The backspin serve challenge

Here’s something fun for you to try.

Ryan Jenkins, a Welsh international table tennis player, has set a challenge. You have to do a backspin serve which bounces once on the server’s side, once on the receiver’s side and then bounces back over the net to the server’s side again.

You get five attempts.

Every time you do a successful serve, Ryan will donate £1 to Pink Pong, a table tennis group increasing awareness of cancer and raising money for different cancer charities and foundations.

Here’s a video of Ryan Jenkins explaining the challenge.

So Ryan got 3 out of 5. Now it’s my turn. I cleared out my garage, set up my table and started practising. My first attempts were terrible. I wasn’t even close.

After 30 mins, things were getting better and I was starting to do a few successful serves.

Around the 45 minute mark, I was starting to get around 50%, but still not enough to match Ryan’s total.

As I approached the hour mark, I was starting to lose hope. It was getting close to my bed time and I was getting seriously cold in my garage!

I gave it one last attempt…

So I did it! I got 4 out of 5.

The key is to brush under and up the back of the ball, and get the first bounce as close to the net as possible. You don’t want too much forward momentum, otherwise the ball will travel to far onto the receiver’s side.

It’s easier if you get a bit of height on the serve. I’ve seen videos of professionals doing this serve, where they can keep the ball lower, but that’s really hard to do.

Will you take on the backspin serve challenge?

Now it’s your turn. Have a practise and then film yourself. Upload your video to YouTube, Instagram or Facebook and tag Ryan Jenkins and he will donate £1 for every successful serve you do.

If you don’t want to do the challenge, but want to donate to Pink Pong anyway, you can do so via their JustGiving page.

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