Helicopter BH

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Its been covered here before but I made a vid. Thought some would enjoy.

This is like the Wegner stuff I think. What I am showing might not be what is going on during hitting. Anyhow I am not saying that its a goal, but its like the BH equivalent of the buggywhip fh:

 

Minion

Hall of Fame
Ah...I wondered what that term meant:) Thanks for posting the vid, now I know. I hit a lot of my backhands like that - on low balls, and closer to the net balls especially - it's the only way I can get the needed topspin.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Ah...I wondered what that term meant:) Thanks for posting the vid, now I know. I hit a lot of my backhands like that - on low balls, and closer to the net balls especially - it's the only way I can get the needed topspin.
Yeah it's a way to get added spin. Pros do it too, esp Amalgro

I never did I think till switching to the extreme eastern grip from the sw. Maybe on high balls with the sw

One day I just started hitting like that on certain balls.
 

TheWolverine

New User
Doing a windshield-wiper motion like that on a one-hander is a recipe for inconsistency. Even extremely high level players with pretty whippy backhands keep the wrist steady through the contact point. Here are some Almagro examples, and I can't think of too many pros with a whipper backhand than his.


 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Doing a windshield-wiper motion like that on a one-hander is a recipe for inconsistency. Even extremely high level players with pretty whippy backhands keep the wrist steady through the contact point. Here are some Almagro examples, and I can't think of too many pros with a whipper backhand than his.


I doubt you would find any slow mo of that helicopter bh. Its a match play thing and as I said its not really intentional. I'd say from watching match play that he does it maybe 10% of the time.

I certainly dont do it intentionally and one day it just happened and I had all kind of topspin, that I wasnt getting with that grip before.

Like I said, its like the Wegner stuff.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
Just looks to be the consequence of a hitting swing path with an extreme SW grip. Not sure what the big deal is - think its another over-hyped term without actually meaning anything.
 

Ihatetennis

Hall of Fame
Yeah I have seen him do it and I think even Fed once
gasquet does it a lot and fed, usually on late shots

kinda a last resort shot, more upward drive than horizontal. on the forehand we can get away with it because we can hit more power, but even nadal doesnt do it when going for winners when he is in good position...unless hes hitting a ridiculous angle
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
gasquet does it a lot and fed, usually on late shots

kinda a last resort shot, more upward drive than horizontal. on the forehand we can get away with it because we can hit more power, but even nadal doesnt do it when going for winners when he is in good position...unless hes hitting a ridiculous angle
Yes. It's not a goal but happens in certain circumstances as you mention
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I thought all the 1hbh pros did it, from Fed to Nico, Richard, and even Stan.
Something to do with using momentum to hit, allowing a loose wrist and relaxed shoulder, like a modern forehand only it's supination on the backhand topspin shots.
Wish I could do it, but I insist on hitting my backhands late and outside in sidespin, not from desire, but from lack of a tennis mind.
 

TheWolverine

New User
I thought all the 1hbh pros did it, from Fed to Nico, Richard, and even Stan.
Something to do with using momentum to hit, allowing a loose wrist and relaxed shoulder, like a modern forehand only it's supination on the backhand topspin shots.
Wish I could do it, but I insist on hitting my backhands late and outside in sidespin, not from desire, but from lack of a tennis mind.
Find me 1 video of a pro doing the supination motion that Shroud does at 0:02, and I'll show you 10 that don't. You want a steady wrist for control -- the spin and power comes from the whole body rotation and arm leverage, not from the wrist and forearm supinating like that.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
You outta make a resume' and start sending them out by the hundreds.
Indian descent tech player's are all the rage, and being Americanized, you're ahead of the curve. And you're young, and now single.
 

thomasferrett

Hall of Fame
I've started a thread on this topic before. Almagro and Gasquet are the biggest users of the helicopter backhand. A lot of spinny clay-courters like Cuevas, Mayer, Zeballos, and Kohlschreiber also make frequent use of it.

To cause a helicopter backhand you need to swing with a supinating windshield-wiper stroke and you need to stop the torso from rotating.

Even though Wawrinka uses a windshield-wiper backhand, he does NOT use the helicopter backhand because he rotates his torso so much that it allows the shoulder extra room to finish across his body instead of whirling around his head and finishing on the same side (ala the helicopter backhand). Almagro and Gasquet stop their torso from rotating as much, which means the shoulder 'runs out of range of motion' and thus the momentum of the arm, in doing the supinating windshield-wiper stroke cause the helicopter motion.

One thing to note is that players tend to only use the helicopter backhand on very high balls (because it allows them extra room to hit over an already high ball and also allows for the racket head to remain closed even on a high ball) or very low balls (to give a bit of extra spin). If the ball is at a medium strike-zone you will rarely see the helicopter backhand.

On high balls even players who very rarely use a helicopter backhand will do so (guys like Federer, Golubev, Bolelli, Youzhny and even Feliciano Lopez). So it is a very useful thing to have in your toolbox against high balls even if you don't normally use it.

Some guys who basically never use the helicopter backhand - even on very high balls are Dimitrov, Garcia-Lopez and Robredo. All of them have a very locked forearm (even if Dimitrov's arm at the shoulder joint is super loose).

Here is an example (2:18) of Gasquet doing the helicopter backhand last week.

 

Faker

Semi-Pro
I doubt you would find any slow mo of that helicopter bh. Its a match play thing and as I said its not really intentional. I'd say from watching match play that he does it maybe 10% of the time.

I certainly dont do it intentionally and one day it just happened and I had all kind of topspin, that I wasnt getting with that grip before.

Like I said, its like the Wegner stuff.
Yeah when I had a 1hbh I also did it sometimes unintentionally.

When I visited UVA I saw Ryan Shane hitting the "buggy whip" backhand a lot in practice too.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
Thanks Shroud. I still don't get it - or more precisely, I do not understand the need to play around the wrist at all when having a OHBH with an extreme grip. I speak as a practitioner of this stroke - my main focus is the swing path, and without playing around my wrist I am able to generate tons of topspin (much more than my FH). I can hit it loopy and more direct, depending on my swing path.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Thanks Shroud. I still don't get it - or more precisely, I do not understand the need to play around the wrist at all when having a OHBH with an extreme grip. I speak as a practitioner of this stroke - my main focus is the swing path, and without playing around my wrist I am able to generate tons of topspin (much more than my FH). I can hit it loopy and more direct, depending on my swing path.
Jg

I tend to agree. This bh is an improvisation mostly. I don't recall it happening as much or at all with my sw grip but with the EE the face is less closed and I do it more

I recall posting about how flat the ee was in comparison to the sw. One day I hit a helicopter and had spin like the sw grip

I tend to use it when the ball is high and has managed to get behind the contact point. That little wrist flick gets the face closed on those balls and helps on those

Again it's not a go to shot and a more classic follow through is preferred

Sadly we wouldn't have such a thread on the fh buggy whip but somehow it's taboo for the bh.

It's clear from match play that some high level bhs employ this trick.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Haha, I'm still waiting for you to set me up with one!
Bay Area is the place to be. Billions of dollars have been invested in tech startups. They need people. Make a few million quick and then retire and play tennis. Don't be a working stiff.
 

oble

Hall of Fame
Sadly we wouldn't have such a thread on the fh buggy whip but somehow it's taboo for the bh.

It's clear from match play that some high level bhs employ this trick.
Not exactly a taboo, but I'd think that it's better to not consciously practise your backhand in that manner, since the finish is the result of the swing path which is a situational response to the incoming ball, much like most guy wouldn't consciously practise the buggy whip forehand, but it comes naturally when you're forced to hit the forehand with a steeper than normal swing path.
Plus, with the smaller range of motion for the shoulder in the backhand's swing direction, whipping it up and around the head like that regularly is not very good for the shoulders.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I don't think a supinated backhand finish is anything like a buggy whip forehand finish. It's more like a WW pronated forehand finish, something positive.
I asked a local old school coach about it yesterday. He was against it, but he hit old school long slightly topspin 1hbh's.
I see Federer, Gasquet, Almagro, and yes, even Stan using it all the time. I might use it for higher balls, and normal finish for topspinning lower balls.
Just like a WW finish, when it first came out, lots of people were suspect, but now it's the norm.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Especially 01:14 and 01:18 look and sound very good. (y)
Thanks man. Was pretty happy considering its a new racquet (100gs lighter than normal) and well I haven't been hitting bhs like this in a long long while. Which often means it will suck the next time out!
 

Knox

Semi-Pro
Hmm... my first thought is that this seems like the most efficent route from the extended 1hbh finish position back to the ready position
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Hmm... my first thought is that this seems like the most efficent route from the extended 1hbh finish position back to the ready position
Its funny because I was thinking that its like some advanced footwork technique that preps you for the next shot....
 

chrisb

Semi-Pro
Find me 1 video of a pro doing the supination motion that Shroud does at 0:02, and I'll show you 10 that don't. You want a steady wrist for control -- the spin and power comes from the whole body rotation and arm leverage, not from the wrist and forearm supinating like that.
ah someone that knows The power for the 1 hand backhand comes from the core as in the forehand The elbow and wrist are not involved at all before contact. The power comes from your biokinetic chain
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
ah someone that knows The power for the 1 hand backhand comes from the core as in the forehand The elbow and wrist are not involved at all before contact. The power comes from your biokinetic chain
this adds spin. No mention of power.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Spin is a form of power:sneaky:
that is mindblowing. Those loopy spinny shots never seem powerful. Its the flat cannons that seem to have the power. Like on the serve, no one ever talks about a kicker or a slice as being powerful, at least in regards to the flat serve.

Sure I get it that you are putting the power into different things like spin or flat but really never heard some one equate the 2.
 

chrisb

Semi-Pro
U guys understand vectors? The most power would come from a racket vector parallel to the ground so we call that 0 degrees, as we angle up we lose power and create spin the combination of the speed of the ball and the rotations of the ball are commonly known as tourque. A vector of 45 degrees give u a flat backhand , 60 degree vector is the average lift for a topspin backhand Pick your poison
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Wait, now you've lost me... how does any footwork technique play into causing this finish?
not saying it is related at all. It was a GENERAL comment. There is some footwork where the finish helps you recover better IIRC like this can help you get into ready position faster.
 

Knox

Semi-Pro
not saying it is related at all. It was a GENERAL comment. There is some footwork where the finish helps you recover better IIRC like this can help you get into ready position faster.
Oh I gotcha. Yeah I was specifically referring to the hand returning to the ready position.

Finish recovery footwork isn't really advanced though... but that's nitpicky stuff.
 

Knox

Semi-Pro
that is mindblowing. Those loopy spinny shots never seem powerful. Its the flat cannons that seem to have the power. Like on the serve, no one ever talks about a kicker or a slice as being powerful, at least in regards to the flat serve.

Sure I get it that you are putting the power into different things like spin or flat but really never heard some one equate the 2.
Well... cheekiness aside... I think it depends on what you mean by power. Theres power in the "measurement of energy" sense, and then there's power in the "exert control over your opponent" sense.

My lil joke about "spin is a form power" is playing off the former sense... but if you want to get serious we could talk about spin as power using the latter sense.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Oh I gotcha. Yeah I was specifically referring to the hand returning to the ready position.

Finish recovery footwork isn't really advanced though... but that's nitpicky stuff.
my feet find it majorly advanced...

I plan to play today and see how it works. From my brief experiment the other day I think this may work out pretty great. Will see.

And really its a forum. Everything is about being nitpicky :)
Yee haw ya'll

LMAO! Can you make that move off the screen and have me slowly helicopter up and out of the picture? That would be perfect!!
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Well... cheekiness aside... I think it depends on what you mean by power. Theres power in the "measurement of energy" sense, and then there's power in the "exert control over your opponent" sense.

My lil joke about "spin is a form power" is playing off the former sense... but if you want to get serious we could talk about spin as power using the latter sense.
I would love to, though to be quite honest SPIN is a big issue. I never seem to be able to get enough on ANY shot. FH, BH kick, etc. never enough. Though in this bh vid I did notice at 30 and 34 sec the ball jumps from the spin. The 1st one jumps to the righthanders bh and the 2nd one jumps to the fh though not as much.

Never that loopy biting top. Lot of it is probably the high swingweight I usually use and well technique...
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Boy was I wrong about the helicopter BH. Its brilliant on service returns!!! Especially the 2nd serves. Hit lots of winners where the opponent just let the ball go by because it looked like it was going out and dropped in because it had more spin than I normally use.

Can't wait to get grooved on this. Lots of potential and I was definitely hitting my bh harder and spinnier than normal. I won 6-0 and it was 4-4 when the dude stopped. Its a good thing too. Long story but if you are old and think "hey I can start hitting a narrow platform instead of pinpoint" and you do it and rock with it, it could be that more strain is put on the lower back than normal and back gets tight and starts to be a problem. I was happy to not have to serve anymore.

FWIW I was serving better. Something to be said for better balance. More kick and more consistency. Though no Roddick like pace. No coming in either.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
U guys understand vectors? The most power would come from a racket vector parallel to the ground so we call that 0 degrees, as we angle up we lose power and create spin the combination of the speed of the ball and the rotations of the ball are commonly known as tourque. A vector of 45 degrees give u a flat backhand , 60 degree vector is the average lift for a topspin backhand Pick your poison
Sure that all makes some sense. Though there is another vector. If there is external shoulder rotation the racquet is moving left to right in an arc AND say at 45 degrees toward the net, one can have BOTH power AND spin since the spin can and does come from the ESR and and supination.
 
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