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More hook serves lol

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    Posted: 06/27/2020 at 3:42am

Insane amount of spin variation that Par Gerell gets here... My practice partners and me both learnt the serve and it's really insanely hard to read unlike other types of serves as the racket angle can be almost exactly the same for both underspin and topspin...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joo Se Kev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 5:56am
Any tips you can share for how you learned it? This is on my list to try, but I'm still not back playing at a club yet so I haven't been able to give it a go yet!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 7:00am
Lucky enough to have trainied and played against guys in the UK who have used this serve at an elite level in years gone. There's a tell aways of some type.... but it's a massive shock if you haven't seen the serve before. I suppose like any serve really takes a while to adjust or you aren't in the game. 

Par's serve also being lefthanded means everything kicking jumps the other way which is extra difficult.  Must be a great skill at that level to have.

As to how to serve it I would look at how you hold the racket to achieve the serve. Lots of people half do it which makes it much easier to determine the spin and placement . importantly minimization of the difference of action at point of impact. This goes to body and arm as well. 






Edited by ghostzen - 06/27/2020 at 7:02am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 7:06am
Originally posted by Joo Se Kev Joo Se Kev wrote:

Any tips you can share for how you learned it? This is on my list to try, but I'm still not back playing at a club yet so I haven't been able to give it a go yet!

The backspin variant is the same wrist movement as a tomahawk serve, the topspin variant is the same wrist movement as a reverse pendulum, except that you pretty much have the racket tip pointed horizontally. The trick is to maximize spin production at first, and then minimise your wrist action as much as possible. I use the same half grip I use for my pendulum serve so that people can't tell what I'm about to serve from my grip. So my  wrist action is minimised to the point where I figured out that pressing on the index finger with the thumb as a pivot, then it's backspin, if I press on the thumb with the index finger as a pivot then it's topspin. 

Also at later stages practice your movement in front of a mirror so that you can make the movements almost identical... 


Edited by blahness - 06/27/2020 at 7:50am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 7:08am
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Lucky enough to have trainied and played against guys in the UK who have used this serve at an elite level in years gone. There's a tell aways of some type.... but it's a massive shock if you haven't seen the serve before. I suppose like any serve really takes a while to adjust or you aren't in the game. 

Par's serve also being lefthanded means everything kicking jumps the other way which is extra difficult.  Must be a great skill at that level to have.

As to how to serve it I would look at how you hold the racket to achieve the serve. Lots of people half do it which makes it much easier to determine the spin and placement . importantly minimization of the difference of action at point of impact. This goes to body and arm as well. 


I would like to know exactly how you read it, my partners and I all use it and we know how it works but somehow none of us can read each other's serves lmao... it's usually just a guessing game ugh...


Edited by blahness - 06/27/2020 at 7:09am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 9:10am
As a start.... The kick off the table can't really be disguised. That's the big tell. If you are playing at an elite level waiting that long gives your opponent loads of time which isn't really workable at that level. As very very few are....at the lower levels waiting that little longer can give loads more clues. Which can lead to better stronger returns. The more you also see and play against that type of serve you should pick up clues. There's always clues be it.. body language, position , racket position, free arm, head movement just to mention a few...

If a player can't read those always there tells then they are missing something because of the pressure to return an uncertain ball. But that's a totally different topic. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 9:27am
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

As a start.... The kick off the table can't really be disguised. That's the big tell. If you are playing at an elite level waiting that long gives your opponent loads of time which isn't really workable at that level. As very very few are....at the lower levels waiting that little longer can give loads more clues. Which can lead to better stronger returns. The more you also see and play against that type of serve you should pick up clues. There's always clues be it.. body language, position , racket position, free arm, head movement just to mention a few...

If a player can't read those always there tells then they are missing something because of the pressure to return an uncertain ball. But that's a totally different topic. 

What did you think Par Gerell's first serve that Dan completely missed was? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 9:37am
Very tricky ask that as Dan took it very very early so no reall tells off the table i could see. Was it placement, speed or a kicker the reason he edged it. Want do you think it was btw?


Edited by ghostzen - 06/27/2020 at 9:38am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 9:44am
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Very tricky ask that as Dan took it very very early so no reall tells off the table i could see. Was it placement, speed or a kicker the reason he edged it. Want do you think it was btw?

I think it was sidetopspin, and a very heavy one at that. 

Reason: 
1 ) his hand seems to be low before hitting the ball - often an indication of sidetopspin because you need upwards movement to generate that kicking topspin. The higher hand position is usually very strong underspin. 

2) his wrist action during the sidetopspin serve seems slower compared to the sideunderspin variant. But this seems to be not reliable imo, I've seen Par Gerell serving videos where he serves with a jerky wrist movement for the sidetopspin serve too...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 9:54am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Very tricky ask that as Dan took it very very early so no reall tells off the table i could see. Was it placement, speed or a kicker the reason he edged it. Want do you think it was btw?

I think it was sidetopspin, and a very heavy one at that. 

Reason: 
1 ) his hand seems to be low before hitting the ball - often an indication of sidetopspin because you need upwards movement to generate that kicking topspin. The higher hand position is usually very strong underspin. 

2) his wrist action during the sidetopspin serve seems slower compared to the sideunderspin variant. But this seems to be not reliable imo, I've seen Par Gerell serving videos where he serves with a jerky wrist movement for the sidetopspin serve too...


The kicker makes sense. Also I bet Dan was expecting a ball cut in half from the first service and squared up on the table for a shorter ball in his head when the longer jumping he had already commited.

You seem to actually have no problems making sense of service action so why the issue with reading serves btw?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 10:05am
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Very tricky ask that as Dan took it very very early so no reall tells off the table i could see. Was it placement, speed or a kicker the reason he edged it. Want do you think it was btw?

I think it was sidetopspin, and a very heavy one at that. 

Reason: 
1 ) his hand seems to be low before hitting the ball - often an indication of sidetopspin because you need upwards movement to generate that kicking topspin. The higher hand position is usually very strong underspin. 

2) his wrist action during the sidetopspin serve seems slower compared to the sideunderspin variant. But this seems to be not reliable imo, I've seen Par Gerell serving videos where he serves with a jerky wrist movement for the sidetopspin serve too...


The kicker makes sense. Also I bet Dan was expecting a ball cut in half from the first service and squared up on the table for a shorter ball in his head when the longer jumping he had already commited.

You seem to actually have no problems making sense of service action so why the issue with reading serves btw?



My friend is a penholder, and it is worse because the movements are even smaller (yikes!) than shakehand grip hook serves... and it's all in real time where I also have to read the placement of the serve, not like over here when I only need to deal with spin variation, and I can rewatch the video a few times lol...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 10:19am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Very tricky ask that as Dan took it very very early so no reall tells off the table i could see. Was it placement, speed or a kicker the reason he edged it. Want do you think it was btw?

I think it was sidetopspin, and a very heavy one at that. 

Reason: 
1 ) his hand seems to be low before hitting the ball - often an indication of sidetopspin because you need upwards movement to generate that kicking topspin. The higher hand position is usually very strong underspin. 

2) his wrist action during the sidetopspin serve seems slower compared to the sideunderspin variant. But this seems to be not reliable imo, I've seen Par Gerell serving videos where he serves with a jerky wrist movement for the sidetopspin serve too...


The kicker makes sense. Also I bet Dan was expecting a ball cut in half from the first service and squared up on the table for a shorter ball in his head when the longer jumping he had already commited.

You seem to actually have no problems making sense of service action so why the issue with reading serves btw?



My friend is a penholder, and it is worse because the movements are even smaller (yikes!) than shakehand grip hook serves... and it's all in real time where I also have to read the placement of the serve, not like over here when I only need to deal with spin variation, and I can rewatch the video a few times lol...


"If a player can't read those always there tells then they are missing something because of the pressure to return an uncertain ball. But that's a totally different topic."


Very common to have that pressure if it's a full on match. In practice I would have thought with the breakdown of Par's service you just did which was pretty spot on.... after a while you would be on that service like a roast dinner on Sunday.

Thinking on your feet in a live space is always hard. Don't you have any read on that kind of service at all after playing them lots or is the player a level above you and thats the issue you make a bad return and the third ball is gone.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nv42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 10:19am
For me, the most tough to read are the light side-back spin vs the heavy side-top( more side unlike an almost pure top kick serve).

If it's a half long or long serve, it's still possible to let it drop and just slowly guide it on the table. But if you can keep it short like par does here and mix it up with long variants, it's quit difficult to receive with good quality. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 10:33am
Placement agreed is very important and vary spin from teh servers point of view. I think sometimes if it's unsure try and be positive on the recieve with what ever you can do.

I also does make quite a difference on the level you play at. If that third ball isn't coming past you every time if you make a ok ish return or you can have a bit of time then having a better chance of return is easier. When stepping up to higher levels you just can't give your oppenent that time to set very often or game over.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 10:36am
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Very tricky ask that as Dan took it very very early so no reall tells off the table i could see. Was it placement, speed or a kicker the reason he edged it. Want do you think it was btw?

I think it was sidetopspin, and a very heavy one at that. 

Reason: 
1 ) his hand seems to be low before hitting the ball - often an indication of sidetopspin because you need upwards movement to generate that kicking topspin. The higher hand position is usually very strong underspin. 

2) his wrist action during the sidetopspin serve seems slower compared to the sideunderspin variant. But this seems to be not reliable imo, I've seen Par Gerell serving videos where he serves with a jerky wrist movement for the sidetopspin serve too...


The kicker makes sense. Also I bet Dan was expecting a ball cut in half from the first service and squared up on the table for a shorter ball in his head when the longer jumping he had already commited.

You seem to actually have no problems making sense of service action so why the issue with reading serves btw?



My friend is a penholder, and it is worse because the movements are even smaller (yikes!) than shakehand grip hook serves... and it's all in real time where I also have to read the placement of the serve, not like over here when I only need to deal with spin variation, and I can rewatch the video a few times lol...


"If a player can't read those always there tells then they are missing something because of the pressure to return an uncertain ball. But that's a totally different topic."


Very common to have that pressure if it's a full on match. In practice I would have thought with the breakdown of Par's service you just did which was pretty spot on.... after a while you would be on that service like a roast dinner on Sunday.

Thinking on your feet in a live space is always hard. Don't you have any read on that kind of service at all after playing them lots or is the player a level above you and thats the issue you make a bad return and the third ball is gone.


I probably need to keep these thoughts in mind when I play them next, theorycrafting is quite different to actually receiving well in a match haha... Also the other problem is that the hook serve is only one type of serve in his arsenal, there's also the usual tricky penhold pendulum and heavy underspin/no spin serves... So you have to not only prepare for different placement but also different service movement types....

I actually win against him most of the time, because he receives my serves even worse than I receive his lol... and I have better defense which means he loses quite some points to well placed blocks/counters against his nasty 3rd ball attacks... 

But it really makes for some ugly, ugly matches!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 10:44am
when it's like that its horrible to play and worse to watch! Smile




Edited by ghostzen - 06/27/2020 at 10:56am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 11:07am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Very tricky ask that as Dan took it very very early so no reall tells off the table i could see. Was it placement, speed or a kicker the reason he edged it. Want do you think it was btw?

I think it was sidetopspin, and a very heavy one at that. 

Reason: 
1 ) his hand seems to be low before hitting the ball - often an indication of sidetopspin because you need upwards movement to generate that kicking topspin. The higher hand position is usually very strong underspin. 

2) his wrist action during the sidetopspin serve seems slower compared to the sideunderspin variant. But this seems to be not reliable imo, I've seen Par Gerell serving videos where he serves with a jerky wrist movement for the sidetopspin serve too...


The kicker makes sense. Also I bet Dan was expecting a ball cut in half from the first service and squared up on the table for a shorter ball in his head when the longer jumping he had already commited.

You seem to actually have no problems making sense of service action so why the issue with reading serves btw?



My friend is a penholder, and it is worse because the movements are even smaller (yikes!) than shakehand grip hook serves... and it's all in real time where I also have to read the placement of the serve, not like over here when I only need to deal with spin variation, and I can rewatch the video a few times lol...


"If a player can't read those always there tells then they are missing something because of the pressure to return an uncertain ball. But that's a totally different topic."


Very common to have that pressure if it's a full on match. In practice I would have thought with the breakdown of Par's service you just did which was pretty spot on.... after a while you would be on that service like a roast dinner on Sunday.

Thinking on your feet in a live space is always hard. Don't you have any read on that kind of service at all after playing them lots or is the player a level above you and thats the issue you make a bad return and the third ball is gone.


I probably need to keep these thoughts in mind when I play them next, theorycrafting is quite different to actually receiving well in a match haha... Also the other problem is that the hook serve is only one type of serve in his arsenal, there's also the usual tricky penhold pendulum and heavy underspin/no spin serves... So you have to not only prepare for different placement but also different service movement types....

I actually win against him most of the time, because he receives my serves even worse than I receive his lol... and I have better defense which means he loses quite some points to well placed blocks/counters against his nasty 3rd ball attacks... 

But it really makes for some ugly, ugly matches!


theorycrafting is a good word agreed  Clap. I will remember and use that one Thumbs Up

Lots of players talk a good game but haven't played at the bettter levels..or can't put it into practice in a real world match. 

If you are beating the guy jobs a good one. If you can make a weaker return on some of the balls off the good serve or aren't getting the 3rd ball past you because the quality isn't good enough then happy days.

keeping a level head in matches and thinking is quite a tricky thing when put under pressure. takes a bit of leaning how to stay on focus. This can need drilling and working on like working on strokes etc.


Edited by ghostzen - 06/27/2020 at 11:32am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 4:40pm
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

As a start.... The kick off the table can't really be disguised. That's the big tell. If you are playing at an elite level waiting that long gives your opponent loads of time which isn't really workable at that level. As very very few are....at the lower levels waiting that little longer can give loads more clues. Which can lead to better stronger returns. The more you also see and play against that type of serve you should pick up clues. There's always clues be it.. body language, position , racket position, free arm, head movement just to mention a few...

If a player can't read those always there tells then they are missing something because of the pressure to return an uncertain ball. But that's a totally different topic. 

Is your name Dick Prause? LOL

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/27/2020 at 5:25pm
NO WAY!!!! 😊 😊 😊 😊 😊 😊..... well at least I know I'm on the right track NL and not talking total Shizzle 👍😁😁😁😁 this was mentioned to me about 10 years ago by a very very good player I know and reminded to me when I was training last year in Korea... By an excellent coach and also a total gentleman who I have the pleasure of knowing.. 

That is freaky as.... NL... honestly. 





Edited by ghostzen - 06/28/2020 at 10:17am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/28/2020 at 10:06am
I actually played the guy today again, I think I decoded it lol, the matches were now completely one sided, because now I'm receiving well while he's still struggling with my serve haha...

Basically watching the hand position and racket tip direction just before ball contact like a hawk is the key here. You can ignore the racket angle because that won't give any useful information, and whatever movement happens during and after contact, that's just gonna distract you...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/28/2020 at 10:07am
👍 Glad it helped 

Edited by ghostzen - 06/28/2020 at 10:09am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/28/2020 at 10:37am
The problem of this method of course is when they hide the hand and bat before contact and you only see the bat coming out from the body only at contact. I would be missing some very crucial information to decode it then... It's not illegal to hide your hand/bat before contact as long as the ball stays visible throughout the ball flight...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/28/2020 at 12:34pm
I know the issue... That's why waiting for the ball a little longer off the table can give you a better chance to see how it will kick or react. Yes it will lead to a bit weaker return but then again non of us are playing at that level where it matters that much. It's putting all those tells together to form an idea. Bit like a boxer or a receiver at tennis I suppose. Use every cue you can. 
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