate into penhold. And part of how I am generating spin with a hook has to do with the fact that I play drums and the wrist motion for hitting a big pop with a drumstick is very very similar to the motion you would use for a hook serve, so, I never had to figure it out. It was just natural.

Also, with the hook serve, I never really used it until my friend (mentioned above, Mark Croitoroo) saw me doing a hook serve in a doubles match and dragged me onto a different table after the match and forced me to serve it to him over and over.....and then he told me that it was my best serve and I should use it as often as possible and started showing me ways to use it in match play and how to set myself up using it.
 
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I guess everyone is different. I can create pretty decent spin with reverse pendulum. But I can create wildly good spin with a hook serve. It is also really easy to vary the spin with a hook because it is just subtle changes in how you touch the ball; this also makes it really hard to read the spin on the serve. And I can serve 1,000 hook serves and not miss one. Whereas, to me, it feels easy to miss or mishit on a reverse pendulum.

Hard to show or teach, but I have a friend (a pretty darn high level friend) who showed me how to make really wild backspin with a hook serve. So, you can create massive backspin with a hook if you know how.

All that being said, I am not sure how any of what I am talking about would translate into penhold. And part of how I am generating spin with a hook has to do with the fact that I play drums and the wrist motion for hitting a big pop with a drumstick is very very similar to the motion you would use for a hook serve, so, I never had to figure it out. It was just natural.

Also, with the hook serve, I never really used it until my friend (mentioned above, Mark Croitoroo) saw me doing a hook serve in a doubles match and dragged me onto a different table after the match and forced me to serve it to him over and over.....and then he told me that it was my best serve and I should use it as often as possible and started showing me ways to use it in match play and how to set myself up using it.

Well that’s great news and all the more reason for me to keep working at it!

 
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I guess everyone is different. I can create pretty decent spin with reverse pendulum. But I can create wildly good spin with a hook serve. It is also really easy to vary the spin with a hook because it is just subtle changes in how you touch the ball; this also makes it really hard to read the spin on the serve. And I can serve 1,000 hook serves and not miss one. Whereas, to me, it feels easy to miss or mishit on a reverse pendulum.

Hard to show or teach, but I have a friend (a pretty darn high level friend) who showed me how to make really wild backspin with a hook serve. So, you can create massive backspin with a hook if you know how.

All that being said, I am not sure how any of what I am talking about would translate into penhold. And part of how I am generating spin with a hook has to do with the fact that I play drums and the wrist motion for hitting a big pop with a drumstick is very very similar to the motion you would use for a hook serve, so, I never had to figure it out. It was just natural.

Also, with the hook serve, I never really used it until my friend (mentioned above, Mark Croitoroo) saw me doing a hook serve in a doubles match and dragged me onto a different table after the match and forced me to serve it to him over and over.....and then he told me that it was my best serve and I should use it as often as possible and started showing me ways to use it in match play and how to set myself up using it.

Is there significant wrist action in the hook serve? I always thought it would be more like a straight "stab" with the lower arm.

 
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My wrist is flexible enough that I can serve "outside spin" with the normal pendulum serve motion, but I do use hook serve more often. I recently learnt a new trick from a friend that makes my topspin hook serve looks extremely like downspin, 50% of the time people misread it and pushes the ball, and since I can spin the ball really well those 50% will most likely end up flying off the table, 40% of the returns are mostly high enough that I can usually just kill it with a smash or a powerful loop.
 
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Is there significant wrist action in the hook serve? I always thought it would be more like a straight "stab" with the lower arm.

Well, I guess it depends who is doing it. But when I do it, there is this very small pop from the wrist that is part of the impact. My hand, itself moves a fraction of an inch. But it creates a whipping action so the racket is moving really fast just from that small pop. I tried and tried to figure out how to get that same kind of snap from other serve motions. But I can't.

I remember showing what I am talking about to NextLevel and he said instantly, "whip mechanics". I think he showed it to Brett Clarke after. :)

Years ago.

 
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Which serve do you prefer to create "outside" side spin? You can use a reverse pendulum or a hook serve to create this spin, so what are the advantages of each?

When I still play SH I had a decent (for my low level obviously) reverse pendulum serve but since I went to penhold I don't like it as much anymore and prefer to create that kind of spin (opposite of pendulum serve) with a hook serve that hits the outside of the ball. It works decently but I feel it has a little less bite than my old reverse pendulum which Doesn't work as well for me with PH.

I'm not sure if I'm reading you correctly, but I want to touch on the purpose of different spin and strategy per se.

1) The plan shouldn't be about generate so much spin, that you out spin your opponent.
Yes, maybe in amateur places, 1 spinny serve = 1 point awarded, but for higher level, the ball will come back.

2) The plan should be about deceiving your opponent and reading the wrong spin.

So, some times your "not bite" enough, is actually a good thing.
So if you are focusing on 1 and spinny more, then don't read futher.

But if you agree with 2, then you would use the method to serve that would allow you to deceive the opponent more. Ie underspin contact or no spin contact or fake side spin contact. This is what players need to be training on and not so much "adding more spin" unto an existing contact (of course adding spin is very important, but once there is enough spin, it is enough and the serve is more about deceiving and 3rd ball to follow)

 
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I agree, definitely can help to hit lower spin serves. However I feel I need at least the threat of being able to hit a high spin serve with the same motion, if my opponent knows hook serve means mild spin it is easier for him but if he thinks it can be high spin or no/mild spin it makes it tougher for him.

Btw found this video on wang hao hook serve. He definitely uses some wrist snap

https://youtu.be/2yCtN9WwkEI
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Personally I find it easier to control variation of spin with the hook serve, also the reverse pendulum, at least mine, needs more practice time to raise consistency compared to my hook serve.
When I started to learn reverse pendulum (RP) and hook serve, I found it easier to put back spin on the ball, rather than top spin. especially with the reverse pendulum. which may not be the norm? when some other players I've coached asked about the RP they ALL started with top spin and found it harder to get back spin.
Maybe everyone is different, but has anyone seen a trend towards new learners of these serves and which spin is 'naturally' imparted??
 
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I started from backspin on hook serve, it is quite natural to me. But doing topspin is very struggling.

And also, when doing hook serve, I am used to a 'cut' motion instead of a 'stab' motion. I think 'stab' motion is the only way for Penhold. I probably won't be able to do hook serve with Penhold.

I have given up reverse pendulum.😅
 
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I agree, definitely can help to hit lower spin serves. However I feel I need at least the threat of being able to hit a high spin serve with the same motion, if my opponent knows hook serve means mild spin it is easier for him but if he thinks it can be high spin or no/mild spin it makes it tougher for him.

Btw found this video on wang hao hook serve. He definitely uses some wrist snap

https://youtu.be/2yCtN9WwkEI
​​​​​​

I remember this video. good to have see it again.

I think other then the spin level of the ball, you could also practice on position/placement, power, speed.

One action - ball could be spin or no spin, could drop short or long or medium long, could have no power or strong weight and could travel slowly or go very fast. Match it from your serve position and different angles into the table.
End of the day, it is like hundreds of service options by just "1" action.

 
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