Blog, Pickleball Techniques

What Is Pickleball Slice Serve?

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By Jacob Jackson

Are you one of the 4.8 million Americans who can’t get enough of Pickleball? If so, you’ve probably noticed that this fast-paced sport comes with some complex rules. But fear not! We’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of executing a perfect pickleball slice serve.

So, what exactly is a pickleball slice serve? Well, it’s a strategic move that involves curving the ball to one side, leaving your opponent scrambling to return it. It’s a serving style that’s sure to impress, and we’re going to show you how to do it!

Pickleball-Play

The Rules of the Slice Serve

Before you can slice serve like a pro, there are a few rules you need to follow. First, make sure your paddle is positioned below your naval while you hold it, ensuring it doesn’t go above your wrist when you strike the ball. After hitting the ball, your paddle should move in an upward arc. Remember, any method you use for slicing is legal as long as you adhere to these rules.

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Now, here’s a pro tip: if you let the ball drop before hitting it, you can throw it upwards. Just make sure not to throw it downward, as that’s against the rules. Another thing to keep in mind is that as of 2021, bounced balls are exempt from the naval, wrist, and upward arc rules. So, get creative and come up with your unique serve!

Mastering the Technique

Slice serving may take some practice, but it’s entirely possible to perfect it. To surprise your opponent with a challenging return, you’ll need to create a sidespin on the ball. Stand at least three feet away from the baseline to give yourself enough momentum before striking the ball.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the technique:

  1. Take two steps forward, dropping the ball as you do so.
  2. Use your fingertips to snap the ball in a right-to-left motion.
  3. Drop the ball at neck length.
  4. Make sure your feet, hips, and shoulders are sideways before striking.
  5. Shift your weight under the ball by moving your waist and forearm.
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When it comes to gripping your paddle, a continental grip is preferred for slice serves. However, feel free to experiment with different grip styles to find what works best for you.

Tips for Mastering the Slice Serve

Now that you know the rules and techniques, let’s dive into some serving tips:

  • Use deep serves to keep your opponent at their baseline and prevent them from making aggressive shots.
  • Aim for your opponent’s weakness, such as their backhand, to increase your chances of a poor return.
  • Practice your serves using a chair as a target. It’s a fun way to perfect your serving skills from different positions on the court.
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Remember, if you’re a beginner or struggle with your backhand, a drop serve can be a great alternative. The naval, wrist, and upward arc rules don’t apply once the ball bounces, giving you more flexibility in your serving technique.

So go ahead and dazzle your fellow Pickleball players with your newfound slice-serving skills! Just don’t forget to follow the rules and keep practicing. With time and dedication, you’ll become a serving maestro on the Pickleball court!

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